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Category Archives for "Entrepreneurship"

Jun 21

The Top 10 “Must Have” Tools For Growing A Remote Business In 2017

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

1. Upwork Account

Upwork lets you get in contact with independent professionals and work together easily. It’s a site that helps you interact with them in one place from beginning to end. You can interview, hire, chat, send work back and forth, and make payments (the person offering the job isn’t charged a fee, whereas the person hired gets a 10 percent deducted for fees).

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Freelancing categories include: Web, Mobile, & Software Development, Design & Creative, Administrative Support, IT & Networking, Writing, Customer Service, Sales & Marketing, Data Science & Analytics, Translation, Engineering & Architecture, Legal, and Account & Consulting. This platform was made to make it easier and take less time to find and hire freelancers. Click here to create your Upwork account.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox lets you sync files from any device (PC, Android, iTunes) into your personal account for free. Once you share things, you can choose to share with other Dropbox users (via email) or you can keep them for yourself to access anywhere you like.

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You get an initial amount of space for free, and can pay for more space (just like Google Drive). You can choose which folders to share amongst your coworkers and which not to, and no one can poke around your personal folders without your permission. There is also a paid version of Dropbox for Business. This allows for more safety procedures and makes the life of your IT person much easier. Click here to get your free 10 GB account.

3. Jing

Jing software available for both Windows and Mac platforms that captures picture or video of your screen and lets you choose where to upload it. It gives you the ability to take a simple photo of whatever you’re working on, create a tutorial for a business meeting later, or even capture a video of something funny you want to share with someone.

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With a simple and easy download and a tool that sits on your desktop, you can turn your monitor into more than just a tool to view your computer. Click here to get your free jing account.

4. BlueHost 

BlueHost is a web-hosting site that powers millions of domains. If you’re looking to create a website to promote your online business, then look no further. They have optimized hosting via WordPress (a company that lets you modify you webpage with ease) that has secure settings, options for backup, plenty of storage, and good customer service available around the clock.

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After you figure out what plan is good for you, all you need to do is set up your WordPress site (many of your favorite websites are made via WordPress) and you’re ready to go. Get start with plans starting at $3.95/month.

5. WordPress

WordPress is a user friendly, intuitive product that allows for someone to easy set it up for you, and easy to manage on your own after all is said and done. You can choose from themes or you can buy framework and let your designer build it from scratch.
You can also add plug-ins (different tools to your page such as SEO optimization, Clickfunnels, Slideshows, and more) on your own easily. It even lets you add users to help you with anything and not have to give out your information. It’s a good tool for building a site without having to get someone to expensively do it for you and buy the tools individually. This comes with your webhost.

6. ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a website builder that allows you to create different kind of funnels for your webpage. You can create optin page funnels, sales funnels, webinar funnels, automated webinar funnels, launch funnels, and membership sites. It helps you with a safe way to sell your products.

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You can start with a template, or you can create your own from scratch. This makes it easier for you to create all the pages you need to sell your products online. The best part about it, is it’s easy to integrate into your website. They even have a plug-in for WordPress. You can save some money and time by using this feature. Click here to get your ClickFunnels 14 day free trial.

7. Stripe

Stripe is free and allows for websites to process payments into their websites without having to register and maintain a merchant account. There is a small fee per charge (about 2.9% + $0.30 per successful credit card charge) but it doesn’t charge you setup fees, monthly fees, validation fees, card storage fees, or failed payment fees.

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There’s also no minimum monthly payment volumes required. It allows for cross-device payment forms with support for single click payments. It allows for someone to spend less time in code creating payments for your websites. You can also accept payments from anyone, anywhere. Click here to signup with stripe.

8.Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a simple interface to keep track and report website traffic. It allows you to exactly what you need to keep tabs on what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong to make sure your company grows. You can view where people are landing on your page, how much time they’re spending on specific pages, information on who is viewing your pages, and more. There is even a way to learn how to use Google Analytics for free online.

9. Skype

Skype is a great tool for keeping in touch with people easily. This program allows for text and video chatting with people, as well as sending things back and forth with ease. This program can help you keep in contact with a client whether from sending them messages or even calling them for a video chat to show them a new product you have made.

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This program is useful for many different ideas, and most importantly is an easy way for someone to stay in contact with the team even if they’re sick or have to stay home with the kids. Skype is available for download on your computers and any mobile device. Click here to grab skype.

10. Evernote

Evernote is a program designed for note taking and archiving. You can use formatted text, full webpages or just excerpts, photographs, voice memos, handwritten notes, and can attach files to create these notes. Each note then can be sorted into folders, tagged, and annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported as part of a notebook. blogpost 10

This allows for you to keep control of your paperwork online and make it easy to access from any place you choose. There’s also the option of saving anything you can think of, and be able to access it outside of your PC. This program is easily searchable to find anything you need. There are free, but restricted, accounts as well as paid ones. Click here to get started with Evernote for free.

11. Aweber

Aweber develops and runs an opt-in email marketing service, which, with their web-based tools, helps businesses grow by staying in touch with customers and prospects through email.

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It’s easily customizable and lets you broadcast messages, reports, and manage subscribers.

