How iPad Opens The Door To You Magazine

They are starting to say it already, “Tablets are redefining digital media.” You’d think the Amazon Kindle; the Sony Reader and a dozen or so lesser knowns were from another planet.

The iPad in the few short weeks since it’s launch have single handedly put tablets on the map. Its vastly superior design and capabilities as well as its color display has instant market share with around half a million sold already.

Why should you care? You might now read that much and it seems like all too much hype for you. I anxiously awaited the iPad because I absolutely believe that it democratizes publishing much like iTunes democratized the music industry. iTunes allows any recording artist a vast audience without the need to belong to any particular recording company.

Simply put: iPad allows ANYONE to publish their own eMagazine and distribute it world wide. There are some very key benefits to this:

NO printing costs

That’s right. Traditionally printed magazines costs an enormous amount of money. You need a large subscriber base paying reasonable dollars to make it all worthwhile and profitable for that matter. As a matter of fact, you also need paying advertisers to make it viable, otherwise, the subscriber rates would be prohibitive.

NO distribution costs

Traditional magazines have to pay the post office or private distributors to deliver their magazines to someone’s front door. Shippers deliver stacks to bricks and mortar locations for general public sales. The iPad in the hands of your audience is all you need to put YOU Magazine out there.

Ability to deliver content to a very narrow niche audience.

Whether you have one reader or millions, it doesn’t matter. YOU Magazine can talk directly to a VERY specific (or niche) audience. This specificity allows extremely targeted discussions. If all you want to discuss is Pez dispensers, you now have the luxury to do so.

Attract niche advertisers

Delivering the above niche audience to an advertiser is very powerful. It is cost-effective for them and profitable for YOU Magazine. It is the perfect opportunity for small advertisers who don’t have the Nike budgets. They recognize the beauty in a small audience, when that audience is 100% their target demographic, and the delivery vehicle is able to deliver a multimedia message to them.

NO limitations due to size of subscriber base

Traditionally you needed a massive audience to do some interesting things for your readers. Digital products on a platform like the iPad open very large opportunities limited only by your imagination.

Become the publishing mogul of your universe

You can have one publication or dozens in your stable. There are NO limits anymore. The entire world is now your audience and marketplace.

I don’t know about you, but I plan on embracing YOU Magazine. Free range magazines are here – REJOICE!

Post #1000 – What’s Your Ultimate Wish For Your Business?

We’re celebrating our 1000 post right here! 🙂 There’s been plenty of fabulous posts, controversy, inspiration, encouragement and everything in between.

I’d like to focus this post on you this time. Starting a business takes courage, running a business takes determination, and being successful is entirely up to no one else but you.

I personally think one of the biggest things that stops people from being crazy successful is they either don’t believe in themself OR they never take the first steps to getting things done.  I’m sure there are plenty more reasons but those are the two that usually stop me if I’m not reaching new levels in my business.

The sad reality of it is that you can have all the inspiration in the world but it’s not going to make you actually get the work done that you need to do.  You may even have someone at home like your spouse, parent or even a child that thinks you’re “playing around.”

With me, I’m all about keeping my mind clear, staying motivated and pushing through any rough spots — power through it all and get the job done already.  Focus is also a huge thing, without it you’re lost in the woods.

TRANSFORM YOURSELF

I’d like to give you some tips on transformation and actually making small changes to get to the bigger end result.

It’s so very easy to want to accomplish things and quite another to actually accomplish them. If you have a list as long as your arm and have procrastinated on every single item, there is something you can do to become a highly disciplined and motivated individual.

Really, you can do it. Here’s how:

Transforming tip #1 – Create a habit of success – One of the easiest ways to transform yourself from a procrastinator to a doer is to feel the sweet touch of success. Once you have the bug, you’ll want to continue. Start by setting small goals you know you can achieve. An easy example is exercise.

Let’s say you have the goal to run 5K and yet you can’t seem to motivate yourself to put a single foot out the door, despite all the great running gear hanging in your closet with the tags still on. To establish a habit of success, start with a smaller goal, say running for half a mile and walking the rest, or walking for ten minutes and running for five.

Right now, take a look at your most desired goal and think about how you can break it into smaller goals to create a habit of success.

