Tech Talk: Email Lists, Landing Pages, Social Media and More

In most of the tribes I’m affiliated with I’ve become the defacto technology expert. I’m not sure why, but it might be because although I’m not part of the “digital native” generation with the millenials, I did have exposure to computers and gadgets early in my childhood (anyone remember the TI-99 or Commodore64?) So I’m pretty quick to adopt new ways of doing things using technology if it makes me more effective.

As you might imagine, I get asked a ton of questions about the technology I use to market my businesses online and the methods I use to automate many of the routine tasks. Unfortunately, most of the questions revolve around the newest shiny object that is useless without a marketing strategy and foundation. Periscope is worthless if you aren’t doing something specific with any attention you are getting there. Twitter can be a tangled up bundle of uselessness if you aren’t specific about what you are doing on there. No one cares that you have a Facebook business page, and they certainly won’t “Like” it if it isn’t providing them any value. Coming up with a cute hashtag is meaningless if you aren’t going to do something with the traffic you generate with it. #wastingyourtime

So what IS important? You’ve gotta get a few things locked on before any of that other stuff maters. You should be focused on building a responsive email list. Period. Later you can layer on the social media stuff, but without an email list your social media presence is the equivalent of buying television advertising on prime time TV to run commercials for a product that doesn’t exist. That would be a huge waste of resources, right?!

Where should you start? First, find a decent email provider. If you are going to build a big list you won’t be able to send your emails through your Gmail account, so start getting used to how email marketing works. I’ve gone through a progression of email services as my skills developed and my needs evolved (MailChimp, AWeber, Ontraport). For most people just starting out, I recommend MailChimp. Why? Because you can start with a free account, learn the basics, and it integrates with almost every other service you’ll eventually be using for your marketing. Once you learn how to ride with the training wheels, you can take them off, pay for the more robust services, and then you’ll be cruising. But start here. Seriously. Do this before you even get a website.

Next, invest in a service that helps you build landing pages. My favorites are Leadpages, ClickFunnels, and Ontrapages. What is a landing page? It’s simply an easy way to create a webpage to collect email addresses. Remember, the key here is to build your list so you want an easy way to capture those names and emails. Here’s an example of a landing page I created 4 years ago that still generates leads for me everyday (I’ve updated the resource list in the last few days, so if you don’t already have it you might want to get it). It follows the simple format of providing something of value (lead/opt-in magnet) in return for a name and email address. Don’t overthink this. Lots of data from successful campaigns tell us that simple is best here.

I use Leadpages mostly because it was the first on the scene when I was building my business, but I also have paid accounts for ClickFunnels and Ontraport (which includes Ontrapages). Both ClickFunnels and Ontraport do some other, more-advanced things and also combine some elements of online marketing you’ll appreciate later, so if you are tech-savvy check them out. For example, they both have some elements of email services, landing pages, and shopping carts in an all-in-one solution If you want to focus on building awesome landing pages and launch sequence pages, stick with with Leadpages.

Once you’ve got your email service and landing page system in place, now you might consider getting a domain name and website. Honestly, if you are using some of the other services we’ve already discussed then you might not even need this step, but eventually you’ll want your own email address. But if your budget is limited, I’d make this third on your list of priorities. I use and recommend Bluehost mostly because it’s inexpensive, simple to use, reliable, and works really well with WordPress.

Only after you have all of these things in place should you consider cranking up your social media presence. Maybe I’ll get into this later in another post, but generally you want to follow my 6C’s of social media: Consistently Curate and Create Content, Connect, and Call-to-action. I go into this much deeper in my Simplified Social Media System course which also includes an hour-long bonus training on some more of the details of building your email list. The key here though is most of my calls-to-action on social media are for people to opt-in to my email list. Why? Because I can control the conversation via email and there’s a much greater chance they’ll actually see my message. So if I don’t have an opt-in/landing page to collect email address, I can’t do this. See how this works now?

