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Author Archive | Shiva Teja

5 Ways to Make Your Email Stand Out

To make your email stand out and get it opened, make it clear that your email is useful to the reader, that it’s specific to what they want or need to know, and that it it’s also unique.

5 Ways to Make Your Email Stand Out

Here are a few additional tips to help ensure you get the most bang for your email buck…

Identify yourself. Don’t send an email from a generic name in the hope of confusing them into opening it – they’ll just resent you for it. Use your own personal name.

Always send your emails from the SAME name. You’re building brand loyalty, even when that brand is you. So if you keep changing your “from” line, even if it changes from “Bob Smith” to “Robert Smith” to “Bob,” you’re confusing your recipients.

Don’t pretend your email is what it’s not. More and more we see emails that say, “Your order is complete” or “Here is your download link” something similar, when it’s got nothing to do with anything the receiver ordered. This is spammy at best and downright deceptive at worst.

Create urgency SOMETIMES. Urgency works best in moderation. If every email you send screams, “Time is running out!” “The price is going up!” “There are only 3 copies left!” Then you’re going to become like the boy who cried wolf, and you know what happened to him – he cried wolf so many times, that when a real wolf actually showed up, nobody came to his rescue because nobody believed him. So the wolf ate him up.

Be brief. Yes, there are times when you have to send a longer email, but also send short ones. Remember, more and more of your subscribers are reading your emails on mobile devices, and in a distracted state. Keep your email messages succinct and to the point.

Email marketing remains one of the greatest forms of direct response marketing in history, and you can significantly improve your results if you keep these simple tips in mind when you prepare to send out your next email broadcast to your subscribers.

27 Tips To Strengthen Your Online Influence

How do you influence others over the Internet? Whether you want to change a mind or make a sale, the better you are at influencing, the more you’ll get what it is that you want.

27 Tips To Strengthen Your Online Influence

With that in mind here are 27 tips in no particular order to strengthen your own online influence and get more of what you seek.

Pick one niche and become the master of that niche. The thinner you spread yourself, the less influence you have. That’s why you want to thoroughly cover one niche rather than haphazardly trying to cover several of them.

Get out of your own online world and into new communities. We tend to get stuck in a rut of our own making, and we view the world from that one perspective that we’ve chosen. But if you’re going to influence others, you need to hang out with them, experience their world and see what makes them tick.

Build long term relationships. The longer and better you know someone, the more influence you have in that relationship. Work on making your customers stick to you for years, until they’re sure you’re a friend and there’s no hesitation on their part when you recommend something. The oldest customers are almost always the least skeptical and most trusting because you’ve taken the time to really get to know them.

Be authentic and consistent. If you are being your true authentic self, it will show. And in being authentic, you never have to worry about being consistent. You know how a liar has trouble keeping his stories straight? As the real, honest authentic you, you’ll only have one story – yours.

Know who your target prospects are and then find other people who already have your prospects on their lists. Now co-create products with those people to put yourself in front of your prospects. Instant influence!

Speak for those who are afraid to speak. Sometimes it takes guts to say what needs to be said. Become the person in the theater who asks the noisy patron to be silent, and the rest of the theater will love you. It works the same way online – be the one to speak up for others and you will have influence over those you speak for.

Give. Lots. Often. Too often we are focused on our goals, our business, and on ourselves. Try giving as much as you can and as often as you can without thought of what you might get in return.

Be passionate. No one follows a mediocre, middle of the road person. People follow others who are passionate in their beliefs. An ounce of passion will out sway and out influence a pound of reasoning and logic nearly every time.

Share the internal stuff. Having a nightmare moving your website? Confounded by the speaker in the conference you’re sitting in? Thrilled that you just got a great big order? We’re taught to always keep it professional, but it’s through sharing both the good and bad that people feel they know you and your business.

Create video content for your niche. In your videos, be bold, be passionate, be exciting. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just correct them and keep going. Be human. Be fun. And distribute your videos like crazy.

Share good content today. Tomorrow. Every day.

Tell stories. Who doesn’t love stories? And who can’t be influenced by the right story? Learn to become a master at storytelling and you can persuade even the most ardent enemy into joining your side.

