My Online Journey
Is It Really Possible To Automate Your Online Business?
Is it really possible to Automate Your Online Business?, I ask the question because for most people online the gap between what they do and automation is huge
The promise is many sales letters over the last 6 months has been all about how to Automate Your Online Business and by this I don’t just mean auto blogging of which there are many tools out there, I actually mean taking you out of whole processes in your business
No by Automate Your Online Business I refer to you only doing once what you probably do all to often, everyday tasks, the kinds of things that suck you into time consuming activities over and over again
So the first process that must be on the Automate Your Online Business list is to write or better still to outsource and have written a series of Auto responder messages, a thank you message for when people subscribe letting them know how to get their gifts or information
Now you may be thinking that’s making work not reducing it but you do this once and then it’s off your list of things to do, in the end the more ways you can Automate Your Online Business the more time you will have to focus on what really matters
Following on from this is having a FAQ’s or Frequently Asked Questions section on your site, this really helps to Automate Your Online Business as it helps your subscribers to instantly get the answers they want and stops you missing support answers that you need to answer, we all know that when people don’t promptly and helpfully answer our questions we seldom stay with that business
What To Outsource To Automate Your Online Business?
So what should you Outsource to Automate Your Online Business? in truth everything that isn’t about building relationships, ask yourself an honest question, have you ever felt a sense of overwhelm in your online business? now be honest here because it happens to everybody, at the start when the technical challenges simply frustrate you beyond belief and as you get established and you have many unfinished projects part finished
So to Automate Your Online Business you need to be brutally honest here, which of these projects will either (A) make me money (B) satisfy a customer need or (C) do (A) for you and (B) for your customers because if it doesn’t do that it’s not a priority
Next list out all the tasks that you could Outsource, this becomes a time verses money equation, many everyday tasks can be outsourced for between $5-$20 Dollars, you will spend a day writing a spec for all these tasks and you will get them back completed in 24-48 hours, suddenly 6 outstanding projects can be down to one or two, now you really are starting to Automate Your Online Business
Now a classic mistake with this particularly when it’s a task you do over and over is to place the order with just one person, I would suggest you do this with 4 or 5 people let me explain why, 1 will make excuses and not do it, a couple will be okay, maybe a bit slow, 1 will be good but need too much follow up and the final one will be first class, they may even suggest ways of making it better than you thought possible
You’ve spend $50-$100 Dollars instead of $10-$20 Dollars but in the process you’ve found the person your going to work with from now on, this will truly Automate Your Online Business, just think of the time and frustration you’ve just saved yourself going forward for less than the cost of a meal out with friends
So Where Are The Tools To Automate Your Online Business?
We touched on auto responders earlier, personally I think Aweber are the best company in this market, their ability to deliver is the critical difference, along side that I would also say Get Response yes there are cheaper ways but if you don’t get your message opened then it doesn’t work
My next suggestion to Automate Your Online Business is a little left field but bear with me, if you get 100 to 200 e mails a day as I do, most of them selling Clickbank products and not actually helping you grow your business then they are just slowing you down, a few minutes each day weeding them out to leave the 5-20 who actually combine valuable information with the odd sales message, we all need to eat sometimes will be much more valuable
Now you can read those 5-20 e mails, take on board what they say and look at the recommendations they have, only buy a product if it offers a solution to a problem that is pressing in your business, if your not going to use it straight away it’s not going to Automate Your Online Business and could end up gathering dust on your hard drive
Next up would be essentials PDF software, personally I think Primo PDF is really simple to use, just drag and drop the file onto it, FTP software for updating your squeeze pages etc Filezilla is really straightforward, if in doubt outsource this function and finally an HTML editor, I would recommend Kompozer again really simple, all of these really help to Automate Your Online Business and all from memory are free
So with a little bit of lateral thinking most things can be automated, I would suggest that you keep relationship building in house, certainly to start with, later on you can hire an affiliate manager, now that really will Automate Your Online Business but we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here
So in closing if it’s not getting done you automate, you outsource, that day spent planning your next months work will pay you back many times over, share your experiences with your subscribers, both good and bad, if a service or product sucks tell them, if it saved you time or money or both certainly tell them, so with that in mind I would like to hear your comments on today’s post and the ways in which you Automate Your Online Business
Can We Take Advantage Of Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage?
