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Book Publishing

Poker Books: Independent Success

poker booksPoker books are attractive sellers. They fly off the shelves: people want to read about life experiences playing poker, about different techniques, and about the players involved. And in the future, people will want to read more poker books.

You might have a good eye for poker, and you feel like you can successfully analyze your own poker hands and games. Maybe you have what it takes to write these books. But the problem with writing a poker book –or any book, really—is that it’s not as easy as it looks.

With so many people writing nowadays, there must be a way to guarantee success. Most people writing poker books just offer the concept as an interesting life experience (which is enough to get publishers on board, sometimes). If the books sell, you know that your life experience was interesting to many. If it doesn’t, that just means no one really cared.

So now it’s time to find the key in writing interesting poker books, and making sure it becomes successful in the market.

Writing Interesting Poker Books

As a writer, you always have to keep things in perspective. Poker book writers should remember their dual nature: they’re both writers and poker players. But to be successful in writing interesting poker books, you should act as a writer first. Be a player second.

Why? Poker players run out of things to say if they write only about their own play and games. Better writers write with a bigger perspective.

After you develop the books with the right mindset and perspective, you should go look around for opportunities related to writing, poker books and gaming.

There are a lot of opportunities for interesting books about poker. You can go online or offline. Online e-book stores like Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble can accommodate you. Or you can build our own website and sell directly from there.

You can even write e-books for clients. Some people hire ghostwriters to write e-books for their websites. So you’ll have poker players and hobbyists reading your material. An example of this would be ClickBank.com. It’s a site for gambling and gaming e-books penned by ghostwriters.

If you have interesting poker books to contribute, write in a good perspective and get it on the market.

The Appeal of Self-Publishing

We mentioned earlier the different ways you can get these books out there. Self-publishing is one of the most discussed way of marketing your poker books.

Self-publishing has many advantages. Mainly, it gives you complete control and creative freedom. This is because you don’t have a literary agent and a convoluted process to go through. The publishing and distribution process is so much faster versus traditional. LuLul.com, for example, can have your poker books available in less than a day. And you keep the rights to the material and all the profit.

But there are disadvantages. There’s always the risk of not succeeding. The risk is just higher for self-publishing poker books because you’re now fully responsible for your book and for generating sales.

If you don’t self-publish, you need to look for a reputable e-book publisher who will handle everything, including marketing. They’ll be able to consider all poker-related material, and even offer for a trade paperback. An advantage of this is the greater royalties, and sometimes higher advance.

But with the right practice of control and creativity, your poker books can succeed in the market.

Getting Your Poker Books in the Market

If you’ve decided to self-publish, you now need to understand the different steps to getting your books in the market. How can you get it to your readers?

It’s recommended that you start first with a digital version to test the book in the marketplace. If it does well, then you can transition to a physical version. You can even have your paperback version print-on-demand, so you don’t have to waste money and take unnecessary risks.

There are different self-publishing outlets you can bring your poker books to. LuLu.com is a digital publisher that’s low cost, with a quick turnaround. You’ll see your work in the marketplace in no time.

There’s also BookSurge.com (owned by Amazon), which will get your books to major books stores. Clickbank.com has a steady stream of sales because it has the largest audiences of affiliates ready to sell your book for a commission. You can create your own website and sales page to sign up to use their ordering system. LightningSource.com has both digital and paperback publishing, and anyone can order your title in whatever format. Many popular online bookstores order from them. Lastly, you can go for AuthorHouse or BookSurge.

Let’s end this article with three tips for success for your poker books:

  1. Know your market and where you can gain readership. Even before you finish your manuscript, research already. Buy a writer’s market book to help you.
  2. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – non-fiction sells in poker. No one’s going to read about your intuition or personal feelings. Fact-based theories and strategies will sell. So put an effort. Prepare. Attend poker events and tournaments, go to casino poker rooms, talk and network with poker players.
  3. Have your manuscript ready before approaching publishers. Avoid work-for-hire publishers. Go for the royalties and take a chance. Simply put, negotiate for the success of your poker books.

With all these tips and framework strategies in mind, go for it! Get your interesting books about poker out in the market.

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Entrepreneurship

Using Your Expertise and Passion for Profit

expertise and passionExpertise and passion are two key ingredients that people fail to utilize in making profit. These two things open up a wide range of opportunities for business. But many people fail to see their value. Many people dismiss what they are good at and what they like to do. Sometimes it’s because they’re already so accustomed to that area of expertise that they don’t notice their skill. Sometimes it’s out of a false sense of humility.

But the truth of it is that everyone –including you—has innate talents and gifts that can enrich every aspect of life. Expertise and passion won’t just help you process in general, it can also be a source of income as well.

To effectively use them for profit, you should be able to examine yourself, your market and translate that to success.

