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Wednesday

The Pros And Cons Of Working a 9-5 Job



Growing up I would always hear people boast about how they were INDEPENDENT because they had a JOB, paid their own bills and, in their perspective, didn't rely on anyone to live and make ends meet. And while this might be a very accepted and common lifestyle that the average person would define as being independent, on a technical level, the question still remains: are these people really living a independent lifestyle?

In a MLM company that I used to be a part of, we considered the definition of a job to be "just over broke!" What these people fail to realize is that, while they might be living on their own and don't rely on anyone to personally take care of them, they still rely on someone for a job, so my answer is NO; they are NOT living a independent lifestyle. So I am definitely not endorsing 9-5 jobs here, and it's likely that I never will at this point of my life, but to be fair, there are good and bad things about having a 9-5 job that I wanted to share. Here are the pros and cons of working a 9-5 job from where I
see it:


JOB SECURITY
There is much less anxiety about getting your address changed to a dumpster over making a poor work decision; or having your entire business fall victim to a search engine algorithm update; or getting denied access to a job because your social security number has been blocked for excessive spamming on someones website. There is also less of a chance that you will ever face a 6 or 7 figure lawsuit because you didn't properly read the fine print in the terms and conditions of your work contract. Though this is a easily avoidable situation, it can and does happen.

CONVENIENT ACCESS TO SUPPORT
Unlike a job where you can easily get support from co-workers, in the field of working for yourself, not many people are gonna be willing to help you do your job better without a hefty price tag for either a coaching program and/or membership to one of their websites. I learned this very early in my days of internet marketing. The primary reason for this is that, unlike a 9-5 job where people are rewarded with promotions or other offers for being a team player and helping their co-workers, in the internet marketing world, the incentive to help you for nothing is just not there. Sorry!
GUARANTEED PAYDAY
Don't we all wish we can have this?! Unfortunately for most online business owners, this is not one of our many things we have to boast about. As a matter of fact, even our current financial circumstances are not guaranteed to be around long regardless of how hard we grind every week or two. That's just the way it works, and this is likely one of the many reasons 9-5ers don't adapt well when they try to make the switch over to the right side of the cash flow quadrant.



NO FINANCIAL SECURITY
The obvious trade-off for job security here is financial security. The day that you retire and/or are no longer able to work, unless you have residual income flowing in that you can live off of, you will stop making money and inevitably put yourself between a rock and hard place. This is a huge problem and if you don't want to become another statistic, I would highly recommend that you move to the right(no pun intended) side of the cash flow quadrant.


YOUR HARD WORK RARELY PAYS OFF
Sure, you might be getting paid a decent salary compared to others and receive employee of the month and a pat on the back every once in a while, but I don't know many people who would pass up the opportunity to make ten times the amount they are making for a fraction of the time they are working. Even if you are working in a field you are passionate about, would you love to be able take time off whenever you wanted to spend time with friends and family? Or (obviously) make more money and secure your future financially? Well that's where your time and effort pays off the most financially!

YOU DON'T OWN YOUR JOB
This is my favorite reason. I own my business! When I wake up; promote my brand on my social networking profiles; optimize my website for organic search traffic; get someone to click one of my affiliate links; get someone to subscribe to my website through email updates; start a ad campaign, et cetera, I am building a digital asset that I personally own and that will bring in passive income for years to come with the right amount of time and effort. No one owns their job, and for any or no reason they can lose it at any moment. This is why I am constantly reminding people to fire their boss before their boss fires them. Take or leave my advice; it is to your discretion.

Friday

Creating Your Social Media Sweepstakes

If you are ever looking for a creative and enthusiastic way of boosting your brands appeal and driving traffic to your website(s), look no further than social media sweepstakes! These are contests where subscribers enter to win a prize you are offering (free tickets to a show, a gift card, best-selling book you are offering, etc.) by taking a desired action like subscribing to your newsletter, promoting a hashtag, following you on Twitter, etc. 


