11 Priceless Joseph M. Juran Quotes

Joseph M. Juran was a Romanian born American Engineer and Management Consultant. Having authored several books on quality and quality management, Juran focused on bringing the Pareto Principle to quality management. Here is a look at some of the most notable and memorable Joseph M. Juran quotes ever documented.

“A good rule in organizational analysis is that no meeting of the minds is really reached until we talk of specific actions or decisions.”

“All improvement happens project by project and in no other way.”

“Every successful quality revolution has included the participation of upper management. We know of no exceptions.”

“For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.”

“Goal setting has traditionally been based on past performance. This practice has tended to perpetuate the sins of the past.”

“It is most important that top management be quality-minded. In the absence of sincere manifestation of interest at the top, little will happen below.”

“Observing many companies in action, I am unable to point to a single instance in which stunning results were gotten without the active and personal leadership of the upper managers.”

“Pareto’s Principle: you generally spend 80% of your time on 20% of the project.”

“Quality planning consists of developing the products and processes required to meet customer’s needs.”

“What I want to do has no end, since I am on the endless frontier of a branch of knowledge.”

“Without a standard there is no logical basis for making a decision or taking action.”

Here is a great video from Juran International on Quality Leadership. Featuring Dr. J. M. Juran, he goes on to answer critical questions that quality management and senior officials face in a global world.

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9 Pros and Cons of Traveling for Work

Some people love to travel for business. Others hate it with a passion and will avoid it at all costs. It can be a beneficial process that helps to train employees in a new skill or help a team get onto the same page. It can also be a very costly experience that provides little in actual benefits.

Here are the primary pros and cons of traveling for work which should be considered before scheduling your next business trip.

What Are the Pros of Traveling for Work?

1. Traveling allows for a greater level of independence.
Many workers leave their bosses when they find a new job instead of being dissatisfied with the actual tasks their asked to complete. Traveling for work gives employees a break from the micro-management and other stressful issues they have with their boss or environment, giving them the independence they need to remember why they love what they do.

2. Travel generally creates longer unbroken times at home.
Although there are some exceptions to this benefit, most jobs which require travel will allow the worker to have longer periods of time that are unbroken at home after they return. This can sometimes give workers more time on the net with their family and friends than if they were working the regular shifts that are required of them.

3. There are benefits that can be maximized.
When you are traveling for work, you can often get the rewards perks onto your personal accounts even though the company is paying for everything. This means you’ll be able to accumulate frequent flyer miles, rewards points for hotels, rental car rewards, and points from several other programs. This can help to supplement your income in some surprising ways.

4. It helps a business stay on the cutting edge.
By traveling for work, a company can increase their exposure through that worker. Their brand becomes a reflection of that employee’s conduct. It’s a cost effective way of advertising or closing off a sale, creating training opportunities, or entering into a new market.

What Are the Cons of Traveling for Work?

1. It forces people to spend time away from family and friends.
If you’re out on the road for work, then you’re spending time in hotels and restaurants instead of spending time at home. You still get to speak with family and friends on the phone or through video calls on Skype or FaceTime, but that’s not the same as being there in person with someone.

2. The costs of traveling for work add up quickly.
Supporting a worker on a business trip can become an expensive proposition for a company. Not only do you need to pay for their meals, but there are also hotel costs, training costs, meeting costs, mileage costs, and other miscellaneous expenses that must be considered. This is in addition to the salary and benefits that are being paid to the worker. It can be several hundred dollars per day in some circumstances.

3. It is difficult to directly supervise a traveling employee.
Even if a worker is traveling for just a week or two on a business trip, direct supervision of that worker becomes more difficult. This is true when supervisors travel along. There must be a level of trust in that worker where the requested tasks will be completed based on an individual effort. It can be pretty easy to “fake it to make it” when traveling.

4. It places a burden on those who are at home.
If you travel a lot and have a family, then the parent who is left at home has a greater burden. Without an effort to take that burden off of them at some point, stress can develop within the relationship to the point that it causes things to break. Consistent traveling for work often requires hiring a house cleaner, a sitter, or even premade meals and that means added costs.

5. Extra time off after travel isn’t always a good perk.
A long period of travel can be very stressful on a person. By the time you make it home, the only thing you may want to do is rest. That means even though you’re back, you’re not really back in full.

The pros and cons of traveling for work are often individualized by the very nature of this subject. Someone who is single and loves to travel will love taking constant business trips. Someone with a family at home may find it to be a burden. By matching up the right worker with the right opportunity, business travel can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

21 Secrets to Creating an Infographic that Goes Viral

Infographic-that-Goes-Viral

Infographics are the graphic visual representations of data, information, or knowledge. Their main aim is to present information to the user clearly and quickly. Sharing of SEO Infographics is 2.3 times higher than the usual blog posts. In the age where an item can go viral on the internet within seconds of publishing, you need to do more to ensure your Infographics are worthy of a share. Below are the golden secrets to employ when creating infographics to make it share-worthy.

1) Compelling Headline with Numbers.
The infographics with most shares are those that have numbers in the title. According to research, titles with numbers got 36% more clicks with odd numbers getting 20% clicks better than even numbers. On the search engine results, most people admitted to reading the headline first before going to the site. It is necessary for your content to have a compelling headline to grab the attention of the people while promising a benefit.

2) Attention Grabbing Header Image and Intro.
The header of your infographic should be easy to see and read despite the infographic not being full size. A good example is a format used on Pinterest. While most sites and blogs have informative infographics, your introduction to the infographic should grab the reader’s attention. Research has shown that people read roughly 28% of your site, and so it is important to get them hooked from the beginning.

3) Color and Typography.
Certain colors will pull the attention of a reader. When your infographics incorporate an appealing color palette, visitors to your site are up to 80% more likely to read the entire content. Choose a combination of typography that is easy for the site visitor to read. Avoid intricate and fancy typography that might seem too complicated for the reader.

4) Quick Solutions with Numbered Navigation.
It is human nature to desire an immediate gratification to the problems affecting them. In this light, ensure the content in your infographics provide actionable advice the reader can apply right away. Use numbers to keep your readers’ attention longer. This way they will know how much information they expect from the content in your infographics.

5) Use Sections and Influencers.
Infographics whose content has distinct sections present a good flow and is more likely to grab the attention of the reader. You can maximize the reach of your infographic by increasing the chances that features influencers share your infographics.

Finally, the most important thing is to use data and quotes on your infographics to validate your content. It also increases your credibility of the argument in your infographics.

15 Top-Notch John Whitmore Quotes

Sir John Whitmore is an author and performance coach. Going from a racing career to sports psychologist, Sir Whitmore works as a management consultant, helping to pioneer the field of business coaching. As author of the bestselling books, ‘Coaching for Performance,’ here is a look at some of the most notable Sir John Whitmore quotes ever recorded.

“As with any new skill, attitude, style, or belief, adopting a coaching ethos requires commitment, practice, and some time before it flows naturally and its effectiveness is optimized.”

“Building awareness and responsibility is the essence of good coaching.”

“Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistake.”

“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

“Given the leadership failures that are so apparent today, a little compulsory evolution would do our leaders no harm at all. In practice the coaching process fosters evolution at every stage, for evolution emerges from within and can never be taught in prescriptive ways.”

“I am able to control only that which I am aware of. That which I am unaware of controls me. Awareness empowers me.”

“Learning to create is essential, necessary, vital & fundamental. It is the centrepiece in which you create the life that you really want.”

“Problems must be resolved at the level beneath the one at which they occur.”

“The capacity is there, the crisis is the catalyst. But is crisis the only catalyst? And how long are we able to sustain extraordinary levels of performance?”

“The carrot and the stick are prevasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they will perform like donkeys.”

“To get the best out of people, we have to believe the best is in there – but how do we know it is, how much is there, and how do we get it out?”

“To use coaching successfully we have to adopt a far more optimistic view than usual of the dormant capability of all people. Pretending we are optimistic is insufficient because our genuine beliefs are conveyed in many subtle ways of which we are not aware.”

“Traditional silo or linear thinking is no longer sufficient to cope with unpredictable emergencies.”

“Unless the manager or coach believes that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, he will not be able to help them express it.”

“Whether we coach, advise, counsel, facilitate, or mentor, the effectiveness of what we do depends in large measure on our beliefs about human potential.”

Sir John Whitmore is the Chairman of Performance Consultants International and leading coach in business. With almost a half dozen published books, with almost a half million copies sold, Sir Whitmore discusses the topic of how to cleverly connect in the following Ted Talk.

38 Invaluable John Warren Kindt Quotes

John Warren Kindt is a gambling critic and a Professor of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Known for his research and publications on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, here is a look at some of the most memorable John Warren Kindt quotes to be familiar with.

“A study in Illinois in the mid-1990s found that 65 percent of businesses were hurt by the proximity of gambling.”

“Although crime and corruption decreases within a one-mile radius of a casino, it increases 10 percent within a 35-mile radius by the third year the casino is open.”

“And as far as jobs go, for every one job that the casino creates, one is lost in the 35-mile feeder market.”

“Another threat to stability is the rise of Internet gambling.”

“Bankruptcies increase 18 percent to 42 percent above the national average.”

“Besides creating more compulsive gamblers, money spent on lotteries isn’t spent on other goods such as clothing or computers, which would trickle through to retailers, manufacturers and other parts of the economy.”

“Clothing sales plummet, rent delinquencies mount and even grocery sales shrink as gamblers, having tapped out their entertainment budgets, dip into dollars set aside for necessities.”

“Crime goes up 10 percent due to the gambling by the third year after racinos or slot machines are open, and then it continues upward after that.”

“For every slot machine you add, you lose one job per year from the consumer economy.”

“Gambling addicts usually lose their focus at work and problem military gambling poses a national security threat.”

“Gambling drains the economy by taking money away from grocery stores and retail businesses and putting it in the hands of an industry that produces no product.”

“Gambling is a bad deal for taxpayers.”

“If gambling were banned, those social costs would drop, tax revenues from consumer goods would increase, and money would be pumped into the productive economic sector.”

“If the government wants to stimulate the economy, it should outlaw gambling”

“If you want your 401k to come back, recriminalize gambling.”

“In convenience gambling scenarios, discretionary spending and nondiscretionary addicted gambling dollars were transferred from other forms of consumer expenditures.”

“In permitting gambling enterprises to flourish in the United States and abroad, the United States undermines global socio-economic stability in contravention of its international obligations.”

“It becomes a cannibalization of your pre-existing economy.”

“It’s time to wipe the slate clean, recriminalize gambling, just like we did in this country 100 years ago.”

“Legalized gambling is the leading cause of bankruptcy.”

“Local competing businesses were thereby losing revenue.”

“Lotteries boost state revenues in the short run but don’t feed the economy in the long run.”

“My bottom line is this is no time to be gambling with our economy.”

“People will spend a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money they normally would spend on refrigerators or a new car. Local businesses will suffer because they’ll lose consumer dollars to casinos.”

“Sociologists almost uniformly report that increased gambling activities, which are promoted as sociologically ‘acceptable’ and which are made ‘accessible’ to larger numbers of people will increase the number of pathological gamblers.”

“State-sponsored gambling produces no product, no new wealth, and so it makes no genuine contribution to economic development.”

“Taxpayers would likely be responsible for treating addicts.”

“The ABCs of legalized gambling – addictions, bankruptcies and crime.”

“The faster the gambling activity, the more highly addictive it is; and the more addictive the gambling activity is, the more revenue it will generate for the industry.”

“The lightning spread of ‘Western-style’ gambling overseas has increased the problems of addicted and problem gamblers, organized crime and alleged corruption in Asia and the Middle East.”

“The military should get rid of video gambling devices on nearly 100 overseas bases and posts.”

“The smartest thing legislatures can do is get rid of lotteries and get those dollars buying consumer goods and get the sales tax revenues from that.”

“Thirty-seven percent of gamblers dip into their savings to fulfill their habit.”

“We beat the Great Depression without lotteries and legalized gambling.”

“While advocates of legalized gambling say it brings in revenues needed for education and other uses, it actually has led to higher taxes, loss of jobs, economic disruption of non-gambling businesses, increased crime and higher social-welfare costs.”

“While gambling addiction can be a social justice reason for some to ban gambling, the economic evidence suggests that the social and economic costs of gambling are $3 to the taxpayers for every $1 in benefits.”

“You bring in gambling into a major population base, and the more people you have going into a casino, the more people you have hooked on gambling.”

“Your social costs, your costs to the taxpayers, are $3 for every $1 of benefits, it’s not good economic development.”

John Kindt is an expert on gambling and discusses the effects that internet gambling has on the economy.

27 Captivating John Seely Brown Quotes

John Seely Brown specializes in organizational studies and the management of radical innovation. With multiple publications, honorary degrees, and educational achievements under his belt; here is a look at some of the best John Seely Brown quotes to keep you motivated.

“Core participants tend to focus on transactions rather than investing in the long-term effort to build sustainable, trust-based relationships on the edge.”

“Even when they are successful in tapping into a more diverse set of knowledge flows, companies tend to concentrate on flows involving transfers of existing knowledge rather than creation of new knowledge.”

“For me, the concept of design is more than object-oriented; it encompasses the design of processes, systems and institutions as well. Increasingly, we need to think about designing the types of institutions we need to get things done in this rapidly accelerating world.”

“If you can design the physical space, the social space, and the information space together to enhance collaborative learning, then that whole milieu turns into a learning technology.”

“In pull platforms, the modules are designed to be loosely coupled, with interfaces that help users to understand what the module contains and how it can be accessed.”

“Institutions designed for push cannot easily accommodate pull.”

“It’s been said that if NASA wanted to go to the moon again, it would have to start from scratch, having lost not the data, but the human expertise that took it there the last time.”

“It’s never enough to just tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have to get them to experience it a way that evokes its power and possibility.”

“No one will be able to effectively participate in relevant knowledge flows without possessing useful knowledge stocks of their own.”

“Our research into emerging creation spaces has identified three elements that combine to set in motion the increasing-returns dynamics that make these spaces successful: participants, interactions, and environments.”

“Passion in this context refers to a sustained and deep commitment to achieving our full potential and greater capacity for self-expression in a domain that engages us on a personal level.”

“People need to know more than what a piece of information means. They also need to know how the information matters.”

“People who reach out to connect with others to simply take knowledge will find that these interactions quickly dry up as others begin to realize they have little to gain from these connections.”

“Practice provides the rails on which knowledge flows.”

“Pull platforms make it easier to assemble participants and resources on an ad hoc basis to problem-solve unforeseen issues or situations.”

“Rather than focusing on attracting and retaining talent, as they do today, institutional leaders must shift their attention to accessing and developing talent.”