Focus on a smaller niche. It’s hard to exert influence when you are one of 10,000 bloggers writing about weight loss – it’s easy to be influential when you are writing about weight loss for new moms in the Phoenix area.

Choose 5 to 10 people you admire in your niche and gradually get to know them. Share their stuff with your readers, ‘like’ their posts, ask them questions and pull them into your circle of influence. And don’t forget to thank them for what they have done for you, how they have influenced you, for the insights they’ve given you along the way.

Share yourself. Share your ideas, your thoughts, your ambitions – share what you’re doing today or what you did today. Not the, “I ate oatmeal” stuff, but rather the, “I thought about my grandad today and wondered what he would do if faced with this decision.” People listen when you share what’s close to your heart.

Align yourself with the best people in your niche. Not necessarily those who are making the most money, but rather those who are doing the best work and helping the most people. Those are the people you want as partners.

Don’t worry about how you’re going to get attention. Instead, make or do something worthwhile, something worth talking about.

Be different. Defy convention and do what others aren’t doing and say what others aren’t saying. People notice those who dare to be different.

Do interviews. Even if you have to get a friend to interview you, just do it. Get it online and make sure it’s seen by your people.

Become an advocate. Identify people on their way up in your niche and help them to succeed. By becoming their advocate, they in turn become yours.

Get people talking. People want to express themselves and they want to be heard. But start simple. Ask if they prefer smooth or crunchy peanut butter, or what their favorite food is. Work up to the bigger stuff. There may be no greater source of influence than simply listening – REALLY listening – to your people.

Choose who to influence by micro-targeting to find just the right people for your blog – product – niche – service. Only want women in their 30’s who work in Albuquerque New Mexico? Use Facebook advertising to find those people.

Make connections online, and then every chance you get, meet them in the real world. This might be at a conference, or it might be locally. Nothing beats meeting face to face.

Put your business ahead of your own fame. Sure you can become the top dog on a forum, but is it enhancing your business? If not, why are you doing it – for the fame? Keep your eye on your business goals, and if what you’re doing doesn’t further those goals, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

Stop talking about your products and services and start talking about your customer. No matter what you write or say, always keep in mind, “Is this what the customer wants to know? Am I communicating with them, or just tooting my own horn?” They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care is as true today as it was before the Internet.

Be the go-to person of your niche for content. Filter and aggregate your niches content so that your website is a one-stop-shop for the latest news.

Have a point of view. Sure, not everyone will share it – but that’s a good thing. Those who do share it will follow you anywhere.

Leverage some or all of these tips, and you’ll become a better influencer in all you do.

How to Keep Your Email Subscribers

There’s more to making money from your list than simply getting people ON your list. In fact, it’s once they’re on your list that the real work begins because you not only don’t want them to unsubscribe – you want them to actively look forward to hearing from you, to open and read your emails, and to act on your suggestions.

How to Keep Your Email Subscribers

Your subscribers will stay on your list if you are giving them value in the ways that they need. Tricky, huh? Because how do you know what it is that they need?

The answer is to create a feedback loop so they can tell what they want to learn and what they want to buy from you. This way you can design your products and services in a way that is exactly what your readers want.

You can get this information by using a survey to ask them for their number 1 questions on the niches or topics your list covers. SurveyMonkey.com can do this for you free.

Or you can write a blog post that asks readers to give you information on what they currently need. Be sure to specifically ask them to comment, and reply back to their comments. Commenting back encourages even more readers to comment, because they realize you are really paying attention to what they say.

A third option is to ask them a question in an email. It might be after your main email message, or the entire email might be you asking them to answer your question. Ask them to “hit reply right now” to send you their answer.

Once you know what their biggest questions are, you can write content or offer products that provide them with exactly what they need.

You want to condition your list to work with you, to give you the information you need so that you can help them. Think of it as a team effort – you’re asking what they need, they’re telling you, you’re creating it, they’re giving you feedback, etc.

It’s not about selling and more selling. It’s about offering your subscribers what they need, whether it’s in the form of free or paid content. And as long as you’re doing that, they will not only remain on your list – they’ll also become fans who enjoy reading your emails and buying your products.

