“Build a Better Email List”

“Build a Better Email List”

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

“Build a Better Email List”
Article 2 of 5 Part Series
by STC Staff Writer

Today we’ll cover article 2 (of 5) in the “Build a Better Email List” Maverick Entrepreneur™ series. I hope you found article one helpful. In today’ article, we’re going to talk more about building trust with your subscribers, so that they will be receptive to your offers.

Trust is something that needs to be cultivated in any relationship, especially when it comes to email marketing. Now let’s consider some serious questions

How many emails do you delete from your inbox every day, without opening them?

My guess is a lot more than you actually open, am I right?  Now think about the ones that you do open and read. Why do you open them?

Is it because of the catchy subject line? Or is it because you know the sender and you trust that they will have something to say that may benefit you?

Now, don’t get me wrong a great subject line is very important, but I’ll bet that most of the emails you open and read are from people and companies that you know, like and trust.

As we touched on in the last lesson, trust has to be earned from the beginning. Once you’ve earned it, it needs to be nurtured, so you don’t lose it. You’ve got them on your list and delivered what you promised, so what’s next? How do you really get them to trust you?

You help them!

Yes, it really can be that easy. Think about that for a minute. The people who join your list don’t do it to help you raise your stats or buy your products. They join because they are looking for something that will help them solve a problem or fulfill a need.

When you can offer solutions it’s like a winning lottery ticket for them and they will happily follow where you lead. Which ultimately should be to an order page, but we’ll talk more about that in your next lesson.

For now, let’s keep the focus on trust.

I know you may be thinking to yourself, “how do I find out what they need?” This really all comes down to listening to your target audience and clearly understanding what they struggle with the most.

Do you really know your target audience?

If you answered no or maybe to that question, the first thing you should do is take some time and get to know them, because if you’re not sure who you’re trying to reach then you’ll never be able to influence them.

The good news is there are many ways you can do this even if you don’t have a list of subscribers yet.

Social media is a fantastic place to start identifying the problems that plague your audience because it’s where they will complain about their woes, ask questions and seek solutions.

Find out where they spend their time. Is it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or someplace else? Wherever they are, that’s where you should be. Participate in the conversations and ask questions. When you do this, you will be able to tap into what’s really holding them back. Then you can offer them real solutions that they will gladly pay you for.

If you already have a list don’t be shy, ask them. Post a survey or ask them to respond to your email with their most pressing problems related to your niche. Depending on your market you can even reach out to them by phone or messenger.

When it comes to building trust with your readers never oversell, or spammy. Just ask them where they are struggling, Let them know that you understand where they’re coming from and offer to assist them.

When you show them that you are genuinely interested in helping them get where they want to go, getting them to trust you won’t be a problem, because they will naturally gravitate to you and what you have to offer.

That’s it for today’s article. Next, we will be talking about leading people to the sale.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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“Build a Better Email List” Article 1 of 5 Part Series

“Build a Better Email List” Article 1 of 5 Part Series

“The Maverick Entrepreneur™” Series

Welcome to the first article of the

“Build a Better Email List”
Article 1 of 5 Part Series – by STC Staff Writer

Over the next 5 days, we will publish this 5 part series that will help you learn how to build an email list that is more engaging, active, and especially profitable for your business.

In this first lesson, we are going to talk a little bit about the value of your email list.

Yes, the money is in the list, as everyone says when they are trying to get you to buy their latest course or a fancy piece of software, but having a big list doesn’t necessarily mean that you will make a lot of money.

No matter how many people subscribe to your list, you won’t see real results until they are actively engaging with you and responding to the offers you send. So the real value isn’t in having a huge list, it’s having one that is highly responsive and engaged.

In fact, you can make more money from a small list of happy subscribers than you can from a massive one full of people who never open your emails, click on your offers or remember who you are.

It’s not always easy to build a profitable list, but you will see much better results if you focus on the quality of your list rather than the quantity.

One of the best ways to do that is to work on building trust with your subscribers right away. This is because people will only buy from you if they feel they can trust you and they won’t listen to anything you say if they don’t. Have you ever wondered why so many emails get deleted as spam? That’s because people don’t trust the emails, and more importantly, they don’t trust the sender.

It’s very important to build a relationship with your subscribers. You have to form a connection with them, and more importantly, they have to see you as an expert in your field. Doing this isn’t as difficult as you may think. You simply have to send them emails with information that they will find valuable and appreciate.

You also want to make sure you’re giving them exactly what you promised when they subscribed to your list. Did you offer a free report, a coupon or a link to more information? Then provide that to them immediately after they hit subscribe.

This can be done hands-free by using an autoresponder system like MailChimp, Aweber or Getresponse to send out a welcome message with the promised information. That first contact you send should also include a few details about what your business has to offer them and why it’s important for them to open your emails.

Here is a quick example:

Welcome, I’m so excited that you decided to join. I have included instructions for accessing (what you promised) below, but first I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know what you can expect from the emails I send.

Then include a short bio along with directions for accessing what they signed up for. It never hurts to include a little extra something to make them feel special and then close with a reminder to look for your next email soon.

As you close let them know there will be something exciting in there for them, so that they will be more inclined to keep an eye out and open it when it hits their inbox.

Of course, this is only the beginning and there is a little more to it than that, but it’s a great place to start. As you add subscribers to your list keep your focus on providing value and pay close attention to the voice of your audience. Remember these are real people and they look to you as a reliable source of information, if you can be that for them they will gladly open, click and spend.

That’s it for today’s lesson. We have a lot to go over in the next few days, so make sure you look for your next lesson soon. We will be talking more about building trust with your subscribers so that they will be receptive to your offers.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Home Business or Work-at-Home Job – Which Is Right for You?

Home Business or Work-at-Home Job – Which Is Right for You?

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Start Your Ecommerce Online Store Today

 

Home Business or Work-at-Home Job – Which Is Right for You?
by STC Staff Writer

Many people often want to work from home for a variety of reasons. Maybe you just had a child and want more work-life balance, or perhaps you have an illness that makes it difficult for you to get out of the house. Or maybe you just like being home and want the freedom to work your own way.

Whatever the reasons you want to work at home, you’ll need to choose whether or not you want a job from home, or you want a business from home. Here are eight questions to help you decide.

1. Are You Self-Motivated?

If you want your own business so that you can set your own hours, you will need to be very self-motivated. You’ll need to take time out of your day for marketing, interviewing clients, closing the deal and then doing the work too. You’ll be 100 percent responsible for delivering the work, billing, and collecting. You’ll even be responsible for deciding the methods you’ll use to do the work. To do that you’ll need to be a very self-motivated individual.

2. What Skills Do You Have?

Take a piece of paper and write down a list of the skills you currently have, based on what you’ve already done in the past. Can any of these translate into a business? Label them appropriately. Do any of these translate into common work-from-home positions such as call center agent or transcriptionist? Some skills cross over into both, but which side of the list gets full faster?

3. What Sort of Lifestyle Do You Want?

With a work-at-home job, you’ll be required to “show up” for work on time each day that you’re scheduled, and you may have little control over that schedule. What’s more, with work-at-home positions it’s a lot harder than typical jobs to call in sick, whether it’s you or a child who is sick.

Often the first 90 days you cannot miss your schedule at all if you want to keep the position. Are you ready for that? Or, would you prefer a more family-oriented type of schedule that can be adjusted more easily and is more deliverables-based than hourly-based?

4. Do You Already Have a Business Idea?

If you have already researched a business idea, and feel as if you want to do that instead of working for someone else, can you pull it off? What steps do you need to take to make it a reality? Are you the type of person to be able to organize and take the steps needed to get your business off the ground?

