The short answer is....not yet.
One of the reasons technology is so exciting is that it is constantly changing. It's an eco-system where new, better products are constantly emerging and replacing older ones.
I know we all get excited about the next shiny new object, but sometimes it's better to stick with the tried and true tested solution and be patient and watch for a while.
I hate to use the term but "the devil you know" is often better than trying to use the shiny new software. Whenever I get excited about a new tech, I start to use it but eventually find that 5% of things that I loved about the old tech and could do better. Sure, there's a few new things you couldn't do on the old tech but there's often that one deal breaker.
It took me 5 years of using Weebly before I decided to build a business using it - and only after they rebranded and added the features I needed - like user authentication.
For me, I love the idea of an integrated solution in Weebly where you don't have to have a whole stack of applications working together, but....
as of my wriitng of this email, Weebly's PROMOTE simply isn't as mature as AWeber so it's worth the cost in time and complexity to weave AWeber and Weebly together. For example, PROMOTE doesn't have pop-up forms so you have to integrate with an app like Privy. Well, if I have to integrate two apps anyway, why not use simply use AWeber which is tried and true and has award winning customer service which is the best in the business?
Also, what about tring to put different peopl;e on different email lists based on the product they purchased? That's the kind of cool feature you get with Infusionsoft and some of the super premium CRMs.
So, one day I envision Weebly being yout one-stop-shop so your whole application can be managed through Weebly - your website - your emails - and the only thing you have to do is integrate with a payment processor like Square, but not yet...
So keep going Weebly on those new features and I'll keep testing it out and let you know when I think it's time.
This article is about PPC ("pay-per-click") advertising which is different than "organic" search - I'll cover organic search and SEO in another article.
The biggest difference between running Facebook Ads and running Google "Adwords" Ads is how people are finding you.
For Google's "search network" which is what you are used to seeing when you type things into Google, you are finding people by what they type into Google - these words that they type are called "keywords" - and you set your ad to appear when users type certain keywords. Are you a plumber in New Jersey? Well, you can have your ad appear when people in New Jersey type "plumber New Jersey". Are you an Acro-Yoga (acrobatic yoga) teacher who leads retreats in Bali? Well when people type "acro-yoga retreats bali" you can have your ad appear. When they click on the ad, they would come to your website on a special page about your next Bali Acro-Yoga retreat. Got it?
Facebook Ads are more about a person's demographics or psychographics rather than what they are searching for on Google. Let's use the example of you being an Acro-yoga teacher who leads retreats in Bali. You can have your ad appear only on the Facebook page of women 30-55 who "like" acro-yoga.
There are a lot of other differences between Facebook and Google Ads but the ones listed above are the primary difference. Which should you use? Well, it depends on who your customers are, who else is competing for them (this drives up your cost per click) on each channel and your personal preferences. Experiment with both of them and see which one you like and if you need any help we have online courses which you can watch on-demand in the comfort of your home 24/7 on both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
Have you heard about the "on demand" economy. Well it's all the rage and you can make money with the on demand economy too even if your a coach, consultant or one-on-one service provider.
Want a ride on demand - try Uber or Lyft. Need some food delivered to your house on demand - well try Uber for that too (yes, they are now delivering food). Want to listen to a song - get it on demand with Spotify or iTunes. Want to watch the movie of your choosing now - great - stream it on Netflix or Amazon on demand!
Why is the on-demand economy so hot?
Well, "We want our Oompa Loompas and we want them right now!" to quote Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Which brings me to the subject of DIGITAL PRODUCTS. You've created your first digital product already, right? NO???
Creating your first digital product and selling it on your website is the best way to capture the need your clients have for on-demand products and services.
So, people have to schedule an appointment with you in a couple of weeks from now? Really? Why not give them an on-demand product option in addition to waiting to see you in person? You can take your one-on-one consult or your workshop and turn it into a video tutorial series that users can enjoy on-demand.
Hey, when people are searching online for information or help - they want instant access. They don't want to schedule an appointment with you 2 1/2 weeks from now. They want it ON DEMAND! So why not create a digital product and give it to them.
You can still offer one-on-one sessions for live workshops, but you can also create a digital product and get on the ON DEMAND bandwagon and start making money through 24/7 sales on your website so you can have MORE SALES and MORE FREE TIME.
Sounds good? Yes, it sounds good to me too and that's why I'm in this industry.
Our online tutorials are a digital product, but you can also create digital products with any of the following:
One of the best things you can do to save the planet is to work remotely and to run a business where your team is made up of remote employees.
Why? Well, for starters think about the carbon emissions from those forced daily commutes. And have you read the happiness surveys? Commute time is highly correlated with unhappiness. Remote workers keep your costs down and morale high!
Lucky for you, there are constantly great new websites emerging to help you find and manage remote talent whether you need a virtual assistant or a designer to up-level the aesthetics of your website. Here are three of my top favorite websites to help you:
Did you know that you can find out what people are searching for on Google to help you determine what people want to purchase?
It's called Google's keyword research tool and it's absolutely free.
You just need to sign up for a free Google Adwords account and they'll give you access. Just go to Tools>Keyword Planner and type in the terms related to your product or service. Whether you are selling Flower Essences, Custom Astrology Sessions, or Gestalt Therapy Sessions, you can find out exactly how many people are searching online for what you want to sell - BEFORE you go to the trouble of building a whole website about the product.
*And BIG HINT FOR SEO, you can customize your page names, headlines, and product names to MATCH EXACTLY the search terms that people are looking for.
Your goal is to find a diamond in the rough with lots of search traffic but not a lot of competition so that your website can rank on page one of Google's SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) - for Organic Search - or so your Google Adwords ads are most effective.
