Kyle, one of my mentors at Wealthy Affiliates, talks about finding your niche and becoming an authority figure. That is nothing more than knowing what you like and have expertise in. Then, find people who share your interest and help them solve their problems.
Don’t get hung up on selecting a niche. Write down what you like and are good at. Then pick the one most interesting to you. Now you know what you want to become an expert in. Don’t worry about the competition. There are three billion people looking for information and all you have to do is attract a few thousand of them.
Before you start building your website search the web for others doing what you want to do. You will get a better idea of what your audience needs and you will get ideas for your own website. Join relevant social media groups. Join trade associations in your group and join local networking groups like BNi. Don’t limit yourself by only using the internet,
Assess your strengths and weakness and do whatever you have to do to fill in the gaps in your expertise. For instance, I am an advocate for resilient living but I didn’t know anything about Internet Marketing. I joined WA to fill in the gap.
Share with your audience projects you have completed successfully. What challenges did you have to overcome, what did you do to overcome those challenges? Use case studies and get testimonials from your clients. Show people how you work. I like to teach people how to do what I do. I will do what they don’t have time for, but I want them to know what I am doing and how they can do what I do. Be sure to let people know why you do what you do and why the “WHY” is import to both them and to you.
A business procedures and policies manual will make your business much more valuable because anyone should be able to pick up your manual and duplicate your business.
Identify the patterns suggested by your business. Businesses need a website. That website needs search engine optimized content. The business that lacks an opt-in list is missing a major market segment. Businesses need ways to stay in touch with their clients. Reviewing what your business has done and what your clients ask for will show you what to highlight in your client outreach and even what products you can develop that will most help your customers.
Use case stories to explain how you have helped other clients and how you can help potential clients.
You know you and your clients need websites. The first lesson in WA will teach them how to do that.
Your clients need to draw traffic to their websites. That is the first step to becoming an authority. Learning how to write content that attracts both visitors to your site and pleases the search engines is the way to get traffic. The best way to draw traffic to your site is to write search engine optimized, helpful content.
You know your client needs to build a relationship with the visitors who come to their website. The only way to do that is to capture their contact information in their opt-in list and then provide them with helpful information that will establish you as an expert.
A couple of comments on working offline.
Writing articles for local publications is a tried and true method of establishing your expertise. Writing a best-selling book can make you an overnight expert. Use your book as your business card. Talk to local groups, join Toastmaster, and any other place where you can talk to groups of people. The old-fashioned network will help you establish your expertise. Be able to tell people what you do in less than 30 seconds. “I help people create new careers using the internet.” That takes 5 seconds to say and the natural response from my friend is, “How do you do that?”
Know what you are good at and let everyone in the world know how you can help them. Only the internet can help you do that.
The qualities of a good relationship are defined in the first meeting. Any misunderstanding will result in disappointment.
Find out what the client wants
First I want to be sure I understand what their business is about and what they want their website to accomplish. These questions apply:
I find many business just want to be able to show potential customers
they have a website. They are not interested in using their website to
grow their business. Vanity sites are much different than sites
designed to build a business or organization. Sometimes a client just
doesn’t know the potential of the internet. It is my job to educate them
but what purpose they want their website to serve is up to them and I
have to know what they expect so I will know when I have achieved there
I repeat to them my understanding of their business and what they want to accomplish:
Find out what they want to accomplish and what message they want their website to convey.
Security and responsiveness
Recognizing nothing is 100%, your website must be secured
against hacking and spam and should be backed up regularly. I specialize
in the WordPress platform and will make sure the themes and pluggins we
use are up to date. I recommend purchasing themes and plugins because
we can be assured they will be maintained. I will never use a theme or
plugin that has not been upgraded within the last year. It is important
to be able to analyze your traffic and I will install Google Analytics
on all my clients website. All pages are mobile responsive.
DIY or outsourced
I recommend my clients become familiar with the processes
involved in developing and maintaining your website. That way they will
be better able to evaluate whether or not their consultant is giving you
your money’s worth. You can save a lot of money when you
do-it-yourself. I prefer to train my clients so they know how to add
information to their site. When they want to outsource the website
development and maintenance, I’m there to help.
As I work with my client, my understanding of their
business evolves, we will have a better idea of how I can help. We will
define various projects and I price the project based on its complexity.
When you are getting started you may need to find a non-profit you want
to work with as a volunteer. Your work wil be you portfolio and you
will be learning so much by learning how to achieve the requirements of a
real world organization.
When you are ready to start your business, don’t price your work too low. You are a professional. You have to pay yourself a living wage and provide your own beneftits.
I will create a website with the following pages:
We can build out our site from there
There are two approaches I will take:
The client provide me the graphics and the text for each page. I’ll
tweak the text for key words and create each page based on their
content. My contract spells out how long they have to provide that
content. Oh! did i mention contract? Don’t do business without one. Get
half you fee upfront and the rest on product delivery. I do my work on a
dummy site so the client can see and approve te finished project before
we go live. When I get paid the final amount I transfer my site to
Compiling all that text and visuals take time my client may not have. In that case, we use our second options. We can use what I call the hybrid ghostwriting approach.