Defining and Describing Yourself

Defining and describing yourself is key to finding your expertise and passion. Discover your true talent among all of your natural abilities. And by doing so, you can enrich yourself financially.

So start by describing yourself. It’s a simple exercise of listing many, up to several hundreds, of descriptors. For example, you can begin with your basic details: “I am a man, father, and husband. I love pizza, wings and Indian food, and I love watching sports. Company, and I have two degrees. In my free time, my hobbies are…”

This gives you an idea of what you can offer. When it comes to expertise and passion, keep in mind that the target market has a lot of wants and desires, and a lot of money to spend. They want to get to know you and what you have to offer.

Another way to concretely try to define yourself is by creating a personal inventory. What are your personal assets? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is integral to narrowing down your expertise and passion.

Focus on five aspects:

  • Knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • Experiences
  • Training
  • Destinations
  • Titles, positions and accomplishments

Finding Your Market Niche

Now that you know your own strengths, weaknesses, and experiences, it’s time to find the core for a profitable business. It involves asking strategic questions. The goal is to find what kind of business you can excel in using your expertise and passion.

The first thing you can do is imagine your future business in its ideal form. Who is your ideal client? Who do you want to benefit from your knowledge, products and services? Or you could go way back to the past, and think of what you dreamt of doing as a child.

In fact, looking at your past work and personal experiences is the second thing you can do to translate your expertise and passion to profit. Examine the people you’ve worked with in the past. What did you like or dislike about them? What were their strengths, and what were yours? This can help determine what work environment and setting would benefit you.

Thirdly, you should examine your own interests. It’s important that you apply them to a market that reflects what you care about the most. So you should determine what makes you fulfilled or satisfied. What do you feel called to do? What legacy do you want to leave?

And lastly, you should be realistic. Finding a market niche that applies to your expertise and passion can be difficult, but you can do it through research. Analyze your competition and find out all about them. Look at ideas about your niche and how you can brand yourself.

Turning Your Expertise and Passion to Success

So now that you know both yourself and your likely market, you’re geared to turn your expertise and passion into monetary success.

What you need to do now is to narrow your business opportunities. You can do this in many ways. First, you can play devil’s advocate with each of your ideas. See how each idea relates to your area of expertise and passion, and ask why or why not.

You can also check by completing a focused target market key word analysis. Look at the top two or three ideas, and see how you can maximize them with your passion and expertise at play.

In fact, these are the best methods for creating a book and building an online business.

  • Analyzing the key words of the target market, in relation to their problems
  • Analyzing competition and their solutions, and how you can be better
  • Talking directly to the target market about their negative perceptions of the same business, and how you can improve

So when you have a better grasp at the gaps in the market –either by playing devil’s advocate, talking to your market or analyzing the competition—you gain the competitive advantage. And with this competitive advantage on hand, you will definitely be able to maximize your expertise and passion.

Don’t allow them to go to waste due to negligence, underdevelopment or underutilization. Maximize the skills and talents you have. Use your passion and expertise to make a difference in how you build a competitive business.

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Customer Service

CRM Soft to Generate SalesCRM Soft to Generate Sales

crm softCRM Soft or Customer Relationship Management Software System, is an integral part of getting leads, retaining customers and ultimately generating sales. It is the aspect of your website that you need to consider.

Your website functions to help you sell products. It’s not necessarily the direct process of selling, because that is generally a prolonged process. The priority function of websites is to covert leads to sales. And you need CRM Soft to do that.

Establishing and maintaining the lead conversion process involves many steps. As mentioned, you need a proper customer relationship management software. You need to be able to capture lead information from your website and other channels, and integrate that information with a good contact manager, calendar and sales force automation software.

The lead conversion process also involves building relationships through an effective pipeline. Companies who can do this, with CRM software, are the companies who best enjoy success and rewards.

CRM Soft to Capture Customers

To capture customers with CRM Soft, you have to start out by gathering leads. People who show interest in your products and services may be intrigued, but it doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy. They can just be website visitors. And they may have a lot of questions.

But the important thing is that your website visitors are ready to be convinced. So don’t make them search for the answers. Make it as easy as possible for them to get the answers, and to receive additional information. Put your contact information where they can easily see them.

And make sure you add a call to action in each page of your website. Things like “Send a question via email” or “Contact our sales phone number/Chat live with a sales representative” or “Sign up for special offers” can jumpstart your interaction.

In all of these lead gathering processes, keep in mind the KISS principle. Keep it short and simple. Don’t ask for more information than necessary, and don’t overwhelm them. There’s a difference between asking them their full mailing address, and their state of residence.

The next step in capturing customers using CRM Soft is organizing your leads and prospects. The truth of it is that leads are useless unless they are properly managed.

What you need to do is establish a system and process for recording different information. Collecting from different channels, create a database that records your leads’ contact information, date and source, products and services of interest, and contact preferences. You should also record the history of all communications with a lead, like incoming and outgoing calls, faxes and emails.

