Automate your customer's journey

My Comparison of Clickfunnels VS Simplero

I’m often asked which marketing automation software I prefer. And that’s a hard question to answer. Because there are several that I love almost equally! Two of my favorites are for sure ClickFunnels and Simplero. They do similar things, some things one does better and some things the other does better. And some things only one will accomplish. Here are my thoughts on these two platforms, in no particular order, as a freelancer who builds and manages sales funnels and email marketing for my clients.

What I love about ClickFunnels

  • The people who run ClickFunnels KNOW digital marketing. Like, they are the expert of experts. And that’s evidenced by how well their brand is marketed. And thus all of their funnel “recipes” are designed to create “perfect sales funnels”.
  • They teach you what they know! If you are brand new to sales, digital marketing, and other aspects of the online business world, you NEED to check out their free and low-cost training opportunities. Start with the books by Russell Brunson. Grab Expert Secrets here through the ClickFunnels website. (Pay attention to how the funnel flows! That’s where your education begins!) Another great resource to really dive in and start learning funnels is the One Funnel Away challenge.
  • Amazing sales funnel and landing page builder. Whether you choose to use a free or premium template or create your own from a blank page (or have your team’s funnel builder or techy VA do it for you), you can rest assured that the basic elements of quality web design and sales funnel design will be in place when you are done. It’s a relatively simple drag and drop platform with an uncomplicated way to embellish your design with CSS code.
  • Payment processing is smooth. You do have to choose one payment processor, but using Stripe (for example) through ClickFunnels has always been a very smooth experience.
  • Set up of multiple products is straight forward.
  • Upsells are done nearly perfectly as well. This software was absolutely designed to perfect the art of the upsell. (You know, “Do you want fries with that? Or a dozen of whatever you just bought? Or an upgrade to the VIP package?”)
  • You can place your ClickFunnels pages on your WordPress website using their plugin. (Not free from glitches, unfortunately, but overall it usually works quite well.) This means that you don’t necessarily need a secondary URL or subdomain to present your ClickFunnels pages to the world, and you certainly don’t want to put out your landing pages with the default ClickFunnels url on them.
  • They have a fantastic affiliate program. Want to be in the affiliate business or simply refer your clients to them and cash in on their account month after month? Make sure you sign up for an affiliate account! (That’s why I’m using my affiliate links in this blog post, by the way. Because why would you want to talk about and send someone to a platform and NOT use an affiliate link?)
  • They also allow you to have your own affiliate program for your products and it works pretty well, also. Affiliate links use cookies that embed themselves on the user’s browser memory and tell the seller who provided them with the link so that they can compensate the referrer appropriately.

Cons of ClickFunnels

  • Their funnels aren’t always pretty. They actually like to say that ugly funnels sell better than pretty funnels. I’d have to see the stats on that one and understand their definition of “ugly”. Because I wouldn’t describe their funnel templates as ugly at all! They are neat and aesthetically pleasing and well designed. But they do tend toward feeling quite masculine. So maybe that’s why they aren’t “pretty”? And maybe what matters in how well an “ugly” vs “pretty” funnel sells has to do with your product and target market? I know I’m biased because of my profession, but I always find myself more inclined to purchase from a beautifully done funnel.
  • The tech issues. Things break…alot. Cache doesn’t purge when you’ve made changes…alot. Little glitches abound.
  • Related to that, their tech support has a reputation for being terrible. They have made strides to do better in the past couple of years, but seems that it’s still lacking compared to other platforms. And while, maybe, someone is working on the tech issues on the backend quickly, they tend to not let you know about it. The best tech support for ClickFunnels that I’ve found (other than hiring your favorite funnel geek)? Head to the official Facebook group and scroll/search for the issue you are experiencing. You are likely to find the solution, or the lack of solution other than “just wait it out”. If you can’t find a solution, post your question. You will probably get a couple of helpful answers and a ton of “I can fix that for you” offers.
  • Their membership site platform leaves a lot to be desired. It’s great for a simple member offer, such as lifetime access to a virtual summit recording. But if you want a more robust interactive membership site, this is not the solution for you.