So, now that you know what to do, there’s no excuse to not do it. Go setup accounts with an email service and landing page provider, build a landing page, and start building your list today. Now. Go do it. Seriously. What are you waiting for?


Do You Remember What It’s Like to Not Know?

Have you ever had a class with a professor you knew was super brilliant but they couldn’t translate their expertise down to your level? Or maybe you’ve been on a team where the coach is drawing up a play and making lots of assumptions about the sport “IQ” of the players, but almost none of the players can follow along. Or perhaps you’ve been in a meeting at work where the leader is casting a vision but she’s not meeting the audience where they are in their journey, so no one buys in.

We’ve all been there. The crazy thing though is that we often forget the “beginner’s journey” when we try to cast a vision, teach a course, or make a sale. We communicate at a level well beyond the current belief or comprehension of the audience.

I’ll spending a few days with one of my marketing mentors, Jeff Walker, at his event “Product Launch Formula Live” later this month. One of the reasons he’s ultra successful is that he communicates at the level of his audience. Here’s a brief video where he explains the “Curse of Knowledge”:

If you have any questions you want me to ask him, his team, or the hundreds of people that will be at the event at the end of the month just shoot me a tweet.

Reacting vs. Responding

In case you missed it, Villanova’s basketball coach didn’t look too excited when his team won the the NCAA National Championship on Monday night:

Some people called it cocky. Some people referred to it as arrogance. But do you know what it really was?

Jay Wright chooses to respond instead of simply reacting. There’s a difference. A reaction is an emotional outburst to a sudden stimuli. Our limbic system and pre-frontal cortex both help us react to certain stimuli to keep us alive as part of our “fight or flight” system. That’s a good thing. However, since we rarely encounter life threatening situations, our brain spends a lot of time scanning for threats it never finds so our bodies sometimes start reacting to lesser threats.

A response, on the other hand, is a conscious, carefully considered reply to a situation we encounter. Jay Wright was in full response mode at the end of that game. Instead of reacting to the win, he was running through all of the scenarios in his mind before he allowed himself to respond. He was choosing how he wanted to show up.

Ultra successful people learn how to react less and respond more. You have a choice about how you show up in the world. Choose wisely.

Living Intentionally

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a few powerful ideas and concepts from my friend John C. Maxwell’s upcoming book, “Intentional Living: Choosing a Life that Matters.” I had the honor and privilege of sharing the stage with him in front of 1600+ people at his recent John Maxwell Team Advanced Leadership Certification event in Orlando, FL where he shared some behind-the-scenes nuggets surrounding the book, the official launch in October, the social media plans, and an innovative challenge program that you’ll be able to participate in. While I’ll be sharing some of the info here, I’ll be sharing ALL of the information with my email list, so if you aren’t on it yet, you might want to get on board right now.

John Maxwell Leadership Awards

So here’s the first thought from John that I’ll share with you: Selfishness and significance are incompatible. It you want to achieve significance you have to put your ego aside and add value to people. Or as Zig Ziglar often suggested, if you help enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want.  If you’ve never heard of or embraced this concept before, it can be extremely difficult to implement at first but it’s crucial to your long-term success.


You Were Born for Greatness

If you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results. If you are happy with just chugging along and eking out an existence, then there’s nothing anyone else can do to inspire you to achieve more. But I know, deep down, that we ALL want to fully express our talents and abilities and share them with the world. Most of us have so much untapped potential that is just screaming to be unleashed, but we let our circumstances prevent us from sharing our gifts. It is this cognitive dissonance that makes us restless; we know that we are on this planet for a specific reason yet we fail to take the necessary steps to accomplish that mission. This internal, emotional and psychological disconnect is what wears us down and makes us feel so weary.

There is a solution, though. You MUST begin to understand your ‘why’; the reason you were put here on Earth. It’s not rocket science, but many have not taken the time to sit quietly and contemplate their destiny. Most do not set any specific goals in the direction of their dreams, goals, and desires and that is why many people simply live a life of ‘getting by’.

