Tagging On Facebook – The Magical @ Sign

Many of you have asked about what Facebook tagging is all about and how to use the @ sign in your updates.

The @ sign is a nomenclature that is taken from Twitter land and Facebook simply uses it to create links to and tie together references to other pages.  In the same way that you would use a hyperlink on the web so that people could click through to the web page you are referring to, Facebook uses tagging but goes one better.

Not only does Facebook create a link in your update, that also post that exact same update on the other person or fan page wall.  This allows everyone who is friends with the person you tagged or has ‘liked’ the fan page you are referring to the opportunity to see an update that you created.

This is just another way to multiply your exposure.  You may only have 400-500 fans on your particular page, but if you create an update and in that update tag a fan page with several thousand fans, your update is potentially seen on that page and the walls of all the fans of that page.

How Can You Use This?

For local business, I will mention upcoming Chamber of Commerce events and tag the chamber.  Look for non-profits or civic organizations that are celebrating something and congratulate them in an update – tagging them in the process.

Find ways to congratulate influential people in your market niche and tag them.  If you have an event that you participated in and took photos of, put them online and tag individuals in the photo and also their name in the update.

Here’s a video that shows exactly how the tagging process works:

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Offline Social Media Hotsheet – Ultimate Plan For Offline Marketers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of years you know that social media and especially Facebook have become super hot items.  Much like the perfect storm, Facebook began just about the time that smart phones became popular and suddenly, people could upload photos and videos right from their phone, see where their friends are and what they are doing 24/7, etc.  With such incredible growth, huge popularity and user base, businesses are scrambling to figure out how to use it for marketing purposes.

Download The Offline Social Media Hotsheet

I receive trade magazines from several different business segments and every one of them have been encouraging their members to integrate social media into their marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, the businesses that can benefit most from social media are the ones that are so called ‘boring businesses’ and don’t provide enough visual interest or social buzz to enable friends to share with others.

Let’s begin by looking at social media and why it is such a powerful platform.  All of the platforms work on somewhat the same principle, but we’ll look specifically at Facebook since it has the largest user base.

Time For Some Mathematics

Download The Offline Social Media Hotsheet

When a user joins Facebook they actually start a personal profile.  This profile includes their photo, information about themselves, videos they may upload that they find interesting, photo albums of their friends or family, etc.  This profile also includes what is called a ‘Wall’.  This wall can be thought of as kind of a personal news feed.  Individuals can update their own news feed (talk about their day, somewhere they’ve visited, post a photo they took, etc.).  All their ‘friends’ will then see everything in this news feed.  They can also write something, post a photo, video or web link on their friend’s wall which that persons ‘friends’ then also see.  Let’s assume each of these people have 500 friends.  Every time either of them posts something on each other’s wall, both sets of friends will see it (thus 1000 people).

Now let’s take it to the next level.  Facebook allows people to ‘tag’ themselves or their friends in photos (basically assign a name to the face in the photo).  So, let’s say that I upload a photo of 10 of my friends and ‘tag’ each of them.  For simple math sake we’ll say that everyone has 500 friends.  Instantly, my photo is in front of 5000 people.  Wall posts, photos, videos, web links, etc. can also be ‘liked’, commented on or shared.  Because my photo is incredibly funny, besides the 10 people that I tagged in it, 90 other people (those friends of friends) who saw it either made a comment about it, shared it or ‘liked’ it.  Now, I’m in front of 50,000 people.  Of course, there are going to be a number of those people who are ‘cross pollinated’ so to speak or have the same groups of friends but even given that fact I can reasonably get in front of 10-20,000 people fairly easily.

Online Profits Secrets – It’s All In The Details!

I get emails all the time – “I’ve tried this technique” or “I’ve tried that technique” and nothing seems to be working.  They are frustrated because they feel like the techniques they’ve been taught just do not work.  It’s not that the techniques do not work, the problem is that someone has failed to tell them the real secret.

Creating a profitable business (online or offline) is a lot like cooking the perfect Brisket!

Online Profits Secrets - The Perfect BrisketI love to cook.  I may be good – I’m probably not – the truth is that 100 people can make a recipe and you’ll see the typical bell curve results.  Ten percent or so will be excellent, 10% will be inedible and the remainder will be average and elicit no real response good or bad.

Relating this to business – if you’re in that top 10% your customers are going to become raving fans and tell all their friends about you providing fabulous free advertising and making your business an instant success.

If you’re in that bottom 10% there’s absolutely no way you’re going to make it in this business niche until you improve your skill set or change business model.

If you’re that average guy in the middle you are going to need to do some incredible marketing / advertising / awesome promotions to generate enough traffic to overcome the ‘averageness’ of your product.

What does this have to do with Brisket?