“Rather than molding individuals to fit the needs of the institution, institutions will be shaped to provide platforms to help individuals achieve their full potential by connecting with others and better addressing challenging performance needs.”

“The challenge for the institutional leader will be to quickly attract and mobilize passionate individuals wherever they reside within the institution (or even if they’re outside the institution).”

“The digital infrastructure makes outsourcing more feasible than ever, and this in turn makes it easier for small companies to access and use world-class capability to deliver more value to their markets and to respond more rapidly to unanticipated changes in markets.”

“The job of leadership today is not just to make money, it’s to make meaning.”

“The locus of corporate innovations has been product development. But in times of rapid and unpredictable change, the creation of individual products becomes less important than the creation of a general organizational aptitude for innovation.”

“The most important invention that will come out of the corporate research lab in the future will be the corporation itself.”

“The need for innovation – the lifeblood of business – is widely recognized, and imagination and play are key ingredients for making it happen.”

“The success of creation spaces can be traced back to careful design at the outset by a small group of people who were very thoughtful about the conditions required to foster or “scaffold” scalable collaboration, learning, and performance improvement.”

“The technologies that will be most successful will resonate with human behaviour instead of working against it. In fact, to solve the problems of delivering and assimilating new technology into the workplace, we must look to the way humans act and react.”

“We are working on creating self-describing, self-organizing, self-diagnosing and self-repairing networks.”

“When people chase what they love, they will inevitably seek out and immerse themselves in knowledge flows, drinking deeply from new creative wells even as they contribute their own experiences and insights along the way.”

John Seely Brown appears in this Big Thinkers Series and discusses the merging of digital culture and education.

10 Incredible Gmail Tricks and Tips

Gmail-Tricks-and-Tips

Gmail is the most popular email service used by individuals, professionals and companies. More companies use Gmail as their official free email service client than any other email platforms. While there are dozens of free email clients offering services just as good as Google, some features of Gmail are particularly amazing. The security, the plethora of amenities within the interface, the single account login for all Google platforms and the likes of Drive make Gmail a magical interface. Not many people make the most of the magical interface. By exploring some very relevant but not often used features that Gmail has made available, you can become a wizard. Here is how you can become a Gmail power user.

1) Filter the Emails Entering Your Inbox.
You would see that Gmail already has segregations in place. There is the inbox, the social folder and promotions folder. Then there is the spam folder. You can decide if you want a certain email in your inbox, spam, promotions or social folder. You can choose your filter options to label certain types of emails or messages from some specific senders. You can choose to label emails, archive them or forward them without even having them get into your inbox. You can also reply and archive emails simultaneously.

2) Use the Plethora of Shortcuts Available.
You can press ‘Shift’ and ‘?’ simultaneously to check the entire list of shortcuts. You can move from one window to another, between conversations, check previous and subsequent messages, go to a chat window or to the compose window, check the inbox directly from another page and you can go to only starred conversations. Getting accustomed with these shortcuts shouldn’t take much time. Once you are accustomed, using Gmail would be a quicker experience.

3) Filter Your Search Results.
You can filter your search results to any extent you want, as long as the keywords are relevant. You can label emails and you can use labels in addition to what Gmail has as default. You can have many types of folders depending on priority or sensitivity of specific emails. You can also have canned responses. Every professional develops certain standard replies over time which they would use again and again. Having these messages saved as canned responses saves time and effort. One of the more helpful features of Gmail is the undo send or unsend option. You can choose to undo the sending of a message within five seconds or even twenty seconds of having clicked on send.

10 Pros and Cons of Training Employees

Training a new employee is something most businesses take as a given process. You can’t expect someone to step into a new role on Day #1 and understand all of your expectations for them. They need to know about your company policies, procedures, and structures. Yet training employees can also be a very costly experience for many businesses.

How can you balance these two extremes? Being aware of the pros and cons of training employees is a great place to get started.

What Are the Pros of Training Employees?

1. It can reduce employee turnover rates.
Employees that are properly trained are workers that will feel more confident about their job. This confidence can translate into a lower employee turnover rate, especially if competitive pay and benefits are involved. At the very least, there is less overall frustration with the expectations placed upon workers when there are clearly communicated expectations and skill development opportunities provided.

2. Better training can reduce long-term staffing costs.
If you’re constantly training new employees, then you’re paying for more initial training costs. These costs are higher than long-term, ongoing training needs. By offering workers better training, you can improve their productivity and satisfaction. This allows you to then lower your long-term staffing costs because satisfied employees are less likely to seek out different employment.

3. It gets everyone onto the same page.
There will always be employees who “go rogue” on a company’s policies and procedures because they think their way is better. With adequate training that clearly communicates your expectations, you are more likely to get your workers onto the same page. You won’t be able to completely stop all of the rogue moments that happen, but you will be able to reduce them quickly and effectively.

4. There are opportunities to build a team.
People who go through a training together share a common bond. This bond then creates the relationships that are necessary for a team to co-exist in a meaningful way. A good training session does more than train someone to properly do their job. It also builds the foundation necessary for a team to be able to form the relationships necessary to maintain itself.

5. It’s an easy way to set clear expectations.
How many times have you heard, “But no one told me what I was supposed to do?” A good training session will outline all expectations for an employee and require them to sign off on the fact that they understood what was conveyed to them in some way – through testing, attendance records, or similar documentation.

What Are the Cons of Training Employees?

1. Employees can take their skills to a competitor.
If you’ve just spend thousands of dollars to train a new employee and they quit to go work for a competitor, then you’ve just financed the enemy. In an “At Will” environment, an employee can quit at any time for any reason and take their new skills elsewhere.

2. The costs of training never go away.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to training costs is that it will be 50% of that employee’s salary for the first year to get a new worker up to speed. Then there will be ongoing training costs, based on the worker’s position, that must also be paid. Training costs never go away, but they aren’t always properly budgeted.

3. Improper training creates improper results.
If an employee is not properly trained the first time around, then you’ve got to spend the money to properly train that worker a second time. There must be a high level of quality assurance and review placed on the initial training process to make sure productivity levels from new workers can be maximized.

4. Different people learn best in different ways.
Some people need to fiddle with things in order to learn new skills. Others may prefer a small group discussion. You might have a new employee who learns best with supervised practice of the new skills that are expected of them. Not every trainer is able to meet or even recognize the different needs that new workers may have.

5. It can create resentment.
If one worker feels like they received an inferior level of training compared to someone else on their team, then they can take that experience personally. Their negative energy can then create resentment amongst others who feel the same way.

The pros and cons of training employees show that this process is generally a positive experience. As long as the negative components of this process are accounted for, it can save you time and money in several different ways. That’s why it is a process that should always be considered.

44 Superb John Kotter Quotes

John Kotter is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Kotter International. Known as being one of the top thought leaders in the fields of business and leadership, Kotter has dedicated his life to educating others on leading change and making a difference. With more than a dozen business bestsellers under his belt, here is a look at some of the most notable John Kotter quotes ever documented.

“A culture truly changes only when a new way of operating has been shown to succeed over some minimum period of time.”

“A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.”

“A leader needs enough understanding to fashion an intelligent strategy.”

“Anyone in a large organization who thinks major change is impossible should probably get out.”

“Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders.”

“Changing behavior is less a matter of giving people analysis to influence their thoughts than helping them to see a truth to influence their feelings.”

“Effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome.”

“Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn’t about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way.”

“Good communication is not just data transfer. You need to show people something that addresses their anxieties, that accepts their anger, that is credible in a very gut-level sense, and that evokes faith in the vision.”

“Great communicators have an appreciation for positioning. They understand the people they’re trying to reach and what they can and can’t hear. They send their message in through an open door rather than trying to push it through a wall.”

“Great leaders motivate large groups of individuals to improve the human condition.”

“Great leaders understand that historical success tends to produce stable and inwardly focused organizations, and these outfits, in turn, reinforce a feeling of contentment with the status quo.”

“Great leadership does not mean running away from reality. Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better.”

“Great vision communication usually means heartfelt messages are coming from real human beings.”

“In a change effort, culture comes last, not first.”

“In its most basic sense, leadership is about mobilizing a group of people to jump into a better future.”

“In the final analysis, change sticks when it becomes the way we do things around here.”

“The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people.”

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.”

“Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles.”

“Leadership is about coping with change.”

“Leadership is different from management, but not for the reasons most people think.”

“Leadership produces change. That is its primary function.”

“Many years ago, I think I got my first insight on how an incredibly diverse team can work together and do astonishing things, and not just misunderstand each other and fight.”

“Most people don’t lead their own lives – they accept their lives.”

“Most US corporations today are over-managed and under-led. They need to develop their capacity to exercise leadership.”

“Motivation and inspiration energize people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one’s life, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals.”

“Motivation is not a thinking word; it’s a feeling word.”

“Never underestimate the magnitude of the power of the forces that reinforce the status quo.”

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

“One of the most common ways to overcome resistance to change is to educate people about it beforehand. Communication of ideas helps people see the need for and the logic of a change. The education process can involve one-on-one discussions, presentations to groups, or memos and reports.”

“Outsiders have the intuitive ability to continually view problems in fresh ways and to identify ineffective practices and traditions.”

“People are more inclined to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision. Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision.”

“People change what they do less because they are given an analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings.”

“Producing major change in an organization is not just about signing up one charismatic leader. You need a group – a team – to be able to drive the change.”

“The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people.”

“The heart of change is in the emotions.”

“The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.”

“This is true even in organizations that are very focused on analysis and quantitative measurement, even among people who think of themselves as smart in an MBA sense.”

“We keep a change in place by helping to create a new, supportive, and sufficiently strong organizational culture.”

“We know that leadership is very much related to change. As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership.”

“We learn best – and change – from hearing stories that strike a chord within us.”

“Without conviction that you can make change happen, you will not act, even if you see the vision. Your feelings will hold you back.”

“Without credible communication, and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of others are never captured.”

In this video, John Kotter takes some time to explain his resistance to change and the best ways to handle and manged this type of environment.

4 Best Ways to Make Money Blogging

There are a number of ways to make money from blogging, but there are four ways that outperform them all.

#1 Promote a Service that You are an Expert In

Most people that blog have some type of expertise that led them to starting a blog. If you are an expert in a B2B field, then you will quickly find that people will pay you to leverage your knowledge.

For example, I have a marketing company that offers content marketing and social media services. In my main navigation at the top of every page of my blog, I have a link that reads, “Hire Me.” This link takes them to a landing page that converts visitors into a free marketing consultation.

The business owners that are part of my audience grow to trust me with every post they consume. When it comes time to replace their marketing firm, these business owners reach out to me for a free consultation. My assistant qualifies each prospect with an initial call, and she sets up a time for a 30 minute call.

Before I had a successful blog, I would spend a good amount advertising a similar landing page on Google Adwords. Today, I get a steady flow of prospects through my blog and have not spent a dime on Adwords for close to four years.

A single client that I obtain from my blog pays me as much as $100,000 a year in billable fees. Not everyone is going to be able to charge as much as I do, but anyone can easily charge $500 per month for basic consulting services. This is why I always advise bloggers to promote a service as part of their monetization strategy.

When you start a blog it can take a year before you begin to see significant traffic. During that time, the blog can still be used to frame yourself as an expert. You can apply my LinkedIn growth hack to send targeted prospects to your free consult page while your budding blog takes time to blossom.

This is the same strategy I used for the first 12 months with a client that wanted me to build their blog from scratch. The LinkedIn growth hack worked so well that the client asked me to stop because they were overloaded with new clients. The entire LinkedIn growth hack is covered across these three blog posts:

Turning Your LinkedIn Profile into a Lead Generating Machine
How to Get More LinkedIn Connections
The LinkedIn Growth Hack that Closes an Absurd Amount of B2B Sales

Here are a few things I have learned from promoting a service on my blog…

#1 Make Your Landing Page Simple
Focus on the benefits and statistics that show proven results. At the end of the day, people want to know how hiring you will change their business or life.

#2 Use a Short Form to Capture Leads
Your form should never have more than seven fields. Every extra field after that will reduce your conversion rate by an extra 20%.

#3 Send the Form Submissions to Your Cell Phone via Text Message
You need to call your lead within 5 minutes after the submission is made. There is a 1000% decrease in being able to make contact after the 5 minute mark. It is worth paying an extra $10 a month for a premium form, which will send every submission directly to your phone via text message.

The infographic below covers the five statistically proven best practices for lead response management.

best-times-to-call-sales-prospects-and-leads

#2 Create an Online Course to Sell to Your Audience

If you can get people to pay for your monthly services, then you should take them time to create an online course. I just want to be real clear here. It takes time to create a quality online course. On average, it will require at least 120 hours of your time. Depending upon how much time you have to dedicate to the course creation, this may take between one and six months to complete.

This is why most experts will test out the demand for a new course before they build it. An early bird special, that allows your audience to get a 50% discount, typically will get them to pay you before you complete the course. If there is not enough demand for your course, then you will refund all the purchases and go back to the drawing board. It is important that you use this tactic. The last thing you want is to dedicate six months to a course that no one will buy.

Whereas you only have so many hours in a week to work with clients, there are virtually no limits with an online course. Amy Porterfield has grown her yearly online course revenue to over 2 million dollars in just a matter of a few years.

Most of us are not be going to get to $2 million a year. However, it is not that hard to build your online course revenue to $100,000 a year. At that point, you might be making $100,000 from clients and another $100,000 from your course.

Here are three takeaways from two years of monetizing my blog with an online course.

#1 Dedicate Serious Time to Your Email Funnel
I send one email everyday for seven days when I do a course launch. From the subject line to your signature, every word needs to be strategically placed.

#2 Set Up a Private Facebook Group and Be Active Daily
I have found one glaring statistic that stands out above them all. If someone buys my course and makes a post in my Facebook group, then they do not request a refund. Refunds are part of life when you run a course. The vast majority of course refunds occur because the person never got around to starting the course and making a connection with the community.

#3 Master the Webinar
The webinar is where 90% of your sales conversions are going to come from. You will want to deliver actionable tactics for the first 40 to 60 minutes, and you will sell your course the final 20 minutes. If you spend more than 60 seconds on a single slide, then people will start leaving. A sixty minute webinar should have between 60 and 90 slides.

Here are ten really good tips for delivering an exceptional webinar.

webinar-tips

#3 Place Hyper Targeted Affiliate Links at the End of Posts

As you build your blog’s traffic and email list, you may consider strategically marketing a few affiliate programs. The emphasis here is on strategic. The days of placing affiliate banner ads all over your blog are long behind us. Please do not do this. It has zero chance of making you money, and it looks awful.

The key to making money from affiliate programs is the targeted placement. For instance, I have a popular post that covers some of my most successful keyword research techniques. I use SEMRush exclusively for keyword research, and I am using examples from SEMRush for each of the techniques. By the time someone is finished reading this post, they are sold on using SEMRush for keyword research. I naturally transition into letting them know how to get two weeks free of the professional version of SEMRush, which has an affiliate link.

