David Gilks - Helping People Achieve Financial Freedom Through Starting An Affiliate Marketing Business

Succesful Solopreneur – Ep 06

My Recommended Tools & Services To Use In Your Online Business

Hey welcome to the episode. Today I wanted to talk about the different tools and services which I use for my business and which you could use as well. So first off is domains. I get my domains from Dynadot I really like Dynadot because they don’t try and sell you on things you don’t need which other big domain providers can do. So a domain will set you back about 10 dollars a year and once you have the domain you need to connect it to a website.

Get Your Domains From Dynadot

So I put my websites up with WordPress and the hosting I use is called Siteground. Now there’s a lot of different hosting services out there. I like Siteground because they’re just really good with support and they have excellent availability, excellent services and that’s going to set you back five or ten dollars a month.

SiteGround Is The Best WordPress Hosting I’ve Found

Now when I create my marketing forms… I do a lot of promoting of events and so for those I want to have a form up and the forms going to have the different dates and times available and that kind of thing. So for that we need to have particular elements like dropdown lists or radio buttons. So to create those easily I use a service called Cognito Forms. It’s really good. It’s like 10 dollars a month the initial version which is like 10000 events per month. It’s just a really good easy service to use.

Cognito Forms What I Use For Creating Awesome Forms In Marketing

Okay so next I use an email auto responder called Convertkit. So there’s a lot of different auto responders out there. I started using Convertkit because it was recommended by an e-mail marketing course that I was using and they provided some special tagging features which weren’t available in other auto responders. Now, they may be available by auto-responders I’m not sure. I just really like Convertkit. It’s just really simple. It doesn’t have a lot of useless stuff which I’m not going to use. It’s got a great interface and excellent deliverability as well.

ConvertKit Is My Favourite Autoresponder

So next off is some sort of spreadsheet program. I really like Google Sheets. And the reason for that I’ll get to in a minute but so Google sheets will be basically free. You can use it to integrate with your e-mail so you’ve got your own domain branded e-mail. If you’re going to do that well it’s five dollars a month but you can just use the free one. That’s what I use for most of my stuff. So yeah google sheets it’s a great service.

Google Sheets – A Great Online Spreadsheet Program

So the next one is workflow. To connect all these different things together and so when people register they can be sent e-mails they can be sent text messages. I can put their details into my auto responder into the Google Sheets program. I use a workflow service called Zapier. It’s just really good at connecting all these different services. It’s quite amazing how many applications they provide and that will set you back twenty dollars a month. There are higher level plans but for what I’m doing at 20 dollars a month is fine.

Zapier For Connecting Apps Into A Workflow

Communication between my team, and customers I like to use Skype. Skype is basically free. You can do phone calls on and which catch it a little bit of prepaid money within that. But generally I just use Skype for the messaging. Occasionally the voice calls. Also WhatsApp is pretty good. WhatsApp again is free and in some countries WhatsApp is a lot more popular than Skype or text messaging. So that’s kind of why I like that. And yes just a really good way of communicating with your team.

Skype & WhatsApp For Communication

 

And finally for my podcasting I use Libsyn which is what you may be listening to on this now. The audio is hosted on Libsyn. It’s just really easy to use service and that’s a whole other episode about why Libsyn instead of any other Podcast hosting program.

My Podcast is Hosted By Libsyn

Okay I hope you find this useful. In the show notes there’s links to all these different services so you can get details and if you got any more questions about them then just hit me up and I’ll answer as best as I can. Thanks and see you later.

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Succesful Solopreneur – Ep 05

 

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10 Rules to live an awesome and authentic life.

Hey, welcome to the podcast. So, today, this is my first episode since the New Year period, so it’s good to get back into it. And today, I’ve got 10 rules, which you can live your life by to make 2018 an awesome year. So, let’s get started.