It also sends you analytics back on how many people opened, clicked, bounced, or complained about this message. There are templates and stock images available to create emails and notices for you to send. They also have a plug-in available on WordPress for easy integration. This product has a 30-day free trial currently, but there are also pricing options available for long term. Click here to claim your 30 day free trial.

12. Last Pass/Robo Form

Last Pass is a password-managing tool. You can use it to save your entire log in information in each website you go to. There’s even an option to help you create new passwords when you need. You also can make yourself more secure by running a security challenge and viewing how you’re doing grade-wise. There’s also a way to get emails directly to you to make sure you replace passwords when something has been compromised.

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There are also ways to share this amongst others so, as a business, you can have all your colleagues information and vice versa. You can log in from mobile and pc and there is a free account, but more security comes with a paid membership.

RoboForm is a password-managing tool as well. This product will ask you to remember a master password, which will then hold all your passwords. It then starts saving your passwords and keeping them in a dropdown under logins.

There’s an option to create strong passwords as well. You can use this like a bookmarking tool on your browser, which makes it easy to go back and forth.

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You can also log into this from several devices, alas you have to purchase a yearly membership or a large sum to have it available to just one device (PC or Mac), or a USB form to carry with you. Click here to get LastPass or RoboForm.

13. Fancy Hands

Fancy Hands is a company that gives you access to virtual assistants to get done tasks for you that you don’t have time for. They do almost anything that doesn’t require you to physically go somewhere, and are all located within the US. They can do purchases for you, but nothing over $200.

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They can call anywhere; do time sensitive things, and even schedule reoccurring tasks. You can email in your requests or make them on the website, your choice. The communications will come through your email as well. It’s a monthly fee for specific amounts of tasks, and each one covers about 15 – 20 minutes of work. It’s a great way to get small tasks done for you for a small price, and helps you spend more times on the things that really require you attention. Click here to signup for Fancy Hands

14. Camtaisa/Screen Flow

Camtaisa is a software suite that helps you creates video tutorials and presentations via screen cast, or a direct recording plug-in to PowerPoint. It comes with two components. Camtaisa Studio Recorder helps you record with a click. You can add audio to your presentation, you can add audio afterwards, and you can also get an add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint that allows you to record a presentation within PowerPoint itself.

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You can the export it and use Camtaisa Studio Editor. This lets you add in multiple objects and recordings to mix and produce a presentation with. This is a good tool for creating an in depth presentation on your computer. It’s available for both Mac and Windows PC.

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Screen Flow is software that is used for screen casting and video editing. It’s solely for Mac OS X. It helps you capture audio and video, edit it, and add highlights comments. In the end you can export it and add it to the Web or directly to websites like Vimeo, YouTube, Wistia, Facebook, Dropbox, and more. This makes for easy sharing with your following. Click here to get Camtaisa or Screen flow.

I hope this resource list will help you get more done and be more productive will you’re building your online business.  Some of the above links are affiliate links and we will receive an commission. But I only recommend products that I use myself that I know bring value to your business.

PS. I just have to add this unique video creation tool and once you click this 7-Day Free Trial link or the banner below and see what it’s all about you will understand why

Thanks,

Ted Sikkink

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Aug 23

What Tools Do I Use to Run My Business? [24:17]

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Here’s a message from my good friend Charles Kirkland which I am sure you’ll like:

Welcome to Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur with Charles Kirkland. You’re moments away from getting practical advice and tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to work less, get more done, be more productive and balance work and personal life. Each episode is designed to give you an inside look into the mind of a succesful entrepreneur.

Hey, this is Charles Kirkland. Welcome back to another exciting episode. Now, we’re going to be talking about the tools that I use to run my business. Now, I get this question all the time – what auto-responder to use, what check out to use, what shopping cart, what website, what theme, whatever you can imagine. I get the question all the time.

And it’s one of those things where I’m getting that question enough I figured, hey, let’s go ahead and do an episode on it. And I’m going to tell you why I use it, why it may be right or why it may not be right for you, and I think it’ll hopefully, give you a good jumpstart.

Now, let’s go ahead and talk about email auto-responder systems, because that seems to be one of the very popular ones. I’ve used AWeber, Get Response, Eye Contact, Constant Contact, Office Autopilot, ONTRAPORT, and I’m currenty using Active Campaign. The MBA business is currently using Office Autopilot just because it’s all integrated.

And I will tell you, from a deliverability standpoint, most of them would do about the same. A few of them will truly excel. Right now, Active Campaign is giving me the best delivery and best inbox placement, I’ve ever had. Period. So, keep that in mind. It’s a little on the pricey side. It’s not as bad as some of the systems out there. But it’s really not as easy and not as plug-and-play as AWeber or Get Response.

You know, you can get AWeber and Get Response on the phone and get support. Using Active Campaign, your support is really only through a chat ticket, which is really a pain in the behind. But, with that said, yeah. I do like Active Campaign. It’s more of a built-in CRM. It’s everything I wish ONTRAPORT was – very easy to create campaigns.

As an example, like in AWeber/Get Response, you know, you’re pretty much going in and creating a campaign by adding emails. In Active Campaign, it’s similar to Infusionsoft. Imagine dragging and dropping a flowchart. Same concept. I really like it. Very intuitive. Very easy to use.