There are a load of ways to do this. It might be a list of WordPress plugins, a product comparison, or a review. The bottom line is that the affiliate link needs to be part of the natural flow of the article.

Here is what I have learned from earning more than 8 figures from affiliate marketing.

#1 Focus on Affiliate Programs that Offer Recurring Commissions
I prefer to promote affiliates that give you a percentage of the customer for life. These affiliates are hard to find, so expect to do some digging. I spent a year looking and testing affiliates that offered recurring commissions. After all of that, I narrowed it down to a small handful of affiliates. These affiliate programs have proven to make money and payout on a consistent basis. You can save yourself some time by going to my resources page to see the full list of proven affiliate programs that I use.

#2 Look for Ways to Deliver Value with Affiliate Links in Your Most Viewed Posts
I recommend that you go into your Google Analytics and download a spreadsheet of your most viewed urls. Identify a few affiliate programs to test on high traffic posts and track the results for the first month. If an affiliate link does not produce revenue after 30 days, then remove it. For the ones that do make money, try to find more posts to place links on.

#3 Limit the Number of Affiliate Links Per Post
Posts that are filled with affiliate links tend to be pushed down in the Google rankings. A good rule of thumb is to limit affiliate links to one per 1000 words. The only exclusion to this rule is your resources page.

Pat Flynn has made millions of dollars from affiliate links on his blog, and he breaks down how he does it in the video below.

#4 Place Adsense Ads in Key Locations for a True Residual Income

I have saved the best for last. You may be surprised to find out that it is Google Adsense. Although I have multiple streams of income, Adsense is the only true residual income. I handle the free consultation phone calls, and I am the point of contact for all my clients. If something happens to me, then this is going to disappear overnight. My course requires less time of me, but I still run a private Facebook group where I answer questions from my students on a daily basis. Affiliates with recurring commissions comes close to a residual income, but most affiliates are small businesses. The problem with small businesses is that many of them go under or get acquired by someone else.

Google Adsense runs 24 hours a day and deposits the money directly into my bank account every single month. They are a multi-billion dollar corporation, and the Adsense program is responsible for billions of Google’s yearly revenue. That means I do not have to worry about not getting paid. Whereas affiliate links have to be strategically placed on a handful of posts, Adsense runs on every post and page of my blog.

In a matter of minutes, you can sign up to Adsense and have your blog serving ads. It truly is the easiest and best way to make money with a blog.

Here are 3 key takeaways from over 100 million A/B tested Adsense ad impressions.

These tips are from my perspective after using Adsense on my blog for almost four years.

#1 The Ads at the Top Make the Most Money
You get a maximum of three ads per page, and you want to make them count. The best combination for maximum earnings for desktop traffic is the..

  • 970×90 Leaderboard Right Beneath the Main Navigation
  • 300×250 Square Below the Title of Your Post
  • 300×600 Half Page Ad at the Top of the Sidebar

Keep in mind this is the best combination if you do not have any products or services of your own. I do not use the 300×600 sidebar ad because I use the sidebar to promote my course and podcast.

#2 Enable Every Adsense Ad to Show Text and Image Ads
When you enable both text and image ads you increase the number of advertisers that are bidding for these ad spots. This is going to increase your revenue per click by over 50%.

#3 Manually Optimize Ads for All Devices
The ad combination that works best on desktop does not work as well on mobile traffic. I use a WordPress plugin called Ad Inserter to optimize my ads across devices. For mobile traffic, you do not want to show ads in the sidebar. In mobile, the sidebar is pushed to the bottom and no one will see it. I have found that the best combination of ads in mobile is using three 250×250 ads within the post. The first is placed below the title and above the first paragraph. The second is placed after the fourth paragraph, and the third is placed at the end of the post.

Due to the amount of money I have generated using Adsense, I have become a Google Adsense brand ambassador. Most recently, they have asked me to write a series of five guest posts on the official Google blog, which is a huge honor.

You can sign up to Google Adsense here and start earning money right away.

To be completely clear… I do not get paid any money from Google Adsense for referring new sign ups. I just really believe in their product and am an avid user.

Here is my road map to breaking six figures in yearly earnings with Adsense.

Adsense-Tips-Infographic

9 Keys to Creating a High Performance To Do List

High-Performance-To-Do-List

Having a task list is imperative. Everyone should schedule every hour of the workday and try to make the most of every commitment. Using an organizer or some kind of scheduling tool will get you a task list but it may not be of much help. Task lists are much more than just having a routine. You can easily jot down everything you wish to do. You may accommodate meetings and discretionary timings for certain tasks. You can have any approach you want but you need to ensure that the task list actually helps your day. Many professionals get drowned simply because they have an exhaustive task list. It is no good to have a schedule or organizer when you cannot save time or increase your productivity. Here is how you should prepare a task list that helps your day.

1) Prioritize Your Tasks.
There are some tasks that must be done and should be done now. There are some tasks that can be moved to a later slot or another day. As long as you don’t forget about those less important tasks, you can also schedule them for a later time or day. Focus on the most important tasks and you would not be drowned under work. Often, the insignificant or less consequential tasks take up a lot of time and that stresses professionals because the more important stuff needs more time and focus. Prioritize well and you would always be a step ahead.

2) Automate All the Tasks that Can be Automated.
Depending on your profession and profile, you may use software or certain systems to automate the daily chores. You can have secretaries or get someone to do a few tasks that don’t require your intervention. There are some tasks you can do on your way to work or when you are having your morning coffee. Make good use of whatever time you have available for tasks that don’t require your unfailing focus. Repetitive tasks must be automated. Even if the solution costs money upfront, the time it saves and the accuracy of the outcomes will be worthwhile.

3) Always Begin Your Day with the Most Complicated Tasks.
When you are fresh and raring to go, your mind is at its active best and you can get more work done in less time. Keep simpler and less significant tasks for the latter half of the day.

4) Do Away With All Distractions at Your Workplace and Schedule Breaks.
You can use these breaks for some minor tasks or less important stuff. Without scheduled and strategic breaks your whole day will be one never ending task list.

23 Stupendous John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes

John Kenneth Galbraith was an Canadian economist and public official in his life. As a leading proponent of the 20th century American liberalism movement, Galbraith was closely associated with the Democratic Party. Galbraith was a long time Harvard faculty member, spending more than half a century as a professor of economics. Here is a look at some of the most memorable John Kenneth Galbraith quotes.

“A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.”

“All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.”

“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

“If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.”

“In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there’s no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.”

“In the United States, though power corrupts, the expectation of power paralyzes.”

“It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought.”

“It is almost as important to know what is not serious as to know what is.”

“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

“More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.”

“Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.”

“Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”

“The happiest time of anyone’s life is just after the first divorce.”

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.”

“War remains the decisive human failure.”

“We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.”

“Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.”

“Where humor is concerned there are no standards – no one can say what is good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.”

“You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.”

John Kenneth Galbraith appears during this conversation with history to discuss the United States policy toward the Cold War in its political leadership.

19 Astonishing John Jantsch Quotes

John Jantsch is an author, speaker, and marketing consultant specializing in small business. As the author of several successful novels such as ‘Duct Tape Marketing’ and ‘The Commitment Engine,’ Jantsch knows a think or two about marketing. Here is a look at some of the most incredible John Jantsch quotes to remember.

“A thrilled customer is the most potent marketing asset your organization can leverage.”

“Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.”

“Bring the best of your Authentic Self to every opportunity.”

“Create something people want to share.”

“Determine whether your ideal target market is large enough to support your business.”

“Develop a capacity for things like purpose, love, wonder, courage, and grace.”

“Do you really have a business without being able to reach and motivate a customer?”

“Firms that draw commitment from customers and staff give them a way to sign up for something that can allow them to be their best self.”

“Get your customers to know, like, and trust you more.”

“Listening is the new prospecting.”

“Look for common characteristics, such as age and gender, among your profitable clients that also refer business.”

“Marketing strategy is a clear explanation of how you’re going to get there, not where or what “there” is. An effective marketing strategy is a concise explanation of your stated plan of execution to reach your objectives.”

“My definition of marketing is: “getting someone who has a need, to know, like, and trust you.”

“Perhaps the most important marketing step any business can take is to discover a way to be different.”

“The difference between Sales and Marketing is that Marketing owns the message and Sales owns the relationship.”

“When it comes to lead referral generation, the customer experience is it.”

“While advertising was once used primarily to create a sale or enhance an image, it must now be used to create awareness about Web content.”

“While physical store location has always mattered, online location for the local business has become a life-and-death matter.”

“You can acquire some measure of knowledge from various research techniques, but nothing beats living, breathing, and feeling the same things your prospect (customers) do.”

John Jantsch presented this Ted Talk on the topic of rethinking commitment and how some feel like failure when they are complete successes.

23 Marvelous John Adair Quotes

John Adair is a British academic leadership theorist and author of more than forty books specializing in the areas of business, military, and leadership. With his books translated in more than eighteen languages around the world, Adair is the President of Adair International. Here is a look at some of the best John Adair quotes ever recorded.

“A good manager is now by definition a leader. Equally, a good leader will also be a manger.”

“A manager will take six months to get to know his staff, but they will take only six days to get to know him.”

“Communication is the sister of leadership.”

“Developing self-confidence is always the preliminary to becoming a leader. but don’t let it become overconfidence, the first station on the track leading to arrogance.”

“Effective leaders treat individuals differently but equally.”

“Humans are not machines, and some of their energy during the day will go into discussions or activities unrelated to the common task.”

“Humble people know their limitations: they know what they know, and they know what they do not know; they know what they can do or be, and they know what they cannot do or be.”

“I have always endeavored to listen to chat each and every person in a discussion had to say before venturing my own opinion. Oftentimes my own opinion will simply represent a consensus of what I heard in the discussion.”

“In the harsh conditions of Arabia it was necessary for leaders and followers to live and work together side by side. Therefore leadership was never hierarchical. A leader was among the people, not over them.”

“Instinctively, a common feeling exists that “United we stand, divided we fall”, that good relationship, desirable in themselves, are also an essential means towards the shared end.”

“Integrity means both personal wholeness and adherence to values outside yourself – especially goodness and truth.”

“Leadership is essentially an other-centred activity not self centred one.”

“People expect their Leaders to help them to achieve the common task. to build the synergy of teamwork and to respond to individuals and meet their needs.”

“Perhaps one day they will add about you as their leader, “And you made a difference” That is the true reward of Leadership.”

“Praise and recognition based upon performance are the oxygen of the human spirit.”

“Success is often to be found at the edge of failure.”

“The more that people share decisions affecting their working life, the more they are motivated to carry them out.”

“The price of excellence in teamwork is eternal vigilance.”

“There is a useful distinction between good leaders and leaders of good.”

“There is the authority of position and the authority of knowledge – ‘Authority flows from the one who knows.’ But sharing in hardship confers upon a leader something quite rare – moral authority.”

“Those occupying leadership roles who completely lack integrity are what we call ‘Blind shepherds’. They are not really ‘bad’ leaders, because they are not leaders at all: they are misleaders.”

“Work groups and organization come into being because there is a task to be done that is too big for one person.”

“You cannot be a military leader without physical courage. But there are Plenty of soldiers with physical courage who are not leaders.”

John Adair appears in this London Business Forum interview where he discusses how to be a great leader.

11 Pros and Cons of Technology in Business

It wasn’t that long ago when paper forms were all that businesses used for communication purposes. Some businesses still rely on many paper forms and extensive file rooms to get work done. Investing into technology has been initially expensive for many organizations, but there have been several benefits seen because of it. There have also been some unanticipated negative side effects which have occurred. Here are the pros and cons of technology in business to consider if you’re thinking about making a tech investment in the near future.

What Are the Pros of Technology in Business?

1. It increases the mobility of the business.
Thanks to technology, businesses can be extremely mobile today. Scanners let customers and businesses know where shipments are in real time. Mobile internet allows employees to work virtually anywhere. Mobile payment technologies allow small businesses to accept credit cards digitally without an investment into additional equipment.

2. There is an increased level of efficiency as well.
Imagine an international company having a meeting with its primary shareholders from 5 different countries just 20 years ago. A central location would need to be chosen. Those involved would need to travel to that location. The process could take weeks to complete. With meeting and video streaming technologies, travel is no longer required.

3. Communication is improved.
Technology allows people to speak with one another instantly, even if they are halfway around the world. Someone in Singapore can chat with someone in Seattle whenever it is convenient for them. Emails make it possible to send information instantly.

4. Collaboration opportunities are increased.
Technology also allows co-workers to work together on documents, forms, and tasks in a collaborative way without needing to create items in triplicate. Everyone can improve the same information simultaneously, which improves production and quality because there aren’t the same review delays as there are with manual forms and documents.

5. Including technology means hiring new specialists.
New technologies often require a business to hire new employees to manage that upgrade. If existing workers can be transitioned to the new tech, they may need to receive training and updates about the best practices to use it properly. All of this tends to add even more costs to the experience and it can slow down the implementation process.

What Are the Cons of Technology in Business?

1. There are always costs to pay.
Once you’ve invested into technology, you must keep making that investment. After all, a Tandy 386 isn’t going to perform at the same level as an HP Inspire. To keep moving at the speed of business, you must keep upgrading the tech you have to keep pace. It is impossible to invest in technology as a one-and-done process.

2. There can be lost productivity.
If a computer goes down and that’s where the work is stored, then you suddenly have an employee who is being paid to be non-productive. There is also a certain level of enhanced responsibility which comes with technology to manage personal time to make sure productivity is maximized. These are issues that can be outside of the control of the business.

3. Security concerns become enhanced.
It’s a lot easier to hack into proprietary information if a business is connected with modern technology than it is to grab some paper documents. Email systems may increase the speed of communication, but they also open up a network to viruses, Trojan horses, and other software or hardware concerns.

4. It can create an atmosphere of dependency.
Using technology can create employees who rely heavily on it to get their work done. One skill is upgraded for the employee, but it can come at the expense of other skills – like personal interactions. Sending an IM or an email to someone is very different than actually speaking to that person across a desk.

5. Teams can become individual islands.
Technology also tends to separate co-workers from one another because they can be so mobile. This can make each employee feel like they’ve got to take on more tasks because they are unsure if their other team members are getting their work done. It can create just as many communication barriers as it is able to take down.

6. It creates new temptations.
Technology creates a social access. This makes it tempting for workers to spend time on their favorite social games or reviewing Facebook updates instead of actually doing their work. It may reduce workplace conversations, but it can increase personal texts and emails.

The pros and cons of technology in business show that it is a process which must be carefully managed and budgeted for to be successful. If the negatives can be taken into account before the implementation process begins, the experience has a greater chance of success.