You might want to check out these links:
Honestly, I'm only good for about 4 to 5 hours a day of solid, focused creative energy whether I'm writing code or writing a blog post like this one. In the coding world, we talk a lot about being lazy. Being lazy to a developer is a really good thing. For developers, that means that you are always looking for the smartest, most efficient way to do a task and if you can knock out your daily goals for the day in four hours and head for the beach, then make it happen!
Here are two ways I am creating a 4-Hour Workday for myself:
One of my favorite authors is Seth Godin who has written a plethora of marketing books including Purple Cow: Tranform Your Business by Being Remarkable.
Well, what's a Purple Cow?
Picture a field of your normal black-and-white cows and then you see one PURPLE COW in the field - it would stand out wouldn't it? It sure would. And you want to be a purple cow in your field.
Apple was a purple cow when it came out with the iPod - a thousand songs in your pocket - when your only other option was a Walkman with a single CD that often skipped tracks. Southwest Airlines was a purple cow with it's casual, wise-cracking stewards, free luggage, and great customer service in a world of $50 luggage fees and atrocious service.
In business school, they call the Purple Cow concept a DIFFERENTIATION strategy rather than a low cost strategy. And why is it great to be highly differentiated from your competition? Well, for one, highly differentiated products can be offered at a higher premium - you can charge more for your brand since it stands out and delivers some special features that your target market really values.
Whether you are an online palm reader, therapist, coach or consultant, your going to want to stand out in the field of thousands of similar providers and offer a unique service that is a Purple Cow in your field. If you can do that, you can charge premium prices and have higher margins (i.e. you can keep more of the money you earn and spend less on marketing, advertising and other expenses).
I'll give you on example of this. Apple's share of smartphone sales is only 20% but their share of the smartphone PROFITS is 92%. Wow! Why? Well, they can charge a huge premium because they have a highly differentiated product - the iPhone is a Purple Cow in a field of black-and-white cows.
So spend some time thinking about how to be a Purple Cow and check out Seth Godin's blog - he's a real Purple Cow himself.
You may not be creating the next Facebook - you might simply want to grow your online business to a few tens of thousands of clients, but you can still take advantage of some of the principles described in the hottest book in the Silicon Valley tech scene over the last few years - The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries.
I'll save you a couple of hours of reading and some of the more technical jargon - here are two of the principles you can implement to grow your business:
Traffic simply means visitors to your website and you are going to need traffic to your website to make your online business work.
This is where all the hype about SEO comes from because everyone wants to get traffic to her website and traffic is sometimes hard to get. Sometimes you build it, and they don't immediately come.
So what's an online entrepreneur going to do to get traffic? With millions of websites out there, how to you get people to come to yours? Well, this is the challenge faced by all online businesses whether it's Facebook or your local yoga studio or your personal coaching business.
The Basic Solution
If you simply tell your friend about your website and she types your URL into the search bar, well you just got some traffic - congratulations! But in order to have a successful business, you're going to have to get a LOT of traffic - hundreds or hopefully thousands of people coming to your website daily - and unless you have a LOT of friends and love talking to people, it's hard to talk to thousands of people every day - your going to need to do something a little bit different.
The Automated Solution
What you need to do be successful online is to take the thing you do in person and naturally and automate this process. Well how do you do that?
One of the two most effective way to do this is with Facebook Ads.
With Facebook, you can find the kinds of people who want to buy your services. Are you selling coffee mugs for left-handed, female New Yorkers? Well you can bring those people to your website with Facebook and we can show you how.
And once they are on your website, you can begin to form a relationship and move this person through the proven AIDA process of Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action to purchase your products.
Wether you're interested in getting Organic Traffic through SEO, you can structure you website in a way that your website shows up on page one of Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or you can follow online with our Facebook tutorials and learn the art of PPC - "pay-per-click" and learn how to consistently drive people to your website 24/7 and turn it into an automated money making machine.
As a follow up to my blog post It's Not What You Make It's What You Keep, you'll hear a lot of the life coaches out there claiming to have "six-figure" businesses so I'd like to clarify this point so you have a better B.S. meter when you hear these claims and you'll know how to parse out the legitimate claims form the B.S.
The first thing you should know is that there is a vast difference between "top-line" revenues and "bottom-line" income.
On an income statement or a P&L (profit and loss statement), at the top you will see a line with your total revenues also known as total sales. This is your "top-line" (because it's on the top of the income statement). As I said in my previous article It's Not What You Make It's What You Keep, REVENUES - EXPENSES = INCOME, so even if you made $100,000 in sales at that big event, if you spent $20,000 on the meeting space. and $10,000 on food & beverage, plus your airfare to the far-off location and all your assistants cost you another $20k well your expenses just added up to $50,000. Your actual income just got halved to $50,000 about on par with the median salary in the U.S. from a corporate job, and you'll have to pay 15% self employment tax to boot.
So if you're going to want to really have a "six-figure" business, let's strategize on how to get INCOME of $100,000.
Well, how would you do that - what would your sales need to be to authentically have a "six-figure income"?
If you have margins of 30% (that's the percentage of each dollar in sales that you keep as income), then to have a six-figure business, you'll need to have NOT $100,000 in sales, but $300,000 since at 30% margins, you'll have $200,000 of expenses and keep as net income the $100,000 you didn't spend. Now that's a six-figure income.
One of the best ways to keep your expenses low is to automate your business. Code is a lot cheaper than people so anything you can automate saves you labor expense. You should also think about having a team of remote, technical specialists who can help you with design, SEO, and perhaps a virtual assistant. I'll talk about all those things in an upcoming blog entry.