6 ways to get 1000 subscribers in 30 days

email list growth
Photo credit @London Scout||https://unsplash.com/

There are 3 important steps in blogging:

  1. Building your blog/ Upgrading your blog.
  2. Generating traffic to your blog.
  3. Monetizing the traffic to your blog.

Without traffic, blogging can be frustrating. So today, I want to expose one of the surefire ways you can generate steady traffic to your blog.

And its called your Email List!

According to Jeff Goins, the international bestseller author of “The Work of Art“, when he approached his publisher about marketing strategies for his next book, they asked him one simple question:

how big is your email list?

When a publicly traded company approached Derek Halpern to buy out one of his popular blogs, he could have asked for 7x to 10x their original offer: If he had an email list!

Why is email so important

  • Get more traffic to your site: When someone gives you their email, they have given you the permission to contact them and inform them about the latest posts or product on your website. Research has shown that people who gave you their email are 2x more likely to click on your links than someone who liked your page or followed you on instagram. So if you want more traffic, more pageviews and therefore more revenue (especially for bloggers with google adsense) then you need to start building your email list.
  • Its personal: There are no middle-men like Facebook determining whether your email will be seen and when your reader will see it. Its just between you and your reader. No distractions. No new kitty pictures to drag their attention away. And often times, when you send an email to your list, its like beginning a conversation with them and enticing them to continue that conversation by visiting your blog
  • Social media messages get swallowed up: I handle two different facebook pages and a twitter account and I have noticed something peculiar: Your updates get swallowed up. Your updates are competing with an ever-increasing newsfeed and most times it does not win that battle. But an email is different. It stands a 42% chance of being seen, unlike social media which has less than 10% chance of your updates reaching your fans/followers
  • Gets more clicks than any other social media tool: When your message is seen, it increases the chances of click-throughs. That is why email records more click-through rates than social media.
  • Easy to monitor: I run different campaigns on social media and on email. The stats I get for my email list is so detailed and know who (right down to their names) clicked my links, which links they clicked and those who haven’t bothered to check my mail. This is not yet possible with social media. Due to privacy concerns, no social media giant will give you the name and email of people who clicked on links in your updates/timeline.
  • Easy to segregate and target specific groups: When a person clicks on a link on your email, you can easily transfer that person to another list, and later target that person with specific sales copy meant to convert that person to a paying customer. Not so with social media.

But I have got news for you. Building an email list is no longer as easy as it was in the golden era of 2001. Terrific content is no longer good enough because everyone is creating wonderful content and readers are spoiled for choice. Pop-ups are so common that many readers now ignore them.

So how do you cut through the competition and build an impressive list in 30 days?

6 surefire ways to build your email list:

1. Run A Giveaway:

Eric of BeardBrand used a giveaway to spike his email list and increase his plateauing sales. Prior to running a contest using Gleam.io, they had 135 subscribers and little sales. After running a week-long contest, BeardBrand had 1001 subscribers. The day they launched the contest, they did about 4x their daily normal sales.

Noah Kagan  grew the email list of AppSumo with the first month from 0 to over 30,000 subs with just giveaways! In 10 months he grew his list to 147,973 subscribers; with just giveaways.

Rohan of Wet Shave Club saw how giveaways shot BeardBrand’s email list and revenue. He decided to use it for Wet Shave Club which was a new company he just bought and rebranded.

The results? 2000+ new email subscribers and $100k revenue in 6 months. I don’t know about you but that is pretty impressive. How did they get $100k with their email list?

Simple. By contacting them directly with an discount offer.

wet beards

 

Pro Tip: Running a giveaway is an easy way to build your list and increase your blog’s revenue generation. But there is a wrong way to do this and a right way to do this. A wrong way is to offer an iPhone as the prize. Everyone will enter but chances are that most of them are not your target audience. The right way to do this is to give a prize that will appeal only to your target audience. Also promotion of the giveaway is as important as the prize you are giving. Get influencers in your niche/marsupial niches to promote your giveaway and your email list building will  skyrocket!

I highly recommend Gleam. I have used them and a few other giveaway software and I completely love their service. You can even start with the free plan.

So if you are too busy to do other methods listed below, a giveaway might be your magic lamp. If you need ideas for a giveaway, drop a comment and I will gladly help out. 

2. Guestpost For Influential bloggers/Popular Blogs:

Dan Faggella of  CLVboost was able to use guestposting to grow his email list to 10,000 subs in a matter of months. He used guestposting as a watering hose to drive traffic to his site. You can read all about his expert marketing strategy.

Pro Tip: Want your guest posting to result in an avalanche of email subscribers? Then you absolutely must read Henneke’s post on CopyBlogger: Unleash a Surge of Email Subscribers from Your Guest Posts With This Simple Landing Page Strategy

3. Launch Your Website:

When I did my book launch, I made over $3,000 in one day. Launching a product or a service is an effective way of capturing people’s attention.

So why not launch your website and capture emails?

This is exactly what Harleena Singh is doing with her personal website. And her results are spectacular! The traffic to her site must be enough to have spiked her Alexa ranking, even without a single post published.

harleena singh

Ramsey recommends this method and shows how you can do this in this blog post. If you have a tight budget, then you should follow Jon Morrow’s method. While contributing to copyblogger, he was building an email list for his blog. He used a coming-soon software to capture leads. The day he opened his blog for the first time and wrote the first post on his blog, the avalanche traffic was incredible. However, Jon’s method is a slower process of building trust through continuous guestposting/contribution to an influncer’s blog. It might take longer to get 1000 email subs this way but it will be totally worth it in the end.

Tools you can use:

To make this method so much more effective, you can use these tools that will lead to a viral sharing of your launch date and a spike in your email subscription rate.

Launch Rock: A simple tool for launching your website.

SeedProd: I have personally used SeedProd and I absolutely love/recommend them.

 

4. Content Locking or Article Upgrades:

A article upgrade is an extra material complimentary to the article you just published. If a web visitor loves the article and knows article upgrade will benefit him, he won’t mind parting with his email address, just to get the upgrade. Probloggers like Neil Patel, Bryan Harris have used this technique to increase their email list.

Content locking is more prevalent in subscription sites. A glimpse of the full article is shown (like the first three paragraphs of the article). Then the rest is hidden and only trading an email address will unlock it. This works extremely well in industries where information is not readily available online.

Pro tip: For content locking I highly recommend using OptinLock

For article upgrades consider Optin Monster

5. Free ebook on Smashwords:

This is a smart method and I encourage people to use it too. This is how I found Bryan Harris of videofruit.com and ended up on his email list.

I was simply looking for an ebook on entrepreneurship strategies. In the search results, I saw an ebook with more than 10 contributors who gave great tips on how to upscale your online business. Bryan Harris was one of the contributors. I was sucked in by the practical advice he gave that I immediately clicked the link to his website.

I was not disappointed. His website had more practical advice on how to get customers and build an email list. Long story short, I subscribed to Bryan’s list 3 hours after downloading a free ebook on Smashwords.

Pro Tip: Publishing an ebook on Smashwords or Amazon is great. Making it free is even better. Want to attract 1000s of downloads? Co-author the book with 5 to 20 more experts in your niche.

 

6. Contributing to another Problogger’s Freebie:

Mary Jaksh optin “The (Nearly) Ultimate Guide to Writing is how I discovered the Freddy Krugger of blogging, Danny Iny and ended up on his email list.

mary jaksh

Gone are the days when you see other bloggers as your rivals. If you can collaborate with another blogger, (especially one who has more traffic than you) to contribute to his/her optin, you will be increasing the chances of being found on the blogoshere.

There you have it: 6 simple ways to grow your email list.

Over to you. In the comments, tell me what ways you use to grow your email list. If you are stuck and want to know ways you can grow your own email list, peculiar to your niche, ask me in the comments. I reply to every comment and will gladly help you out. 

How to Start a Lucratively Successful Blog

successful blog

There are two types of people in this world.

People who wait for opportunities to drop from the skies into their laps and those who go out there, to create their own opportunities.

In the same vein: there are two types of bloggers

  • Bloggers who wait for something to happen to make their blogs successful
  • Bloggers who work and face the storm to ensure that they create the opportunity for their blogs to be successful.

Now, I will be frank with you: Blogging is no walk in the park. In the past decade, blogging got so complex, technical and competitive that starting a blog these days is like enrolling into an university; there is just so much to learn.

So how do you start a blog you are absolutely sure will help you fire your 9-5 boss? How do you ensure you don’t fall into the unfortunate pool of bloggers who have never been able to make a cent from their blogs?

I compiled a list of articles that will help you build a profitable blog. Afterall, making some extra money from something you love is never a bad thing. Nor is it a bad thing if your blog can bring in 6-figures each month, so you can spend time with those that really matter in your life.

1. Planning:

Before you jump into building a blog, you must first know what your blog will be all about. You must also know how you can turn a profit with your blog. Fail at this step and your blogging will be a horrific experience to put it mildly.

blogger daveGreg Narayan explains all you need to know in about planning your blog in his recent article: Guide Part 1: How to plan your new blog perfectly

 

blogger Don pI love how Don Purdum showed how planning can triple your sales in weeks in this post: Why my Business trippled in 6 weeks

Don reveals that clarity + focus =execution. And I agree completely with him because lucrative blogging requires intentional efforts. Profits don’t just automatically spring from blogging.

 

2. Content:

We all know Content is king. But many bloggers do not know how to package their really useful blog posts in a way that will attract, entice and seduce their target audience. If you want to be a popular blogger, then I do urge you to learn how to speak to your readers in a personal manner, like you are having a conversation with them. No matter how knowledgeable you are, your content must never sound like you are speaking down to your reader.

Blogger sue AnneSue Anne is good at building an engaged audience with her unique content. In this post on her blog, you will find out why. Proven Ways to write Killer Blog Content and get more readers

 
 
 

3. Build a platform:

When Neil Patel started his food blog, he first started by building a Facebook page for the blog even before he had written a single post. Its very frustrating when you watch your wonderful content gather dust because nobody is reading it. I recently started work on a blog project (will write about my experiences one day) and the first thing I did was to build a Facebook following for this blog. Micheal Hyatt shows just how important a platform is in this video

For the blog project, I knew that building a platform is extremely important. I first created a facebook page, acquired followers and shared other people’s content with them. I shared other bloggers content so that I can tell what my facebook followers loved. I then built a blog and only created content similiar to those that had many likes and shares. The result? Constant traffic and a daily growth of the email list. And the blog is just three weeks old. I do intend to intensify on my platform building efforts on that blog and will share how I did it all when I have attained my targets.
You should focus on building your platform even before you start creating constant quality content. These articles below will help you know how to go about that:

Why you need a platform to succeed

The best first steps to develop your online platform

blogger AskDeniseDennis Wakeman goes more in-depth in her article: How do i start building my platform? #AskDennis ( a must read for anybody serious about how to develop a platform)

 
 
 

4. Relationships.

bloggers AdrienneSmith.net   How to Explode Your BlogEver been to Adrienne’s blog? Have you noticed how many comments and social shares every single one of her posts have? This is because she is a master at building relationships. If you want a blog that won’t die out, then you need an engaged audience who hang on your every word.

Adrienne shows how you can do this in this post: How to build relationships through blogging

5. Promotion

Building relationships and a platform is only part of the equation. If you really want a successul blog, you must be ready to promote your blog content 80% of the time. That’s Derek Halpern’s theory and this strategy is adopted by most successful bloggers. Nobody will know you have great content sitting on your blog if you don’t share that content with your email list, social media followers and other connections. There is an on-going debate about whether you should blog daily, weekly or monthly. My take is: it all comes done to the revenue. If you run Google ads on your blog, then it makes sense to blog regularly. If you don’t have google ads on your blog, but want to sell your services and products, I say spend less time writing articles (20%) and spend more time promoting it (80%) so that people who will pay for these services and products can hear about you and visit your blog.

6. Revenue

Now we can talk about one of the reasons you started blogging in the first place. Now making money with a blog is pretty easy when you have an engaged platform who trust and hang on your every word. There are various ways of making money from a blog and they can be broadly categorised as followblogger enstine mukis:

    • Ads: This is the easiest way to monetize your website. From Google Adsense to Product reviews, anything you do on your blog that involves praising/showcasing another person’s product for monetary gains falls into this category. Enstine Muki does a terrific job of explaining 15 ways you can use this method to make money as a blogger: 15 ways bloggers can make money blogging

 

    • Consulting: According to Jon Morrow of BoostBlogTraffic, selling ebooks on your blog is a waste of precious time if you have not undergone this step first. Leading internet marketers bloggers bbt Make Money Blogging  20 Lessons Going to  100K per Monthlike Neil Patel, Brian Moran, Jon Morrow all underwent this step. They offered consulting. Some still do till date. Consulting is really interesting and is only a right fit if you know your onions. In this post, Jon Morrow lets you know that a surefire way to make money from your blog is to start with services, then expand to products. Make Money Blogging: 20 lessons going from 0 to $100,000 per month.
  • Freelance Gigs: This is the way I currently make money from this blog. By getting writing gigs for high-profile clients. All I have to do is show them what I am capable of writing and they are interested. To do this with your blog, you will need to join a number of job boards so that you can be aware of writing gigs for bloggers. Some job boards I recommend are:
  1. Problogger
  2. BlogExpose
  3. Upwork
  4. Not a writer? Maybe you are a designer or developer? Check out these sites for good-paying freelance jobs

Notice I did not talk about SEO, traffic generation, email list building. Why? Because these are tactics in a strategy. Some bloggers chase after the latest SEO fad or traffic generation trick without knowing the underlying strategy. Build a platform first, create really helpful content for this platform and work on developing a strong relationships with this platform and things like SEO, traffic generation and email list growth will happen as a result of this. People will become repeat visitors of your blog and happy customers of your services/products not because Google told them to but because you gave them what they wanted and built their trust in you.