You are the best. Act like it.

You are better than that and deserve MUCH better than that. Your family deserves better than that. How do I know? Because you are ALREADY the best. You have already beaten astronomical odds simply getting to where you are now. At conception alone, you beat 300 million to 1 odds. You were born a winner, so it’s time to act like it. Step into your greatness today. It’s a choice, and you are in control of that choice. Choose greatness. Period.


“Know, Like, and Trust” Doesn’t Work in Sales Unless…

I see lots of people spouting off about how people will do business with people they know, like, and trust. They wax poetic about how important it is to network and get people to know and like you before you ask for the business. They even quote very smart people like Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver, and Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, when they make their proclamations. But guess what? None of that matters, unless . . .

On some level you must know, like and/or trust me or you wouldn’t have read this far. So, I would like to offer to sell you a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread, right now for $25. Interested? No?! Why not? Don’t you like me? Aren’t we friends? So why don’t you want to buy my $25 sandwich? Oh, you aren’t hungry? You don’t like ham and cheese? There’s no way you are paying $25 for a lousy sandwich? What?!

And now we’ve arrived at the key point that is often left out in this conversation: People will ONLY do business with people they know, like and trust IF their needs are being met. If you aren’t adding value or ameliorating a pain point at a reasonable price, then it doesn’t matter how much someone loves you; they aren’t buying what you are selling.

So, before you run around trying to get people to love you, make sure the product or service you are offering is worth paying for. Do your homework. What other options are available to your customer? Does your solution meet their needs? As you are uncovering all of this information, your prospect will start warming up to you anyway because you are really trying to get at the heart of their problem and help them solve it. You have already started the process of adding value simply by listening and uncovering their true need.

How I Went from a Day Job to my Dream Job

Have you considered what it would be like to have your dream job? Can you imagine getting paid to do the things you are passionate about? Sounds like a cool gig, right?

Unfortunately, 86% of people feel stuck in their day jobs. I know you are thinking, “So what? At least those people have jobs.” Well, my friend Kary Oberbrunner did a ton of research on this subject and helped me understand 3 reasons why going from my Day Job to my Dream Job was the smartest move I could make.

1. Day Jobs Are Killing People

I thought this was a bunch of marketing hyperbole until I looked at the facts:

  • Stress – 70% of American workers experience stress-related illnesses
  • Burn Out – 34% think they’ll burn out on the job in the next two yearsDay Job to Dream Job Book
  • Heart Attacks – The LA Times reports there is a 33% increase in heart attacks on Monday mornings.
  • Injury Entrepreneur magazine adds that there is a 25% increase in work-related injuries on Mondays.
  • Death – According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die at 9am on Monday than at any other time.
  • Suicide – Male suicides are highest on Sunday nights with men realizing their careers are not where they want them

(Some research from 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.)

2. The World And The Workforce Have Changed

Your parents and grandparents may have stayed in one job or industry for their entire lives, however that’s a rarity today.

The average worker will change her career seven times, hold eleven jobs before the age of forty-four, remain in her current place of employment for less than five years, and probably move into a freelance/independent contractor role.

Do you want to change your day job and career every few years? Creating your dream job and controlling your future seems to make much more sense.

3. Creating Your Dream Job Is Now Easier Than Ever

Kary showed me that today you have:

  • More Access – If you know the right rules and abide by them, no one is beyond your reach.
  • More Resources – If you know where to go, all the information in the world is at your fingertips.
  • More Connection – If you can get online you can run your business.
  • More Incentive – If you don’t have to stay in your day job job, why would you?
  • More Instruction – If you apply the information in Day Job to Dream Job you can implement your escape plan.

Kary wrote the book on going from Day Job to Dream Job. In it, he reveals 9 proven steps (The Dream Jobber Plan) that helped him jailbreak his day job. He now uses this model to help his Dream Job Bootcamp students escape their day jobs. No hype here. He gives you a clear map to move from Prison to Plan to Payoff.