10 Body Language Mistakes that Destroy Presentations

Body-Language-Mistakes

There are certain stage etiquettes that we are taught very early in life. Anyone who has participated in a debate or performed a skit onstage will know that having your back at the audience is unacceptable. Unless the skit or the exact act demands that you have your back to the audience, you should never turn around. Many presenters, including some veterans, commit the mistake of turning to their presentations which is usually behind them. You should be at the side of your presentation. You shouldn’t need to look at what slide you have on or what content is presented there. As a presenter, you should know what you are showing up on the screen or slides.

There are many aspects of body language like this that you need to perfect for impressive and impeccable presentations. One such aspect is how you speak. Don’t speak too fast or too slow, too loudly or too softly. Here are some other quintessential aspects of body language that you should work on for your presentations.

1) Do not stand cross legged.
Don’t stretch your legs sideways to a seemingly unpleasant extent. Relax, you don’t need to stand as if you are in attention at a parade and you don’t need to be rigid. But you must be upright, legs straight and your hands by your side. You can raise your arms keeping the elbows fixed to point at presentations. You can stretch out your arm to point at the audience but other than that don’t move your hands erratically. When you do point at the audience, don’t use one finger. Use your hand, all the fingers or at least three.

2) Do not stick to one place on the stage unless there is a podium or desk.
If you are standing on an open stage, move around. Move from one corner to another, explore the depth of the stage and also use the lights to your advantage. While you move, don’t move rapidly. Don’t take long strides and definitely don’t move as if you are dragging your feet. Take gentle strides but calculated ones. Don’t indulge in missteps.

3) Always maintain eye contact with your audience.
Scan the audience with your eyes. If you find an engaging crowd that is corresponding with you through gestures like nodding heads or engrossed eyes, then you should focus on these people to get encouraged but don’t ignore the rest of the crowd. Don’t look down at the chairs or feet of the audience and don’t look at the ceiling or at the far back all the time. Strike a balance.

28 Fascinating Jeremy Rifkin Quotes

Jeremy Rifkin is an American theorist, writer, and public speaker. With many notable ideas and main interests, Rifkin is the principal architect of the Third Industrial Revolution and the long term economic sustainability plan. Here is a look at some of the most memorable Jeremy Rifkin quotes to know.

“Basic income is not a utopia, it’s a practical business plan for the next step of the human journey.”

“Being both entrepreneurial and social is no longer an oxymoron, but rather a tautology.”

“Can we reach biosphere consciousness and global empathy in time to avert planetary collapse?”

“Generations of human beings were transformed into machines in the relentless pursuit of material wealth: We lived to work.”

“I wanted to make sure that this be the first scientific and technology revolution in history in which the public thoroughly discussed all the potential benefits and all the potential harms, in advance of the technology coming online and running its course.”

“In this country, the health concerns and the environmental concerns are as deep as in Europe. All the surveys show that. But here, we didn’t have the cultural dimension. This is a fast-food culture.”

“It may be that everything the life science companies are telling us will turn out to be right, and there’s no problem here whatsoever. That defies logic.”

“Many of the genetically modified foods will be safe, I’m sure. Will most of them be safe? Nobody knows.”

“So my attorneys brought litigation in the U.S. federal courts. The judge ruled in our favor.”

“Starvation does not occur because of a world food shortage. If everyone ate a vegetarian, or better still, a vegan diet there would be enough food for everyone.”

“The Empathic Civilization is emerging. A younger generation is fast extending its empathic embrace beyond religious affiliations and national identification to include the whole of humanity and the vast project of life that envelops the Earth.”

“The hydrogen economy will make possible a vast redistribution of power, with far-reaching consequences for society.”

“The industry’s not stupid. The industry knows that if those foods are labeled”genetically engineered,” the public will shy away and won’t take them.”

“The modern age has been characterized by a Promethean spirit, a restless energy that preys on speed records and shortcuts, unmindful of the past, uncaring of the future, existing only for the moment and the quick fix.”

“The world’s environment can no longer handle beef.”

“Their politics are less about right versus left and more about centralized and authoritarian versus distributed and collaborative.”

“Today we are raised with the notion that to be secure is to be financially autonomous. Amassing wealth is viewed as the primary rite of passage to a secure, autonomous existence.”

“Turning points in human consciousness occur when new energy regimes converge with new communications revolutions, creating new economic eras.”

“We are already producing enough food to feed the world. We already have technology in place that allows us to produce more than we can find a market for.”

“We are entering a new phase in human history – one in which fewer and fewer workers will be needed to produce the goods and services for the global population.”

“We are learning that the earth functions like an invisible organism. We are the various cells of one living being. Those who work to save the earth are its antibodies.”

“We have come to discover what we suspect is a new political mindset emerging among a younger generation of political leaders socialized on Internet communications.”

“We need a change in consciousness to go with this technology platform. We need a new narrative: we need to shift from geopolitics to biosphere consciousness in one generation.”

“We now have an opportunity, though, to do something we didn’t do in the industrial age, and that is to get a leg up on this, to bring the public in quickly, to have an informed debate.”

“We were making the first step out of the age of chemistry and physics, and into the age of biology.”

“We’re finally going to get the bill for the Industrial Age. If the projections are right, it’s going to be a big one: the ecological collapse of the planet.”

“What I’m suggesting to you is that this could be a renaissance. We may be on the cusp of a future which could provide a tremendous leap forward for humanity.”

“When we seed millions of acres of land with these plants, what happens to foraging birds, to insects, to microbes, to the other animals, when they come in contact and digest plants that are producing materials ranging from plastics to vaccines to pharmaceutical products?”

Jeremy Rifkin discusses his latest book, ‘The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Thing’ and reviews the ‘Fall of Capitalism.’

37 Mind Blowing Jeffrey Pfeffer Quotes

Jeffrey Pfeffer is an American business theorist and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford. Author of more than a dozen business leadership books, Pfeffer is thought of as one of today’s most influential thinkers on management. Here is a look at some of the most amazing Jeffrey Pfeffer quotes ever recorded.

“Advocates of knowledge management as the next big thing have advanced the proposition that what companies need is more intellectual capital. While that is undeniably true, its only partly true.”

“Authenticity seems like sort of a joke. Actually I believe it was the late comedian George Burns who said,”if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.”

“Being memorable equals getting picked.”

“Charisma is only one source of power, and probably not a very important one, at that.”

“Doing the right thing is important, which is where strategy comes in. But doing that thing well—execution—is what sets companies apart. After all, every football play is designed to go for a huge gain.”

“Effective management is a system, not a pay plan. The mistake is that companies try to solve all their problems with pay.”

“I am increasingly convinced that people who have power are not necessarily smarter than others. Beyond a certain level of intelligence and level in the hierarchy, everyone is smart. What differentiates people is their political skill and savvy.”

“I completely reject the idea that working adults need to be treated like infants or worse and not told the realities, harsh or not, about the world of work.”

“I decided to write Leadership BS because I was irritated by the hypocrisy in the leadership literature and the fact that many of the people writing leadership books exhibited behavior that was precisely the opposite of what they advocated and also what they claimed they did.”

“I do not think anyone who ever saw Lyndon Johnson give a speech would call him charismatic, even though he was one of the most effective presidents in U.S. history.”

“Keeping people in the dark and filling them with stories that are either mostly fabricated, unusually rare, or both, doesn’t do anyone any good. It is one of the reasons that workplaces and careers remain in such dire straits.”

“Knowledge is only useful if you do something with it.”

“Leaders are not modest, and more importantly, the extensive social science research on narcissism, self-promotion, and similar constructs shows that these qualities and behaviors are useful for getting hired, achieving promotions, keeping one’s job, and obtaining a higher salary.”

“Lying is common in social life, often done for benign purposes, seldom draws severe sanctions, and many of the most notable leaders, including the late Steve Jobs, were consummate prevaricators.”

“Many of our students want to do what they have done and that has made them successful thus far in their lives: play by the rules, and do what is expected.”

“Most organisations say they want creativity, but really they do not.”

“My overall recommendation: for decades corporate policy manuals and HR departments have told people they are responsible for their own careers. It’s about time people really heeded those warnings.”

“People cannot be invariant across situations and roles and, moreover, leaders need to be true not to themselves, but to what others want, need, and expect from them.”

“People who don’t have as much power as they would like often begin by attributing their difficulties to the environment – competitors, bosses, economic circumstances, and so forth.”

“People will envy you to the extent that you start out with a group of people and you rise up the organization faster than them. Get over what your peers are thinking about you because your peers are also your competitors.”

“Personal growth and professional development require mostly being treated like an adult, which is pretty much the opposite of what happens in most workplaces. People need to be able to make decisions. To do that effectively, they need information and training in how to use it.”

“Point at solutions instead of at each other.”

“Possibly the biggest issue, however, is that performance appraisals focus managers attention on precisely the wrong thing: individual people.”

“Producing inspiration and other good feelings doesn’t last very long.”

“Profits are related to customer retention. Customer retention is related to employee retention. Employee retention may or may not be related to benefits, but benefits could be part of the package that causes people to stay and — by the way — engage in discretionary effort.”

“So, the three qualities of a workplace that would develop people would be information sharing, investing in the training of the workforce, and giving employees the ability to use their training and information to make decisions.”

“Successful organizations understand the importance of implementation, not just strategy, and, moreover, recognize the crucial role of their people in this process.”

“That information is worse than useless as, to the extent people believe it, they often wind up losing their jobs.”

“The class focuses intensely on making people more comfortable with doing a wider range of things – such as networking, self-promotion, building their own personal brand, cleverly acquiring resources, getting known – that they may have been less comfortable with before.”

“The single biggest barrier to effective leadership is, in my view, the leadership industry itself. Instead of telling people the skills and behaviors they need to be effective in getting things done, we tell them almost the opposite – blandishments about how we wish people would be, and how we wish workplaces were.”

“Told with enough persistence and conviction, what was once untrue can become true, in a self-fulfilling prophecy sort of way.”

“Trust is about keeping commitments, but in many instances, circumstances change and organizations therefore shed commitments, things such as retiree medical benefits, pension obligations, and even employees without much remorse or maybe even hesitation.”

“What those advocates are forgetting is that knowledge is only useful if you do something with it.”

“With respect to trust, people tell me that it is essential for organizational functioning. Maybe, but most surveys of trust find that trust in leaders is low and nonetheless, organizations role along quite nicely.”

“You are more likely to acquire power by narrowing your focus and applying your energies, like the sun’s rays, to a limited range of activities in a small number of domains.”

“You can’t be normal and expect abnormal returns.”

“Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off.”

Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer sits down for this Google talk to discuss Leadership failures and toxic workplaces.

10 Big SEO Mistakes that Ruin Search Rankings

SEO-Mistakes

SEO has been evolving rapidly in the last ten years. Recently, Google announced that its Panda updates have been integrated into the core algorithm. There will be no further Panda updates. All changes will be naturally into the core algorithm. Hence, the changes that Panda brought about will be forever. Websites are now being unblocked or unbanned that had bore the brunt of Panda and have since switched from their shady or black hat practices or strategies approved by Google.

1) Be Familiar with the Panda Update.
If you did not know about the Panda update and that it is now a part of the core algorithm, then you have made one of the most common mistakes in SEO. You are not in sync with the changes that are happening in the world of search engines. You can never take SEO for granted. That is the first lesson or SEO 101 that you should learn. SEO will change all the time and it would keep getting perfected or improved to say the least. SEO will not only change because Google and Bing want to change it but also because people around the world would keep improvising how they use search engine optimization. Every time a practice becomes widespread or common and Google or Bing doesn’t like it, there will be changes. As artificial intelligence helps improve the algorithms, the search engine optimization rules will change further. The only thing that you can be assured of is change. Don’t commit the common SEO mistake of being stagnant.

2) It’s All About the Keywords.
The second most common SEO mistake is that it is all about the keywords. While you should find the most important keywords, don’t go all hammer and tongs with every associated keyword. One webpage or one blog post cannot possibly cater to a hundred keywords. It cannot even cater to ten keywords. Focus on one and at the most two or three associated keywords and you will fare much better with indexing. Do not try to squeeze too much into one piece of content. You are not going to reap generous returns on your investment with such a strategy.

3) Don’t Be Overly Focused on Links.
The third most common SEO mistake is the erroneous focus on links. Yes, links matter but what matters is content on those links or what is being presented to the audience. Having too many links will serve no purpose if there is no worthwhile information. Poor content, plagiarized descriptions or exactly similar strategies as others have used will make the whole SEO campaign futile, even if you have a thousand links rerouting people to one webpage.

14 Spectacular James Watt Quotes

James Watt was the U.S. Secretary of Interior from 1981 to 1983 and considered one of the most controversial cabinet appointments made by Ronald Reagan at the time. As the author of ‘Courage of a Conservative,’ Watt has been met with his share of controversies. Here is a look at some of the most notable James Watt quotes from his time.

“A lie can run around the world before the truth can get it’s boots on.”

“After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.”

“Early American speeches, from Washington’s to Patrick Henry’s, have been detheologized in history textbooks. No one has called it censorship.”

“He seemed to have a fascination with this stuff, … We don’t know, really, what he was up to. There were some pretty strange writings.”

“I was driven from my position as Interior Secretary, not because of my environmental record, but because of my Christian beliefs. That’s the real struggle.”

“In the 1980s… it was a liberal philosophy of government that changed the rules to suit its own political ends. We were forfeiting our freedoms to conform to a humanistic philosophy that was patently antireligious.”

“It encompasses practically every form and every style and every technique starting from the 13th century all the way down to the 18th.”

“It should be a continuing embarrassment. And someday there’ll be enough compassion that we’ll care as much about an American Indian as we do a prairie rat.”

“Liberals have shifted government into a position of being neutral between right and wrong. By concentrating power in government institutions, liberals chisel at the three pillars of society: the family unit, work ethic and faith. That’s not good for America.”

“My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns.”

“One of the chief considerations of the decorative arts galleries was that they should be suitable for the display of textiles, and for this initial exhibition we have chosen mainly textiles from the 15th through the 17th centuries.”

“They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers.”

“We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.”

“We were looking at the space when we were designing the whole suite of galleries, and we noticed that the ceiling was so tremendously high that we could easily make two floors of it.”

Watt infamously speaks about the topic of energy independence and hit right on target with this warning in 1984.

10 Pros and Cons of Team Building

It’s a day that some employees look forward to with great anticipation. It’s also a day that some employees dread more than a visit to the dentist for a root canal. Team building, when it is done right, can bring very different people together to create fantastic results and improve productivity. When done the wrong way, it can create the opposite results. Here are the pros and cons of team building to consider before you hold your next event.

