How to

Say No more often

“I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1000 things.”

Hat tip to to Jonathan for his insights.

How to

Fuck Normal

Normal is the most offensive word in the english language.

Calling someone normal is the dirtiest word I can think of.

Requesting someone to be normal is unforgiveable.

What is normal?

Normal is:

  • Woolworths
  • Channel 9
  • Smh.com.au
  • Checking Facebook 5 times a day
  • Facebook itself. (If your friends don’t call you because you aren’t on Facebook. They aren’t your friends.)
  • Soft Drinks
  • Pizza Hut
  • Tooheys New
  • Rent
  • Credit card debt
  • Corn flakes
  • Sydney
  • Hangovers
  • Big tv and small business book library (Big Tv, Small Business.)
  • Computer games
  • RedTube
  • Public schools
  • Medicare
  • Public hospitals
  • PAYG
  • 2 holidays a year
  • Frequent flyer points
  • Economy seating
  • Foxtel
  • NRL
  • Disney
  • Fitness first
  • Christmas presents
  • Fly spray
  • Washing detergent
  • Petrol prices
  • The current big tv series
  • Tourist traps
  • Souvenirs
  • McDonalds
  • Mars bars

That is not want you want to choose.

Choose “Different”.

You don’t want to be stuck in a rut and repeat the same things over and over again. Move forward and open up your life to new things, consider these past things as done:

  • Get drunk in your 20s because its fun
  • Do it still to have fun in your 30s because its easy and helps you forget your dreams.
  • Play Computer games to escape your fears and dreams.
  • Take the easy route.
  • Dream about the future but just piss it away everyday
  • Tell yourself can’ts when really you are just making other choices and you can.
  • Forget what you chose in your life and put the blame on everything and everyone else but yourself.
  • Choose normal and compromise your dreams and emotions so that you are ok with it.

There is another option.

Choose the life you want. Never compromise and never forget until you get it. Persist against all resistance until you get it, then grab on to it with all of your energy and life and never let go. Its not easy and other people are going to pull you back down to where you were, but that is the path to not being “Normal”. That is the path to greatness, so that you can look back in 25 years time and go, I made a Great choice in not going down that path.

How to

6 Steps to get anything you want by Napoleon…

If you haven’t read the book. Just do the following:

  • Step One: Fix your mind on an exact amount of money that you desire
  • Step Two: Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for this sum
  • Step Three: Decide on a date you’ll possess this amount of money
  • Step Four: Create a definite plan for how you’re going to carry out this desire and begin at once
  • Step Five: Write a clear, concise statement of the money you wish to acquire, when you wish to have it, what you intend to do in return, and how exactly you’re going to do that
  • Step Six: Read your written statement twice daily. Once in the morning and once at night. As you do this, see yourself already in possession of the riches you seek
How to

How to turn off Facebook ads from your profile

Turning off Facebook ads from spamming you is actually quite simple and it really gives you more space on your Facebook page. I hate all the make money in no time ads and these are the steps to remove the ads.

3 Steps to remove Facebook ads with Firefox

  1. Install Greasemonkey addon – this addon basically enables you to put custom scripts into your browser to filter ads out.
  2. Restart your firefox
  3. Install one of these userscripts:
    • Remove All Facebook Ads Removes banner ads, sponsored items in news feed and sponsored sidebar items from Facebook.
    • NoFacebookAds Removes Facebook flyer and network adverts, including social adverts such as the annoying Danish barber adverts.

You are ad free!


Email marketing

10 things I’ve learnt the second time round

Read and forget this list at your own peril. I have spent a serious amount of time learning these insights and I strongly suggest you take them on board. Here are the 10 things I learnt when launching my new business HiveEmpire.com.

