Make YOUR Social Media Profiles Profitable With Patreon.com

Did you know that there is a way to turn your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels into paid memberships? Yep, that’s right, there is a way for people to pay you to get more of the content that you share without having to build a dedicated website.

With YouTube, you can earn from the adverts shown on your videos if you are a YouTube Partner enrolled into their AdSense system but this is not always as profitable as some people would hope. Unfortunately more and more people are using ad blocking software to block adverts from showing on websites including YouTube. This has drastically reduced people’s income and potential income for new starters.

The 3 Types Of Internet Marketers

I decided to write this post as a follow up to last week’s article ‘“Bulls**t Baffles Brains” Copywriting. The Art Of Persuasion Through Words  which I wrote about copywriting and some of the tricks that are used by many of the people in the industry.

There are unfortunately a lot of dubious people in this industry who try their hardest to sell you products you might not want and they will do it anyway they can. There are also quite a few honest and decent people out there who will sell you products without all of the unethical bulls**t and hype.

I wanted to describe the 3 main types of marketer who you will no doubt come across in your quest to learn more, to make more money or find a system that might just change your life. The 3 types are

  1. The Real Deal
  2. The Publisher
  3. The Bulls**tter

Let’s take a look at them in more detail, as you can imagine the first 2 appear to be the people you want to pay attention too and the 3rd one is to be passed over as quick as possible. The big problem comes from the types of sales letters and marketing methods they use, for example the Real Deal will tell you about the system he used and how it made him a success however the Bulls**tter will also say the same when it is not true. How do you tell who is who? Unfortunately that is the hardest part but anyway let’s look at the 3 types in detail.

The 3 Types Of Internet Marketers

1 The Real Deal

As the title suggests this is the type of person who has done what he says and talks about. His knowledge in a subject is from experience and that experience can be very successful or simply ok. What matters is how he sells himself, his products or services.

In no way will they try and sell a product or information by telling you that it made them a success or a lot of money if it hadn’t. These people will tell you what they know, what they did and not what they think you want to know. If they see another product that they know worked for someone else and decide to promote it too, they will say it worked for that person and not try to convince you that they had success with it.

Some successful people will promote the system that made them a success themselves but usually these people will first go to a publishing company or be approached by one who ask them to share their system. They usually create the product which could be an eBook, written manual and/or training videos, the publishing company will then publish, promote and market it. Both parties will share the profits often on a 50-50 basis after all the costs are covered.

trustworthy marketers

The people who spring to mind when we talk about the real deal are George ‘Google Sniper’ Brown, Patrick Meninga, Pat Flynn, Zac Johnson, and Yaro Starak. Each have had success in their own way, they have been open about it and they will not pretend to be anything other than what they say.

2 The Publisher

The publisher is simply a business person or company that sells information products, systems or software but do it by selling the product or the person who had success with it. The internet marketing and direct mail marketing industry has been plagued by people pretending to be an expert or a success when in reality they were not or that they hid behind a pseudonym creating another false success.

dummies books

The important thing to remember is that you do not need to be a success or an expert to sell systems or products that work as long as you openly admit it isn’t you or focus on those who are the success. The Dummies books cover every topic imaginable but the publishers and company owners are not experts in the information or topics they publish.

Papers are full of articles and information written by journalists who have done some research but not necessarily had the experience. Writing information and giving tutorials about things that work by someone who has never used them is ok. Most of the eBooks and guides you get from internet marketers are written by people from outsourcing sites like Elance and Odesk, very few marketers write them themselves and very few have actually done what their eBooks are about.

As for the example of the Dummies books, the publisher will often approach experts in a field and ask them to write it for them. It has a win win situation because the popular publishing company lends its name to the expert which helps sell the book and the expert in the field lends his name to the publishing company which also helps sell the book.

We encourage people to write eBooks or create products that they can sell but a lot of people are fearful because they feel that they are a fraud if they have not experienced first-hand the information they are sharing. This shouldn’t be the case, you cannot copyright fact and if something works and you know it works then you can share that information whether you have used it or not, that is what publishing houses have been doing for centuries.

You should never dismiss someone who offers information because they have not used it themselves or their product, the information could be seriously good and very useful. What really matters is how they market and sell the information. Publishing companies include those that publish the ‘Dummies’ and ‘Idiot’ guides.

3 The Bulls**tter

Invisiable manThis one is self-evident but unfortunately for the newbie it can be quite hard to tell if the person claiming to be the successful self-made millionaire is telling the truth or just another unethical bulls**tter.

They will do anything and everything to convince you that the product they are selling works and that they have a made a lot from it or that it will be the next big thing. It can take some serious research to uncover whether the person is real or not or if their story is true.

These people genuinely do not care about you or your money and will do anything to get it from you. These are the scammers and the people who give the industry a bad name. (Along with a few other issues)

The sales copy will have all of the copywriting tricks and they will not be subtle, they will sell the dream to a point it will be so sugary sweet even Disney would want to vomit.

I don’t know if anyone remembers Riplin but they promised to be the next big thing in social media, they didn’t say they wanted to be but that they WOULD be. They said their mobile app system would be worth billions and to be an early part of it was a way to guarantee success along with a lot of wealth.

It had an MLM feel and to be part of it you had to apply to be a member then after that it was invite only and to get an invite you had to contact a team leader, someone who had already become a member. They had some seriously professional looking videos created along with flashy animation (see below) to get people excited and interested leading to many to sign up.

Was it a game or a social media network? Was it a mobile app or not?  Most people wasn’t sure what it was or what it actually did. I cannot remember whether people paid an initial up front joining fee as a lot of it was done behind doors and in secrecy. Apparently that was to make the whole thing exciting and mystical for marketing reasons but what is interesting is that it has just suddenly disappeared into thin air.

When I last went to the website I was still none the wiser, there is a 14 minute video explaining that Rippln will be the next big thing but it doesn’t explain how nor is there an ‘about us’ or ‘how it works’ page.

The website is still there but doors are closed and I believe that includes the invite only set up. So have they run to the hills with hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in their bank accounts or did they just amass a huge list of emails which they then either sold to other marketers or rented out for email broadcasts? Having a lot of hot targeted emails is a commodity and worth a fortune, it is possible the scam was nothing more than an email harvesting ploy.

Whatever happened these people sold the dream and said that they had had the next billion dollar industry, sucked loads of people in and the disappeared, they simply bulls**tted their way to wealth and back to their secret hideout.

This, my friends, is the thing you need to be very careful about, if the product sells the dream but hardly mentions what it is or how it works or what you get for joining/buying then the bizzebee rule of thumb is to stay well clear.

“Bulls**t Baffles Brains” Copywriting. The Art Of Persuasion Through Words

I have wanted to write this article for a while now to help people understand what copywriting is and what it does.copywriting sample

In a nut shell copywriting is the art of persuading people to take action by using well-chosen words creating emotionally charged and well-crafted sentences. It is an art form and a science but it is also often frowned upon, sometimes with good reason may I add.

