Once you can recognize the inner critic, you can learn to control it. The way that you interpret challenges, obstacles, or criticism that you face is up to you. But this is the most challenging step for most people. It is difficult to reframe the voice when you have well-grooved patterns.
The way to think about reframing is to imagine giving advice to a friend.
Naturally, you would never use a harsh, critical voice when trying to help a friend.
If you would never do this with a friend, why are you doing it with yourself?
We are generally harsher on ourselves than we are with others, so instead of talking to yourself, imagine that you’re giving advice to a good friend.
Now, imagine that you’re giving them advice and reframe the negative statement that was made
After reframing comes action.
What challenges can you take on in order to foster and nurture a growth mindset?
What challenges have you been avoiding?
Choose a challenge and try it again, but this time, turn your fixed mindset around.
Find a work-related or personal task that you’ve either been shying away from doing or that you feel you’ve failed at.
For example, perhaps you always put work first and your eating habits are not the best. How can you challenge yourself to create better eating habits?
Maybe there is a skill you’ve been wanting to learn such as cooking but the idea of trying again gives you a sense of anxiety.
There might be an important client you’ve been meaning to contact but shying away from.
Start with one challenge, and you can then apply it to the next challenge once you have success with the first.

Using Social Media to Build Your Online Presence

Your online presence is one of the most important ways to market your business to the world. It honestly doesn’t matter whether you have a strictly online business or a bricks and mortar business; using social media is a great way to get the word out about your business and to establish your identity online.

Ensure that Your Brand Matches Throughout

While each social media network has its own personally, your brand is always your brand. You should keep your brand the same, but adjust it slightly to fit in with the personality of the platform. But don’t change it too much because you want your audience to recognize you and interact with you.

Keep Your Profile Updated and Complete

Social media networks are always changing so a complete profile today will be incomplete tomorrow. Keep it up-to-date by checking it often, updating the things you have changed, and adding in information as the platform creates new ways for you to share.

Be Consistent with Your Posts

One of the keys to making social media work for you to build your online presence, is putting up regular posts and updates. You want to do it more than once a day on social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter. For example, if you have a blog post you want to share, set it up to share twice in the day instead of only once.

Become an Expert on One or Two Platforms

You can’t be everyplace and do it well, so choose one or two platforms where your audience likes to hang out, and become an expert at those systems. You’ll do yourself a huge favor. If you can afford to outsource to every social network, it will be fine, but if it’s just you, take it easy and become an expert of one or two.

Develop Content Specific for Each Platform

You don’t want to rehash the exact same content in the exact same words on each social media network. For example, when you share a blog post you wrote promoting your widget, you want to share it with a special blurb for each different network.

Engage with Others

Don’t forget to talk to people on each network. Answer questions, share your knowledge, and interact and engage with them. Social media is supposed to be social. Automation is fine, but you do need to answer people and talk to people in real time, too.

Share Other People’s Updates

When someone shares something important that your audience will find interesting, share it. The people you share and congratulate and interact with will do the same for you. Plus, it’s another form of content that can help establish expertise.

Join Groups

Most social media networks right now have some forms of groups that you can join. Even Pinterest has group pin boards that you can join. Joining these, then interacting with the people, is a great way to network and get known better.

Social media is an excellent way to build your online presence along with your website and blog. Use the social media to promote what you put on your website, as well as to stimulate sales of your products and services.

5 Common Newbie Concerns – Solved

When you’re a newcomer to Internet Marketing, there are so many worries you may have over starting your own business. Although there’s a large community that offers some camaraderie, it’s still a solo business where you succeed or fail on your own.

When newbies were asked about their biggest anxiety in launching a start-up business online, there were some common themes that seemed to be looked upon as obstacles for those who don’t have much experience with this business yet.

Knowing Where to Start

You get online and hear about Internet Marketing and when you start Googling the words, you get a huge array of opportunities. There’s not just one Internet Marketing business model – there are dozens.

You can create products, promote as an affiliate, engage in mobile marketing, provide services – the list goes on and on. It starts to get a little overwhelming because you don’t know what’s the best starting point.

You want to ask yourself what your primary need is right now. Are you desperate for money or are you hoping to build a business for your personal satisfaction?

It’s okay to have both, but if your electricity is about to be turned off, then you might want to pursue services and work for those who are already successful before you try to carve out a place for yourself as a leader in a niche.

Some business models will take more time to see a return than others. For example, if you were ghostwriting for someone, you could get paid today with a PayPal payment.