There’s some quirks about it. But overall, it’s a really good system. We’re also utilizing the CRM. So, we know if we’re talking to a prospect about joining the coaching program, we can basically look at it and kind of determine if your quality score- are you clicking and gauging the emails? You know, we can tell if you’ve opted in and haven’t done anything. It’s really powerful and I like it a lot.

Now, is it right for you? I would probably say no. If you’re getting started, go with AWeber or go with Get Response, because you can get on the phone any time you want with those guys, and they can walk you through some of the technical things. You don’t have that option. And because of that, I would probably not recommend it, getting started. And it’s a little pricier than a lot of other products. So, definitely keep that in mind. I like it a lot.

One of the reasons I truly like it – like AWeber and like Get Response, these things integrate with everything under the sun. A lot of the email software products out there or email service providers really don’t do a great job with integration. So, you’re trying to make it work with the exit pop, your evergreen webinar system, anything like that – sometimes it can get a little on the wonky side. So, keep that in mind.

So, if you’re getting started – AWeber/Get Response, you’ll be fine. Either one. It doesn’t make a difference. A little more advance would be ONTRAPORT or Infusionsoft. And I would probably tell you to stay away from Infusionsoft. They’ll probably be sending me emails. “Charles, you can’t say these things.” I’m just really not an Infusionsoft fan. I’ve got buddies who can make it do everything under the sun. Don’t know why, I’ve just never really jumped on the Infusionsoft bandwagon.

I think the big thing to me, and probably, the big turn-off to me, is every time I call, it takes two or three thousand to get started. And I don’t have any problem paying two or three thousand. But you know, two or three thousand dollars to see if I even want it, if I like it – and they go, “Oh, it’s for the campaign for us to help you set it up.” If it’s that stinking complicated, I’m not sure I would use it anyway. So, keep that in mind. So, with that said, active campaign. If you’re a little more advanced, AWeber/Get Response.

Now, when it comes to themes, I’ve used every theme I could possibly think of. And somebody’s going to send me an email, “Charles, but you didn’t say x, y, z theme.” I’ve used Office Autopilot. From a theme standpoint, they actually have a built in, kind of like a plug-in. It does okay. But for the themes that we’re talking about, I use Avada. That‘s what I use on the Charles Kirkland coaching site – really simple, really easy to use.

I do like OptimizePress, version one and two. Both of them are great. I like both of them. The only problem I have with OptimizePress, I mean, I like it a lot. The only problem I have is a lot of times, the site- because everybody else is using Optimize Press – and also, you can customize it and do all kinds of cool things.

But for most people that’re not really going that extra mile and doing a lot of customization, because of that, I just don’t like it because I feel it looks a little too much like everybody else. I mean it integrates with everything. I do like it from that standpoint. It integrates with AWeber, Get Response, your email software, Go To Webinar – integrates with all those things. And I do have some sites that are still using Optimize Press. But for me, I really wanted to stand out and have a completely different look than everybody else in my space.

And we use one which we got a theme for us for like, $50 or $60. I think it’s Avada, maybe. I probably screwed the name up. Just go to theme [unclear – 06:19]. Look for the number one WordPress theme. Absolutely has made my life simple and easy.

Now, this is a big question. Would I use that over Optimize Press? Depends. I mean, it’s a little different. It’s a lot more complicated to initially set up, I think, than Optimize Press. But I think it gives a very clean, professional look that- not that Optimize Press isn’t clean and professional, but it makes me stand out in a crowd of other people.

And the question is if you’ve got Optimize Press and any other theme, do you need Leadpages, ClickFunnels, do you need any of these things? Even [unclear – 06:54] 5 Minute pages. I’m going to just tell you, I use LeadPages. I use ClickFunnels. And you say, “Wait a second Charles. But shouldn’t you only use one one or the other?” No.

I’m going to just tell you this, ClickFunnels absoutely rocks. I love it. I love it. I love it. I will give shouts out. I will go scream it to the top of my lungs. Russell Brunson rocks. ClickFunnels is just amazing in what it can do. But, there are a couple of things that it can’t do. That means Russell’s probably going to like, “Darn it Charles!” He’s going to go fix it.

But, you know, I use it for a lot of stuff. One thing I found out, and this is interesting enough. I like ClickFunnels. But there again, I have to customize the templates. You don’t want to look like anything else. The same thing with LeadPages. You kind of have to customize these templates because you just don’t want to look like everybody else in your market. So, keep that in mind.

But I use LeadPages mainly for the- well I’m getting ready to use them for the LeadDigits, because that’s really powerful. But I do use them for the LeadBoxes. Where you basically, you can make an image. They click the image. A box pops up. I will tell you, OptimizePress has that, but I am using Avada, the theme. And I have OptimizePress as a plug-in. So, it doesn’t really work that well.

But I do love LeadPages. They’re simple. They’re easy. You don’t have the flexibility you have in ClickFunnels, but I’m just going to tell you, some days flexibility is overrated. I spent basically, eight hours yesterday working on an opt-in page, a thank you page, and then a click link, and then, you know, the confirmation page. I spent a long time doing it.

I could’ve probably done it in ClickFunnels in probably about 20 or 30 minutes. LeadPages, probably about the same timeframe. I did it. I regret not using one of those two options. But, you know, I needed to really integrate it with my site and look like the rest of my site. So, that’s kind of why I did that. But I will tell you, OptimizePress would’ve made that a lot similar.