This record will help you in tracking progress. In fact, the next thing you should do with it is assigning each lead to a sales representative. You can then record internal notes and comments about the prospect, and set up reminders for future follow-ups.

And by using it, you can also categorize the leads by level of interest, size of opportunity and sales pipeline status.

The beauty of using CRM Soft is that it’s centralized. Every sales professional you have on board is involved. You can quickly access and update each other, without the need to upload, download and synchronize. For teams which are geographically dispersed or telecommuting, CRM Soft is the perfect tool to effectively gather and manage leads.

Converting Leads Into Customers

To make your leads count, you have to generate sales. You have to convert your leads to prospects to customers. Using CRM Soft, you can successfully adopt the distinct steps in any sales process.

Start out by defining each step and stakeholder in a sales pipeline status report. Here they are outlined for you:

  • Lead – This means that he or she has expressed interest, and at the same time fits the target profile of a potential customer.
  • Prospect – This is when the lead continues to express interest, in a two-way information exchange.
  • Qualified prospect – This prospect has participated in a discussion with sales representative, confirming their need.
  • Confirmed prospect – They are now equipped with budget and the information they need to make a decision.
  • Committed prospect – This prospect has already reviewed your price quote/proposal, and has indicated that they are ready to move forward.
  • Customer – Goal! You’ve reached the final step.

By measuring your progress with CRM Soft in a sales pipeline status report, you can organize and monitor the overall effectiveness of your entire sales process and each individual sales representative. It can help you there, as well as help you in forecasting sales.

With your CRM Soft, you can estimate the dollar value of your entire prospect base. Just multiply the average probability of closing the sale at every stage of the pipeline (outlined above) by the number of prospects at that stage.

You’ve got all the information and tools you need. With CRM Soft, get your sales going up and up and up.

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Sales

Sell to Anyone: It’s not impossible!

sell to anyoneSell to anyone is a challenge a lot of people think is impossible. In your experience, you’ve probably encountered truly difficult customers you were required to sell to. It may have been the demanding, abrasive buyer. Or the indecisive customer who takes a long time. Whatever the cases were, you’ve probably thought of different ways to sell to anyone, and you came up short.

But the truth is that it’s not impossible to sell! Read on to discover the tricks of selling to anyone, including an analysis of the different kinds of difficult customers.

Tricks to Sell to Anyone

The tricks to sell to anyone can be different for each kind of customer. Every customer is a challenging person in their own way. But there’s one general rule when selling.

It’s the understanding that there are different types of people, and that these differences lead to disconnect in communication and conflicting personalities. This is the greatest barrier to sell to anyone.

The solution is to understand that no one size fits all. You have to modify your sales approach and style, even for just a brief moment, to help you better connect to each customer. That’s how you can sell to just about everyone. That’s how you get better sales.

The Types of Customers

The practical guide to sell to anyone involves understanding the four types of customers, and how to improve results with each.

Direct Donna

The first kind of customer you may encounter is “Direct Donna”. She or he’s results-focused, goal-oriented and time-efficient. This personality type reflects a direct, forceful and dominating manner. They want to direct the sales, sometimes with aggressive behavior.

You can see it in their nonverbal and behavioral cues: they point to you when they talk, interrupt and challenge you, seldom listen to details. They want to cut to the chase.

So in the spirit of trying to sell to anyone, how can you get results with a “Direct Donna” type? You have to understand their style and goals.

Be more direct and assertive. At the very start, already say that you understand how busy they are, and how important their time is. Assure them that you will get right to the point. One of the keys to sell to anyone is meeting the nonverbal cues of the customer.

So focus the conversation on the results she will achieve. She’ll appreciate direct questions about her business. And she won’t respect or appreciate it if you back down from confrontations. Stand firm. It’s nothing personal.

Talkative Tim

“Talkative Tim”, on the other hand, is self-focused and socially-oriented. He’s an outgoing person who is also ego-centric. The importance of self and personal stories is expressed in the way he’s late to meetings and interruptive of the business agenda. People with this type are more concerned with listening to himself talk.

So if you want to sell to anyone, you also have to adjust to the people like “Talkative Tim”. Understand and reflect what’s important to Tim. Since relationships are very important to this customer type, invest more time in social conversation. Don’t be direct to the point. Even if you don’t understand why you have to be so social, he will understand and appreciate the gesture.

This is because “Talkative Tim” is intuitive. He buys partially on how he feels about the sales person. So you have to accommodate this.

Appeal to his ego. To sell to anyone, make sure you don’t challenge him or his ego. The moment he feels rejected, he’ll be unresponsive. Get him to be responsive by showing how your solution will improve his image and status in the company. Sell to anyone by selling your relationship and your benefits.