As business owners we all want to be able to sell bucket loads of our great products and services and it is true that if a product is great it can sell itself or rather it should however many of the products you see these days online associated with the internet marketing and ‘make money’ industries are often poor or the greedy owners simply want to charge a lot more for them than what they are really worth.

Copywriting. The Art Of Persuasion Through Words

To maximise their profits and to sell more they create long form sales pages full of copy that is written to persuade the reader to buy. This is often criticised because it appears people are manipulated to buy a product they really do not want.

In many ways this is true, people are made to believe that they should buy the product and that it would change their lives but how does that happen? How does someone who is not interested or vaguely interested in a product can go from non interested into getting out their credit card and spending several hundred or even several thousands of pounds/dollars to buy a product they are not even sure what it does?

The AIDA Principle.

Copywriters and internet marketers use what is called the AIDA principle. AIDA stands for…

  1. Attention,
  2. Interest,
  3. Desire,
  4. Action.

All long form sales letters, which can be up to 32 pages long, that fall through your letter boxes by the Direct Mail marketers to the very short adverts you would see in the back of newspapers and magazines a few years ago use this principle.

copywriting tricks

The headline of the copy must capture attention. “Full Time Policeman Pays Off £120,000 Mortgage in Just 4 Weeks By Doing Less Than 10 Minutes Work A Week…”

“… & Adds Further £5,000 To His Bank Account”

That headline and sub headline will get people’s attention, it has a hard working person with little or no time to spare who has managed to pay off his big mortgage after getting a commercial cash out refinance within a fast time frame by doing what appears to be very little easy to do work once a week and also adds more money into his bank account.

In this day and age of austerity, cut backs and recession, who would not want to know how to generate over £120,000 in four weeks for what appears to be less than an hour’s work?

Within the copy of a sales letter the reader is taken on a rollercoaster ride where they are told a story about a struggling hard working desperate person who probably had large debts and who was tired of life and looking for a big change. The type of person that the general public can identify with.

The sales letter will then tell how this person changed his or her life in a “small time person done good” type of story. They will now be living a lifestyle that the reader would like or desire. The sales letter will then tell you to imagine that it was you and ask if you would like that kind of lifestyle. The sales copy will then talk about how you too could achieve that same level of lifestyle by copying what this person did. They normally tell you this without giving much away about what it was that the successful person actually did.

This successful ‘rags to riches’ story is to raise the interest in the reader, “yes I do want to learn how to sell your home quickly to pay off my mortgage and have money in the bank, I am also struggling for time/lazy and want to do little work, I am interested, please tell me more”

Rather than sell the product most sales copy sells either a lifestyle or desire. The copywriter focuses on an end result or benefit that the product COULD deliver.

This isn’t all bad as most people would really prefer to know what they will get from having a product than what the product actually does, for example someone who suffers from spots and acne wants to buy a product that gets rid of spots for ever and leaves them with smooth fresh looking skin, how it works isn’t really that important to the user. So it would be madness to not mention the lifestyle benefits in the sales copy if your product could deliver those results.

The issue comes when people write copy full of benefits which are generally unlikely to happen or unattainable. This happens a lot, usually the sales letter is full of benefits which can only be realised when you either…

  1. Buy the more expensive up sell which the sales copy forgets to mention
  2. Invest a lot more money which you now may not have after paying thousands for the information
  3. Follow a very hard and often unworkable work plan.

Selling the Benefits.

As a product owner you must sell the results and benefits and in the world of real products like those found in shops this is often done more ethically and is more accountable. Generally real world products do not need to over sensationalise its sales copy because people see it and buy if they decide they want it or not. The products are easier to buy as many more places generally stock them.

Think of shampoo, the sales copy and advertising material prefer to baffle their customers with science and talks more about the chemicals in them that do wondrous things with your hair. They work on the ignorance of people who have no idea of what a ‘pemptiwhattide’ is or what ‘whatdoyoucallitites’ extract does but because they have been told and shown that it nourishes hair to a natural shine it must be good.

These products are available everywhere and are generally sold at a reasonable price. After all the only benefit you get is clean hair, it will hardly change your life whereas the information product that is sold online or via direct mail long form copy are often priced a lot higher because they could change your life for the better. Supposedly.

People are becoming more aware and many of these products are deemed to be cons which is not always the case, but they have had a period where they have been over priced which just adds to their own problems.

I can tell you this in confidence; the older style direct mail marketers prefer to sell these items at higher prices because it means they do less work, they cut down on their overheads by paying for less DVDs and fulfilment costs while keeping incredibly high profit margins. They get rich quicker.

Many marketers will use the analogy of owing the winning lottery ticket, the actually value of the paper and the ink is probably less than a penny but if it is the winning ticket worth £10 million the value is far more than the price of the materials or the money you paid for it.

Imagine you owned that winning ticket but you were leaving the country and unable to collect the money so you decided to sell the ticket.  Theoretically you could sell it for £1 million in cash; if anyone could get their hands on that amount of cash they would be stupid not to buy the ticket for one million if they could instantly make a life changing £9 million profit.

Even the people who think information products are scams would think a person was stupid for not buying a £10 million pound winning lottery ticket for £1 million. This is how information marketers see their products and price them. If a product they are selling has made one everyday person £120,000 in 4 weeks then surely it is worth £12,000? The answer is yes and no.

It does increase the price slightly but the problem is that unlike the winning ticket which is an instant result, the information product has too many variables and hidden issues that make the product hard for most people to master.

The fact some people do not make the promised £120,000 is because they do not follow the information correctly which, as I mentioned earlier, to do so would need more time and money invested than first realised due to the sales letter selling the dream instead of the reality.

With so many people seeing information products as scams the copywriter works hard crafting his or her sales letter to convince the reader otherwise. ‘This is a genuine man, a real product, with real results that you too could achieve…’ then the letter finishes with the usual legal requirements, everyone’s results may be different etc etc.

The reader is drawn through the letter by grabbing their ATTENTION, they then are made INTERESTed in what the letter has to say by telling the story of the ordinary person doing well and then they have their emotions stirred with images and fantasies of living a millionaires lifestyle. This creates a big DESIRE on the part of the reader and that desire to become wealthy and live that lifestyle along with the ‘true’ story of the person who was successful then drives them to make a decision to take ACTION.

Should they carry on ambling along in debt or get the credit card out and spend several thousand pounds/dollars on learning a system that generated over £120,000 in four weeks. I mean, the guy made £120,000 in four weeks that means in a month I should have made my investment back and more right? So what is £12,000 ticket price when I could be mortgage less and wealthy in four weeks? This time next year I will be mega wealthy, right?

These questions are the ones being asked by the reader who then convinces himself to take action and buy, it is very easy to make that decision when the sales copy has impregnated your mind with answers that will cloud your judgement when you come to ask yourself, “Is this product worth £12,000?”