The problem with tradition ghost writing is it lacks context. In other words, the
finished product sounds like the ghost writer and not like the client.
We have to discuss what you want to say in enough depth so I understand
both the content you want and, more importantly, the style in which you
want that content presented. Just remember, when writing for the
internet we are using 6th grade English for people with very short
attention spans. Pictures and particularly video are becoming
increasingly important. I can provide whatever graphics the client
For my client, this has the added advantage of having a product where the content including the graphics are SERP optimized.
You are trying to build an audience of supporters.
That is where your mailing list and your webinar comes in. It also
involves effective use of social media. Go beyond your website and think
about other ways of sharing your message. We need to get you
opportunities to talk on radio, tv and to share your message with the
Getting your website up is an important part of promoting your
business, but it is only one part. That is why a marketing plan is such
an important part of your business plan. That marketing plan has to
reflect you as a person.
Copywriting is different from any other form of writing.
The internet is very visual, so graphics, photos and video become
important. People have to relate to you as a person. Your website cannot
be generic. It has to reflect you. There are 5 Levels to Personal
Most people make the mistake of trying to sell themselves or their product too early in the sales cycle. The one thing your website must do is get contact information so you can stay in touch and start building a relationship with your visitor. Once you have established a trusting relationship, it will be time to ask for a meeting. When a person comes to you because of a recommendation or because their research has convinced them they want to work with you, they are already deep in the sales funnel and it is time to close the deal.
What you do after the deal will make or break you business, It is much
easier to keep a customer than to create a new one. Stay in touch. Make
the buyer part of you club. Provide them information and opportunities
available only to members of your club. Make sure you get the email of
your buyer. Stay in touch and cement that relationship.
Goggle is being more transparent than usual about its recent broad core algorithm up grade. Actually Goggle is not telling us what is in the algorithm. Actually they are telling us what is not in the algorithm rather than what is.
Google is not targeting low quality websites. Google has always tried to give your the best possible answer in response to your search.
Now Goggle doesn’t tell us how their algorithm works, but what would your look for if your were Google? You would want a quality, in depth answer to your search. A sight owned and operated by a well recognized organization such as the Mayo Clinic, a leading University or well-established non=profit would be recognized as an authority site. For less well known organization(your & Me) your would be looking at how long people stayed on your site and how much they poked around on the site. How often a site was updated would give me a good idea about how current the site was and if people are recommending and commenting on your site it is more likely to be an authority site. Of course, how much traffic your are getting should influence the search engines as well.
Search engines want to known what your website is about. It would be natural for search engines to look for phrases people normally use in their searches. Geeks call those phrases “long tailed keywords.” Search engines also look at headers because headers tell the reader and the search engines what the next portion of the post is about. Use one long tailed key word in your title and the same LKW in the first paragraph of your document.
Observation tells us that the more frequent the posting the higher the ranking. Three quality posting a week will get your a higher ranking than a post a week and a post a month may not get your ranked at all.
Whether you are looking for a job or building a business everything you do should reflect your brand. In today s gig economy you never know how long a job will last. Advancement usually comes when a new job opportunity is offered. If your current job is dead end and you are no longer getting the experience you need it is time to be looking for new opportunities. Look for creative things you can do to help improve your employer’s bottom line. Make sure your boss knows what you are accomplishing. If you are not moving forward look for a job where you can accept greater responsibilities.
It is all about branding
Your resume is your first introduction to a potential new client or employer. Make sure it is skimable. Your experience and your expertise should stand out. The resume you submit must emphasize how you can help that employer or potential client. A one version fits all doesn’t work anymore.
Your resume is only the first step in your introduction to a client or employer. A well-designed resume will catch the eye and get further review. The old business letter style resume will go in the trash.
Your personal website is the extension of your brand. Fonts and color schemes must be consistent with your resume. Your website tells your story and reflects your values. It is a place where your potential employer can get to know you as a person.
Linked in is your opportunity to tell your story and express your values. Showing your recent employment history is important but no one is interested in what you did 10 years ago. Anyone looking at your linked in profile wants to see your story. How did you get where you are today? How does your story relate to the person who is checking you out.
Be sure to fill out your profile completely. Ask your friends and colleagues for endorsements and testimonials.
Social media will seal the deal or destroy your reputation. Make sure your social media posts support your brand. If you are in business check out Yelp and other sites where people can leave their impression of your business.
When you make a post on social media it should reflect your brand. What is important to you? What projects are you working on? What community work are you doing?
Don’t post about the negative stuff in your life. One report on the drunken party you attended can kill your career. Pay close attention to comments. Try to stimulate conversation and respond to any negative comments positively and promptly. Tell your followers what you did to deal with the situation.
