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Friday Podcast: “So You Want To Be An Internet Business Consultant?”…Featuring Robyn Tippins

robyn tippinsRobyn Tippins who was formerly Yahoo! MyBlogLog community manager and now Yahoo! program manager for developer experience, happens to own two successful blogs, SleepyBlogger and GamingAndTech.

I’m not sure how long I’ve known Robyn, but I know it’s probably about 2.5 to 3 years.

I first got to know her through my blogging efforts and later she invited me to join the MyBlogLog Advisory Group.

I don’t think a whole lot of people are aware that Robyn racked up about $200,000 in consulting fees in the year before joining Yahoo! and relocated from Virginia to California to take up the position.

During the Friday Podcast, I found out how Robyn got started (generating $30,000 a month from a single physical product), how she branched into consulting, including taking on projects for some of the biggest companies out there, and how someone aspiring to enter the business/web consulting field can get started.

As always, there’re lots of gems in this one.

Check it out:

$4,850 Elite Retreat Ticket Up For Grabs

Talk about a compelling offer.

I was checking out Shoemoney’s post “Elite Retreat Ticket For One Lucky Winner” .

Elite Retreat contest

Blogging Guru Dave Taylor, SEO Specialist Aaron Wall, Forum and Communities Specialist Lee Dodd, Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker, Dave Taylor again!

Forum Guru Lee Dodd has posted at his ForumTrends blog that the 4 gurus: Shoemoney, Dave Taylor, Aaron Wall and Lee have decided to put up one ticket for the event (valued at $4,850 by the way).

Just head over to Lee’s blog, read the instructions and best of luck!

The deadline’s Dec 11th, noon CST. There’s a couple of hours to go.

I’d have loved to try for the contest, though the event clashes with a family holiday.

Ah, well, maybe next time.

If you do enter the contest, and win, post a comment!

Massive blog traffic from Work at Home Blog Carnival

You may have followed my series of posts on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger.Net writing projects (Group Writing Project Winners), such as: Yes!!! $1,800 Blogging competition launched!

And maybe even read my project entry: 10,000 in your list in 30 days? Andrew Wee goes guerilla!

You would know that besides the prizes (who doesn’t want to spend a week in Costa Del Sol in Spain for a week?), the main benefit is the blog traffic that results. And if you’re lucky, you’ll increase your loyal reader base.

Such is the case, after I check out Joe Hauckes’ ProBlogger entry:6 Ways to Improve Navigation and Increase PageViews.

One thing lead to another, and we started talking (in the comments section) about his ProBlogger.net post: Home Business Links from ProBloggers How To… List

And then it spilled into the next thread: Link Baiting?

Where together with Lara Kulpa from Anubis Marketing, we had an interesting conversation which spanned to 42 comments (as of the time of writing this post).

But wait, Joe’s launching something interesting: (more…)

The Most Powerful Internet Marketing sales technique – Needs-based Selling

If you haven’t read the previous article which covers the other 2 important Internet Marketing sales techniques, you can view it at “The three types of Internet Marketing sales techniques“.

At this point, you’re already familiar with features-based selling and benefits-based selling,
shouldn’t that already help secure the customer?
You’re right, these are really powerful selling techniques and sales trainers like Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Blair Singer have become rich off them.

But, there is one way to substantially increase your sales closure rate.
Again, my partner is going to nag at me, because I’ve already given it away for free in the Best Kept Business Secret course at BizExcellerator.com.

I’m starting to believe him, that giving people stuff for free, means they’re not likely to read it or take action.
Only when I charge them $1,000 for the course, will there be a stronger commitment for action.

I’ve been involved with Stuart’s Internet Marketing training recently, and only a handful of participants have taken action. Maybe you should charge more for the training, then you’ll have more people taking action, Stuart!

But here’s a real-world application of the sales insider secret.

I got a lot of it from my real estate mentor, Edwin Teo.
Using this technique we sold a good class bungalow in November last year.
If you’re familiar with property, there’re only a few hundred of such properties in Singapore.
Because the supply is limited, and the pool of people who can afford such properties is also limited, it’s difficult to close these deals.

But if you do, boy oh boy, a major payday!

In fact, the fees for this deal was in the high five figure amount.
Imagine this, a SINGLE deal amounts to more than what 80% of Singaporeans make in a year!
Just ONE deal.

Now here’s the secret.
Needs-based selling“.

That was simple wasn’t it?
Go forth and embrace success.