  1. Number One, wake up an hour earlier on each day for a year. And by doing this, you’ll get an extra 365 hours in your day, and if you work on what you’re most passionate about, work on your business, being more productive, you’ll make significant results towards that. And also, some of you go to bed earlier because what I’d like to know it’s really hard to be productive because you’re tired, you’re not thinking at your best. So if you go to bed earlier, get up an hour earlier, then you’ll be more productive.
  2. Number two, take the stairs. So, this is just part of being more active. Be conscious of your basic habits, and just take the stairs, and it will have great improvements to your health and your life in general.
  1. Number three, turn off your phone in the company of others. So, really, when you’re spending time with other people, you should be spending time with them, not staring at your phone, and if you can’t appreciate that time, then you really need to re-evaluate your goals and if that person is worth your time.
  1. Number four, spend more time with your family. Now, I suppose I’m lucky because I get on well with my family, but you really need to prioritize your social networks to spend more time with family, and because, really, they’ll always care about you. It may not seem that way sometimes, but they’ll always care about you and they want the best for you. And they’re your family so try and spend more time with your family and establish those bonds or reinforce them.
  1. Keep a journal. So, writing about things that made you happy in the last 24 hours lets you re-live that happiness. And in the journal, you can also keep track of things, just on your mind you’ve been thinking about. I do this just before I go to bed and so it’s good to write that down there and also it prepares me for what I want to do the next day.
  1. Next, don’t compare yourself to other people, just be yourself. So, I mean, there’s a saying that goes something like, “Just be the best version of yourself,” something like that. I suppose I should’ve prepared that quote. But, you know, really, every person is unique and it’s common for people to compare themselves to others, but you can never really be like other people, so just be yourself, be the best version of you, and just don’t compare yourself.
  1. Live without regret, and never look back. So, remove from your vocabulary the could have, would have, should have, and stop living in the past. Just move forward, and focus on achieving great things in the present, and what you wanna do in the future.
  1. Just focus on being healthy. Don’t think about losing weight. Just focus on being healthy, and think about what you’re putting into your body, and always make time to exercise. So, I exercise three times a week. I go to a cross-fit gym, but, really, you have to be doing something at least three times a week, ideally, every day, if you can fit that in. Light exercise or strenuous exercise, you have to do something several times a week.
  1. Now, if you hate your job, you simply need to quit your job or if that’s a bit drastic for you, you need to find a different way to support yourself so you can have fun in your work. Because remember, if you love your work, then it’s not really work, it’s just something that you do and something that you’re passionate about. I mean, you might even surprise yourself about what you can do if you really have to change.
  1. And finally, leave your country, or leave your hometown, and visit an exotic location or travel to a different part of the world. And you know, it’ll just give you a different aspect of life. Traveling there, not just for a quick holiday to see all the sights on a tour bus. That’s really a superficial level. It’ll be good to go somewhere for several weeks, three or four weeks, even longer is better. And if you don’t have the money to do that, then consider like charity work to do that. That way you can stay there at low-cost, maybe even free, and some pringus[SP] might even sponsor you.

All right. So, I hope you find that top 10 list useful. And if you got any comments, just leave them in the comment box below. Thanks a lot. Bye.

 

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Successful Solopreneur Podcast – Ep 04

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Audio Transcript

Building a successful online business where you are CEO, Marketing Director, and everything else can be challenging. So in this “Successful Solopreneur Podcast,” I will help you cut through the noise and get the results you want.

Hey, welcome to the show. So today, I wanted to talk about marketing and how you can actually be noticed and not ignored. So as you’re using social media or websites, you know, there’s often a lot of advertising on there. Most of it, you just ignore, right? I mean, I know that I do. Yet, some advertising, you know, really sparks your interest. And you open it, you, you know, consume it, and might take action and subscribe or buy from that particular product or service.

So why is that? Well, there’s a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the advertising needs to be kind of exceptional. If it’s anything like all the other advertising, it’s very easy to just not notice it and you just turn a blind eye to it. So as an entrepreneur, if you’ve got your own kind of company product or service, which is very unique, then, of course, being unique and exceptional is a little easier. But if you are providing a product or service which a lot of people have, then you need to do everything you can to stand out and be different even if it’s just in the type of advertising you’re doing.

For instance, banner ads. Banner ads back in like, you know, early 2000s were quite popular and, you know, people use to make good money with that, I remember there was a guy who…he had a website and he’s like sold each pixel or something, and people would buy these. And then he ended up making a lot of money because you’d go to the website, and heaps of people went to it just because it was so unique. They’d go to the website and then you’d see these little images everywhere that were advertising. You’d click on them and go to the advertisers site, and, of course, then he got paid for those clicks. I mean, that sort of thing wouldn’t happen anymore now that we’ve developed a long way past there. [Here’s a link to that website: http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ ]

But, of course, banner ads still exist. And for certain businesses, they can work really well. I mean, the Google Display Network is one of the biggest sources of traffic in the world. But for some businesses like affiliate marketing, anything selling business education, it’s very difficult to get traffic on there and have a compliant website. So I mean, what can you do if that’s the case for you? If you are promoting affiliate products like I do, getting traffic on those sorts of networks is very difficult. And even on Facebook for instance, which is a very big traffic source nowadays, you need to be different.