What I love about Simplero

  • Simplero will do what ClickFunnels will do, and more. The sales pages you can build (from template for from a blank page) can look just as good as any other landing page builder. Mostly this has to do with educating yourself.
  • You can put almost everything in Simpleroyour email list, your subscriptions, your website, your blog, your membership site. And it all works so well!
  • Payment processing is smooth and you can choose multiple payment processors (Stripe and PayPal, for example).
  • Their tech support is on point! Have a problem? They respond within minutes or hours (depending on complexity and time of day). Just can’t figure something out? They almost always know the answer.
  • They have extensive, searchable, free trainings available, using their own course platform.
  • They make constant improvements! Nearly every single time I log in, I get a notification of a list of things they have improved.
  • They really listen and care about their users. Many of the ongoing improvements are based on user suggestions. Want the platform to do something that you loved about another platform? Just have a vision of what would make a certain aspect of Simplero even better? Submit a suggestion and they will read it, consider it, and implement it at some point if it makes sense and is possible.
  • They also have a great affiliate program, both for you to help promote Simplero (here’s my affiliate link!) and that you can use to promote your own programs with your own affiliates.
  • One login for everything housed in Simplero. Let’s say you have purchased a course from 2 other people and you have your own Simplero account. If you use the same email for all 3, you will find it all under your profile. I love that feature!

Create offers and connect with your audience without having to juggle seven different tools - Simplero

Cons of Simplero

  • When I first started using Simplero for a client’s projects a year or so ago I was amused by the title. “Simplero” suggests its “simple”, right? It’s most certainly not simple! I screamed at my computer a great deal while learning this platform. lol But now that I’ve mostly mastered it, I find it to be simply wonderful. Maybe that’s why they use the name Simplero?
  • Some aspects are a bit limited. But again… they listen and if you want a particular new feature or upgrade to an existing feature, suggest it and it just might happen within a few months.

Let me know which platform you love, hate, or want to know more about. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 


***This post or website contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission or other compensation if you make a purchase using these links. As someone in the digital marketing industry, I strongly recommend that you also start to share affiliate links of your own! But be kind and honest when using them. Don't just randomly throw affiliate links out there. Use the product first, know the seller first, or at least do your research first. Everything you see referred to on my website is either a product I have used for myself or a client or is from someone who I know and respect in the virtual business world. Enjoy!***

 



Squirrels playing

Stop the squirrels from climbing your value ladder!

Those pesky squirrels!

Not the cute brown ones I have running around outside my house.

But those squirrels that seek to derail my best laid business plans with yet another free offer or fabulous webinar or amazing course.

I see first hand where that expression came from because if there is one thing that gets my dog distracted from what he is outside to do, its squirrels! They jump off the neighbors house, run along the power lines, leap from tree to tree. And my poor dog forgets everything else but the desire to be able to jump high enough to get them.

Ever been there?

When you are working hard, focused in on your next big business goal, only to have an amazing offer thrown at your that looks SO good and you just MUST obtain it. Then a few days or weeks later you realize you left your much-more-important goal hanging while you ran off down a rabbit hole chasing this new “whatever”. It may or may not have worked out, and it may or may not have made you any money, but it DID pull you away from what WOULD have made you much more money anyway, I’m betting.

What can help with focus is putting your plans into a visual representation that you keep nearby at the ready.

I call this a value ladder.

This is a tool that helps you plot out the various levels of value that you are giving and getting from the offers and products in your business.

At the bottom of your ladder are your free giveaways such as lead magnets, virtual summits, etc. These have a singular purpose of reeling in new leads to your emailing list. These are always free and can be used not only in prominent places on your website but also as a free gift when you are invited to be a guest speaker or participate in someone else’s offer.

The next rung of your ladder would be your lowest priced offer. This could be an offer, often referred to as an SLO or Self-Liquidating Offer, that you charge anywhere from $7 to $47 for. Maybe even a little bit higher. You might run ads to it. It might be an upsell from your lead magnet. You might find other uses for it here and there as well.

After that you have the high priced rungs. These are your primary revenue makers. And you shouldn’t have a wide variety of them. Actually best to focus on just one or two levels. This would be your premium coaching program or service that you offer to your ideal clients.

You can also have a few other rungs here and there with extra things, like a live event or an exclusive Black Friday offer that you only pull out now and then to drive fresh new traffic into your premium offers.

But the point is that you need to set your value ladder, have room for a couple extras, and then leave it alone while focusing on how to achieve each of those levels and keep traffic flowing to them.

When something new comes along, another one of those squirrels that seek to distract you, look at your value ladder and ask yourself where would it fit? Would it add value to your current knowledge of what you can deliver to your clients or would it improve HOW you deliver it? If the answer is no, then keep on walking past that pesky squirrel.

 

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Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay


Fixing OptimizePress After Adding SSL to Your Website

Yesterday I added an SSL certificate to a client’s website. This client has OptimizePress already installed and dozens of opt-in pages and sales pages previously created using the OptimizePress plugin. Adding the SSL certificate, which was done with a SiteGround plugin that automated the entire process, went smoothly, until…

I immediately got an alert that OptimizePress key was not working. So I figured it was because of the switch from http to https. Yep…just needed to re-save the current key and all was well.

But…

After I did that, the green padlock symbol changed to gray with a red slash through it. Sigh.