What Are the Pros of Team Building?

1. It increases understanding.
Each person has their own unique experiences, education, and opinions. How each person on a team looks at a problem is going to be a little different on the individual level. Team building helps the individuals of a team be able to communicate better with one another so that a greater understanding of these multiple experiences can be obtained.

2. It reduces stress levels.
Team building gets people out of the office and away from the politics that are always present. The goal is to have fun. Even those who hate team building exercises are appreciative of the fact that they have some time away from a stressful work project in most cases.

3. It improves productivity.
When a team understands one another on a core level, they get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows the team to adapt to one another, allowing for a greater overall productivity level.

4. It fosters unity toward an overall mission or vision.
A company will generally work toward a mission statement or long-term vision, but that can get lost in the drudgery of daily work. Team building can help people reset what they see, allowing them to take a look at the greater perspective, which may not always be available to them.

5. It can create friendships or alliances.
Office politics is generally fostered through negative energy. The enemy of my enemy is my friend – that’s the perspective. Team building fosters alliances through positive energy instead, creating the need for people to join forces in order to solve problems.

6. It helps to develop team roles.
Every team member has a certain role to which they are naturally suited. Some people are more creative. Others are good at delegation. You’ll have that one person who can find the smallest errors quickly and know how to fix the problem immediately. By creating exercises that focus on these roles, a team can find their individual niches and be more comfortable at what they do.

What Are the Cons of Team Building?

1. The results achieved from team building are generally short-term in nature.
Most teams return to their baseline soon after a team building event has been completed. Even in extensive team building efforts, the return to the previous baseline can occur in 60 days or less. This means teams must include team building as part of their regular routine for it to be beneficial.

2. It can be a costly process.
If you are taking time for team building activities, then you are losing time to be productive. Not only do you have to pay for the cost of the activity or event, but you also have to pay the cost of labor for that team even though they aren’t being productive. Good luck trying to get a team to take an unpaid day away from work to spend it with their co-workers as a way to save costs – it just doesn’t work.

3. People need time to get comfortable with a team building exercise.
You’ll have your extroverts who jump right into an activity like it’s a giant free cheesecake. Then you’ll have introverts shy away from an exercise like it has an odor that is reminiscent of a closet full of Limburger cheese. Most people need some time to grow familiar with the processes of team building, which means most activities must last a full day at the very least.

4. Some people just don’t work well together.
There will always be a few people who don’t mesh well together. Forcing these folks to work together is like trying to force a square peg through a round hole. If you’re not watching the activities closely, you may find that more resentment is being built through the team building efforts than positivity.

The pros and cons of team building show that greater productivity and communication can be achieved. As long as a team is allowed to be creative, step back from the workplace, and have some control over the process, it is generally a successful experience.

17 Incredible James MacGregor Burns Quotes

James MacGregor Burns was a Pulitzer Prize winner and American historian that was known for his authority and foundation of leadership studies. Focusing on the relationships of transactional and transformational leadership, Burns authored more than 20 books before his death in 2014. Here is a look at some of the most notable James MacGregor Burns quotes ever recorded.

“A revolution is an act of violence whereby one class shatters the authority of another.”

“Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere technique.”

“If we are to turn the founders upside down we must directly confront the Constitutional structure they erected.”

“In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons.”

“Leaders are not pale reflectors of major social conflicts; they play up some, play down others, ignore still others.”

“Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.”

“Leadership, in short, is power governed by principle, directed toward raising people to their highest levels of personal motive and social morality.”

“Let us face reality. The framers (of the Constitution) have simply been too shrewd for us. They have outwitted us. They designed separate institutions that cannot be unified by mechanical linkages frail bridges(or) tinkering.”

“Politics seemed to have fallen to a new wartime low of spite and pettiness.”

“Such leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.”

“The practice of leadership is not the same as the exercise of power.”

“The ultimate test of practical leadership is the realization of intended, real change that meets people’s enduring needs.”

“There is an important difference between the politician who is simply an able tactician, and the politician who is a creative political.”

“They help students define moral values not by imposing their own moralities on them but by positing situations that pose hard moral choices and then encouraging conflict and debate.”

“Those who remember only that the Roosevelts served hot dogs to the royals will be fascinated by this well-researched account of an historic and ennobling relationship – a great story.”

“To elevate the goals of humankind, to achieve high moral purpose, to realize major intended change, leaders must thrust themselves into the most intractable processes and structures of history and ultimately master them.”

“Woodrow Wilson called for leaders who, by boldly interpreting the nation’s conscience, could lift a people out of their everyday selves. That people can be lifted into their better selves is the secret of transforming leadership.”

James MacGregor Burns takes some time to discuss his thoughts on leadership and what drew his interest to this field of study as a leadership scholar.

9 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Increase-Productivity

An average professional has some very productive days and some bland days. Any ordinary person will have some days when he or she would feel highly motivated and would get the tasks done very efficiently. On other days, the same person will feel lethargic, will struggle to complete the tasks on time and will also do a poor job. We are not talking about emotional upheavals, poor health or motivational factors. We are talking about the simple reality of productivity. It is impossible for someone to be perennially productive or hyper productive. If you wish to increase productivity, then you need to develop some of these best practices.

1) Avoid working overtime.
Don’t work all the time. Cap the time you wish to work and decide how much you wish to work. Consider a very real situation. A professional works seven days a week around ten hours every day and gets the same work done as another professional working five days a week for around six or seven hours a day. The latter professional is clearly more productive. Would you rather spend more time at work doing less work or should you complete your work early and enjoy life? Productivity is not about how much work you do or how much time you take but how much work you do in a given period of time.

2) Multitasking is the most hyped up concept of this century.
Ask recruiters and even aspirants, they all highlight how multitasking is quintessential. It is actually a major problem when it comes to productivity, quality of the work done and also to health. Multitasking leads to more errors, it slows down every individual trying to battle too many disassociated or even associated matters, it doesn’t augur well for the work culture and it takes a toll on the professional.

3) Work in natural light if you can.
Getting exposed to sun spikes metabolism, one feels energetic and the spirit is high. Professionals seated near or next to windows are often invulnerable to seasonal affective disorders. Those who are continuously away from the bright wide world outside will be vulnerable to inefficiency.

Say no when you need to, avoid chasing perfection, take your time to get a think and replenish yourself, exercise every day, sleep well, have sprint sessions while working to increase efficiency and work smart. No one knows what perfection is in a given context. You cannot say yes to everything and still be productive. You cannot keep your spirits up when you don’t sleep well and exercise.

10 Fabulous James G. March Quotes

James G. March is best known for his research on organizations and the behavioral theories associated with organizational decision making. He has authored and contributed to dozens of books during his career. Here are some of the best James G. March quotes ever documented.

“By glorifying imagination, we entice the innocent into unwitting self-destruction.”

“I am not now, nor I have ever been, relevant.”

“If a manager asks an academic consultant what to do and that consultant answers, then the consultant should be fired. No academic has the experience to know the context of a managerial problem well enough to give specific advice about a specific situation.”

“Intelligence normally entails two interrelated but somewhat different components. The first involves effective adaptation to an environment.”

“Most fantasies lead us astray, and most of the consequences of imagination for individuals and individual organizations are disastrous.”

“No organization works if the toilets don’t work, but I don’t believe that finding solutions to business problems is my job.”

“The second component of intelligence involves the elegance of interpretations of the experiences of life.”

“There is, as a result, much that can be viewed as unjust in a system that induces imagination among individuals and individual organizations in order to allow a larger system to choose among alternative experiments.”

“They [human beings] are unwilling to gamble that God made those people who are skilled at rational argumentation uniquely virtuous. They protect themselves and others from cleverness by obscuring their preferences.”

“Unfortunately, the gains for imagination are not free.”

Here is a clip of James G. March, Emeritus Professor at Stanford as he appears in this series of interviews to discuss his work on the field of management with Doctoral students.

The Ultimate Twitter Marketing Strategy that Drives Real Sales

Most business owners and bloggers use Twitter to just for tweeting, and for the most part, do not get many customers from it. It has become a box that we check because everyone else is doing it. Unless you have a huge following and know what you are doing, it is hard to get people to go from your Twitter account to your business or blog.

Today, I am going to share an easy way for anyone to hack the power of Twitter and leverage it to deliver real people to your business, blog, or podcast. The great thing about this hack is that it will work for even the person that has only five followers on Twitter.

There are four simple steps to making the most of this Twitter hack.

#1 Set your profile up to stand out and drive traffic
#2 Identify Twitter profiles that match your target audience
#3 Follow the right people that are power users
#4 Send a direct message with a purpose to all new followers

Let’s go ahead and get right into breaking down this four step process, so you can start using today.

Step 1 – Design Your Twitter Profile for Maximum Engagement

The goal is to make your profile stand out and for you to look as sharp as possible in front of potential future customers. This marketing hack does not work if you do not optimize your Twitter profile for engagement. The three most important aspects of your profile for this hack are your profile photo, cover art, and bio.

What makes a good profile photo?

In episode 10, I talked about the results of a study that identified what types of profile photos made people like and trust you. There were four things that stood out above everything else.

  • Wearing Glasses – This makes people perceive you as more competent and likeable.
  • Eye Squinching Smiles – The big eye squinching smile had a positive impact on people believing that you were competent, likable, and influential.
  • Show Your Teeth – The closed mouthed smile had only half of the positive impact as the open mouthed smile on perceived competence and influence.
  • Dress Sharp – If you wear a nice dress shirt, then people believe that you are more influential.

Here are a few examples of great Twitter profile photos…

Pat Flynn squinching his eyes and showing his teeth right next to his microphone.

patflynn

Michael Hyatt wearing a nice shirt with a great teethy smile.

michael-hyatt

Amy Porterfield is wearing a professional blue top paired with her gorgeous smile.

amy-porterfield

Three Best Types of Twitter Cover Photos

While the profile photo is more important than the cover art, a nice cover will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd that does not take the time to execute this.

#1 The Panoramic Photo

This photo can be of your family, you and your employees, or you standing on top of a mountain. The most important part of the panoramic photo is that you are in it.

I love how John Maxwell uses this tactic in his Twitter cover photo to show the excitement of an audience right before he begins speaking to them.

john-maxwell-2

#2 The Promotion

The cover photo is a great location to promote something about yourself or your business. The best practice is to focus on one single call to action that is completely free. This could be a free download, free mini course, or your podcast.

Tim Ferriss does an excellent job promoting his podcast on his Twitter cover art. It showcases his show logo and lets people know to go listen to it on iTunes.

tim-ferriss-2

#3 The Logo and Tagline

Using your logo and tagline always looks great standing over your profile picture. Make it bold and use the logo’s colors to create a nice theme around your Twitter cover art.

Kate Erickson hits a home run with her cover art. She highlights the logo and tagline to the EOFire podcast in the middle of her Twitter cover, which also has the burning microphone icon in the background.

kate-erickson-2

Create a Profile Bio that Drives Action

In this marketing hack, your bio is the driving force that makes people go to your website. You have 160 characters to work with, but you want to make sure your call to action makes up the first 80 characters. This will allow you to grab everyone’s attention and insure that your main message is read.

Here is my three point Twitter bio call to action template…

  • First Sentence – Call to action for the url you are promoting.
  • Target URL – Keep it nice and short.
  • Last Sentence – Secondary reason for clicking on the target url.

Take a look at my bio to see how I used this three point tactic.

twitter-bio-example

First Sentence Call to Action and Target URL

Host of The Blog Millionaire podcast (theblogmillionaire.com/podcast).

I do not have to go overboard on my first sentence because the name of my podcast, The Blog Millionaire, does a great job of selling the reason for clicking. I place my URL in parenthesis so that it has a natural flow with the sentence.

While preparing for this episode, I reviewed 1000s of bios and less than 5% even had a url. All links on Twitter are bright blue. Twitter has spent millions on how to get more of their users to click on links. When I scan through my followers, it is amazing how the profiles with bio links just jump out at me.

Last Sentence with Secondary Reason

Over 1 million people read Brandon’s blog every month.

With the secondary reason sentence, I used some social proof to let people know the reason why they should listen to my podcast.

Pin Your Best Piece of Content to the Top of Your Tweets

When someone comes to your profile page they are going to scan through your first couple of tweets. It is important that you put your best foot forward with a perfectly optimized tweet that links to one of your best pieces of content.

Here are some pinned tweets I have used in the past three years.

Pillar Content that Leads People to My Course – My best piece of pillar content is a 3000 word blog post breaking down the four strategies that I used to build my blog to 1 million monthly visitors.

My Podcast – I have a podcast page on my blog that has its own podcast player along with links to iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

A Masterclass or Webinar – The pinned tweet that I am using right now is promoting my free online master class, “How I Got to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.”

The one thing that all my pinned tweets have in common is that they all generate signups to my course. If you do not have a course or a product, then you should promote a great post that has a content upgrade at the end. That way, you will at least be getting people to opt in to your email list.

There are three primary elements of an optimized pinned tweet.

Strong Call-to-Action – The words you use in your tweet should drive people to take action.

Link to a Post or Landing Page – This may sound like a no brainer, but I am constantly coming across pinned tweets that do not have any links.

A Supporting Image – An image is going to help frame your tweet, and tweets with images get more retweets. It is important to use an image that supports your call-to-action. Stay away from using stock images.

Here is my current pinned tweet.

pinned-tweet-example

My call-to-action asks them to watch my free masterclass, “How I Got to 1 Million Visitors.” I used a social proof image of my Google Analytics, which shows an upward line graph going beyond 2 million monthly visitors. I also merged a snapshot from SEMRush that values my monthly traffic at $250,000. Whether you are using statistics or testimonials, a social proof image can dramatically increase your clicks and conversions.

The bottom line is that 99% of Twitter users do not know how to optimize their profile to drive clicks and convert sales. By taking the time to create a great profile photo, cover image, bio, and pinned tweet, your profile will stand out and make you look like a true influencer in your industry.

Step 2 – Identify Twitter Profiles Whose Followers Are Your Target Audience

You should have a good idea of who the leaders in your industry are. Whether it is someone who offers the same type of service or someone that covers the same topics as your podcast, many of these competitors will have a strong following on Twitter.

If you take the time to identify these people, then you have direct access to their audience. It is a simple as clicking on their followers tab, and you will be able to see all of their raving fans.

There are three keys to narrowing down the profiles to the ones that you will focus your efforts around.

Key 1 – Choose the Best of the Best

You want to make a list of the 10 to 20 most successful people within the same space that you are playing in. These are the people that will have solid followers. The bulk of their followers will be some of the most active people on their email lists that also account for most of their social shares.

Key 2 – Make Sure They Are Active and Have at Least 5,000 Followers

The simple fact is that there are many industry leaders that do not invest time in Twitter. Make sure that they have a strong base of followers and are at the very least posting tweets on a weekly basis.