Notice how I put revenue last. Trying to sell to people who don’t know and trust you is trying to put the cart before the horse. There is no way you will be able to sell a consulting service of $1000/hr or an online course of $10,000/yr if no one knows if you will be able to deliver what you promised.

So over to you? How have you been able to build a lucrative blog? What plans do you intend to use and build a successful blog?

Related Post

10 steps you should take to become successful in life

success ladder

image credits: freedigitalphotos.net

Everyone wants to be successful. Its the reason stories like how J.K Rowling went from counting food stamps to becoming a billionaire become viral. Its the reason Oprah Winfrey attained goddess-status because many struggling women wanted to be just like her (a broke lady from a broken home one instant and in America’s top ten richest the next instant).

What is Success?

Success is doing what you love and attaining heights you dream of. Success, for me, is being an entrepreneur with a difference. Success for Micheal Jordan was being the best basketball player of all time. Success for Walt Disney is being the best entertainment company in the world.

Success does not have to be all about money. It is about you and what you want in life. If your ambition is to eradicate illiteracy, then your success is defined by the number of countries you helped build robust education systems that work. If your daily motivation is the reduction of mortality rate, then your success would be the day it is observed that 99.9% of your patients survived. If your life goal is to be on Forbes list, then of course, success for you would mean how much wealth you have acquired.

But there is a problem:

Many times, we want to be successful right now!

There is nothing wrong with a little ambition. Wanting to be successful is not a bad thing. Its expecting to be successful without sweating for it that is wrong. None of the successful people I know had a magic lamp.

Real Life stories of people that built success out of nothing

Before I go any further, I want to tell you the true stories of three people, whom life knocked so hard, and yet they shocked everyone with their brilliant success.

J.K Rowling:

success jk rowling

image credits: DailyMail.co.uk

She is best known for her Harry Potter series, that sold over 450 million copies with the last four books setting records as the fastest selling books of all time on both sides of the Atlantic and generating billions of dollars from book sales and the film merchandise.

But J.K Rowling had a rough start. 

In 1990, her mother died from multiple sclerosis. Grief led to her first marriage, that lasted less than 3 years. This was the start of a dark period in her life and in her words, she felt like a failure. Christmas of 1993 saw her back in Edinburgh, with her young daughter and living on welfare.

She started writing the Harry Potter first book in  1990 and submitted it to publishing houses in 1997. It was rejected by 12 publishers and nearly thrown out by Bloomsbury (the publisher that eventually paid her a paltry $4000 as royalty for the first book). Her saving grace was the daughter of the editor of Bloomsbury who insisted on reading the rest of the book.

An American publishing house, saw the book and immediately bought rights to publish it in America. The rest, as they say, is history.

Neil Patel:

success neil patel

image credits: Mashable.com

30 year-old Neil has achieved a whole lot for his age. He was recognised as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepeneurs under age 35 by the United Nation. He has made it to Forbes top 10 online marketers list and Entrepreneur Magazine believes he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.

What company did he create that got him all this recognition?

Neil is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics and Hello Bar; with these companies he has increased the revenue-generation capacity of blue-chip companies like Amazon, NBC, Viacom and HP to mention but a few. To view an infographic that shows all the details of Neil’s life, click here

But he was not always the top-shot internet marketer.

Neil reveals that he started out with crappy jobs: like being a janitor, a salesman for an expensive vacuum-cleaner that nobody wanted, and starting a job board that sucked a lot of money and never made a cent. Even the early days of Crazy Egg was punctuated with crazy losses. After Crazy Egg, he started a number of software companies that failed.

But he did not give up.

Neil knew what he wanted and continued to strive for it. As at 2012, Quicksprout  earned $1,000,000 in revenue. Big-shot companies like Amazon, HP have hired his services in millions of dollars and currently Neil is working on transforming an already successful Kissmetrics into a $100 million a year revenue business. Read more of his story here and here

Pat Flynn:

PatFlynn

He dubbed himself ‘the crash dummy of the internet’. He has tried almost every single legitimate tactic or strategy there is to make money online. Just last month, his blog brought home a hefty $123,853.51

He might not be a millionaire but he makes a pretty decent income from his internet marketing ventures.

But it was not always this rosy.

Before he started making money online, Pat received a sack notice! During the economic crisis in 2008, he was fired from his 9-5 job but notified on-time by his boss. He had to move out of his house into his parent’s house and start commuting by train to save money spent on gas for his car. Out of desperation, he walked into internet marketing and has never looked back since.

Their not-so-secret ingredients

Tweet: The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. Benjamin Disraeli @inspire2success http://ctt.ec/Da721+

When you read through these stories you will notice certain things (what I call the ingredients of success)

1. They wanted success so bad…

When you read Neil Patel’s life story you will discover he had one driving force: he wanted to be rich. He wanted to break free of the shackles of middle-class.

J.K Rowling wanted her books to find a home in every young child’s library. She always dreamed of being a writer.

To be successful, you must first want it bad enough.

How can you do this?

how to be successful

Ask yourself this question: What do I really want in life? What do I want so bad in life?

Do not freak out: it mustn’t just be money. Some people want to visit every nation of this world so bad. Some people want to leave a legacy for their kids. Some want to create freedom and equality for all.

Whatever it is, you must want it bad enough.

 

2…They were willing to work for it

J.K Rowling worked on her novel for more than five years. At a point, she was making notes on scraps of paper or tissue or anything close-by whenever inspiration struck. What many people don’t know is that J.K Rowling started writing at a tender age. When next you watch a Harry Potter movie, know this: It took years of preparation, training and a lot of sweat and blood (her mother’s death) to make that story the stellar piece it is.

When Pat Flynn started trying to figure out how to monetize his blog, he was driven by one compelling force: he had to find a source of income so he could take care of his wife (then fiancee) and their children. Pat had no experience in marketing but he learned it. Pat knew nothing about Affiliate marketing but he learned it.

He was willing to work to make his dreams of fending for his family and spending quality time with them come true.

How can you do this?

After answering the first question, ask yourself this second question: What do I need to do to achieve this? Be brutally honest with yourself. Get a pen and paper and put down everything required to achieve your dream. From skill-set, connections to finances, list every single thing.

 

3. They believed in themselves

We all have doubts but our doubts must never overshadow our belief in ourselves.

When Pat Flynn found out that a large number of people visited his site, he was scared.

According to him, he had these thoughts:

“What if my notes weren’t good enough? What if I’m forgetting something?

I knew the content was good though, and exactly what I needed to pass, so I internally began to become confident in what I had created and was determined to monetize this site somehow.”

Do you ever feel this way. I know I do sometimes. Everyone does. The trick is to put in your best and when the nagging voice of self-doubt pops into your head, silence it with the results of your genuine efforts.

How can you do this?

how to be successful

After answering the second question, ask yourself: “what are my fears?” Your fear could be that you are not educated enough. It could be that you do not have the right skill-set. It could be even a physical deformity like you do not have good legs so you are not mobile. Whenever I have doubts about myself, I tell myself, “If Nick Vujicic can become a world-renowned motivational speaker, write 4 inspirational books and accomplish a whole lot more, then I have no excuse to keep doubting myself

Nick Vujicic is one of the men I admire and you can find out more about him and other people who never allowed their weaknesses stop them in this inspiring article by Ikechi Awazie 

 

4. They had goals

When Pat Flynn was warned of his imminent sack by his boss, He knew immediately that he had to figure out how to make money online.

According to him:

My body was still going into the office a few times a week, but my mind was all about online business and learning all about how it worked and what I could possibly do to begin to earn an income online.

In my mind, I was already laid off.

I had a few months left on payroll, plus a small severance package and some emergency savings if I needed to use it – so I figured I had maybe 6-8 months to make this online business thing work – whether it would be something I did with my LEED blog or something else. If not, then I would send out resumes like mad or go back to school to get a Masters and go from there.

As far as I was concerned, I had no other options but to make it work.

When J.K Rowling was receiving food stamps to take care of herself and her daughter, she poured herself into her book. She just knew that she had to make it as a writer or the future really looked bleak.

How can you do this?

Now ask yourself, “How long will it take me to achieve my dream?” and “What do I need to start doing now to get there within that time frame?”

 

5. They explored their creativity (and broke the rules!)

Pat Flynn created a new dimension of affiliate marketing with his website smartpassiveincome.com.

This is how he did it.

First he would create a blog post for a product he was an affiliate of. Then he would create a video showing exactly how to use this product, revealing  free-of charge what some people taught at a price. He did this for BlueHost, Samuri products and many others.

The result?

His affiliate links recorded crazy conversions, and shot his earnings through the roof. Don’t believe me? Click on this link to see for yourself. Before Pat Flynn started this form of affiliate marketing, it was little-known. Pat Flynn was one of the internet marketers that made it a well-known strategy.

J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers in a row. Why? Because of literary rules like “Hook the reader on the first page“, “The story must start with the main character”, “If its for kids, then words like ‘wizard’, ‘magic’, ‘dragons’ etc will land it in the slush pile”, “The fantasy genre is overflogged for kids. Kids want another type of hero”

J.K Rowling did not allow all those rules determine what she will write. And she was still optimistic even after receiving all those rejection letters. And today, she has over 450 million books sold to show that certain rules are meant to be broken.

Due to their creativity, they were ahead of their times and created trends that everyone else scrambled to follow.

How can you do this?

Do not be afraid to think out of the box. When an idea occurs to you, do your idea validation. If the idea still holds water, do not listen to the nay-sayers. Just do it.

 

6. They had skills

Neil Patel started marketing before he was out of college. Pat Flynn started blogging while he had his 9-5 job and J.K Rowling started writing stories before she was a teenager.

They had skills.

And these skills paved the way for their success. Nobody becomes successful without having a skill.

How can you do this?

how to be successful

Look at your dreams again. What is the one skill you have that you can start using right now to achieve them.The skill does not have to be a direct skill.

For instance, you might be a really good writer but you want to develop an app that helps women get their finances right. To develop this app, you need to know technical stuff like a programming language.

But you do not.

Don’t let this dissuade you. You can hire a programmer to do your app for you, while you make money for to pay the programmer by freelancing your writing skills on job sites like Elance or even on your own website. 21 year-old Brandon did something similar and you can read all about it in the article: Crazy Dog Apps Used Fiverr to Build App Store Empire

The important thing here is you have to have a skill that will make it easy to achieve your goal. So ask yourself again: What is the one skill I have that I can start using right now to achieve my goals?

7. They surrounded themselves with the right people

J.K Rowling went to stay near her sister who believed in her. Neil Patel co-founded most of his companies with his sister’s husband. Pat Flynn says: When I told my wife [of the imminent sack], she took it well. She has always believed in me and I owe her everything for that.

Tweet: There is no such thing as a self-made man. @inspire2success http://ctt.ec/dEP_j+

Another connection that shot Pat Flynn’s internet marketing career to the top was his affiliation with the Mastermind Meeting with the Internet Business Mastery Academy.

According to him: This mastermind group started to meet regularly, and for a while included Dan Andrews, which many of you may know from the Lifestyle Business Podcast – but it was that first meeting that changed everything.

Because it was in this meeting that Sterling told him to write and sell an ebook on his first website, since it was getting thousands of visitors. It was through this group that Pat Flynn got this idea that generated $7,126.91 alone.

How can you do this?

If you are confused or overwhelmed about how to achieve your dreams or beclouded with doubts, get a mentor/coach. Also join forums of like-minded individuals who are hell-bent on succeeding (like Pat did). I have written extensively on the power of connections and relationships. One of the articles I highly recommend you read is The Secret Sauce of Success.

 

8. They found one idea and stuck to it

J.K Rowling knew she wanted to be a writer and stuck to it. Pat Flynn decided he wanted to be an internet marketer and stuck to it. Neil Patel decided to take the internet marketing scene by storm and has never looked back.

Regularly you see people chasing the latest fad and abandoning it when it does not give them the results they desire immediately. You see entrepreneurs abandoning their young businesses out of frustration because they are not yet earning money from it. It took Pat Flynn more then 15 months to earn a substantial amount of money from his first website GreenExamAcademy.com

It took J.K Rowling 7 years of dedication to her novel before she got her first payoff.

It took Neil Patel years of dedication to learning internet marketing, even failing at his job board and losing money initially with Crazy Egg before he started racking in millions.

Every good thing takes time to grow. A plant will take its time to poke it head out of the soil, even if you water it endlessly for 24 hours. It will never break through the soil in that 24 hours.

Tweet: #ToBeSuccessful: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. http://ctt.ec/8394e+ @inspire2success

How can you do this?