Transforming tip #2 – Eliminate your excuses – “It’ll take too long.”  “It’ll be too hard.” “I might fail.”  “I’ll make someone mad.”  “I’m too busy or I’m too tired.”  Sound familiar? Behind every undone task and goal yet to be accomplished is a litany of excuses. What are yours? Write them down. What do you hear yourself saying every time you think about getting started? Take a good look at your excuses. Are they really true? Now ask yourself what you have to gain from achieving your goals.

Transforming tip #3
– Reward yourself – Give yourself something really good for achieving your goals, whatever they are. This is a great way to motivate yourself in the beginning. Whether your reward is a new pair of shoes or tickets to a show or sporting event you want to attend, it’ll help you take that first step – and the first step is often the hardest to take. Once you’re on the track to success, the rest is easy.

Transforming tip #4 – Create a plan – Sometimes we procrastinate because we just don’t know where to start. Planning how to achieve your goal helps you gain some control over the process and see where there might be potential hurdles. Additionally, it’s action toward success so you sort of trick yourself into taking the first step. When creating a plan, consider transforming tip #1 and create smaller, achievable goals. Finally, don’t let the planning stage be your excuse to procrastinate further. Once you have a plan, take action.

Transforming tip #5 – Find a role model – There’s an expert, coach or role model for just about every industry, profession, or goal. Finding one can be the final push to help you find the motivation you need to be that highly motivated person dying to get out. Who inspires you?

Transforming yourself from a procrastinator into a highly motivated person is in your hands. You’re the only one who can take the steps required to get where you want to be – and guess what? You can do it!

Now I’d like to ask you…

What’s Your Ultimate Wish For Your Business?

Please post below here in the comments so we can share ideas back and forth.

This Can Help Cure The Workaholic Habit

Most entrepreneurs I know love what they do. That make sense. Entrepreneurship is a lot of hard work, a lot of believing in things that others don’t see or understand and sometimes, the financial stakes are high. We have to love what we do or we’re plain crazy 🙂 Well… maybe we’re a little bit of both.

The biggest problem with this is, it makes us prone to the workaholic habit. We stay up till odd hours, put in more a week than we’ve ever had being an employee. Yet, I remember telling one of my friends lately, “It doesn’t feel like work, it feels like play”. Not all the time of course, sometimes, we need to do what we don’t like but that pretty much sums up the sentiment of many entrepreneurs I know. In this day and age, working long hours also means we’re on to the computer a long time.

But alas! Getting the will power to turn that computer off is like swimming against the current to say the least. So… why not let the computer do it for us.

Did you know there are programs that can automatically power down your computer at a certain time?

Set the hours you want to work, let the computer safely power down at a certain time therefore forcing you to finish up and go enjoy the fruits of your labor with your family. Of course you have to maintain discipline not to power it up again or power up another gadget. Generally, I think powering down your main computer has a psychological effect – that you’re done for the day. At least it does for me, and often does the trick.

Some people have also told me that if they set themselves a fixed number of hours to work, they’re usually more productive because they know that’s all the time they have and at the end of it, they have to pack up. Automatically shutting down the computer kinda gives you that kick in the you know where.

If you want to break the workaholic habit and give it a try, here are some small software you can try to help and they are from CNET so the download should be clean.

Don’t Run Someone Else’s Business

Have you ever really noticed how so many businesses follow the same model? Most of the fast food chains all have the same front counter setup including the display menu above the counter on the back wall. Electronic stores all have the same basic floor plan and grocery stores as well. If makes me ask the question who started each model and why is it that most entrepreneurs would rather follow than lead? I believe that they think – “If it works for McDonald’s, who am I to question it.”

What ever happened to innovation? Originality? Is there no value in leading any more?

There are a few bright spots. I was recently at an Apple store. The cash is along the back wall. The odd thing was there were no cash registers. On purchasing they email you your receipt. The layout is open and airy, and only their icon is on the marquis. I was at a local sushi restaurant, where you sat at your “spot” and the sushi came past you in a little boat and you take the plate you want. Very unusual, and different.

