Virtual Agency Model

Some people dream of opening up a business with offices, employees and conference rooms while some business owners dream of cutting all the overhead of utilities, office space, payroll and doing a virtual agency.

My experience was probably typical for many.  I started at home.  When I had several employees working in my basement my wife threw my business out.  We got offices.2012 Nov 059

We grew and even outgrew the office space at one point, but then we has a lull in sales and we lost a big project we had already staffed up for (the client got bought out, so they cancelled the project).  So I was taking on debt and spending all my time doing sales in an effort to maintain our consulting agency and I was making next to nothing in the process.

This was years ago, keep in mind, and outsourcing was very hard to do.  We’d dabbled with it, but without any significant success.

Finally we reduced staff to zero through attrition and I moved into my home office and maintained our client base and began rebuilding by myself.

At the time I started my business, and also because I employed very technical people that loved technology but did not make good business decisions, we developed racks of servers and paid for big bandwidth to host solutions for people as well.  I needed engineers to maintain email servers and apply security patches to all our machines and if they went down, we risked losing our clients.

Today I have a successful agency that I run from my home.  Yes, people work for me.  And Yes, I have servers where I  host clients.  However, now with improved outsourcing tools and cloud hosting I am able to offer superior services as lower prices.  And while I occasionally miss getting together for a strategic staff meeting, I love the freedom, flexibility and savings I realize by having a home agency model of business.

My people are just as good.  My business is more sound.  And my customers get more services for less costs because I do not have to support an unnecessary overhead.

One very successful business owner I know works out of coffee shops each day to get out of the house.  His name is Ryan Lee and his business is big, but he maintains a small staff virtually.  It is a smart model.

So if you are dreaming of opening a business, ask yourself if you really need an office and employees of whether you can be more successful with a home office.

Speech to Text for Blogging

This blog post is written purely with using my iPad 2 and using the microphone sending in the keyboard to build this article.

Once I get used to this it was a lot easier for me to write posts and it’s also much easier to create content in different places. I can use my phone my iPhone and also my iPad too simpler To make it much easier. It’s a lot simpler and for example in the car when I’m sitting there waiting for a light compose a short message to myself and maybe even posted on a blog post.

The WordPress app that you can use with the microphone feature makes it much easier. The thing I really like is that I really can just think about what it want to say and talk right to my iPad and I know it’s going to get most of the ideas down very accurately. Yes I’m going to have to go back and make some minor modifications but because I have a keyboard on my iPad is very easy to do.

The key is for me to be able to quickly write a blog post about 300 words and not have to sit there and type it. It’s a lot easier Just to speak it into the microphone. You can also read about a 3 to 4 times faster if you’re actually recording audio instead of typing. Of course everybody types faster or slower depending on their skills are comfortable but I find that even though I’m a fairly fast typer I still prefer to do audio and then do minor cleanup.

One thing I think is really important is to have at the very least a jotted down outline of what you’re going to talk about even if it’s just on a napkin in a coffee shop. I do pay for transcription sometimes when I have 30 or 45 minute audio that I speak on and it used for a presentation format. However sometimes just want to get some thoughts and ideas up and if you use the microphone on your iPad or iPhone it will come very close and then just do minor editing.

This is really important for business people because I know a lot of them complain they do not have time to write. If you take the time to get used to the program if you use your microphones You can create a much longer article and much less time. Yes you have to do some editing but don’t worry it’s not going to be that bad.

One of the keys is really taking your time and speaking slowly and clearly so that the software can accurately convert your speech to text.

Did Google Disconnect the Web?

With the new disavow links tool by Google I am thinking it is just safer not to link to people any more.  Even for good purposes and to good content.  The fact is, if you link to another site you are empowering them to disavow your link and basically flag your site as a spam site.

As long as you do not link out you are safe from that, although you could be linked to from a spam site and if that site is flagged it could hurt you as well.  Now people that never cared about SEO and had great sites need to become link police and spend money they did not worry about before.

If you think people are not going to link to you from spam sites, you are nieve.  It is easy to access spam sites and link to any site day after day.  Taking people down is far more easy than building quality sites ever was.

Don’t get me wrong – I support anything that forces quality content over gaming the system, but I do not support making people spend more time and money to defend their quality site that did nothing wrong.

Developing a Lead Generation Site

For several years I have been building lead generation websites for clients and successfully improving the face for their organization through online success many times. If there’s a single disadvantage of putting together lead generation systems that rely on search engine optimization, it is that to begin with clients don’t especially like to wait 3 to 6 months to begin noticing decent results.

While I generally like to have products super easy, I made the choice to revisit the model to find out the way I might resolve this lead generation difficulty.

The graph on this page now shows how we have resolved this concern. The percentage is the total amount of the budget each month, which can range from a couple of hundred dollars monthly to a few thousand bucks monthly. Moreover, I will be assuming it’s an average marketplace along with average competing firms. The more competitive field could take two times as long for getting good results.

While in the first few months, although I do not adore Adwords and FaceBook Advertisements, I decided we needed to add some ads. The rationale is simple. You need some steady leads as soon as you begin paying for a service, and you must believe in somebody when it comes to genuine search engine optimization. So through doing marketing and advertising while the lead generation websites are sluggish, you receive a bit of targeted prospects and hopefully some buyers. Now I know that most people curtail the effort and hard work after a while, but you might want to keep it moving or some times grow it if you notice that it is working effectively and there is a good lead generation return on investment. Even so, since my main goal is to try to generate organic leads, I am decreasing it when the site increases in potency.