You are made to see key phrases which lead your mind to make the decision to buy; these key phrases are written in different colours, highlighted, made bold or underlined and sometimes made to lean like italics, these tricks make them stand out more and become more noticable over the rest of the copy. Words like ‘Secret’, ‘Revealed’, ‘Never seen before’ and a whole host of powerful words are interwoven into the copy to affect your decisions as if you were sharing a flat with Derren Brown and Paul McKenna. ‘Look into my eyes, not around the eyes but into my eyes…’

brown mckenna

The desire is so strong many people say yes and then buy a product which when arrives is a lot more work than what was portrayed and also comes with a refund policy that was ‘hinted at’ but most people fail to understand which is, the product cannot be refunded unless you have used the system unsuccessfully for one whole year and followed the plan to the letter.

By opening the parcel and deciding that the product is not for you often will start that refund policy which means you have now lost £12,000 (whatever the cost is) or you have to work hard for the next year following the unworkable plan before you can even attempt to ask for a refund.

Internet marketing systems that are delivered online and not as DVDs usually have a 30 day money back guarantee because many of the online affiliate networks like Clickbank insist on them. Online systems are generally cheaper mainly because the way they are shown is either online or a digital download.  They do not send out expensive postal mail shots which can cost tens of thousands of pounds/dollars.

Also the digital way that online systems are delivered and seen means they can be sold and accessed for many years to come with very little extra costs. An off line marketer would need to send out a new expensive mail out if he wanted to re sell the DVD course to new people, internet marketers do not have that issue but many do still use the long form style of sales letters on their websites. Many now use video these days because they do convert really well but they still use the AIDA principle.

Some videos that were created by people like Anik Singal were very professional, they were mini Hollywood movies designed to get your ATTENTION, to get you INTERESTED, to create a DESIRE in you and to finally drive you to take ACTION. The same principle, just a different media.

The worst trick, which is nearly stamped out now, was to create a scarcity feel to the product. Unscrupulous marketers would say things like “Only 500 available, hurry now before they are all sold out and you miss out on this once in a life time offer” Often they would sell as many as was ordered and if they flew past 500 they would still sell and then re promote the “once in a lifetime offer” a few months later.

Another trick is that copywriters would add a ‘price hike’ after a set time, for example a product is for sale at £$47 but after 24 hours the price will jump up to £$197 so you need to act quick to get your discounted deal. Sometimes the price hike is affected by sales numbers so the first 50 ordered are at £$47 then after that the price goes up.

This is done so that you do not doubt your decision and buy. If the price was not set to go up after 24 hours you might not buy straight away while you ponder on it for a while and then you might either decide not to buy at all or completely forget about it. Marketers have lost a sale and they do not like that so they try and get you to buy fast.

Fortunately much of this has been stamped out by the affiliate networks who insist these tactics can only be used if you are only selling a set number of products or if the price will increase after 24 hours. However in my experience I still see sales letters discussing time and sales related ‘price hikes’ 6 months or more after the product was launched which to me means the trick is still being used in a not so ethical manner.

Whether you are reading the sales letter online or one that has come through the letterbox please read them careful and see what the sales copy actually says. They do their best to be as vague as possible about the product itself.

Try and ascertain what the product actually does, do a Google search on the product name or owner to see if you can find more information. After receiving a sales letter through the post by a UK company, using Google I found the same product had been sold in the US for several months, the UK company had doubled the price, used the same sales copy but just changed it from dollars to pounds and increased the price. I doubt the product would have be much use here in the UK.

Make sure you read a sales letter understanding that they are designed to sell a dream or series of benefits and not what the product does. They are written to evoke an emotional response in you strong enough for you to want to buy. In reality they are trying to cloud your judgement and get you to buy, as the old saying here in the UK goes, “Bulls**t baffles brains”

I shall leave you with that thought for today. 🙂

The Best Of The Web. 21/12/2013

Weekly Roundup

Bizzebee Christmas Special

We hope you have had a great week and we would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. It soon comes around to it, I hope you are ready for it. For the next two weeks we decided to do something a little different. Instead of giving you 10 articles from around the web we will be sharing 6 of our own favourite articles from either our bizzebee site, our personal websites or websites we have been fortunate to have had work publish.

We will do 6 this week and 6 next week as a Christmas and New Year special to show you that we do work on other projects and have other interests. We want you to get to know us more and understand that we are not new to this. These posts are chosen by ourselves as posts and articles we are proud of or by other team members who have chosen articles they have enjoyed that were written by fellow bizzebees.

So here are this week’s 6 articles as written by or featuring members of the bizzebee team.

Cadenza Celebrates 10 Years

The first article we have was written by our own Ambassador to Ibiza  Clair ‘Queen Bee’ Trebes. She wrote this article for Darren Candy’s excellent Ibiza based blog AddictedToIbiza.com which covers all things Ibiza from the music scene to living there.

Ibiza pulls clubbers, D.J.s and music from around the world but that doesn’t mean that the best parties and music can only be found on the White Island. In this post Clair travels to Romania to experience the 10 year Cadenza Records celebration party.

Cadenza is a Romanian Record label who has been producing quality dance music for 10 years and to celebrate they threw a party which did not disappoint Clair and her friends.  Pop over and take a read of Clair’s review and while you are there take a look around Darren’s excellent site. You might just find other articles written by Clair and myself. 🙂

All Hail The 303! The Birth Of Acid and The Start Of The Rave Revolution

Keeping with the music vibe the next article is written by me Andi for Clair’s own music site CrossTheLine.co.uk and was put forward by Clair as well as being chosen by myself. I love all things electronic and Acid House is a passion of mine so when I was asked to write a piece about the history of the music I love I was delighted.

This is one of those posts that you love to write. I certainly did and was lost in it, I didn’t really want to stop and could have gone on for ever. I am sure Clair is glad that I did stop, it is long enough as it is. I was also fortunate to be able to share a mix I did many moons ago so if you love the old Acid House music of 1988 you will love this article. If you do not know what it is then all I can say is pop over, take a read and I hope you enjoy.

You might also notice a link in this article taking the reader to an article I wrote for AddictedToIbiza.com which you will know all about by now 🙂 I am sure another article for Darren’s site is long overdue.

My Lost Weekend, Feminax & A Bit of Product Creation

It is always hard trying to choose one of John’s posts but I decided to go with this one. I love John’s style of no BS writing and he has many to choose from but I went with this one because it is informative but also shows his sense of humour and his realism.

In this article over at his blog JohnBanksBlog.com John reviews a product creation seminar/workshop that he went to and discusses who he met, what he learned and what the future holds for our champion product creator.

He also dabbled in drugs at the event, drugs specifically for period pains, it sounds like it was one seriously wild event!

If product creation is the thing you want to get involved in then I suggest you read this post and also take a longer look around John’s site.

12 Ways To Increase Exposure For Your New Blog Post

This is an epic article by Sam over on Matt’s fantastic website OnlineIncomeTeacher.com. Sam lists 12 very important and powerful ways to get your blog seen by more people and increase the traffic to it.

Traffic is important if your business is web based and you need to be seen so you must incorporate keywords, RSS Feeds blog commenting and a whole host of methods to help your blog grow.

Even if you have a website but rely on local offline custom you still need the people in your area to find you and implementing the methods Sam has listed here will help new customers find you and increase your sales. For future bloggers this a must read too.