You can run ads on there which are you know the old-school type which is, you know, a short headline, an image, you click on that. But a lot of those are just really ignored. And they’re getting ignored on Facebook. Then what happens is, you have a relevance score. And if the relevant score goes low, meaning it’s not relevant to people, they either ignore it or their market as, “Don’t show me this anymore,” you get a low relevance score, and that pushes up your cost per click, and pushes up your cost significantly.

So you want it to go the other way. You want to have your ad not appearing to be an ad, to be unique. So that people on Facebook who are there to, you know, meet their friends and chat and see what’s going on in the world, they’ll read through the post and then click through to your website, that’s ultimately what you want. So you can do that by having a unique type of image. You can have a long post rather than having just a couple of lines. You could have several paragraphs even up to 400 or 500 words, I’ve seen some people do.

And by doing that, you’re being unique, and you’re telling people more of a story rather than just saying, you know, “Here’s my thing. Go buy this. Click here. Buy this.”

You can tell a story which brings people into your content, and then they can learn about you and eventually subscribe, and become a subscriber that way. So I hope you found this useful. And yeah, I’ll see you next time.

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Successful Solopreneur Podcast – Ep 03

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Audio Transcript

Building a successful online business where you are the CEO, Marketing Director, and everything else can be challenging. So in this “Successful Solopreneur Podcast,” I will help you cut through the noise and get the results you want. Hey, it’s David. And welcome to the podcast. So today I wanted to talk about tracking, tracking for your advertising.

So let me relate a story, which happened to me today. So I was checking some Facebook ads that I’m running, and I could see that we were getting, you know, quite a lot of leads which is good, I was quite happy. The cost was reasonable, so talking under $3. And then I checked my other tracking service because although I use the Facebook tracking because, of course, when you have your pixels on there, it tells you what leads you’re getting, how many purchases, and so forth. I also use a different tracking system just so I’ve got two so I can compare them all.

So I’m checking the other one and I noticed that it was showing like a lot less leads than what Facebook was showing. And this was concerning because it was about a third less. So I started digging deeper. And what I found was that in Facebook, showing a number of leads on getting, and the number of leads is reasonably close to the number of link clicks. So of course, to backtrack a bit, you’re running the ad, now within the ad there’ll be like a post. And then somewhere along the line, you’ll have a link at the bottom or a link, you know, saying Learn More, for instance. So that’s a link click.

And then my number of leads was very close to that. So either I’m getting like an 80% to 90% opt-in or something’s wrong. And getting 80% or 90% opt-in would be great, but I think that’s highly unlikely especially because this is the new campaign, so we haven’t optimized stuff that much. So then in my other tracking system, it says that I was getting like a 42% opt-in, which was, you know, I would consider that correct.

So, you know, there’s a problem, we’ve gotta have a look and find out why. So this is where you need to have two tracking systems going. Having any tracking system is better than none, but if you’ve got multiples, then when things like this happen and they don’t seem right, then you’ve got somewhere to go. You’ve got more data to analyze and find out what’s going wrong. Now, once you’re getting leads, of course, then you need to know where the leads are coming from.

And so this can be done quite easily in pretty much any order responder. You create a separate form for whatever advertising you’re doing, and then you have some sort of…like a code or a tag in there. So if you’re getting a lead from form X, which might be on a website called “Business with David” or something, you know, that leads from there different than leads from a different website, which might be…let’s call it “David’s Marketing System” or something.

You want to track the leads from different websites separately, so then you know if you’re using a particular website in one marketing strategy or, you know, maybe you’re using it as your signature in forum posts, this applies to both paid advertising and so-called free advertising, then you’ll know where your leads are coming from. And later on when these people start to, you know, become customers and buy other products, you’ll gotta have a look back and find how they first heard about you, and how they first became a customer of yours. Because this is where you can find those pockets of the internet where you’re gonna find your best customers.

And of course, if you find those, those little pockets where the gems are, you can focus your marketing on there and discard everything else. If you’re not doing this level of tracking, then it becomes very difficult to know where your best customers are coming from, and it’s very difficult to be profitable in the long term. So I hope you find this useful. Leave a comment below or contact me, [email protected] And I’ll see you on the next podcast.

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Successful Solopreneur Podcast – Ep 02

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Audio Transcript

Building a successful online business, where you are the CEO, Marketing Director, and everything else, can be challenging. So, in “The Successful Solopreneur” podcast, I will help you cut through the noise and get the results you want.