I got to thinking after my post on Friday if there was another opportunity that we were missing when it came to Micro Outsourcing and that was in the form of Arbitrage
It struck me that for those people with coaching programs or those who offer consultancy services there may well be a whole new opportunity here using Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
At first glance it might touch on a question of ethics but then you have invested a lot of time establishing which of the Micro Outsourcers would work in this way, which ones you could include in an Arbitrage program, those of us who have used these sites will recognize the principal of kissing quite a few frogs to find the prince or princess as it were
So in some respects far from being unfair using Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage offers a great saving to the end user whilst still allowing you to make a fair charge for your time, after all you are selling your knowledge and in this case that knowledge is the quality workers that will get the job done on time at a great price
For those of you not clear on my meaning here by Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage I am talking about the difference between what you buy a service for and the price you sell it, the normal process in other words that we take for granted when we walk into any retail store
So we are used to paying for it in the high street, in the shopping mall and in every other form of commercial transaction we take on board so surely Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is just a natural extension of everyday business that requires us to make a profit, to reinvest in our businesses and to pay our team
Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage Is A Normal Commercial Transactions Then Right?
On that basis Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is just a normal commercial transaction and we should look for the opportunity in it instead of seeing it as a slight of hand, if you are anything like me I recommend Outsourcers on a very regular basis for their high quality work, so probably more fool me for not taking any commercial gain from it
Just step back and think a moment of how many Micro Outsourcing transactions you might undertake in a week, the time you invest to find the good people, the money you have wasted on the people who promised but who failed to deliver or who were just down right bad news and you start to see that putting forward the best to your clients make Arbitrage a very fair system
By doing this you are taking away other peoples risk and wasted time and making their Micro Outsourcing experience a good one, it really just reinforces the argument for Arbitrage, you have undertaken the selection process in the way a recruiter does when recommending staff the added bonus is you have actually consumed the service so you know first hand that it works
From my understanding a whole underground industry has grown up around Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage with people advertising their re bundled services in offline publications and on none related service based web sites, effectively they are becoming knowledge brokers
And this really brings us to the reason that the majority of people go online for, if you can be the bridge between the people with a problem on one side and the people with the solution on the other side you have the opportunity to make money, the bigger the problem generally the bigger the cost of the solution
Thinking Outside The Box On Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
So by thinking outside the box on Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage you are just leveraging your knowledge and your past research and a degree of your previous frustrations into a new form of business opportunity, it is just an extension of the principle that Edward De Bono taught us about putting on the different thinking hats
I would say that Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is also an natural extension of Spencer Johnson’s teachings in his various one minute manager books and audio programs that taught us the ability to step back and see a bigger picture was vital
I think one of the things that come across from reading through the comments are that a number of you are not yet
Outsourcing in your businesses, if you want to get things done quickly, with a minimum of frustration and to a high standard I would say it’s essential
So in conclusion this is really an natural extension of how we do business, we have invested the time and sometimes the related frustration in finding the really good people and in weeding out the bad ones, so far from being unethical there has never been a better time to practice Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
Is Micro Outsourcing The Key To Your Success Going Forward?
Today I’m asking the question is Micro Outsourcing the key to your success going forward, but what do I mean by that and why does it matter?