Can you find and afford help if you’re not sure what to do to get the business going? Does the thought of all this stress you out?

5. How Do You Feel about Punching a Clock?

For some people the idea of clock-punching is relaxing, for others it feels like a nightmare. Neither feeling is right or wrong as it takes all types of people to make this world work. If you know up front that you are fine with punching a clock and you’d rather someone else tell you when to be someplace and what to do, then a work-at-home job is best for you. If that feels like a prison to you, then a business is probably better if you can do what it takes to get it going.

6. Do You Have Money to Start a Business?

Starting any type of business, even an online business, requires an investment in time and money. Have you worked out a business plan and do you know how much money you need to get started?

Do you have that money available? If not, do you have a way to get it? Perhaps working at a job first, while you save for and work on your business on the side, is the way to go if you don’t have the funds to start.

7. Do You Need Training and Education?

Both working at a job and owning a business sometimes require skills that you don’t have yet. But that’s okay. Decide if you want to invest in the training yourself to get your business off the ground, or if you would like to try to find a work-at-home job where they will train you from the ground up even if you have little experience and due to that the pay may be low.

8. What Is Your Biggest Dream for Your Life?

When you think of the future, what do you see? Does it sound relaxing to get up in the morning, have some breakfast, and move to your home office where you sign in to work at your job, taking a break when needed by telling your manager that you have to use the restroom, or go eat lunch and so forth, then when you get off work you’re totally and fully off?

Plus, each week you collect a certain paycheck? Or, do you like the idea of being able to do what you want when you want (and likely working more hours than you ever thought you could) but without the surety of income each week, knowing you’re forging your own future?

Whatever you decide, neither is right or wrong. They are both good choices for you. Whether you want a work-at-home job so you can sign off after the day and focus 100 percent on your family, or whether you want a business that will cross boundaries into family time and vice versa but that puts you 100 percent in charge – both are good choices and choices that you are fortunate to have in this age of high-speed internet.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.



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Basics to Promoting Ecommerce Sites

Basics to Promoting Ecommerce Sites

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Basics To Promoting Ecommerce Sites
by STC Staff Writer

Setting up your ecommerce site was no simple process, but in creating a successful ecommerce business, setting up the site is only the first step.

Promoting your ecommerce site is what will determine whether or not you make a profit. How you promote your ecommerce site will determine how much profit you will make the first month, the first year, and for the life of the business.

First things first: the reason you have an ecommerce site is to sell your products. Each page that lists a product needs to have words to offer the consumer as much information as possible about the product that you have to offer.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This process is part of what is termed webpage SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO is the process of creating Search Engine Friendly (SEF) sites, so your site will meet their algorithm requirements. This means if you meet the search engine requirements, you may get top preferential placement near the top of a search engine’s first page or two. 

The closer you are to number 1 in placement, near the top of page one in a search, the more successful your ecommerce promotions will be.

High-Quality Pictures are VITAL to Ecommerce Marketing Success

Because your pictures don’t have the benefit of touch and three-dimensional site, your pictures need to offer as many angles as possible, including close-ups and labels if applicable. In this way, your customer can feel confident that he or she is going to get exactly what they want.

Search engines, however, can’t see pictures. The only way that search engine spiders will pick up your site when a customer searches a key phrase that relates to your product is if you have text that relates to that product on the page. Include it in the title bar for the page, in the header and throughout the descriptive text.

Use variations of the words within the product name as well as words that are related. In this way, the search engine will recognize your page as a legitimate landing site for the consumer.

Don’t get too carried away with the text, however. Keep the word count between 300 words and 750 words. Too little and there isn’t enough information to convince the search engines or the consumer that you are the expert you claim to be. Too much and the consumer gets bored or overwhelmed and clicks through without reading anything.

Once you have your ecommerce site set up, properly filled up with informative text and pictures, submit your URL to main directories like Dmoz and Yahoo. Directories are great places for consumers to get focused results for their key phrase searches. Finding your site here lends it credibility that search engines don’t offer.

In the same way, niche directories offer the same authority to your site and then some. Because your site must pass an acceptance process, to be included in their directory means something in the business world. Only sites that are qualified and related to the particular niche of the directory are included.

If your ecommerce site is among them, you’re guaranteed a much higher percentage of traffic that will not only come to your site but are more likely to stay, make a purchase, and return again.

Your next step in promoting your ecommerce site is something like advertising. Get your name, your brand, and your URL everywhere that matters. That means posting your expert industry related advice on forums that consumers interested in your product area are likely to roam.

For blogs in your sphere of influence, that goes double. Blogs, especially, are gaining popularity by the day and have the added feature of RSS feeds which allow its regulars to subscribe to an alert system which lets them know every time a new post (i.e. your new post) goes up.

Finally, you can implement these ideas and watch your traffic numbers rise and your profits soar within weeks.

Are you a Shopify ecommerce user? If you are, you can get an enormous amount of free training and have access to their FREE “Shopify Academy.” And, STC offers many FREE and Low-Cost courses through our website and through our partner, 24-7 University.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Ecommerce Websites – How to Take Your Business Online

Ecommerce Websites – How to Take Your Business Online

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Ecommerce Websites – How to Take Your Business Online

In the technological world full of changes from time to time, everything seems to undergo a transformation. For being a part of the web world, it is vital to keep pace with the varying trends and advancements. Information is required at every point and needs to be available at a click.

Gone are the days of dependence. With independence ushering in the workspace, it is necessary to have full control of the website too. Set the business free with an ecommerce website fully customized to the business needs and update whatever is required and desired as and when it happens.

For promoting the online sale of any product, it is essential to have a fully functional ecommerce website. An e-commerce website would provide the platform to sell and take payments online. It thus provides an opportunity to operate and grow any business online using the internet.

Business organizations have now started establishing their own websites which enable them to come into direct contact with the customers easily. They can keep an established association with their clientele and prompt the sales of the product or service in a healthier manner.

Any customer can visit or find his way to a website easily and in less time by just one click. A customized website will act as a bridge between the customers and the organization’s objectives.

To reap the benefits of these features

It is important for us to have an ecommerce design and content that looks, and functions professionally. We must have a working idea of what is required. Our well-constructed ecommerce website is the concluding goal which leads the customers to buy products from the right place.

Hence, the website design should be artistic and should not take the customer away from the central purpose of purchasing. All that needs to be done is to take care of and devote appropriate time in applying these tips.

Following are the points that should be considered while having a custom e-commerce website: Domain names and hosting the domain name is the actual website address and it should have hosting where the website is placed so that it becomes easily accessible to the customers.

A well-structured Buy path. The website should have a structured and definite path to persuade the customer to buy the product. Different web pages should be showcased along with the path direction. This content will make the website easily accessible for the customers.

Important product button The product button must be displayed on the homepage. This will help target customer to buy products through the product page. The payment option should be displayed. It should help the customers to make payment for the product through their debit or credit card which makes their shopping easy.

Product information The product must be displayed properly with correct information about the customized website. The information must be enough to influence the thinking, choice, and decision of the target audience in less amount of time.

Product categories can be displayed along with its features and picture of the product. The quality of your business images can define the success of your presentation.

A custom-made website provides a strong competitive edge over a poorly designed website.

It helps a business become exclusive and develop flexibility.

The user-friendliness and competitiveness offered by such a website called for its need. For the diversity and a more refined personalized website, services of an expert can definitely make a difference.

Custom e-commerce service providers ensure that a business reaches its peak through uniquely developed sophisticated website catering to specific client requirements.