Hey, welcome to the podcast. So, today I wanted to talk about email marketing. So, email marketing is important for an online business owner because, basically, your list, which you hold in an autoresponder, is what you do your email marketing towards. And that list is one of your biggest assets. And that’s because it’s something that you actually own. So, you pay your fees to the service provider to store your list. But when you get leads to your blog or through any advertising you’re doing, they sit in that autoresponder. And you can email them as much as you like. They’re essentially your list. You, kind of, own them in a way.

So this is different than having, like, a fan page on Facebook or a list of YouTube subscribers because, in that case, those subscribers, those fans, are owned by those particular platforms. At any point they could shut you down and you can’t really do anything about that. Whereas with email, you have this list and it’s, kind of, yours, you know. They’re your subscribers, they’re following you and they’re interested to get your emails and so forth. Now, of course, you still can be shut down by a autoresponder if you’re doing the wrong thing. But, even if that were the case, you can still extract that list and put it on a different service provider, or you could even self-host your own autoresponder. There are some services that can do that as well. So now, we know what a list is and why we need one.

So, within your list, there’s different types of subscribers. So, for instance, there’s five different types. So I’ll go through them quickly. There are, “Confirmed Subscribers” .

These are people who have double opt-in. And what that means is, when somebody subscribes, if you’ve got this set in your autoresponder, rather than just receiving all your emails, they’ll be sent an email first to confirm that they want to get your emails. So it’s, kind of, like an extra way to validate that they are actually a subscriber and they want to get your emails. So that’s what confirmed means.

Unconfirmed is, if you don’t have double opt-in enabled, they’re just called, “Single Opt-In,” and that means they will just get your emails as you send them out. So that’s called an “Unconfirmed Subscriber.” Now, there’s often a lot of debate about whether to use double opt-in or single opt-in, but the fact is that, if you are using double opt-in, often those emails, where the user has to confirm, often they just don’t get seen by people. They might go to the spam folder. They might go to promotions in the Gmail tab, or something like that. So they can be missed. And if that single email is missed, then they’re no longer getting your emails. So, that’s essentially a wasted possible subscriber.

All right, other types are “Canceled.” So these are subscribers which have actually unsubscribed. They don’t want to be getting your emails anymore and, you know, while it’s disappointing to get unsubscribers, you know, if people don’t wanna get your emails, then, you know, that’s fine. There’s always more fish in the sea, as they say.

There’s also a type called, “Complained.” So, these are people that have…they’ve marked your email as spam for some reason, and this is not particularly good. You don’t wanna get people complaining that your emails are spam. So, assuming you’ve actually built your email list by subscribers, maybe people don’t remember who you are, so they’re marking it as spam. Maybe they opted into a website under a particular name and then you are sending emails from different name or website name. And if they don’t know who you are, they can think, “I didn’t subscribe to this. Who’s this guy?” So they mark it as spam. So you wanna try and avoid that, because that marks poorly on your reputation as a website and within your autoresponder service. If you get too many of them, that’s when they’ll shut you down.

There’s also a type called, “Dropped,” a subscriber called, “Dropped.” And this, kind of, happens when, for some reason, your email can’t be delivered. It’s often called, “Bounced” as well. So, this is when, maybe somebody’s put in their incorrect email address. So, for instance, if their name is, you know, [email protected], maybe they put gmail.net, for instance, and then that just can’t be delivered. So then, after trying a couple of times then, you know, the autoresponder and internet service provider’s just mark it as “Bad.”

There can be another type of bounce. It’s called a “Soft Bounce.” So that’s where, again, the email can’t be delivered for some reason, but it’s getting a message from the internet provider that the mailbox is full. Now, you know, with Gmail, that generally doesn’t happen. But in some email accounts where they’ve got a limited space, that can happen. So it’ll just keep trying until it can get that message through. Although the person does have to delete their…or reduce the size of their mail account so it can receive more emails.

And the final type is called “Cold.” So, a “Cold” subscriber is somebody who hasn’t opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days. So some services might have it differently. So, maybe 180 days or even longer, but basically people that haven’t opened or clicked an email of yours, they’re considered to be a “Cold” subscriber.

And what that means is that they should be kind of treated differently when you send emails, because what’s something which is really important when you’re sending emails, is making sure that your open rate is high. So, the open rate is the percentage of people which receive your email, and the percentage of people of those people that open them. And, ideally, you want that to be high. If your open rate was 100%, then that means that everyone that got your email opened it. Now, that’d be nice, but the reality is that when you get into large lists, you know, that’s quite difficult. So, what you can do is, when you send your email, you segment it.