15 Blog Post Ideas To Use When You Are Stuck For Ideas

This next post is here on the bizzebee site and is by Matt Smith. Matt loves to write epic posts and if you have your own blog where you need to write content for it I am sure there are times when you struggle to think of anything to write about.

It happens to all of us, we can be stuck for ideas but it is generally harder when people are first starting out on the journey of creating content. These days we find it easier because we have lists of ideas and suggestions of what we can write about if we are struggling. Matt has compiled 15 of the best ideas that can help when writers block strikes.

It is advised to print it off and place it close where you can see it so that you never waste much time trying to find ideas, I have printed this off and think it is one of the most useful posts we have here on bizzebee.com

Steps to move your Website – Beginners Guide

The last article this week comes from our resident techy and coder Mizanur. Mizanur owns a blog which covers virtually anything under the sun. His speciality though is the technical side of the internet and computing.

He writes a lot of WordPress posts and creates great tutorials. In this post Mizanur explains in a step by step guide how to move your website from one hosting provider to another. While there though take a look around the site, I am sure you will find plenty of other interesting articles.

That is it for this week, we have 6 more of our own articles taken from around the web for you next Saturday before returning to the usual 10 best articles from around the webosphere. I and the rest of the bizzebee team would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and we hope you all have a good one and for those of you out there who do not celebrate we  wish you a great week instead. 🙂

3 Ways To Help You Remember Those Million Dollar Ideas

The brain is an incredible machine, while you are busy doing stuff it is quietly whirring away mulling over all of the information you have been feeding it such as your wants and desires and then without warning while you are right in the middle of something it throws an idea right into your mind’s eye.

You can see it clear as day and it knocks you back, ‘oooh that is a good idea’ you think to yourself, ‘I gotta remember that’ and then you carry on doing what you were doing. Here lies the problem, you do not remember it because you get busy doing other things and these flashes of genius inspiration are fleeting and hey go as quickly as they come unless you take 5 minutes to seriously think about them. If you do not take note of them they become buried under the other thousands of thoughts you have that day.

While you are busy working you probably do not have much spare time to get thinking about the idea deeply and all that it entails so it is important that you take note of these ideas as they come. Believe it or not these ideas are often the big multi-million dollar winners that can change your life forever.

Many of the most successful people listen out for these ideas, they take note of them and then they think about them until they grow and evolve into a plan of action which when followed creates projects and businesses that changes their lives for the better.

1 The Traditional Note Book And Pen

This is the oldest and one of the easiest ways of taking note of the things you need to remember. Successful people of the past wouldn’t leave the house without a note pad and pen. Way before smart phones or laptops were invented people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and millions more would always carry a pocket size notepad around with them wherever they went so they could take notes of any flashes of inspiration they received from deep within their sub consciousnesses.

Ideally you need a small notebook that fits nicely into a pocket but I personally find it hard to write well in small notebooks however they are not for doing full articles or stories but more for general ideas and brainstorming so small is good. When I worked and lived in Surrey I occasionally had to catch a train when visiting family in Lincolnshire so I had a medium sized notepad which I kept in my bag and I would get it out and do brainstorming sessions. I could rest on my bag or on a table if there was a table seat available.

notebook brainstorming

The image above shows a brainstorming session I had from ideas I had previously written down when they flashed across my mind.

2 Using A Dictaphone

I have one of these and I spent quite a few days using it when I was thinking up content for a book I was writing. The great thing about using a Dictaphone was that I could hold it with one hand and talk while I carried on doing other work. It was ideal for the job I was doing at the time; if you needed both hands then it could be a bit more difficult unless you can stand/hang it close to where you are working. I would simply talk through my ideas and it would record them as an audio file that I could upload to my computer.

Dictaphones are great if you are writing a fictional book especially if you want to create the story and pay someone to do the actual writing. While sitting in a quiet room or somewhere where you will not be disturbed like a wood or sand dunes where you can relax and simply allow your mind to see the story happening speak it out loud in detail. Say everything that you are imagining and record it as audio files which you can then pop into a shareable folder like DropBox or Google Drive or email to your ghost writer.

These days you do not need to buy a Dictaphone if you own a smartphone as these usually come with a voice recorder so you can easily create short notes about any ideas you have by simply hitting record and speaking into your phones mouth piece. If you intend to write a fictional book then a Dictaphone is probably better than a smartphone as it will have more space for longer recordings.

Having a Dictaphone close to hand is great when those flashes of inspiration and ideas just pop right into your head, you pull it out of your pocket, hit record and say what the idea was. Now you have it saved ready to work on later.

Some Dictaphones come with software which should convert the audio into text so you can simply edit the information in a text file however my experience is that it really isn’t that reliable. For it to work properly you need to set the software to your voice and it doesn’t convert words well if there was a lot of background noise. Personally I would simply playback the ideas as a recording and type or write them up to work through.

3 Send Yourself A Text

I like this one, it saves carrying a notebook and pen around and let’s be honest, pens/pencils are very easy to lose and if you do lose them then you have no way of writing down your ideas. Sending yourself a text can quickly and easily create a note of any ideas you may have. Smartphones also allow you to create notes and some come with software like Evernote or MS Word for creating documents of ideas but I find that it is often easier to open up the text editor, write out a message and simply send it to myself.

When I return home and go to my office I open up my text message folder and there are my ideas ready for me to write down in a proper ideas book that I have and I can start to brainstorm these ideas and watch them grow.

text message

Because I have my phone with me all the time I should never forget any ideas I have, if I do forget I have no real excuse, it is my own fault for not making note of them with the technology and tools I have with me each and every day .

So there you go, 3 simple ways to make a record of any ideas that you may have that flash into your mind when you are busy. Remember these fleeting ideas we get are the ones that can turn people into big successes so to not take note of them could be financial suicide. I am sure you do not want that do you?

Using Facebook to Grow Your Business For FREE [Example]

As we are all about small offline businesses using social media to grow I thought I would use a local business Lincoln Yurts as an example who are using Facebook pretty well to get their message across.

Lincoln Yurts Cover ImageYou may recall that my last article covered how and why people should use YouTube to grow their business and get leads for their offline businesses, if not then you can read that article here.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business

Facebook like YouTube is free to use but unlike YouTube it can be geo specific which means that if someone uses a local business and likes their Facebook page other local connections will see and this has a powerful visual equivalent to ‘word of mouth’.

Every business should have a Facebook page especially now that Facebook have relaxed their rules about running competitions. Before you had to use specific Facebook approved aps to run a competition or sweepstake on their network but now you can simply run one however you please. You might have seen a lot of pages doing the ‘share &  win…’ style competitions where you are asked to share a photo or post to enter the competition. Some ask you to like their page to have a chance to win a prize.

like and share photo

These are great because they can create a buzz, an excitement and have your product seen by many more people than just a typical photo post. If you have something that you can give away then why not run a Facebook competition? Remember they are free to do. I shall keep coming back to this a lot, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are FREE and used well they can be very powerful.

 Lincoln Yurts Win A Holiday

In this example you will see that local company Lincoln Yurts ran a competition where they gave away a free holiday consisting of a 2 night mid-week stay in one of their Yurts.  The image above shows that people were liking the photos and sharing them.