Steady Eddie

The next kind of customer type is “Steady Eddie”. He’s team-focused and deliberative. This personality appears soft-spoken, quiet and less assertive. And this makes him difficult to read sometimes.

This is also the customer you’d find to be quite indecisive. To sell to anyone, you have to take a step back whenever he says “I’m still thinking about my options, but thanks for following up”.

You have to be understanding of their need for structure and security. Because they’re focused on the team, they take the time to examine how the sales decision will affect other people.

So to sell to anyone in this scenario, be sure to be slow and detailed. Clearly demonstrate the process and reduce risks. Show how logical the decision is.

Analytical Alice

The last type of customer is detail-oriented “Analytical Alice”. She’s the type to read every point and specification in your sales proposal. And it doesn’t matter how much information your present; she’d still want more.

This makes her quite difficult to read, and hard to engage with. Since personal feelings and emotions do not matter as much, you need a logical way to sell to anyone.

To get results, be prepared. To sell in this case, you should have a written, bullet-point agenda of the meeting. Give it to your customer a few days in advance so that she can prepare herself.

Make sure that the agenda you create has no typos or spelling mistakes, or punctuation errors. And then follow your agenda in order.

To successfully sell to anyone of this personality type, arm yourself with supporting documents for any type of claim.

Now that you know who’s who, don’t be overwhelmed. Selling to anyone, especially those with good understanding, relationship-building and approach.

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Communication

Body Language Is More Important Than You Know

body languageBody language is an aspect of non-verbal communication that a lot of people overlook. Whether it comes to business or personal relationships, it communicates a lot of things.

In fact, have you ever wondered what you say when you’re not speaking at all? It turns out that you’re saying a lot. Unless you’re always in disguise or always acting, you constantly send out messages that reflect your true thoughts and feelings.

The Importance of Body Language

Studies have shown the importance of body language in conversations, with or without words. They say that words account for only 7% of the messages that you convey. The remaining 93% are all completely nonverbal — 38% on the style and pattern of your voice and delivery, and 55% on what people see.

So in the business setting, be conscious of this percent. It has to meet your message. It’s what people see.

Facial Expressions and Gestures

There are many ways you express ideas through it. The first step to making body language work for you is to identify and then control them.

Your face is one of the most expressive parts of your body. It shows your reactions to internal and external events. Controlling or at least becoming aware of your facial expressions and gestures is part of making body language work for you.

  • Eye contact – This is the most obvious form. When you look at someone or something, it shows interest. No eye contact, conversely, suggests that you are bored, disinterested or disrespectful. So maintain eye contact 60% of the time to appear interested but not overly aggressive.
  • Facial expression – Body language conveys moods to a degree of explicitness. If you smile, that shows that you are positive about the situation, and this appropriate in most cases. It shows warmth and confidence, and makes others more receptive to you. Obviously, you shouldn’t smile when it’s a serious situation.
  • Mouth gestures – When you zoom into the actions of your mouth, you’d find that it also gives body language clues when you’re not speaking. Pursing or twisting your lips suggest that you are holding something back, like criticism or displeasure.
  • Head position – lastly, the angle and position of your whole head has something to do with body language as well. If you keep your head straight, it projects a self-assured and authoritative image. People will take you seriously. If you tilt your head to one side, it’s a more friendly and open invitation.

Posture and Body Language

Your whole body communicates, not just your face. Controlling body language in your arms, feet and posture are also important in the business setting.

Here are a few aspects you should target:

  • Angle of your body – Much like eye contact, the angle of your body communicates interest. In body language, leaning in says “tell me more”. Leaning away means you don’t want to hear more.
  • Distance – Similarly, if you’re too close to others, you might seem pushy and aggressive. Stand or sit too far, and you might look disinterested. Find the happy medium in this body language that would make you and others comfortable.
  • Posture – Much like the position of the head, standing or sitting straight conveys alertness and enthusiasm. It is like slumping or leaning makes you look tired, and that’s bad for business.
  • Visibility of hands – In the business world, in some cultures, your hands need to be seen. It should be out of your pockets and not kept behind your back or under the table. Also, don’t rest your hands above the neck, like in fidgeting with your hair or rubbing your face.
  • Arm gestures – Your arms also say what your words don’t. Waving them about shows clear enthusiasm. But too much can also convey uncertainty and immaturity. The best practice with this body language is to keep them at your side. When done naturally, it would make you look confident and relaxed.
  • Arm placement – Similarly, the placement of your arms convey meaning too. Crossed or folded arms shut other people out. Though you might just be feeling cold, that would still send the wrong message to many people.
  • Legs – And though you might not think it’s important, the body language in your legs also means a lot. Too much movement and you may convey a sense of nervousness. How and where you cross them also send a message. The most offensive or least professional thing to do is to leave your leg or ankle on top of your other knee in a figure four. That’s an arrogant way to rest. The best position is still to keep your feet flat, or legs crossed at an angle.