And this payoff is much more than a paycheck. In your Dream Job you can experience:

  • Freedom – to go as you please
  • Finances – to earn as you wish
  • Fulfillment – to live as you like

Kary knows how much his information has helped me in my transition, and now he wants to make the same information available to you at an insane price, over 50% off retail. For just $6.99 plus shipping you can get his book at this special link, but only for a limited time.  He even includes 3 bonuses that he values at $119. (I have all of the bonuses and think this is way undervalued – one of the bonuses alone will save you hours and hours of headache and frustration and could keep you from making many costly mistakes. How do I know? I made a few of them before I met Kary.) His videos and 200 page interactive guidebook will help you customize your own escape plan.

Listen. If you’ve read this far there is voice inside of you telling you it’s your time to take action. There’s probably also a little fear creeping in – that’s totally normal. Click here to get the book, the bonuses and join a tribe that will help you get over that fear so you can step into your greatness.


Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Book Launch Party

One of the most effective ways to launch your new book or product is to have a launch call or webinar. If you arrange it so that it’s a party-like atmosphere with special guests, interviews, and other giveaways and tie it to social media activity, you can get a ton of traction, awareness, and drive more purchases of your product.

I was honored and privileged to be invited to help my friend, Barry Smith, run his launch party call a few days ago for his new book, Leadership by Invitation – How to RSVP and Embrace Your Role as a Leader. My role during the call was to manage the social media activity and prize giveaways. We gave away gift cards from Starbucks and Amazon, autographed books from John Maxwell, subscriptions to Success Magazine, a Kindle, and a whole bunch of other cool things to people who were posting on social media with the hashtag #lbibook .

The video below is an overview of how I handled the call. It shows you the systems and resources I used to make the magic happen.


The Power of Podcasts

If you market your products or services online, you know how challenging it can be to fight through the clutter and get your message out there. Most people employ what I call a “spray and pray” marketing campaign, where they simply spray their message all over the place and hope a few people receive it and take action. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are much better ways to impact your audience and get them to know, like, and trust you and podcasting is quickly becoming one of the easiest and most powerful methods to make that happen.

For most people though, the thought of creating a podcast is a little daunting because they aren’t sure where to start. What equipment do I need? Where do I host it? How in the heck do I get iTunes to carry my podcast? Well, thankfully there is hope for people like that, and it’s called Podcast School.

The reigning queen of podcasting, Kris Gilbertson, is sharing her knowledge and wisdom on podcasting in a series of videos that are coming out over the next few days. If you have any interest whatsoever in creating a podcast, I highly recommend that you opt-in and watch her videos. The info she shares will help you get started the right way so you aren’t spending a lot of wasted time learning from your trial and error. She’s helped people get their podcast on the front page of iTunes in just a matter of days, so I know her process works.

So, enough of me blathering about how awesome Kris is, go see for yourself right now: Click here for her free podcast training videos.

Click Here for Podcast School

Click here to learn 5 reasons why you simply can’t afford to partner with iTunes.


What’s Your Excuse?

Last week I had the honor and privilege of spending some time with one of the most inspirational and motivational people I’ve ever met, Nick Vujicic. In case you don’t know his story, here’s a quick overview: Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, which is a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. During his adolescent years, he was teased and bullied unmercifully by his classmates which caused him to seriously consider suicide a couple of times.

Nick Vujicic and Dave Gambrill

Nick Vujicic and Dave Gambrill

Instead of giving up and giving in to his situation, he set out to show the world that through his faith, anything is possible. He has gone on to build a multimillion dollar charity, Life Without Limbs, and has inspired people all over the world with his motivational messages. He also spends much of his time sharing his story with children in schools to help combat bullying and self esteem issues.

Instead of making excuses, Nick chooses to make things happen. He has no arms or legs yet he has accomplished many great things and has added immeasurable value to people all over the globe.

So my question to you is, what’s your excuse?