The owners of Lincoln Yurts were posting new and different photos showing what they had to offer so people were not seeing the same old picture but instead they were seeing more of what  they would get if they won and this was great for ‘wetting people’s appetites’.

They had the camp site already set up with Yurts so for them giving away a couple of nights stay away for free is not going to cost them a lot of outlay. Far from it, those two free nights they gave away helped to grow their business and put their name and business in front of new people.

Every time someone clicked like of the Lincoln Yurts page or shared any of the Lincoln yurts photos their friends would see their activities in their own newsfeeds.  Imagine that you had seen one of your friends had won a competition, you would probably take a quick look at the Facebook page or website that had ran the competition.

Lincoln Yurts Win A Holiday Winner Showing the winner is also a very powerful thing to do, in fact it is the best way to inform people who the winner is. Recently one excellent Facebook competition run by an online holiday company failed to do this and instead opted to email the winner which left a lot of confusion and a bad end to a really good competition.

This is viral marketing at its best, if any of the friends got curious and clicked through to the Lincoln Yurts page they now know that they exist and may be interested in booking a night or two there, generating more revenue from a simple free to use online social network.

The other great thing about Facebook is that unlike paid adverts in papers or magazines you can answer people’s questions and have conversations with people in real time. The examples below show people asking if there were any Yurts available on a set night, what the nearest train station was and how far from Lincoln were they. As you can see Lincoln Yurts were able to answer and have a conversation with people as well as direct them to their own website.

 Lincoln Yurts ChatsWhen people see an advert in a paper and become interested they need to either switch the computer on to send an email or make a phone call which is fine but it means people either decide to do it later and then forget or get up and go fetch the phone which isn’t hard but we people are lazy, that simple task of getting up to fetch the phone can often result in people thinking to themselves, ‘I cannot be bothered to get up, I am too comfy’

With Facebook, when someone is relaxing on the sofa scrolling through their newsfeeds and they see something that interests them they can send a message or place a comment there and then. They may not get an answer straight away but they know that when they do they will be notified of any reply and can go and see it straight away. Never in the world of advertising has it been so easy to interact with potential clients, let alone do it for free!

Lincoln Yurts News and Fun Updates The other great thing I have noticed with Lincoln Yurts is that they share photos of fun things, their newest additions and new developments. These keep people informed while reminding them that they are still there. This kind of reminder is what multibillion dollar earning companies like Coca Cola do every day. Do we need to be told who Coca Cola and McDonalds are?

 coca cola mcdonalds

Virtually everyone in the western world knows about them but if they do not keep making TV adverts to remind us of their products we could soon forget about them. Just like them we smaller businesses need to keep gently reminding people that we are still in business and that we are improving and growing. Why wouldn’t you? Especially when the systems we can use are free, we can do the posts before or after the working day or maybe both.

Whatever your business is you could take several photos during a working day and then while sitting down to relax in front of a bit of television in the evening you could post a couple of photos with some information and monitor any questions they may generate. It really isn’t hard work but the rewards can be incredible. I am sure that the owners of Lincoln Yurts would say that their use of Facebook has benefitted them greatly, they may not yet be able to measure it but I am sure their business has grown by using the free social media platform and interacting with people.

If you are not yet using Facebook then maybe now is the time to get started? Do you agree? Please leave your thoughts and comments below in the comments section.

Oh and for the record, I have never been to Lincoln Yurts or know the people who own Lincoln Yurts and I have not been financially rewarded for this post, I simply wanted to use them as an example of using Facebook to grow your business for free – Andi Leeman

The Best Of The Web. 30/11/2013

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Yes folks it is Saturday once again. We hope you have had a great week.

This week has been a bad week for one of the bizzebee team, Mizanur was involved in a traffic accident and was hospitalised. His injuries could have been bad but fortunately he was rushed to surgery where he underwent an operation which was successful and saved the movement in his hand.

He will be out of action for a few weeks and hopefully back at his desk in a month, we are all grateful that there was a great outcome to this terrible accident and I hope you will join us as we wish him well and a speedy recovery.

As for the rest of us we have been busy getting the Hive ready for the pre-launch on Monday, to read more about the launch of the Hive Click Here.

I have compiled another list of 10 great posts and articles to share with you all this week which have been put forward by the team and here they are.

8 Things Businesses Need To Know About Timeline For Facebook Pages

OK so we start this week’s roundup by a post Sam offered up for sharing, it is an old one but a good one and also it has grown from 8 to 13 things businesses need to know about the Facebook pages Timeline.

We go once again over to Kim Castleberry’s excellent Just-Ask-Kim.com site. We are big fans of Kim here as she knows a lot and I do mean a lot about everything! J This post is all about what the Facebook Timeline can do for you as a business, all businesses need a Facebook page and if you haven’t got one yet you will have by the time you have read this post.

Network Exclusive: How To Thrive After Penguin 2.1

Another epic post from the SEO Sith Lord Glen Allsopp showing us what happened to sites after Google released their latest updates and he also tells us what we should do to help recover from them if our websites were affected by them.

Glen knows his stuff, he has been doing SEO for many years now and a lot of what he has realised is that many of the dark side methods to SEO work faster and better than the stuff Google would like us to do. This like all of Glen’s post is an epic and informative read. Make a brew, get sat down and get stuck in.

5 Ways Twitter Chats Can Help Your Business

For those of you who do not know, SocialMediaExaminer.com is the home for all things social media and in this post Kristi Hines talks about Twitter chats and what hosting them can do for you and your business.

You might not know what a Twitter chat is but you might have noticed one night several of your friends on Twitter posting Tweets with hashtags like #bbmeetup (bizzebee meet up as an example) and wondered what it was that they were doing.

They were probably participating in a worldwide time scheduled chat and debate and they can be very powerful and also a lot of fun. To learn more pop over and read this excellent article.

Five of the Best Social Media Marketing Campaigns Ever

This is an excellent article by Chris Taylor talking about five real examples of great social media marketing campaigns that went viral. From large companies like Heinze and BodyForm these examples show what can happen when you think a little outside of the box.

Also having a large budget to implement some of these videos and market campaigns has helped but you can see how fast these things can spread when done right.

60 Experts Reveal Their Favourite Content Marketing Books

The content champion Loz James has written an epic post that asks 60 industry experts to reveal the books they read which has helped them become successful.

He has also included a big list of content marketing and marketing books that are available on Amazon for you to buy if you wish and websites for you to look at which offer a lot of great useful and inspirational content for free.

This is an epic post and well worth a read.

7 Reasons Why Hashtags are a MUST in Your Marketing

Kim Garst has written a great post giving us 7 reasons why we should use hashtags in our marketing campaigns when using social media. Love them or hate them they are being used more and more and they do have many great benefits.

I personally do not like them, I very rarely search social media with them and would be interested to know what the average Joe public thinks but many marketers do use them and to not use them can leave a lot of potential traffic and clients on the table as they say. Pop over and see what Kim has to say about them

9 Inspirational Lessons From Steve Jobs [Infographic]

John our graphics expert loves infographics and here he shares with us a great one from the HowToMakeMyBlog website giving us 9 inspirational lessons that we can learn from the late Apple founder.