  1. There are still big $’s to be made in Australia – niche markets are great to start in but if you want to make big $’s in Australia you have to own a major category eg cars, finance, jobs, real estate and hotels. You might think that there are already too many competitors in your market. What I have learnt in Australia is that realistically, most businesses in Australia aren’t that great. No one writes about Australian companies in the major blogs and tech sites. They don’t break the mould, they don’t innovate that well and they tend to just sit and let their market share crumble. Most big Australian companies got big because they were the only option. You can still make big money in Australia if you are willing the persist and fight. How did Virgin steal so much market share from Qantas. If you have ever worked with Qantas you will know why. They are SLOW, OLD and have so many dead wood people NOT-working in their business! I’d prefer to compete with Qantas rather than a quick and nimble company. Make your business nimble and give the customer another option. There are always rebels in every customer base!
  2. If you loved your first biz, you will marry your second! – All of your ideas are clearer and the path to growth is easier the second time round. I learnt fast from my first business and made the mistakes quickly! I learnt what worked and just replicated a lot more of that. If you are thinking of starting a business, just do it. Start small and make $1, its damn addictive. I challenge myself always with any new niche we enter to make the first $1. After that it’s easier to know what is required next –> make $2. 😉
  3. Staff are everything – If you want to create a very profitable business you need profitable employees. The easiest way to get this is to hire motivated employees that can manage themselves to achieve results. This has been my most important fundamental focus second time around. Developing a process for this and knowing who you want to hire have been 2 of my best upgrades to my second business. The 3 key suggestions I have here are:
    1. Don’t hire average staff, or you will end up with an average company – Wait and slow down, before hiring. It’s better to just wait that much longer rather than hiring the wrong person. You don’t actually need to hire a person if you are smart and just optimise the systems you are using at present.
    2. Ask more questions not less. The impact of who you hire impacts your other top performers in your company. Hire poor quality people and you say something to them. Hire high quality people and you breed greatness into your organisation.
    3. You can’t motivate people – You can only hire motivated people. Don’t bother with motivational programs, just hire a motivated person. Do some personality profiling to figure out if a person is motivated or not and you will save yourself a lot of time from creating motivational programs and talking to staff members to motivate them. If someone slips through your process. Talk through it, perhaps they aren’t suited to your company and would be better working in a big organisation where they want slow moving and predictable employees. They will like it there more and you will have helped them out. Stop trying to motivate the average staff member in your company and just replace them instead.
  4. Read More – If you are an achiever you will probably have a small, old and outdated television and a large library of books which you have read and used. I always look at the size of someone’s television and the size of their library in their house. It always gives me a good signal. I read a lot, but try and speed through boring parts in the books these days. I find that reading slow in key areas and implementing ideas is crucial but speeding past stuff that is boring and non relevant. I don’t read fiction, only non-fiction and there is usually a book about any area of business that you are operating in. Read it. My suggested Readings:
    1. HR = Top Grading – learn a rigorous hiring process. I read this book on my Babymoon, greatest book on HR I have ever read.
    2. Business Management = Rework – By the guys who made 37signals. A great book which has helped me a lot.
    3. Motivation = 4 hour work week – Read this fast as it won’t all apply to yourself. I use it more as a motivational tool.
    4. HR and Business Strategy = Good to Great – Bit of an essay, but if you want to build a business bigger than in 4 hour work week, this will help you make a great one.
  5. Outsource everything you can – time is the currency. I have literally put my entire life on the internet and pretty much outsource everything. I havent been into a supermarket in 4 years. Supermarkets are time hell, pay the $7.50 and get it delivered instead of spending 3 hours in a supermarket. Key insights to outsourcing a business process:
    1. Test first with a contract or hourly model then lock in good suppliers with retainers.
    2. Start small – just outsource 1 part of a process, then add to it. Either with the same person or with different people so that you keep core business secrets with yourself.
    3. Document it or they will f**k it up – Assume zero intelligence. Prefer that they don’t think as opposed to wishing the outsourced person would think. You want a reliable simple thing done, over and over again. You don’t want a business strategy for taking over the internet.
  6. Make a simple business – if it’s simple you spend less time producing and more time marketing and improving your product. If you can’t explain your business to someone else in less than 60 seconds, it’s too complex. Simplify it. Do less, specialise and earn more. My business is so simple, we compare credit cards, home loans or savings accounts. That’s it. We just spend all of our time marketing it and improving the product. My previous business was a very smart business, it needed smart people. But, I think I prefer the simple business these days. How do you make a simple business in your niche? Just do the core, really, really well.