Unless you’re a barbeque aficionado you may have never even eaten a great brisket.  It’s a cheap cut of beef that’s (without proper handling) tough and almost inedible.  However, hit a great New York deli and ask for corned beef or pastrami and you’ll soon know how a master craftsman can take a cheap cut of beef and turn it into perfection.

Or visit a BBQ competition and taste the perfectly smoked brisket and you’ll know that it is indeed the details that make the difference between poor / average and “the most delicious bite I’ve ever had”.

Are You Willing To Do The Work?

I had read about great BBQ – I even tasted great pulled pork in Memphis many years ago but never knew that it could be replicated.  It wasn’t until my wife bought me a ‘BBQ Bible” kind of book that I began to understand.  There are a thousand variables and none of them can be narrowed down into a ‘recipe’ of sorts.  Yes, the ingredients are all the same and the procedures are all the same but the subject is completely different every time.

In the case of brisket – none are exactly the same so a scientific formula is never going to work.  You need to have enough experience with the cut of meat and the cooking / smoking process to know when it is done.

In the case of your internet business – again, none are the same.  You need to know your market, your niche and your customer base well enough to know exactly how to position yourself perfectly.

How did I learn to smoke the perfect brisket?    I made a bunch of tough, leathery clumps of meat that my family had to endure and practiced over and over, tweaking each time until I eventually got to a deliciously smoked tender cut of meat that sliced into a magical piece deliciousness.  Oh, and the perfect brisket has yet to be cooked…

Likewise, the perfect business has yet to be created.  And nobody can tell you how to perfect your own business.  They can give you the tools and techniques that work, but it’s going to take practice on your part to find all the little details that make the difference between a technique failing or succeeding.

Let me recommend a shortcut

You can learn the hard way like I did by trying 100’s of times and tweaking a little here and there – or you can find someone (or a group of people) to bounce ideas and questions off and shorten your learning curve significantly.

Check out Two Shortcuts To Fast Online Profits

Occupy Fails – Are You A Victim or a Victor?

While I agree with the anger toward bankers or anyone else who has exploited others and then were bailed out while adding millions of dollars to their personal wealth, I find most of the rhetoric coming from the 'occupy movement' simply a lot of general complaining and no real solutions.  The truth is that there are and will always be inequities in every area of life.  We don't all have the same physical ability, looks, financial status or family money available to us.

We are, however, all given the same 24 hours in each and every day.  What are you doing with that time?  The difference between victors or victims is how we react to the circumstances around us and the barriers that each of us are faced with.

The fact of the matter is that most of us have almost limitless opportunities available to us.  I found this amazing video yesterday that reminded me of that fact.

Are you faced with physical or financial adversity or possibly a broken marriage or other relationship?  You can choose to allow it to destroy your spirit or you can use it as a stepping stone to push off of.

I have an acquaintance who lost his job 2 years ago.  It was a job that he really didn't enjoy anyway although the money was good.  I saw it as the perfect time to learn some new skills, build an internet business since he was collecting unemployment.  I tried to show him a couple things and offered to teach him anything he wanted to know.

For the next year he sat around the house, watched TV, played video games, went out with friends in the evening and pretended the unemployment checks would continue forever.  I tried to challenge him a couple of times but my words fell on deaf ears.  Then last year the unemployment stopped, the rent payments were late and faced with the eviction notice he suddenly began looking for any work available.

The opportunity and time available to learn a new skill was an incredible gift and he basically squandered it.  Now he's struggling to keep his financial head above water and plays the victim any time you talk to him.

What about you?  Are you a victim or a victor?

Online Profits Mindset – Change Your World!

I’m overweight – have been for a couple of years now.  When I sold the contracting business several years ago I suddenly went from burning 3500-4000 calories a day from 10-12 hours a day of continuous hard work to burning 1800 calories a day sitting behind a computer.  Unfortunately, I kept eating like that 30 year old construction worker and added 10, 20, 30, 50 pounds and more over the next couple of years.  I love to eat – in fact I love to eat a lot and in my mind I was still tough, strong and somewhat invincible.  Sure, my stomach protrudes a bit more than it used to but I still look pretty good…   NOT!

My parents 50 year anniversary is coming up so several weeks ago I went and pulled all their old 35MM slides and brought them back to my office to scan and create a video for the party.  Looking back through those old photos from 10, 20 and 30 years ago I was faced with the stark realization that I’ve become something I don’t want to be.  I’m FAT, I might as well admit it and also admit that I don’t want to be that way anymore.  Since then, I’ve reduced my calorie intake to well under what I need each day and am beginning to burn away those pounds.

What Does This Have To Do With Online Profits?