So obviously that had to do with OptimizePress also. I realized it didn’t update the links and locations that are in those pages. Ugh… I really didn’t want this 5 minute task to turn into a 5 hour chore of digging through ALL of those pages to update each individual image and link.

Realizing that others likely had the same problem, and hoping for an easy solution, I went to the OptimizePress support page and quickly found what was needed.

Here are the steps to resolve SSL security issues with OptimizePress after installing a new certificate on a site with older pages.

First, re-save the general dashboard settings of OptimizePress, which will re-validate your API key.

Now, you will need to download the Helper Tools plugin that OptimizePress has created to update links and images after you migrate a site to a new URL. It will work the same for this SSL purpose. Click here to access those instructions and the plugin.

It will download a .zip file. Save this to your computer, do not unzip it.

Go to the plugins areas of the website you are working on. Install the plugin by uploading it. Activate the plugin.

On the left side dashboard menu, go to Tools and then OP Helper Tools.

Click on Migrations.

In the entry for “Old domain”, type in your domain without the SSL certificate. Example: http://ponytailedprofessional.com.

In the entry for “New domain” type in your domain with the SSL certificate. Example: https://ponytailedprofessional.com.

Click migrate domain.

You will see a notification of the number of links that were updated and the lock symbol next to the URL in your browser should turn green immediately.

That’s it! I hope this worked well for you. I’d love to hear your comments. If you run into problems, feel free to ask.

Tootles!


1st month of 2017 is in the books…how are your goals?

Long after some people have bailed on their 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, the rest of us are still plodding along in our attempts to reach our 2017 goals. Many of us, myself included, spent long hours in early January figuring them all out. We sat through webinars and read books to help us get it all figured out.

I listened to several webinars and finished reading The 12 Week Year, which I had started in late December. That book helped me to really nail down a shorter time frame, as well as keeping some long-term goals in mind.

So here are my goals for January and how I did with them. I’d love to hear about yours!

  • Goal: Buy a new fitness tracker (my old one got lost) – Actual: Not yet, but I’m ordering it today!
  • Goal: Walk or hike 10 miles per week in January for a total of at least 40 miles. – Actual: I came in at 25 miles for the month. I knew the weather could interfere and it did! No treadmill, so I’m at the mercy of the temperature and ice/snow/rain. Let’s just say it was a cold wet month! But I don’t think I’ve ever walked 25 miles in a month before! I’m pleased. 🙂
  • Goal: Do a Beachbody workout at least 4 times per week. Result: I slacked in this area a little, I’m ashamed to say. I probably averaged 2.
  • Goal: Drink Shakeology daily. Actual: Every. Single. Day! And sometimes twice a day. 🙂
  • Goal: To eat cleaner (I had specific measurements that are too numerous to list here). Actual: Pretty close to spot on!
  • Goal: Launch my new Plus Size Health and Happiness website. Actual: Its launched! Its not finished being built, but it exists and has an opt in on the home page. 🙂
  • Goal: To be an emerald level coach with BeachBody. Actual: Didn’t happen (yet).
  • Goal: Buy a new hosting account and move my websites to it, and my old hosting accounts. Actual: Done, done and done! Moved from GoDaddy and 1&1 to SiteGround. Yay!
  • Goal: Blog 1x per week. Actual: I think I blogged twice after getting my hosting and sites moved/set up.
  • Goal: Plan and implement daily recruiting habits. Actual: Took me till the end of the month to get over my fear, but this has been set in motion.
  • Goal: Plan and begin process of launching my May virtual summit. Actual: Its in my head and somewhat on paper. This is non-negotiable for the next week, though!
  • Goal and Actual: I’ll keep the actual numbers to myself, but I had an income goal for the next 12 weeks, and I have 52% of that already paid or contracted through that time frame.
  • Goal: To book 8 virtual summits (in addition to mine) in 2016. I had no time frame on this, and it was impossible to break down into a 12 week goal, so I left it at a year goal…realistically the first half of the year to have them booked (but not necessarily completed) by. Actual: I have booked 5 summits so far for 2017, not including the February one I was already working on last year, and am in talks with someone for another. Plus I have my 2 summits scheduled for May and August.
  • Goal: To actually pay all the bills (utilities, etc) in the given month on time. Actual: Came closer than usual! Have a few that are late though.
  • Goal: Pay down (extra) on some specific debts. Actual: Not yet.
  • Goal: Emergency fund. Actual: Sigh…not yet.

So I guess I did pretty good overall. I certainly feel like I achieved alot. I think goals should be set a little higher than is comfortable/assured anyway. So not reaching them 100% is ok by me, as long as I put steps in place and got at least a little bit of the way there.