Well put simply the more you business grows the more you need to Outsource parts or increasingly larger sections of your business to release your time on the key sales, product development and relationship building that really matters and this is where Micro Outsourcing really comes into it’s own
What could only be described as a rash of Micro Outsourcing sites have sprung up recently and they make perfect sense for both the person on a budget when they are starting out and to be honest used correctly they still make sense for those of us who take things rather more seriously
So back to what exactly do I mean by Micro Outsourcing sites? well in this interpretation I mean sites that advertise fixed price jobs or gigs as they tend to be known for between $4 and $30 Dollars, in this range you can get just about anything done
On the face of it they sound great but as always it comes with a critical caveat emptor [buyer beware] for those of you not of the Latin persuasion, get it right and your work is done in 24 to 48 hours at a great price, get it wrong and massive frustration
and delayed projects await, I know I’ve seen both sides
Get it right however and you will recommend the people concerned to your subscribers, welcome to the world of Micro Outsourcing
Planning For A Successful Micro Outsourcing Campaign
Planning and research are everything in getting your Micro Outsourcing campaigns to work the right way, first of all you must be absolutely clear what you want, with unclear instructions your outsourcer is taking an educated guess and you will not get what you want, result frustration, wasted time, plan well and you will benefit every time, it may take a few minutes longer to start with but believe me it will be worth it
Always check how the market views them, Micro Outsourcing sites use a review and rating system, read them first before ordering, if they are not rated asked them a question and watch the response, is it customer friendly? is it done quickly? pay close attention because this is likely to mirror your actual experience when using this person
Get all of your support materials together and put them in a zip file like win zip, many Micro Outsourcing sites only allow you to send 1 file at a time and you don’t want to find this out just as you are 75% of the way through your order, again been there done that
Next think on a personal level, explain to the outsourcer that if this gig works out you are looking for somebody to do this on a regular basis, in life we work with nice supportive people who make our lives better, just because they are low cost does not mean they are low value, build relationships and watch your service levels rise dramatically
For those of you used to the traditional outsourcing sites you will find the lack of bid time and endless form filling a breath of fresh air, Micro Outsourcing is simply and straightforward all the gigs are already planned out, that said if you want something extra or different just ask the question, I always do, just remember the relationship part as your doing this
So Where Do I Find These Micro Outsourcing Professionals?
So where you may be wondering do you find these Micro Outsourcers? good question, a search on Google will give you a couple of the most popular but there are a great number now just waiting to make your life so much more straightforward
Lets start with the best known of these Micro Outsourcing sites one called Fiverr as it’s name implies all gigs are $5 Dollars, yes you read that right just $5 Dollars, would you like the 2 million hits a day this site gets? thought so, you can get everything, right down to somebody singing happy birthday in a celebrity voice
Next up comes Gigswood they offer gigs for between $4 and $19 Dollars, it’s perhaps my favourite Micro Outsourcing site, it’s just had a major revamp and again the range is huge, in all cases you can also post wants on the sites, just sign up, it takes two or three minutes and your ready to go
Next up is a site called Zeerk slightly wider cost range between $5 and $25 Dollars, again a big range and again another popular Micro Outsourcing site, a quick look on the front page alone comes up with some great gigs, well worth a further look
Lastly in my roundup of Micro Outsourcing sites is one called Gighour almost unbelievable but their gigs start at just $1 Dollar and range up to $7 and all combinations based on that, I’ll leave you to draw your conclusions on appearance but the content is deadly serious and great value
So it goes without saying that this is a subject with plenty of mileage in it and I will doubtless return to it at a later stage but for now my advice is if your not already doing so start Micro Outsourcing
Are We Making The Most Of Personal Branding?
How do we make the best of brand you, to give your posts a sense of Personal Branding whilst seeking to educate our readers and add value to their businesses?