Two entirely different size operations but BOTH are leaders. When consumers are trying very hard to be discriminating about where they drop their dollars, wouldn’t you agree that it would be the better move to grab their attention with a unique approach rather than be another one of many? How much more will you have to spend in advertising to distinguish yourself after trying so hard to blend in? Differentiation isn’t a catch word it’s a game changer in every regard. Back to Apple, what if the iPad looked just like the Kindle, do you really think they would have sold 450,000 in the first week?

It’s time you ran your own business and let the competition bury themselves in someone else’s.

Fan Pages on Facebook: I Set Up Mine, Do You Have Yours?

Lastnight I stayed up late and finally set up my Facebook Fan Page.  It did take me a little longer than I had hoped but I know it will be well worth the effort.

You can Join our  Facebook Page Here

Facebook is the single biggest social networking site, in terms of number of users. It’s easy to use; you can easily separate business and personal ‘friends’ and it’s a wonderfully simple way to connect with your target audience on a regular basis and in a meaningful way.

However, in order to take advantage of all that Facebook offers, you may want to consider setting up a fan page.

What Is a Facebook Fan Page?

A Facebook fan page enables you to drive traffic to a unique place separate from your profile page. It enables you to post all of the information about your business including updates, promotions and events, links to your website and even content.

In fact, some people are foregoing a website all together and using a Facebook fan page as their primary business tool to represent them online. This isn’t necessarily a good idea because Facebook changes their rules often and if your fan page is your only online page then you may run into challenges in the future. However, as a supplemental marketing tool a Facebook fan page is an excellent way to build and grow your audience.

It allows you to customize it however you choose. You can add photos, discussion forums, micro-blogging, videos, events and a whole host of features and tools.

It provides you with the ability to instantly update your page.

You have access to the more than 300 million Facebook members. The “Fan” page means you gather fans rather than friends and this separation means you can send messages to your fans without updating your personal profile. It enables you the unique ability to separate personal and professional on Facebook – a feature many business owners are finding is very necessary.

A fan page enables you as a business owner to hold serious business discussions with interested, and qualified, prospects. It helps you build a community around your business, a vital tool to growing an online business.

Facebook fan pages also provide business owners with analytics and data so you can test and track responses and make educated decisions about your business and your social networking strategies.

And because Facebook has an API they’ve released to developers, there are a large number of people working on ways to expand the features, tools and usability of a fan page.

Facebook fan pages offer business owners a unique opportunity to create a web presence on a social networking website – a social networking website that’s presently the biggest in the world in terms of subscribers. It just makes good sense to tap into this market to build and grow your online business.

>> So please join us over at facebook, we’d love to connect with you there and let me know in the comments what your facebook page is and I’d love to fan you too! 🙂

Practical Guide to Creating an Information Product

Please Welcome Angela Wills as a New Contributing Author to Small Business Branding!

Too many people slow themselves down in business by making projects larger than they need to be. Creating an information product is a prime example.

How long have you wanted to create an info product? Have you been waiting for the ‘right time’? Have you been putting off writing it until you have more experience? Do you feel it won’t be good enough unless it’s 100 pages or a huge package?

Well if you said yes to any of the above, you’re putting up barriers to your own success!

The bottom line is you have experience that people are willing to pay for.

Now let’s go over a practical guide to creating your first information product, step by step:

Step 1 – Define Your Target Market

This is an important step. Know exactly who you’re talking to and what their needs are. This will require market research if you’re not already fully immersed in the market. It may be that you are already working in a specific market and they’ve clearly expressed a need to you – that works too. Many people ARE their target market. Being part of your target market gives you an even better understanding of the needs and issues faced by that market, giving you a competitive edge when creating your products.

Step 2 – Create Your Product

Don’t get stuck in the perpetual mode of creating perfection. Nothing is perfect. Get your product created and move with it. You can always tweak after you release it and improve based on customer feedback.

Step 3 – Create Your Salespage

You’ll need to tell people about your product and why they should buy it. This can be an intimidating step for many people as they feel they are not good at writing to sell. The thing to remember here is your target market. Convince them that your product will help by providing clear descriptions along with examples and customer feedback where appropriate. A salespage doesn’t have to be a huge piece of writing, it only needs to be as long as it takes to give your potential customers all the information they need to make a buying decision.