It is fair to say, Steve Jobs built a big company that most people have heard of even if they do not associate the company with Steve Jobs so I think he is in a great position to share a lesson or two.

Thinking Of Giving Up? Read This.

This is an updated post by Tom Ewer over at LeavingWorkBehind.com originally written in 2011 but it is just as relevant and powerful today. As tom says “Leaving Work Behind Is a Hopeless Venture” if you quit that is.

In this post Tom discusses about how that perseverance will pay off if you plan what you do. Tom says… “From an objective perspective, if you do not succeed, you did not apply yourself properly and/or did not apply yourself for long enough”.

It’s that simple Too many people give up and thing that quitting the day job and working from home cannot be done, well it can and it is those who focus and plan what they need to do and go that extra mile eventually will make it..

15 Answers to Your Kindle Publishing Questions

As I am putting together a course on creating eBooks this post caught my eye, this is a great post over at the Steve Scott Site. I am certain this isn’t the same Steve Scott I used to work for as a bench joiner and shop fitter. No this Steve Scott is a writer and author who has several eBooks published on Amazon’s Kindle store.

We live in the digital age and eBooks are the future but they are also the present and there are a lot of benefits for having your own eBook written and published. In this excellent post Steve gives us 15 answers to the questions you and I have regarding publishing eBooks on Amazon Kindle.

A must read I say.

28 and a ½ Ideas for Business Blog Posts

This is a great post written by Steff Green over at the fantastic blog Men With Pens. If you are finding it hard to think of things to write about on your site for your industry then Steff who is a content writer and creator has 28 great tips and ideas for creating content.

There is also a half idea and to know what that is you need to pop over and take a read of this great post. J

So that is it for the serious and useful articles, it is now time for something a bit leftfield and interesting. This is a great video showing the excavation of an ant colony.

Giant Ant Colony Excavated, You won’t believe what they build underground!

This video was put forward by Clair and is a really amazing video of an abandoned ant colony that was excavated so sciences could study it. It took 3 days to fill it with 10 tonnes of concrete and then weeks to dig away the soil around it.

I was going to share the original post however it was mainly video with less text than what is written here and a load of people fighting in the comments section!?!?! so instead I have added the video here for your ease and sanity.

This video shows an extraordinary structure that looks like an alien city from a TV sci-fi show. It is incredible to see what nature and something as small as an ant can achieve when it is part of a colony of like-minded thinkers. A bit like us all here at the bizzebee colony really J Enjoy the video.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business FI

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business

Today I would like to introduce you all to Bert, Bert is my new friend, he helped me change a pull light switch in my house.Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Bert

You might be interested to know that I have never met or spoken to Bert but after his help, I would consider using his services if I lived in or around Watford or London.

So if I have never met or spoken to him how can he have helped me and why would I consider using his services? Let me explain…

For those of you who are unaware, I have this week moved back into my old house after renting it out for a couple of years to people who have been less than caring to the property. It was left in a sad and sorry state, the type of state that meant we couldn’t just move back in once the tenants had moved out.

I have spent the last fortnight working hard to get it back to an acceptable and habitable standard so that my better half and I could move back in. There are some big jobs to do over the next year or so but I have done enough for us to now live comfortably without worry. I left a few minor jobs to do once I was in and one of those jobs was to change the pull switch that controlled the bathroom light.

I fitted the original switch a few years ago but now it was broken and hanging loose. I thought this would be a simple five minute job so I popped off to the local B&Q to get a new switch and gathered all of the tools I would need. I spent 20 years in the building trade but I am not electrician and rarely touched electrics but I can manage straight swaps of electrical sockets etc.

So anyway I decided to take a quick look at the instructions and double check that I knew what I was doing and, let’s just say, I confused myself. The diagram made no sense to me so knowing that I had done it before I decided to turn the power off and start the work; I mean, I did it before so how hard can it be?

**(Time to point out that when you create diagrams or instructions of your products or services it is well worth remembering that many of your customers may be novices and beginners so you should make them as clear and understandable as possible to everyone and not just the experts!) I recommend reading Sell Results Not Specifications**

When I opened up the old switch I saw two red cables going into separate terminals. Now I am used to seeing a red and black cable being used with corresponding cables connecting to them via the terminals.

This light switch however wasn’t wired up like that so I was even more confused, I decided to get out my mobile phone and do a Google search using the phrase ‘how to fit a pull switch’ In the results on the first page was a YouTube video by Bert TV.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Results This was just what I needed, so I took a look.

The video is 4 minutes long and is in my opinion very professionally made. It is extremely useful and also quite funny. Bert has a great comical and lovable persona and it is helped with the well planned video with accompanying graphics. You can see for yourself below.

Bert, if that is his real name, has his own electrics company and he also has his own website which I think is brilliant because it does everything I believe a small business website should do. It has a lot of information about Bert and you get to know the man, his history, his skills, qualifications and how far he will travel to work. Bert worked at Buckingham Palace as well as on a Cruise ship and Honk Kong’s international airport. He certainly knows his stuff.

What is great about the videos that Bert has recorded for YouTube is that he has made them fun, useful and has also included an annotation box that appears during the film showing his phone number that you can call if you need any help.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business 1

Also what is important is that his video finishes with the details of his website so that people can go straight there for more details.

Now I am miles away from London so I doubt I will ever use his services but he is really doing something that all offline businesses should be doing and that is using free tools like YouTube to get new customers. Now we here at bizzebee know that 100 electricians cannot all rank their ‘how to fit pull switches’ videos on the front page of Google however you can use local SEO techniques to help you.

Google not only give different results to different people they are also monitoring where many people are and what they search for. Is it coincidence that after I looked at Bert’s London and Watford based electrician website that when I did a search for ‘local electricians’ I was shown results for London and Watford area?

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business Local Results I am currently writing this in Lincolnshire, miles away from Watford and yet I have a Watford/London result. Interesting, it could be that Google think I am in London but I have never worked in London for a long period of time. Before moving back to Lincolnshire I was below London living in Surrey on the Hampshire border so even then my local results should not have been for London.

As far as I am aware, Google should know from my IP address that I am at least 180 miles further up north!

To take advantage of this you can create a series of videos for your business whatever it may be and included local keywords like ‘Lincoln electrical’ ‘Boston Cup Cakes’ or ‘Gainsborough Carpenter and Joiner’ in your video titles or descriptions. Using local based keywords on your website will certainly benefit you when people search for businesses in your area.

Search engines like Google will pick up on them and if you have a YouTube channel that also uses the same localised keywords that links to your main website you have a greater chance of being chosen for their search results over people who simple have a website. If you were still unaware, Google own YouTube, using their video service can help you in their search results.

Remember, YouTube is free to use as are many of the other popular social media networks. In fact, YouTube is no longer considered as a social media network but a search engine in its own right. People use it to search for videos of anything and everything and I, like countless million other users, will use it to search for videos showing you how to do things.