In many ways it seems to be a question that a lot of people a wrestling with at the moment, how do I add value instead of just blowing my own trumpet, welcome to the world of Personal Branding
Marketing Online covers such a diverse range of subjects and such a diverse range of people, all of them seeking Personal Branding to set them apart from others in a me too world
And yet if we look in our inbox on a daily basis we can see a host of people involved in that me too approach, all selling the next big thing,site coming down anytime naturally
It is no great shock however that against that background that certain people really stand out, far from following the herd they plough their own furrow and they use Personal Branding as the key identifier for the readers, theirs tend to be highly trusted and widely read and often quoted, clearly they are getting something right
So if these people are making such an impact using Personal Branding why does it seem to be passing everybody else by, why are they missing the opportunity to get their names out there
Use Personal Branding To Build Authority In Your Niche
Against this background you will not be surprised to hear that the first e mails I tend to open these days are rarely those offering me push button solutions, of course automation is important but I believe that by using Personal Branding you can get much closer to your subscribers and create a win win solution
It’s also no accident that Brian Clark of Copyblogger said in a Recent Podcast that many people start their time learning from their site then quietly go away and earn a great living based on the information that they have learned there, he says that his parting shot is to invite them to buy something before they go,clearly they are using Personal Branding to good effect
A lot of my recent reading online has been on a fairly new blog that has been Online for barely two months and yet in that time the lady concerned has got herself an Alexa ranking of under 26,000 she makes great use of Personal Branding and it’s well worth reading
Personal Branding also gives you the opportunity to stamp your personality on your writing when placing your work on many of the blog sharing sites but in doing that we must remember that we need to add value not just blow our own trumpets
So How are you going to build brand you,what makes you different that allows you to use Personal Branding to set you apart from the crowd, there will come a time when the wild claims will be stamped out
So What Should Your Personal Branding Strategy Be?
You may be wondering how can I get my personality across, how can I implement my own version of Person Branding? there are after all so many others out there already, well yes but often in a really me to way and that’s instantly forgettable
Think of your favourite offline businesses, what is it they do well that others do either indifferently at best or really badly at worst, usually it’s a combination of personality and service, it personal, the service is special and you leave with a smile not that empty feeling of disappointment
There’s more good news on the way as well for the businesses online that are doing things the right way as the FTC promises to crack down on the claims and testimonials that are out there, a good time for those of us who do things the right way, a good time for Personal Branding
So think about what you do that is different, your USP as the business schools have taught us to think and make it part of how you do business, remember the way you feel in those great offline businesses, you make a point of telling your friends of spreading the gospel and make it part of your Personal Branding
Using Articles As A Source Of Traffic? You Should!
I talked on Friday about the power of using articles to create videos a very powerful method of driving fresh traffic to your site but have you considered the other opportunities that come from driving traffic using Articles As A Source?
In the end your writing the article in the first place is the hard bit, now using Articles As A Source is really just a question of lateral thinking, because if you do then you can increase your traffic many many times over and remember this is not clogging your server with people who have no interest in you this is highly targeted traffic
On Friday we concentrated on Video as our main generator but as Edward De Bono taught us by putting on our different hats we have many options, let’s see how using Articles As A Source can really ramp things up
First off does it lend itself to educate people? in many cases that was the key point, in which case add some additional detail to it, this is a great way of using Articles As A Source, a quick search on Google will produce many sites like e how for you to post to, use your anchor text links in the normal way
Clearly this starts to establish you as an expert way outside of your normal realm, this use of using Articles As A Source is something that most people are not even thinking about but it’s very powerful
Using Articles As A Source To Create PDF’s
By using Articles As A Source for a PFD document you have another use of your Article again it gets it out to a different audience and in both of the above cases people are looking to be educated so you are catching this audience at an early stage,becoming the authority figure is clearly going to be an important tool in attracting future customers
Free ebook sites are your main destination for these and again make sure it adds value and is not just an advert, it may work for you but it won’t work for your target audience, it’s a powerful use Of Articles As A Source of extra traffic
Going back to our lateral thinking how about converting it into an audio, I don’t know about you but I listen to a lot of educational MP3′s on how to topics and as always you can go down a fully automated route such as say
Read the words this will literally take your post and convert it into spoken word