7 Ways To Get More Subscribers Every Day

You already have a sign-up form on your website – but are you doing everything possible to get as many subscribers as possible? Here are 7 tactics for growing your list faster with simple things that only take a few minutes…

7 Ways To Get More Subscribers Every Day

Place your sign-up in as many places as possible – preferably on every page. You might also place it in the header or footer as well.

Get in their face. Your opt-in form should be prominent, in bold colors, with background color, maybe animation, etc. Make the sign-up totally visible and eye-catching.

Use pop-ups. Love ’em? Hate ’em? Either way, pop-ups just plain work. Test to see if it’s best to use a pop-up that appears after a few moments, or when the visitor is leaving the page. Do not have the pop-up appear immediately when they get to your page – you’ll just irritate your visitors and encourage them to click away. People need time to see if they like your website and if they want to subscribe.

Sell it, baby! Don’t just ask them to subscribe, BRIBE them to subscribe. Give them something they would otherwise be willing to PAY for and you’ll have a sure winner.

Get their friends, too. Run offers that encourage your visitors to forward your stuff to their friends or colleagues, and always include an easy way for them to sign-up.

Use social media. Perhaps this should have been #1 since social media can build a list faster than almost any other method. Place a sign up form on your Facebook page, run contests, offer bribes and do whatever is necessary to capture the positive attention of your prospects and get them to join your list.

Cross promote. Whether you’re cross promoting between your own product lines, or with another marketer, send emails to each list you can access offering people a great incentive for joining the other list.

Put a few of these tips into action and celebrate the growth of your email subscriber list!

13 Ways to Get More Subscribers & Sales

I don’t need to tell you how important the conversion rate on your squeeze page is. The better it converts, the more prospects you get. The more prospects you get, the more sales you can eventually make. So how do you get your squeeze pages converting like gangbusters? Here are 13 things you should be doing on every landing page you create to ensure you’re capturing every prospect possible:

13 Ways to Get More Subscribers & Sales

Know who you’re talking to. On your squeeze page you are speaking directly to your prospective customer. So who are they and what do they want? You’ve got to know your customer and use the words and images that will appeal directly to them.

Keep it simple. Really. I’ve seen squeeze pages that are cluttered with so much stuff you don’t know what to look at first. So what happens? Rather than try to sort it all out, many people will simply close it. Remember, you’ve got about 3 seconds to capture attention and hold it. Keep the clutter out and only share enough to get them to take action right now. Any more than that and you’re confusing them – and losing sign-ups.

Split-test. Everything. Repeatedly. Use a good split test program to test your headlines, your colors, your fonts, graphics, form, opt-in button, EVERYTHING.

Use one strong focal point only. You can and should use different font colors and sizes, but you only want one focal point to draw the eye in and capture attention, and that should be your headline. Everything else should flow from the headline.

Your entire message should be consistent. In other words, don’t use a headline extolling the benefits of weight loss and then use bullet points about the benefits of exercise unless it’s in direct relation to weight loss. Keep it consistent or you’ll confuse and lose your prospects.

Match your landing page to your sales page. If your sales page is for a product that teaches traffic generation strategies, then your squeeze page should refer to traffic generation strategies, not Internet Marketing in general. This might sound basic, but it’s surprising how many times I’ve gone from a squeeze page on one topic to a sales page on something different.

Sell the benefits. Remember, you’re not selling a drill, you’re selling holes. You’re not selling steak, you’re selling the aroma, the taste and the satisfaction.

Forget what you think. So you think you’ve found the perfect headline? The magic bullets? Just the right color scheme? It doesn’t matter what you think – it matters what converts the best. See #3.

Think “above the fold.” Yes, your squeeze page might extend beyond the fold – that is, below the area that shows in the computer screen without scrolling. But the area above the fold should stand on its own. It should show the headline, the bullets and the opt-in form. The below-the-fold-area is for those prospects who haven’t quite decided to opt in yet and want more info.

Tell them what to do. Your visitors landed on your squeeze page because they’re looking for something. Don’t be coy or clever – make it clear what they will get and what they need to do to get it.

Color matters. Use opposing colors on the color wheel to create contrast, and then test, test, test. Yes, some colors really will convert better than others but it depends on your offer and your audience, so you’ve got to test it for yourself.