With that said, LeadPages or ClickFunnels – you’re not going to have any problems. And the big key is, if you’re using the subdomain, that standard, that everybody uses, that kind of gets into issues, and that’s why they allow you to basically have it as a stand alone page, as a plug-in on your site. I would recommend that. So, if you put it in Facebook, it doesn’t look like YourDomain.com/LeadPages.net, or something ClickFunnels.net. It’s very easy to use the plug-in and actually create your own pages, YourDomain.com/Landingpagexyz.

I’m going to tell you. I use both of them. If I only had to use one, I’d say flip a coin. They’re both good. I do like the LeadDigits a lot. And I really, really, really do like the LeadBoxes. So, with that said, keep that in mind. You know, either one of those products rock. Personal choice. Just throwing it out there, I’ll give you that.

This is interesting. When it comes to exit pop software, you know, the exit intent – I’m actually using two of them. One of them I’m using is OptinMonster. And I use that on one site. It works great. And I’m using another software called PicReel.com. And I like that. I’m just teting that on the Media Buyer Association right now. I like their designs better than OptinMonster. So, keep that in mind.

As of right now, OptinMonster seems to be giving me a bettter conversion rate. But, you know, I’ve had time to test that, where I’m just starting with PicReel. I can tell you – I think PicReel is like, I think, a monthly package. I want to say OpinMonster is $200 a year, or something like that. So, keep that in mind. Either one of those you will be fine with.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to evergreen software and evergreen webinars, there’s no shortage of it. I know that Andy and Mike just came out with a new evergreen software. I’ve looked at it. it seems to rock. But guess what? A lot of times we end up jumping on these tools that are brand new. I mean I’ve developed software before. It takes a while to work bugs out. I don’t think there’s anything as a “bug-free software.”

So, I’m going to let Andy and them have all the bugs worked out before I end up joining that. But the thing is, it’s not about joining the latest, greatest thing. It’s really about, and this is what it comes down to. Can you use what you’ve got? Just because it’s got a new bell and whistle, and that’s great. But guess what? If you’re not using all the bells and whistles you’ve got now, getting additional bells and whistles probably isn’t going to be the best use of your time.

And every time you jump on something brand new, there’s a learning curve, learning curve, learning curve, and learning curve. So, you’ve got to keep that in mind. These learning curves get nasty, fast. So, you know, that’s kind of the big deal there. I’m using Stealth Seminars. It’s like a hundred and something dollars a month.

The reason I like Stealth over any of the other ones currently on the market is basically, I give these guys my stuff. Their customer service is beyond anything I’ve ever seen, seriously. I basically say here’s the video uploaded. Here’s my landing page. They set up the timers, the countdown, the replay. They go into my email system.

Gosh, yes, I know. We give them our email password, username, and everything. They go in there and they set everything up. And pretty much, all I have to do is test it one time and then make sure that I add my own personal touches to the emails. You can’t beat that.

When Evergreen Business Systems first came out – and I’ve got an account with them – I like it. But you have to do it. I don’t know about you. But I don’t sit around going, yeah. I just don’t have enough to do today. I just should look around. Find me something else. To me, it’s worth it to have somebody else set those things up.

And I found that Stealth Seminar, from a conversion standpoint, converts better than any of the other evergreen systems I’ve seen out there. I know Casey Zeman has got one. I bought it. I’ve never used it, but I’ve bought it. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time just to sit down just to figure out how to use a piece of software. I’d rather them say, “Hey, Charles. You gave us the video and the landing page. We’ve done everything else.” For me, that’s worth it – that’s absolutely worth it. It’s just personal opinion.

I know that Evergreen Business Systems- I don’t know if it’s been updated. I know Mike and Andy have a couple of different ones out. But take it for what it’s worth. The reality is, whatever you’ve got will probably do the job. It just takes time to figure out how to use it. Stealth kind of shortens that timeframe.

Now when it comes to checkout pages, this is where we’re going to go back to ClickFunnels. Because I’m going to tell you, hands down, I love the checkouts in ClickFunnels. They’ve got the things where you can do the order form bump where you enter in your information and it goes, “Oh, would you like to add this to your order?”

“Yes. That sounds like a winner. Let’s add this to the order.” They’ve got that kind of stuff in place which makes it really, really nice. So, ClickFunnels is really more than just a landing page generator.

Same thing you know, like LeadPages. It does LeadDigits, which are SMS text messaging. LeadBoxes. Same thing with ClickFunnels. You know, they do the checkout pages. They do the upsells. They do the membership areas. And because of that, I really, really, really love ClickFunnels.

Now, I have not used SamCart. I’ve got a good buddy of mine that uses it. He loves it. I mean, but there again, it’s like every software you pick, or everything that you move is going to have- and you just heard a whistle there for Periscope. Gary Monroe is starting a Periscope – these things are really cool, by the way. You should jump on Periscope next time you have a chance to get on a one-on-one with me.

But going back to the checkout pages. I’ve used Nanocast. Nanocast is literally bulletproof. It’s amazing, what it can do. It’s just not user friendly. I know you can get on there. You can get the stuff knocked out. It took me awhile. I mean you can use their default shopping cart and all this. It will probably work for most people. I mean, it’s a pretty good system. It’s bulletproof. Nothing breaks on it. And these guys can fix anything. Little technical to set up, in my opinion.