I told you it was so simple and straight in front of your face that it’s a surprise more people aren’t successful.

If you need to, re-read the section on “Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs” at the BizExcellerator Best Kept Business Secret course.

Successful selling, specifically seeing a quantum increase in sales (where we’re talking about sales increase by 5 times, 10 times, instead of 30% or 50%), requires a major paradigm shift.

The sales approach needs to go from product-centric (features or benefits-focus) to customer-focused.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs will help you pinpoint with laser-like accuracy the basis of greatest need and meet it with your product.
Even if you have the world’s best quality mineral water-based ice cubes and you’re selling it to an Eskimo, you’re going to need a lot of luck.

If you have a low-priced energy-efficient igloo heater, I’m fairly sure you’re going to be top salesman pretty soon.
Commonsensical, isn’t it? The application is more challenging though.

This paradigm shift will net you greater results.

To put the hands-on spin to Maslow’s framework, consider the following:
1) All human beings have needs
2) Meeting higher level needs may enable you to price your products and services at a premium
3) Emotional components are more important than intellectual appeals.

Emotion vs Intellect
Do you typically make decisions based on emotion (how you feel about a product) or intellect (your rational opinion about it).

Although you may sometimes use intellect as a basis, most of the time it will be based on an emotional decision.
For example, among the food choices, our diet might best be met by a high fiber, medium carbohydrate, low fat food combination. Maybe boiled barley and soy milk. Since this is our optimum food choice, we should be eating the same thing every day.

But we don’t!

Instead we crave (an emotional response) salmon, french fries, chocolate cake, ice-cream, because we want (an emotional response) rather than need (an intellectual response) these foods.

Is this logical? Shouldn’t we eat the ‘best food’ every day?

Our bodies will be in peak condition, won’t it?

Instead, emotion overrules logic!
Needs-based selling if executed correctly, will:

  • have a high emotional component
  • be customer-centric (but still must have some product focus too)

If you have questions regarding:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
  • needs-based selling
  • emotional vs intellectual appeals

please leave a comment.

If you might find crafting of needs-based selling appeals, or examples useful, drop a comment too.

Needs-based selling is a very powerful too.
Because many people aren’t using it (or using it well), you will see massive increases in your results if used successfully.

Test it out and do report your results.

Internet Marketing Honeymoon Effect: Work with it

Before I go into today’s topic, I was to give a shoutout to my buddy, Ridzuan Ashim at XSmatter.com. Although we haven’t met IRL (in real life) yet, he was so kind to help point out that my hyperlinks were messed up in my ‘Blogging for Dummies: Singapore’s finest‘ post and also mentioning that I could change my comment procedure. It’s now easier to leave comments (you don’t have to login anymore). It’s only with the help of friends like Ridzuan and others who’re more experienced in blogging and Internet Marketing, that’s helped me build this new blog to an Alexa 662,094 ranking (as of 1st Aug 06). Thanks for the help guys.

On to today’s topic.

Have you ever done anything new that you’re real excited about? (ok, silly question).

Were you really hyped about it?

It may have been starting a new relationship, going to a new school or starting a new job.

Remember how your first day was?

Simiarly, you may have had your Internet Marketing success hopes go up after attending an Internet Marketing seminar preview. The presenter might have said something along the lines of:

  • Do you have a neuron, three fingers, one working eye and a computer with Microsoft Word? Yes! you can create a website!
  • Did you know that Bert Ingley plays Madden NFL 06 for a living and makes great money!
  • (fill in name) Internet Marketer just bought a TV station, succeeded in auctioning for a town in California, has 257 high-performance sports cars and hasn’t even driven half of them! or (insert your great achievement/expense here)

It’s easy to get mentally trapped. Get a euphoric high from hearing about this.
Darn it, if they can do it, so can I.

You might’ve signed up for the course, expecting to receive five figure paychecks like clockwork.

You go for the course, you go home, thinking to yourself, I can do this, I can do this!
You clock up 18 hour work days.
You are meeting people every day, exchanging ideas, you’re going to take over the business world.
Watch out Google, Yahoo! Ebay, Yahoo
You do this for 20 consecutive days.
You are exhausted, but never mind, everything’s just waiting for you.

You were super psyched, everything seems new, the world might’ve even seemed brighter.

Then bleep. (or hiss if you prefer)
What happened?

The Honeymoon Effect is what happened.

