Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, Artists Creatives and Artisans: Put Down Your Tools and Back Away From Work

Entrepreneurs and freelancers often think that putting in more hours equals getting more done.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Instead of pushing through into the small hours, I state that you should all shut down daily at the same hour.

Here’s why:

I’m sure you’ve had the experience: A long day ahead with lots to finish.

You’re looking at a working day of at least eight hours, probably ten.

IF all goes well.

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Sales Psychology: How I Finally Got My Grandmother Online

They say that the best way to get a sale is to know what people need and then show them how to get it.

I had the good fortune to experience this for myself.

Helen is an English lady who lives here in town. She’s in her 80’s, and while her body is failing her mind certainly isn’t.

She had written a book but she needed an editor, and she asked me to help.

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Why High Heels Make Your Business Look Like a Cow

It’s summer in Europe, and that means fancy dress here in Spain.

After being stuck inside all winter, people really grab the opportunity to go out once summer is in full swing.

They party, they meet with friends and go to concerts, and I can tell you the Spanish sure like to look good while they’re at it.

So we see silk shirts, laced dresses, lots of makeup, and hairdos that must have cost a small fortune.

And we see high heels. Really high heels.

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Don't Be a Free Money Idiot

Some clients are absolutely golden, but sometimes you run into people who just don’t get it.

Like this guy last year, who asked me to build an automatic business for him.

Find him an affiliate product, get a website built, set up SEO and traffic strategies, create salescopy, an Adwords campaign… the works.

His idea was to pay me for all the above, and then take ownership of the business. He wanted me to build a thriving business, and then cash in on daily autopilot income.

I told him I could take care of it all, but it would cost him thousands upon thousands of dollars.

He didn’t get it. Why so much? He had been told it should take no more than $1000. (Seriously!)

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How To Stop Bullshitting Yourself and Get the Work Done

Just be glad it’s not Martin Noir writing this piece…

A friend suggested I write about how to get the work done when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.

Here’s what worked for me. And it’s the only thing that ever worked for me. Or for anyone else in the world, I imagine.

 

“Give yourself no lip. Do the work.”

See, we humans excel at bullshitting ourselves. We can make an excuse for anything, given half a chance.

If you’re on a mission, if you have a goal, or if you simply have to pay the bills or deliver to a customer:

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Want a Rocking Business? Try Some Surprise & Delight

It was a cold, dark, rainy night in 1997. Colin Beveridge and a friend were trying to hitchhike their way to Paris, and it wasn’t working out very well. Soaked and cold to the bone, they had little hope to flag a ride.

Suddenly, an icecream van drove up and pulled over. The driver had finished work and was on his way home. And hey, why would you not stop to pick up a hitchhiker?

That event made Colin into a loyal fan of the brand. I don’t know if it’s because Ben & Jerry’s tell their employees to just be really cool people, or if the driver acted on a whim, taking a risk – but it’s not relevant.

What matters is that ‘the brand’ did something that my friend Sandi Amorim told me about last week.

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Martin Noir Takes On a Case

Martin Noir, P.I.

Noir stared at the screen. “What the… How can people rank at position four, first page of Google, with such a completely useless site?”

He didn’t get it. The site looked basic and clean; what little content was there was quite good; but that was IT. No call to action. No way to opt in to anything.

No phone number. No picture of the owner. No email address in sight anywhere on the entire website… The thing was a disaster.

He frowned, and hollered: “Stellar! In my office, NOW.

“Look at this crud, would you? This here accountant ranks above major companies with vast marketing budgets. But there is no conversion going on, not in any way. This site is seeing more bounces than a basketball at an NBA tournament.

“How do you rationalize SEO’ing the crap out of a site that doesn’t convert?”

He shot a viciously angry look at Stellar, who flinched just a little.

“I dug up their phone number, and you don’t even want to know how big of a favour I owe to the DA for that.

“Get that lady on the phone, and ask her if she wants us to fix her lead generation. Get to it Stellar, I need a nap.”

With that he sank back in his chair, put his feet on the desk and pulled his pork pie hat over his eyes.

 

I picked up the note with the number and dialled as I walked back to my desk. “Hello, Mrs. Lopez? It’s Martin Stellar here, do you have a minute?”

We had a very pleasant talk and she agreed fully that her site was doing nothing but waste the traffic she’s getting. In order to start small and first see results (more inbound leads), she decided to start with a Copy Optimisation Report.

I Didn’t Invent This – Every Day I See Sites Like That

You wouldn’t believe how many businesses get nearly everything right, except for one crucial detail. Sometimes the site is awesome and built for conversion, but the traffic they get comes from the wrong sources.

Sometimes traffic is high and hot, the site converts and a list is being built – but there’s no autoresponder (BIG effing mistake, that one).

In other cases, the design rocks, the conversion is built in, everything checks out, except… the actual copy is all ‘me, me, me’. (Pro tip: You don’t matter. Your customers do. Try writing your copy without using the word ‘I’)

If you’re running a business, and your website isn’t getting you more of that business, something is broken.

If you yourself can’t figure out exactly what, then for Pete’s sake, hire someone who can.

There’s no excuse for running an engine on three cylinders, especially since firing up number four often amounts to no more than smart, strategic tweaks.

I gotta go. Noir is shouting from across the hall, demanding to know what came of the call.

 

Are You The Kind Who Follows Advice? If Not: Don't Ask

Having spent a summer working on three vast projects that took up all my time, I found myself with a shortage of cash and a surplus of bills a few weeks ago.

Trying hard not to panic, I got in touch with a friend. Now this guy is smart. Really smart. In fact, he’s got his own scientific formula and everything.

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Can I Have My Christmas Present Now Please?

Last week I had a strange and somewhat shocking experience which inspired a post. I accidentally asked Erika Napolitana if she would be interested in running it and quite surprisingly (or not) she accepted, so it now lives here.

The short story: people hurt, people break, people struggle and life can be really tough.

But!

We all, no matter how poor we are, can give. In the spirit of Christmas and with the hope that you will all carry this into the new year and beyond:

All I Want for Christmas

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Spin Tops and Thanksgiving

img source: http://bit.ly/i9Pu23

So I’ve had the blogosphere positively bombard me with remarks, tweets, and articles about thanksgiving. Which is cool, if a bit odd for a European.

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, unfortunately, though we do eat turkey.

Thing is, in Holland turkey is eaten at Christmas. Nothing wrong with that. What really sucks though is that the traditional way to cook the bugger is to first stuff is with a mix of minced meat and chestnuts, and then stick the whole lot in the oven.

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