I love One Shopping Cart for a lot of things. My woodworking business runs on One Shopping Cart. And they do the email, the checkouts, yeah. I don’t need a secure server page or anything [SSL – 15:22]. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s not glamorous, but guess what? It gets the job done. I think we often get so enamored with the latest, greatest thing. it’s about, can you get results? It’s not the latest, greatest thing.

And that seems to be a problem in the online marketing world. We seem to jump after, “Well, this is brand new. And nobody’s seen it before.” You know what? Forget the brand new, nobody’s seen it before. It comes down to, can you use what you have, which is what most people have some problems with. So definitely guys, keep that in mind.

I really do love the entrepreneur stuff. It’s probably just me, but I can never really make those one-click upsells work the way they should. Don’t necessaily know why. ONTRAPORT, Office Autopilot – I do love it. I just seem to not make those upsells work. It’s a little more technical because then you’ve got to enter in your pages. Where’s the next page? What to do? It’s a little more technical. Where ClickFunnels pretty much you drag and drop your pages. And it goes A, B, C, D, X, Y, Z.” And it’s all done. You’re good to go.

Now when it comes to setting up member sites, we’re using WishList member, we’re using the ONTRAPORT plug-in. I’m using ClickFunnels. They actually have their own membership site, which is pretty cool. It kind of rocks. And I’ve used a lot of other stuff before. I’ve used Nanocast. They’ve got their own built-in membership stuff. And like I say, it’s a little technical to set up. Bulletproof once you get it, but technical.

I like WishList Member, but boy! It’s asking me for all- you know, to set and configure things. And I don’t like that. And then, if they get a refund, it’s not necessarily tied to the shopping cart. So, you’ve got to refund them in the shopping cart. Go into the member’s area. Remove their access.

Where ONTRAPORT and Office AutoPilot, I can refund your access on one page, click a button and revoke your membership on the same page. I can even see how many pages. And this has come in handy. People will go in and download everything and they’ll want a refund 30 minutes later.

And they go “Oh, it just wasn’t right for me.” So well, gee. It looks here like you visited every page for about five and a half seconds, just long enough to click your download button on the video. So, do you really want a refund? From looking at our stat logs, it looks like you downloaded everything. That can come in extremely handy when people get stupid on you. And believe me, they do. People will absolutely get dumb on you. So, keep that in mind.

You know, there again, I do like the ClickFunnels membership sites. I will just tell you, hands down, it’s simple. It’s easy. It’s not really that complex. I mean, it gets the job done. I mean, it’s basic from the standpoint of like, I like a lot of features in my membership site. But hey, you know what? Speed rocks. I’m just going to tell you. At the end of the day, being able to get these products and turn them out fast is a huge, huge, huge advantage, because it’s really about speed.

So, you know, if you’re used to WishList Member, don’t go looking for something else. The one that I have not tried, that I’m thinking hard about trying very soon, would be something called Member Mouse. I know Kim Roach talked about it. And she absolutely loves Member Mouse. So definitely keep that in mind. Really solid piece of software from what I understand.

So what should you use? I’ll just tell you, if you’re using Aweber, get WishList Member. If you’ve got ClickFunnels, just use the one built into ClickFunnels. At the end of the day, it’s not about all the things the tool can do. It’s, does it do the thing you need? Like, give them a username and password. That’s it. That’s all we need to worry about. We don’t need to get hung up on a million other things. And I see so many people, “But Charles, this one does – insert whtever.” You know what? Don’t get hung up on it. Just don’t get hung up. It’s just a tool. Keep that in mind – just a tool.

Now when it comes to videos, we used to host a lot of videos on Amazon S3 – still do that. And we moved to Wistia. I’ll tell you, in a way, that’s been a mistake. The Wistia bill every month is staggering. I mean seriously, we’re using- I feel like I’m streaming CNN or something and I feel like I’m paying for CNN bandwidth.

One of the things you have to understand is any product you get, somebody else is going to figure some way to leech off of it, download it, steal it, copy it. We’re hitting probably- the last 500 gigs and maxed that out. So, we’re going to have to move to the higher priced tier. We’re getting ready to move everything back to Amazon S3 and use something called VUPlayer.

Now I’m going to tell you, I have not used this VUPlayer yet. Todd Brown told me about it, so I got it last night. I went thorugh. They had a zillion upsells. But I just wanted the VUPlayer. I’m really looking forward to getting to use that, a.) because it’s going to reduce my video bandwith cost – a lot. Second of all, in the video, while you’re watching the video, we can actually have our own ads appearing in the video, which to me is extremely powerful.

Now, I don’t have time to do this, but I think the next big thing will be a video ad network, where you basically have videos playing and you control the ads. You’re selling ads based on those videos. I think that’s going to be huge. You know, there again, I don’t have enough time to go after everything that I want. So, keep that in mind. It could be something for somebody.

But there again, I know there’s a lot of different players out there like the EasyS3 and all this. You know, a lot of times when I’m using stuff, I want simple and easy, because the real money isn’t made in setting all the technical aspects of the stuff up. The money is made in- what is the big idea? What is the marketing? And getting traffic to the offers. That’s really where your money’s made at. The money is not made in this technical stuff.