Focus on achieving your dreams. Just make sure you pick something you are really passionate about. Then work towards making it a reality and never ditch it for any fad that promises quick gains.

 

9. They were not afraid to fail…

The fear of failure has crippled many people making them prefer a mediocre life than to achieve their dreams.

Don’t let this be you.

Neil Patel states clearly that many of his software companies were failures. But this did not stop him from founding Kissmetrics. Instead of succumbing to his failure, he learnt from them.

According to him:

Eventually, we learned that Crazy Egg succeeded while our other software companies didn’t because of two reasons: not only does it solve a unique problem that enough businesses are experiencing, but it does so in a very simple way.

With our new found knowledge, we decided to create another analytics company that would solve a much larger problem than what Crazy Egg solved.

 

How can you do this?

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Do not see failure as an indication of your weakness. No. If a project failed, you are not the problem. The failure of the project is not a reflection of your capabilities as a person. Instead understand that failure is a way to learn something new you did not know before. Neil used the knowledge gained from the failure of his software companies to build Kissmetrics. When something fails ask yourself, “What next? How can I fix this?”

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10 …And when they failed, they got right back up and fought again

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Despite the fact that J.K Rowling felt like a failure when she found herself as a single mother with no achievement whatsoever, she continued writing. Pat Flynn’s eminent sack pushed him to work harder on his website. Neil Patel’s failure did not stop his craving for success. Instead he used his failures as a tool to create a powerful company.

How can you do this?

Everyone is scared of failure. But I want you to know this: Should any of your plans fail, simply get right back up. Do not give up.

Every single successful person I know has tasted failure, rejection, losses and pain. And that’s what made them stronger and moulded them into who they are.

 

If you learn just two things today:

1. You must want success so bad that you are willing to do everything legally possible and ethically right to get it. By this I mean, that you should not allow your ambition steal the precious moments you spend with your family or make other tasks like a trip to the gym impossible. Instead I mean that you should cut your time spent catching up on social media, TV bingeing and instead spend this time working on your success. I mean you should be ready to sacrifice an hour or two of sleep to build yourself up for success.

2. You need to start being with like-minded people: You are a product of the people you spend your time with. If you really want to be successful, you need to start building connections, relationships and friendships with successful people.

Over to you. In the comments below, tell me the one thing you do everyday to achieve your dreams of success. Are you having challenges being successful? Tell me about and I will get back to you with tips that could help. A problem shared is half-solved. 

 

 

How to get your first 1000 customers

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One of the things I have noticed business owners struggle with is making money from their startups in as short a time as possible. Because if the business is not making money, it is likely to sink in debt and when bills can’t be paid, the business is likely to die.

But how do you make money from your business?

The answer to that is simple. By attracting a good number of buyers/customers/clients. A good number of customers can be anything from 100 to 10,000 depending on the product you are selling.

However, one thing I have noticed is that a lot of business owners set 1000 sales of their products/services as a milestone. For the purposes of this article I will presume a 1000 sales means purchases from a 1000 customers.

So how do you get 1000 customers?

The answer to this is not so simple, nor is it straight-forward. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Research has shown that a satisfied customer is 60-70% more likely to buy from you again, while a new prospect is 5-20% likely to buy a thing from you.

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For instance let’s say you run an eCommerce website that specializes in custom-made shoes. You have a new batch of shoes and announced it on your Facebook page. Let’s assume that two sets of shoe-addicts saw it: Abigail and Dagrin. Now Abigail has bought one of your shoes in the past and she loved it while Dagrin stumbled on your announcement.

Who do you think will immediately click the link with the intention to check it out and purchase it?

If you guessed Abigail, you are right. Because of the pleasant experience of her last purchase, Abigail will buy anything from you, once she likes it.

Dagrin, on the other hand, would be skeptical. First he has to be sure your website is legit, then he has to be sure the shoe really looks good, then he has to be sure you will deliver his shoes, then he has to be cajoled into parting with his money.

But if your business is new, then you will have to know how to convert Dagrins into Abigails. To help you with this, I will explain how to build your customer base then show you a practical case study after that. Ready? let’s delve in.

How to build your customer base

1. Determine what you will sell

In this article, I will assume that you already know who your ideal customer is. I will also assume that you already have a website or blog. Next you have to determine what you will sell on your blog. There are many ways to make money from blogging but the most popular ones are:

  • Through Affiliate sales
  • Through Ad placement
  • Through sponsored posts and reviews
  • Through selling your own physical products
  • Through selling your own training courses/ ebooks
  • Through selling your services

The model you use will greatly depend on the type of business you ventured into. For instance if you are a catering company, your revenue will most likely come from selling your own meals or outdoor catering services or training courses on how to cook spectacular meals. CrockPot Restaurant is an example of this as shown below:

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But if you are a food enthusiast who just loves to write and talk about food, then majority of your revenue will come from affiliate sales and Ad placement. For instance Jenn Segal of OnceUponAChef uses adverts in multiple sections of her site to monetize her site’s traffic

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Don’t worry if you are a bit hazy about this at the beginning. You can figure this out as you get website visitors and begin to discover what they like, don’t like and what they need solutions to.

2. Set a realistic goal

Often times I see newbie entrepreneurs hoping to break even and start making a healthy profit within a month or two. Not only is this hard to achieve, such expectations can quickly dampen your spirits when you fail to meet them.

For instance, if you started a photography blog, do not expect to get 10,000 unique visitors within a month of starting that blog. Many 3-year-old blogs can not boast of half of that traffic.

According to Shanelle Mullin, Director of Marketing at Onboardly, “The key to setting achievable marketing goals is to spend time evaluating your current position. Many startups set lofty, unattainable goals and end up discouraged, which can be detrimental in the early days. On the other hand, some startups set easy, insignificant goals and end up missing out on growth potential.”

So it is important to balance it out. Don’t set goals that are too difficult to reach and don’t set goals that are not challenging.

3. Build a robust marketing plan

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
– David Packard, co-founder, Hewlett-Packard  

And David is right. No matter how good your website looks or how terrific your content is, you must actively promote it. Do not expect your customers to find you. Go out and hunt them down! When Noah Kagan, founder of Appsumo and the OkDork blog, launched a new product,  How To Make A $1,000 A Month Business course, he knew he had to develop a spectacular marketing plan. His target was to sell 3,333 memberships to the course within 12 months. He reached his target in 10 months!

How did he achieve this?

By breaking down his big goal of 3,333 memberships into monthly goals. Each monthly goal is further broken into daily goals. So each day, he had a benchmark to reach.

According to Noah, “Overall there’s no ‘right’ goal; you want something that isn’t easily achievable but also something that’s realistic so you don’t feel overwhelmed.We break our goal into a daily target so––even if our goal is a billion––we know on a specific day if we are on track; for example, in January when we had to be at 10,000 uniques a day.

A key thing with goals that I learned from Facebook is to only have one goal for a specific period of time. It helps with saying no to other distractions you will face during the year.”

Noah reveals a lot of the marketing strategies he used to achieve most of the stellar successes Appsumo has experienced in this article: Create Your First Marketing Plan

4. Always Act this: “Customers come first”:

Customers determine how fast or slow your business grows, so they should be treated like royalty. This treatment might involve tweaking your marketing plans to accommodate the needs of a vast majority of your customer base. Do not be rigid. Happy customers lead to a thriving business.

Carry out frequent surveys of your customers to find out what they want and develop strategies or modify your products/services to suit them.

For instance if you planned to sell a course on “Starting a Photography Business”  to your customer base but found that 80% of your email list need to know “How to take a spectacular photo” then you now know you must change your original course to the one your customers need.

If you wanted to create an ebook on “How to prepare delicious African Delicacies” but your survey revealed that your email list needs video tutorials, not an ebook, then you have to adapt your original plan to what your email list wants.

If you run a fashion eCommerce store and from your stats, found that most of your eCommerce visitors navigate to the ‘dresses’ section or ask for ‘fashionable, formal outfits’ then you know what to stock up on to increase your sales.

Also do not make your prospective customers uncomfortable in any way. According to Neil Patel in this article on Kissmetrics, ways you can make your prospective customers uncomfortable include:

  • Unexpected Shipping charges
  • Forcing prospective customers to create an account before they can complete a purchase
  • Being too stingy to offer discounts

Case Studies:

Now its all good and well to state what people should do to grow their businesses. But many atimes, practical examples are the best ways to demonstrate this. For my case study I will tackle an interesting field: Fashion Blogging

How to get 1000 customers as a Fashion Blogger:

1. Have an idea of products you can offer on your blog:

As a fashion blogger, you can make money from any of these avenues:

  • Being a fashion consultant and offering your services on your blog
  • Writing and selling a fashion ebook
  • Making money from Ads
  • Making money from subscription services
  • Making money from Affiliate sales

2. Set a realistic goal:

Your blog will only make money if you have a good amount of traffic. To get 1000 customers, you need traffic of at least 10,000 email subscribers. To get 10,000 email subscribers you need a minimum traffic of 100,000 annually. Now if you are a newbie fashion blogger, there is no way you can hit 100,000 website visitors in a month, unless you are well-connected in the fashion blogsphere. First break down 100,000 into achievable monthly amounts.

100,000/12 = 8333

Now we have a more manageable number. Do not fret if you don’t hit this number in your first two or three months. Simply subtract, then stack up the remaining months with the leftover.

Example: January you got 100 visitors

that’s 100,000 – 100 = 99,900 visitors

Divide by the number of remaining months

How many months left: 11 months

therefore your new monthly target is: 99,900/11

= 9081 visitors

So how do you meet your monthly target? You need a marketing plan

3. Marketing plan for a fashion blogger:

As a fashion blogger (or any type of blogger) your marketing plan must first tackle how you will attract targeted traffic to your site. Then when you do that you have to convert this traffic to subscribers. When you achieve that milestone, you will then be able to reach out to these subscribers as many times as you want and hence have many more opportunities to convert them to customer.

So first how will you hunt down your prospective customers and entice them to your site?

Follow these guidelines:

  • Who is your ideal customer? Who would you love to visit your blog?
  • Where does your ideal customer hang out? This would include Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and other popular fashion sites. Build a list of these popular fashion sites.
  • Start blog commenting on these sites. To attract traffic from these sites use the name of your site as your name. A few newbie bloggers do link-spamming or link bombing as shown in the image below: While this can be effective, many website owners frown on it and will delete your comment immediately. kam comment
  • Build a Facebook fan page
  • Join active fashion groups on Facebook. Be active on these groups and post links to your latest blog posts here. I have found Facebook groups to be a highly effective and cheap source of driving traffic to a website. I use them personally. The trick is to be active on these groups. Don’t be selfish and post only your links. Build relationships by commenting on other people’s updates too. This way the group administrator will not be forced to block you from the group.
  • Run a giveaway.
  • Make sure your website design is good. Your website is your fresh impression online. The better that impression, the more likely your website visitors will stay and check out other articles.
  • Make sure you have an email marketing plan in place. This involves signing up for companies like Madmimi or MailChimp. I use madmimi and love their customer support, so I recommend you try them out. To understand how powerful email marketing is, check out this post by Dan Shewan on Wordstream titled “Is Email Marketing Effective? Three Examples That Prove It Is”
  • Make sure your email optin forms are super visible.
  • Offer a better bait than “free weekly updates” for your email optin. Consider something like “15 ways to rock a skater dress from work to party on a tight budget
  • Make every new email subscriber love you. How? Ask every new subscriber what their pain point in fashion is. You can do this with an autoresponder. This way you know what future articles to write and what future products to create. Also make sure that when anybody tells you their problem, you answer that email immediately with a solution. Sue of successfulblogging.com does this for every new subscriber she gets: kam sue
  • Keep delivering super, quality content that is shareable. How do you know shareable topics? Head over to Buzzsumo, then copy and paste the link of one of the top fashion blogs you compiled. The more shareable your content, the more eyeballs you can attract to your website and the closer you will be to hitting your target. kamdora buzzsumo
  • Make your website interactive through quizzes and comments. Kamdora uses quizzes as shown in the image below: kam fashpopoEncourage people to comment on your articles by responding to each comment. Then if you are having trouble getting comments, consider partnering with fellow fashion bloggers to trade comments on each others sites. Read all about this technique in Neil Patel’s article:The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post

When you have reached your milestone of the number of monthly visitors, you should take a critical look at your email sign-up rate. Typical industry averages are: 3% to 11%. Anything higher than 11% is stellar. That means for every 100 people that visit your blog, 3 to 11 are likely to signup for your newsletter.

Then next take a critical look at the problems most of your email signups complained about. Is there a common problem complained about by most of your email subscribers? Write articles packed with solutions for these problems. Are these articles widely successful? Or more popular than any other articles on your blog? Then you have identified a pain point. You can cash in on this pain point in the following ways:

  • Find already existing solution-providers and become an affiliate for them: this is the easiest way to cash in
  • Find already existing solution-providers and write sponsored posts or reviews for them
  • Find already exiting solution-providers and pitch an advert space on your blog to them.
  • Start offering a consultancy service that solves this problem: This means you will develop a solution and sell it to your email list.
  • You can setup a subscription service like the one Kamdora did, where your subs have to pay a minimal amount weekly/monthly to access your best advice. (Did you also notice that Kamdora is running a giveaway?)kamdora mtn

And when you start hitting your monthly goal, you can start displaying google ads on your site. I normally advice new bloggers to forget about using google ads on their site until the site is 3 months or older. Because without a great quality of traffic, google ads is useless on your site. In the article, “How to build a profitable blog” Kay Rockley shows us that Huffington post makes $2,330,000 from just ads. When adopting the ads model, your ‘customer’ is anybody who visits your blog regularly.