But if you decided to start off as an Amazon Associate, using affiliate marketing as your business model, you would have to wait at least two months to get a payment from that – not including the time it takes for you to create content that converts into sales.

Learn what the various business models are and make a list of those that interest you. You don’t need to know all of the details about it yet, but if you hear that people make money ghostwriting and you love to write, jot that down as a possibility for you.

Then make a list of the skills and talents you have that you’d like to put to good use, like graphics, research, writing, technical tasks, etc.

Go out searching for courses and information that can help you get started. And have realistic expectations. There’s a reason you shouldn’t start with online marketing if you’re desperate for money – it’s not an overnight cash cow, no matter how many people toss words around like “push button” and “done for you.”

When you buy a course, implement every word of it before you consider it a flop. And even then, go to the product creator and show them your efforts and see if they can help you get on the right track.

Expect a few failures along the way – not one person has avoided them.

Don’t buy every course and tool and one time offer presented to you. You can easily get started with free and low cost options before you re-invest in your business for a few upgrades.

There is no exact starting line you have to find. You gather information and jump in. You can look for information online or buy a course that helps you get going.

Deciding What Courses to Invest In

Once you have a business model in mind that you think you may want to try, start looking for a course to teach you what you need to know. Start with one and then after completing it, move on to another.

There is no one soup to nuts course for you. Every seller will have a slightly different strategy and concept – and it’s likely that you’ll pick up a few golden nuggets from each one, rather than follow one course verbatim for your entire career.

Know where to look for courses. You start by asking in a forum or asking a reputable blogging what his or her recommendation is for learning a specific business model.

You can also Google things like “best Amazon affiliate course” to see what comes up. Look for discussions, not blatant promotions written by someone who is just out to make a quick buck.

Evaluate the reputation of the sellers. Look for real information – does he or she respond to emails? Are refunds difficult to get if there’s a problem? Are they known for quality or have they had to reinvent themselves under an alias one too many times?

Look for honest reviews, not promotions. You want thorough reviews by someone who actually purchased or owns a copy of the product and is explaining to you what makes it good (as well as what’s lacking in it).

Actually read the entire sales copy – even between the lines. So many people buy on a whim – using either recommendations only or headlines only to go by. You need to read every word. And if you don’t understand something, email the product creator and ask before you buy.

Don’t buy and then say to yourself, “Well if it’s not what I wanted, I’ll just refund.” That can get you blacklisted – not to mention it damages the seller’s ranking for sales.

Don’t order it until you have time to implement it. If you’re swamped without a second to spare, then now is not the time to be trying to launch an online business.

When you have at least an hour each day or a few times a week to implement a new course, then buy it and begin implementing it right that minute. You can even start a blog and conduct a thorough review of your implementation process, helping you make some affiliate sales along the way.

Coming Up with an Idea Where Competition Isn’t an Issue

It’s not just newbies who get stage fright over competition. It’s really not necessary, but it strikes fear in the hearts of newbies and seasoned marketers alike.

Competition is a good thing. It means there are people scrambling to get a piece of a profit pie. If there’s zero competition, then that’s a sign that there’s no pie at all – in other words, no profits.

Instead of being so worried about competition, learn to become one of the competitors that others should be fearful of. This doesn’t happen in an instant – it grows over time, and there’s plenty of room for you, regardless of what niche you want to be in.

Think about what niche you want to be in. Does it seem like everyone and their grandmother is in that niche? That’s okay! Even if it’s dieting or making money online, there’s a place for you.

You don’t have to pursue underwater basket weaving as your niche just because no one else is doing it. They’re not there because it’s a dead niche for making money.

What do you want to be known for in that niche? Let’s say it’s dieting. Would you like to be known for helping people stop yo yo dieting, or helping them lose a massive amount of weight as fast as possible?

You need a slant. You’re the one who is going to be creating a buzz about yourself in this niche, so you have to know what you want the conversation to be about.

Who is your competition? Don’t be scared of them – dissect their offers and topple them that way. When two groups go to war, they learn as much as they can about the other group – what weapons they’re fond of, what mode of transportation they prefer, etc. This is how they ultimately defeat the other group.

What (and how) are they operating in the niche? What products do they have? What services? How often are they networking on social sites? Look at every detail of how they conduct business.

Now how could you do it better or different? If there are virtually no videos by these people, then you can dominate on YouTube. Or if they haven’t bothered to release a trendy product lately, you could get into the niche by scooping something in the news.

Picking a Website Name

It’s hard to tell you not to worry so much about picking your site name because it is important. But you don’t want to let it paralyze you – and you don’t want to become a domain hoarder who keeps buying URLs because you keep thinking you made a mistake with the last one.

