Archives for October 2013

Outrageous courage, lists and a damn good reason

October 30, 2013 6 Comments

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In the influence game, like any other, there is an unspoken etiquette; a rule book.  Learn the rules and you’re seen as a peer.  Break them and you’re  wondering why no one wants to play with you.

In the on-line marketing game the mailing list is something that has a lot of unspoken rules.  It is the backbone of many businesses and asking someone to mail for you can be a lot like asking for the keys to their brand new BMW.  You better have a strong relationship and a “damn good reason”.

Interestingly a strong relationship and a “damn good reason” are sometimes present.  Yesterday I did a dedicated mailing to the Evolutionary Business Council about Jo-Ann Vacing Dibblee’s book that launches tomorrow.  I almost never do dedicated mailings to the EBC.  I did this one without Jo asking.

Why?

What makes this different than any other book I’ve seen this year or any other request to promote a teleseminar or speaking event.  I routinely get asked to do dedicated mailings for these and generally say no so as not to inundate the EBC membership with requests.

Truthfully it just felt right.  Why?

1.  Jo-Ann’s story is one of the most compelling, courageous stories I’ve heard in years.  Having been raised in severe conditions by alcoholic parents and targeted and assaulted by a murderer, Jo’s story is one of the more gripping and inspiring pieces of courage I have ever heard.  The courage to stand up and have this story exposed is one of the most inspiring acts I have ever witnessed. Not to mention it is from a woman who is seen as a business leader in our country.

2. It would feel right to our members.  As the head of E-women Canada Jo has been instrumental in more than half of our members getting stages to speak on all across Canada.  The level of give in this lady is off the charts.  I know the membership would largely want to be asked.

Want to ask someone to mail for you?  Here’s the etiquette:

1. make the request well ahead of time. People’s mailing schedules are well booked up months out.

2. make sure you have a well established pre-existing relationship.

3. make sure what you’re asking would be a fit for their readership. If it’s not of high value to the readers, expect a no.

4. make sure it’s a win-win and worth their time.

5. If they say no, don’t take it personally.  It may simply be that their mailing schedule if full.

 

BTW, for those who’d like to check out Jo-Ann’s book, it launches Friday.  Can’t wait to see them make this one into a movie!  Best read of the year. – http://amzn.to/1aaSgwz

 

Guest Post: How I Got 11,000 Likes on My Facebook Page in Six Months

October 29, 2013 Leave a Comment
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One World Likes

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.”   ~ E. B. White

tim-emerson-2What do Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Uganda, Singapore, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sudan, Vanuatu, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have in common?

I’ll give you a few moments to ponder.

A month ago I wrote a guest blog post for Tad, “How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months,” outlining how I went from a static 623 fans at the beginning of February to 8,921 in July.  

In that piece, I explained how I got clear about my page’s purpose and message, paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted, worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it, and resisted selling, except for limited free offers.  To this last part, as it seems counterintuitive, I added how Facebook generates 1/3 of my email list subscribers and fills my free teleseminars, from which I enroll new clients, particularly in my higher end offerings.

By the way, I could add to that list Zimbabwe, Tuvalu, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Sudan, Somaliland, South Africa, Samoa, Rwanda, Palau, Nauru, Malta, Kiribati, Kenya, India, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.  Found the connection yet?   Be patient – it took me a while too.

I also added to that piece that while I’m not a fan of Facebook advertising overall, I have found that a small, quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose and with a severely limited budget, just a few bucks a day, would generate around 40-60 new fans daily, combining click-throughs with new organic likes from shares.

One nice thing about Facebook advertising is the ability to carefully target ad audiences.  So when my 50 new fans each day started to trickle down to barely 20 a day, I took a look at these targets, to see if maybe I could freshen things up a bit.

At first, nothing much.  I had hit every related interest I could think of, and I didn’t want to expand my age demographics, as that would probably be counter-productive.  But then I looked at countries.

Originally, I listed all the English speaking countries I could think of quickly.   You know—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand…that’s it, right?  Well, Belize I guess, but it’s so small, what’s the point.

But I’ve been working a lot with intuition for the past few months, and something flashed into my head about Belize.   Maybe not so fast.  So I Googled “English speaking countries” on a hunch, and found…88 of them.  88!  That’s 82 new audiences, all ready to experience Facebook.com/KwanYinHealing for the very first time!

So I added Mauritius, the Marshall Islands, Malawi, Liberia, Lesotho, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Ghana, Gambia, Eritrea, Dominica, Cameroon, Botswana, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda – Facebook limits you to 25 countries at a time.  But my likes spiked THAT DAY from 20 to 200.   And just like that, I’m at 11,250 fans.   Sure, it’s starting to slow…down to 150 a day now, though, still three times what I was seeing before, and with the same budget.