With this body language guide, deliver the right messages for the good of your business.

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Sales

Getting Motivated Buyers and Selling More

getting motivated buyersGetting motivated buyers is the dream scenario of any sales professional. You might be doing a lot of tricks and techniques to start finding motivated buyers. But you may have noticed that you’re losing out to your competitors. Is it because they have the inside track to getting motivated buyers?

No –there’s no unachievable secret track. Getting these buyers is a matter of conducting a successful sale and becoming an emotional favorite. To get success in sales, three things are required:

  • A viable product that addresses a need
  • Credibility
  • Timing

To know more about these tips to getting motivated buyers, read on.

Value of Timing and Connecting

Beyond having a viable product to sell, success in sales also requires correct timing and credibility. Selling goes beyond just telling your market the value of your products and services. It’s about communicating the value of doing business with you.

Why is this relevant? Customers are faced with many sales people offering them different products and services. “Out of everyone, why you?” This is the question posed to people who want to start getting motivated buyers. You should be able to differentiate effectively.

Sales timing is everything according to some who have succeeded in getting buyers. When it comes to finding motivated buyers, experienced sales professionals say that timing is the only thing that matters.

The value of being first cannot be underestimated. By being the first supplier, you secure that business. The buyer begins to shape their solution for their needs around your product or service. This creates attachment, and emotional ties to the solution that you offer.

You need to be the first –or at the very least, the second—person a motivated buyer talks to. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Sheer numbers – If you contact enough prospects, you will definitely be the first contact of many motivated buyers.
  2. Referrals – This occurs when someone tells you a motivated buyer has need for your specific products or services.
  3. Become a buyer’s emotional favorite – By being the emotional favorite, the buyer will even call you first.

With these in mind, just imagine the benefits to your long-term goals of getting motivated buyers.

Getting Motivated Buyers as the Emotional Favorite

The “emotional favorite” is the person or supplier that you call when you come across a problem. You will call them regardless of what you need. Buyers call the person who has helped them in the past. By relying on this kind of connection, you add value to your business or career. You start getting motivated buyers with this strategy.

The question is how to become the emotional favorite. There are many different ways to become the emotional favorite, and to use it to start getting buyers.

And when you meet in person, you should avoid becoming the ‘stereotypical’ sales person. Don’t launch into a sales pitch immediately. That’s a sure way to get their eyes glazed over –and you’ll become the last person they’ll call. Being the last resort is not the right way to getting motivated buyers.

You create that relationship by asking questions about the buyer when you meet for the very first time, and at the end of every sales call. You make sure that every interaction is personalized. When it comes to getting motivated buyers, you need to put in that extra effort.

It begins with asking the right questions. Don’t start in an abrasive manner that explicitly asks “What’s your greatest challenge?” Getting these buyers requires interpersonal skills. Start with open-ended questions on any topic, like government or technology, that can be related to their business. You can share some of your insights or talk about other industry contacts. After some small conversation, you then ask about their greatest challenges, and how you can help them.

Getting motivated buyers also about how you frame your questions. Don’t appear strict to the supplier-buyer relationship. Appear genuine. Show concern over the issues they face, the solutions they’re looking for, and the problems they’re having.

And listen. Listening skills are also important in getting motivated buyers. When the buyer stops talking, wait 6 seconds and then listen again to what comes next. Let them tell you about their problem and how it impacts them.

Now that you have the right information, you can then offer the solution to their problem. Asking the right questions gives you the better understanding of buyers and organizations, the chance to improve relationship and form contacts, and the opportunity to learn opportunities to sell.

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Article Writing Content Writing Work from Home

Freelance Writing Assignments Are a Gold Mine

freelance writing assignmentsFreelance writing assignments seem like a waste to many people. You’ve probably experienced the difficulty of landing lucrative writing assignments that will keep you earning.

But the trick to getting money out of your writing is by starting small. Build your career one step at a time. But to do that, you have to do several things – you need to promote your business regularly, you have to work hard and not leave it to chance, and you have to constantly work at building your career.

You can’t just publish a few ads or letters, and then wait a couple more months before you promote again. Tap into every avenue you have, while building your portfolio as well.

With the concrete steps below, you’ll find yourself earning much more from your freelance writing assignments.

Create a Strong Client Base and Network

The first thing you need to do is to create a client base. After all, you won’t get assignments if no one is giving them to you. How can you do this?

Firstly, you can approach different people, sectors and organizations. Specifically, go talk to:

  • Your local newspaper editor – Your local paper might be in need of a freelancer. You can be asked to cover different human interest segments, like the city council or school board. You’ll get a steady and meaningful source of freelance writing assignments. While you’re at this job, you can earn a living and earn tons of clips as well.
  • Magazines – Since you have your local clips buffing up your portfolio, you can approach bigger freelance markets like small and mid-sized magazines. There’s nothing to lose by asking. You’ll hit a good source and get freelance writing assignments eventually.
  • Local businesses – Business owners are in the market for people who can write their materials well. Ask for assignments and you’ll be surprised at the flow of work.
  • Contacts – Throughout your newspaper and magazine jobs, you’ll be making important contacts like mayors, council members, and businessmen. They may be able to offer you freelance writing assignments like updating brochures and direct mail letters. Just be diligent and impress them.