So, when you send it, you exclude the “Cold” subscribers. So then you’re only sending to the people who have opened it in the last 90 days, opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days. You’re only sending it to them. And because they’re the most engaged, they’re gonna have the highest open rates. And by that email, identified by the content and the body and the subject line, by that email having a high open rate, it sends a signal to the internet service providers like Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast. It sends a signal to them that, you know, your email’s good. Other people have opened it. So this is fine.

So, then you can resend that email, leave it exactly the same, but this time you send to the cold subscribers, and not the engaged subscribers. So then the cold subscribers…it’ll be more likely to be delivered to their inbox, because the service providers…they have already seen results from it, and they know that it’s a good email in their eyes.

So, I hope that makes sense and if you’ve got any more questions about email marketing, just drop a comment below or contact me at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter and I’ll get back to you. Thanks.

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Successful Solopreneur Podcast – Ep 01

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Audio Transcript

So today, I wanted to start off by talking about content production. So as an entrepreneur or home business owner, creating content is vital to the growth of your business because, without it, it’s very difficult to build up your followers. And prospective clients and existing clients will find it difficult to get to know you, and that’s really difficult to build trust unless you have those things.

With affiliate marketing, of course, it is possible just to send traffic to the affiliate offers and make sales. But the thing is, there, you really have to rely on the cost of your traffic being less than the commissions you’re getting from the affiliate network.

In today’s marketplace, that’s quite difficult because commissions are low, traffic’s expensive. And so it’s quite difficult to have your whole business built around that, difficult to have a full-time business with that model. Although, it is possible. So on the other hand, if you produce your own content, then what you can do is you can do the affiliate marketing.

You get your sales, which pays for some or, hopefully, all of the traffic. And then as you continue on to market to them using your content which you’re creating, you can make repeat business. Because, I mean, remember that repeat business is the key to any successful business because customers would much rather go to a trusted vendor they’ve used before than to go to a new vendor that they’ve never used before. It just makes sense because they know the people.

Of course, if they’re happy, they’ll go back to the same vendor, you know, to buy again with a different service, maybe the same service.

So let’s talk about the different types of content. Well, in the online marketing space, it could be blogging. I mean, blogging has been around for, you know, a decade or more. It’s not going away because people love to read. There’s different blogging platforms, such as WordPress, which is very customizable. And then there’s more dedicated platforms such as Medium or TypePad. So there’s a lot of different options there.

If you prefer to do videos, then, of course, there’s YouTube, there’s Facebook Live, Instagram live. And video is really good because people are seeing you and hearing you. So, instantly, they’re getting to know you. So over time, through delivering, you know, valuable content and them seeing you, they’ll come to know you. And when that happens, when they’re ready to make the next step in their business, you know, they’re gonna come to you because they’ve been listening to you for months, perhaps even years.

They’re gonna feel a connection to you rather than, you know, some other random marketer which they may have just got an email from. Another piece of content delivery is, of course, a podcast, which is what I’m doing here. So I’ve been working on podcast production for a number of months for a company that I work for. And I just thought to myself, “You know, I’m gonna do my own podcast.” It’s gonna be something I’m gonna be doing quite regularly. I’m planning for every day, but I’m not sure if that’s gonna actually happen because I’m fairly busy. But we’ll see how it goes. It’s gonna be very regular, anyway.

Now, the problem a lot of people have is, especially if they’re new internet marketers, new affiliate marketers, they may feel that they’re not an expert and they don’t know what to produce content on.

So the key here is to, as you are learning, to then use what you’re learning and turn it around into content as fast as possible. So for instance, if you’re going through a training system, for instance, the MOBE 21 Steps, you know, each time you’re doing lessons and learning, you can turn that into content. Just write it in your own words. Record a little video saying what you’ve learned to send out to your list or, you know, post on YouTube.

All these things is what really helps you get success in the industry, just starting off feeling like you’re not knowing what you’re doing, and then as you get better, you get better. And, you know, sooner or later, you’ll be up on stage with some of the other top earners.

Now, of course, MOBE also has various Done-For-You resources. So there’s Done-For-You articles, Done-For-You videos, Done-For-You emails. And of course, these are ready to use, ready to just send out. But the problem with that is then you’re not really engaging in your business. It’s not your content. You’re sending it out and, okay, it’s written well. It’s good content, but it’s not you that’s actually done it.