Finally I have a major accomplishment that wasn’t even a goal of mine early on. Or if it was, it didn’t have an actual FORM yet, but was just caught up in a notion to get better organized. Step 1 that led to it was the goal planning and working towards those goals. During the last week of January, I suddenly had an epiphany. Now mind you, it wasn’t something that I just magically though up on my own. It was instead all sorts of advice I had heard or read over the last few years that suddenly solidified and fell into place in my head while I was on a long walk one day. It was truly a light bulb moment, or rather the moment that light bulb switch that’s always been there in the dark room is actually flipped! 🙂

I realized that I needed to schedule every minute of my day, not just create a to-do list and my early morning activities and then still be bumped from one thing to the next based on emails, texts and Skype messages. I came home from that walk and sat down and planned it all out over the next few hours. I immediately started to implement it the next day. Its only been a few days, as of this writing, and while there are kinks and I’ve had to move some times around (and can still see more that need moved), its certainly been helpful to me to feel more in control.

The funny thing was that the next day I was listening to the Marketing in Your Car podcast by Russell Brunson and he said the exact same thing! It was one of the early podcasts, probably in the first 5 of them. But I was surprised at the timing of when I heard it.

So now I have a daily schedule (and alarms set on my phone to remind me of when to switch activities) that goes something like this:

  • 4:30 am (YES…that’s right! 4:30 in the morning!): Wake up and read personal/professional development.
  • 5:00 am: Work on social media marketing and recruiting.
  • 6:00 am: Plus Size Health and Happiness biz stuff (at this time that is mostly blogging or working on the website).
  • 6:30 am (school days): Take out the dogs and start the task of waking up my 10 year old and prodding him to get ready for school, and getting him to the bus stop on time. I check/mass delete emails from my phone during any down time I have during this time frame. On non-school days I will still take out the dogs when they need to be taken out, but I’ll spend more time on my PSHH biz or other misc things that need taken care of.
  • 7:20 (or whenever I get back from the bus): Workout. This is usually a short walk with the dog followed by another workout OR a long walk with the dog. I also listen to a podcast or audiobook at this time.
  • After my workout: Fix a Shakeology for myself and hubby, check and delete or respond to emails, shower, etc.
  • 8:30: Work on Client A’s projects (This spot is owned by the next client’s summit that’s launching.)
  • 9:30: Work on Client B’s project
  • 10:00: Snack and check emails
  • 10:15: Work on Client C’s project
  • 10:45: Work on Client D’s project (this spot belongs to a project that is requiring more time per day than some of the others)
  • 11:45: Work on Client E’s project
  • 12:15: Lunch and check emails
  • 12:30: Work on Client F’s projects (this one varies in length and need by the week, and if needed it bleeds into the next time frame)
  • 1:00: Work on Misc projects
  • 2:00: Work on my upcoming summit
  • 3:25: Retrieve my son from school, followed by a snack, rest, spending time with him, checking emails, etc.
  • 4:00: Start on supper
  • 4:15 (or whenever I am done with the initial supper prep): Work more on my summit and continue this in between checking on supper, followed by eating supper.
  • 6:30 (or after supper and son’s homework): Work on Misc if needed.
  • 8:00: Start getting ready for bedtime.

So I am proud to say that I have stuck well to the schedule every day up until about the 10 am point. That’s when things tend to slip and I get off track. But that’s also because I’m still playing catch up on projects from when I was NOT so organized. I think things will fall into place over the coming week or so. I’ve already completed things this week that I would have normally been scrambling to complete.

Now, it needs some tweaking at times, but I’m certainly keeping it flexible. Some days I have to run errands or spend more time on one project or another. But once I really have this worked out and flowing well, I should have far less stress and zero missed deadlines. It will be a win-win for both me and my clients and will result in praises and increased income.

I’d love to hear if this as inspired you or what your goals and daily schedule looks like. Leave a comment below or even send me a message.

 


Happy Day After Christmas…the start of my favorite week!

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and/or first day of Hanukkah! It was a blessed day for me. I got to see all of my kids and grandbabies, although not all at the same time. In the morning we had a round of breakfast and gifts with most of the family, and then in the evening we had my 2nd oldest and his 2-year-old for supper and they got to open their gifts.

Christmas Christmas

It was warm and windy here in Southeast Kansas with a pretty strong thunderstorm sweeping through as the day came to a close. I think it’s the first time in my life that I have sat on my front porch in a sleeveless top and barefoot, relaxing from the hub bub of the day and wasn’t even a smidgen cold! I know that’s not unique in some parts…but 70 degrees on Christmas Day in Kansas is certainly unique. 1 degree shy of the record high set 30 years ago. (And, well, now that i think about it, I was a teenager when that record was set…so I probably DID enjoy the weather on that Christmas Day too!)