First things first – try to get a dot com extension. Yes, you can make do with a dot net, dot org, dot info or many other extensions but consumers typically assume everything is a dot com, so it’s best to go with that.

You need to know what the purpose of your site is before you go shopping for a domain. Is it going to be a review site? Then try to work that word in there, like this:

· TopToyReviews.com
· TopBlenderReviews.com
· MarketingProductReviews.com

If this is a domain for a niche blog, then you don’t need to put the word blog in your domain URL. You just want to grab a domain that preferably uses keywords and explains what the site is about.

For example:

· SelfHelpTips.com
· DailyMoneyMotivation.com
· SkincareSolutions.com

These domains are all pretty self-explanatory. What you don’t want to do is be vague about it. Unless you plan to become a master of branding, stick to a keyword-laced domain.

Vague domains like “FlyHigher.com” might be about self esteem – but it could also be about hang gliding. No one knows at first glance.

Handling the Intimidating Technical Tasks

Some people have a mountain of motivation, a ton of determination, but absolutely zero technical prowess. If this describes you, don’t consider it an obstacle you can’t overcome.

There are several ways to get around the fact that technical issues are your Achilles Heel.

If money is an issue, then you can look online for step-by-step videos or text instructions that teach you how to do something. Be very specific when you search, by using phrases like, “How to install a WordPress blog.”

If money’s not an issue, or if you feel like the frustration level and time consumption will be too much for you to take the do it yourself route, then save up to outsource any tech tasks you don’t want to handle.

You can find someone to do everything – install blogs, upload content, set up your email autoresponder – you name it. Sometimes the people who sell certain tools will conduct the service you need for a small fee.

For example, Sam Stephens does this with his Download Guard product, which delivers expiring download links to your customers after they purchase something from you so that they can’t share the links all over the Internet.

Being a newbie should be an exhilarating time for you, not one where you feel paralyzed and intimidated by everyone else’s success stories. Keep in mind that everyone’s made mistakes, we’ve all failed, but the ones who succeed are those who get back up and try again without shame.

With so many business run online today,
the personal touch of doing business is sometimes lost in the mix.
Everyone is so accustomed to emailing, sending in support tickets or leaving messages on an automated system,
that you forget that there are real people running the business.
If you can identify with this, maybe it is time to add that personal feel to your business. When was the last time you actually talked to a customer or send them a thank you note? Sometime ago I guess.
One place to start is by adding an About Page to your website and including your photograph. This immediately allows people to start connecting with you.
Your about page doesn’t have to be long, but it should include a little about your background, both personal and professional. A photo of yourself or even one with your family or pet makes your site more human.
If you sell products online why not start adding something extra into your customer’s receipts. This could be a link to your Facebook page or Google+ page. Encourage them to connect with you there and let you know how they liked your products.
Getting your face and name in front of your customers is important for several reasons. You want to build a base of repeat customers, but you also want your customers to refer your business to their friends. One way to encourage this is by going that extra mile.
This could be sending out a physical thank you note in the mail. Or just remembering your customer’s birthdays and anniversaries. If you run a local business why not phone a customer just to say thanks?
Setting up a newsletter is another way you can connect with your customers. In addition to using this letter to inform your customers of new products and sales, you can use it in a different way.
Why not encourage your customers to send in photos of how they used your product or service. People just love to show off photos, and depending on your business, this could work extremely well for you.
Another advantage of this is that it provides you with content for your newsletter. You could set up a ‘Customer of the Week’ event and highlight one person each week or month.
The main thing to remember is that your customers are real people and want to be treated as such. They want to know who you are and what you do, so why not give them what they want and expand your business in the process?

Many small businesses operate under an employee mindset. If your goal as a small business owner is to grow, you need to think like an entrepreneur.A Entrepreneur has big ideas
SBOs solve local problems. They know their business and target audience.To develop your success mindset
go to http://jgtips.com/smindset.