Hootsuite for example is a platform that will allow you to run photo, video and sign-up contests hosted on their server where fans/subscribers can compete for a free giveaway you are offering. Your promotion can go something like, "100th person to subscribe will win a free dinner with me at(whatever exquisite restaurant you like the best" or "Submit your favorite photo by(give a deadline date) to enter our contest and get your chance of winning a limited edition copy of my best-selling book!" These are just a few of many examples that can be given. The choice is yours on what type of campaign is best suited for your needs; as long as it is boosting your fan appeal in the process. This is where Facebook really comes in handy for generating leads because of it's huge potential reach(1.6 billion active monthly active users as of Q2 2016) and the organic leads(free page likes, page visits, post shares, comments, etc. that are unaccounted for) it provides for your Facebook page. Facebook is bigger than China right now in terms of active users! As far as where to begin in setting up your campaign, here are a few suggestions I recommend:

Find Something To Promote

Using things you would normally use as a lead magnet such as a free report or video would work for this, but it should be a rare limited edition copy that you are not offering anywhere else to be of practical use for your deadline date. I would recommend creating an expanded and improved version of whatever lead magnet you are already offering. Something like, "The strategies I teach in this free report have already led hundreds to financial freedom, now it gets even better!" is sure to drop a ton of jaws when it comes across their news feed.


Decide What Type Of Contest You Want To Run

This largely depends on what end goal(s) you want to accomplish. Are you trying to get more followers on Instagram? You should use a photo contest with a hashtag linking to your brand. Are you trying to get more subscribers to your email marketing list? You should use a sign-up contest with a reward for whatever position a subscriber reaches. If you are still confused on what type of campaign you should run, I think the best to do would be to just test out a few and see which ones are the most responsive to your campaign. Don't worry about a few bombed campaigns because failure is the best teacher.

Choose What Platform(s) You Want To Promote Your Contest On

Like my last suggestion, this is also another area where trial and error will play a huge role in your success. For example, I recommend using Facebook for promoting your contests, but that is based almost exclusively on size and potential reach. I don't know what you are promoting to give you tailor-made advice beyond that. As I previously stated, different promotions and campaign types will trigger different responses for different audiences. 

Decide How Long The Contest Will Run

This will depend largely on budget and/or response rates. If you are using paid ads to promote a campaign that lasts a month long that offers a prize to the 80th subscriber but your campaign has only reached 39 subscribers with 2 days before your deadline, or if you just happen to run your advertisement budget dry beforehand, you will have to extend your deadline and revise your next campaign according to this. I would start with a low number(maybe the 10th or 13th subscriber) until you have a feel for the response rates to your ad. Studying how others in your niche are doing  this won't hurt either, but their results are not guaranteed to be reflective of yours even if you do follow the same strategies.

Be Creative And Stand Out

If you are sending paid ads to targeted leads you have to remember that they are likely seeing ads from your niche in their news feed all of the time they are on Facebook or Twitter. So ask yourself, what makes you so different from them? Regardless of what platform you choose to promote on, this is the decision that will really make or break your campaign, so take your time and be tedious about it. Also, visit Hootsuite Campaigns to see examples of what your campaign should look like. 


Sunday

Advice On Cold Lead Marketing


After pitching your business offers to warm leads such as your family, friends, co-workers and close associates, the inevitable will eventually happen: you will have to promote to people you either don't know or don't know very well. These people are known as cold leads and they are usually harder to persuade. When promoting to these types of leads, one of the worst and most ineffective things you could do is try to sell them something upfront. The only time(s) you might be able to ignore this rule is if the person you are promoting to has already expressed an interest in the niche you are promoting, otherwise, you have to build a relationship with them first. I'm not in any multi-level marketing businesses(although I have tried a few in the past), and I'm not endorsing any of this persons products, but I want to refer you to a video I recently came across that really puts what I've said into clear perspective. Be sure to give their video a thumbs up if you've found this advice helpful.


Tuesday

The Winning Marketing Strategy


The word strategy is taken from the Greek word 'strategos' which means military leader/commander; and similar to war, in the everyday game of life you will constantly have to make decisions to put yourself in a position of advantage over your competition to be successful. The good news is that this process does not have to be as difficult for you if you have a winning strategy in place. In the words of legendary Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, battles are won before they are fought. One of the first steps you should take in creating your winning marketing strategy is to ask yourself what problem(s) do you want to solve(even the best strategies have them) and what value you are adding to the market.