Kim Scott

So today is the day after Christmas. Brings to mind a favorite song of mine, that is one good for ONE day a year…

I always find that today kicks off what in many ways is the best week of the year for me. It’s a week of relaxing, relishing the joy of the season, happy memories from Christmas, and a slower pace since most of my clients have taken the week off. I’m playing catch up on some projects usually. And this particular week I am working on virtual summits for clients, one that is ending this week and another that begins in the middle of January.

But the BEST thing for me is the sense of newness that is coming in a week. It’s a feeling of anticipation and wonder over what the new year will hold. It’s a time for planning and implementation to create the ‘best year ever’. This year I’m planning some major changes to my business. I’m still going to be doing web design and telesummits and sales pages and all that…but I’ve decided to stop my marketing efforts on those things and instead turn my focus to endeavors that will help people through information.

In 2017, I’m planning to HOST two summits myself! And I’m nervous as heck about them…but I will not let my fear talk me out of it. The first summit will be a plus size health and happiness summit, and the second one will be a work at home mom summit! Details coming on both! Fun!!

And its a time of reflection on the successes and failures (i.e. growth opportunities) of the past year. My business did not grow like I had planned, and I’ve had to do some serious reflecting over why and what I can change about that. (Thus the steps I mentioned above.) But the biggest thing that happened to me was throughout the latter half of 2016. In July I stepped jumped into Beachbody after finding the world’s most wonderful coach. I have learned how to recognize and stop emotional eating. I have learned how to stop eating sugar without any much cravings. I have learned how real food actually tastes and to stop the cycle of binging. I have learned how to make exercise fun and work for me. And all of that together has taken me from someone who was unable to walk a block without feeling like I could die from it, into someone who can do a full workout video and walk several miles in the same day.

It has gotten me to the point where I’m not jumping into unattainable New Year’s Resolutions to lose 50 pounds, but rather ending the year with the knowledge that I DID lose nearly 50 pounds during the year! 46 pounds as of today! And that includes 5 pounds lost during the holidays!! WOW, right?!

So I’m truly anticipating 2017 as an incredible and amazing year to come. I may not have resolutions, but I fully intend to come out a year from today with my income goals met, debt paid off, and at a weight that I haven’t been at since my early 20s. I hope you all will come along for the ride!

I’d love to hear from you what your plans and goals are for 2017, and what your last week of 2016 looks like. Leave a comment below!

Interested in being a guest speaker on one of my summits (Plus Size Health and Happiness or The Work At Home Mom Summit)? Send me a message and let me know about your interest.

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Internet Marketing 101 and the Cincinnati Gorilla

Stock image of a gorilla from Pixabay

If you haven’t heard about the tragic killing of an endangered Gorilla in the Cincinnati zoo last week, then you may have just returned from an internet-free zone on a deserted island. (Or at least not been on social media recently.) The event was tragic, and no matter how it turned out, it likely would have ended in tragedy. I’m not here to lay out my opinions on whether or not the Gorilla had to be killed or whether or not the mother of the child who fell into the exhibit is at fault.

What I am here to discuss is how this relates to internet marketing, the way stuff goes viral on Facebook and Twitter and how this can contribute to your business building efforts. I know, you are probably thinking that it’s got NOTHING to do with it! Well a discussion I had this morning, on a Facebook post, with someone totally created my thoughts on this.

Here’s how it went. Someone wrote an article that shows the father of the child has a criminal past. Exactly HOW is that relevant? 100% not relevant! But it accomplished getting at least one other article written about that article, calling out the reporter as a racist because of the family being African American.

Now I don’t know that reporter from Adam, so I have no way of knowing if that reporter is a racist; nor does the author of article number 2, I presume.

What I do find incredible, is that even though article number 1 has absolutely zero to do with the situation at hand of who was or was not at fault for the killing of that majestic creature, it has gone viral. Why? Because it has a piece of information that was not available elsewhere. It touched on two things that are more or less hot topics in our current culture (parenting skills and endangered animals) and threw into the mix what we all seem to love best…plain old fashioned gossip about the people involved. I mean, the court of social media had already tried and convicted the mother, now they can justify themselves by seeing what a “bad guy” the dad is too. And it just so happened that the family in question is black.

Article number 2 picked up on that little detail and capitalized on it by simply throwing the extremely hot topic of racism into the mix. Author 2 “called out” the “racism” in article number 1. Whether that racism is real or not is apparently irrelevant. (The irony being that the publisher of article number 1 is not even an American company.)

The results, folks, is every internet marketer’s dream come true. And we all know that controversy sells just as well as “relevant” information.

Those of us who have been in this game long enough, know that one way or another, money is made by traffic to your website. Some of us make money from the clients that find their way to our website. But newspaper-type businesses make money from the advertisements on the website. The more people who view and/or click on those advertisements, the more money they make.