For many of you though you will want it to be a rather more personal way of making use of Articles As A Source and the software that I personally use for audio is Audacity, just make sure you convert the files down, 20 minutes of speach will be around 200mb,once you compress it to MP3 that same twenty minutes is more like 3 to 4mb with no lose of quality
Now this of course leads us into using Articles As A Source of podcasts, I personally listen to a lot of speak based radio but at times it all sounds the same, it helps people to keep things unique and it’s another way to get your message across, just add your URL spoken this time at the end of the broadcast
A quick search for podcast directories produces many sites that offer you the opportunity to get your message out there, as in many of my earlier posts you are going to see the importance of Outsource some or all of these tasks but by making use of Articles As A Source in this way you are spreading your message much wider
Other Ways Of Using Articles As A Source,Keep That Lateral Thought Process Going
I talked on Friday about how you can use Powerpoint to produce Videos but have you thought of using the Powerpoint presentation as a way of using Articles As A Source because you should? again it lends itself to the person who is looking for good information and some of the sites sharing this information are very high pagerank
One such of these is Slideshare it has a pagerank of 7 and is Alexa ranked under 2000 and yet most people in this field wont even have it on their radar which really does make this a great use of Articles As A Source of both extra traffic and extra authority
Lastly but by no means least in ideas on this one is to share your related posts on these issues with the various blog content sharing sites, by going to the communities that deal in this you need to have something to educate people with but clearly the rewards are as always more traffic
So where can you go to make great use of your Articles As A Source of new traffic? well two key ones come to mind and they would be Bloggers Base & Blog Engage both allow distribution of blog posts, read through what they do and don’t allow and remember you are not advertising you are educating here
So hopefully this exersize has got your lateral thinking muscles going and in all probability you can come up with some more but I think you will start to get the idea but the crital thing is instead of seeing things as once and it’s done think instead of how many ways you can use Articles As A Source
Why You Should Be Using Articles To Drive Video Traffic
I was introduced to this as an idea a few months ago and immediately saw the power of Using Articles to drive video traffic, we all have a lot of articles already created in our niche posted on most of the main article sites driving some traffic to our sites so in a way some of the work is already done
The idea I was sold on was a highly professional conversion Using Articles to create talking Videos, I wanted to know more and as always with the next big thing piece of software is where the trouble and the extreme disappointment started
In this case Using Articles to create Videos produced a highly ametuer result, not one that you would want to duplicate in any way and put your name on, doing a quick Google search for the company I am not that shocked to see it’s not coming up so clearly I was not the only one that thought this way
So having tried the next big thing I put that to one side and would probably have forgotten about it until I started looking at some more education based training products around a month ago, that for me was the point at which the idea of Using Articles to create Videos came back into my mind
I had taken my first faltering steps on Camtasia and realised what a simple yet excellent piece of software it was, not only in terms of initial creation but also in what you can do with it next and the penny immediately dropped that this was going to be an obvious way of Using Articles to create Videos
So How Am I Using Articles To Create Videos?
Quite simple really, it occured to me a few months back that most of the how to Videos on sites such as Clickbank were using slides either created in Powerpoint or similar, running them in Video format with Audio added that that in turn would lend itself to Using Articles to Create Videos, in fact it’s so straight forward even I can do it
Alternatively you could Outsource the individual projects to a site such as
Fiverr or Gigswood but bear in mind that a typical article is just ten to twenty frames so they don’t take long to do yourself
My personal experience of Outsourcing this exersize is that you can get around 40 slides done for around $20 Dollars and if you want the Audio done you’ll pay around another $5 Dollars per video for somebody to do the voice over for you, finished article in other words takes around 2-3 days and costs around $15 Dollars
If on the other hand you have the time to do it yourself it will take around 20-30 minutes a Video Using Articles to create them into powerpoint and then turning the powerpoint presentation into a video with you doing the audio yourself, it’s all built in your just need a microphone or more ideally a headset with a micrphone built in
Using Articles To Get Videos Online
So having got these produced how are you going to go about Using Articles as Videos how do you get them out there? well as always there are a number of ways of doing it, step one is the do it yourself method which is quite a time consuming process, so perhaps that’s not the best way to do it
Getting to automation in how you are Using Articles means really one of two results, one of which offers a free trial and lets you get your videos out to around 100 sites including many social media sites, your first 4 are free, it offers a very wide distribution base and gives you full details on what the results are and that is
Your second choice offers you both paid and free options, the free option offers you distribution to around 16 video sites, going to the paid version gives you more options in terms of metrics and that is
So dust down your old articles and see if they are suitable for making in video, it’s a major way of driving traffic and it’s a great way of Using Articles