Be trustworthy. Use short, 1 sentence testimonials that rock. Display your logo, certification, etc. Place your contact info at the bottom of the page. If you’ve been in business for years, state how many. If you’ve won awards, place those on there as well. Don’t clutter your page with this info, but do make it available.

Ask. Perhaps the best squeeze page trick, outside of testing, is to ASK them a question that they must answer with a YES! “Do You Want to Look 10 years Younger?” “Are You Ready to Build Your List 10 Times Faster?” “Do You Want To Be Irresistible to Women?” Strategically placing these on your website puts them in a “YES!” frame of mind, making them more likely to opt into your list.

Implement these conversion hacks to increase your opt-in rates and grow your sales!

Marketing With Cliffhangers and Teasers

Bloggers, email marketers, copywriters and writers of all genres, how do you keep your readers coming back for more? By utilizing that literary gem, the cliffhanger. I’ll show you how to use cliffhangers and teasers to increase your sales, but first a little background…

Marketing With Cliffhangers and Teasers

We’ve all been caught up in a story only to realize it was continued in the next chapter, installment, episode or issue. And wouldn’t you know it, they ended the present installment right when something HUGE was about to happen! Coincidence? Not at all.

When Dallas ended their season with “Who shot JR?” it was all people talked about for the entire summer. Heck, that was over 3 decades ago, and people still refer to it today. But what if they had shown you who shot JR before they ended the season? It’s likely no one would even remember that JR got shot at all.

Just this morning I was reading a work of fiction in which one of the main characters realized he was about to be ambushed when POOF! It was the end of the chapter. And wouldn’t you know it – the next chapter addressed an entirely different plot line of the story, thus leaving me in suspense until I can return to my reading.

It is the suspense that keeps us watching the movie or tuning in each week to the television show or watching the News at 11 because of that teaser they threw at us earlier in the evening that said, “Is your holiday turkey safe to eat? Find out at 6:00,” or “Is the water you’re drinking causing you cancer? Find out at tonight at 11:00.”

You can use this technique in your own marketing, as well. For example, when writing a series of emails, end each one with a major benefit of what they’ll discover in the next email. When writing a sales letter, promise to teach them something they really want to know, but first delve more deeply into why they need your product. And when writing blog posts, either throw out a teaser at the end that sends them to another blog post or sales letter, or use the JR method and leave them hanging until your next post.

Cliffhangers and teasers can be your best friend when it comes to getting your emails opened, your sales letter read and people hanging on your every word. And if you look closely, you’ll notice I even deployed this technique in the first paragraph of this article. It got you to keep reading, now didn’t it? 😉

Goof Off and Get More Done?

One thing I’ve noticed is that if I take a five minute break every hour or so, I feel more refreshed and also get more work done. The trick of course is to not let the 5 minutes extend into a half hour or more, so here are a few ideas that are quick and helpful…

Goof Off and Get More Done?

1. Jump. Get a rebounder (mini trampoline) and put it in your office. Every hour or so go jump on it. Your head will clear, your muscles will get worked and you’ll feel energized.

2. Play. Whether it’s a remote control helicopter you fly around your office or an old Rubik’s Cube, find something you can do for 5 minutes and then put it down. Not recommended: Video games. We all know that 5 minutes on a video game can easily turn into 2 hours, so save those for when your work is done.

3. Yoga or any stretching type of exercise to feel invigorated and less stressed.

4. Mind games. Here’s a site I like… http://www.GamesForTheBrain.com Check out the game, “Guess the Colors.”

5. Online jigsaw puzzles. Sign up at http://www.JigZone.com and they’ll send you a new puzzle everyday.

6. Walking. Take two or three laps around your house or up and down a staircase.

7. Cleaning or straightening. Find something small that needs attention and takes no more than 5 minutes. You’ll feel productive and glad to get back to work.

Yes, taking regular breaks can make you more productive, and now you have a few more ideas on things you could do to sharpen the saw between your working sessions!

How to Be Big Success at Guest Blogging

The beauty of guest blogging is you get your posts on larger blogs than yours, sending traffic to your blog and hopefully picking up new readers and subscribers in the process. But much like being a guest in someone’s home, there is a certain protocol to making your host happy and your visit a smashing success for your host, your own blog and you.