So how does a British newspaper, most likely the last one into the game, make a few extra bucks off a story that had surely had every possible angle already beaten into the virtual ground before the main media even picked it up? You find something unique. And that just happened to be that the dad of the child who fell into the gorilla cage has a not-so-pretty history. Never mind that he is now a law-abiding family man. Never mind that he wasn’t even at the zoo. What matters to the reporter and to the company that she works for, is that it’s something unique.

Would it have mattered if the family happened to be white? I doubt it. Gossip is gossip no matter who it’s about. Just look at the other articles on that website. Plenty of nasty gossip, and most of its about white people. We all say gossip is a disgusting thing, but we still eat it up and contribute to it.

Let me summarize:

  • Article 1’s author did some extra digging and “broke” a story around the world, irrelevant as it may be, that people apparently are eating up. It’s pure gossip.
  • The second article, created a buzz in the US on a hot topic that nobody had likely even thought of in relation to this parenting vs endangered animal story.
  • Article number 1 has 70K shares. Article 2 has 22K shares. Together that’s nearly 100,000 shares and likely millions of comments and clicks to the articles between all those posts.
  • Article 2 creates a quality link to article 1, and watch those Google spiders go. SEO baby! Plus, both articles are linked in those 100K shares that I mentioned above.
  • Both articles are now making some serious bank from the advertisements on the sides of those stories. Just because someone didn’t notice as their child slipped into the gorilla cage.

So what can we learn from all of this if we step back and look at the situation without emotion? Find a story that is “all the talk”. Find a unique angle to that story. Write about that unique angle, even if its controversial or of questionable ethics. (But please listen to your heart and your gut before you do that!) Link to other well-done and popular articles. Get your story out there on social media. Run ads if you have to at first. Just get people talking about your perspective. And watch the readers pour in.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am actually doing the same thing that the reporters did. Finding a unique twist on that story. I mean, really? A gorilla and a child can turn into an article on internet marketing and SEO? LOL That’s how it’s done folks!

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Speaking of marketing 101… CoachGlue has a fantastic resource to help you work out your social media plans. Check it out here! (Yes, those are affiliate links. )


What’s your morning routine?

I have always believed in the old mantra “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man (or woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise.” Its been what I repeatedly told myself when, a few years ago, I decided that rising at 3 or 4 am would be the smart thing to do. And I did it for some time. During that year or so I didn’t have the best morning routine, other than getting up early, but I did it and it really increased my business exponentially.

sunrise-165094_1280

And then I got lazy. I got tired. I got unfocused. I even got depressed. And during all of that, things really went haywire for me. What had started to become a booming business, suddenly became something that overwhelmed me, contributed to the exhaustion, which contributed to the depression, which contributed to the overwhelm…and around it went. And my clients started to disappear. Which didn’t help matters any either!

Last summer I started sleeping in. I did, however, find the motivation to make a major change in my life that really helped my depression and exhaustion, but it threw my routine (and money-situation) into a virtual tilt-a-whirl and took me some time to climb out of.

Fast forward to the late winter and early spring of this year (2016). I gradually renewed my determination to success in every area. I began a slow climb out of a major financial mess that I allowed to happen around me. (You know, this IS going to be a passage in one of those “back when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together…” stories, eventually. lol) I began to focus in on where my business was heading, how to be at the top of my business game, how to improve not only my business but myself.

And that includes focused training and reading. I took a course on premium packages for selling business services. I am taking a digital marketing certification course. I’ve read…alot…both normal reading and audio books. And we aren’t talking novels either.


In the last month things feel like they are starting to come together. I have been reading 6 Months to 6 Figures* by Peter Voogd. I fully intend to read it again, with pen and paper nearby, and slowly work through the exercises included. As it is, when I’m reading now (like at the park, a sporting event or sitting in a waiting room) I have to work through them just in my head. I started reading this book in late February, and at first wasn’t making much time to push through it. But when I did, it was a great read.

Its not just about making money. Its about changing your life. Its about building your business by reworking every aspect of your mindset and routine. Its about creating that freedom lifestyle that we all so deeply desire.

Here’s where the irony of it comes in…

Early last week I saw a post on Facebook by my friend Sunshine Boatright about the #5amClub. I thought, “ha…I do that!” although its been more like 6 am lately and only that because my little boy has to catch the bus a little after 7. I had to laugh at myself after realizing that it didn’t mean “get up before dawn and piddle around the house doing nothing of any real importance, and maybe check email and Facebook.” haha! I followed the hashtag through and figured out what the #5amClub actually is! (This video explains it best…)

So, now the funny part…back to that book I’ve been reading for a while. Turns out the author OFTEN quotes Robin Sharma…that’s the dude in the video above… and while he may not have originated the idea of the #5amClub, he sure has brought it into popular practice among the success-minded, entrepreneurial warriors of the world.