Which Ecommerce Platform is best for you?

Here, we’ll consider the two best-of-the-best Ecommerce platforms. The first is WooCommerce the free platform. The second is Shopify, the most user-friendly and affordable paid platform (Starting at only $9 mo.). WooCommerce is best for those very familiar with online marketing, and website development.

Actually, this WordPress WooCommerce Plugin requires you purchase your own WordPress Managed website hosting, so out the gate, WooCommerce really isn’t free and you will need to know how to build your website.

Over time you will likely need to purchase many more Feature Plugins to complete your installation. So this platform only seems from in the beginning.

Shopify provides a completely integrated ecommerce website hosting and only takes minutes to set up.  It includes professional and beautiful themes that basically just need installing through Shopify’s almost automated setup.  From the beginning, you won’t need to acquire many plugins to add primary features.

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL Shopify information.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

eCommerce can be VERY complex. To offer a world-class customer experience, retailers must incorporate technologies and functionality that exceeds rising customer expectations.

On the flip side, however, site fundamentals still play a very large role in converting visitors into customers. Many retailers surprisingly lose sight of these site basics and leave significant sales on the table. This brief examines 4 quick “fundamentals” every eCommerce manager cannot afford to lose sight of.

Think Fast

Speed has become less of a problem due to the penetration of broadband, but don’t forget that a significant number of people still shop by a dial-up connection. When creating a site framework, designers and e-commerce teams should ensure that the site is developed with pages loading in less than 9 seconds (over a dial-up connection).

Our recommended page size is within 60-70k in bytes. At that amount, sites will likely load within the maximum wait time of 9 seconds. Online retailers should avoid flash at all costs within their transactional site. Flash’s artistic aspects may help you establish a brand presence – but it will likely lose potential customers before they have even searched within your store.

Image is important

Images are a very important aspect of selling online and are often neglected. All product images should be of the highest resolution possible, be much larger than the product page original, and have

multiple views. Dynamic imaging capabilities can improve the user experience to an even higher level by increasing interactivity (zoom & rotate). At a minimum – retailers should have at least two additional views outside of the product page image to help build emotion.

Be my guest

Shoppers do not like being forced to do anything, especially when they are ready to open their wallets. Forcing a shopper to register on your site before purchasing can drive a portion of your traffic to your competitors. Too often, shoppers do not have the time or the inclination to fill out a lengthy form explaining what types of information they desire.

When possible offer the ability to check out as a guest. You will see less customer leakage within the checkout process and can still offer the option to register when the sale is completed.

Make sure it’s “above the fold”

Your homepage is the most important page within your eCommerce store. It sets the initial tone for the shopping experience and offers your best promotions and products to your visitors. Users typically visually scan a web page from top to bottom and then from left to right.

Abandoned Cart Notifications – The following is provided courtesy of Shopify:

Why Online Retailers Are Losing 67.45% of Sales and What to Do About It

You’re losing money. We haven’t even met, yet I know this because the data supports it; that each and every day you’re losing potential orders on your website. Cart abandonment causes online retailers a great deal of pain. How much pain?

According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Think about that. For every 100 potential customers, 67 of them will leave without purchasing. How much would your revenues increase if you were capturing those sales instead of losing them?

Let’s look at a quick example. If you’re currently making $15,000/mo in online revenue and could turn just 25% of those abandoned orders into sales, you’d make an extra $45,000 each year.

Baymard’s study is important because it’s a collection of 22 different studies containing statistics on e-commerce shopping cart abandonment. Their number is the average of those 22 studies. Some sources report a much higher abandonment rate – as high as 80.3%.

Many Shoppers Do Leave Without Paying

Clearly, shopping cart abandonment is a big problem. Now we’ll look at why. According to Statistics, there are 14 main reasons why shoppers abandon their carts.

Approaches to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

There are two ways to deal with shoppers leaving your store before buying. They can be broken down into two groups:

1) Before Cart Abandonment

2) After Cart Abandonment

There are some effective solutions to increasing your sales and reducing lost customers thru Cart Abandonment.

For a comprehensive and informative solution to this issue, CLICK HERE to visit Shopify for this FREE information.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Introduction To Ecommerce

Introduction To Ecommerce

“The Maverick Entrepreneur Series”

Introduction To Ecommerce
by STC Staff Writer

Many people new to websites and/or ecommerce are confused at the in and outs of ecommerce. Even many people who are fairly adept at scripting can set up a store using some popular package such as OSCommerce and then are left stumped by the idea of making it work with a payment gateway to actually collect money and put it into their account.

Most small businesses start their ecommerce account working through PayPal Stripe or some other popular ecommerce Gateway. There’s no upfront cost to set up your business account, and it only takes a few minutes to do. 

Stanford Trade Center (STC) ONLY approves the Shopify ecommerce platform to newbies, small, and home businesses because of it’s LOW COST (start’s at only $9 mo.), it user-friendly setup and Dashboard, and strong support.  Even if you are new to website development, your store can be up and running in just a few minutes.

Remember Shopify can make this entire process fully integrated and takes the mystery and complexity out of the setup/operational process. The following may be a little difficult for some to grasp, but it is necessary to learn, and we’ve done our best to keep it simple.

The Basics – How Funds are Collected

Ecommerce simply refers to the practice of shopping online. From the site owner’s perspective, it entails collecting funds from sales transactions on their website and depositing that money into the bank. In order to collect funds, you need to have a merchant account and a payment gateway (discussed below).

Basically, when a person enters their credit card number on a website, the card number and buyer information are sent to a payment gateway. This is done securely.

The payment gateway will interface with a payment processor to check the availability of funds as well as any other criteria set for accepting transactions. If the funds are available, the payment processor will then deduct the funds.

Merchant Accounts

A Merchant Account is a special type of account specifically for online retailers. They are designed to allow non-POS (point of sale) transactions using credit cards, or transactions where you don’t have the person’s credit card in hand. In other words, you don’t have a card swiper. A merchant account is not the same as a bank account. It acts as a go-between between your payment gateway and your bank account, accepting funds from credit cards which are then deposited into your bank.

A merchant account is a relationship based on trust between you and the issuing bank. The bank takes funds from the buyer’s account and deposits into your account. A payment processor takes care of checking for availability of funds and debiting from the credit card account. The bank issuing the merchant account is trusting that you will fulfill your end of the transaction by providing the product or service that the buyer purchased.

For detailed information on Shopify CLICK HERE

Payment Gateways (Like PayPal and Stripe)

A payment gateway serves as the front end to your merchant account, allowing you to manage funds, transactions, and the like. It also serves as a connection between your website and your merchant account. It takes data submitted via your secure order forms and presents it to your processing bank.

The processing bank then approves or declines the transaction and sends its response back to the payment gateway. The payment gateway then turns around and provides this data back to the merchant for appropriate handling of the transaction.

A payment gateway, then, does not offer services such as merchant accounts or shopping carts, although some of the larger-known gateways do provide such options as value-added services.

Fraud prevention is a big one because, as stated above, too many fraudulent transactions will result in chargebacks which could end up putting you on the Match List and your merchant account closed.

Some of the common fraud detection mechanisms are Address Verification (AVS) which compares the customer’s address with that on file with the issuing bank, CVV2 which makes use of the 3-digit security code on the credit card (4-digit on American Express cards).

Most gateways will provide instructions on how to interface with their servers from your web store. Many gateway providers can get you set up with a merchant account at the same time as the gateway. So, in most cases, you do not need to sign up for them separately.