Employers are looking for creative people who can work well with a team. The internet show cases your creativity. It is where you build trust and good relationships. Look for ways you can help others. Help enough people solve their problems and you will do well for yourself.
In today s uncertain world, everyone should have a business they can scale up in an emergency. You may love their job and only want to promote your business as a hobby. But, when you need it you have a list of followers who like what you do and you have your products in place ready to sell. You are in a position to scale up your business and use the internet to create the income you need to be financially independent.
It is a new world out there. Be sure you stand out from the crowd.
MAKE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT
Futurists predict the future. Nah… Really… Futurists use statistics, trends, and other sophisticated techniques but most futurists resist predictions. Predictions are just too unpredictable.
Futurists shape the future.
Futurists help people define what they want to accomplish. Then they reverse engineer the steps that must be taken to achieve their desired outcome. Rather than trying to predict the future, futurists try to shape the future.
Recently, in a college graduation speech, Bill Gates made his own prediction
If I were starting out today and looking for the same kind of opportunity to make a big impact in the world, I would consider three fields.
One is artificial intelligence. We have only begun to tap into all the ways it will make people’s lives more productive and creative.
The second is energy because making it clean, affordable and reliable will be essential for fighting poverty and climate change.
The third is biosciences, which are ripe with opportunities to help people live longer, healthier lives.
Of course, these college graduates needed to hear that advice a few years earlier.
Change is here
We don’t have to look into the future to know that change is upon us. Long-term jobs are harder to find. Most of us are hired to complete a project and are let go when the project is finished. We can no longer depend on a job for a sustainable, recurring income. If you haven’t established yourself as an expert in your field by the time you are 35 you will be competing with 22-year-olds and your chances of further advancement are nil.
We need to take a tool from the Futurist’s Tool Box. Know what you want to accomplish in life and plan the steps you have to take to accomplish your goals.
Manage your life
Manage your life and your career as if it is your business because it is. If you drift through life you are letting someone else control you. Make sure your job is always moving you forward towards your goals. Sure you have to accomplish the tasks assigned to your job, but if you are not learning from your job experience you need to talk to your boss about the next step you can take in the company. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer start looking for another job that will help you move forward.
Remember, your first 10 years on the job will determine your future. If you get good promotions during your first 10 years you will probably continue to move up in the company. If not, you are stuck.
When you are stuck
If you are stuck you have two choices to help you move forward towards your goals. Take short term or part time jobs that give you good experience or start a side gig while you keep your present job. IMO, your best choice is a side gig you can develop working part time while you keep your job. When your side gig income equals you job income you will have established your financial independence. You will be able to do what you want.
For most people, I believe internet marketing provides the best business model because:
You can hire the set up done and it will be expensive. Not as expensive as a franchise, but hiring a webmaster who understands internet marketing will probably cost around $10K with a probably monthly maintenance cost of $1K. That is still a low-cost startup.
The better approach to a startup is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) You will learn what is required to start a successful online business and you will be better able to supervise any outsourcing you choose to do.
Finding you niche
The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to promote. That will depend on your interests, expertise, and purpose. If the niche you pick promotes your purpose you will feel fulfilled. If you are interested in your niche you will enjoy sharing what you know with others, and if you have expertise in your niche it will make your research easier. Don’t get hung up on choosing what you want to promote. Just make sure it is something that interests you and it is marketable.
Learning your trade
I recommend you go to Wealthy Affiliates and take their first lesson. The lesson is free. When you finish you will have published your first website and will know the fundamentals of how to promote it. Wealthy Affiliates Premium costs $49/month and provides the best Internet Marketing (IM) training and support on the internet.
Building your list
Once your website has been published you will need an opt-in list and an autoresponder. IMO, Wealthy Affiliates (WA) does not emphasize the importance of your opt-in list enough. However, good training and support are available from most bulk mail servers.
You don’t need to worry about your opt-in list until your website starts drawing customers.
Getting traffic to your website
A successful website generates repeat visitors. They come back to your site because you provide fresh content that helps them solve a problem. Once your site is set up you will need to spend 5-10 hours a week providing new content. Never make this a full-time job. You want time for yourself, for your family and for whatever other interest you want to pursue.
Know what you want to accomplish in life. People who live with purpose live longer, better lives.
Surround yourself with people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish in life. Find a mentor who has accomplished things similar to your goals.
Choose your niche and make it as focused as possible.
Share your niche with others and build a list of people who share your interest. Make those people your raving fans.
Bookmark this site and come back often. Our goal is to help you create a sustainable, recurring income so you can live your life your way.
Stay in touch
Go to our contact page and let us know your goals and how we can help you. Subscribe to our newsletter. We publish weekly and it is filled with articles from Hawaii and around the world that we find interesting. The world of work, Our environment and anything impacting our quality of life.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://bill808.biz/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Bill400x300.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Bill is an internet marketer who specializes in helping IM startups create and expand their businesses. He is a professional forester and lifelong conservationist. Find out more at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bill-sager/17/6bb/210[/author_info] [/author]