Key 3 – Eliminate Profiles that Do Not Have a Strong Followers to Following Ratio

You want to only go after Twitter accounts that have organic followers. Stay away from accounts that have built their followers up by following tens of thousands of other accounts. I look for accounts that have at least a 5 to 1 ratio. That means they would have 50,000 followers to following 10,000 or less.

How I Chose My Targets

For me, my target audience is a blogger that is wanting to increase their traffic and get the most out of monetizing their blog. Once I went through the three steps in identifying accounts to focus my efforts on, I was left eight solid profiles to target.

I focused my search on people that were direct competitors or had a similar audience to mine.

Direct Competitor

Since I run an online blogging course, I identified my top competitors that also were selling an online blogging course. Ruth Soukup was one of three of my competitors that met all of my qualifications. I recommend starting with your direct competitors first since this will produce the highest conversion ratio in regards to direct sales.

ruth2

Similar Audience

In addition to direct competitors, I went on to expand my target by looking for people that had a similar audience to mine. Pat Flynn’s audience is made up of people looking to build passive income. The majority of this audience is attempting to accomplish this via blogging. He also has an extremely popular podcast in the same category that my podcast is in.

pat

Step 3 – Follow the Twitter Accounts that Are Active Power Users

Now that you have optimized your Twitter profile and identified your target accounts, now it is time to start engaging their audience.

Once you click on your target account’s followers tab, then you will have full access to every user that has followed their account. Although there are many programs out there that will automatically follow accounts, I recommend doing this by your own hand.

It does not take that long, and it will allow you to only follow the right people that have the greatest chance of engaging with your profile.

Three Qualifications to Make When Choosing Who to Follow

There is a simple way to scan and identify quality profiles to follow.

Qualification #1 – Profile Photo is a Real Person

Stay away from logos and the dreaded egg. Logos are typically company profiles that are mostly automated and run by some lower level admin. If it has an egg, then that person has not even taking the time to upload their own profile pic.

Qualification #2 - Use the Same Language as You

If you speak English and they speak Chinese, then it is going to be hard for them to understand your message.

Qualification #3 - Have a Complete Profile with Cover Art and Bio

The more complete their profile is, the more active they are on Twitter. This is a real easy way to focus your effort on the most active users, which will increase the amount of reciprocated engagement.

Here’s a quick visual example of how I chose who to follow and who not to follow.

who-to-follow-on-twitter

What Happens When You Follow Someone Who is Active on Twitter

People that are active on Twitter will usually check their followers section on a daily basis. The vast majority of the people that you follow will have less than 1000 followers. This means that they may get a handful of new followers each week, and your follow is going to be noticed.

If your profile is optimized with a strong call to action, then you give the people you follow a way to return the favor. Once you optimize your profile, I recommend that you follow someone new and check out how your profile looks in their followers section.

When I take a look at how my profile looks on people that I have followed, it literally pops off the page compared to everyone else. Most people are curious to find out more about the other Twitter users that follow them. Some will check out your tweets and follow you. Others will click on your url to see what your website is all about.

Here’s a screenshot to let you see how powerful an optimized profile can be when you put it to work by following targeted users.

twitter-hack-example

How Many People Should I Follow a Day

I recommend following between 50 and 100 profiles each day. This will take you five minutes to complete, which is a small investment to get your message in front of your target audience.

Twitter does have two following limits that you should be aware of…

  • The Friend Limit – This limit basically allows anyone with less than 5000 followers to follow up to 5000 accounts. That means if you have 100 followers, then you will not be able to follow more than 5000.
  • The Ten Percent Limit – This limiter allows you to follow up to 10% more than your total followers at any given point. If you have 100,000 followers, then you will be able to follow up to 110,000 Twitter accounts.

I also advise that you spend your time following people that have recently followed the accounts that you are targeting. These people will show up at the top of the followers section within each of the targeted accounts. The more target accounts you have, the easier it will be for you to focus on the people that have recently followed these accounts.

By doing this, you are going to be interacting with highly active Twitter users that recently found value in the individual that owns that specific Twitter account. Let me give you a real example that illustrates this a little better.

A female blogger reads a post by Pat Flynn on ways to make money with a blog. She liked what she read and decide to follow Pat Flynn. I see her in Pat Flynn’s followers section of his Twitter account, and I follow her. The blogger gets a message of a new follower and takes a look at my Twitter page. She sees my pinned tweet and clicks on my call to action for my masterclass, “How I Got to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.” The masterclass hits the blogger during a time when she is being proactive about growing her blog, and she decides to sign up for my online course.

Converting social media traffic is all about timing. That is why you want to focus your efforts on the most recent followers of your target accounts.

Step 4 – Direct Message Every Person that Follows You

The direct message is a very powerful tool that very few people use. While there are no hard numbers out there, most experts estimate that less than 1% of Twitter profiles send more than one direct message per month. And for the ones that are using direct messaging, few are leveraging it for maximum engagement.

While some power users have turned off notifications for new followers, the vast majority of Twitter users get direct message notifications sent to their email and directly to their cell phone via text message. Most of us know that every email does not get opened and read. However, when was the last time that you did not read a text that popped up on your phone? I read every text that I get. Even the occasional text spam.

This is why you need to send every new follower a direct message.

The Three Direct Message Types that Get the Highest Engagement

When it comes to direct messaging there are three clear winners that are used 95% of the time by Twitter marketing experts. The first thing you should do before you try to engage them is to thank them for following you.

Your direct message should begin like this..

(First Name),

Thank you for following me. 

Then you can go into one of the three popular engagement strategies.

DM Tactic #1 – Ask a Question

Since you only follow people that fall into a target audience with a specific pain point, then it should be pretty easy to come up with a single question that resonates with every new follower.

Here are two that I have used in the past couple of years..

What is the biggest struggle you are having with your blog right now?

I get over 1 million monthly visitors to my blog. Would you like me to take a quick look at your blog and show you a few simple changes you can make to get more traffic?

DM Tactic #2 – Give a Freebie Away

The freebie is the most used DM tactic by marketing firms with their clients. You will want to do your best in phrasing it as a special reward that is only available to your followers.

Here is a good example of how to execute the exclusive freebie…

Since you followed me, I am going to go ahead and give you free access to my mini course that explains how I get 1 million visitors to my blog each month:
http://theblogmillionaire.com

After you watch it, feel free to send me any questions.

DM Tactic #3 – Listen to My Podcast

This is the tactic that I have used on multiple occasions. Since many of you reading right now found out about my podcast this way, you may be very familiar with this message.

Please check out my award winning podcast (The Blog Millionaire) on iTunes here: http://apple.co/22LaNO2

Feel free to send me any questions you have on blogging. Last month my blog received over 1.6 million visitors.

Make Your First 138 Characters Count

One final tip in regards to crafting your direct message… Keep your thank you message short and sweet so that your call to action will show up in the Twitter messaging preview box. Twitter currently shows the first 138 characters of your message in the preview box.

Below you can see how my message is cut off, along with a reply that shows you how this Twitter hack works like a charm.

direct-message-example-twitter

How to Automate Your Direct Messages

While I do not believe in using programs to auto follow, I completely encourage you to automate your Twitter direct messaging. The main reason for this is because it allows you to engage every person immediately after they follow you. This is the point that they are most likely to respond to your direct message or click on a link that you send them.

Everytime I mention automating direct messages I end up getting a ton of angry emails informing me that automated direct messages are evil. The ironic thing about this is that every person that has sent me this email has agreed that a automated welcome email is perfectly acceptable.

This is completely crazy because there is no difference between an automated direct message that welcomes your new follower and a welcome email sent to a new subscriber. I hope if you are on the fence about this topic that you take the time to let this analogy sink in.

Now that we have covered the big objection to automated direct messages, let us talk about how to execute it at a high level.

The easiest way to accomplish this is through the SocialOomph software. All you need to do is activate the auto direct message. Then you type in the message that you want every new follower to receive, and it does all of the rest for you.

configuring-social-oomph-direct-message

How to Qualify Every Person that Responds to Your DM

Over the last year, I have tested several initial automated direct messages to my new followers. My number one goal with everything I do is to engage my audience. That led me to using the following initial direct message that is sent out as soon as someone follows me on Twitter..

What is the url of your blog? I would be happy to review it and share some of the tactics that I use to get over 2 million monthly visitors to my blog.

I look forward to getting to know more about you, and I hope you have a fantastic day!

Brandon

Bloggers love to give out their url. I get over 2 million visitors a month, and I still love it when someone asks me to take a look at my blog. When someone does send me the url of their blog I am given a wealth of information about that individual. I am able to see..

What they are writing about – I can take a look at the first 20 post titles in a matter of three minutes and see the passions that drive each blogger to write.

What their products and services are – A blogger’s products and services allows me to identify how they are monetizing their blog and which industry they are competing in.

Who they are – A blogger’s about me page lets me into their life and who they really are. This is where the true connection happens between a blogger and their audience.

After I have reviewed a person’s blog I can identify what type of help they need and if they are a qualified prospect for one of my products and services.

This may sound like a lot of work, but this is the difference between making a connection or coming across as a snake oil salesman. You have to understand the individual and their needs before you attempt to craft an intelligent response.

My Process for Crafting a Tailored Response

Once I have done a quick review of the individual’s blog, I am ready to respond with a tailored response. Here is an example of one of my responses:

Stacey,

Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. I looked through some of your posts, pages, and how well your blog is ranking on Google.

I really liked your post, “21 Ways to Make Yourself Happy.” Post titles that start with an odd number actually get clicked on and shared more than any other type of post title.

There were four things I did with my blog that helped me build my Google traffic to over 1 million monthly visitors, which I think your blog can also do. I broke them down in this post for you:
http://brandongaille.com/how-to-build-a-blog-to-over-1-million-monthly-unique-visitors/

Keep up the great work on your blog!

Brandon

My Direct Message Response Formula

Here is the formula that I use for all of my direct message responses.

#1 Address Them By Their Name – If they do not have their name listed on their Twitter profile, then you can find it on their website. There is no word in the human language that stimulates the brain like a person’s first name. We are trained to stop and listen everytime we hear it or see it.

#2 Thank Them for Sending You Their Information – It always pays to be courteous. When I ask a question and someone responds, I always thank them first. This will make them open to hearing the rest of your message.

Thanks for sending me the link to your blog. 

#3 Let Them Know You Took Time Looking Through Their Website – I let each person know that I went through their posts, pages, and even looked through their Google rankings. If someone reads that you took time to look through their website, then they will take time to read your message.

I looked through some of your posts, pages, and how well your blog is ranking on Google.

#4 Pick Out Something Specific and Give Some Insight – I make a point to mention a specific post that I liked the most, and I tell them a statistically proven reason that made that post special.

I really liked your post, “21 Ways to Make Yourself Happy.” Post titles that start with an odd number actually get clicked on and shared more than any other type of post title.

#5 Link to a Post that Shares Valuable Information that They Can Take Action On – You do not want to type out what you think they should do in the direct message. This would take forever, and it would be giving out sub par or incomplete information. If you do not have a post, then create one and link to it. I also like to add some social proof in the call to action that asks them to go check out the post.

There were four things I did with my blog that helped me build my Google traffic to over 1 million monthly visitors, which I think your blog can also do. I broke them down in this post for you:
http://brandongaille.com/how-to-build-a-blog-to-over-1-million-monthly-unique-visitors/

#6 End it with a Statement of Encouragement – All of my response DMs end with a simple statement that encourages the individual to keep up the great work. Most entrepreneurs and bloggers live in a world of isolation, and they rarely hear votes of encouragement.

Keep up the great work on your blog!

After a couple of weeks of executing my Twitter growth hack, I had created five canned messages that I used for 98% of my responses. This is a vital point. You have to develop canned responses so that you can have the time to review their website, LinkedIn profile, or whatever else you decide to look at.

This is going to allow you to copy and paste your core message. Then you will add in the custom pieces that are specific to that individual.

For example, the response that I just broke down, has only one section, other than the person’s name, that is changed with every response. That section is…

I really liked your post, “21 Ways to Make Yourself Happy.”

I swap out the post title that I liked the most, and everything else remains the same. This simple process allows me to have more time to review their site and find out more about each blogger.

It also keeps my carefully crafted engagement formula intact. I am left with five buckets that 98% of all direct message responses fall into. Each bucket has a dedicated canned message that it designed to engage and deliver pinpoint value.

The pinpoint value is delivered in the form of one of my pillar blog posts. These posts are filled with my best content. They are also specifically designed to drive the readers into a sales funnel for my blogging course.

A Quick Review of How to Put This in Action Today

The beautiful thing about this Twitter hack is that anyone can use it right now. You do not need a big email list, existing traffic to your blog, or anything else. So, let’s go over the action items that you need to execute to make this happen today.

Step 1 – Optimize Your Profile to Drive Clicks and Follows
Make sure you have a great picture of your smiling face wearing some nice clothes. Take a moment to create a nice cover photo, and create a bio using my 3 point formula.

(Primary Call to Action Sentence + URL + Social Proof Sentence)

Step 2 – Identify Twitter Profiles that Your Target Audience Follows
Choose the leaders in your industry with 5000+ followers and a 5 to 1 followers to following ratio.

Step 3 – Only Follow Individuals that Have a Complete Profile
This means that a person’s face needs to be the profile picture, and they need to have a cover photo along with a bio.

Step 4 – Craft a Direct Message That is Designed to Spur Engagement
The three best tactics are to ask a question, offer an exclusive freebie, or link to your podcast. Use SocialOomph to automatically send out your direct message to each person that follows you.

Once you set everything up, it will only take you 5 minutes a day to follow 50 to 100 accounts. Then everyone is entering your automated Twitter engagement funnel that turns your competition’s raving fans into your paying customers.

One final note before I wrap this up… Use this system to promote and engage. The promotion pretty much runs itself, but you need to remember to engage anyone that replies to your direct messages. Give them great answers to their questions, and take the time to visit their website to see what they have to offer.

This is one of the reasons why I personally choose every person that I follow. It allows me to select people that have similar ambitions that I am sincerely interested in getting to know. At the end of each year, I am left with new podcast listeners, customers, partners, pen pals, and even friends that I meet with for lunch every month. For me, that is the true power of social media.

For a limited time, I am giving away my entire Social Media Hacks course for free when you sign up to my flagship course, The Blog Millionaire. This includes my incredible Pinterest growth hack that drives over 200,000 monthly visitors to my blog. Go here to find out more.

14 Marvelous J. Keith Murnighan Quotes

J. Keith Murnighan was an American social scientist and author. Publishing more than seven books, he was best known for his work on, ‘Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader.’ Here is a look at some of the most memorable J. Keith Murnighan quotes to become familiar with.