That’s when all the hyper, and gloss, and glamour, and thoughts of instant riches suddenly get ripped away. Cold, hard reality is revealed. You might have a ‘oh darn’ moment, or if you’re a little more honest a ‘oh shit, what have I got myself into’ moment.

What seemed possible, seems less possible. Maybe even impossible.

The honeymoon effect typically manifests itself as soon as an hour after you come up with the idea, or about a month into the project.

Is the honeymoon effect bad?
Not necessarily. It keeps out a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs.
It poses as a barrier of entry to the poseurs.

It is a double-edged sword though.
You will find yourself facing your moment of truth.
Glamour aside, is this a business you want to go in.
If not, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort, but quitting right now.

The honeymoon effect can be an effective tool to keep the team motivated.
Successful entrepreneurs are able to constantly renew this honeymoon effect for the team and for themselves.

If what you’re doing is:

  • personally meaningful
  • congruent with your attitudes, values and orientation
  • adds value to the world

each morning you come to engage your project, it’ll be with a sense of purpose and commitment.You can boost your team’s morale by doing the same for them too.

Here’re 3 specific ways to employ the honeymoon effect:

  • Focus on the macro, less on the micro: What is your mission? What is your purpose? How will you change the world? Frequently there is a focus on micro level, nitty-gritty tasks. Granted these are tiring, repetitive and need to be done, however viewed in the context of accomplishing the greater good, they are much more palatable.
  • Action=Reaction: In a positive, learning environment, hand out kudos, high fives to your team members, encourage them to give them to other team members and to yourself too. As you adopt a ‘pay it forward‘ approach, there will be a goodwill multiplier effect. Whatever you give out, will come back to you multiplied.
  • ‘What can we learn from this’ thinking: It’s inevitable to encounter negative experiences in the course of business. Some people feel down after a failure. But what’s more important is how we deal with it. Asking the question “how can we learn from this? What’s our takeaway?’ will help create a solution should the situation repeat itself (it usually does). Brainstorming and creating a solution will help yourself and the organization become bigger, better and stronger!

The Honeymoon effect is essential to all relationship dynamics, whether personal or in a business setting.

Work with it to make it work for you.

Stress: Eustress and Distress

Stress: distress and eustress
Stress is a concept that’s frankly stressful to most people.
The dictionary defines it as a “mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.” (reference.com).

Stress might cause your blood pressure to rise, lower the oxygen supply to your brain, kill off more neurons than usual.
Stress CAN shorten your life. In extreme cases, Stress may bring on a heart attack and kill you.
During the recent world cup, some Brazil fans were so stressed their teams lost they had heart attacks.
In fact, some fans died from stress-related heart attacks when their teams lost.

To die because of a sport is especially taxing for the family who will inevitably also be stressed by having to make the funeral arrangements.Is all stress bad?
The psychologists and doctors are in agreement that distress (the ‘bad’ form of stress) is bad for you. On a prolonged basis, distress could bring about health-related conditions and put unnecessary stress on the heart.

As far as possible, it’s best to reduce the amount of unnecessary stress in one’s life.
Practise deep breathing, do creative visualization, anything to destress oneself from the rigors of our stressful lifestyle.

BUT on the other hand, is a stress-free life desirable.
Should we aim to isolate ourselves from any stressors (factors which bring about stress)?

Even if we were to live in a cave in the mountains, it might not necessarily mean a stress-free existence.
For one, there could be bears in the area, disease and illness could be more rampant there and not to mention the stress of not having a doctor around. And no Internet!

There is a silver lining to the stress storm cloud.
Eustress.
Eustress is the ‘good’ form of stress.
Coming from the Greek ‘eu’ meaning good or well, the good form of stress motivates us during moments when we are stressed.
Occasions where we face a massive challenge, yet come out ahead are when eustress manifest itself. Some of these eustress moments could be winning or achieving first place in a competition, finally earning that well-deserved promotion, proposing to the love of your life and having the other person accept your proposal. These are all examples of ‘good’ stress.

Can we create situations of eustress?
Definitely, by having clearly defined goals, and a well-thought out set of strategies to achieve our goals, we might feel some stress, however, it’s likely to be eustress, accompanied by a healthy dose of confidence that we’ll achieve our goals.

After all, a stress-free lifestyle might seem like a nirvana, however, it could turn out to be a bland personal hell.
Pick the challenging route, it might be more stressful, but the saying holds that whatever doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger.

Embrace stress, you’ll be the better for it.