For detailed information on Shopify CLICK HERE

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing

Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing
by STC Staff Writer

Being an entrepreneur is very appealing, but not everyone can become one. One of the quickest and easiest ways to become a successful entrepreneur is by working at home through a home-based entrepreneur business.

To begin you objectively need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

After the evaluation, you can now determine if you can manage your own online business. Aside from the evaluation process, you must know how to plan, organize, staff, and control. These are your responsibilities as an entrepreneur. You should be able to work alone because now you’re the boss and all business decisions will be made by you.

Is running your own business easy, without hugely problems to overcome?

Some say that online businesses can be run without considerable problems. Well, they are very wrong because even with an online business, you have to deal with certain business problems and risks. You can’t eliminate such risks because that goes hand in hand with any business undertaking, both for online and offline businesses.

However, you can reduce the risks that you’re bound to deal with in the future by choosing the best home-based entrepreneur business that will work for you.

Entrepreneurs must be self-starters

Organizing your time is a difficult task, but if you want to run a home-based online business, you should be able to do it. Remember, you don’t have a boss that you can rely on. This is your business, and you have to be responsible for it at all times.

Are you up to the task of dealing with a huge diverse group of people?

Running your own business would also mean that you have to deal with different kinds of persons. You will surely encounter demanding customers, moody vendors, and an unreliable staff. To become a successful home-based business entrepreneur, you should know how to deal with them individually. You should know the quirks of every person that you encounter so that you can address them and the situation correctly.

Running an online business reveals much about your attitude and character.

According to some experts who conducted researches about the characteristics of entrepreneurs, there are certain traits that an entrepreneur should possess. As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs are risk-takers, self-starters, and know how to deal with different kinds of people.

Those traits and characteristics are not enough. You have to have more than that. Another quality that you should possess is being an excellent decision maker. Since you’re the boss, you should be able to make quick yet effective decisions.

Some situations are filled with pressures, but despite the pressures, you still need to make an informed and wise decision. As the owner of your online business, you have no one else to rely on when it comes to business-related decisions.

To be an effective online business entrepreneur, you must have considerable energy and superior work ethics. Owning an online business may mean working late hours and on the weekends. However, you must not be pressured by these tasks even if they may seem daunting at the time. View them as challenges and strive even harder. Your efforts will be rewarded once you see the profits rolling in.

If you are already aware of the responsibilities required of an entrepreneur, then you are equipped to assess your potential success in an online business world. Working at home through a home-based entrepreneur company requires dedication and hard work.

You must be able to monitor your finances, tasks, inventory, work schedules, and many others. Good luck and may your chosen home-based business become a success.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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How to organize your new home office

How to organize your new home office

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

How to organize your new home office
by STC Staff Writer

Organizing a home office can be difficult. Your workspace might be shared with home space. The desk at which you work throughout the day could be the same desk at which you pay bills at in the evening.

That creates a particular problem for organizing your home business items. You might not give this much thought in the beginning, but there are many reasons why having an organized workspace will benefit you. In addition, keeping your work items separate from your home items can help you at tax time.

Let’s look at some ideas for organizing your at-home office.

First, consider where your home office is – or will be – located. If you are able to take over a room in the house, you are in good shape. Organizing will be simpler than those who share another space in the house, like the family room or master bedroom.

Either way, consider the unique challenges that your space poses. Where you can you file your papers and other items that need to be organized? Do you have a space for your notebooks or manuals that you might need? If you sell items, do you have space to store your samples and display materials?

Next, purchase just enough organizing materials that will help you get the job done. We say “just enough” because many of us can go crazy buying organizational helpers. Things like files and boxes and whiteboards can send us into a purchasing frenzy.

We go crazy. But if you buy too much, you can overwhelm yourself and create a situation that’s ultimately contrary to creating a solid and useful workspace.

Try to get yourself organized before you begin working. If you are setting up that home office, you will thank yourself over and over again for taking the time to organize things before you actually began working. This creates a seamless transition into working at home.

All of this organizing can be made more difficult if you share your space with the rest of your family. If you work in the family room, for example, you will not only need to make sure your items are kept separate from the rest of the family’s items but that they are somewhat decorative.

You won’t have the luck to have an office to make a mess out of. You’ll want your space to be clean because you and your family, as well as guests, will see the space.

Finally, as you think about organizing your workspace, consider exactly what you need the office space to do. If you sell cooking items, you’ll need an area to store your samples (or perhaps those could be stored elsewhere) as well as files for customer information and catalogs.

If you run an inbound calling business, you really only need a place for your headset and phone and perhaps a notebook and pens. You might also need files for your paperwork.

In the end, you want your home workspace to work well for you but without doing more than it needs to do. If you waste time making space do more than you need it to, you are committing yourself to a larger investment of new business money, and you’re taking more of your home space than you need to.

While working at home is ideal for many people, most home businesses will naturally encroach somewhat into the family space. Your goal is to keep your items organized and to create a good working environment but without forgetting that your home is the first priority.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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How to Stand Out Among Other Women Entrepreneurs

How to Stand Out Among Other Women Entrepreneurs

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

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How to “Stand Out” Among Other Women Entrepreneurs
by STC Staff Writer

As more and more of the female population decides to start a business, it gets harder to stand out amongst other women entrepreneurs. However, it can be done. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Utilize Social Media

Social media can be used for so much more than keeping in touch with friends and family. Create pages for both yourself and your business on multiple social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.). Then, share content that shows off the things that you have to offer.

Be sure to highlight the ways that you are different than your competition. For example, if you’re the only daycare service in your town that also provides transportation, be sure to bring that up in your posts.

Keep Your Promises

Clients and customers alike will notice when you deliver on every aspect of a promise that you make to them. Make sure that you finish everything that you start, and that you get it done in a timely manner. People remember that you were true to your word, and keep that in mind when deciding who to do business with in the future.

Go the Extra Mile

Doing more than is expected of you when working with clients or customers is a sure way to set yourself and your business apart from competitors in your field. If you can offer an extra feature or service that your competitors don’t, that’s an excellent point to make when trying to “sell” yourself to potential customers.

Give Out Free Samples

People tend to get pretty excited about the idea of getting something for free. Consider investing in promotional objects like pens, mouse pads, t-shirts, or fridge magnets. It may not seem like much, but gifts like this with your logo on them can go a long way toward setting yourself apart from your peers.

Listen to Feedback

Even if you are successful when you launch your business, you won’t be able to keep up with the changing landscape if you aren’t able to adapt as a business owner. Take every opportunity that you can to collect feedback from customers and other businesses that you work with.

One way to do this is to provide customers with a satisfaction survey, either in person or via email. Make sure to include a section that lets the customer fill in suggestions on how you could improve your service. Not only will this give you an idea of how you can do better, but it also lets your customers know that their opinion matters to you.

These are just a few ways to help to ensure that you stand out among the sea of female entrepreneurs. Yes, competition is fierce. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. With perseverance and due diligence, chances are you’ll realize continued growth along your well-deserved journey to success.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Woman Entrepreneur

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Woman Entrepreneur

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a
Woman Entrepreneur

by STC Staff Writer

As an entrepreneur, you will have advantages to help you succeed. Unfortunately, there will also be disadvantages. As a woman taking on entrepreneurship, however, you may face challenges and develop strengths differing from what a man may experience during his entrepreneurial career.

It’s important to identify these possible issues so that you may use your advantages to become a successful businesswoman and learn how to overcome the disadvantages holding you back.

The Disadvantages

Networking

Women are less likely to have relationships with people who have networks or connections to help launch and sustain a business. Not only does a network provide valuable information needed to successfully create a business, but it also provides a mentorship as well as referrals you may need for future expansion.