Your winning marketing strategy should be clearly defined and concise because you will more than likely have to make revisions along the way as no one can predict the future of internet marketing. If you don't think that statement is true, then ask the 9.2% of people in S.E.O whom lost their jobs and the 6.8% percent of business owners polled by Search Engine Roundtable  that were forced to lay off employees due to the Google Panda update(source). Some of the benefits of having a good marketing strategy in place are:
  • You will spend less time marketing your products
  • You will spend less money marketing your products
  • You won't make as many rookie mistakes
  • There will be an outlined plan for growth
  • Makes it easier to adapt to changing circumstances

This investment of time will more than likely be the best investment you'll ever make. I personally believe engagement with your target audience is the best marketing strategy because the worst thing that can happen to you in the internet marketing business is to be ignored or forgotten. As of September 4, 2016, there are 1,868 candidates in the filed with the Federal Election Commission that are competing for the office of the president of The United States. For all my readers living in The United States, can you name 100 of them? What about 50? For most the answer is probably not because the media is constantly showing them maybe 15-20 at most. Does that mean that those 15-20 candidates are the best people for the job? Probably or probably not, but the point is that they are more than likely to win the position over all of the other 1,848 candidates because they are winning at the game of exposure. And that's really all the personal advice on this subject I have to give because what to do and what not to do beyond what I have suggested here would have to be specifically tailored for your niche, your strengths and weaknesses and the brand you are promoting. If anyone tells you different, run for the hills.

Saturday

The Key To Financial Independence


The key to financial independence is long-term residual income. Residual income is a cash flow that you generate monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. from a action or decision that you made. Examples include stock dividends, monthly rent you may be collecting from tenants or commission you receive from associates in a m.l.m company you are a part of. This passive income is what puts people on the right(no pun intended) side of the cash flow quadrant and gives them the status of financial independence.

Most people in The Unites States are living paycheck to paycheck with very little money leftover for themselves after rent, utility bills and other living expenses. These problems can be solved by starting a business, but one of the most common concerns for those who are skeptical about starting a business online is where to begin, so here are five suggestions I recommend:



1) Decide Your Niche
It is okay if you choose to only market or invest in products that you are actually interested in, but they still have to be profitable niches if you plan on seeing any sufficient earnings from your hard work. Keyword tools will help you find what keywords are getting the most search engine hits. What I usually like to do is use a tool called hashtagify to see what search terms are generating the most traffic(As you can see by now, Twitter is my favorite place for direct marketing).



2) Write Down Your Goals
There's a famous quote that is known to have been said by Benjamin Franklin that goes, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail". A study of Harvard graduates showed that of 3% of a class of students that wrote goals and planned to accomplish them, 13% that had goals in their mind but did not write them down, and 84% that had no goals at all, the 13% of the class that has goals they didn't write down earned twice the amount of the 84% that had no goals; and the 3% that write down their goals were earning a average of ten times the amount of the other 97% of the class.



3) Create a Marketing Strategy
This step actually goes hand-in-glove with the last step, but there are a few differences. Find a daily marketing plan that works for you and stick with it. I would personally recommend a marketing strategy that focuses on constant engagement with your targeted audience rather than constant promotion of your business, but to each his/her own preferences. Whatever you do, just make sure it works for YOU and keep working towards making it better as you learn and gain more experience.



4) Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor is one of the best things you could do to shorten your learning curve to success. Finding someone to idolize that you have no personal connection with is okay, but it will never replace having someone to offer physical support and guidance based specifically to your strengths and weaknesses. The only time I would recommend not having a mentor is if the only people you are interested in having as a mentor come with a price tag that you really can't afford, but otherwise, their knowledge and experience might end up being your campaigns best asset.



5) K.I.S.S 
Last but not least, keep it super simple! The common meaning of this is "keep it simple, stupid", but obviously you are not stupid if you are here to get advice about securing your financial future, right? I don't think so. Best of luck!