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Click here to see the full infographic

When adopting the affiliate sales model, your customer is anybody who buys through your affiliate links. Pat Flynn made up to $123,853 from mostly affiliate marketing.

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When writing sponsored posts or reviews, your customer is any company that pays you to write the sponsored post or review. Enstine Muki makes a killing from this model of revenue generation as seen in this post. He also makes a killing by selling advert space to specific solution-providers.

When offering subscription services, your customer is any person that pays for this subscription service.

When selling an ebook, your customer is any person who buys the ebook from you.

4. Remember Customers come first:

As you try out each type of money-making model on your blog, be attentive. What do your customers like? Which model do they prefer? Which model is reaping the most returns for you? Your objective is to ensure you make money, get more customers and not repel your present customers in the process.

To achieve I suggest you carry out surveys on your email list to find out what they really want so that you can provide it. I normally use Google Forms to do this because there is no limit to number of responses I can receive. I recommend you use this. But if you want a more robust survey system, then use Survey Monkey. I also use surveys as a medium to ask, “What can I improve to serve you better?” and “What is the one thing you don’t like about my blog?”

Watch your ads stats: What is your average Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Observe the number of email subscribers who eventually buy your products and those who abandon the cart. Then find out from those who abandoned the cart why they did and see if a discount will help in closing that sale.

Another thing you must consider is what you can do to turn your current customers into your ambassadors. Your current customer turns into your ambassador when she shares your posts on her social media accounts and when she recommends your service to her friends and family. This is where embedded social media share buttons, running giveaways or customer reward programs become highly effective.

But first you must satisfy that customer before providing means for her to spread the word about you.

Conclusion:

Setting a milestone for your business is necessary. Depending on your type of business, a milestone of 1000 customers in 12 months is advisable. To achieve this milestone, you should know who your ideal customer is. Then you should have a website too.

One way of getting 1000 customers is to diversify your revenue-generation models. Do not be fixated on one type. Develop a robust but flexible marketing plan as well. Your marketing plan should focus on how to get targeted traffic to your site, then how to convert this traffic to subscribers so that you can have the opportunity to reach out to them and turn them to customers. Then test and try as many revenue-generation models (advertising, affiliate sales, coaching e.t.c) to see which one works perfectly for you.

Whatever you do, do not sideline your customers. They fuel your business so do as much as you can to keep them happy. Also to ensure you hit your milestone sooner, try converting your customers to your brand ambassadors by making it easy for them to share your content or by offering them mouth-watering rewards for every friend they refer.

Over to you. Tell me your greatest challenge in meeting the 1000 customers milestone in the comments below and I will answer right back with actionable tips you can try.

 

Facebook Rejected him but what happened next will shock you.

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Life can slap you with the most bizarre experiences.

Like your job application being rejected by Facebook even though you just left Yahoo! as the vice president of engineering.

That’s exactly what happened to Brian Acton. In 2009 (two years after leaving Yahoo!), Brian posted this on his twitter account.

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Failing to snag a job at facebook was not the only setback Brian encountered in life.

He faced many others, including bouncing through several jobs after Yahoo! and losing millions of dollars in the dot com bubble.

But fortune always smiles on the brave.

Not deterred by his life experiences, that same year (2009) Brian and his long-time friend cum old yahoo colleague, Jon Koum, got together and developed an iphone app, which they called Whatsapp.  Based on the success of the iphone app, they expanded to other platforms like Android, BBM. Before 2014, Whatsapp had a whooping 250 million monthly users.

Tweet: Its hard to beat a person who never gives up http://ctt.ec/Fv2Ge+ #NeverGiveUp via @inspire2success
Ask any mobile app developer and they will tell you: those ain’t easy numbers to attain for a mobile app.

 

It was not just an app. It was a profitable app.

Even though whatsapp did not have any advertising, it made money in two ways. Iphone users were charged on first installation while android users were charged after the first year of free usage. The minimum charge was $0.99 per annum.

Let’s do the math: $0.99 x 250 million

that’s an approximate $247,500,000 per annum! I don’t know about you but that is a lot of change.

Whatsapp was so successful, it caught the attention of a roaming giant

Facebook contacted the co-founders of Whatsapp and made an offer they could not refuse. In 2014, Brian Acton and Jon Koum sold Whatsapp to the social media giant for an outstanding $19 billion in stocks and cash.

The same Facebook that rejected Brian Acton’s job application now gave him 20% stock of Facebook as part of the payment for the phone app.

if that isn’t jaw-dropping, I don’t know what is.

This true life story taught me two things:

1. That the road to success is paved with hard work, sacrifice and determination to prevail against the obstacles you will face. Every successful entrepreneur I know or have heard of, had a tale of woe to share. But they never allowed their setbacks kill their ambitions.

2. Its never too late to make it: Brian was pushing 40 when he got rejected by Facebook. Many individuals would have given up at that point and resigned to a mediocre life. But not Brian. He still believed he could make it, regardless of how old he was and what the losses he might have had.

If you learn just one thing it will be…

Never give up.

Keep trying.

Keep believing.

Keep working to realize your ambitions. And fortune will smile on you.

Have you had experiences like Brian’s? Share your story with us to keep us inspired 🙂

And if you enjoyed the article, share with your friends. They will thank you for it.

What to do when you are paralyzed by the fear of failing again (with photos)

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Sometimes life hits you so hard that you dread waking up in the morning.

You have done everything you could to be successful. You have worked so hard, stayed till midnight tickering with your latest project only for it to fail. Again. Like a few others before it.

I know how that feels. Because I have been there.

The despair. The frustration. The annoyance that surges through your veins as you see your peers succeed while you are left in a rut. 

And so now, you don’t want to try anymore. You want to give in to the voices in your head, the voices of your friends, the voices of your neighbours, the voices of family. You want to ditch it all and never bother again.

But here is the thing.

It won’t make you feel better.

Deep inside you know that you will always wonder, “what if i tried one more time?”

I am a classical example of this case. In the article 10 reasons why failure could be your best friend, I reveal how I failed in my first three attempts at blogging. but I didn’t let that stop me and today Simply Quintessential is a thriving blogs with thousands of visitors and growing.

Successful people are not quitters

Thomas Edison didn’t let 99 failures stop him from inventing the electric bulb.

Simeon Ononobi of SimplePay didn’t let failure stop him even when he had to sell his property to pay off his staff and his startup was looking bankruptcy in the face. He held on and in 2013, Simplepay emerged 1st runner-up in the Seedstars World competition, thus securing $330,000 in funding. Today, SimplePay covers over 60,000 transactions a month, generating between 80 to 100 million naira ( $372,000 to $465,000)

If Simeon let go when his company was bankrupt, his story would have been much different.

Do you ever feel like letting go? Like you have reached your breaking point? Like you have lost too much?

Don’t abandon your dreams yet. Try just one more time. Tweak something. Do something else in a different way or try a new approach. need more inspiration? Then the images below are just for you:

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I hope these motivational quotes spurs you. I hope it fills you with the zeal and will to give your dreams one more try.

You might have to close shop temporarily just to get a 9-5 job and save the money to start again.

You might have to change the vision of your company just so that it can have a fighting chance.

You might have to start work on a completely new idea, with the lessons learned from the failure of the first one.

Whatever you do, do not give up.

You will achieve your dreams, beyond your wildest imagination, but only if you persevere.

Have you faced terrible challenges in the past? Are you facing one right now? tell me in the comments and I will encourage or advise you on what you should do to make things better. 

P.S: Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends by clicking any of the share buttons.

7 easy steps to an effective business plan

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You have probably heard someone say it. Maybe it was a parent, or your high-school teacher or even that friendly grocery store owner (with a wistful look in his eyes). But you always managed to shrug it off.

Until now.

Because it has finally dawned on you that those words are true: He who fails to plan, plans to fail. 

So you want to start a business and you know that if you don’t plan you will fail. But there is something else you probably do not know.

He who over-plans, plans to fail.

Weird isn’t it? If you do not plan, your business will fail but if you over-plan, it will still fail. What do I mean by this? And how does one over-plan?

Over-planning occurs when you spend months, years and eons mapping out your business strategy but you never take the first step, or make the first move to turn your plans into reality.

If you are guilty of this, you are not alone. It takes a lot of guts to start a business. Because of the fear of the unknown, the fear of failing, the fear of losing everything. This fear can be so strong that it will paralyze you and prevent you from taking the first step to turn your entrepreneurial dream into reality.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Business planning when done rightly, can help you know if you have a real business in your hands or if you have a white elephant. When I wanted to start this blog, I followed the guidelines I am about to show you to determine if my blog will be a profitable one.

How to draw up a effective business plan.

A business plan, in my opinion, is simply a write-up that shows you how to move from zero business to profitable business. For a business plan to be effective, it must contain methods to verify if a market exists for your business and how to tap into this market to generate revenue.

But it must not be overtly detailed. Not at all.

Sometimes it can be just a page-long and yet powerful enough to let you know what actions you must take to start-up, verify and grow your business.

In order to write an effective business plan, you must answer these questions:

1. What problems does my business or product solve?

If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, you don’t have a business yet. You will need to go back to the drawing board to brainstorm till you figure this one out. Because the success of your business depends on the answer to this question. As I mentioned in this post, the fastest way to become successful overnight is to solve a pressing problem.

Imagine if someone came up with a cure to HIV/AIDS? They will be billionaires overnight right? Exactly. If your product or business solves a pressing problem, you are one step closer to being an overnight success.

Pressing problems are not just limited to medical calamities, diseases or dire epidemics. Boredom is a pressing problem, that is why movies (like the Fast and Furious series), recreational activities (like gaming) and outdoor sports (like soccer, tennis) are hot-sells.

 

2. Who has these problems?

After narrowing down the problems your business solves, you need to know who has these problems. These people are your target audience. This step is extremely crucial because if you don’t know those that need the solutions you sell, you won’t know where or how to sell your product.

In this stage, I advise you draw up a customer profile of your ideal customer. The customer profile should answer most of these questions:

  • How old is your ideal customer?
  • What gender is your ideal customer?
  • What race/tribe is your ideal customer?
  • Where does your ideal customer reside?
  • What is your ideal customer’s occupation?
  • What issues/challenges does your ideal customer face that makes them need your product?
  • What is the lifestyle of your ideal customer?

These questions are not exhaustive but they will help you have a good idea of the customer you are targeting.

 

3. What is their purchasing power?

This question is another deal-breaker. Not all products are bought by the end-user. For example, toddlers need diapers but never buy it themselves. The same goes for secondary school students who need extra lessons but never pay for it themselves.

Your focus here is to determine “who will pay for your product”. This will have a massive impact on your advertising and marketing campaigns.

 

4. Where do they hang out?

So you have determined who will pay for your product. The next step is to find out where these prospective purchasers hang out. And am not just talking about social media like Facebook. While a lot of people hang out on Facebook, repetitive advertising is the most effective way to get customers.

In my experience, it will take a customer a minimum of three encounters to decide to listen to you. So find out three other places your customers hang out apart from Facebook and advertise there as well.

For instance, if your ideal customer is a banker interested in an international MBA, consider dropping flyers at local banks, advertising to advanced education groups/forums and paying for google ads.

 

5. Will they be willing to pay?

Having a product is one thing. But determining if your prospective customers will pay you is another thing. The best way to do this is to verify your business idea/solution. Use a $5 Facebook ad to know how many people in your target audience need your solution before you start investing heavily on it.

When using a $5 Facebook ad, these are the steps I normally follow:

  • Go to Facebook
  • Click on Ads Manager
  • Click ‘Create Ad’
  • Select ‘Send People to Website’
  • Fill in your website address (if you don’t have a website yet, you can use a survey monkey form or google forms for this. The aim here is to send people to a place where they can answer questions and opt-in for your product)
  • Use the details of your ideal customer to fill in the questions that Facebook asks you. Be very careful here. You want your ad to be seen by people who are your ideal customers. For instance if you want to open a cookies and yogurt spot in Lekki, Lagos, your ideal customer is someone living in Lekki Lagos State, Nigeria who is female, single or newly wed between the ages of 20 and 32, who speaks English, is interested in food and restaurants and has a birthday coming up (so she can look for a place for a party or to simply unwind)
  • After filling in the details, make sure you choose ‘lifetime budget of $5’
  • Then choose the picture you will use and the message you will use. These should be catchy and attractive to your ideal customer. (I intend to do a full post on Facebook ads soon)
  • Then click place order.

For this to work, you must have a website or a form that people who click your ad will fill out. Also you must be offering something tangible so they will be interested in filling the form.

The form should ask questions like how they spend their leisure and whether they will fancy patronizing a cookies and yogurt spot and how much they will typically want to spend.

The ad should offer a prize to a random winner and the prize should be related to your product. Like a free cookies and yogurt coupon. This way only people really interested in cookies and yogurt will click the ad and answer the questions on your form.