Next you might observe that we are getting started without having inbound links and developing the effort of acquiring back links gradually and then decreasing them further on and putting more work in great information in the web site. Basically the strategy should go along these lines. You need to have a decent base of posts initially. Following no less than five one of a kind articles we are going to acquire a couple links through social websites and other sites to the site, but attempting to keep that rather low. After that, as we generate further excellent articles a hyperlink campaign should be implimented and enhanced in order that anywhere between month 4 and month seven we are ranking nicely for a lot of of the keywords and phrases.

Accepting there is a good base, the thought is to next have more and much better posts incorporated more quickly to engage visitors far more, focus on a bigger range of long tail keyphrases and also to obtain organic back linking to occur. At some point, if you’re obtaining those continual natural back-links because your articles really are so good, it is possible to get rid of all but probably the most simple of inbound link activities. Nonetheless, do not discontinue posting articles. Over time too little different articles may gradually erode the advances you have achieved.

Frequently individuals teach you cast in stone procedures just like publishing each day, utilizing applications for rapid back linking, etc. Rather, consider the rational evolution of the site depending upon how it’s going to operate as time passes in search engines and also the way it actually does developing an audience by itself.

If you’re thinking about utilizing publishing strategies to build terrific lead generation sites, give me a call now.

Why Do Daily Goals Work Better?

Do you really want to succeed at something?  Not just say it but really want it?

Then instead of setting big goals, or milestones, set daily goals.

The reasons this works better are as follows:

  1. You cannot fit too many things into the day – so you will have to focus on a few goals.
  2. You are forming behaviors that move you towards success.  If you are focused on the big outcomes you want you can easily postpone the steps to get there.
  3. Daily goals make you take your outcome and break down daily activities to get the results.  If you cannot do this, your outcome goal is too vague and you need to get more specific.
  4. You can easily measure the success of failure of daily goals.  They are either going to be a number (how many cold calls) or a yes/no type thing (did I eat healthy).  I have developed scalar rankings as well at times such as on a scale of 1-5 how well did I eat and exercise?  Then I look at the total points for the week.  If you do develop a scalar tracking system, then you need to make sure you clearly define what the numbers on the scale mean.
  5. By pursuing daily goals, you are changing your behavior.  You should focus 100% of your daily goals and measurement on positive aspects.  This will help you build positive behaviors towards your bigger goals that will not only help you achieve those goals but be more successful overall.
  6. Use gaming as a guide – you can turn your daily goals into psychological games and even keep score in a spreadsheet.  This will motivate you and help you focus on your desired behaviors.

There are many things you can turn into daily goals.

  • Health – Both eating and exercise
  • Sales
  • Income (Especially good for online income)
  • Social Media for Lead Generation
  • Relationship Enhancement
  • Investment Management
  • House Cleaning (Try throwing away one thing every day to clean out your house)

These are just some of the ideas where daily goals can improve your behavior and focus to achieve your longer term big goals.

What do you think – do you use daily goals for anything?

 

How to Write a Book Without Writing

Too many people are still impressed by people with books published. I am going to let you in on a dirty little secret.  Writing and publishing a book is easy.  Very easy.  And you do not have to write it, nor spend a fortune on a ghost writer. Whether you are tweeting, FaceBookin’ or G+in, you are a writer.  You have simply not packaged your stuff well yet. So lets explore some ways people get books written or assembled, which may not make them a fortune, but having a book does add to your credibility and generates more opportunities in many areas.

1) Recording and Transcribing

This is a very common technique for people that do not want to record.  You can write out a good outline and record yourself talking about the various points and then have it transcribed and edited into a book.  Literally within a few weeks your book can be ready to go.  And this does not have to be expensive.  Audacity is free recording software and transcription is usually about 50 cents per minute.  You can then edit it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

2) Ghost Writing

Much like recording your voice, you can hire a ghost writer to get you a decent rough draft often for a few hundred dollars.  If you go with a cheap ghost writer you may not be able to publish it as is, but you can use it as a starting point and make it your own.

3) Aggregate Your Content

If you have been writing blogs or articles for a while, you can easily find some nice articles that go together on a particular topic and string them together into a book.  You may want to tweak them and create better transitions, or you can just sell the book as your best posts of 2011 or something.

4) PLR Articles (Private Label Rights)

You can buy packages of articles that other people have written and use these as the basis for a book.  I will warn you there are a lot of bad PLR articles out there and you may really have to dig and rewrite to get a good book, but it is one popular method for book writing.

5) Hiring Chapters

You can also use a writing service like textbroker.com and probably pay around $20 per chapter for writers to write on topics.  I use this service for articles that I do not want to write, but you can easily use it for segments in a book. There are more methods of writing without writing.  I do not believe you will get a perfect book from any of these methods, but you will get a nice rough draft for under $500 (maybe under $200) and then you can either edit it yourself or pay someone to edit it and make it nice.

Make Money with Google Plus

A lot of people see how fast Google Plus is growing and they want to make money from Google Plus right away.

You can make money, but you are not going to have as much luck as you would with automating other social networks.

Here are some tips to make money with Google Plus.

1) Do not start spamming products and using affiliate links right away. No one will circle you. You must build an audience first.

2) Do not use an automated Google plus script. Engagement is higher and you will simply not get results.

3) When Google Plus business pages are released, do not use them like FaceBook fan pages right away. Learn what makes them different.

4) Develop your expertise on Google Plus and it may lead to new consulting and speaking opportunities.

Probably the best way I have seen to make money with Google plus is to write a really good article or blog post that the Google Plus audience would like and have an affiliate link or sign up on the page. Then use Google plus to post about the page and get people talking about the topic. That will drive traffic, and you can monetize the traffic on your webpage without needing to post affiliate links in Google Plus.