  7. Meetings, Emails and telephones, instant messenger and Facebook are trying to kill your business – If you want to be part of the crowd, using the aforementioned tools is a surefire way to make that happen. I have taken active steps to kill these distractions in the business. Four practical tips to dealing with these items of distraction:
    1. Meetings kill productivity – Avoid meetings at all costs. Meet if you are going to make a decision. Meetings sap away time which you could use to be productive and make money. I personally only have 2 meetings per week and they are a maximum of 20 minutes each. Set your meeting times for unusual time increments and start them at unusual hours like 10:17am to ensure you finish your meeting quickly.
    2. Emails and telephones are poison – Only open your emails twice per day. If anyone in your organisation has responded to an email faster than 1 hour, they are spending too much time reading and waiting for the next email. That is just communicating, its not actually getting work done. Read your emails twice per day, preferably on your iPhone while you are commuting. Emails are time poison. At Hive Empire, we don’t have telephones. There is no need. We don’t even have business cards. Email us to communicate and we will reply in a timely manner. Nothing is really that urgent.
    3. Instant messenger – This is the perfect tool to collaborate with when you are working with people overseas. We have several overseas team members. But most of the time there aren’t many things that couldn’t be done over email. Email helps you think out your ideas and formulate them into a productive communication. Instant messenger is a distraction and kills peoples ability to focus and deliver productive work. When you get distracted from your work you essentially lose money. Kill the instant messenger and you will see an increase in profits.
    4. Facebook and Twitter are productivity hell – The walled garden of Facebook is the ultimate time killer. Ever noticed how often someone updates their Facebook or Twitter status? This number of updates is inversely proportionate to their profitability. Kill your Facebook account and only read the twitter updates from your business colleagues when you are waiting for someone or something to happen. In actual fact, if you want to be even more ruthless with your time management, kill your twitter aswell. No piece of information is really that important that you won’t eventually find out.
  8. Great things come to great businesses – you can tell how great your business is going to be by how relevant the current business headlines are to you. If you have nothing to do with it, you’re in the wrong market. If the news is relevant, you are going to be a great business because your market is newsworthy and there is growth potential. I prefer big markets as opposed to small ones in Australia. The small ones aren’t big enough to sustain many businesses, unlike in American where niche markets are really big. I used to work in niche markets with small customer bases, there was little scale and little profit. If you are a niche best of breed biz in Australia you have to go global to expand. Be courageous and challenge a big market in Australia. You will be surprised as to what happens. We started our homeloanfinder.com.au site during a credit crisis, mortgage broker  meltdown and credit licensing. It didnt bother us because we know its a long haul and its a big market, so all we need is a slice to be profitable.
  9. Say no – this time around I’ve learnt to say no to things I don’t want and not grin and bare it. It comes with confidence and experience. Play it slow when you are unsure and wait for a better option. How to say no without actually saying no:
    1. Price – Put the price up so high that you would be ok to do it if you were paid that obscene amount of money.
    2. Refer – Give the work to someone else. You would be amazed as to how referring things come back to you in spades.
    3. Say nothing – Don’t respond to someone who is opening a dialogue with you that you don’t want to engage with because you know they are going to ask you to do something you don’t want to do. Ignoring people is rude, but not opening a dialogue to a broadcast request is different.
  10. Be persistent – In my previous business my Joker card was that I was persistant. I literally just stuck it out and kept picking up the phone. This time I’m the same and I know it’s what makes me win. The most important times to be persistent:
    1. A customer turns you down – If a customer won’t do business with you, wait, they will leave and you can do business with the new person.
    2. You don’t have enough business – Keep marketing and selling. Someone will buy eventually if you have something worthwhile to sell. Pick up the phone and dial your most important prospect.
    3. You don’t have any good staff – Fire someone and hire someone else. Why wait, just do it. It’s not really that bad, stop putting it off and start realising your business potential.
    4. Too much office politics – Fire the politician, no matter how good they are.
    5. You don’t make enough profit in your business – Stop doing unprofitable things and do more profitable ones. Isolate the profitable things and transition to just doing that, and that only.
    6. You don’t have enough time – Stop doing things which take up a lot of time and deliver little output. If you only had 1 hour in a day to do all of your work, what would you do and what would you not do. Outsource the things which are mindless and repetitive and just do really profitable things all day.