How to Be Big Success at Guest Blogging

1. Have the courage to submit guest posts to BIG blogs. It takes the same amount of time and effort to write a good post for a heavily trafficked blog as it does for a small blog, but the difference in traffic that you receive as a result can be phenomenal. Let’s say you write a post and really spend some time making it great, and you submit it to a small blog. What do you get in return? A trickle of traffic to your own website or blog. But if you had submitted that same post to a blog that gets a great deal of traffic, you could have several hundred visitors to your website and acquired many of them as list subscribers.

2. Get your own blog or website ready for this new traffic. You submit your article to a large blog and it gets published. What happens? A flood of traffic to your own site that lasts for a day or two and then trickles off over the coming week. If you don’t capture that traffic you will most likely lose it forever.

Instead of sending that traffic directly to your homepage, consider sending it to a subscription page with a very nice offer related to the article you wrote. For example, if your article is, “10 ways to make $200 this weekend,” then you might offer an e-report on another 25 ways to make $500 this coming week.

3. Write what you know and do it passionately. The number of visitors you’ve going to receive at your website is directly related the quality of the post you submit. If your guest blogpost makes people yawn, you’re not going to see much traffic. If, however, it engages, enlightens, educates and entertains, then expect a surge of traffic.

4. Write with clarity – you might get another pair of eyeballs to look over your post prior to submitting it, to see if it needs some touch ups or a total revamping. Yes, it’s worth it to spend the extra time getting it just right. Your guest blog post is really a sales letter selling you and your website, so make it count.

5. Make your author’s box count. Don’t just put in your little bio and a link – give them an irresistible reason to go to your website. Hopefully you already started thinking about this in #2 above. Give them something that is a direct extension of what they’ve already read. Your guest blogpost is the appetizer, and their reward for visiting your website is the main course, or perhaps a dazzling dessert.

6. Do your research. If the blog you’re submitting to only allows a certain kind of guest blogpost, then by all means give them what they want. If they allow anything that fits within their niche, then look to see which were their most popular posts in the past to get ideas of what goes over well with this blog owner and the blog’s readers.

7. Show your confidence. In writing your post, don’t make it sound like a third person Wikipedia entry. Instead, act like the subject authority you are. People want to hear from experts and that’s how you need to present yourself. Refrain from thumping your chest and telling tall tails of your conquests, but do give real life examples of how you’ve accomplished things and solved the same problems your readers might be experiencing.

8. Email your post as an attachment with a cover letter. You always want to format your blogpost so they can paste it right into WordPress, and you always want to send it as an attachment so that it doesn’t lose its formatting.

9. Of course you’re going to send an email to the person running the blog you want to guest post on. What to write? First, keep it short and polite. No long rambling letters, get to the point. And second, something like the following example is good and generally works quite well:

Dear _____,

I am Rapute Smythe from mywebsite.com and I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now. I especially love your posts on ______ and your latest post gave me three good ideas that I immediately implemented in my own business.

Because of this, I have written a unique post for your blog that I truly think your readers will enjoy and find great value in. The title of the post is ___________ and you’ll find it attached to this email.

Highest regards,

Rapute

Of course you’re going to change it up to suit you, but you can see that nothing complicated is needed.

10. Never submit the same blogpost to more than one blog at a time. If the first blog rejects it, then you are free to submit it to another blog. Otherwise, do not duplicate content or the blog owners will not be happy and odds are will not publish a guest post from you again.

One last thing: THANK the blog owner as soon as your post is published, because they DESERVE your thanks. Plus, it increases your chances of getting published by them again.

How To Build Your Own Army of Affiliates

There’s always a lot of talk on how to recruit affiliates to promote your products, right? But what if instead of recruiting affiliates, you TRAIN affiliates?

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That is, announce you’re offering affiliate training once or twice a month, live on a webinar. The training is free, come one and come all. You put out the call, and then using your own products as examples, you train them in how to make money by promoting affiliate products, especially yours.

