Michael Drew is a revolutionary in the publishing industry. In just 14 years, he’s put 72 books on National Bestseller lists, including books with Lisa Nichols, Marshall Goldsmith, and John Assaraf.
Michael’s secret? He’s invented a specific step-by-step process not just for quickly overcoming writer’s block – but for creating content so powerful, it makes an immediate impact when released.
He calls this process The Creation Method. It’s been silently circulating for years among top shelf writers, expert coaches, change agents and trailblazing companies.
And now, it’s a 60-minute workshop available to us on March 13th at 6PM PST
The Writer’s Hour is a once in a life event where you will get the opportunity to listen the best practices and secret tricks from expert Michael Drew. Michael became the #1 Best Seller Book Publisher and is the man responsible for getting 72 authors in The National Best Seller lists, The New York Times, USA Today, just to name a few.
This workshop will be a great resource for:
- Writers (fiction or non-fiction)
- Speakers or Presenters
- Advertising or PR Pros
- Anyone that creates content (and isn’t that all of us now?)
Thanks to Mindvalley, I’ve received permission to offer two folks to this workshop free, here’s how:
Choose your writing platform: A comment below, a tweet, a Google+ post, a Facebook message, a blog post of your own, an Instagram, whatever … (mention my name or link back to this post so I can find it).
Tell me about your content creation headaches: Is it time, words, too many thoughts, you don’t have a process (yet)…
To find out more about The Writer’s Hour, click the ticket:
The tools we use to conduct business are moving and changing faster than ever before. Its a wonder anyone can keep up. What used to take 12 years to gain critical mass use is now taking 12 weeks.
Sometimes, as a business owner warms up to the idea of finally implementing a “new” tactic or tool, that is already yesterday’s practice. Thankfully, the core elements of doing business have remained for centuries – even though the tools are changing faster than we cook microwave popcorn.
Horse and Buggy on the Highway
In the mid-90s, there seemed to be a gold-rush towards getting your own “dot com”. Yet, still more than 30% of small businesses don’t own their own website or domain. If they do have THEIRCOMPANY.COM, they often don’t “own it” or “operate it” because they’ve “outsourced it”
When you think about it, 30% is a large number considering the “dot.com” rush began just over a dozen years ago. That number isn’t talking about companies without blogs, social media, or mobile sites and apps – it’s businesses who don’t have their own web sites.
The number is probably much higher if we consider independent contractors and people who might work from home or don’t operate with a business license.
Last year, Google released two numbers that should’ve woke up the sleeping small business: 20% and 40%. Both have to do with searches for local business: 20% of all web-based searches are for local businesses and 40% of all mobile searches are for local businesses.
If a business does get found (“if”), what does the searcher find? Well, if it’s one of those businesses in that 30% that don’t own their website, it’s a 3rd party site. Who knows what the reviews say, if there is correct contact information, and are the descriptions and images accurate? That’s why it’s so important for a business to own their own site, the content that gets displayed, and their presence and applications on different platforms.
Does Your Company Operate, Supply, and Measure its Own Web Presence?
In recent posts, we looked at the importance of a company’s web presence. The call is to “Own it“, to “Stock it“, and to “Measure it“. Unless you’re a 100% web-based business, your web site is not a destination point – it’s an access portal. One that connects customers with you – and vice versa.
When your customers come in your front door (an access portal), there is a path to you – be it an aisle or a recognizable fixture like a desk or counter. When your customers call you on the phone (an access portal), they recognize you by how you answer the phone. When customers go to your web site … you do have one, yes? … the web becomes an access portal.
Would you remain in business if you closed other access portals off from customers? Likewise, you should keep access open with a web presence and a mobile presence. This is part of being in business these days.
It’s Not About the Technology – Think Talk-nology
Stop thinking “technology” and start thinking “talk-nology” – You probably didn’t build that front door to your store, but you use it. You probably didn’t wire the telephone system, but you use it. And you don’t have to design your website or blog or mobile app – but learn how to use it.
It’s simpler than you think – and you’ve probably been doing the same thing (with different tools) for years. One way to do that (at your own pace with a community of business owners) is The Dialing 8 Project:
Companies that are engaging and employing social business are reaping the benefits. That’s because they plan on staying in business.
When I was in the retail business, I had a regional manager once ask me how my sales of “blank wall space” and rental of the “vacant carpet squares” were going?
I raised my eyebrows and waited for the lesson to be delivered. I didn’t have to wait long:
“I love white space as much as the next person,” he said. “But we’re not in advertising. This is retail. Floor space and Wall space? That’s for our inventory. Keep ‘em full, clean, and looking good. Move a few things around once in awhile. We can do quantity and quality at the same time.”
He wanted customers who visited to always be thinking:
A lifetime ago I operated a boutique shoe store in Pacific Grove. Lots of tourist foot traffic. Lots of window shoppers.
And I did my best to gather as many numbers as I could between sales and shoppers:
How many stopped to look at a window display and kept walking
How many walked in and didn’t buy
How many shoes were tried on/how many pairs sold
How many times I brought out a “hunch” pair was it tried on/purchased
What day-part hours affected these numbers
I wasn’t just measuring the bottom line, but the top line and everything in between. I wasn’t better than anyone because of it – but I was obsessed … to get better because of what is learned from measuring the data.
When the question of measuring data comes up with small business, I try to start with what they’re measuring offline as it gives a good starting point to what we’ll measure online.