Also your form must collect their email addresses, so that when you are ready to start business you have people to notify; people who could turn into your first customers.

Now after the Ad has completed, study the results.

How many people was your ad shown to?

How many people clicked your ad?

How many of the people who clicked your ad, completed the questionaire?

What were their responses? Are they interested in your product? Will they be willing to pay? What prices are they willing to pay?

To make this ad even more effective, put share buttons on the form and reward each share with a discount coupon. This can be done with free tools like Typeform or Launcheffectapp. Or you can use the free trial period of Landerapp to do this. The aim is to encourage anybody that fills the form to share it with their friends. This will increase the number of people that will fill the form and increase the data you will get.

Results:

If your Facebook ad has a clickthrough rate of 4-7%, that is good. Anything higher than this is awesome. Anything lower than this is not good. So if you Facebook ad was shown to 500 people, if 20 to 35 people clicked the ad, that is good. If higher than 35 people clicked the ad, that’s a great sign. If lower than 20 people clicked the ad, then there is a problem somewhere: either with your ad or the product itself. I strongly advise pausing and looking at the ad critically. If everything is ok with the ad, then your product needs a critical analysis.

Now if 20 people clicked though to your form, how many filled it? if less than 10 filled it, then the questions are either too many and discouraging or the ad was deceptive (it attracted people who did not intend to see questions at the other end)

Next observe the price they are willing to pay. Does this fit in with your plans? If yes, you have a good business in your hands. If not, you need to change either your ideal customer or figure out how to change your price without affecting your profit.

6. If they will be willing to pay, how can I convince them to pay me?

Another factor your plan must address is ‘how do I convince them to pay me

Its one thing to have a market for your products but its a completely different thing to get people to give their money to you. The easiest way to achieve this is to get people to trust you. So in your business plan, you have to map out how you will get people to trust you. Then when they trust you, you then have to know how to entice them to patronize you.

To build trust, consider the following:

  • Having a solid value proposition: A value proposition is that edge you have over your competition. Services like: home delivery within 10 minutes, nationwide delivery, customized products are examples of value proposition. So find out what your competition is offering and see if you can beat their offer with something of your own.
  • building an email list and sending mails to people in your email list at least one a week. The mails should link to articles on your website. These articles should be related to your business. For instance, if you have a photography business consider writing articles about events you covered and what inspired the different concepts you used.

To entice, consider giving discounts to only members of your email list or hosting a giveaway. For the photographer, I will suggest a combo of both: a giveaway where the winner wins an exclusive photo coverage of her event. Then 5 runners-up win 30% discount. For the giveaway to be effective, make sure you target newly engaged people, or people with fast-approaching events (wedding anniversaries, birthdays etc)

7.  How can I use them to attract more business?

The best form of advertising is a friends’s referral. So every time you are doing business with a customer, you must consider how you can get them to recommend your business to their friends. If your business is online, software that can help you achieve this is sloyalty.

 

So there you have it, 7 steps you can use to build a rock solid business plan. What about you? What have you done to take your business from zero to profits? Tell us about it in the comments.

image by  zero5phh

How to drive traffic to your business blog

traffic

Its annoying right? You do what is recommended to ensure your business grows: You develop a great product, launch a website, then tell your friends about it.

Then to your astonishment and frustration- Crickets!

No traffic. No sales. nothing. zilch!

Its almost as if you wasted your time, efforts and money because you are getting nothing for it.

I know the feeling. I have been there before. But i did certain things that helped me get targeted traffic to my website and start making sales. Before I reveal the methods I used, I need to answer a very important question:

What is Targeted Traffic?

You have probably heard this term before but have you ever wondered what it really means?

Picture this: Let’s say you have an archery gameboard like the one in the picture below.

archery-152912_640

Your goal in this game is to hit the bull’s eye (i.e the spot painted yellow). Any arrows that do not enter that bull’e eye spot is a miss.

Its the same thing with target marketing. Your target market is the yellow spot. That is where you must hit with your marketing efforts. Any marketing effort that lands outside the yellow circle is a miss.

How do you determine your Target Market

Your target market is determined by the ideal prospect for your business. Let’s say you are a fitness instructor and you want to open a fitness club.

Your ideal prospect is anybody interested in having a trim, healthy body. Therefore your target market are any group of people who want to have a trim, healthy body and are willing to spend time in the gym to achieve this. Now we know what our yellow circle is.

How do we fire marketing arrows that will hit only that yellow circle?

By marketing only where your target audience hangs out. Any other marketing effort is a miss. For the fitness club I will recommend the following:

  • First determine how your target audience thinks: Are they visual in nature? Do they like to read a lot? Is your product a formal or friendly one? The answers to these questions determine where you will start. Now for a fitness club, most people who are interested in fitness prefer seeing training sessions in pictures or videos. therefore you should be advertising in Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Also fitness is a friendly product and requires social interaction, therefore Facebook and Instagram are a must.

bows-and-arrows-650474_640

  • Locate where your ideal prospects already hang out: You are not the first fitness club to materialise on planet Earth. Locate other fitness clubs’ pages on these social media and see who their followers are.

 

  • Replicate what these fitness clubs are doing on your own social media page: These fitness clubs are your competition. Find out what they are doing, improve on it and do it on your social media page. Are you competitors updating their Facebook pages with motivational images and videos. Create your own motivational image and videos and upload on your Facebook page. Are your competitors using videos to demonstrate on Youtube? Create your own video and upload to your Youtube Channel.

 

  • Find other areas that your ideal prospects will be interested in: People who spend time in gym are careful about what they eat. So look for healthy food websites. People who gym wear sporty wear to the gym. Look for sporty wear websites. Make a list of the most popular ones within your locality. Become friendly with the owners of these sites. Then after a little while, ask for a recommendation to their followers or for an opportunity to guestpost for them.

As you can see, the first step in this marketing process was knowing who your ideal prospect was. Once you figure that out, the rest is a whole lot easier.

Ways to drive targeted traffic to your business blog

There are many ways to drive traffic to your website. But if you want your business to make money, you must concentrate on how to drive targeted traffic to your website. This is because targeted traffic are people already looking for the solution you offer. They want it. Therefore it will be way easier to get them to pay for any of your services.

Because they already want the service.

Below I describe methods I use to attract traffic to my website.

1. Search Results:

This is one of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your website. This is because when people do a google search, they need the solutions to their search. To ensure your website always turns up on google search results please follow these guidelines

fitness club search results1

 

  • Your website must have a blog: In your blog, offer solutions to pressing problems your ideal prospect experiences. For the fitness club, this will be fitness-related articles. make sure these articles are pressing pain points. Because people do google search for pressing pain points.

 

  • Do not copy and paste: Make the mistake of stealing articles from another fitness site and Google will penalise you by reducing your website’s ranking and hence making it near impossible for you to get to the first page of google search results. And the first page is where you want to be because it converts higher than the second or third page.

 

  • Make sure your website is mobile-responsive: If you use a website theme that is not mobile-responsive, Google will remove your website from all searches done on a mobile device. This is bad business for you because 7 out of 10 people use mobile devices to make google search.

 

  • Provide high value content in your blog: Ensure you write blog posts that are share-able. Blog posts that go viral are high value content that solve a specific problem.

 

  • Encourage Social Sharing and commenting on your blog: When there are so many websites vying for the same keywords, Google puts the sites with the most relevant comments and social shares in the first page.

2. Advertising:

Let’s face it, to make money you must be prepared to spend money. Many may cringe at this fact but it is the truth

To attract targeted traffic to your site, you must be prepared to spend on advertising. Three of the most effective advertising mediums for local business owners are Facebook ads, Google ads and similar-interests websites.

When advertising on Facebook, I greatly recommend using Custom Audiences for the best results

When advertising on Google, I greatly recommend choosing long-tail keywords that are as close to the solution you offer as possible. This way you reduce the money you have to spend on Adwords.

Similar-interest websites are websites that your ideal prospects visit. For a fitness club, their ideal prospect is likely to visit nutritional blogs. Therefore they should look for the best nutritional and health blogs within their locality and approach the site owners to place their ads on their site.

3. Influencer recommendation

I have written many articles on the power of influencers and how they can skyrocket your business sales.

Related: The Secret Sauce of Success

An influencer is a well-respected person who is an expert in a certain field. Influencers typically have from 10,000 to 1+ million followers. Imagine having someone like Don Jazzy or Jay Z recommend your music?

Instant stardom right?

The same applies to business. For the fitness club, imagine having someone like Genevieve Nnaji, or Mo Abudu recommend you? You guessed it, instant sales.

Don’t know any A-list celebrity (or Big Fishes as I prefer to call them)? Then target smaller fishes who are still well-respected influencers and have at least 5,000 to 10,000 followers. I write about how you can accomplish this here (How to build your connections and grow your business).

4. Referrals

The cheapest form of targeted traffic is referral traffic.

What do I mean by referral traffic? When a customer buys something from you and recommends you to their friends, and those friends come and buy from you because of that recommendation, that is called referral traffic.

To get referral traffic, you have to entice your customers with discounts and rewards for each customer they bring. This will propel them to tell their friends about you. Also I greatly advise the use of giftcards on your site.

Giftcards will help current customers attract new customers to your website. I intend to write an entire blog post on what Giftcards are and how they can help your business.

5. Giveaways:

I have used giveaways many times in my marketing career. What I learnt is that if done right, giveaways can lead to targeted traffic explosion and an increase in your email subscribers.

But if done wrongly, giveaways can turn into a huge money sucker that will give you absolutely no results. Trust me, I have had one or two failed giveaways and i have had successful giveaways too. Here is what I learnt

  • Choose your gift wisely: Unless you are a phone retailer, do not giveaway any phone! Unless you are in the travel and hospitality industry, do not giveaway an all-paid trip to anywhere! This is because your gift is highly instrumental in attracting those that will participate in your contest/giveaway. If you giveaway a phone, every Tom, Dick and Harry’s cat will want to win the phone. Instead giveaway something related to your business. For the fitness club, I highly recommend giving away free membership, or sport wear or one-on-one private fitness coaching. This way people who are not interested in fitness will not even bother to enter your giveaway.
  • Keep the timing short: Do not let your contest drag for months! Even 30 days can be too much unless the giveaway is worth millions. Keep the giveaway short (between 7 – 14 days) for the best results
  • Choose your host wisely: One question you must answer before you start a giveaway is “Do I have a large enough following?” There are two ways to host a contest: On your site or on another person’s site. If your email list is 0-100 subscribers and your Facebook page is less than 2000 fans, you should not host the giveaway. Instead look for a similar-interest website with massive following and host your giveaway with them. This way the followers of the website will take part in your giveaway and you automatically acquire a large following!
  • Choose the giveaway software wisely: The giveaway software will greatly determine your success rate with the giveaway. You want to choose a giveaway software that has many options for making your contest go viral. I greatly recommend Gleam.
  • Tell your friends about it: One of the biggest mistakes I made in one of my giveaways was I did not tell my friends about it. When you want to run a giveaway, pester your friends about it. Even if you are running the giveaway on another website.

6. Free E-books:

This is an option I am currently working on. This option has high returns. And it only sends targeted traffic to your business website.

How does it work?

You write an ebook about a pressing problem that your ideal prospect has. Then you upload it to ebook platforms like Amazon, Smashwords and set the price to 0.00

That’s right, you make the ebook free!

The goal of the ebook is to attract traffic to your site and not to make money. Make the ebook as concise and straight to the point as possible. Then make sure you put links to a landing page on your website.

Why should the ebook be free?

To encourage massive downloads. When the ebook is free, you remove a customer’s resistance to price. Normally before a customer will buy a book (even if it is $0.99), they will check customer reviews and testimonials to be sure it is a good enough book. Then they will check other alternatives to be sure that your ebook beats the competition.

But when it is free, they hardly check these things. They just go ahead and download it to see if the book is really good. If it is not, they simply delete it.

I have seen this method convert nicely for friends and acquaintances. That is why I am interested in doing it. Many times, customers acquired this way go on to buy products worth thousands.

So there you have it; a concise guide on how to drive traffic to your website. Hope you enjoyed it. If you did please share and help others discover more ways to increase traffic to their business websites.

Do you have a suggestion I omitted? Tell us your suggestions in the comments.

P.S: Want a personalized traffic solution for your blog? Let me help you with my free Business Plan Service. Click here to get started.

 

How to make so much money from your business – guaranteed!

entrepreneur

Let’s sit back for a second and consider some of the reasons you open up a business:

  • To change the world: Maybe you have an idea that you know can make the world a better place.
  • To pursue your passions: Life is sweet when you can earn from doing what you already love.
  • To afford any luxury you want: Let’s face it; you got bills to pay and you want to own a car and you hope to afford vacations every year. Plus you want to provide the best life possible for your family.
  • You want to be your own boss: Enough said.

But here is the truth: Running a business is not a piece of cake. It can be challenging and if not managed properly, can lead to lack of sales and frustration as you will then find it difficult to achieve any of the reasons you opened your business.

How to Ensure You make money from your Business:

Someone I know told me that Sales solves every problem in a business.