Due to the tendency of the highest levels of corporate leadership to be mostly occupied by men, it is difficult for female entrepreneurs to find a woman in a high occupational seat to seek advice from.

Family Needs

It can be difficult for women to devote the time needed for a business to become successful if they have young children who require constant attention. Trying to launch a business may take up all of your time and this can often put a strain on obligations to your family.

It is important to schedule your work life with your family duties in mind. As an entrepreneur, you are the boss and therefore you set the hours needed for your business to grow.

The Advantages

Strength in Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Leadership studies reveal that having high emotional intelligence may prove to be an advantage in business. Having a high emotional intelligence quotient is an important factor in leadership and studies have found that women, on average, have an edge over men when it comes to this.

People with high emotional intelligent quotients understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of their peers and use the information to help guide how to think and react to the situation.

I often utilize the services of women, especially when people interaction is involved, since I’ve learned that women are the superior “people persons” in many instances. I, being a male, find they are especially skillful at dealing with highly sensitive issues.

Have you seen the current TV show, “Madam Secretary?”  Elizabeth, the main character is a prime example of a woman in a power position, handling enormously important, and sensitive issues, as well or (In my opinion) MUCH better than most men could. She’s simply a magnificent example of these points in this article.

Collaboration Skills

Working with others and building long-lasting relationships is a strong trait among many women and may aid in the success of a new business. Creating new partnerships among businesses like your own opens a world of opportunities for your business to grow with your competitors, rather than compete against them.

New businesses are going to have difficulty competing against more established companies. If you’re struggling to match your competitors’ progress or sales, you may end up in debt. This may eventually result in your company going out of business. Taking on new opportunities creates lasting partnerships and encourages companies to include your business in future prospects.

This is a good time to point out that many people feel that women basically do have the same advantages and disadvantages when it comes to entrepreneurship. Whether or not it’s actually true remains unclear.

When it comes down to it, the best way to ensure success as an entrepreneur is, to be honest and work hard to achieve your goals. Hopefully, doing so will lead to more advantages and fewer disadvantages.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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Are Certain Types of Businesses Harder for Women to Break Into?

Are Certain Types of Businesses Harder for Women to Break Into?

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Are Certain Types of Businesses Harder for Women to Break Into?
by STC Staff Writer

One of the most popular slogans of the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s was, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Fast forward to the present day and that might hold true in some businesses, but there are some which seem to maintain a closed-door policy and a glass ceiling that women are still battering themselves against more than 40 years later.

Technology

The most obvious types of businesses that are harder for women to break into are tech-related. Tech seems more of a boy’s club than an industry in which women can achieve equality. While a recent report from Pew Research has shown that the majority of Americans think women are just as capable in terms of leadership as men, very few women hold positions as CEOs in general (only 26 out of the Fortune 500 companies), and women as leaders in tech companies are even rarer.

The skewing seems to start at a young age, with schools encouraging boys in math and science and girls in softer subjects like liberal arts. This bias continues in high school and the trend is maintained at the college level as well, with very few women majoring in computer science or technology. An “old boy network” shuts them out still further.

On a side note, just watch Meg Ryan’s performance of the “Big O” in the film, “When Harry Met Salley,” and tell us who was in control of “THAT” Situation! That’s proof-positive that “You’ve come a long way, baby!” The “Delicate sex” has a LOT more power than given credit for. And the business world is no exception.

Thanks to one of our readers, Marnie, suggesting the following, I’m Suggesting you Review this GREAT brief article at the Maryville University website entitled:

A Guide to Women in Business

https://online.maryville.edu/online-masters-degrees/business-administration/guide-women-business/

Here’s the initial paragraph of their article:

Women are a force to be reckoned with in the business world and the reach and influence of women in business is growing with every generation. They continue to break down the barriers that have kept past generations from joining and enjoying the workforce, but there are still many hurdles to overcome, including the right to equal pay and acceptable workplace standards of propriety and respect towards women in all industries. Take control of your career as a woman entrepreneur using the online resources provided below. Learn more, innovate more, and succeed more.

Financial Corporations

In financial institutions, women seem to have to do more to prove themselves than men and to have to keep on doing it over and over again. They often work harder, for one-third lower wages, and are held to a higher standard than men. Even if they try to make a real difference, this can often be held against them.

In a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times, studied showed that if a male executive expressed their ideas freely, they got a 10% better competence rating in their annual review. By contrast, if a woman did the same, they received a 14% lower rating. If a man and woman both express the same idea, the man gets a higher performance rating, while the women stays the same.

Other Big Businesses

Studies have also shown a “motherhood penalty” and a “fatherhood bonus.” Women with children are seen as less committed to their job than men. If a man is a father, however, he is actually seen as more committed. Factors such as the majority of childcare burden resting on the mother’s shoulders are never taken into account. Fathers are actually sent on more management training courses than single men, who in turn are sent far more often than women.

Start-Ups

Start-ups also tend to be “old boy networks” that shut out women except for the more subordinate tasks, even though studies have shown that start-ups led by women are more likely to succeed and innovative firms with women at the head are more profitable.

New companies with more gender diversity have more revenue, customers, market share and profits. This demonstrates that while there is still a glass ceiling in some businesses, there is also room for women to bring their skills and talents to play. In this way, they can build stronger companies by daring to be entrepreneurial and to support each other with an “old girl network” that can open more doors for women.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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Who Hires Ghostwriters?

Who Hires Ghostwriters?

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Who Hires Ghostwriters?
by STC Contributing Author

Being a ghostwriter can be a fascinating and very profitable career. It is really just a case of matching up your skills, expertise, and interest with those of paying clients willing to pay good money for well-written content.

What Is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter writes a piece of work, such as non-fiction or fiction, but does not put their name on it. Rather, they allow another person to put their name on it and give them the copyright to it (that is, full permission to use the work as if it were their own creation).

Ghostwriters commonly produce what is termed work for hire. They work on a project with the person who hires them on the understanding that the written outcome of the two working together will be a product the client will get full rights to.

Legal Agreements

Assigning copyright is important, but there are a few other legal issues when it comes to ghostwriters working with clients. Sometimes the idea is so much of a secret that a ghostwriter might be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect client confidentiality. In other cases, they might also sign a non-compete agreement, basically stating that they will not create a similar book for any other client.

Payment

Payment terms should also be agreed upon and set out in writing. All of these agreements should be in place prior to any substantial work being done by the ghostwriter. The payment terms will vary depending on the length of the assignment. For longer assignments such as a book, a retainer fee that represents a partial payment of the agreed-upon sum is reasonable and helps retain the services of the ghostwriter.

Who Hires Ghostwriters?

A wide variety of people hire ghostwriters. They are often busy people with websites who need content and are looking for articles and other informative pieces they might not have the time or ability to write themselves.

Many people also want to “be a writer” in the sense of publishing a book with their name on it and hoping it will bring money and prestige. They might not have the skill to write an entire book or the patience. Some business owners want “instant books” published digitally and in paperback so they can use them as promotional tools for their business. A ghostwriter is one of the best shortcuts for this type of person.

Famous people also often aspire to write a book, but don’t have the skills or time. They will usually give the ghostwriter materials to be included in the book, and perhaps be interviewed. Final approval of the (flattering) book will usually rest with the client.

Some clients take a hands-off approach. They write the specifications for the job, choose from the ghostwriters who apply and let the one they have selected get on with things. Others might look over the ghostwriter’s shoulder a bit more, or micro-manage every step.