So, I’m going to tell you. Don’t get hung up on the technical thing because you could be fighting the shopping cart for a week, a member’s area for a few days, a WordPress theme. Before you know it, you’ve spent like two or three weeks fighting all this stuff and not getting any results. So, definitely, definitely keep that in mind. You don’t want to be that person. And I’ll tell you, believe me, quite often very simply, very easy, you can become that person.

Now, with that said, when you’re looking at all these, it’s really about just getting out there and trying to get that result. And I think that’s where so many people mess up. They’re looking at this stuff going, “Ooh! How fast can I do it?” Guys, the technical set up of this stuff can really be a pain. It can be a bear. And you just don’t want to spend all your time fighting the technical setup of it. You don’t want to do that. The real money is made, like I said, in the big ideas. So, keep that in mind.

Now when it comes to hosting, I’ve used HostGator. They’ve gone down on me. Really, when hosting, I’m looking for something that’s bulletproof – not going to go down. And I can call anytime and get support, and get somebody knowledgeable.

I despise GoDaddy. I’m not a GoDaddy fan in any way, shape or form. A few years ago they go, “We’ve got a spam planned against one of your domains.” The domain’s been there forever. And basically, they made me pay, I think $100 or something, saying I was a spammer. And then they would release the domain, so I could move it to a different host. That really left a very bad taste in my mouth. And you know, I mean it’s just really just a bad experience.

I do not recommend GoDaddy under any circumstances whatsoever. I prefer NameCheap. And at the end of the day, go with something like [unclear – 23:03] on demand. If you can get a VFS server, which is a Virtual Private Server. If you can upgrade, do better. Get a dedicated server. If you’re just starting out, get just a regular, shared server. I mean you can get something off HostGator that’s shared, that will probably- I still run a number of sites off of a HostGator-shared server. They don’t get a lot of traffic, but they just make a few thousand dollars a month.

So, it’s not a big deal. And at the end of the day guys, it’s really about taking action more than the actual, technical aspects of all these things. I see so many people getting all wrapped up into the technical aspects of this, and that, and the other. Guys, it’s not about the technical aspects. It’s about did you get a result. So, definitely, definitely keep that in mind.

So with that said, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up. We’ll do another podcast about some more tools. But right now, just remember, use what works best for you. It’s not what I use, it’s what works best for you and what fits in your budget.

Anyway, this is Charles. Hope you enjoyed it. And talk to you later.

dvdI hope you enjoyed these tips. If you want to learn how to unlock your online success, let me send you the free DVD. You just pay for the shipping. Click here

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Aug 13

Forgetting Your Profits

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Starting a business

This Is Why You Are Leaving Most Of Your Profits On The Table.  Forgetting Your Profits.  This video is going to explain why you are leaving most of your profits on the table.

Yes, I said it.

You are probably working hard to get leads, clients and sales then dropping the ball. Most of your profits are left untouched.

Watch this video to see what I’m talking about.

Aug 13

Success doesn’t come from the tools; it comes from your mindset.

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Starting a business

Tool Problems

The secret to an online business is not what you have been told.  Success doesn’t come from the tools; it comes from your mindset.  But nobody wants to tell you that because it makes it harder to sell you their newest latest and greatest product.

Now that you have solved your first problem let’s take a look at the 2nd problem.  Stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like an entrepreneur. Watch this video to see exactly what I’m talking about.

 

Jul 02

My 3 day Tony Robbins binge that saved my business

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Productivity

I don’t know about you, but when I got started in business I suffered from the WCS (“Woulda Coulda Shoulda”) syndrome.

No matter what I tried to do, I would second guess myself. Have you ever had that happen to you?

It was insane. I felt like a starving hamster stuck in a ball chasing the last piece of cheese in the world. It didn’t make a difference what I tried, I was stuck.

I think a Magic 8 Ball could have made better decisions than me.

It was so bad I would spend days planning to do something only to stop at the last minute because I was afraid I might fail if I made the wrong choice.

Because of that, I was failing by default.

So how did I get over the “Woulda Coulda Shoulda” syndrome?

It was simple.

I got fired for being the top seller.

I had this dead end sales job that I hated, but I was really good at sales. So by some miracle I was the top sales rep, or the other guys really didn’t care and I was the top by default.

Either way, I got canned.

Things got real very fast for me. So I did what any good entrepreneur would do. I went on a Tony Robbins binge for 3 days straight.

I did every exercise in his workbook, and some of them I did twice.

After 3 solid days of “Personal Power” I was ready to take on the world.

And you know what?
I made a ton of mistakes going full force. But that created the momentum I needed to keep going until I made it work.

Most people are waiting for something to save them…always looking for the next big thing or the next magic bullet.

Because of that, they never get anywhere. They stay in the “woulda coulda shoulda” phase and never reach their potential.

If you are ready to overcome the things holding you back, grab “The Inner Guide To Online Success” and start taking action.

https://funnels.charleskirklandblog.com/order-form

Jul 02

Feeling Overwhelmed?