What does that mean, the same budget?  Two things:  (1) I’m getting a LOT of new organic likes from the sharing from the new traffic, and (2) my cost-per-click has dropped by more than 50%.  Seems a lot of people don’t market to countries like Fiji—so my competition is apparently quite small.   I haven’t been doing Google Ads for a while, but now I’m curious what affect targeting these markets would have on click rates there.  Next time, I’ll try it.

What happens when my 150 daily likes finally slows again to 20?  I’ll remove the markets already exposed and substitute new ones, and I’ll be able to do that at least three more times.   This will give me a much larger market when promoting my next teleseminar—I already have clients in six countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and Saint Martens).

Don’t overlook non-sovereign places either, like Anguilla, American Samoa, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Helena–Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sint Maarten, San Andrés y Providencia–Colombia, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Kwan Yin Healing helps the spiritually-conscious who are struggling with life path or health and are ready to move forward and find peace.  The Four Pillars of healing and transformation are Clarity (life is supposed to be abundant, and now, when we get out of our own way), Connection (we are part of a continuum from earth to the divine), Coherence (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and awareness energies need to vibrate harmoniously), and Change (if you want something you don’t have, you’ll need to do things you’ve never done).   I love the beautiful illustration this example gives – the instant results from connecting to what already exists in a coherent way with one simple change.  We live on one globe, one people, one human energy—and we can easily forget that imaginary borders are only in our nationalist mindsets.

I’m already delighted to be helping people jump start their paths and thus accelerate how they help still more people through their work throughout the US and Canada, as well as a bit in the Caribbean, the UK, and Australia.   If you’re ready to find what’s holding you back from living your dreams fully, visit kwanyinhealing.com, look around, and sign-on for the free starting package.   I’m happy to start you along your path.

And if you happen to be from Spain, Malayasia, Germany, Israel, the US Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, British Indian Ocean Territory, Ethiopia, Russia, East Timor, or any of the many other places where first-language English speakers live, or if you are one of the many people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or fifth language, I’ll be happy to make your acquaintance.   It’s all one world, one people, on one road to peace, harmony, unity, health and happiness.

Love and Joy,

Tim Emerson

Guest Post: How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months

October 16, 2013 Leave a Comment
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tim-emerson

Tim Emerson is a graduate of Tad Hargraves Niching for Hippies course and wrote this article for Tad’s blog. He’s also a big believer in the power of slow marketing.   We repost this article here with permission.

You can read Tim’s article below . . .

Full disclosure—I am not a fan of social media.  It’s scattered, busy, a distraction, a time sink.  Further, I’ve spent a fair amount of time pissed off at Facebook.  So I’m an unlikely author for this blog post.

Nonetheless, I went from being “stuck” to adding 8,000 fans to my page, https://www.facebook.com/KwanYinHealing, in just five months—and more are still coming.   This page has also become one of my key promotional strategies.  Here’s how that happened.

I actually didn’t mean to open a Facebook fan page.  I had constructed a simple website with Yola.com, and one of the options was to publish to Facebook.  So, on April 6, 2012, I figured “Why not,” and clicked it.   Voila.  Kwan Yin Healing had a Facebook page.

It slowly added a few fans.  Then a few more.  And a few more.  This would take patience.   I saw the various “How to get 10,000 fans” promos, but while I’m sure these guys know their business, it’s the anti-thesis of the calm, peaceful image I wanted for my business.  Nobody’s going to come rushing to Kwan Yin Healing because my opt-in box is bigger, brighter, redder, and in your face before we get past “hello” – and if they did, the fit would probably not be good.  I’d just have to be patient.

Facebook, however, is not patient, and likes to change the rules frequently.  One of these changes was deciding that just because fans like your page doesn’t mean they should be seeing your posts in their feed.  Unless, of course, they’re teenagers, and compelled to like or comment on virtually everything.  My fans…aren’t, and don’t.  So my fan count, at 623, sat their at 623, and the “talking about this” number dropped to around 20 a day.  Facebook offered a solution—pay to have your fans see your posts!  As you might imagine, this didn’t make me the happiest of campers.

But then something happened, and that day, my page started climbing again.  It continued to climb, daily, and still continues to climb—it’s at 8,921 as I write this.

What changed?   There are four key elements to my strategy, and I also have a few points about ads, as well as how I use Facebook to attract clients.   So let’s dive in.