Step 4 – Set up Payment & Delivery

You need to get people’s money for your product. Setting up payment is another challenge for some. Start off simple with Paypal or a simple shopping cart system. It’s a learn as you go process. Again, don’t expect to get it perfect the first time and just get something set up. Take payments, watch the process, tweak and make it better.

Step 5 – Promoting Your Product

Now you’ve got everything set up and you’re ready for tons of sales. Don’t forget about the promotions! Here are some of the most popular ways to get information product sales:

  • Partnerships with your niche influencers.
  • Pay per click marketing.
  • Email marketing.
  • Blogging.
  • Social Media.

Now you might be thinking you don’t know how to set up paypal, or a shopping cart, or make a pdf. I’m going to tell you something here you don’t often hear from people teaching you stuff –> Google it.

If there’s something you don’t know how to do I promise you that you CAN figure it out. I learned about 90% of what I know about online marketing through trial and error because it’s just the easiest way to learn. Don’t let the excuse “I don’t know how to do it.” stop you – ok?

Many of the marketing methods require that you already have a following. Without a market to bring your message to you shouldn’t expect your product to be an overnight success.

No matter where you’re starting from creating your information product is a real step towards creating passive income. Before you know it you’ll be getting emails saying ‘you’ve made a sale!’

The Truth About Online Marketing!!

While putting together a web event I am authoring, I’ve been reading a great many blogs, books and comments on the subject of online marketing. A common thread among novices is their desire for immediate results.

There appears to be a massive disconnect when it comes to the notion of hard work through considerable effort. Rock star successes online have contributed to the fallacy that riches are fast coming and easily gotten.

Even if a massive opt-in list were to fall into your lap, you still have to have a strategy in place to some how use these contacts to your advantage.

Online marketing is NO DIFFERENT than traditional offline marketing. The reason being, it is the same human beings from the same planet making the same purchasing decisions. Online scams are NO DIFFERENT than offline scams in that they promise a quick return for little to no investment. In both case the old caveat IS true: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” I’m currently coaching a few companies with their online promotional activities. The hardest thing for them to hear when we start is the nasty comment: “You realize this is a long term strategy, don’t you?” It’s not as if I wish the process to be long, because I too, would love a faster sale. But as any good sales person will tell you, it is a long buying cycle. Nothing is guaranteed, and results are not consistent. Frankly, as I’ve mentioned it’s all hard work.

One truth with online marketing is that it can certainly be less costly to implement. Email harvesting, email mailings, blogging, commenting, social media and more can be more about effort than cost. You can as some of my clients have, job it out to professionals. Which ever way you do it, the return on investment can be greater than traditional offline models. Take direct mail for instance. Sending out 1,000 brochures and having 4% open them is considered awesome in DM circles. On the other hand a 15 to 25% open rate of emails is not unheard of in email marketing. I’ve had open rates as high as 35%, but 15 to 25% is my average. Tracking is also an immense benefit of online marketing. In traditional terms, unless you got a phone call, you really can’t tell if the DM piece was effective. Sales directly related to a special offer exclusive to the promotion is another way to test DM. With email marketing you can see where recipients click further. This helps to further divide your initial list into niches. Tracking is beautiful.

Everything in online marketing rolls back to your opt-in (or permission based) email lists. My event called ChaChing! Your How-To-Grow Business Expo is targeting small to medium size businesses to join together and promote to a large cooperative list. The result hopefully will be that thousands of small business Expo Guests will come to ChaChing! and register for FREE. Here, they will be able to gather tons of free information that will help them to grow their own businesses. I’ve been developing this project since last summer and hopefully the event will open this summer. So, as you can see, it takes considerable effort to bring an idea to our audiences. When I do start promoting, it will be fascinating to see what your response will be to my concept.

As I have said there are no guarantees, but with no effort, your ideas will fall of the tree before they blossom. Give yourself a chance and start right now to harness the value of your audience. It’s kind of sad, when a client who I’ve been trying to start blogging, finally does and starts to see the benefits of their effort, lament about how much farther along they’d be if only they had listened to my advice in the first place.

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