In fact, you can maximize your ability to network and make contacts. Join the local chamber of commerce. Keep in touch with friends in the freelance writing business, so that you can exchange leads when possible. And everywhere you go, bring business cards.

Advertise Your Freelance Writing Assignments

So after personally going out of your way to ask for freelance writing assignments, you should also advertise your services. It’s time to market.

You can attract more commercial clients by running a small ad in your local paper (which is especially easy if you’ve worked for them before). With increased expertise and income, you can place more ads.

You can also get more freelance writing assignments if you advertise through direct mail, or newsletter. Target businesses you’d like to work with. Contact them regularly.

Another way to keep yourself relevant is by carrying your latest project with you. When conversations lull, you can get a new client when people ask “What have you been up to lately?” and you show them a piece of quality writing. With a good impression, you can get more freelance writing assignments.

And get your name out there. Using your previous contacts, get yourself referred and publicized.

Work on Your Freelance Writing Assignments

Getting your name out there is only half the work. The main bulk of your efforts should be on working on your portfolio.

Work on other projects while looking for freelance writing assignments. Keep money flowing by working on a book, and sending publishers proposals. You can send magazines queries about copywriting.

And don’t limit yourself. Your writing assignments can take on any form. I know someone whose client base asks them to write their correspondences, even including Christmas letters!

And read, read, read. Read the works of your competition and friends. Devour everything you can get your hands on, from novels to ads to direct mail. And then aim to write something better. Perfect your craft.

How else can you develop your skills? Well, always work on your goals. Keep working daily. Put it in numbers: how many freelance writing assignments you get, how many sales letters you make, and how many pages you’ve written for your book.

With these tips on getting new assignments and on improving your portfolio, the possibilities are endless.

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Content Marketing Copywriting

Writing Problems Are In Your Control

writing problemsWriting problems are the bane of every writer’s existence. You’ve probably felt that loss of self-esteem and spirit, which decreases your drive to keep writing. They make you stop, think twice and question your abilities. Do I deserve to keep writing? Do I belong to this community of writers?

If you’ve doubted yourself in the same way, you’ve probably encountered some psychological writing problems. You’ve probably thought that you will never be successful.

But here’s a fact: these problems are not something you should worry about. These problems speak only with the voice and belief of detractors, whether real or imaginary. They aren’t unbiased and objective reflections of your true gift.

If you have a great idea, don’t allow these writing problems overwhelm you. Keep going. The trick is to control them.

Get the Right Mindset

Start by understanding that these problems are all part of a negative mindset. A perspective that can get us started is from this quote by British short story writer Katherine Mansfield (1888-1932):

“I have written practically nothing yet, and now again the time is getting short. There is nothing done. I am no nearer my achievement than I was two months ago, and I keep half doubting my will to perform anything. Each time I make a move my demon says at almost the same moment: Oh yes, we’ve heard that before!”

If these emotions and reflections from the past sound familiar, it’s because even the best of writers become plagued with writing problems. Thinking negatively is an enemy that has reasons and defenses of its own. When your problems break your confidence and attacks you on your journey to success, you have to take a deep breathe.

They stem from foreign thoughts. But you are in control of your own thoughts. You are in charge of how you think.

Solve Writing Problems

Now that we’ve established that your writing problems come from a negatively influenced mindset, we need to start controlling it.

The first step is to decide. Decide to act on it. Say that you will ignore these unwanted mental murmurs. Have conviction in saying you will continue to believe in yourself.

As Cherith Powell and Greg Forde said, “Whatever action we take is first of all determined by our thoughts, so if we change our thoughts, we can change the way we behave.”

So change your way of thinking. Solve these writing problems by acting on these decisions. Discipline your attitude by always saying “I can”. There’s no guarantee of fast growth, but this inner voice will keep you motivated slowly by surely.

And translate this mindset to tangible change. Keep writing until it is second nature. Actually produce that written piece that your writing problems are pulling down.

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” So make submission and publishing a natural extension of your writing habits. Even if it’s just in small publications, these submissions will help you define what you want. It will lead to self and peer validation.

And move away from your psychological beasts by sharpening and stimulating your mind. Other writers would give the same advice: write, write, and write.

Lastly, inspire yourself against these writing problems. Study the lives of other people. Not everyone started successful. In fact, most of them thought they wouldn’t make it, being told by critics that they didn’t belong. And yet they succeeded.