Getting a Good Fit

Since so many people are hiring ghostwriters these days in order to outsource their content to a professional, ghostwriters can afford to be a bit choosy and only opt for projects that are a good fit. They can search through all the listings on the popular freelance marketplace sites, and apply only for the ones that:

* Don’t sound too complicated
* Seem to be from clients who sound like reasonable people, not micro-managers
* Ones with a reasonable due date
* Ones that match their topics of expertise and interest. For example, if you are a health writer, it’s probably not a good idea to tackle a big finance book

Ghostwriting is a high-demand skill, and that demand is growing. If you can write well, it could be a perfect career or second job.

Do YOU Need a Ghostwriter?

Visit http://fiverr.com and type in Ghostwriter in their search box and you will be amazed at how inexpensive you can hire talented Ghostwriters.  For example, you can get a 70-page book written (or older book rewritten) for under $200. You get full exclusive copyright rights for commercial use. You can resell it, give it away, use it in your BLOG, or even as an online course.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Tips For Creating Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Tips For Creating Mobile Marketing Campaigns

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

 

Tips For Creating Mobile Marketing Campaigns
by STC Contributing Author

Well, you’ve decided to enter into mobile marketing. Pretty exciting, huh? Well, except for the fact that there is so much information that you have no clue where to even begin! Don’t worry though, here are a few mobile marketing tips for you. Listed below are some tips that will help you to get started and organized so that you can become a successful marketer.

QR codes are the latest trend in mobile marketing. You want to put a barcode on your product, and the customer can then scan that with their smartphone. Once that barcode is scanned you can have it set up to link them so a coupon or video, really whatever you want that will bring more interest to your product.

Utilize mobile search engine optimization. A majority of the mobile searches that are made are done using Google, so having a strong SEO strategy is just as important for mobile marketing as it is for other online ventures. In addition, many devices tailor search results by location, so be sure to include location-specific web pages.

To make your customers feel appreciated, send out automatic thank you texts after a purchase. The message will show your customers that you care about their business and make them feel valued. It will also help you to stick out in their memory, the next time they’re looking to make a purchase.

Integrate your mobile marketing campaign with other media outlets. Mobile marketing works best when paired together with outer sources. Make sure you have specific mobile landing pages for each mobile banner. You would also need to integrate a Quick Response code to drive traffic to that site. Integrating your resources make your opportunities endless.

All of your mobile marketing messages should include a strong call to action. The call to action is an imperative statement designed to goad your customers into doing something. Remember that this does not have to be a demand for an immediate purchase. Even advising customers to follow a link will serve as an effective call.

Brief and non-business related links and text messages are allowable in network marketing, but make sure you are sending out relevant content that your subscribers would enjoy or find helpful. This should only be done occasionally because you do not want to appear to be a spammy sender and have customers unsubscribe.

Take advantage of mobile applications that many mobile consumers already use and are very popular, like Google Maps. Google has a Local Business Center that will list your business on their Google Maps for that region. This way, your business will be targeted to the audience local to your area.

Now, don’t you feel better after reading all those tips? That was a lot of information to read through, but at least now, you know what to do and where to begin with your mobile marketing plan. Besides, you can always refer back to the above list of tips if you ever forget any of them.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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Learn the Basics to Video Marketing

Learn the Basics to Video Marketing

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

 

Learn the Basics to Video Marketing
By STC Contributing Authior

Video marketing is a highly effective tool that all smart business owners are utilizing to dramatically increase sales and boost profits. In order for video marketing to work, it must be properly implemented. This article is chock full of several video marketing tips that will help to improve your business.

The very first thing you need to do is simply get your videos out there. Start making some and see what catches people’s eyes. You need to find out what topic you know the most about and figure out a way to make it interesting. People want to be entertained.

If you decide to create a series of videos, it is important that you remain consistent. Try using the same length and format for your videos and use similar title pages and credits so viewers easily recognize your video marketing campaign. If possible, release your videos on a certain day of the week to build anticipation.

I suggest always using the same overlay, the custom image you make for your series or company logo, on all your videos. The overlay is what the client sees before starting to view the video.  They are very easy to add to your video, without any editing, if you are using the DIVI theme.

Help potential customers find your videos by using strong keywords. If you have a YouTube channel, you should take the time to write descriptions for all your videos and share links to your main site. Choose strong keywords potential customers are likely to use when they look up videos on topics related to your products.

Be consistent. If people know what to expect from your video time and time again, they’ll be sure to come back and watch if you’re offering what they want to see. Brand your videos with an intro and out-ro using the same look every time. On top of that, provide topical content in each video.

The title of your video is as important as the content when trying to attract viewers. People who search on Facebook, YouTube or Google will see the title first, so it has to catch their attention and entice them to click. Take your time in selecting a title and put real thought into it.

Your videos will become popular if you share them efficiently. You should create an account on YouTube and on other similar sites your audience uses, feature your videos on your site or blog and share them on social networks. If possible, get other bloggers and people who are influential on social networks to share your videos.

For people who are new to video marketing, try to keep your videos short. Around 30-45 seconds is a good length to start. You really do not have a lot of time to get your message through with the viewer’s short attention spans. As you become more experienced, you will notice that you are able to get your message across within this time frame easily.

While videos need to stand alone based on their content, they must still be promoted. After you upload your videos, try promoting them via social networks, newsletters, blogs, and the like. It takes time for videos to rank organically in search engines, so they need a push to let people know they exist.

Combine your video marketing efforts with social marketing. After you post your video, announce it in your Facebook account and tweet about it on Twitter. This will drive your followers to view your video where they can give their immediate feedback on the video’s effectiveness. This will also encourage them to share the video link with their social network.

As was stated earlier in the opening of this article, video marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools available to improve your business. By carefully applying everything that you have learned from this article, you can dramatically improve your business and see a startling increase in profits. Take action and start video marketing today!

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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Ideas for Bigger Profits with Video Marketing

Ideas for Bigger Profits with Video Marketing

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Ideas for Bigger Profits with Video Marketing
By Bob Maverick Stanford

Video marketing is one of the most important, and contemporary techniques you can use to improve your business through your website. It’s a common mistake to not benefit from this highly effective marketing tool. Here you’ll review a few effective video marketing tips. By applying them to your business, you greatly enhance your success factor and lower your failure factors.

Try outlining (making a script)  of your video. Great videos make it clear early on what will be discussed during the video. Just diving in your content will not help the viewers understand the benefits of watching it. Start with an outline like you would an essay to explain to viewers early on what to expect during the rest of the video.

There is always an Introduction, Body (The main content – message, the middle part making up the bulk of your presentation), and the conclusion (Summarizing everything into a brief paragraph or two).

What do your potential clients want to know? Do they want to know the features and benefits, or how to use your products? Would they like to know why your products/services are better than your competitions? To answer them, formulate a video which provides a 2-5 minute presentation into whatever it is they wish to know.

You will find they appreciate your efforts and have the information they need to make an intelligent buying choice, or a least going on to the next level, a more comprehensive presentation through your website sales page.

You could create a video to document your typical day at work to give your customers an idea of how products are created and shipped. Introduce your colleagues, show your workspace and follow the different steps you go through to complete an order.

The goal of this short documentary is to convince viewers that you are a trustworthy professional. but use caution, not to be too long-winded boring them. Remember, their main reason for watching your video is to review your product(s), learn their features, and benefits.

Are your customers emotional or possibly sold on your brand? Video a great way to show potential customers what it’s like to buy from you – show them how they will be purchasing not only products but experiencing a lifelong bond with your company which is already changing lives around the nation in a positive way.