And I agree with him. Because when a business is making money, no matter what you might be facing in that business, it won’t frustrate you. If you have customers that complain a lot, you will swallow it; if you have employees that slip every now and then, you will overlook it; if you have a project that needs financial assistance, you can secure a loan from a bank; if you have a kid that needs special academic attention, you will pay for it.

A thriving business with consistent money flow and profits is every entrepreneur’s dream.

But how can you build a business that makes so much money, bank managers will be following you bumper to bumper just to convince you to put it all in their bank? I drew up a list of ways to increase the revenue-earning power in your business. They are:

1. Watch your business expenditure:

The mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make is that they do not watch how they spend money made from their business. If you want your business to be successful and profitable, you have to watch your expenditure; there is no two ways about this.

Ways you can watch your expenditure:

  • Decide what your salary is: A lot of entrepreneurs do not give themselves a fixed salary. This is really bad. They take money based on the profits they make or the issues that might crop up at home. I discourage that. Fix yourself on a salary and every single extra cent that comes invest it back into the business. Instead give yourself a milestone. Tell yourself that if you are able to achieve consistent volume of sales of a certain amount, then you will increase your salary. This way yo will be motivated to work more so that you can achieve your target and hence increase your salary.
  • Only spend on what is necessary: Entrepreneurs always face an inclination to splurge. Maybe you are a new entrepreneur and you want a shortcut. So you have been told if you spend more on this and that, then boom! your business will be the next CocaCola. Or maybe you have been in business for a while but sales are at an all-time low and you are hoping you can buy back your customers by spending money here and there. STOP! If it is not necessary do not spend on it. Keep your expenditure tight. This way you will have more money and increase the money flow capability of your business.

2. Increase your client base:

More Clients or customers equal to more sales. That’s not rocket science, that is a fact! One of the best ways to invest in your business is to invest in strategies that increase your client base. Follow the following tips to increase your client base:

  • Do not lose your old customers: Research has shown that it is way more easier to get an old customer to buy another product from you than it is to turn a complete stranger into a new customer. So do everything within your power to keep your old customers. Establish  a rewards program, so that when someone buys something from you, they are entitled to a discount coupon they can use on their next purchase.
  • Give out Giftcards on your site. Sites like Eve & Tribe and Fashpa are doing this well. Giftcards are great because they mean more sales for you. A giftcard is something you purchase when you are not sure what gift to give. Ensure there is a giftcard service on your site, so that your old customers can give it out to their friends and family.
  • Make your old customers refer you to their friends. The most trusted and effective advertorial is when a friend says, “I have used it before and I loved it. You should get it too.” Encourage your old customers to recommend to their friends by rewarding them for every referral that turns into a sale. Software you can use to do this include Referral Candy and Gleam Rewards.
  • Do giveaways: Nothing attracts new business like a giveaway. But a lot of entrepreneurs get this wrong by giving away something that will attract the wrong audience. Example: giving away an iPhone 6 will attract every tom, dick and harry to your site. And most of them (99.9%) will never buy a thing from you. Instead give away something related to your business. Do you sell custom shirts? give away a custom shirt. Do you make cakes? Giveaway a sumptuous, mouth-watering cake. Do you design apps? Giveaway an app design and implementation package.
  • Liaise with established influencers in your target market, so they can advertise you to their audience.  This is one of the most effective methods of attracting new customers and clients to your business. Click here to learn more.
  • Advertise on Social Media Platforms your target audience hangs out: To grow you need new customers. Another way of getting new customers is through advertising. Get the best conversions on your advertising budget by advertising only on social media platforms your target audience already hangs out in.
  • Advertise on Google: Every single day, millions of people use Google Search. Need new customers? Chances are that you can get them through Google Adwords.

3. Offer more value than your competitors:

Its one thing to advertise to new customers, its another thing to convince them to stay. And this is determined by your Unique Selling Point (USP).

To create a USP that converts into more sales, you need to ask yourself: How can I offer more value than my competitors?

To answer that question, first you need to know what your competitors are offering. Then you need to know what extra value you can add to that.

For example if you are a fashion retailer, offering nationwide delivery is no longer an added value. Everyone is doing it. But you can go a step further by offering clients a LookBook for any outfit they buy. In this lookbook, they will see 6 different ways to wear that outfit they buy.

An advantage of this lookbook is that it will contain more pieces for your store. So customers who get this lookbook will be enticed to buy even more outfits just so they can complete at least one or two of the 6 different looks.

4. Network/partner with the right influencers:

I have written about influencers in this article and this article. Have you ever noticed that whenever a blockbuster movie is about to debut, every single prominent actor/actress in the movie is interviewed by a  well-known media personality.

Why?

There are many reasons for this but one of the reasons is to subtly market the movie to the media presenter’s audience. Because when someone like Oprah says, “Wow, I will like to watch this movie” you can bet that more than 10,000 Americans will want to watch the movie because of what she said.

girls refer

Use the same strategy in your business.

Find an influencer who is well-respected and loved. Get them to recommend your product and watch the sales pour in.

5. Solve a pressing problem:

I wrote about this in the article: The fastest way to acquire success. Imagine if someone was to discover the cure to HIV. And imagine if his solution is simple like pop a drug in your mouth and in 24 hours you are HIV negative.

He will be a billionaire overnight right?

Exactly!

You should apply the same mentality in your business. Try to turn your business into a problem-solver. Solve a pressing problem and your increase your profits almost overnight.

6. Market the blazes out of that solution:

I don’t care how good your product is, but if nobody knows about it, it is not going to sell a piece. I learnt this the hard way and wrote about it here: 10 reasons why failure could be your best friend.

Thee ability of a business to make good money depends on the marketing strategy they have. Market your product to the right people, through the right mediums and at the right time and you will make a killing.

7. Get testimonials:

Nothing chases away good business like a bad testimonial.

Picture this: You are browsing on Amazon and you want to buy a facial repair moisturizer. But you are very careful because you have used two fake creams before and the damage they caused to your face has resulted in tens of thousands in dermatologist fees. You don’t want to end up in the hospital again.

Then you see a cream you really like. And it has got 20 rave reviews and just one negative review. You decide to check that negative review out and you see this:

If there is something lower than 1 star, I would have given it. The texture of this cream is watery and nothing like the original. To make matters worse, after using this cream for only 5 days I noticed a fungal infection on my face. Do NOT BUY THIS fake product.

Now be honest with me: Will you still buy this cream? Even though it has 20 excellent, 5-star reviews?

Chances are that you won’t! In fact you will run away from the retailer’s amazon page as fast as you can.

That is exactly what one or more negative reviews can do to your business. It can send customers running.

The opposite is true of a positive review. When visitors click on your ads on Facebook or google and they come to your website, see your products and see only excellent reviews and testimonials, they are immediately convinced to buy. Because if people have used your product and liked it, that means your product is genuine and trustworthy.

To encourage more website visitors to turn into new customers, ask your old customers for a testimonial. Entice them with gifts if necessary (this is because many people will not honour your request for a testimonial but will be more easily swayed if they will be rewarded for dropping a testimonial)

8. Get a website:

So Important. The internet is the home of billions of people. If you really want to make serious money, then you need to start thinking of how to sell your business to as many people as possible.

One of such ways is through a website.

I always advise people to open a website before they open a brick and mortar office. This way you keep expenditure low, then start making money before you start paying for office space. A similar strategy was used by Sweet Kiwi and it greatly contributed to their success.

9. Create tiered prices:

Though this not applicable to all business, it is greatly profitable for coaching and training programs as well as businesses like Makeup artistry, catering, health and fitness to mention a few. Tiered pricing works with this principle: the more value I offer, the higher the price I will charge. Look at the image below to see an example of tiered pricing.

tiered pricing

Be creative. Start with a base service/product. Then figure out what extra values you can add to increase the price. The extra values can be video tutorials, more hours spent making up the bride and her family, 3 other cakes of different flavours.

So there you have it; More ways you can turn your business into a cash cow. Do you have an addition to make? let’s know in the comments

Sharing is loving; Share with friends and family so they too can make more money from their business.

How to Build your connections and grow your business

girls-friends

I have been tinkering around Facebook and twitter, trying to find new ways to grow my brand. And here is what I found out.

Facebook Likes are almost useless

Tweeter followers are almost baseless.

No am not lying or trying to make things up. If you have a website and want to use internet marketing to increase you client base, then stop spending money on ONLY facebook ads or twitter ads.

Why?

Because, unless you are a gossip site, you will be discouraged by the results. To better illustrate what I am saying let me give you an example:

You are at a great party, sipping your favorite drink at the bar section. Suddenly a complete stranger walks up to you and says, “Hey hi. My name is Josh. And I have something I am so sure you will like.” And just like that, this complete stranger brings out something from his pocket, sticks it in your face and starts telling you all the benefits of that “something from his pocket”.

How will you feel?

Like you are suffocating? Like you want a breath of fresh air? Like you want to be someplace else but within a mile of “Josh”?

Why? Because you don’t know him, you don’t care about him and you certainly don’t care about whatever he is thrusting in your face.

That’s exactly how people feel when they see your ads on Facebook. When they are browsing through their newsfeed and suddenly see an ad with an unknown business name, that is you intruding into their party time. When that ad goes on about some product they have no clue about, that is you thrusting ‘something from your pocket’ in their face.

And to take a breath of fresh air, what do most of these people do? They ignore your ad and look someplace else – (Wow! Look at that cute little kitten. OMG, is Kim Kadashian naked again?)

But Facebook and Twitter are not completely useless, if you know how to use them. From my tinkering, I found out that Facebook and Twitter (and most social media platforms) are great places to build and solidify your connections and use these connections to grow your business.

Now let’s go back to the party scene. You are silently sipping your favorite drink when you hear someone call your name. You turn around and to your pleasant surprise you find best friend and colleague at the office, right behind you. You squeal with joy and the two of you embrace. Then the two of you do a little chatty talk. Then you notice there is someone beside her. You ask who he is.

“Oh, am so sorry,” she says. “This is my friend Josh. We met at that expo I told you about. Guess what? He has this amazing product I think you need. Josh, why don’t you show her.”

Then Josh brings out the product from his pocket and starts talking about it. For every two sentences Josh says, your friend adds a supporting statement. Then your friend ends it by saying, “I have tried it and I loved it. You should try it too.”

Tell me the truth, wouldn’t you be greatly tempted to buy the product even though you have never met Josh before?

And be honest, you probably never felt like bolting away from Josh’s presence. You probably enjoyed all that chitchat too.

See the difference?

When a stranger is introduced to you by someone you already know, that stranger turns into an acquaintance instantly and a firm foundation for a better promising relationship is built.

And that is how Social Media should be used if you want to get the best results. You should market your products by using an achiever’s influence

Who is an Achiever?

An Achiever is a person who has accomplished a lot in their industry, is well-respected and has a huge following. Want examples? Steve Jobs was an achiever with a massive following and he was greatly respected for being innovative and visionary. You can’t make three sentences about top-selling mobile products without mentioning his name or his company Apple. Oprah Winfrey is an achiever. Her show touched and changed millions of lives, her grass-to-grace story inspired and liberated many women. Mo Abudu is an achiever, with a huge following and she has inspired many to forget their limitations and pursue their dreams. Tony Elumelu is an achiever and has helped many entrepreneur fund their startups.

Imagine when these achievers with tens of thousands of followers mention you to their audience? Let me tell you what will happen because I have experienced a similar occurrence:

1. You will get massive visits to your blog/website.

2. You will see a spike in the subscription to your newsletter and autoresponder lists.

3. You will feel lesser resistance when you talk about your product to your new audience. Its almost as if they want to hear about your products.

4. You will experience a spike in sales of your products after the achiever recommends you.

5. You will observe that you spent less money and achieved better results than Ads would give you.

So you see the advantage of an achiever introducing you to their pack of followers. You spend less money and you get more sales. WIN WIN!

But there is a little problem.

How do you get achievers and influencers to introduce you to their friends and followers? There is one way to do it: you befriend them first.

How to befriend an Achiever.

I must give you fair warning though: Befriending an achiever is no walk in the park. This is because a lot of people are clamouring for their attention. What I advise my clients to do is to start with the small fishes. Achievers fall into three groups: There are the small fishes, then there are the medium-sized fishes and there are the big fishes.

fish

The Small Fishes:

Small Fishes are those achievers that have set themselves apart in their locality, community, industry. Within these small establishments, they have proven to be different and are respected. They also have more recognition and a large number of followers compared to their peers.

Examples of Small Fishes are

  • people who have fan pages with 10,000 to 99,999 followers.
  • people who are moderators of active groups with more than 1000 members.
  • Recently published authors who have shown their expertise in a field and whose books have been downloaded more than 1000 times and have at least 50 amazon reviews to prove this.

These people are easier to meet and befriend.

How do you befriend them?

  • Follow them on twitter, like their page on Facebook
  • Find out their website and visit it.
  • Subscribe to their newsletter.
  • Each and everytime they release a post, read the post/article and drop a relevant comment (very important)
  • Be active on their social media platforms, contributing, liking and retweeting moderately.
  • Do this for at least 5 months before you ask to guestpost for them.
  • After guestposting, humbly ask for a mention of one of your products to their audience.

Now you will notice I said that its very important to drop a relevant comment on their website. Bloggers love comments on their posts/articles.