1)  I got clear about my page’s purpose and message.  

Without this, nothing else matters.

Understand that no one comes to Facebook to buy stuff.  They come to relax, to see funny or inspiration quotes and pictures and videos, to interact with their friends.  So not only are they not there to buy, but they resent attempts to sell them.  Imagine you’re at the park, on a walk, enjoying a show, and people interrupt you to sell their products and programs.  “Leave me alone,” right?  And they will leave you very alone instead.

For Kwan Yin Healing, the cover photo, a forest waterfall, the same as on my home page, sets the tone for the peaceful, flowing feeling I wish to create, and one very compatible with my point of view about healing, about my work, and about me.  The posts on the page are all inspirational quotes and related material that fit with this theme.   Things I like but that don’t fit this energy, I post on my personal page instead.  It’s encouraging, reflective, helpful, inspiring, peaceful, and fits nicely within my Taoist/Buddhist perspective, without being spiritually dogmatic.  There’s no agenda here.  It’s a place to relax.  That’s why people follow the page. And that’s why they trust me.

Nor is any of this mere theory.  This is what my own clients tell me.  “I like your page—it’s consistent.”  Yeah.  It’s hard to trust someone you can never quite rely upon.   You know what  you’re getting when you like my page.

2) I paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted.

What’s nice about Facebook is that you can see how many likes and shares each post gets, and a report about the “virality” of each post.  The big losers here are text posts.   People already see a sea of text, and skim it at best.  Plus, at a glance, all text looks the same.

Pictures are the rule on Facebook.  An inspiring quote with a corresponding image gets—literally—ten times the virality. According to Edgerank Checker, the median Facebook virality is under 2%.  My page’s posts typically hover around 20%.   Facebook is a visual medium.

And just having a photo isn’t enough—the text must be part of the photo.  Typically, content creators post this over the face of the photo.  When I create content (which I do rarely), I use InDesign to create a matching box above or below (or both) the photo with the text.   But either way—this way the photo and message get shared—many times more than otherwise.  Including your site link on the graphic is a good idea as well.  While shared photos are credited by Facebook automatically, links can get buried.

Every so often, I’ll share something I think readers would like—free Eckhart Tolle talks, or Louise Hays, or Wayne Dyer.   And they always fall flat, with virality around 2%.   This surprises me.   It’s why we look at numbers.

3) I worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it. 

There’s a joke that floats around periodically:  How to be more productive on Facebook?  Delete your Facebook account and get to work.

While I sometimes create content, most of my page is repurposed from other pages.   When I see something I like, I check out their page, and if it fits well, I’ll like it, and add it to my Interests list.   Every day or two, I’ll quickly scan down the Pages feed for appropriate things to post.   If it’s great, but too small to read, I’ll pass it by.  The other pages appreciate the shares, and I’ll just add a short comment and my webpage.  That’s it.

I’ll also check out the comments, and like most of them, so people know they were seen and heard.  Every week or so, I’ll check the Insights report (though just the likes and shares on the page are a good indication).  Once in a while, a post will get multiple comments (like 30-60 comments), and I’ll know I’ve accidentally stumbled across something to consider later strategically.

And that’s it.  Five to ten minutes.  Done.

4) Resist selling, except for limited free offers.

And even then, you’re pushing it.  So here’s what works for me – curiosity.  “Hey!  Sign up for my free offer!”  No.   But after seeing several cool posts with http://kwanyinhealing.com above them, after a while, some people click on it…and sign up for my free offer.  It’s not big numbers…but it is steady.  My list (which last year was at 35) is at 620 – and just over a third of those came from Facebook.   But that doesn’t make them clients.  It’s a poorly qualified group.

But Facebook DOES serve me in one major way—a source of free teleseminar attendees.  A nice graphic with the copy embedded and a sign-up link will bring 60-80 new people to my list.  20-30 will show up for the call, and 4-10 of them will become new clients. When those new clients are signing on to the Kwan Yin Journey, my signature program, a single teleseminar can make a month’s income.  So Facebook does bring clients after all, through the free teleseminar and enrollment route.

Which brings me to advertising.

At first, “promoted posts” were great—I could reach friends of friends for $10.   Then Facebook realized their generosity, and jacked the price up more than one hundred times, dolling out only a limited number of people reached for each new level of investment—$1,000 still won’t buy what $10 did only a few months ago.

It’s ridiculously steep for three reasons.   First, the response isn’t great. Second, people HATE promoted posts.  The posts say, right on them, “promoted post,” and virality drops to near nothing.  Some people even send nasty grams, letting page owners know how much they resent someone else footing the bill for their free Facebook.  It’s too “in their face.”   Literally, the SAME post NOT promoted will get a better response.  And third, Facebook won’t allow more than 20% of a graphic to be text, severely limiting advertising options.