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Productivity

It’s natural, and it happens to everybody. But it’s how you handle that feeling that makes all the difference in the world. In the past I would try to cope with stress and overwhelm by consuming Red Bulls and junk food. Needless to say, that didn’t solve anything.

Most people get overwhelmed and instead of looking at the real problem they just try to power through it like I did. You are stressed and overwhelmed because you are thinking about or trying to do too much.
Step back and prioritize everything.

Look at what can only be done by you vs. what you could outsource to free up some time. Next, look at what’s left on your plate and find the things that would make the biggest impact if you did it.

Following these steps will not stop you from feeling overwhelmed, but they can make a huge impact on how you respond to it.

To get more time saving tips like this check out “The Inner Guide To Online Success.”

https://funnels.charleskirklandblog.com/order-form

Jul 02

Can Goals be Dangerous?

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Productivity

Few people will ever admit this, but goals are the most dangerous things for you to have.

I’m sure you’re thinking that I’ve lost my marbles.

How can goals be dangerous?

Goals will drive you to accomplish more than you could imagine, but here is the elephant in the room.

The wrong goals will sabotage your success because they don’t push you out of your comfort zone.

People are afraid to fail so they end up making goals they know they could accomplish.

This keeps you from pushing yourself to become more.

It’s kind of like failing the 1st grade on purpose because you’re afraid you will fail the 2nd grade.

You have to create goals that will push you, but you need to keep them from becoming delusional.

This is where things can get really messed up.

People often think they can come up with some random goal like making $1 million in 12 months, but they have never made more than $50,000 per year ever.

That’s a wish at best.

Make goals that will push you and back them up with a plan. Use that plan to build upon each goal with a bigger and bigger one.

That’s how goals will work.

If you want to learn more about creating a successful business online, check out my DVD.

https://funnels.charleskirklandblog.com/order-form

Jun 20

Happy Father’s Day

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

I’m still blessed to have my father with me. He turned 79 this year, and he inspires me with how he lives his life. While most people want to slow down and rest, my dad still works part time and is always looking to learn new things.

When he was 72 he bought his first computer and now he spends a lot of his time watching videos on his iPad. I grew up with my dad always learning to do new things. Just like my dad you need to look at how to maximize your time and productivity as an online marketing business owner.

That’s why I created “The Inner Guide To Online Success.”

Because your success depends on you learning how to get the most out of what you already have. Right now you can get the DVD for only $5 for a limited time. Get this DVD and learn from my mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

Jun 16

The Biggest Mistakes I Made Starting an Online Business

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Not enough market research

As entrepreneurs it’s easy to fall in love with an idea about how well your products are going to sell. Just build a better mousetrap and they will come. Well, in the online world that’s like waiting up all night to catch the tooth fairy. It’s just not going to happen.

Most entrepreneurs start an online business with the belief that their idea is going to be worth millions right out of the gate. But if you do the market research and look at the facts, you might discover that your idea is not going to work. In this case it may be better to ditch the idea in the planning phase than to waste time and money trying to make it work.

When you are doing market research make sure you find multiple people selling something similar to your product. That’s proof that other people have made it work and you can, too.

Next, you need to visit their site to sign up for their email list and buy their product. Take note of the different products they offer for sale in their funnel.

Once you have this research together you will better understand the market dynamics and what you’ll need to have in place to compete successfully with them.

Not focusing on 1 thing until it’s done

Now that you have your market research done and have proof of concept that there is a healthy demand for your product, you need to focus on creating the product until it’s done. That means 100% done, not 99% done. As online entrepreneurs it’s easy to get sidetracked by bright shiny objects that are designed to make you part with your hard earned money. You can’t sell anything until you get it done. Don’t try to do multiple projects at once because it will just slow you down. Plus, you only need to have one front-end product completed to build your business.

Not using your own domain

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an online business by its domain name. A lot of entrepreneurs will be pound wise and penny foolish by using a free hosting account or a shared domain name. That’s a sure sign of an amateur. Your domain is your storefront. Make sure you have a self-hosted domain that reflects your business. Plus, the right domain name will inspire confidence in your buyers.

Not building your email list from day 1

The lifeblood of your business will be your email list. Think of them as your own tribe and you are their fearless leader. It’s up to you to lead them to whatever results you or your products deliver. Never be afraid to email your list because you know you are providing value.

Make email list building your first priority as soon as your site is live. I would suggest you use AWeber for your email marketing. They have a crazy deal where you can get 30 days free. Even if you don’t have your products ready for sale, still get an email form to capture emails on your blog.

Not building out your funnel

Now that you have your email capture up and running it’s time to review your market research to see what and how your competitors are selling their products. You need to really look at how they are positioning their products to the market. Are they the Cadillacs of the niche or do they have the Wal-Mart mentality. You have to figure out your positioning before you create a product.

You also need to look at what types of funnels your competitors are using. Are they losing money on the front-end to acquire a customer only to promote high-ticket items to them next week? Do they make enough money from the front-end sales that they don’t have a back-end funnel. These are important details you need to consider.

Not focusing on recurring income

Even if you’re only selling 1 item, look at how you can take that one time sale and turn it into repeat sales. Or better yet, offer some kind of continuity program to create recurring income. Often this is done with a product of the month, membership sites, newsletters, or product refills. This will be the source of the bulk of your long-term income. Plus, if you consider selling the business the recurring income and the email list will be the assets that buyers want the most.