So I highly recommend that you either add your own flavor to it, even if it’s just an intro and an outro, or even better is to use the content within there to rewrite or record your own video so that it’s actually you doing it.

All right. So I’m gonna wrap this up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If you could leave a comment below with your thoughts, if you are using Twitter, find us on Twitter and then retweet it. I’d really appreciate it. And I’ll see you next time.

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Internet Funnel System

The Power Of An Internet Funnel System

Every morning I see my son off to school and then take the dog for a walk around the block around 9am. I love that time of the morning because its so quiet, and not too hot.

My neighbours are at work in their corporate 9 to 5 jobs, so I rarely see anyone at that time (except for a few retired folks taking their dogs for walks).

When I was working in corporate I never would have thought it possible that I could work from home and run an international business from my laptop with no staff.

So how do I do it?

Simple. By leveraging a system, the internet and outsourcing key business components including the sales funnel and product fulfilment.

I started my online business while I had a full-time software engineering career (45+ hours per week plus commute time). I didn’t have time to build a business from scratch so I got a head start by licensing an internet funnel system and focused on marketing to drive sales.

Seeing a diagram of a funnel is the best way to visualise how the marketing works in practice.

internet funnel system

At the top of the funnel are people who see my websites from internet searches or clicking on my ads. The next step is when I follow up with these people via email and social media like Facebook or Twitter.

During that follow-up process I learn about these people (leads as we in internet marketing call them) and recommend products, services and live events to them.

As they become customers the business I license the products from takes care of product delivery and fulfilment. I play more of a support and encouragement role.

This business model is quite common but others in the industry fail to deliver the high quality that I can through licensing products & services from a $90 million dollar company. I also get to travel, and work more or less depending on what is happening in my life each week.David_MOBE_Merc_jpg

By using this unique internet funnel system I’ve been able to:

  • leave my corporate high paying software development job
  • drive around in a cool B180 Mercedes
  • travel the world and take my family to Fiji, Bali, Singapore and other destinations


Some people have had an amazing success with an internet funnel system. Like my friend Mike. He had some major setbacks in his life (as you’ll read about here) but the internet funnel system has worked for him, just as it will for you.

Sign up to my blog for my regular newsletter, Plus join me on Twitter and my Facebook group for Entrepreneurs.

Top 5 Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur – even if it is just to not have a boss breathing down your neck. But becoming a successful entrepreneur is about more than just a burning desire and luck.

According to Seneca, luck is what happens when good preparation meets opportunity. It takes a few success traits to line up the stars in your favour, and in this post, we’re going to look at the success secrets of successful entrepreneurs.

Get Into the Successful Entrepreneur Mindset

What’s a success mindset? Some people do everything right, but because their mindsets are not attuned to success, they have difficulty achieving their goals. Therefore, you need to get into the right mindset.

  1. Discover your purpose – True happiness comes from fulfilling your purpose. When you are purpose driven, nothing can derail you from your path.
  2. Be driven by passion, not money – When you’re driven by money, you will end up cutting corners and fail to listen to your market. Do what you love, and the money and recognition will come to you.
  3. Know that there will be obstacles – Every business encounters rough seas from time to time, and it’s up to you to keep pushing through the obstacles to success.
  4. Know your strengths, and acknowledge your weaknesses – Some of the most successful businesses are teams or partnerships. Why? Because individuals with success mindsets are confident, yet humble. They know their strengths, and they know when they need assistance or advice.
  5. Be flexible – As your business grows, you will notice ways in which you have to adapt to changes in the market, or other challenges. Sometimes, accepting those changes is exactly what you need to make a small shift with massive consequences that take your business to the next level.

Define What Success Means to You

Success has a different meaning to every person.

What is it to you? Remember, there’s more to success than just money. Holistically approach your definition of success, and consider:

Will you have a balanced lifestyle with enough time for yourself, your family, and hobbies?
Does it involve being able to travel extensively while the business continues to grow?
Does success mean touching lives?

Surround Yourself With the Right People

Positive people will encourage you to reach higher levels. Whether it is a wise word, an important introduction, or help when you need it most, the right people on your journey can make all the difference.

  1. Choose your mentors wisely – A mentor could be anyone, from a family member or spouse to an author, an industry leader, or a well-known business guru.
  2. Hire the right people – Look for employees who are able to listen to clients and employees like. Excellent, passionate people will keep your company fresh.
  3. Treat your employees well – If you’re employing people, remember that they make your business what it is. They work with your clients. They are your reputation. Treat them well, and they will look after your clients.