My better half has used it many times when looking for information and tutorials when she wants to cook or bake something different. She is very creative and loves to bake and YouTube is an incredible source of information. You as a business are missing out if you do not use these free tools.

Have you ever seen a celebrity so many times that you think and feel that you know them? When that happens you generally trust them and all that they promote. You are likely to use the services and products they recommend. The same can happen when you use YouTube and create a lot of videos on a certain topic.

We have seen Bert and his electrics videos; I have seen plumbers doing the same with plumbing projects and other building trade based videos, after you have seen one or two great informative tutorials where would you go when you need new and different information on a new project? You would go to the people you already know. Wouldn’t you? I know I certainly do.

Having people coming to your videos week in and week out to see you bake cupcakes and muffins for example could easily have people coming to your shop and placing orders that you probably wouldn’t have got had you not made the tutorials.

On a final note, if you think making videos is a lot of work for one or two new clients let’s just stop and think about using YouTube alongside Facebook and Twitter which can have a lot of GEO specific followers. When you make a new video you simply share it so that your friends and followers can watch them, share them and comment. It makes sense to also share old videos now and then for new followers or to simply say ‘we are here still folks’

These tools are free and very powerful so if you are not using them for your offline business I need to ask… Why not?

Please share with us your thoughts, opinions and experiences about using YouTube and videos to get more custom to your offline business by commenting below.

Using YouTube To Generate Leads For Your Offline Business

5 tips for working from home successfully featured image

5 Tips For Working From Home Successfully

5 tips for working from home successfully featured imageI write today’s post because if like me you are working from home or at least are planning to you will need all the tips and advice you can get. I know most of the bizzebee team work from home if not all of the day they do quite a bit at home when they are not in their offices.

Working from home has a very romanticised sound to it. It sounds like we are free to do things as and when we choose to and that we can pop off here and there as we please and this can be true but there are some serious downfalls to working from home and they need to be managed.

If left unchecked and unmanaged it can be very easy to become distracted and if that happens nothing gets done. If nothing gets done your business will not grow and the worst case scenario is you do not get paid.

Working from home can be a lot harder than you think especially if you need to regularly earn money to maintain that lifestyle.

If you are a writer for example who is paid to write for a few websites and you do not finish off your articles on time you will not get paid it is simple as that. We all want and need money, without it we cannot live the life we want and if the life you want is to work from home let me tell you this…

…Working from home can be the very thing that destroys that dream and makes it impossible to continue.

I apologise if that sounds bleak but you must realise that you will be surrounded by the people and things you love and that means temptation to slack off and have fun is all around you all day!

When you work for a company in an office with a boss you wouldn’t dream of sitting around playing on the games console for four hours shooting Zombies would you? Change the office for your home and being self-employed then the story is very different, when you have yourself as your boss and manager it is easy to fall into the trap of doing the things you ‘enjoy’ and not the things that need to be done.

5 Tips For Working From Home Successfully
5 Tips For Working From Home Successfully

When working from home you still need to work, and for many of us, we need to work a lot harder and be more disciplined than ever before. Normally when working for other people we fear being sacked, when we work for ourselves we are not going to sack ourselves and can often bury our heads in the sands of pleasure and distraction.

Here are my 5 tips for working from home successfully

1) Find a quiet corner or area that you can set up as an office away from everyone else in the house if possible. If you have a spare room then fantastic, turn it into an office and work in it away from everyone.

You might not have a spare room and are forced into working in the lounge where people will be mulling around and watching T.V. This is not ideal but if that is the hand you are dealt try and create space in a corner where you can hide away a bit.

You have to decide what noise you can deal with best; I can handle T.V. better than people working in the kitchen. T.V. has a certain level and if the sound is not on too high I can block it out but if I am sat in a kitchen with people cooking, washing posts, putting pots away or having washing machines whirring away with different cycles I can easily be distracted and in many cases made to jump out of my skin. That really makes me lose my train of thought.

If you are forced into working in the main family room where everyone gathers then it can be a nightmare of a place to work in. It also isn’t fair on them, they want to play, chat and basically live a normal life without worrying about disturbing you all of the time.

2) If noise is an issue invest in some inner ear plugs to take away the sting of any distracting sounds there are in the room. These can be picked up cheap from chemists; I have a set in my drawer just in case. I don’t use them often as I generally work with music on, in silence when the better half is out at work or with the T.V. on low which doesn’t really affect me too much

If you are like me and able to work with music on then bury your head in headphones listening to some mellow music like instrumental chill out which doesn’t need your mental focus. Radio is not good because of the continual chatter that many D.J.s do throughout their shows which simply draws your attention to what they are saying which can be very distracting.

3) If you do not have a private office and are having to work in a room used by many people then plan your time and tasks around what other people in your house are doing that week. I often need to create videos and so I plan to do them when the better half is out at work or at friends. Sometimes she will tell me that she is popping out to a friend’s one evening and I will take a note of that in my weekly planner and schedule to use that time for tasks that require a quiet room.

Because we work from home and for ourselves it doesn’t matter what time we get work done as long as it gets done. Doing a few hours in an evening when I am alone can often give me that freedom to not rush to my computer the next morning when I can enjoy a relaxing cuppa with the family. But remember, I plan that time and I get the work done. It must be done.

4) Have a daily, weekly and monthly planner to hand and plan what you need to get done and want done for each day of the week and the month ahead. As I said in the 3rd tip about planning tasks when people are out you can have those times and tasks written down so you know exactly when to do them.

5 Tips For Working From Home Successfully

Having a schedule means that when you sit down at your computer at the start of the day or when you begin your work you know exactly what you are doing and you are not sat trying to remember or figure out what it is you need to do. Trying to figure out what you need to do can soon rob you of a lot of time and that time will add up.

I also recommend that you schedule in music time or enjoyment time. Yes seriously!, if you cannot last the day without playing games, watching T.V. or listening to music then set time aside to enjoy some ‘you’ time and be strong, stick to that time!

I am terrible for distractions, I can soon lose time trawling YouTube for music and so I decided to schedule time for ‘play’ around simple tasks. Fortunately I can work listening to some music but some styles can take away my focus. Taking regular breaks is good for positivity anyway and clears the mind so if you are prone to distractions it just makes sense to schedule them into regular breaks.

We bizzebee’s have a collective schedule of when we publish posts and when to get projects done for. We also have a flexibility clause so that if one of us is struggling someone else can jump in to help out etc but we all follow a plan. We all write our own daily plans and schedules to include our monthly bizzebee plans and commitments.  If we didn’t there would be chaos and believe me, we need it. It works well.

5) This one is often the most controversial tip as it could be taken the wrong way. It shouldn’t but sometimes people are sensitive to comments. When you work from home in the presence of your loved ones it is very easy for them to forget that you should be working.

When you work for a company whether it is in a factory, in a shop, in an office or on a building site you are expected to do a set period of time like 8 hours without a lot of family interaction and distraction. Many companies ask you to lock mobile phones away and maintain that you are only connected to the outside world via the receptionist at the front office.