Even though you are trying to market a business and your products, it is, at times, beneficial to get a little personal with your video presentation. Possibly share personal stories that may help you connect with others, emphasizing your brand and product uniqueness.

Always be professional, not jeopardizing the positive image you have been developing. Clients insist on financial security when making any purchases, especially online. Your payment gateway, Like PayPal, Stripe, or even credit card acceptance system requires a secure image designed to instill confidence in motivating the client to buy through your shopping cart form.

Consider posting videos on a regular schedule, and sticking to it. Over time, people will begin to anticipate videos from you and your company. This tactic acclimates your clients to visit you regularly anticipating new and feature-rich content, similar to the excitement they have when following a favorite television program.

Maybe you have a product that is updated regularly. Do you use the explainer video concept? Maybe you could make a brief cliffhanger series, featuring the benefits, and feature changes, or improvements in each episode. This may not work for your company, maybe to complex, or costly.

But thinking outside the box is what makes creative, highly successful, succeed in the endeavors, and financial goals. The Maverick Entrepreneur website, a Division of STC, is developing a program to teach rookies how to create WebTV video series, including a host of resources. More on this later. It will be announced through this (STC) BLOG. Think about it.

They can come to expect your videos to be released at a specific time and day. If you fail to follow this procedure, let them know if there will not be an update or new video coming by simply sending them an email, and/or posting it on the webpage.

Even highly experienced video marketing professionals can benefit from viewer’s comments. reviews and comments from your video viewers can reveal positive and especially any regarding your videos. Listen and learn from them. Maybe your connection is, or your videos are loading too slow. Their input can equip you with the input you require to make adjustments to improve your clients viewing experience.

YouTube is a great way to share your videos. Some people will use their YouTube account to comment and subscribe to your videos, but you should make this content accessible by sharing your videos on your site and social media.

Do you find it difficult to add video to your website? or do you want to add videos to your website without using YouTube ad rich videos? We use the DIVI theme to build all our web pages, and it takes us seconds, not even minutes, to add a video to our pages. DIVI is user-friendly for video installation.

One major gripe many people have is the marketing gurus like to hide the video controls on their player. DIVI allows us to HOW the controls so the viewer can pause, adjust volume, or even fast forward, or rewind the video.

The GURU’s think they are wise hiding these controls so the viewer will be forced to watch their Loooooooong presentation. They need to learn that DOESN’T WORK with many viewers. I will instantly cancel my viewing when I don’t see controls. What’s your take on this?

Post your videos to a host of different sites. While YouTube should be your number one choice, don’t rely on it entirely. Other sites, like Break and Vimeo, could all be beneficial to you. You may even be able to find a site that caters to your type of business.

As was talked about in the opening paragraph of this article, video marketing is a terrific, highly effective way to improve your business and boost profits. By taking advantage of the information you’ve learned in this article, you may realize higher profits than you ever imagined. Now is the time to start working on your video marketing strategy today!

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business

6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business
by STC Staff Writer

A business plan is the first thing you need to do if you are starting a new business.

It is designed to outline your goals, business strategies, financial goals, and marketing plans. When you have a business plan in place you are taking steps to make sure that your business is on the best path toward success, and it’s also a tool for presenting to financial investors for funding, loans, and even attracting quality employees. Most successful companies have prepared a strong business plan.

An internet business can be operated differently than a traditional brick and mortar company. Nonetheless, it still needs a business plan for better success potential. The difference is that the financial, management and marketing details should reflect a growing online market.

6 Basic Steps to Writing a Quality Business Plan.

Step #1 – Your Business Summary
If your business operates only on a website, you should take the time to describe all of your site’s aspects, primary features, and benefits to the customers. Answer questions like who is going to run the business, what does it offer, who does it target, competition, niches’ served, etc.

#2 Create an In-Depth Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan need for you to gather a great deal of research so that you can do this quite sometime before you ever create your business plan. However, you need to make sure the information hasn’t become outdated by the time you incorporate it into your business plan. Include your pricing plan, your checkout options, etc.

#3 Provide the Details on Your Management Team
Explain the details of your major team members. Their duties, how much they will be paid, benefits, etc. Make sure you provide enough detail for investors to understand your management team’s role.

#4 Create an In-Depth Financial Plan
This should include your startup capital, operating costs, and your profit forecast and various intervals such as 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, etc.

#5 Create a Business Schedule
Your schedule needs to include now, the immediate future and your long-term plan. This would include things like the date you are going to open your online door, when employee hiring will take place, and when any loan will be repaid, etc.

#6 Write an Executive Summary
Write an in-depth executive summary that includes research as well as an easy to understand explanation of your business plan. Your summary should be broken down into sections and each should have its own title. This will help the information flow better for anyone who chooses to read it.

You can locate and utilize free business plan templates online if you feel confident you know enough about business to complete one and have extra time for this approach. Or you can use either a business plan software or online (Cloud) program to accelerate your progress, offer guidance on how to complete your plan, and even sample completed changeable templates for hundreds of SPECIFIC business.

In Conclusion – Online Tools or Specialized Software Make Writing Your Business Plan a Breeze

Writing a business plan can be challenging and a bit of a daunting task. Now thanks to online options it no longer has to be. You can quickly and easily create a sophisticated business plan that’s ready to use with your investors or bank.

Starting a business is tough work by itself, and then you once needed to learn the art of business plan writing, which is a talent unto itself. Not anymore. Now online tools have the skills and will do the hard work for you.

All you need to do is fill in the information as you are asked for it. This is a safe and effective way to put a business plan together. Of course, you still need to have all the information available about your business.

These online tools will even remove the need to have an accountant, creating financial forecasts based on the information that you provide. Most applications will generate a Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Income Statement also called a Profit and Loss statement.

Of course, you need to ensure that you choose the right online tool to provide the type of detail you need, as there are now several of them available.

The more people that look at your business plan the more streamlined it’s going to become. Most online tools allow you to freely share your creation so that others can ask their questions and include their input to help you create a better business plan. You might invite colleagues, clients, your accountant and anyone else who could be a valuable asset.

Look for an online business plan tool that allows you to create charts and graphs, which are extremely pleasing to the viewer’s eye and make information available at a quick glance. The ability to create charts is extremely important in your business plan presentation, as it will peak the reader’s interest.

When you are done, many business plan writing applications will rate you on how you did – provide you with a report card of sorts. This will help you to make sure that you have covered everything you need in the business plan you’ve created – now is not the time to miss anything! It will also show you where you may have been weak, which gives you the opportunity to tweak things

Online business writing tools make it easy for anyone to create the business plan they need to get the backing they want.

I have used Palo Alto’s Business Plan Pro as a business consultant to create business plans for clients for over 25 years. It’s very easy to use, has almost no learning curve, and affordable. CLICK HERE for more information about features, and pricing. There are very cheap software programs designed to make business plans too.

I have a couple, tried them and continue to stick with the leader of the pack, Business Plan Pro or it’s online equivalent “Live Plan Pro” also by Palo Alto Software, on a subscription basis. Business Plan Pro is actual software you can use for years.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging News Stories as They Happen – Learn to BLOG Series

Blogging News Stories as They Happen – Learn to BLOG Series

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

 

Blogging News Stories as They Happen
by STC Staff Writer

Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most exciting and controversial applications of technology that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs tends to be more current than the news in the paper, or on television.

We exist in a new age of FAST enlightenment, though one would do well to not believe everything they read online because ANYONE, for ANY REASON, can anonymously post articles and false information anytime. So let the reader beware of false information.