So if I have something to promote, I use a few tricks.

I’ll let a post run organically at first.  Once that slows down, THEN I’ll promote it, but only within a limited budget, which depends on what I’m promoting.   And if I don’t need to reach a lot of people, I’ll sometimes design what I want and run it anyway—it will run for a few hours until a Facebook person has a chance to get to it and stop the promotion for violating the rules.  The posts that have run already remain visible.  But that’s not a great strategy for anything I’m seriously promoting.  A web link to a press release with a graphic works reasonably well.  Message sent.

Then there are the ads with links on the side.

Advantage—people don’t mind these the way they resent promoted posts.   They see these as not so “in your face” and not an interruption, but rather something they can check out if they please, unlike content “forced” into their feed.  And Advantage Two, these ads can be amazingly well targeted to specific audiences defined by a wide array of parameters.

Disadvantage—they are expensive and not particularly effective.   You can’t say much, and you can’t really send them where you’d like.  Dead end.

With one exception I’ve used to good effect.

Create a quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, that still is truly in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose.   I ran, for example, one saying “Healing isn’t Magic,” with an image from a video of me in my car with an appearance by my curious husky.   The video includes a core piece of my point of view, and the ad links to a post featuring the video, where I can say much more.   This lands on my Facebook page.   I pin the original post to the top of the page, so that the landing is relevant (which must be redone every couple of weeks, as pins expire), and presto—the curious eyes are now on my page.

I severely limit the daily size of this budget, just a few bucks, with a carefully targeted audience.   But it will bring in better than 20 new people (i.e., other than friends of friends) who become engaged in the page.   The ad doesn’t get stale, because it’s being seen by people who haven’t yet seen it.

Slow and steady.  But altogether, worth 8000 new fans in five months, like opening a valve at the end of January, and it’s been flowing ever since.

My plans from here are to maintain the status quo, at least until Facebook changes the rules again, and to concentrate on the teleseminar strategy.  I would also like to build a network of affiliate partners to help promote the Kwan Yin Journey.   If that might be you, check out http://kwanyinhealing.com/journey.php and then drop me an email if this looks like a good fit for your clients – tim at kwanyinhealing dot com.

I’m also completely redesigning my web page to focus on synching my strategy and free offer in a clear, authentic, step by step path more friendly to curious visitors, and to then build relationship more strategically with my email newsletter and blog than I have been.

And I’ll next turn my attention to my YouTube page, http://www.youtube.com/KwanYinHealing, which has, like my Facebook page, worked surprisingly well, largely by accident—but in this case, I actually get clients calling who found me on YouTube.  Time to focus on a strategy there—but that will have to be another blog post another time.

Wish me luck!

Tim Emerson

Kwan Yin Healing
http://marketingforhippies.com/8000-fans/

ABC – Always be Clearing

October 8, 2013 16 Comments

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“Always be closing.” It’s the most quoted line Ben Affleck says in Boiler Room.   In the world of high pressure push sales it’s the mantra.

But the world is changing.  People are now resisting hard sales and wanting pure authentic service.  Pioneers like Seth Godin have taught us that “pull selling” is preferred  to “push”.  Being of such high service that people are naturally drawn to you.

In the world of pull selling, your emotional energy and authenticity is everything.  Authenticity is the agreement of your inner voice and your outer voice.  So if your  your outer voice is saying “tell me what’s important to you” and your inner voice is singing “Oh God I need this sale” you’re going to land smarmy (yes that’s a technical term).

One of the companies I love taking training from is Landmark Worldwide Inc.   As one of the biggest training companies is the world, they teach people how to fulfil on what’s important to them, in business and in life.  I love them for two reasons, the training is phenomenal and I love to watch how a company that effective runs their own business.  One of the things they believe in is “always be clearing”.  It’s about checking in before any important conversation to notice what your emotional state is.  And talk to someone to get anything that’s in your way of having an effective conversation, dealt with.

Clearing your emotional energy of fear, frustration, annoyance, you name it, is your key to authentic powerful conversations that pull customers toward you.

Today’s tip

Find someone you trust and create an agreement that you can clear with each other before important conversations or presentations.

 

…And if you want to check out Landmarks programs, I highly recommend it.  I can attribute hundred’s of thousands of dollars in benefits in my Company to what I’ve learned in their programs – http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/).  The impact on my parenting and other relationships has been an added bonus.  🙂