This reminds your list month after month that they can make money promoting your stuff. It also builds loyalty, since you’re giving free training on how to make money doing this. And it forges partnerships between you and your affiliates. When they can speak to you on the webinar, or at least ask their questions and hear your voice, you’re building rapport. At the very least you will most certainly sell more products to those who attend your trainings because they now know, like and trust you.

And in addition you will begin building your own army of affiliates to promote for you all over the web and reach people you could never reach on your own. It’s a win-win all the way around, and it will only take you a couple of hours a month to do this.

A (Crazy?) Idea On How to Add THOUSANDS of Buyers to Your List (And Make Very Good Money Doing It)

You already know that a buyer on your list is worth 10, 20, maybe even 30 freebie seekers and tire kickers, right? After all, someone who has made a purchase from you is far more likely to make more purchases in the future. That’s why some marketers with small lists (less than 2,000 or so) still do quite well.

A(Crazy?) Idea On How to Add THOUSANDS of Buyers to Your List (And Make VeryGood Money Doing It)

Think of it this way: Imagine you’ve got a brick and mortar business, and you stand out on the sidewalk asking people to take a sales flier from you. If they take a flier, you add them to your mailing list. But some of these folks, instead of taking your flier and walking away, actually go into your store and make a purchase.

Now then, who is more likely to buy from you again, the people who took your flier and kept walking, or the customers who came into your store, got to know your business from the inside, experienced your customer service and enjoyed the benefit of your products? See the difference? It’s not small, it’s a TREMENDOUS difference, and that’s why if you build a list of buyers, you will do far better than if you simply build a list of people shuffling by on the sidewalk.

How do you build a list of buyers? You can of course take the traditional route of spending a few weeks creating a $47 product, recruiting affiliates, creating a tremendous amount of free material to give away to draw attention to yourself and try to promote your product, etc.

But here are two thoughts for you. First, why not go with simple $7 products? That is, a 10 to 20 page report that solves a problem in your niche. Just one problem, one solution. You can bang one of these out in a day, and since you’re only selling it for $7, you won’t need to agonize over the sales letter for days and days either. Just a short, snappy, concise sales letter and you’re ready to roll.

How do you sell your $7 report? By offering the entire commission to your affiliates, paid immediately. There are many affiliate management programs out there these days that can automate this for you. Your affiliates promote, the customer pays the $7 and your affiliate management service pays your affiliates directly so you never have to worry about paying anybody, and the customer downloads the report from you (which is when you capture their information.)

Now then, you’re building a list, and so what do you do? Here’s my second thought: Put out another $7 report. In fact, see if you can’t do this once a week for a year. Always promote it first to your list, and then encourage everyone who purchases to become an affiliate. This way, you can turn happy buyers into evangelists for your product as well!

Once you have several reports done, package them and sell them at a discount. Then offer them as bonuses for other marketers to use when selling their products (again, you’re capturing the customer’s info because the report is downloaded from your website.)

Do you see how this can snowball? Each report can make you some quick $7 commissions (for the ones you sell directly) while going viral and bringing you evenb more buyers. Then you can package several together to make a new product, and let other marketers use them as bonuses when selling their products, again bringing you more customers.

Plus you can package several together and offer them as an OTO (one time offer) when new customers purchase a $7 report, and so forth – the possibilities are limitless.

What I love about this is that it takes so little time to create each product. You’re providing a real, viable solution to a problem your prospects are experiencing, so you’re providing real value. You’re building your list of buyers and your list of affiliates and you’re building your reputation. See how well this can work for you?

And best of all, after creating one new report each week for one year, you will have approx 520 to 1,000 pages of valuable information that you can then package into a mega-product, or pick out the best reports and create a book you can sell on Amazon. (Actually, if you have 1,000 pages, you can create 3 or 4 books!)

And the credibility you receive from having your own book on Amazon cannot be beat.

So there you have it – crazy idea or genius plan, you decide.

One last thought: If you’re the kind of person who groans at the prospect of writing a 200 page ebook (and that would be most people, btw) then this method gives you another benefit: Quick payback. You don’t have to slave over your computer for weeks before you start seeing a return on your time. Think of it as the instant gratification plan for marketers. You write a report today, write the sales letter tomorrow, and you’re making money and building your list the next day.

Now how great is that?!

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