Still on a positive note, unlike news delivered by these other media like SLOW reporting newspapers, news that appears on blogs does not have to travel through a series of editors and administrators before it reaches the public eye. This has some advantages and some distinct disadvantages.

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in July 2005 when terrorism struck London. As passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one man took several photographs of the scene with his cellular phone, and within an hour these images were posted online. This is quite common these days.

First-person accounts of the catastrophe began appearing on blogs soon after these photos appeared, and people all over the world learned about the events in London by reading the words and seeing the photos posted by bloggers.

The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter or editor helped make the crisis feel very immediate to people across the globe. When it comes to blogging, news often appears in a very personal context.

This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting new era of reporting, one that takes “New Journalism” to its logical next step by putting the power to shape how the news is written and read directly into the hands of the public.

Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the Web Blog movement feel that this growing trend of individuals who get their news from blogs is a good thing because it makes the flow of information more democratic.

By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events. However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate. Regardless of this reality, BLOGS are likely here to stay and are growing at an impressive rate.

Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact- checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many blogs. This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation, and more than one falsehood has taken the blogosphere by storm.

The questions about whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or not are very complicated, but no matter where you stand on the topic of current events blogs you are almost sure to agree that this movement has revolutionized how modern people get their news.

Newspapers, radio, and TV news do tend to present more honest and accurate news because of their inherent internal structure, using checks and balances to help assure their news sources are real, and the content is accurate.  One way to utilize the Internet for more accurate news sources is to frequent the websites of newspapers, radio, and TN news shows.

But expect to pay a fair subscription price for these. The net shines more for BLOGS and “HOW TO” websites if the reader will check the quality of the sites content through a reasonable amount of research.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging For Small Business Owners

Blogging For Small Business Owners

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Blogging For Small Business Owners
by Bob “MAVERICK” Stanford – Senior Business Consultant

If you run a small company, you may find that the world of blogging is  vital tool for business owners to utilize. Blogging is a great way to get the word out to consumers about your products or services, and it can be useful for inspiring employee loyalty, helping you keep your workers at peak performance, training, and morale.

And, if your competitors have one, do you really want to be passed over by future online searchers visiting your competitors website and BLOGS instead? Ultimately, that can become a death blow if your competition is aggressive online, growing, and drawing YOUR potential customers to them.

If you are looking for an effective way to advance your business to the next level, consider the many benefits of starting your own blog.

Benefits of having a BLOG for a small company

  • It can greatly Boost your presence on Google, Yahoo, and other Search Engine (Called SEO – Search Engine Optimization)
  • Providing an online presence to Develop & Strengthen Relationships with New and Existing Customers
  • Position Your Business as an Industry Leader, especially if you are a local company.
  • Solidify, and advertise your Brand to potential customers. Enhances your posture with existing customers too.
  • Express Yourself, Your Passions and educate potential customers to your products /services
  • Share Your Knowledge for online searchers
  • Helps refine Your Writing technique, and skills
  • Learn How To increase your companies income through the benefits of online marketing
  • Build Your Professional Network.of customers
  • Gain additional business exposure
  • Enter the 21st Centuries standard business model
  • Increase your advertising for very LITTLE cost

The key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure.

It can be all too easy to get sidetracked, especially if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology, but if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused.

Write up a plan for how often you will update, how you will promote your blog and retain readers, whether you will feature photographs or video, and other aspects of your blog, and then stick to it with the same kind of determination that you used when you built your company.

HOW TO OUTSOURCE Your Website and BLOGGING Posting Cheaply

If you’re not a technically oriented individual or feel your time is better spent growing and operating your business, consider outsourcing this work.  It can cost pennies on the dollar to create and maintain you website, and BLOG by using one or more of the following sources:
* http://fiverr.com
* Your local Craigslist
* Your local high school or college – There are students that can, and will build your BLOG, website for very little cost. Simply place a cheap ad in their school newspaper.

STC’s BLOG is publishing a complete series on “Learn To BLOG” for beginners and intermediate Bloggers. Follow it daily if you liked this article and would like to learn more. Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging 101 – Learn to BLOG Series

Blogging 101 – Learn to BLOG Series

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Blogging 101
by STC Staff Writer

In this 21st Century, the Internet is a mainstream commodity used by hundreds of millions daily to communicate through websites, BLOGS, emails, Chat Rooms, and etc.

Blogging has become a vitally important tool for communicating training, news, courses, and entertainment in NICHES’ and made instantly available to the masses. The world’s youth would be clueless how to live in a world without the Internet since they have been weaned on it from very young and tender ages.

If you desire to have an online business today (October 2018)  rest assured you will likely need a BLOG on your website (similar to the STC BLOG you are reading now) to provide a reason for your readers to return to your website regularly.

Blogging 101 is mostly about the blogging vocabulary. To understand blogs, you need to know the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host. Once you have mastered these key elements of blogging, you can enter any conversation about blogging with confidence.

Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a series of online posts generally presented in reverse chronological order. The newest BLOG “POST” (the name for each new article) is placed on TOP of the previous one. That’s all!

BLOGS can have just text, text and photos, and even include videos. About 2/3rd’s of the world’s BLOGS are built around the FREE WordPress (WP) themes. Most of the other themed platforms like Blogger, Weebly, and etc. place ADS on YOUR PAGES, so you do all the work and THEY get the sales too.

WP has NO ADS, and once you have the basics down, very easy to use. STC offers online training from beginner/intermediate to advanced levels in WP.

You just pay a small monthly fee to host your website and use a website building program like DIVI and you’re all set. This STC website was built using DIVI (by Elegant Themes).

There are other web building platforms, and we’ve tried most of the major ones like WIX, Dreamweaver, CoffeeCup, MS FrontPage (FP – No longer used), HOME, HOTDOG, GO-DADDY, 1and1 (STC’s – Our hosting provider), and numerous  other programs, and even started out years ago creating our sites with only HTML code from scratch.

DIVI is 100% compatible with WordPress (WP), affordable, updated often (No extra charge for updates), and adds incredible additional features to WP website building control. CLICK HERE for additional information on DIVI.

Programs like WIX, GO-DADDY, and 1and1, are provided by hosting companies and can be quite restrictive. This can become quite evident once you have a little experience with them and realize you would have been better off with an independent one like DIVI.

The rest of blogging 101 has to do with the technical side of things. If you are setting up a blog, you will need a platform, a web-host, and a domain. A DOMAIN is your address on the Internet. You use a Domain Name Checker (FREE), find the available domain name you want, and register it.

Just do a GOOGLE Search to find the cheapest current services. There are just too many too many to list here, and their pricing changes daily. Expect to pay around $10 to $15 mo. for a good WordPress Hosting provider (some are FREE with ads – And others cheap but not many features). We use 1and1 Hosting (the 3rd largest in the world)

The DIVI builder is currently $89 per year (subscription), or $249 for a LIFETIME. Once you have your hosting company, you can install WP FREE through them. Hosting companies like ours (1and1) make this process very easy and quick.

A blogging platform is a computer software program that allows you to write posts and to update your blog like WP. Your platform is also what you use to design the look of your blog, from color scheme to font size. like DIVI The web host is sort of like the virtual file cabinet where your blog is stored like 1and1, go-daddy, WIX or etc..

Your computer communicates with the host when you upload or edit a post. The domain is the online address of your blog, and usually ends in .com, .org, or .info, but can be many other ending designations these days.

Start your BLOG today, start attracting subscribers, build your Email lists, and then make sales.  Now that you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself! Smile! You have just passed blogging 101.               

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.