Set Realistic Goals

This is where your mindset really matters, and why it is crucial that you do what you love. No matter how big your goals are, the road to success is long and there will be ups and downs, but if you love what you do, you will be able to take it in your stride and enjoy the journey. Remember that you’ll be spending a large part of your life working towards your goals and that’s why it must be worthwhile.

When setting goals, consider your definition of success and set a time limit for when you’d like to achieve it. Now work back from there to put the steps in place that you need to achieve in order to reach those goals in realistic increments of 6 months, one year, two years and five years.

The 80:20 Rule

Follow the 80:20 rule to success, which states that 80% of your success comes from 20% of what you do. Spend your time doing what matters. Be hands-on with the most important aspects of your business, and outsource the rest to capable experts.

Know & Listen to Your Market

One of the main reasons why startups fail, is because they assume the whole world is their market. That’s simply not true. Your market is the sector that can truly benefit from the product or service you offer at the specific price range you offer. Even with the right niche product or service, you need to ensure that your market is big enough to sustain your success.

It is up to you to create a compelling value proposition that triggers customers into making a purchase. Your marketing should be finely tuned, and you need to be prepared to listen to your customers. Customer service is not only the function of the customer service department, but of every staff member.

As you can see, success is a mixture of important ingredients, but it is mainly a mindset of making a difference. The beauty of being a successful entrepreneur is how you can impact on the lives around you.

Personal Branding- What It Is And How to Create It

Today’s consumer is a unique individual. Instead of being impressed by fancy technology and automation, he or she wants to do business with another person, not a machine.

As an entrepreneur with a small business, you’d do well to build a unique brand around yourself. That’s what we’re talking about when we use the term personal branding.

What is a Personal Brand?

Over the years, people have come to trust people more than they trust corporations. Think about it – how often do you see advertising and feel that all the promises are all about the sales, without the intention to back it up?

On the contrary, personal branding is about finding your voice, your unique signature image, and a standard that can become recognisable amongst your audience. It allows you to establish an identity and build a reputation for your business while, at the same time, maintaining that all-important personal interaction and a one-on-one level of trust.

By placing a strong personal brand at the forefront of your sales process, you can significantly improve your conversion rates, irrespective of your type of business.

Gain the Competitive Edge With Powerful Personal Branding

These methods can be used to create a strong personal brand, whether you sell products, offer consulting or freelancing services or whether you simply want to drive more warm leads to your company.

1. Distinguish Yourself

What sets you apart from the competition? Being different is crucial to your success in personal branding. In the past, we were told to model the successful people, but today it’s all about being different, memorable.

2. Build On Your Strengths

What are your best characteristics? Another important aspect to developing a personal brand is to ensure that you leave your mark, especially in the areas of your expertise, your actions, and the way in which you connect with your audience and your clients.

A note of caution, however, is to remember that a strong brand will have a definite audience. You may repel some clients who are not in your target audience, but by remaining strong and true to your unique brand, you will attract the right customers.

3. Define Your Specialty

Internet marketing is so effective, because it hones in on exact algorithms to bring the information a person is searching for. In order to succeed at building a personal brand, you need to be specific, too. You can’t specialise at everything. Think about what you do best, and start there. Your specialty is made up of your work and life experience, your unique personality traits, and what you’re good at.

4. Mind the Company You Keep

In order to be perceived as a strong brand, you need to associate with other strong brands. The company you keep can either strengthen or weaken your image. Find strong brands to associate with amongst your circle of influence both online and offline, past and present. Look for opportunities to contribute to alumni newsletters, company blogs or ways in which your brand can contribute to offline initiatives.

5. Think Before You Tweet

Remember that whatever you post, share or comment on tells readers something about your brand. Take the time to write down how you would like your brand to be perceived and use that as a guideline to creating a social strategy that is in line with your brand’s image.

6. Be Yourself

If you’ve spent your life trying to be someone you’re not, now is the time to reinvent yourself. Personal branding allows you to be authentic and to create direction. By creating a strong personal brand and delivering on the promise, you can basically tell people how they need to perceive you. You get to choose who you are, and what unique value you are willing to offer, and as long as you deliver, they will continue to believe it.

7. Invest In a Personal Website

A personal website is the easiest way to rank for your name on Google. Invest in a simply 2-3 page website with a small introduction, your resume, and links to your social media profiles, as well as your business site. If your name is pretty common, consider adding your middle name or initial to differentiate.