Not wanting to spend money on advertising

This is where most entrepreneurs trip themselves up. You have been willing to spend money to get your offer in front of your target audience. It is just like in real estate–location, location, and location. You can’t make sales if buyers never see your site. Paid traffic should be a line item on your cost of doing business. The entire internet is based on the model of using paid traffic.

Trying to do the techie stuff yourself

I’m a victim of this myself. I can’t count the times I should have spent my time growing the business instead of tweaking some code on the site or in the shopping cart. Don’t spend your time doing techie things. Technology is hard to learn, and often you will only use it once or twice. But technology is easy and cheap to outsource.

dvdI hope you enjoyed these tips. If you want to learn how to unlock your online success, let me send you the free DVD. You just pay for the shipping. Click here

Jun 11

5 Advanced Productivity Secrets

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Marketing

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][fusion_text]One of the biggest keys to success is maximum productivity for yourself or your employees. Each year brick and mortar businesses spend billions looking for anything that would help them become more productive.

Online entrepreneurs face a totally different set of constraints than brick and mortar businesses. Because of that, I adopted the best of what’s working offline and applied online.

These are just a few of the problems you’ll face online plus the solution to overcome it.

[Tweet “5 Advanced Productivity Secrets”]

Lack of focus

Let’s face it. There are millions of things competing for our attention online.eyeglasses-698672_1280V1 Attention is the currency of the online world and everybody wants it…from FaceBook, Google, to the latest clickbait headline.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked with the latest and greatest BSO (Bright Shiny Object) offering to make what you are doing faster and easier while you spend your free time relaxing at the beach.

The problem is that without a clear focus you’ll end up going down a thousand rabbit holes or jumping from one idea to the next. Each time you abandon a half finished idea in favor of the next one because it seems better.

You have to have a clear written focus and stick to it or you will spin your wheels forever. Which leads to trying to do too many things at once.

Too many projects

entrepreneur-593372_640v1Multi-tasking might sound great in theory but in real life it’s a recipe for disaster. Online this gets multiplied by a factor of 10X.
Because it i so easy to start a new project, most people are planning the next 5 projects before they are even finished the first one.

All too often I see entrepreneurs divide up their time while working on various projects. This gives them a false feeling of movement.

In the end it just slows them down. Just stick to one project until it’s 100% done before you start a second one.

It’s OK to have new and exciting ideas. Instead of trying to do them all, write your ideas down into Evernote and save them until you really have the time.

Time management

Billions are spent each year in the name of time management.clock-407101_640v1

But people still struggle with it.

Poor time management often comes down to not having clear goals with a set deadline that is measurable. Most people start a project and underestimate the amount of time it is really going to take to complete it.

The best way to manage your time is with proper planning.

Start with listing out all the major steps and what it’s going to take to complete them. Then add a buffer factor of 10-25% of that. That will give you a more accurate picture of the time it’s going to really take.

Next, break each major step into smaller bite size steps and add a time buffer factor of 25% to it.

You have to add in the buffer factors or you will underestimate the time.

Be honest with yourself on how long things are going to take. In your mind it’s a 5 minute task. But in reality it could easily take 15 minutes.

The only way to manage your time is to know where it’s spent and then decide if that is the best use of your time.

Which leads us to working on technical tasks.

Lack the technical skills

office-620817_1280Because we live in such a hyper-connected world, it’s never been easier to find information on how to do about anything from setting up a server to configuring your own shopping cart.

So that’s a blessing, right?

WRONG!

These are all very valuable technical skills that are needed in every business. But the problem is these are just 1-off tasks that most online business owners will only need to do every few months at best.

Technical skills are hard to learn and easy to outsource. It really is a waste of your time to spend days trying to do any kind of technical task.

As a business owner your most valuable skills are creating a vision and making sales to grow your business.

Instead visit Upwork, Elance, or Freelancer and post a job to have somebody take care of it. Often you can attract high skilled technical workers who can complete your job the same day you post it.

So the next time you are tempted to try to learn some new technical skill, think about how much your time is worth and consider having it outsourced so you can spend your time growing your business.

Giving up too soon

man-597178_640Most people have the mindset that if something doesn’t work the first time that it is a failure, and they move to something else. This is very short-sighted because few things ever work on the first try.

How many times did it take to invent the light bulb?

How much time would you give a baby to walk before you gave up?

Then why do you expect that the first time you try something it’s going to work like a charm?

It’s not, but so many people have been seduced by slick marketing videos and sales letters to believe that success is only one button away. While that does make great stories, they are totally unrealistic.

The advantage of an online business is you can track everything back to a single action. You know that facebook ad “X” created a sale of product “Y.” Plus, you can have this data in real time. On the flip side, you can test and tweak and turn off things that aren’t working just as easy.

Offline this kind of data doesn’t exist. You have no clue if the sale was generated by a billboard, radio ad or word of mouth.

Online you can track everything which leads us to look at your results and then see how to improve them over time. So don’t just give up if something is not working. Instead, work to improve it.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]dvdI hope you enjoyed these 5 advanced productivity secrets. If you want to learn how to unlock your online success, let me send you the free DVD. You just pay for the shipping. Click here[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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