But not just any comment like, “Hey hi. Nice article. Can’t wait for the next one.”

That is not a relevant comment, its a spam comment. It shows that you didn’t even bother to read the article at all.

If you really want to get in a blogger’s good books then, read his/her article and drop a comment that shows you read and learnt something from the article. Do this regularly. That is why I said, you should subscribe to their newsletter. This way you know immediately they release an article and you can rush over to their site, read the article and drop a comment.

Notice that I also said you should be active on their social media platforms. But don’t do this in a spooky way. Do not comment or like all updates on their social media. That will look desperate. Instead comment or like or share most of the updates so that they notice you but at the same time you don’t appear to be spammy or desperate.

The Medium-Sized Fishes

Medium-sized fishes are upcoming stars and celebrities. They are the people that are just beginning to catch the attention of top news channels like CNN or even the attention of established big fishes like Oprah Winfrey (and yes I am ‘unapologetically’ a huge fan of Oprah 🙂 )

Medium-sized fishes have accomplished the following:

  • Built a huge following of a 100,000 or more followers on facebook, twitter, or any other social media site.
  • Are proud authors of many books/albums/movies that are just beginning to sell like hot cakes.
  • Are well-established in their industries and widely known as experts.
  • Can charge crazy fees for the simplest services and yet people rush to book them.
  • Have spoken in one or more events or seminars.

These upcoming stars are not easily approachable. Your best bet? To be recommended to them by a small fish that they respect. My advise? Start building a relationship with a well-known and respected small fish.

How to befriend a Medium-Fish

  • Follow them on all their social media platforms and subscribe to their newsletter.
  • Comment appropriately on all their content (whether on social media or on their blog)
  • Attend a networking event you know the medium-fish will be attending. Make sure you know a small fish that is a mutual acquaintance and hence can introduce you to this upcoming superstar.
  • When introduced, try to find a pain point they might have and offer to help free of charge. Do not forget to mention that you have been actively following and participating on their social media and website.
  • After you have offered help and your help received high praise, seize that opportunity to ask for an introduction of your product to their huge following.

The Big Fishes:

These guys are celebrities. Everywhere they go people are scrambling to have a selfie with them or have their autograph. Contacting such people is near impossible because all communication is routed through their PAs. Your best bet? Get recommended to them.

If you impressed a medium fish well enough, you will definitely be recommended to these celebrities once the chance presents itself.

So there is my advice. If you want your business to succeed do not rely on Ads alone. Use connections with Achievers to improve your sales. To be able to do this, befriend an achiever. To ensure you don’t get frustrated while trying to catch Oprah Winfrey’s attention, start with the small fishes.

Maximize the exposure from the small fishes and the medium ones will take note. keep excelling while pitching the medium fishes with a carefully thought-out strategy and soon, those medium fishes will not only be your friends, but will be recommending you to established celebrities.

To drive my point home, do you know any popular musician whose first interview was with CNN? Nope. They all started out begging local stations to cover them. But with time, as they rose to fame, CNN now has to call their publicist to book a time that will be favourable to the popular musician.

That’s how it is with business. When you are starting out, you might find yourself begging people to listen to you and care about your products. But with the right strategy you could rise to the popular musician’s status and be like Microsoft who has newspapers rushing to cover any news about them.

Did you love this article? Then share so that it could help another person find out how they too can improve their business sales.

 

Connections or Skills – which is more important?

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My last post generated a lot of questions. Folks wanted to know, which was more important: Connections or Skills. One person was kind enough to tell me that I had written two articles that were contradictory. See the articles here and here. 

Thank you all for your comments, likes and even emails that questioned my reasoning. But I have some hard truths to reveal today. Before I get to that I will state one thing: I was not contradicting myself. I will explain why in a second.

Connections

If you really want to be rich in two shakes of a duck’s tail and you want to acquire your wealth legitimately without dubious schemes then you need connections. There is no two ways about this.

Everyone has two kinds of friends: Friends that will make you and those that will mar you. Connections are those friends that will make you, that will be your springboard to success.

Research the history of any successful person you know, you will notice something peculiar: They were lifted to success by being at the right place at the right time, with the right people backing them.

Many of you may know Yemi Alade. But the truth is that if Yemi did not go for the Peak talent competition and win, then her story would have been very different. But because she won, she was immediately signed on by Effyzzie Music Group. The producers in that group turned her from wannabe musician into a rising star in less than 3 years. There are many talented musicians in Nigeria today but very few would ever be as successful as Yemi Alade. Because they lack the connections she now has.

Skills

Everybody knows Bill Gates’ grass to grace story; how an Operating System and a big vision took him to instant billionaire status. But not everyone knows his backstory.

Bill Gates started his path to wealth and fame as a hacker. Yes a hacker. At the age of 13, he hacked into his school’s computer. Then he graduated into an opportunist. While reading a magazine, he discovered that a company had just developed a new computer. He called the company to tell them he had a computer language for the computer, meanwhile he didn’t. The company wanted the computer language and Bill got to work. Five years after writing the computer language (known as BASIC) IBM called Bill Gates to see if he had written an operating system for their PCs. He hadn’t but he said “yes”. He quickly found a software written by another person, bought it, and sold it to IBM retaining the copyright. That Operating System was MS-DOS and marked the beginning of Bill Gates path into creating operating systems. An interaction with Steve Jobs led to the visual operating system as we know it today.

What you will notice about Bill Gates’ story is this: He had the skills. Then he built a track record of accomplishment. This attracted industry influencers like IBM and Steve Jobs to him. They gave him jobs to do and while doing these jobs, he perfected the idea of how his operating system should look like and launched it, amassing millions in sales and becoming a billionaire before he was 39.

But first he had the skills. 

If Bill Gates was a spoiled rich kid, who refused to develop programming skills then his story would have been completely different. If he didn’t create a track record of delivering top-notch software products, IBM and Steve Jobs would never have contacted him.

And if IBM and Steve Jobs did not contact him, it is safe to say that Bill Gates would not have risen to world’s richest man.

My Point. 

Connections still remains a shortcut to success but Skills determines if you will be picked by the appropriate influencers and achievers. If you have all the connections in the world but have nothing to offer, you will be stuck in a rot. This reminds me of a highly intelligent man I know, who is highly connected. He knew politicians, he knew visionaries, he knew prominent businessmen. And because of his father, these people knew him.

But nobody ever remembered him when it was time to give contracts, or jobs. Why?

Because he had proven countless times that he was a lazy, self-centered, criminal-minded man. He found it difficult to stick to terms of contract, his greed often making him take more than his due share. He found it difficult to finish a job, his laziness often seizing him and making him take “easy-way-out” options.

Because of these reasons, all his connections laughed with him at the bar or on a golf course but never ever offered him a contract, a job or recommended him.

How to Ensure the Law of Connections work for you

1. First work on your mindset: Many people are angry with their friends or relatives when these friends or relatives do not recommend them for contracts and jobs. But that is wrong. First nobody owes you a thing in life. Secondly, look inside and ask yourself really serious questions. Is there something wrong with your personality that is making them not recommend you? Is there something wrong with your work ethics? Are you really hardworking? Are you really focused and dedicated? Also it might be wise to ask your friends about your shortcomings so that you can work on them.

2. Develop a skill: There must be something you are well-known for. I always advise people to develop a skill in something they are passionate about. Don’t go and start developing software programming skills just because you want to be as rich as Bill Gates meanwhile your interest is event planning. In the end, you will lose out. Because you might not be motivated to finish learning the skill.

Whatever skill you choose, make sure you develop yourself to be the best of the best. How can you do this? You can do this by…

3. Build a track record: As you build a track record, you strengthen your skill and discover loopholes that you can offer solutions to. Building a track record is very important. Because it will attract influencers and achievers to you. It will make you more confident of your skills and it will help you become the best of the best.

4. Build your connections: Very important if you want to jump to success. But it is not easy or a simple walk in the park. It takes a conscious effort to build connections but it pays off. Because in the end, if two people of the smart intellectual power and skills apply for a job or contract, then the deciding factor will be the one who has the most powerful connection.

 

So there you have it; build your skill, then build your connections. Not the other way around. Do you agree with this? Let’s know in the comments.

P.S: Sharing is loving people 😉

The Secret Sauce of Instant Success

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If you are more than 10 years old, you must have noticed something fishy about life.  Ask the school girl who painfully watched the coveted spot of lead dancer she wanted so badly and worked so hard for go to the richest girl in class simply because the girl’s father was the chief sponsor of the school’s cultural festival. Ask the boy, who hates going to school because his bully who happens to be the Principal’s son, has never been punished regardless of how many times this bully had been reported. They will tell you one thing:

Life is Unfair.

And it only gets worse. Many graduates must have discovered that graduating with a first class or second class upper might get you an interview but it can never guarantee you will get the job. Many entrepreneurs must have discovered that having the best product in the market does not guarantee your product will be an instant hotsell and profit maker.

Far from it.

If you are missing the secret sauce, then your path to success will be long, tiring and filled with frustrations. What is the secret sauce?

It is your Connections.

Why Connections can Make you Successful Almost Overnight.

The old adage stills hold true, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Like it or not, “who you know” determines how successful you will be. I remember when I wanted to do a book launch. Two weeks to the date, I didn’t have any candidates to make the keynote speech about my book. I went to one of my mentors and a dear friend, Mrs. Ezeani, telling her my predicament. The very next day, she called me to tell me that she had arranged a topnotch magistrate -who is currently chief judge- to do my book review and deliver a spectacular speech for me on my launch day.

Without my mentor, there is no way I would have known this top achiever. Without my mentor, there is no way I would have approached this trailblazer and convinced her to make space in her busy schedule for me. Because of my mentor, she inconvenienced herself that day by going to a family occasion early and cutting short the amount of time she was supposed to spend there, then sped to the other side of town, just to grace the book launch of a woman that she didn’t even know three weeks prior.

And my case is just an example of how 1 powerful connection can make your life and success, so much easier. Listed below are the reasons connections make you an instant success.

1. Their success will rub off on you: 

Imagine going to a networking event and someone you have never seen before is introduced as Bill Gates’ protege. Won’t you immediately start seeing the person in a new light? Won’t you find yourself admiring, respecting and actually listening to this previously unknown person?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are no different from 98% of humans.

This is because humans are wired to respect achievers because we all crave to be stellar achievers. Once you can connect yourself to an achiever, the respect rubs off on you. Subconsciously, people start to think “if an achiever can respect this person, who am I not to respect this person?” or “If an achiever knows and recommends this person, then this person must be worth knowing and respecting”

2. They will inspire and motivate you 

Achievers are not driven by jealous rage. Can you imagine Warren Buffet being jealous of anybody? Or Aliko Dangote, one of the richest men in Africa, backstabbing another person?

No.

Why? Because they are accomplished. They have achieved a huge percentage of what they wanted to achieve in their lives. One peculiar thing I have noticed about achievers is that they lift people up. They try to inspire and motivate people. They reveal how they achieved their successes, where they made costly mistakes so that you can replicate their successes.

My sister Ify, got this right when she entered university. She immediately attached herself to achievers (older students who are brilliant, were on scholarship and had huge dreams) and they guided her rightly. She went on to secure a PTDF scholarship throughout her stay in Nigeria, then a commonwealth scholarship for postgraduate studies in Cambridge and within a month of graduating from Cambridge got a job in one of the most prestigious companies in the UK.

The reason her story is different from so many graduates out there is because she aligned herself with achievers.

3.  They will introduce you to other industry leaders

Once you are a protege of an achiever, you life will be miles better than a highly brilliant guy that has no achievers to back him up. Achievers take delight in introducing you to their network of friends. And guess what? An achiever’s network of friends is made up of fellow achievers. This is exemplified by my mentor knowing a trailblazer who is currently a chief judge.

4. They will root for you

Once you prove yourself to an achiever, once you show that you are a hardworking, dedicated, focused and loyal individual, then the sky will be your starting point. Because this achiever will recommend you to not just their friends, but their clients and customers. LightWedge CEO experienced this firsthand. Before his product, a book light, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, this book light was averaging $3,700 a day. The day it appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, all Oprah said was, “I need to get me one of these.” and sales skyrocketed to $90,000 that afternoon. 

Once an achiever recommends you or your product, you are on a fast-track to success.

5. Their advice can save you from losses worth millions

One common thing about achievers is that a lot of them had to make a lot of costly mistakes during their lifetime. Some of these mistakes cost them dearly in cash and relationships. So when you pitch an idea to an achiever, they will immediately advise you based on the experiences they have had, not on some theoretical assumptions many false gurus base their supposed “foolproof” strategies on.

I am a typical example of this case. Previously, in my first three failed blogs, I did something many rookie entrepreneurs do. I looked for an easy, shortcut to success. I met a lot of genuine influencers and achievers but the advice they gave me, I did not like. This is because the advice involved a lot of sweat, consistency and a minimum of 6 months to get to success. I wanted success in 3 days. So I instead chose to adhere to the advice of fake gurus, who promised that if you just implemented their tips and tricks, you will be on your way to insta-success in as little as a week.

Fast-forward 3 years, a lot of money down the drain, a lot of wasted effort and many frustrations, and now I am obeying the genuine influencers and achievers. And so far I have achieved a whole lot more than the nothing I achieved with the fake gurus.