See how that circle came around? Gotta love it.

So what’s your morning routine? Are you a part of the #5amClub? If not, give it a try for a week or so. Or better yet, commit to it for 2 months! Get up, shake it off, drink some water, exercise (as much or as little as your current fitness level will allow), read something useful, delve into a training course you’ve been putting off and absolutely plan your day. If you are a Christian, I urge you to spend that post-workout time in the Word. (The workout time wakes you up and helps you to focus, that’s why I say do it after it.)

You can listen to music during your workout, or listen to a podcast or audio book. Some mornings I do Zumba to inspriational or Christian music, and other days I walk or do yoga-like stuff while listening to a spoken message of some kind.

Oh…and don’t forget to drink your water! That’s almost as important as the rest of it! If you want coffee, great, but please don’t start your day with it. Water is the lifeblood of your body and it is what truly will wake you up. At least a glass or two first thing! (Learned that bit of info from my friend JP Temple! Check out his work!)

I’ll keep you up to date on my #5amClub progress. I’d love to hear from you about yours! Leave a comment below. And if you are looking for support, you can find it in several of the links I left above.

 

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Some of the links in this blog are *affiliate links*.

 

 

 


LeadPages new Drag & Drop Builder…I like it!

I build landing pages…opt in pages, sales pages, webinar registration pages…you name it, that’s a major part of my business! I create them for myself and mostly for my clients. Anyone who has thought about building a landing page of any kind has likely heard of LeadPages. If you have used it and wanted some creative license with your new page, you likely found yourself quite frustrated with the cookie-cutter limitations that it had.

Well, now the game has changed! I just had the opportunity to try out their new drag & drop builder for the first time. Its got a couple of limitations I have noticed, but overall its a HUGE improvement! I can now happily recommend LeadPages to my clients who have heard they should use it.

What I didn’t like:

  1. Integration with WebinarJam did not seem to carry through to the drag & drop. (The integrations on drag & drop are very limited compared to the regular templates.) This specific page I was working on required that integration, so I had to turn around and return to the basic template (and the frustrations that go with it…boo!). I think if you have the LeadLinks upgrade that might be a work-around. This client did not.
  2. There are a limited number of templates to begin your build with. While not essential, its nice to have their proven templates as a guide. I didn’t have trouble finding an opt in page, but there are no thank you pages with the drag & drop option.
  3. Everything seems to have really slowed down. Maybe it was just me, or maybe it was just today, however it seemed to be a server load issue…but I had to refresh loading pages a few times because they just kept loading and loading and loading. I’m sure this is temporary!

So far that’s my only complaint. And I expect that integration issues is something that will be resolved before too long. Plus, I’m sure the d&d templates are being added to frequently.

For a straight forward opt in page going to one of the more common integrations, such as Aweber or Go To Webinar, or with a simple link, the new LeadPages Drag & Drop page builder is quite nearly perfection met.

Have you used LeadPages Drag & Drop feature? What did you think abou tit?

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* Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. *


Zootopia … I’m in awe of this movie

ZootopiaJust took my 9 year old to see Disney’s new movie Zootopia. And we saw it in 3D, which is the best way to see it. Such an incredibly beautiful movie, both visually and in deep meaning. I have heard so many raving reviews of it, but I still wasn’t really looking forward to it. (I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of my home.) I even tried to get my husband and son to go without me. I’m so glad they made me go! This movie was one of the best uses of $20 in my life. Heck, I probably would have been satisfied if I had spent $100 on it! No joke.

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: I’ll try not to throw out too many spoilers here, but you may want to stop now and just go watch it before reading on. Really…go now! Ok…you’ve been warned! 😉

And no, I’m not getting any kind of reward for posting this, other than the pleasure of having you read it and maybe a little SEO boost or something. Disney isn’t paying me, I’m not getting any kick-backs and your local theater won’t send me any money when they give them your admission fee. 🙂 I wish they would! 

So this movie is about a cute little bunny (who gets deeply offended when non-bunnies call her cute, by the way). When she is just a baby bunny she gets the dream to become a police officer. Others laugh at her, tell her that bunnies can’t be cops, etc. Even her parents try to bring her back to reality. There’s NEVER been a rabbit police officer, after all! Her response? “Well, I’ll just have to be the first then!”

(That’s the really great message from this movie…always pursue your dreams, refuse to give up, and don’t let anyone else convince you that you can’t achieve what you set your mind to. Even if nobody else “in your category” has ever done it. You be the first!)