Let me know what you think?

Here is a presentation I did about this post.

Entrepreneur

Too aggressive

I have a phrase that I use when I want to describe something as a little over the top and a little bit challenging to people. Generally if you are doing something and you are described as too aggressive its a good thing.

Examples:

  • If you found a way to send out 1,000,000 emails for the same price as sending 100, thats too aggressive.
  • Americans are too aggressive when they do sales pitches.
  • Time Life daytime “old music” repackaged up and sold as classics is too aggressive with the words they use to describe the product.
  • If someone cuts in the line at the bank when you wanted to bank a cheque just because they didn’t consider you, that’s too aggressive.
  • For girls they would prefer to be described as being assertive as opposed to aggressive.
  • If you go to someones house and do something a little offensive, like spill something on their couch that they just bought, that’s too aggressive.

You get the idea.

Let me tell you now whats too aggressive in online marketing.

Spending more money on your PPC than on your SEO is too aggressive.

Investing in SEO is like putting money into a savings account. Sure the interest is small at first, but if you get enough cash in there, you can pull in some serious dollars.

Just investing in PPC is like spending all of your pay cheque and not saving a single cent. (too aggressive)

My advice, get the SEO book. Aaron Wall is a golden SEO’r who can actually write down the techniques. I knew SEO and I bought it because I wanted more traffic. I got it, read it and now dominate. Buy it, read it over time, implement the techniques and save $10,000 in SEO fees that some consultant will charge you.

It will help you generate new ideas for campaigns, build a robost SEO site, fix problems with your rankings to get more traffic and actually help you understand technical things that most of us don’t get.

P.S. The ADMA Forum campaign at present is too aggressive. Sex sells, but I don’t want to pick that thing up at work, what are my colleagues going to think? I reckon a simple up the centre, “ADMA Forum, Make your DM pull better, June 25 – 27th 2008, Sydney Convention Centre. Register Now” would work better. The die hards will already go, they just need to know when it is. Spare me your creative mumbo jumbo just give me a simple benefit with some golden copy for this one, the authority is al.

Rob Edwards, if your reading this, invite me to speak and I will help you get some more bums on seats.

Google

How to start a search engine marketing campaign

Why start a search engine marketing campaign?
Buying traffic for the sake of buying traffic will send you broke. The reason is because it isn’t targeted, so you will only get people coming to your website that just leave. Buying just any traffic is like putting up a T.V. ad, you are shooting millions of arrows out to try and hit a prospect. The answer to not wasting your money is to target specific users and prequalify your traffic.

Target specific users – Market to people who are interested in your product. Michael Kiely taught me to “Fish where the fish are”. I took out of that advertise where people are looking for your products. Search engine marketing targets the people who are interested in your products because the visitor types in what they are searching for. The user makes their intentions clear that they are searching for “a way to save my marriage”, keyword typed in = “Save Marriage Book”. Before the user goes to your website they tell you what products they want to see. If your product matches what they want to see you can easily market your product to them.

Prequalify your audience – Buying advertising on a performance basis is a great start but you still don’t want to be paying for traffic that is not sent to your website for the right reason. Getting a user to do something like typing in a query makes the traffic more qualified. Users actually have to search for your ads.

I recommend buying search engine marketing traffic as the first thing to do. The reason is that you can keep your budgets low, ($100 per month) and you can keep the campaign small and manageable to determine what results you get.

How to start your search engine marketing campaign to get instant traffic

Step 1 – Choose your search engine: I recommend starting with Google because it accounts for around 70% of the Australian search engine market traffic. Yahoo and Ninemsn each account for around 12% each and the minor other search engines account for the remainder.
Below is a snapshot from one of my clients websites that shows you the % of traffic they get from each of the search engines.

You can see from the above results that Google is the big Gorilla in the Australian search space so I always recommend you optimise first for it and buy Adwords first. After that consider Yahoo and Ninemsn.

Step 2 – Setup your campaign on Google
I have put a guide together to help you in 7 steps get your site live on google. Just go to www.StartSearchMarketing.com.au and follow the steps.
To begin you will need the following:

  1. A website – You need somewhere to send the traffic you will get from the search engine.
  2. A credit card – This is to pay for your ads.
www.StartSearchMarketing.com.au
Start your search marketing campaign now