Fundamentals of an Online Business

Often it starts with an a-ha moment and it expands as you ask yourself “could I do it online? …”

Many online millionaires started out that way, and now run successful enterprises that are known all over the world. Look at the Facebook story, Google or Paypal.

Who would’ve thought a primitive idea that brings a simple solution could turn into a multi-billion dollar business? But those are some of the very tools that enable people like you and me to start successful online businesses.

Social media and other online tools have changed the face of entrepreneurship irrevocably, and an online business now enables anyone to run an international business with as little as a laptop and internet connectivity – that, and an understanding of the fundamentals of running an online business.

In this post, I’ll share with you the 5 fundamentals of running a successful online business.

Every Online Business Needs a Website

Just as an offline store needs a place for walk-in trade to view your products or experience your services, so does an online business need a point of contact. A professionally designed, responsive website is a must if you wish to sell online.

Responsive design

Mobile technology is changing the face of online marketing, with more people using mobile devices to access search engines in order to find and research products and services. If your website is mobile-friendly (responsive) it will be favoured on the search engine results pages, which, in turn, will drive more traffic to your site.

Content Management System

A good, easy-to-use content management system will enable you to make changes and add new content as you go along, without coding experience and without having to call your developers every time. The best platform to use currently is WordPress.

Unique domain

Some people start websites on-the-cheap and expect to make a fortune by opting for a free domain (davidgilks.freedomain.au) and hosting instead of making the small investment in a unique domain (www.davidgilks.me) and hosting. A domain goes for as little as $10 and hosting from as little as $3 a month, but the payoff is a highly professional image.

Backend Programs Do the Heavy Lifting

Depending on your business of choice, you will need back-end programs to automate operations and facilitate functions.

Some of these programs might include:

E-commerce Store

If you will be selling products online, you will need an ecommerce store, which will enable you to upload your products, assign them to different categories, and give shoppers the functionality needed to place them into a basket and check out.

Payment Gateway

A payment gateway manages the financial aspect of your online store. It accepts credit card and other payments across a variety of merchants, and gives you the ability to transfer the funds to your local bank account.

Affiliate Accounts

If you’re planning on selling virtual products or services on behalf of other vendors, you will have to sign up to affiliate programs.

Understanding Your Marketing Objectives

Marketing is about more than just placing an ad in the local newspaper or on Facebook. Internet marketing is a highly integrated and intelligent system that uses algorithms to reach your target audience.

To be successful at online marketing, you need to:

Know your audience

What problem do they face to which your product or service offers solution? Where do they congregate?
Understand the marketing options available – With so many different marketing methods available, it is important that you know what appeals to your audience, and what methods they follow to reach your competitors. You can choose from social media marketing to banner ads, to sponsored ads on search engine results pages.

Which option will be most effective based on your audience’s behaviours and preferences?

Content is Everything

You’ve probably heard the term content marketing. Content is everywhere and it is everything in an online business. But it’s not about how much content you use, it is about how you use it.

Content must entice your visitors

Quality content will be written in an easy-to-read style, while at the same time, it must be optimised for search engines.

Content must educate readers

Copying content from other websites is not only unethical, but also harmful to your site’s potential rankings. Above all of that, it must also be interesting. It must inform your readers about your products or services.

Hire a professional content creator to write high quality content for your website.

Conversion is Key to Online Success

I know many online entrepreneurs who have spent a small fortune on marketing services that promised #1 spot Google rankings and floods of traffic, to not convert a single browser into a buyer.

Firstly, nobody can guarantee you a number one spot on Google. It’s about consistency and relevance of your product or service to the keywords used in your SEO campaigns.

Secondly, anyone can use a low-converting, high traffic keyword to drive thousands of visitors to your site, but if your product or service doesn’t deliver on the expectations created with the keyword or phrase, they will simply click away to your competitors.

You can optimise online conversion by creating great offers, and writing irresistible calls-to-action.

Back Up Your Word With Awesome Customer Support

No matter how well your site is designed to anticipate questions and guide visitors through your sales funnel, at some point, there will be questions. The modern consumer wants to be taken by the hand and guided gently towards your desired outcome. The competition for the most responsive, most available company is on, and it is real. Amongst your competitors, you need to answer questions the quickest. Have you noticed the “Very Responsive” button on your Facebook page yet? That’s just one example of how the outside world is rating our level of customer service.

Of course, customer service does not stop the moment we have the customer’s money in our bank accounts.

That sums up the fundamentals of a successful online business. Each of these can be expanded much, much further but this is a good grounding at least.

Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your feedback, or answer your questions, in comments below.

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