“By not letting good performers do their jobs, on their own, leaders don’t allow their team members to feel proud of what they can do.”

“Doing too much is far worse than doing too little.”

“It is up to you as the leader to make sure that your team members feel safe. You must bend over backwards to make this happen, because team members know that their leaders are always evaluating them and they have perfectly natural fears about the outcome of those evaluations.”

“Leaders need to keep a singular focus, each and every day, on their ultimate goals; they need to keep them at the front of their minds as they choose their actions and strategies.”

“Leadership Law: Think of the reaction that you want first, then determine the actions you can take to maximize the chances that those reactions will actually happen.”

“Not only do we often find what we are looking for in people, we sometimes create what we are looking for in people.”

“Partial trust sucks in many ways: it is the reverse of flattery and respect and it stimulates lousy outcomes, for everyone.”

“People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care about them.’ You could be the world’s greatest expert on something but if the people you work with don’t know that you care about them, they won’t listen to you much.”

“Stated succinctly, partial trust sucks. When we know we have been trusted only partially, we naturally wonder, ‘Why didn’t he trust me more?’ This natural question reduces our motivation to reciprocate and leads to less long-term commitment to a leader, to a team, and to an organization.”

“Thus, even something as simple as putting a Post-it note that describes your ultimate goals on the corner of your computer screen can help you keep focused and slow you down so that you can facilitate and orchestrate your team’s actions directly toward your ultimate goal.”

“When leaders do too much, they cannot be as effective or as thoughtful or as strategic as they might otherwise be. Even worse, their team members are underutilized and underchallenged.”

“You must make it eminently clear that you want them to participate, to question, to comment, and to disagree – and you need to reinforce them when they do.”

“You must work doubly hard to help them feel safe: you must treat your team members’ questions and observations as if you love hearing each and every one of them and you must entertain their ideas and even invite them to disagree with you.”

“You shouldn’t focus on outcomes so much. Focus instead on doing things right, on the best possible process, and on paying attention to what you can do rather than to what you can’t control.”

Keith Murnighan takes some time to talk with McGill University’s Karl Moore on how to handle ethical dilemmas.

8 Secrets to Building an Email List to 100,000+ Subscribers

Most of you probably already know that your email list has the highest ROI of all marketing mediums. Adobe reported that the average ROI of email marketing is $40 to every $1 spent.

email-roi-statistics-chart

For bloggers, the email list is the heart that pumps life into their posts and revenue into their pockets.

The number one regret that I hear all the time from pro bloggers is always about their email list. They either wish they would have started capturing emails sooner or would have invested more time in optimizing their email list building process.

I, too, have the same regret. I waited almost a year before I started building my email list on my blog. That year cost me about 40,000 emails and at least $100,000 in lost revenue.

So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you are just starting out. The most important thing is that you start now and do it the right way.

Since my email list is vital to everything I do, I have spent countless hours researching and testing every tactic known for building an email list. Today, I am going to share the eight email list strategies that consistently help pro bloggers build six digit email lists.

Are you ready to make your email list explode?

Let’s get right into the first strategy.

#1 They Place Their Opt-In In The 4 Highest Converting Locations

There are four locations on your blog that have proven to produce the most email subscriptions. Knowing where they are and how to use them is the first step towards building a huge email list.

The Often Misunderstood Popup

The popup, without a doubt, is the highest converting location for getting people to opt-in to your email list. Many bloggers do not use popups out of fear that it will alienate their visitors. If you fall into this category, then let me share the popup statistics compiled by a pretty famous blogger.

Dan Zarrella disabled his opt-in popup for a period of four months. During that time, the amount of emails opt-ins were cut in half, and his bounce rate remained the same. These statistics should alleviate any concern you had of alienating visitors.

popup-email-optin-statistics

Now that you are convinced that you need to use popups to add email subscribers, let’s go into the two most effective types of popups.

Setting the Perfectly Timed Popup

The timed popup is the most used style of popups. It also has the highest conversion rate.

Aweber recently published the results of a study by SumoMe, which revealed that 5 seconds is the ideal time to introduce your popup to new visitors.

ideal-seconds-before-popup-optin-is-shown

The logic behind these stats is that you need to give new visitors enough time to look at your post before asking them for their email. However, if you wait 10 seconds, then your visitors will be too engaged with your content. This leads to a significant drop off in conversions.

Staying Out of the Way with Exit Intent Popups 

Exit intent technology allows your popup to be completely unobtrusive. A popup using exit intent will only show up when the visitor moves their mouse towards the back button on the internet browser.

I have tested exit intent versus the 5 second popup on my site. The conversion rates were about 30% lower on the exit intent popup. So, you will be trading a significant amount of email subscribers in exchange for not interrupting the reader.

The big takeaway is that you are missing out on a huge opportunity if you are not using a popup opt-in. At the bare minimum, you should at least use an exit intent popup.

Asking Readers at the Ideal Time with an End of Post Opt-In

After the popup, the next best location is at the end of the post.

The visitors that have reached this point have shown they like your content. It is the perfect moment to ask them for their email.

The popup and the end of post opt-ins will account for about 80% of all new email subscriptions.

Complimenting the Pop-Up With a Floating Footer

The footer is the third highest converting location for email subscriptions. Most email plugin tools will allow you to time the footer just like with the popup.

I recommend setting the footer opt-in bar to rise up between 20 to 30 seconds after a new visitor has arrived to your blog. Since the footer only covers 50 to 100 pixels at the bottom of the browser, it rarely gets closed out like a popup.

The Always Dependable Sidebar Opt-In

From 2000 to 2010, the top of the sidebar was the default location for subscribing to a blog. Those days are long behind us now, but it is still a nice location to ask for someone to subscribe to your email list.

If you end up using all four locations, then remember to use a unique offer for each spot.

#2 They Use an Optimal Mix of Three Popular Tactics to Maximize Conversions

Now that you know the four primary locations to place your opt-in… Let me tell you the three most effective tactics used by pro bloggers.

Site Wide

Site wide basically means that you use one lead magnet for every page and post on your blog. This strategy works best with the floating footer. Since your space is limited, you will not have room to customize the lead magnet.

For my floating footer, I use the following call-to-action:

Join Over 100,000 Business Owners That Get Brandon’s Weekly Insider Marketing Secrets

Since my blog is focused on marketing, this call-to-action is relevant for every page and post on my blog.

Custom to Category

The major email opt-in plugins, which I will discuss later, allow you to create custom opt-in boxes for each category within your blog.

I design custom opt-ins for the categories on my blog that receive the most traffic. This custom to category strategy works best with the popup. For example, I use a custom lead magnet that shows up when anyone views a post within the Slogans category. The lead magnet is a guide on How to Create a Slogan for Your Business.

custom-popup-optin-example

Whether someone just came to a blog post on real estate slogans or bakery slogans, the lead magnet is generally enticing to both.

Custom to Post

The custom to post opt-in has the highest conversion rate of any strategy, and the ideal location for this lead magnet is at the end of the post.

Let’s quickly review the conversion statistics of the three strategies, which I have compiled from email subscription forms being shown to over 40 million unique visitors.

highest-converting-email-list-strategies

The custom to post opt-in added 31 times more emails than the site wide footer.

From a time perspective, it is much easier to knock out a site wide footer and a couple of custom to category opt-ins. Get those completed first. Then move on to creating custom to post lead magnets for the ten blog posts receiving the most organic traffic from Google.

One more thing, all three of these can be used together, as long as each lead magnet is unique.

#3 They Use Proven Design Techniques to Create the Perfect Opt-In Box

The design of your opt-in box plays a major role in your email subscription conversion rate. There are eight design tactics that pro bloggers use to maximize their conversions.

The Right Sizes to Use for Each Location

Popups – Since the popup is going to overlay the entire page, you can use a really large size to pitch your lead magnet. I prefer to use 450 pixel height by 700 pixel width for the size of my popups. I want to have enough room to make sure my headline and copy are big and bold.

Lewis Howes does a great job of making his popups nice and large, and it makes a visual impact.

lewis-howes-popup-email-opt-in-example

After Post – There are two techniques that pro bloggers use in this location. The first is the large box, which will cover the entire width of your post area.

Derek Halpern hits the size perfectly with his simple after the post opt-in.

end-of-post-email-optin-form-example

The second technique is the two step form. With this tactic, you create a smaller box that is clickable, and it opens a popup form on the click.

Amy Porterfield has mastered this tactic, and she creates custom two step forms for almost every post on her site.

two-step-optin-email-subscription-form-example

Sidebar – Since you are limited on width, you will need to take advantage of the height to pitch your lead magnet. Try and make your height between 400 and 750 pixels.

I really like how Chris Ducker uses a sidebar opt-in form to promote his 7 day bootcamp. His height is right at 725 pixels.

sidebar-email-optin-form-example

Using Colors to Stimulate an Emotional Response

The colors that you use on your email subscription box should match the emotion that you are trying to convey with your offer.

Fast Company published the results of a research study that identified why companies use certain colors in their advertisements. Each of the eight primary colors stimulate different emotions, which can be leveraged to increase the conversion rate of your email opt-in boxes.

colors-to-use-for-email-opt-in-form

Your Copy Should Be Bold and Focus on Value

The copy of your email offer needs to show them clear value, and it needs to be short and concise. It should also quickly tell them what your lead magnet will do for them. This will compel your visitors to take action.

“Sign Up to My Newsletter” is the worst headline that you can use. This is unfortunately the most used headline on email subscription forms.

Even if you just have a site wide email subscription form with no lead magnet, then you can still come up with a compelling headline based upon what tips you will be emailing them.

Marie Forleo sums it up by saying, “Get Free Tips to Create a Business & Life You Love.” This phrase taps into emotion and conveys the benefit.

marie-forleo-email-subscription-example

Whenever you are writing the copy for your email offer try and use value terms. My favorite value terms are; exclusive, advanced, secrets, access, proven, special offer, and limited time. These terms will psychologically make people feel that they have to sign up.

Brian Dean of Backlinko does an exceptional job of including several value terms in his headline and benefit statement.

headline-example-email-popup-form

There Are Two Types of Images that 80% of Bloggers Use on Their Email Offers

The right image will not substantially increase the conversion rate of your form, but the wrong image will destroy it. There are two types of images most pro bloggers will use on their email capture boxes.

The mass majority prefer to go with an image of themselves. Michael Hyatt’s blog uses his image next to most of his primary email subscription boxes.

Personal-Brand-Email-Opt-in-Image-Example

The next most used image tactic is the book cover.

OptiMonk uses a book cover to compliment their headline and convey the depth of their free guide.

email-popup-form-example-for-ebook

Use The Right Color and Wording For Your Submit Button

The SumoMe study, that I mentioned earlier, compared the effectiveness of the four most used colors for buttons, which are red, green, yellow, and orange. The results revealed that the colors red and green had the highest conversion rates.

best-color-for-email-submit-button

Forms with the red button collected 20% more emails than forms using the green button. The reason why is because we associate red with stop. Most email forms are not part of the natural flow. The contrasting red button makes visitors subconsciously stop to read the surrounding text.

The Number of Form Fields Will Impact Your Conversion Rate

Ascend2 surveyed the top email list growth experts and found that the average number of fields used on subscription forms was 2 to 4. Over 60% of the people surveyed preferred to use 2 to 4 fields.

Average-Number-of-Fields-Email-List-Growth

The science behind using a short form is real simple. The conversion rate of a form will drop by 20% for every form field that you add. I recommend using a maximum of two form fields. One for their name, and the other for the email address.

Why Button and Inline Text Matter

Another common mistake that newbies make is using the default text of “Submit” for the button text. Try and use some creative action words that will drive them to click the button.

Some of my favorites are…

Send Me the Secrets
Get Instant Access
Count Me In
Send Me the Tips
Let’s Do This
I Want It

A case study by Conversion Voodoo identified that having inline text that reads “Enter Your Email Here” increased email signups by 36%. The inline text is the text that appears within the form fields.

inline-text-example-email-form

Use Social Proof If You Have It

Once you have over 1000 subscribers, you should let people know about it on your email opt-in forms. This will give you another bump of 10% to 20% on your conversion rate.

The CoSchedule blog takes this a step further by pairing their total number of subscribers with a testimonial from a subscriber.

social-proof-email-opt-in-form-example

#4 They Use the Highest Converting Lead Magnets that Take the Least Amount of Time to Produce

Whenever you are creating the content for your lead magnets make a concerted effort not to go overboard. A 400 word list of resources will convert just as much as a 50,000 word ebook. Because the 400 word list of resources only takes five minutes to read, it will also get read almost 100% of the time. Whereas, the 50,000 word ebook will be read only 20% of the time.

No matter which type of lead magnet you decide to use, center your attention on delivering the nuts and bolts in a concise manner. This gives your new subscribers a quick win, and it makes it easier for you to create your lead magnets in less than 30 minutes.

There are seven types of lead magnets that consistently get the highest conversions for pro bloggers.

The Toolkit

The toolkit is a simple list of resources or websites. This is one of the easiest lead magnets to create content for. Just make a list and write a 2 to 3 sentence summary for each resource. Always check to see if any of the websites on your list have an affiliate program. If they do, then sign up and add the affiliate link to your list.

email-popup-example-tool-list

The Cheat Sheet

The cheat sheet or checklist is just a list of steps or action items. That is it.

cheat-sheet-popup-example

The Guide

A guide is going to require a little bit of research, and it will generally call for at least 1500 to 2000 words of content.

Email-Popup-Example-Guide-Lead-Magnet

An Industry Report

The industry report lead magnet works best when your blog focuses on a specific B2B niche. You will need to survey your audience and create some nice graphs to expound upon.

email-lead-magnet-example-report

Video Training

The best way to create video content for lead magnets is to do screencasts. Just record your screen while you perform specific tasks that people are interesting in learning about.

email-pop-up-example-video

Webinars

Webinars are the most effective way to sell your courses, products, and services. They are also one of the highest converting lead magnets. The down side is that it takes some time and money to execute a webinar at a high level.

webinar-lead-magnet-example

Free Courses

Free courses can take anywhere from 40 to 120 hours to create. If you have a paid course, then a free course is a great way to get them into an autoresponder sequence. A free course usually has at least 3 hours of video content broken into 4 to 15 video modules.

free-course-email-lead-magnet-example

#5 They Use the Best Tools for Capturing Emails

There are three tools that I consistently see pro bloggers using to create their email forms. I have used all three of these, and they all work great.

Bloom

This is a WordPress plugin offered by Elegant Themes. It costs $89 per year, but you get access to their other 5 plugins and 87 themes. This includes the Monarch social sharing plugin, which is the floating bar on the left side of each of my articles.