When you are home and ‘about’ it is very easy for people to come chatting. There is nothing wrong with this and having a flexible approach to work is good, I mean after all we do work from home because we enjoy being at home but it can soon become a habit that robs you of productivity.

You could be in the middle of some deep focus and in the zone when in walks someone with ‘oh I forgot to say…’ so it has to be understood by your family that you are at work and you have work hours like you would if you were working for anyone else.

As I said earlier a certain amount of flexibility is great but if you worked for someone else you wouldn’t get so much contact and it is unfair and in many cases disrespectful for people to think that they can take your time up because you are at home.

If you have your own office then it isn’t so bad but people can still come in. All parties must need to understand and agree that you should be left to get on for a set amount of time with as little disturbance as possible.

At the end of the day, you are working from home so you must get the work done and to do that you need to be very disciplined and plan your tasks well if not you are just making it harder for yourself. If you are not disciplined working from home will not become the relaxed pleasurable experience you were looking for but instead could turn into a terrible financial nightmare of your own making.

To help you plan your working times and tasks please download our free bizzebee planners below, open up the PDFs and print them off so you have them close at hand.

Daily Planner | Weekly Schedule | November & December 2013 Planner | Monthly Planner 2014

 

Sell Results Not Specifications

I want to discuss something that came about from an experience I had two weeks ago with a hosting company here in the UK. Something that I believe could have been losing them money because they were not pandering to ego and focused more on the technical aspect of their business.

I wasn’t going to name the company as I intended not to dis them just use them as an example of what I believe a business should and shouldn’t do but after re visiting today I see that there have been some changes and I know understand more of what they do and what a customer will get.

streamflowhosting

The company is screenflowhosting.com and whether it was my email that helped or not I really don’t know but what I do know is that they have made some excellent positive changes. So the article is to also big them up and give them so extra exposure.

Today’s post came about from listening to the legendary Slipmatt radio show the World Of Rave. I am a lover of all things Electronica music. I am especially a big fan of the music that was around in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That was when I was in my teens & early twenties  and clubbing and there is a big ‘old skool’ movement happening now with radio shows and rave nights dedicated to the music from that era.

slipmatt world of rave

As part of the DJ Slipmatt’s show he does the usual call out to his sponsors and help including the guy who deals with the technical side of the radio and the hosting company responsible for the running of the radio show.

I have a website that is loosely dedicated to the music and have thought about having my own online radio show for it. I have in fact been in talks with one online radio station DanceRadioUK that also hosts Slipmatt’s show to do a late night show for them about all forms of Electronica called ‘Everything Starts With An E’  (Will keep you posted if it comes off!)

Online radio is great because many different radio stations can connect and broadcast the same show so for example ‘The World Of Rave’ which is Slipmatt’s show is broadcast on a Friday night between 5 and 7 on several online radio stations as well as direct from his own website. Below is a recording of one of his recent shows.

Slipmatt – World Of Rave #25 by Slipmatt on Mixcloud

When I heard Slipmatt call out the name of the hosting company I went over and took a look. After looking around the site for several minutes I rightly or wrongly decided to send them an email sharing my thoughts. Not to criticise or bash but to say from a customer’s point of view how I was left dazed and confused at their site and services.

Offering the best service and equipment is one thing good businesses should do but the best businesses generally think from a customer’s point of view and if a customer is not tech savvy it doesn’t matter if you supply the new ‘Mega 4000 Max Power Kyrptonite Processor, NRA Based Server’ or ‘40 Tonne Kilowatt Bandwidth’

server software

What I as a customer needs to know is will it do what I want, I need to know the results I will get from system and as it was music related many DJs will be ego driven and want to know ‘How many listeners can I have and will it cost a lot’

As part of the system requirements and package specifications was a button, ‘Learn More’ which when clicked took me to the ‘order form’. I didn’t learn anything new and was not sure what I was paying for and whether I wanted to pay for it.

As a DJ (potential DJ lol) I saw that I could have 100 listeners as part of a £10 a month package, this didn’t sound a lot to me, I wasn’t sure how this worked whether it was a bandwidth thing or something at my end or what. All I know is that I would want to be set up and have the potential to broadcast to thousands if possible and at what price. Now having a Radio 1 size audience is probably well out of my price range but I really do not know.

Getting only 100 visitors doesn’t sound a lot and worth bothering for £10 a month: that is me simply thinking like a customer. I could be completely wrong here with other radios all being able to tap into radio streams it could be possible to be like Ibiza Global Radio and broadcast around the world connecting to different services and set ups.

As I said StreamfloHosting.com have changed their site and added some new information that has helped increased my knowledge and understanding within a few minutes of reading. My email might have helped or it might have been nothing more than a simple coding error and the information was there all the time just I was unable to connect with it. Whatever it was, I know understand far more than I did before which is great.

streamflowhosting tutorial

Whatever your business is, you must stop and think from your customer’s perspective and think ‘What is it I would want to know, look for and buy if I was the customer?’ Think about the ‘X Factor’ for a minute (I know it is an awful show but please just try J)

Imagine Simon Cowell said to a group of teenage wannabes…

‘I will get you into a large studio with Reason, Cubase software, Akai and Roland equipment, big microphones and record a song’

the teenagers would be stood with a semi excited fixed grin thinking…

‘I have no idea what you just said really’

but if instead Simon had said…

‘I will make you stars, with millions of adoring fans, millions in the bank and a life of mixing with celebrities’

I can guarantee the teenagers would be jumping around in joy screaming and whooping.

x factor pap

The desired results they want are stardom, adoration, money and a celebrity lifestyle. They are not interested in or understand the technical aspects of a recording studio or equipment. I am not saying they won’t develop an interest along their journey to stardom but that isn’t why they go on the ‘X Factor’

Unless you are a real geek, when getting website hosting you are more likely to be interested in what it can do for your business, brand or popularity and not what the actual software or hardware is and it is the same for any business.

Drug dealers know this well, that is why they never sell the drug, they sell the experience, the high, the happiness and the effects the drug can have. Obviously there is a place for system information and technology specifications and I am not saying you should become a ‘Willy Wonka’ style character only selling dreams all the time. That can fall into the dubious realms of copywriting which can be as unethical in the way it sells dreams as selling drugs.

willy wonka

What I am trying to say here is that when you are offering a service or selling products, do not get too wrapped up in the specifications of the technology or service. People buy things for a reason and often that reason is driven by an expectation of a result so you should be selling results more than a service or product.

Besides, the average Joe Public know what they want as a result but they probably do not have a clue about the technology and hardware. You could soon leave them dazed and confused with information overload and quite possibly scare them off from making a decision losing you the sale. And I know you do not want that, do you?

If you are interested in running an online radio and they are very popular and powerful please check out Streamflowhosting.com and if you simply want to hear some cool sounds both old skool and new please check out my recommended list of online Radio stations.

KoolLondon | KaneFm | DanceRadioUK | SlipMatt | IbizaGlobalRadio | UKObsession | Renegade

Also if you want to be a superstar DJ like Slipmatt he is soon to be doing a special online training course covering all styles old and new. I am ok with the old but need serious help with the new technology so I shall be signing up!

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