6. They make it easier for clients and customers to build a relationship with you. 

I have never met Bill Gates but I already trust him. Achievers are trusted. It’s the unfair principle of life. When an achiever recommends something to his clients or customers, the trust factor is instant.

Recently, one of my neighbours, Chike,  got a posh job. The job was a managerial position in a pharmaceutical firm with the benefits of a car and a three-bedroom apartment in a choice neighbourhood. Here is the real gist: He NEVER applied for the job. In fact he didn’t even know the job existed until he was called to accept or reject the offer.

No Interview. No Aptitude tests. Nothing.

So how did he get the job? An individual known as a topnotch performer was previously offered the job. But this topnotch performer had so much work choking him, that he couldn’t accept the offer. Instead he made a recommendation. Chike was hired without even an interview to judge his skills but simply based on word-of-mouth referral. This simply points out that this topnotch performer has achieved so much that if he can be impressed by and recommend somebody, that person must be of his calibre. And the funny thing? Chike is not even related to this topnotch performer by blood or family ties. This recommendation was made purely out of a singular past business interaction.

How You can make connections with Achievers

1. Attend networking events. Though they are pricey, they are really important and is a suitable ground to mingle and meet achievers in similar industries. I greatly recommend attending an event at least once a year.

2. Help people: Do not scrimp from helping people no matter who they are, or what they do. Do not monetize everything you do. Sometimes extend favors to people, clients, customers because in the long term these favors can snowball into a leverage/recommendation for you.

3. Always deliver your best: Where I come from there is an adage, “the legs that walk about, is monitored closely by the eyes that look about”

Meaning that everything you do is watched by someone you do not know. When you over-deliver or supersede expectations, people are watching. When its time to make recommendations, your name will be the first to spring out of their lips.

4. Become a protege: No mentor will watch as their protege sinks and do nothing about it. Because a protege’s failure becomes their own failure. Which is why, in the political arena, unknown politicians attach themselves with accomplished godfathers in order to increase their chances of clinching a political position. Bringing this argument homeward, it is very safe to argue that without Tinubu’s influence and participation, Gen. Buhari will not have won the presidential seat.

5. Always seek an opportunity to help an achiever: Economics lets us know that human needs are insatiable. Contrary to popular belief, achievers do not have it all. There is always a favour you can extend to them. Many achievers will not hesitate to return a favor if you ask.

So there you have it. Did I miss anything? Do you know other ways of attracting the attention of achievers? let’s know in the comments.

P.S: If you found this article helpful, consider sharing it and helping someone else with the information they need to become successful.

Related Post

6 delightfully easy ways to manage your time and still get your dream job

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Seeking a job can turn into a full-time job – from finding suitable jobs to apply for, to researching about the company and tailoring your CV to fit each job role. This can soon become depressing and frustrating as you try to juggle your present work responsibilities, demanding relationships, self-development and family commitments.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You need time to improve yourself. You need time to nurture your relationship. You need time to focus on work responsibilities (even if you are paid peanuts). Job hunting should not have to drain most of your time and resources. It should be treated as what it is: A job hunt, and should be managed like that or you won’t have a life!

How to Manage Your Time and Job-Hunt wisely.

  1. You need to make up your mind, what field you are interested in. I discourage applying for every single job position you see or hear about. Instead focus on what interests you. Is your interest in Engineering? Software development? Networking? Journalism?
  2. Sign-up for job updates in this field that interests you. There are many job sites out there. I highly recommend: Jobberman, Hotnigerianjob, joblistnigeria, PushCV
  3. Allocate a certain time in the day to apply for jobs. This could be in the evening or very early in the morning. It could be for two or three hours. Be specific and disciplined about this. Let’s say you allocated 6pm-8pm as your job-hunt time. Once it is 6pm, stop whatever you are doing and start job hunting.
  4. Let everyone know your job-hunt time is a no-disturbance time. That is why it is advised to select a period when you are less likely to be disturbed.
  5. Close all distractions (like facebook, twitter, instagram) and focus on your job-hunting during that time.
  6. Set a target for yourself. It could be that you should apply for at least three jobs everyday.

A lot of people tell me that they do not have a job, hence they can apply at any time. I tell them that its wrong. Why? because no company is interested in someone who is not gainfully engaged or employed. So if you do not have a job yet, volunteer for some activity. Even go to an organisation near your house and volunteer your services. The important thing here is to keep your self busy and build your experience. Money should not be considered first in everything.

When fresh out of school, the most important thing is building your skills and experience so that when there is a job opening in a big company, you will already be equipped with the skills and experience they need. (even 1 year experience is better than none).

Most of the people I know who got good jobs started this way. They volunteered their services in a field they are interested in, built skills and experience and immediately a good job opportunity came along, they applied and got the job.

Also spend each day learning something vital in your field. For instance if you want to be a high-profile programmer you can’t go far if you don’t know languages like Java, Php, .Net framework, SQL etc. And everyday you have to write a program or do some coding or you will become rusty and useless. Also you have to subscribe to news in your industry so that you will be updated regularly on recent changes in software architecture or coding practices.

So working (even if its volunteer work) is just one part of it. Updating your knowledge so that it doesn’t become obsolete is another part of it. That is why you have to manage your time wisely, so that as you are applying for jobs, you are also gaining skills, updating your knowledge and increasing your experience.

Always remember: Job-hunting is a tough battle and only those properly equipped (not those who apply to 1 million jobs) win the battle.

9 foolproof tips on securing your dream job

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Getting your dream job in Nigeria is about as easy as finding the missing girls (pun intended). The truth is that every year thousands of graduates are released into the Labour market while few jobs are created. The result? A mad scramble for these jobs resulting in loss of scarce resources (you have to spend money to get internet, to transport yourself to these job ventures) and in some cases, loss of life (as witnessed in the immigration recruitment process).

In the end, a few people will get the few good jobs (and by good jobs I mean your dream job), while the rest will have to settle for peanuts-paying jobs or have no job at all.

What is a Good Job?

You know you have a good job when you earn enough to take care of all your needs, send some money to your extended family without flinching, still have enough left to have a vacation every year and yet enjoy doing your job. For many Nigerians, a good job is a job that pays you N400,000 and above.

Where can you get a Good Job?

As a fresh graduate or a graduate with less than 3 years working experience, the only place to get paid really good would be in oil companies (like Exxon Mobil, Total). Next up will be working for multinationals like Unicef. After that would be telecommunication companies.

Very few, if any, local companies can afford to pay a graduate 200k monthly (as at the time of writing).

How do you get the good jobs:

A lot of people believe that jobs are given on a “Who-you-know” basis. While there is an element of truth there, “Who-you-know” won’t keep you in the job if you are incompetent and non-performing. And today, employers are very careful. After wasting resources hiring and then firing a lot of incompetent people, they don’t want to repeat those mistakes anymore.

Now its all about , “what do you know” and “what can you offer us”. If you don’t know anything and can’t offer anything, no matter who you know, you are not getting the job. So if you really want to get a job in a top-notch company where you will be paid well, you need to follow these tips:

  1. Sign-up for job-alert websites like Mylelo Jobsjobberman, hotnigerianjobs, joblistnigeria, PushCv.
  2. Read the job specification very carefully and tailor your CV to the essential criteria making sure your relevant experience is clearly spelt out and near the top.
  3. Get creative with your CV to make it stand out, using keywords like hardworking, fast-learner, team-worker. To design a CV that will stand out, visit LiveResume. I have used them repeatedly and highly recommend them.
  4. Demonstrate your skills on your CV by adding all the working experience you have ever had. Even if at first it may seem unrelated, working as a volunteer, writing your own blog or even working in a bar can demonstrate a range of skills including team work, responsibility and communication.
  5. Research the place you are applying to. Find out what the department specialises in, who works there, what research they have conducted and have this info at hand to impress at the interview or in your supporting statement.
  6. Do you know someone that works in that organisation? Reach out to them. Ask them questions like “what is the recruitment process like?”, “What is expected of me?”. Be open to them about the level of your skills and experience so that they can guide you on what you need to brush up.
  7. If you don’t get shortlisted for interview or don’t get through the interview stage then always ask for feedback. It is the best way to learn where you are going right and where you need to improve.
  8. Do not even consider giving up. Getting a job in an oil company is tough and only the persistent get it. Even if you applied once and failed, apply again. Each time you failed, find out why and improve yourself. You have to be determined to get a job and you have to put the effort in when it comes to applying for and preparing for a job.
  9. Finally, turn up to the interview on time, be smart, polite and friendly and let your personality shine through. Bring examples of your work and think about using a tablet to illustrate your work if it is something more visual or online based.

These tips, though not exhaustive will get you set you apart from thousands of applicants. Remember, he who fails to prepare, is preparing for failure. So prepare for the test, prepare for the interview. Put in the work and be persistent. You will surely succeed. In my next posts I will reveal skills you need to get a job. Want to stay informed? Sign up for my newsletter so that you will be the first to know and can beat everybody else to get the job you deserve.

If you know somebody this article will help, then share it so that they can get a good job and improve their lives.

Real People, Real Businesses: How Nikky Naz is conquering the blogosphere in her own way

Hi lovelies. Hope you had a splendid weekend. Mine was too short, but I do welcome another week to reveal how you can improve your life.

After going through some questions from my subscribers, I decided to start a new series on my website. It’s called “Real People, Real Businesses”. In this series I interview people who  have made strides in their businesses or career and I share the interview with you. The purpose of the interview is to inspire and motivate you by showing you how these real people started their businesses/careers despite all odds and how they plan to grow.

Our first guest is Chidinma Naze. Chidinma Naze (fondly called Nikky Naz) is a good friend of mine and has been blogging for a while. When I decided to start the series “Real People, Real Businesses”, I reached out to her and she gladly agreed to an interview.

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If you have plans to start a blog, then you must read this interview; which reveals some truths about blogging you might not find anywhere else.

 

What would people find fascinating about you, if only they knew?

I’m a Virgin

You have been blogging for how long?

Almost 3 years

What made you decide to venture into blogging?

It is a very long story I intend to tell in full detail after I make it big as a blogger .  I always enjoyed reading blogs and reader’s comments, watching news especially bizarre juicy ones and entertainment, always had interests in the lifestyle of the rich and famous etc. When a certain event that had to do with a job /career change happened in my life, I got blogging out of circumstance, but was elated I could run mine with time.

What are the toughest challenges you have had to face as a blogger?

Electricity- Electricity to power one’s blogging computer in a place like Nigeria with epileptic power supply is a major challenge. Internet may be affordable, but diesel and petrol aren’t so cheap especially when you aren’t making money from your blog per say.

Never ending news- News and events never end. When I decide to go for a wedding or face other aspects of my life, lots of events happen. It is often difficult to keep up sometimes.

Reduced Social life/ Time Consuming- Blogging as interesting as it may be can affect your social life and consume your time. You discover you spend so much time indoors on your computer and have less time to socialize. A chic has gotta mingle to be married loool.

Irate reactions by victims of some stories : Sometimes, people are irate when you want to take pictures ,  cover a live story or report their gists. I once had my smartphone smashed after I took some pictures from a juicy scene .I could go on and on.

What are the 3 biggest benefits you offer your readers and why should they visit your blog often?

Juicy gist,  I’m a blunt person and have no reservations posting some articles many may deem as unfit for a Christian( sex, nudes etc).

People should visit the blog often because I’m spontaneous. As long as the gist isn’t orchestrated to falsely tarnish ones image and I get wind of it, I’ll report it.

Currently, how do you monetize your blog?

Basically through Ad dynamo ads, but the payment process is slow. I however decided not to concentrate on the monetary reward at the moment, but on the passion and excitement it gives me. Hopefully with time, money will come.

Blogging is a tough terrain. What tips can you recommend that you only share with a close friend (or anyone lucky enough to read this blog)?

Do not go into blogging to make money alone, you’ll be frustrated because the money doesn’t automatically roll in. Do it out of passion and because you enjoy it.

Looking into the next 3-5 years, what can you predict for your blog?

Hopefully, it will be bigger and better with ads everywhere plus increased readership and followership

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Let’s get a little personal here. What is your ‘best-kept’ secret that keeps you shining the way you do?

Being happy inside. Truth is, my life isn’t perfect on every side, but I spend alot of time reading inspirational books, getting to know God better etc and it changes my outlook on life.

When situations sometimes give me reasons not to shine or be happy, I concentrate /focus on some messages from the books or my bible and I’m filled with increased faith , hope and Joy .

How would you define your fashion style?

Very colourful and fun. I love colourful outfits. If it pops and has a great cut, I’ll rock it.

How do you relax and unwind?

Reading inspirational books, blogging, shopping, listening to music

Which will you prefer: A vacation at the Bahamas or an adventure in Singapore?

Vacation at the Bahamas. Always wanted to travel to the Caribbean Islands

Any something special you would love to share with us?

Love yourself. If you don’t love you, who will? Respect yourself and others ,  serve and love God. He will never leave nor forsake you.

 

Thanks Nikky Naz. To check out her blog please click here.

Want to be featured in our Real People, Real Businesses section? Then send a mail to inspiredtosuccess@gmail.com. If you enjoyed this article and know someone it will help, then please share.