Shift from the mockery of your thoughts to real sources of inspiration. Overcome these feelings of inefficiency.

These little habits will help you overcome your writing problems.

Working on the Essay

So when you’ve worked through your problems, or even when you’re still working through them, you can write essays.

I personally love essays –whether it’s reading, checking, or even teaching how to write them. Essays come from the French word “essai”, which means attempt or effort or sketch.

The essence of essays is that they are a personal attempt to give an impression on some issue. It provides a degree of freedom and creativity that you won’t find in other academic assignments. You can write on any topic, in any style, with your own point-of-view. It gives you the ability to express your personality, feelings, thoughts and life through your words. Essays are also a unique chance to reasonably debate with others in the academe.

But it’s not easy. You need an original and captivating opinion to build your essay. And you also need to develop the different aspects of the essay, such as:

  • Title of the Essay – This doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as the essay topic, but it should be the starting point of your reflection. It should express some meaning of the essay as a whole.
  • Style of the Essay – How your essay is written shows many things. It’s your personal perception of the world. So it can be aphoristic, paradoxical and figurative. You can use unpredictable conclusions, turning points and series of events to enrich your essay. And to be more dynamic, add supporting evidence and questions.
  • Impact of the Essay – And an essay should have impact on its readers. It should be brief, but not simplistic or monotonous. So read aloud your essay to identify and get rid of rough details.

By empowering yourself against writing problems, you can begin your journey writing what you love.

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Business Tips

Mental Attitude of Champions

mental attitudeMental attitude matters 100% when it comes to any endeavor in your life. Whether it be business or pleasure, it affects the outcome of your efforts. It determines whether you succeed or fail.

Look back at your attitude as a child. Whenever you wanted something back then, what did you do? You did something very simple: you asked for it. Regardless of the situation or outcome, you asked and asked and asked. And often, you’d get what you want. And that’s because your insistence basically claimed your desires already.

As adults, we often shed and forget this mental attitude. We don’t have the habit of asking for what we want or need. Our attitude falls short of this assertiveness. Why is that? Is it because we got used to being told “No, you can’t have that!”? Or because you’re afraid that you will be told no?

Whatever the case is, it’s time to regain that mental attitude of asking. It’s only with that positive attitude will you get success.

Winning Contests by Claiming

What does it mean to win by claiming? Let me illustrate it to you with a personal story.

In the networking meetings I host, the finalist drawings at each meeting get a trip to the Cayman Islands. And I noticed that across the many meetings, only few people were winning the drawings a lot.

I began asking why. I wanted to know what their mental attitude was. Is it because they were asking for the win? Or because they were claiming it? I started to think that it was because they were doing both of these things. In fact, I discussed this phenomenon at the contest.

In meetings where they had drawings for door prizes, I would say “that prize is mine” for prizes that I really wanted. I began practicing a specific kind of mental attitude. I claimed the prize in clear, explicit words. I put in the belief that I already won, and imagined that the prize were already in my hands.

The results were startling. Almost every time I claimed that I would win, I actually won. This mental attitude of mine kept working. People kept asking me how I did it.

I noticed the same thing in other people as well. I watched one woman win the draw two meetings in a row. Every time, she claimed the win. Someone else would say that they’d win the draw for one of my audio books –and just like that, their card came out of the fishbowl.

Mental Attitude for Your Whole Life

This attitude doesn’t just apply to drawings. This mental attitude can work in many other areas of our life.

Think about your sales presentations. Have you often wondered why you don’t make a sale? Maybe it’s because you, too, fail to claim and fail to ask. Similarly, disappointments in your relationships, goals and successes are hinged on your mental attitude. You have to claim it.

Imagine: will the partner of your dreams go out with you if you don’t tell them what you want? Of course not! And people won’t help you out if you don’t say you need help. The truth is that people can’t read our minds, so we need a mental attitude where asking and claiming are encouraged.

But it’s not just personal empowerment at work. The attitude of asking and claiming brings forth good energy. This energy comes from the act of voicing what we want. The power of your mind, the power of the spoken word, truly exists. So be careful about voicing a negative. Your mental attitude determines a positive from a negative outcome.

So it might seem strange, but there’s nothing to lose by arming yourself with this attitude. Try saying “Today I have what I need to succeed. I am successful” regularly, at least thrice a day in one week. See what change happens. You’d notice that there’s nothing you can’t do.

With the right mental attitude, you’ll win the different “drawings” of your life!

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Sales

New Sales Leads in Numbers

new sales leadsNew sales leads are difficult to come by. The fast-paced environment makes it difficult to make connections. Fifty years ago, an insurance salesman would visit their client’s home, sit down and have a cup of coffee. That one-on-one interaction isn’t as easy to do now, but starting a beautiful relationship is still possible. You can come by your new sales leads through personalized e-mails, online chat sales and more.