 It is so easy for us to convince ourselves that we’re something we’re not.  I see people read and study, visit forums and webinars – all the while thinking they’re putting effort into building their online business when in fact they may only be putting in an hour or 2 a week of actual content creation and traffic building.  When you talk to them they say “I’m putting so many hours and effort into this and don’t see many results”.  The fact is that they are actually looking for some kind of ‘secret sauce’ or shortcut that is going to suddenly make their profits explode.  We all love to ‘eat’ or absorb and collect information.  The real secret to online success (or any success for that matter) is to use that ‘food’ or in this case information that we’ve taken in and implement it consistently to create something worthwhile.

What Is Your Mindset?

Are you running around searching for the next ‘secret loophole’ to online profits or are you setting consistent goals to finish the small steps each and every day that will build your 6 figure plus business?  Are you convincing yourself that you are working hard and paying your dues when in fact you really only spend a couple hours a week producing actual content or building traffic to your web properties?  Have you spent any time at all taking a hard look at yourself, your skillset and talents and then figuring out how to leverage them to make the most progress in the shortest possible time so you’re not just spinning your wheels?

You’ve probably seen the study that says it takes 21 days to form a habit.  This study was actually done in 1960 and had to do with how long it takes to adjust to the loss of a limb.  The truth is that the time varies widely depending on the type of behavior you’re trying to implement.  Easy things take a very short period of time while very difficult things take much longer (hundreds of days).

Do you have the mental toughness to be successful?  Only you can answer that question but I hope the answer is yes.  It really is possible to change your world!

Internet Marketing Coach – Shorten Your Learning Curve

“I want it all and I want it now” – Queen

I belong to a select few internet marketing forums that I check almost daily and also run two of my own.  I usually drop in for a minute or two and click on the ‘new posts’ button to see what’s new and being discussed so that I can keep up with the latest trends.  I see new people come and go continuously as many people who are facing lost jobs or economic struggle see the internet and the myriad of businesses that can be run online as some instant remedy for their financial problems.  Unfortunately, most of them struggle with the steep learning curve and give up after a couple of months.

It’s an interesting paradox – the people who can least afford to spend time struggling and learning everything themselves are the people who stubbornly think they have a unique answer to the problems they face and refuse to ask for help or refuse to follow the guidance they are given.  You’ve heard the joke about the guy that falls off a cliff and grabs on to a small twig on the way down catching his fall.  As he hangs there in mid air he cries out to God for help.  God calls out “Just let go and I’ll catch you”.  The guy thinks about it for a minute or two and then says “Is there anyone else up there?”.  There’s something in our human nature that causes us to ask for help when we can’t figure something out – then when we get an answer from a marketing coach that doesn’t quite agree with our own idea of what should happen we disregard the advice and try to do it our own way.

I think some of this also has to do with our fast paced culture and the “I want it all and I want it now” mentality.  The gurus all play off of this by promising instant, overnight results with no effort.  Unfortunately, this has never been true, nor will it ever be true.  Casinos and state Lotteries know this all too well and publicize the huge jackpots and winner stories but in truth, the house always wins.

Which brings us back to Internet marketing.  Whether you’re building an online only business or using the internet to increase the customer base to your existing or new offline business there are some simple basics that have never changed.  True, a couple of methods are new and there are some shortcuts that most of us have learned over the years but the overall basics are the same.

Find An Internet Marketing Coach

I’m not talking about some overpriced guru charging $2000 for his super course, I’m talking about a mentor or trusted experienced internet marketer that you can turn to for answers – then FOLLOW THEIR ADVICE!  After you’ve built a couple of successful models and have recurring income in place then you can branch out and do some testing of your new theories and innovative methods.

As I mentioned above – the very people who come to the internet looking for a quick fix to replace a lost job, high debt load and resulting stressful relationships are the very ones who need to slow down, follow the basic outline and build a solid business and residual income stream.  After you have that in place, pay down the debts and get rid of the immediate stress, then you can focus on developing the next Facebook, Microsoft or iPad.

Are We Rolling Downhill Like A Snowball…?

I read an interesting post today from one of the friends I really look up to in the internet marketing world – Mark Thompson.

You can read the original post here but basically he talks about the disillusionment that many of his forum members are feeling after Google slaps and Panda updates, etc.  After a couple of disappointments in a row it’s very easy to feel like giving up on your marketing efforts.

Fortunately, it is that very character trait of pushing through and overcoming difficulties that turns losers into winners and what we see as failures (actually just figuring out one of the ways that doesn’t work) into eventual success.  One of the problems that I see though is people putting all their eggs in one basket – and that basket being based on someone else’s platform.   One example is building all Amazon affiliate sites and then because of sales tax laws Amazon turns off their affiliate program in that state.  Or building an entire business model around Google adwords and then having their account banned for some unknown reason.

