Do you ever feel out of control? Like circumstances or other people or life itself is forcing you in directions you just did not want to take?
If you answered yes, I can relate. I’ve been there myself. It’s all too easy to feel out of control.
Today I want to share with you how to eliminate that feeling by focusing on the one thing you can control.
I’m talking about your effort.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
Many years ago I was an outside salesman selling office equipment. I was on straight commission. In other words, if I did not sell we did not eat.
To be candid, I struggled for a long time. I blamed the economy, blamed the weather, blamed my company and blamed just about anything that did not move.
But then I noticed something. Something that changed my life.
I noticed other salesmen doing well despite the economy. Despite their company being unfair to them. Despite the political climate.
Why were they succeeding while I was not succeeding?
My product was as good as theirs. I was certainly working hard.
As I look back, I believe I was not succeeding because I was not controlling the one thing I could control.
I was not controlling my effort.
I was making effort, no doubt there. But I was not controlling it.
I was not focusing my effort on the things that mattered most. And I was not measuring my efforts at all.
I was putting my focus on things I could not control.
- I had no control over whether a prospect would buy.
- I had no control over my company being unfair.
- I had no control over the economy.
- I had no control over the political climate.
Here was my eye opening realization
What I could control was my effort.
To make a long story short, I began controlling my effort.
- I made 100 sales calls every day, whether I felt like it or not.
- I stopped having coffee (for hours) with other salesmen.
- I stopped wasting time in the office.
- I started practicing my sales technique with my sales manager.
- I started showing up early and doing my paperwork on time.
- I started making notes after every call, every day.
The results were amazing!
I went from “might get fired” to the #1 sales person in my office. Then to #1 in the state. Then to #1 in the United States.
More importantly, I never worried about making sales again.
I knew that if I made 100 calls today sales would come. Maybe not today, but they would come.
I was focusing on my efforts, not the outcome of my efforts.
How does this apply to you and to doing business online?
I believe there are a core set of activities that matter most. I further believe that if we focus on these activities and measure the results our online businesses will grow and be strong.
This is what I do, and what I teach.
So what are these key activities?
I believe there are four activities that matter most of all.
- Reaching new audiences.
- Delivering high quality content, both paid and free.
- Building mailing lists.
- Making relevant offers.
Let’s look at each one.
Reaching new audiences
We all need to focus every day on reaching new people with our messages of hope and success. Some people call this “driving traffic”.
What people miss in this process is the power of the incremental. They want the big hit where they get flooded with thousands of visitors while paying pennies.
The better place to focus is on doing what you can afford to do and measuring the results of your efforts.
For example, I put a Facebook widget on my blog a week ago and suddenly added 200 new people to my Facebook.
I didn’t mention it, just put time on my side.
I put a poll about goal setting on my blog, and did not announce it, and received almost 100 responses in a week.
Here are a few things you might consider for reaching new audiences.
Use your social media accounts.
- Post something new to your social media accounts every day.
- Be personal without over-sharing.
- Recommend products and informationyou like.
- Respond to those who respond to you.
- Ask for help, and give help where asked.
Run a low cost ad and measure results.
You can place low cost ads in many places. You can run text ads in ezines for very low cost.
Sites like BuySellAds can place your ads on targeted blogs for a low cost.
Sites like BannerSnack.com will empower you to create a free banner and place it on targeted sites for very little money.
Post to your blog every other day.
You don’t have to write War and Peace, or even write at all. You can share short observations, write longer articles like this one, curate parts of articles from the best sources or share images you like.
The key to reaching new audiences, in my experience, is not the big hit. Not the “blast your ad to 5 million in 10 minutes” hype.
The key is making consistent daily effort and measuring the impact of that effort.
It’s the little things that add up.
Delivering high quality content
Please notice, I did not say “write” high quality content.
If you love to write, like I do, then by all means write away. I woke up thinking about this article today. It’s just how I’m wired.
But you don’t have to write to succeed with content marketing!
If you have a blog (and you really must have a blog now to succeed online) you have the platform you need to succeed.
On that blog you can share so much more than just articles you write.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Videos you find and like.
- Audio from calls you are on (with permission of course)
- Webinar replays (with permission)
- Downloads of high quality PLR content you buy and modify.
- Reports you create on your own.
- Surveys and polls where people can make their voice heard.
- Reviews of products you buy and like.
- Links to sites that you like and from which you learn.
Variety is the spice of life, and your blog visitors want variety. So give it to them and make your work easier at the same time by finding the best of the best resources to share.
Building a mailing list
In all that you do, remember to build your list.
Having a mailing list of your own is a must in today’s world. And it is easier than ever to do.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Advertise your list at the top right corner of your blog.
- Avoid using a subscription form by using a two-step opt in process.
- Put a subscription offer at the end of every article.
- Put a subscription offer in the middle of your articles.
- Find a high quality downloadable report and offer it in exchange for subscribing.
- Take a survey and ask people who respond to subscribe.
- Put a subscription offer on your 404 page.
- Use a pop up form on exit. Love ’em or hate ’em, they work!
If you think strategically about where people go on your blog you will discover many places where you might ask people to subscribe.
Making relevant offers
Once you have a list you want to make offers to that list. But you don’t want to blast out just any offer.
Zig Ziglar said “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
And he was right.
And that phrase can be the key to making relevant offers.
The key here is to put advertising on your page in places where they make sense.
Let’s say you have an article about weight loss. What can you put on that page?
- Put an ad for a weight loss product inside the article.
- Put a banner for a weight loss product at the top of the article page.
- Put a CPA offer at the bottom of the article.
- Put a link for more free information about weight loss in your signature box for that article.
- Put a poll or survey about weight loss on the article page.
- Use a targeted pop up on the page if they leave the article.
There are many ways to advertise that are not intrusive to the reader but that blog owners overlook. Don’t miss a chance to make a relevant offer on your blog.
I know you are working hard to succeed online. I get that. But if you are not getting the results you want it might be that, like me, your focus could be better placed on strategic efforts that can bring you closer to your goal.
My advice is this – make a checklist of the five things you simply must do every day. Then fill out that checklist every day with at least a check or an X to indicate what you did or did not do.
This way you will have a record of your efforts in the areas you consider most important.
If you can keep more detailed records that is even better.
I wish you well and am believing with you for increased focus on what matters most in your business.
Because knowing what matters most, and focusing on it every day – those are beautiful things indeed!