Still, you’ve probably experienced the struggle of creating connections and long-lasting business relationships. But don’t worry. Here in this article are different tips and tricks to help you cement new sales leads – 5 stages of action, 6 tricks to relationship selling, and 7 ways to close. Keep these numbers in mind and you’ll start raking in new leads in no time.

Five Stages of Action to Get New Sales Leads

Effective sales technique comes in five basic stages of action. If you can master these five steps, then you can be sure that your new sales leads will turn into sure customers at the end of the day.

#1. Get their attention.

When you want to start getting sales leads, you have to get the attention of people in the market. You can do this by prospecting or advertising material that’s focused on your product.

#2. Keep their interest.

It’s not enough to just get their attention. Cultivating new sales leads requires developing their curiosity. You can do this by bringing forward an emotional appeal that’s backed by a logical foundation.

An example of this would be life insurance. Security of the family would be a practical concern of most new sales leads. But if you play the emotional angle as well, you’ll be able to keep their interest even more.

#3. Make them desire your product.

They have to want what you’re offering, and not what your competitors are selling. You can do this simply by strategically revealing the product value and your company’s commitment to their interests.

#4. Add conviction.

Nothing you say will convince your new sales leads if you don’t add conviction. Make sure to assure and impress them. You can do this by adding statistics and facts.

Given the life insurance example, you can sell your product well if you talk about national figures on mortality, insurance rates, and fiscal deficits in the event of death. Convince them with real truths.

#5. Call to action.

Make sure they do something about their interest and desire. Answer any of their concerns. Close the deal by giving a verbal call to action. Turn your new sales leads to long-term clients.

Six Tricks to Relationship Selling

Now that you know the five basic stages of sales action, it’s time to talk about how you approach each step. Selling a relationship is crucial to keeping new sales leads in your business.

Your reputation is a resource. If you can create an image of positivity and trust, your future transactions would be smooth sailing. This means that you can gain more benefits in the long run. For example, your clients would listen to you more if you offer a permanent life policy or a new insurance in the future.

So here are six approaches to use:

#1. Get to know them.

Any relationship begins with active listening and understanding. Knowing your new sales leads is no different. Create an emotional and logical connection with them by understanding their needs and desires. What do they prioritize? Is it money, family security, or early retirement? Who are their stakeholders?

These questions, spaced out in conversations, would go a long way in building a healthy business relationship.

#2. Use focusing, client-centered language.

Focus the conversation on them. They need to feel and believe that your product is important to their own lives –not important to you. You can do this by complimenting them, and supporting them in their accomplishments. More importantly, you can do this in every conversation by using the pronouns “you” and “your” instead of “I” and “me”.

#3. Be direct to the point.

While cultivating personal relationships is a good thing, business details are also important to your new sales leads. Be clear and specific about your facts and figures. You need to answer “what’s in it for them”? Tell them how your product can better their life financially, emotionally and so on, with your commitment and dedication.

#4. Never rush.

Take your time. Long-term business relationships don’t happen overnight. You want them to feel positive about every stage of the sales action. Give your new sales leads time to think, consult and react.

#5. Build trust.

While it’s easier said than done, you should make it a point to be worthy of your leads’ trust. Be true to your word and deliver on your promises. If something goes wrong, be upfront. Offer explanations and not excuses.

While casual conversations may not be legally binding, they can still make or break your future relationship.

#6. Be a resource for your client.

The key to keep your new sales leads coming back is by being instrumental to their success. Be part of the positive image they have of themselves. This leads to repeat business, good word of mouth, and increased trust. Be part of the positive image they have of themselves

Seven Ways to Close

And lastly, how do you close the deal? You’ve built the relationship, you’ve got the interest and desire. It’s time to get them committed and on board as well.

There are 7 techniques you can use to close the deal:

#1. Direct Close.

Be simple. Ask them: “Are you ready to order?”

#2. Product Value Close.

Make them feel as if they are getting great value for their money.

#3. Time Close.

Get your new sales leads to say yes by giving them a sense of urgency. Tell them how the offer is limited, and that the prices can go up any second. If they don’t act now, they’ll lose out on this great opportunity.

#4. Trial Offer Close.

If they’re not ready to commit, offer them a chance to sample the product (if possible). This doesn’t apply to the insurance example, of course.

#5. Shortened Term Close.

Depending on their level of commitment, they may opt for a year versus five years of opportunity. Get your new sales leads to say yes by giving them that flexibility.

#6. Discount Close.

Emphasize discounts. Tell them how much cheaper it is to buy a longer period of insurance coverage, or to buy in bulk, and so on.

#7. Reduced Benefit Close.

Simply put, accommodate the capacity and budget of your new sales leads. If they can’t purchase premium insurance, offer them something else that’s still secure.

 

With all of these numbers in mind, you’re on your way to getting new leads, building relationships with them, and earning sales!

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