Start by having some measure of diversification in your business model.  Then use those diverse ways to build on each other.  When you find a niche in Amazon that is profitable, build other sites in related niches that you can push traffic to ebay EPN or adsense or build your own list around that niche and develop your own product and/or start a membership site.  Or you can use what you learn in building traffic to your affiliate sites to help local businesses do the same for themselves.  Then roll those contacts in the offline world into building Google local, facebook and twitter profiles that allow them to become ‘Real Time Marketers’ and communicate and respond to their customers in ways that have never before been possible.

Instead of thinking of the negative things that are happening as a snowball rolling out of control, think of the positive ways you can use the ‘snowball effect’ to build your business.  Start with a small idea and build on it.  As you extend your reach farther and farther, everything you do is able to attract an increasingly large customer base and your growth becomes exponential because of the greater surface area of exposure.

To your success!
Dean Martin

Two of my favorite shortcuts to success!

Two Shortcuts To Fast Online Profits

I wish I had found these earlier in my online career!

I interviewed a very successful ‘work at home mom’ internet marketer last week.  One of the most profound reasons she gave for her early success was a personal coach or coaching program.

Now I’ll admit to being incredibly stubborn, hate asking for help, despise paying someone to help me and just in general like to figure things out on my own.  With that said, over the last 6 months I have joined two coaching programs that have moved my IM efforts to a whole new level.  I only wish someone had told me about them sooner!

Why didn’t I know about them before now?  Because they are run by very unassuming, humble guys who, without a lot of glitz and glamour, are making mid-six figure incomes each and every year using the systems they’ve perfected.  They are both private people and share the information just to their private communities.  Once inside you find some of the industries biggest names sharing information that you won’t find elsewhere.

Who are these two people?

  1. Dennis Becker at Earn 1k A Day.
  2. Mark Thompson at WordPress Goldmine

The best news is that you can try them now for just $1 and see the incredible value first hand.

Great Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen

Implementing a great idea however, is hard work. That is why very few of them ever get put into place.

Dreaming is easy and you’ve probably met thousands of dreamers in your lifetime. They sit on the porch steps (or couch) and pontificate about one thing or another. They are always certain that they can solve the worlds problems. Unfortunately, their ideas never move beyond the cosmic ether of their brain cells.

Implementing even the simplest of great ideas is hard work. Newtons law is not easily broken “objects at rest tend to remain at rest and objects in motion tend to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force”. The momentum of the natural universe is difficult to overcome. You need to push steadily against the natural momentum and then continue to do so even when it seems hopeless.

Do you know the difference between successful people and the rest of the mass of humanity? Successful people have a dogged determination and press toward a goal that they have at the expense of all else.

Would you like to retire with a million dollars? Discipline yourself early in life to not buy every shiny toy that comes along and instead invest that money in a compounding interest account. When all your friends are taking lavish vacations each summer you prudently take the family on modest outings and find ways to have fun together without all the glitz and glamor of Disney World. Instead of buying new cars that depreciate immediately you purchase used models that provide the same level of transportation. You wake up 30 years later at 55 with your house paid off, a very nice little nest egg built up and ready to retire debt free with over a million dollars in assets to live comfortably the rest of your life.

Want to make a million dollars a year? Start by finding small passive income models that you can build, replicate and improve. Yes, you’re giving up your evenings and weekends for a while to perfect your systems and models with little to show for it at first. You refuse to give up and after a couple of months you see a steady income. Document your methods and then find ways to outsource so that you can replicate the model much faster with no more effort on your part. Suddenly you find yourself with a $1000 a month passive income. You go back now to tweak and test new methods to increase the performance of each model. Every time you find something that works better you apply that to all your models and suddenly your income per month doubles and triples.

Now you have some real money to work with and you pay a software developer to automate your entire business so that you can multiply the results again and again. Before long you’re at $10k a month, then $20k, $50k and eventually $100k plus per month. Is it easy? No! Is it impossible? Of course not as it’s being done over and over again by people that look no different than the average guy on the street.

All it takes is the discipline to push through problems and difficulty and make something work that the average person says is impossible.

Your Million Dollar Business Plan!

What Motivates Your Success

I watched the following video because of the incredible creativity and production quality.

It’s really based around motivating factors for a team of employees, however, as most of us are individuals building a primary or secondary income it’s important to know what motivates us. Watch the video and then read on…

Rule #1: It’s not the money! Well, it is up to a point but once you get beyond what you need to survive and be comfortable you need other motivating factors.

Rule #2: Find something you’re passionate about. If you really want to build a long term business model you need to be involved in an area that you are going to enjoy working in. If it’s ethically questionable, doesn’t fit your value system or is just something you’re not really interested in you’ll make a half-hearted attempt and then let it sit and deteriorate.

Rule #3: Make A Difference! If you can find a business niche that will improve yourself personally or the world around you it will be like earning money for fun. There really is nothing more fulfilling than combining your passion, profit and fulfilling a mission in the same business model.