Optin Monster

This WordPress plugin is my favorite out of the three listed here. It is real easy to use and customize. The price starts at $49 per year. I use the $199 per year package that includes the exit-intent technology.

LeadPages.net

This is the Ferrari of lead capturing tools, and the pricing starts at $25 per month. LeadPages has the widest selection of templates to choose from. They also allow you to capture emails via text messaging, which works great for podcasts.

#6 They Understand the Difference Between Single Opt-in vs Double Opt-in

To make this real simple.. Let’s take a look at a study by MailChimp that compares the single opt-in to the double opt-in.

In regards to open rates, MailChimp found that double opt-in lists had nearly double the amount of unique opens as the single opt-in lists.

double-opt-in-vs-single-opt-in-email-open-rates

As far as click rates go, the double opt-in lists had slightly more than twice the click through rate as the single opt-in lists.

single-opt-in-vs-double-opt-in-click-through-rates

The basic math tells you that a single opt-in form will need to capture twice the amount of emails for it too make any sense to use.

In my experience, a single opt-in will capture between two to three times the emails as the double opt-in.

The One Situation Where a Single Opt-in Does Make Sense

So when does it make sense to use the single opt-in?

Well, there is really only one situation, and it is a common one. If your opt-in confirmation email goes to the promotion tab in Gmail, then you will be better off using a single opt-in. Gmail will account for 40% to 60% of all of your email subscribers, and none of them will take the time to look in their promotion tab.

With that in mind, there are only two major email marketing service providers that allow single opt-in email lists. I have accounts with both of them.

MailChimp

MailChimp has the best free package out of the two. You will get to use their service for free until you surpass 2000 emails. They also have one of the most user friendly email builders in the industry.

Constant Contact

These guys also offer a free package, and it allows you to try their services for 60 days before you get billed. If you are setting up your email capture for the first time, then I recommend using Constant Contact. There entire user interface is designed for beginners, and it makes it real easy to get going out of the gate.

Both MailChimp and Constant Contact are plug and play compatible with Bloom, OptinMonster, and LeadPages.

Getting the Most Out of the Double Opt-in Process

If your confirmation emails are going straight through to the inbox, then you should be using a double opt-in. Your list will end up being half the size with twice the engagement of a single opt-in list. This will cut your email marketing costs in half, which will get into the hundreds of dollars per month after you surpass 25,000 email subscribers.

Optimizing Your Email Subscription Confirmation Page For Conversions

Brian Dean of Backlinko increased the conversion rate of his email list by 25% just by optimizing his email subscription confirmation page. His confirmation page asks news subscribers to go confirm their email right away, and he explains exactly how to do it with a nice visual.

email-subscription-confirmation-page-example

Ramit Sethi ups the ante by including a countdown timer on his confirmation page. In addition, he uses negative psychology by letting them know three pieces of content they will be missing out on.

email-double-opt-in-confirmation-example

#7 They Deliver the Content in the Right Format

There are essentially two major philosophies on how to deliver the goods that your lead magnet promised.

Make Them Open Their Email to Get It

This strategy makes the user go to their inbox to retrieve the link to the content. This works best with double-opt in lists because it forces them to complete the opt-in confirmation in order to get what they want.

Give Them Instant Access After the Opt-In

If you are building a single opt-in list, then you will want to send them straight to the content. With a single opt-in, there is no benefit to making them go back to their email to find the link. By sending them straight to the content, you will make them happy and guarantee that your content gets seen. This is especially important when your content is part of a sales funnel that generates revenue.

PDF vs Blog Post

From 2004 to 2011, almost everyone placed their lead magnet content in a PDF format. Over the past couple of years, there has been a big shift towards placing the content into a standard blog post. There are three reasons why a blog post is better than a PDF.

  • It is Faster and Easier to Produce – To create a PDF, you will need to use design software that requires some knowledge to execute with excellence. A blog post can be completed in about one third of the time it takes to create a PDF.
  • It is Responsive to All Devices – PDFs have a way of not showing up correctly on mobile devices. Since 40% to 60% of all blog traffic is mobile, it is best to create the content through a blog post with your existing responsive theme.
  • It Can Be Leverage for SEO – By creating your lead magnet content in blog posts, you will be generating more organic traffic from Google. When was the last time you did a Google search and saw PDFs dominating the first page of results?

The bottom line is… you want to use the simplest process that gets the best results. Do not over complicate things by trying to create PDFs when a blog post will give you the ideal outcome.

#8 They Send New Subscribers an Exceptional Welcome Email

Your welcome email is the first real email communication that your subscribers will receive from you, and you need to make it count.

Super Office published the results of a large study on why people open an email. The sender name and subject line were the two clear triggers that led to an email being opened.

why-people-open-emails

Choose the Right From Line

Your from line needs to be consistent with your blog or your name. If you have a personal branded blog like mine, then you will want to use your name. I use Brandon Gaille in my from line instead of BrandonGaille.com. I tested these two against eachother and found that Brandon Gaille received 10% more opens than BrandonGaille.com.

For those of you that do not have a personal branded blog, you should test your personal name against the name of your blog. It will usually depend upon how much your personal profile appears in your blog. If you are the sole writer and your about page is all about you, then it makes more sense to use your personal name in the from line.

Create a Compelling Subject Line

Your subject line should highlight the most valuable piece of content that you will be sharing in the email. You should never use generic statements like…Thank You For Joining or Welcome to My Email List.

My most valuable piece of content in the body of my email is a link to my about page, which shares my battle to overcome the disabilities from a brain tumor. The subject line for my welcome email is, “From Brain Tumor to 1 Million Visitors.” This subject line compels them to open and click on the link that I want them to click.

The length of your subject line also plays a role in getting your welcome email opened. Retention Science found that subject lines that had between 6 and 10 words get opened the most.

email-open-rate-subject-line-length-statistics

The Three Major Sections of the Body

I prefer to break the body into short three short paragraphs.

  • Thank you and Expectations – I start off by thanking them for subscribing. I also let them know what to expect from future emails, which includes the main topics and frequency.
  • Who I Am – In the second paragraph, I quickly state my experience and what makes me the expert. The last sentence has a strong call-to-action promoting my about page with a clickable link.
  • My Services and Products – The final paragraph quickly mentions my top service and product. The people that sign up to your email list are ideal candidates for your services and products. If you keep it simple and do not over sell, then this paragraph fits in perfectly.

Use a Signature Image with Personality

The signature is the last opportunity to impact your new subscribers in the welcome email. The most important component of your signature is the picture you use.

Make an effort to find a picture that shares more about yourself and your personality. If you have a family, then let your subscribers see them. You can also highlight your pets or hobbies in the photo.

I use a Halloween photo of my family where we are all dressed up as Star Wars characters. Instead of utilizing overused words like “sincerely” and “thank you,” I close my email with..

May the Force Be With You

email-signature-picture-example

One thing to remember is to make sure your signature image width is 300 pixels. Almost 50% of all emails get viewed via mobile phones. A 300 pixel width image will look great across all devices.

That wraps up all eight of the list growth strategies that are used by pro bloggers.

Take ten minutes right now to create an action plan for adding these strategies to your arsenal over the next 30 days. Your email list is your most valuable asset, and you need to do everything in your power to make it is grow as fast as possible.

Good luck with building your email list and please share this post with your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections.

26 Priceless Herbert A. Simon Quotes

Herbert A. Simon is a Nobel Prize laureate and American political scientist and computer scientist that wrote almost a thousand publications in his time. Considered to be one of the most influential social scientists in the 20th century, Simon left quite a legacy in his time. Here is a look at some of the most memorable Herbert A. Simon quotes you want to be familiar with.

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

“Anything that gives us new knowledge gives us an opportunity to be more rational.”

“By 1985, machines will be capable of doing any work Man can do.”

“Creativity is no less challenging or exciting when the mystery is stripped from the creative process. The most beautiful flowers grow under careful cultivation from common soil.”

“Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent – not with how things are but with how they might be – in short, with design.”

“Enlightenments, like accidents, happen only to prepared minds.”

“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.”

“Human beings know a lot of things, some of which are true, and apply them. When we like the results, we call it wisdom.”

“Human knowledge has been changing from the word go and people in certain respects behave more rationally than they did when they didn’t have it. They spend less time doing rain dances and more time seeding clouds.”

“I don’t care how big and fast computers are, they’re not as big and fast as the world.”

“Innovation has a lot to do with your ability to recognize surprising and unusual phenomena.”

“Learning is any change in a system that produces a more or less permanent change in its capacity for adapting to its environment.”

“Learning results from what the student does and thinks, and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing the student to learn.”

“Mathematics is a language. We want scientists to be able to read it, speak it, and write it. But we are are not training them to be grammarians.”

“One finds limits by pushing them.”

“One of the first rules of science is if somebody delivers a secret weapon to you, you better use it.”

“Solving a problem simply means representing it so as to make the solution transparent.”

“The engineer, and more generally the designer, is concerned with how things ought to be – how they ought to be in order to attain goals, and to function.”

“The intelligent altruists, though less altruistic than unintelligent altruists, will be fitter than both unintelligent altruists and selfish individuals.”

“The proper study of mankind is the science of design.”

“The simplest scheme of evolution is one that depends on two processes; a generator and a test. ”

“The situation has provided a cue; this cue has given the expert access to information stored in memory, and the information provides the answer. Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition.”

“The social sciences, I thought, needed the same kind of rigor and the same mathematical underpinnings that had made the ‘hard’ sciences so brilliantly successful.”

“The task of the generator is to produce variety, new forms that have not existed previously, whereas the task of the test is to cull out the newly generated forms so that only those that are well fitted to the environment will survive.”

“The world is vast, beautiful, and fascinating, even awe-inspiring – but impersonal. It demands nothing of me, and allows me to demand nothing of it.”

“Think of the design process as involving first the generation of alternatives and then the testing of these alternatives against a whole array of requirements and restraints.”

Check out this video of Herbert A. Simon as he goes about laying the foundations to some of the most the technologically advanced concepts such as artificial intelligence and beyond.

11 Pros and Cons of Tax Havens

Tax havens. Sometimes these are seen as a blessing. Others treat them as a curse word. Do they really have a benefit to our society? Here are the pros and cons of tax havens to consider.

What Are the Pros of Tax Havens?

1. They protect personal financial information.
Tax havens are proactive and zealous about protecting the personal financial information of investors. There is generally some type of formal law that prevents foreign tax officials from being able to access this information. The tax haven will also not share or only share minimal information about who is investing and in what amount to foreign authorities.

2. There are very few taxes involved.
Tax havens will impose a nominal tax, if anything at all. There is no set definition of what a tax haven can actually impose, but the goal is to offer a place where a foreign individual or business with money to invest can escape their own domestically high taxes. There may also be rebates available and other incentives in addition to the lack of taxation.

3. There is a lack of transparency.
Tax havens often create the machinery needed to maintain their presence out of the public eye. Negotiated tax rates, secret rulings, and other administrative components are not generally accessible to anyone beyond those who may qualify to put their money into a tax haven.

4. A local presence is not generally required.
You don’t have to live or own property in a tax haven in most circumstances in order to park your money there. It is possible to put a nameplate up at a locate and claim tax benefits, even if you aren’t conducting commerce, trade, or manufacturing from that location.

5. It is easy to incorporate a business.
Tax havens are really offshore financial centers for individuals and business. It takes about as much effort to incorporate an offshore business for a tax haven as it does to balance your personal checking account in most circumstances. Although you would need to do more than just set up a shop to take advantage of what a tax haven can provide, most investors can complete this process in a very short amount of time.

What Are the Cons of Tax Havens?

1. There can be political or economic instability.
When there is a lot of money present, there is also a lot of greed present. Putting money into a tax haven can become dangerous when the government becomes unstable or decides to embrace exchange controls as a way to control outside investments.

2. The paperwork can be extensive.
Most tax havens operate successfully because they have multiple treaties with multiple nations that create conflicting jurisdictions over taxation requirements. Tax avoidance treaties are particularly popular, especially if there are information sharing prevention loopholes built into the agreements.

3. There may be legal consequences.
In 2008, Germany investigated a Liechtenstein banking trust that many citizens were using as a way to evade local taxes. This investigation was created from a local leak. People and businesses involved with a tax haven are always looking for a better deal. If the authorities are closing in, it only takes one person to jump ship for the whole thing to come crashing down. Sometimes the consequences may even involve jail time.

4. It may encourage illegal activities.
Tax havens may encourage money laundering or other legal activities. This might benefit some in the short-term, but the long-term consequence is that the world economy becomes hurt. When multiple tax havens are brought under investigation at the same time, a global recession can occur very quickly. We saw this occur in 2007-2009.

5. The costs to operate in a tax haven are typically higher.
The costs to operate in a tax haven may be more than 2.5 times what it costs to operate domestically. Although the purpose is to limit taxation, some investors and businesses may find that it costs more to avoid the taxes than it does to actually pay them and stay outside of the legal shades of grey that a tax haven sometimes provides.

6. Laws in tax havens may be applied in an unequal fashion.
If you want to get something done in a tax haven, there is a good chance that bribery or “fees” are going to be involved so the process can be expedited. You may even be required to hire someone specific to represent your finances inside the tax haven.

The pros and cons of tax havens will always be hotly debated as long as these regions exist. In some ways, a tax haven can control greed. In other ways, it can encourage it. Finding the right solution must be an ongoing process based on the evidence already provided by the tax havens themselves.

21 Ways to Use eBooks to Drive More Sales

Drive-More-Sales

There are many different ways that you can create information that you want to share. It is possible to create a blog or site, but it is also a good idea to create an ebook. This is a type of book that can be simple to make and is packed with inflation that is vital to your business. It is important for you to learn why creating an ebook for your business can be such a good idea. Here are the key takeaways from this infographic.

1) Target Audience
If you are going to create an ebook for your business, the first thing that you do need to do is to identify what and who your target market and audience is. This is the only way that you will be able to create an ebook that is filled with the information that people are looking for. You need to know a lot about your target audience before you even begin writing your ebook. You want to be sure that you are writing your ebook with them in mind, so this is only son of you determine who your audience is and what they want and need to know about your business.

2) Keywords Matter
Writing an ebook is a lot like designing and creating content for a site. This means that you need to be aware of keywords. This means that before you begin writing your ebook, it is a good idea to determine what words are most tied to your business. These are the words that you need to key in on and use often when you are writing your ebook. You can find out what the best words to use as keywords by doing an online search. This will let you know what words online users are connecting to your business.

3) Hype it Up
You need to make sure that your audience is anticipating your ebook, which means that you need to hype it up. This can be done by releasing small tidbits of your book at a time to get people really interested in what you have to say about your business. This means that you can be sure to blog about the book that you are going to release and you can also make a point to talk about your ebook so that your audience is excited and on the lookout for the book that you will provide.

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