Sadly, too many business owners don’t track much more than their sales totals and some of the main expenses. Sadder still – many don’t measure their traffic on their website (if they have a website). Sometimes they’ll get weekly reports from their “web” guy who tells them how many “hits” they have – but that’s about it. And that’s bad practice.
It’s going to be hard to determine Social ROI if you’re not counting much of anything else. Which is why it’s so important for a small business to own their own website, use Google Analytics to track data … and get better because of what is learned from measuring the data.
Last year, I found these numbers catching my attention
30% of small businesses do not have their own website
20% of all searches are for local businesses
40% of all mobile searches are local
That first number is surprising. For many readers here, it’s probably surprisingly high. From my perspective, it’s low.
30% of small businesses do not have their own website
When I meet with a small town Chamber of Commerce and ask how many members have a website of their own, many estimate 60-70% — right in line with the number above. However, not all businesses are members of their local Chamber of Commerce. And those that aren’t Chamber members often to not have their own website.
In today (and tomorrow’s) marketplace, to not have a website is perilously close to not existing at all.
20% of all searches are for local businesses
40% of all mobile searches are local
These two numbers should motivate the small business owner, especially those in non-metro areas. It’s about “findability” – if a business not findable in a search on the web (or via a mobile device), well, it’s easy to see why some business don’t last long. Search engines are the new yellow pages and the new 411 combined.
Thankfully, there are sites like MerchantCircle and Manta who, in many cases, already have a business listed. An owner can simply sign up, claim and verify themselves as owner, and start making updates to the page. While these sites help with findability and web presence, it’s rented real estate on the web.
How many of you have a camera on your phone, raise your hand …
Whether you have a smart phone or not, the opportunities for taking your own stock images are plentiful. Additionally, improvements and growth of mobile apps such as Photoshop Express and Instagram make capturing, editing, and sorting images a breeze.
I’ve seen a lot of folks invest 20 minutes writing a blog post, then spend another 20 minutes looking for the right image. Better to take a few minutes here and there to be prepared.
Create some stock images of your own. Have a library ready to help tell your story. Just as you should Listen to Your Day in writing your blog, Watch Your Day for capturing great storytelling images.
Most of the connections I had on Facebook were from business contacts, most of what I shared was about business. I was most of the way to a business page already.
I had been thinking about making the move for awhile. When Tracy Sestili said Bye-Bye to Facebook, I started making my move by following her lead. (By the way, Tracy is a solid-state, straight-shooting social media strategist – one to follow).
Tracy’s steps and reasons are sound. While Facebook is a closed system in many ways, it remains a confusingly open system in other ways. From a privacy perspective, Facebook has pieces in place – but good luck for the average user to find and use them.
So, I decided to create a “stealth” personal page, following the first six steps Tracy outlines in her exiting post. On the last step, rather than delete the account, I transferred to a business page.
The only real difference in converting my profile rather than cancelling creating a new business page is those who were either “friends” or subscribed, become “likes” on the business page. My messaging still is part of the stream (and since most of what I posted was business …).
For me, I still want a presence on Facebook for “Mike Sansone”, though the only parts I want public and searchable are business postings. My personal page is for a very small group of people (mostly family).
I know a lot of business owners who want the same. To keep business separate from personal. To be able to maintain focus and balance. Many are just not comfortable with “transparency” on Facebook at this time.
Do you subscribe to your own RSS feed? You should.
Sometimes, if you could see what I can see (and what your readers-prospects-customers see). A successful retailer and the restauranteur are always looking over their displays and presentation – and so should you.
When I click on your RSS button – if it goes anywhere – I sometimes get sent to a page that looks like this:
Feedburner gives you analytics AND a stylized, browser-friendly result when readers click on your subscribe button.
Now that you’ve subscribed to your own RSS feed, you can do even more “display merchandising” from your Google Reader (or however your read your feeds).
Is there a title? A byline with your name? Are the feed items formatted like your blog posts (I use the WP Plugin Align RSS Images)? Are you using Eye Rests?
Next time someone clicks on the orange button, don’t scare them. Display your RSS so its a friendly RSS.
I don’t normally cook with a recipe in hand, though I have one in mind. Yet I wanted some ideas so I went to Google for ideas.
Google and the new “Search, Plus Your World” search immediately caught my attention. My eyes were drawn to the images of people I’m connected with. Writing, Talking, and Sharing about what I was searching for. People from my Foodie circle appeared with some ideas.
Second something new: I turned off the normal search, adjusted my search query and used just my personal results. Some of the folks I circled had results on their blog, some on a G+ post, some they simply “plussed” and others were images. Good stuff.
For years we’ve talked how a word by an online connection is more important than almost any other recommendation. Search, Plus Your World helps do that. In addition, the oh-so important, but thus far, largely ignored by “experts”, Authorship markup is going to draw eyeballs and clicks.
Remember a widget called MyBlogLog? It started as a traffic-tracking tool but soon became THE widget when they added Faces. Faces draw clicks. Faces get found. Faces get remembered
Take of your “user” cap for a minute and think business. Whether you like Google Plus or not; whether you like Search, Plus Your World or not … is secondary to what your customers / prospects / audience think.
When done right, Social Media amplifies your business reach, relationships, and revenues.
If Content is King: Content is important. It drives conversation. It helps make you findable in search engines. But time & place is important too. Community is Kingdom: Your community includes customers, fans, vendors and partners — and even those who are just about to find you. Commerce is Key: Without commerce, social media is a hobby. Your content serves your community, but you’re in business to create customers.
There, typed that in, chose a few pictures and Easy-Peasy – Pagemodo helped me put up a Facebook Welcome Page in 12 Minutes.