Fast forward several years, and Judy (the bunny) has just reached her dream and has indeed become the first bunny cop ever. In a police force full of lions, tigers, bears and even elephants, she does indeed seem to be way out of her league. The chief of police, who did not want her on the force, makes her the meter maid. And that makes her mad, but she simply decides to be the best darn meter maid ever! She easily reaches her goal by noon, and then sets out to prove her value as an officer of the law in other…unapproved…ways.

She has a run in with a funny, cool but sly fox who is very good at running a hustle. (Honestly, my impression was that Nick, the fox, was a clever entrepreneur, except for his rather unethical, barely-legal methods.) The two become reluctant friends and partners in crime-fighting as they pursue a mystery of over a dozen citizens missing without a trace. These citizens just happen to be predatory type animals, such as bears, otters and tigers.

As they crack the case, they deal with issues that are present in this utopian human-like animal kingdom. Issues that are not unlike issues in our own human world. Issues that we humans would probably call racism, or sometimes classism. Issues that are hidden, or so socially acceptable that nobody questions them: Bunnies can’t amount to more than carrot farmers. Foxes can’t be trusted and are always trying to hustle you. Lions, tigers and bears just might turn on you because, after all, they have predatory DNA despite looking civilized. Sound familiar at all?

Some of the non-predatory animals have decided to prove to the world that those predators cannot be trusted. With a 9-1 ratio, the non-predators can rule the world, they say, if they can only convince all the other non-predators to be scared of the predators…and convincing them takes nothing more than a few carefully staged acts of violence and good media coverage. Hmm…

Its so deep it makes me cry.

Ok…I started to share how it ends…but then I deleted it. You are better off just going to see it yourself. And see it in 3D if you can. Don’t have children to take? Ah heck…go anyway! It’s truly that good!

Already seen it? Tell me your thoughts!!

And remember…don’t ever let anyone decide your fate for you, don’t allow them to tell you that you can’t do what you dream of doing, and never let any excuses keep you from succeeding in your life. You are who you choose to be. If you don’t pursue your dreams…its because you chose not to.

 


Are your landing pages Google compliant?

Landing pages, sales pages, opt in pages…whatever you want to call them and whatever their purpose, they are a vital part of any online business these days. And often you are connecting them to an ad, hoping to boost the conversion of whatever product or event you are selling or giving away.

And this is sometimes where the trouble begins.

Sitting down to check how well your ads are doing and finding that not only has your ad not been approved, but that you have been axed as an account, can certainly make you feel a little like this:

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So avoid it. Follow the rules from the start.

As someone who has gotten my entire ad account banned from Facebook (and reinstated, thank goodness!), I at first found the requirements rather vague and rather ridiculous.

But they are there for a reason, and its a very good reason! They simply are trying to protect the consumer.

Should they be a little more forgiving the folks who are new to the ad business? Of course they should! I have no idea why they aren’t. Seems like shooting yourself in the foot to ban someone who is trying to give you money. But, for whatever reason, it is what it is.

The good folks at Digital Marketer just put out an article that lays out everything your landing pages need to be compliant with Google Ads. Now, maybe you aren’t running a Google Ad…this still applies. Their logic is that Google Ads is the strictist ad system out there and if you comply with Google, you will comply with the others by default. Plus the others, like Facebook, might update their requirements to closer fit Google’s any day now. Better to not be caught off guard!

Stop tailoring different landing pages to different ad networks based on compliance. Pick the strictest one and develop all your pages with that as the baseline.

Not only will this save you time and help you better organize your landing pages, it protects you when less strict networks, e.g., Facebook, decide to change their terms!

Google is hands down the stricter of the ad networks…  source: Digital Marketer

A couple of the more surprising compliance items include:

  • Put your logo in the header and make it clickable. WHAT??? That goes against everything we have been taught! They’ve got some good reasoning though. And Google wants it.
  • Footer navigation that includes About Us, Privacy, Terms and Contact Us. The logic here being that not only should you make your privacy and terms easily readable, but you should also be able to prove you are a real site.
  • Detailed opt in expectations. No, “we promise not to send you spam” does not cut it. According to the guidelines, you need to actually make it clear that you are going to be not only sending them what they opted in for, but that you are going to be sending your newsletter and other offers to them as well. To me, this seems like a no-brainer that OF COURSE you will be doing that. Unfortunately there are lots of folks who just don’t get it.
  • And that includes having a link to your privacy policy under each opt in button, not just at the bottom of your page.

Check out the original article, The 9-Point Google Compliant Landing Page Checklist, here. It is well worth reading several times and digesting every tidbit. These are 9 points you do not want to miss if you are going to be promoting your landing page with ads, plus detailed examples of “done well” and “not so well” with pictures like this one:

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And they even share what they have done wrong on THEIR OWN landing pages!

Plus they are giving you a handy printable checklist to keep for future reference.

Click here to read it all. Seriously…devour this information. You will thank me for sharing I’m sure! 🙂