There are some steps you can take to move you toward a more growth-oriented mindset
Step One – Awareness: Hear Your “Fixed Mindset” Voice
You most likely know this voice, even though you may never have identified it as an “inner critic.” The first step is to identify that voice and identify the times when you hear it.
These are situations where you are brought back to a fixed rather than a growth mindset.
To do this, you simply need to practice awareness.
Start by identifying the voice when you hear it.
Next, try to remember what event preceded those negative thoughts.
It’s a bit like trying to identify what is causing a stomach ache.
You have to go back and try to remember what you ate just before.
If you’re not sure you’ve identified your inner critic yet, try looking for cues.
For example, look for times when you find that you’re doubting yourself,
saying something like, “Can I really do this?”
Or be aware of when you’re focusing on failure rather than success;
for example, where you’re worrying about what will happen if you fail at something.
A good place to look for your fixed mindset voice is any time
you’re trying something new or challenging.
Step Two – Reframe
Once you can recognize the voice, you can learn to control it.
The way that you interpret challenges, obstacles, or criticism that you face is up to you. But this is the most challenging step for most people.
It is difficult to reframe the voice when you have well-grooved patterns.
The way to think about reframing is to imagine giving advice to a friend.
Naturally, you would never use a harsh, critical voice when trying to help a friend.
If you would never do this with a friend, why are you doing it with yourself?
We are generally harsher on ourselves than we are with others, so instead of talking to yourself, imagine that you’re giving advice to a good friend.
Take each statement that your inner voice gives you and imagine
if it were a friend, your partner, or a family member who was saying it to themselves. Now, imagine that you’re giving them advice and
reframe the negative statement that was made.
Skills examples
Fixed Are you sure you can do that?
Growth I’m not sure I can do it, but I can learn with practice and effort.
Fixed What if I fail? I’ll be a failure.
Growth All successful people have failures. I can learn from my failure.
Step Three – Action: Take on the Growth Mindset
After reframing comes action.
What challenges can you take on in order to foster and nurture a growth mindset?
What challenges have you been avoiding?
Choose a challenge and try it again, but this time, turn your fixed mindset around.
Find a work-related or personal task that you’ve either been shying away from doing or that you feel you’ve failed at.
For example, There might be an important client you’ve been meaning to contact but shying away from.
Start with one challenge, and
you can then apply it to the next challenge
once you have success with the first challenge.

How the Emotions of the Customer can affect the relationship with your business

The old way at looking at the customer business relationship was that the customer made the decision on whether they bought your product or service based on cold hard facts, features and benefits.

The emotions of the customer are playing in as a greater factor in purchase decision making than previously thought.

Behavioral economics has shown that rational decision-making accounts for approximately one-third of people’s decisions and behavior. Feelings influence engagement and engagement boosts sales, as engaged customers buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per transaction. by Unlock the Key to Customer Engagement with Virtual Reality

As new technology and our use of the internet is making how we connect more intimate with a business  (or more anonymous as “Fake News” and social media have no accountability for slander or negative reviews). A customer can instantly register a review on your business positive or negative depending on their experience in all of the social media platforms. They don’t have to pick up the phone to complain to an agent. A negative review can be spread 10x faster than a positive. 

According to Jay Baer in Forbes article, a business should respond to any complaint on social media whether true or untrue.

As (Jay) Baer puts it, “A lack of response is a response. It’s a response that says, ‘We don’t care about you very much.’ from the Forbes article Top 3 tips for acing customer service in the age of social media.

So what is a business to do to create the engagement and emotional connection that the customer wants? 

A few ways to engage and connect with your customer include:

1/ Connecting your business with an Influencer that your customer follows

customers

An oldie but a goodie is that  we, as customers, pay attention to the hero’s or heroines that we admire who tell us how wonderful is a new detergent soap or insurance company.

Today, we have new influencers we follow and some of them are celebrities but more often now, it can be influential people on social media that we follow and we pay attention to their recommendations. There are brands who pay celebrities to use and post an Instagram picture using the product now. There are brands who see the large engaged followers of a celebrity in the media and they offer a product line to them to create in that celebrity’s style.

The new pet lifestyle brand taps Ellen’s distinctive design sensibility and PetSmart’s pet know-how to create exciting new products for pet parents everywhere. by PetSmart Gets Big Customer Engagement Assist from Ellen DeGeneres

2/ Connect with their customers on social media

l a4Ips9
Public Domain from pixabay

All you have to do is have a look at the Instagram accounts for Levi’s, Mercedes Benz with 8.1 million followers or Levi’s with 9.1 million followers or Ben and Jerry’s (benandjerry’s) with 600,000 followers and you can see how simple photos can still be engaging for any business.

If you can humanize your brand and products, and provide something for your customers to identify with, you are likely to build loyal fans. by How Customer Engagement Can Benefit Your Business – Due

3/ Have great responsive customer service

l a4Ips9

Even a small business should have great customer service. A loyal customer will buy from you again and again if you provide a great experience.  Just something as simple as support@yourwebsite.com can be an easy way for a customer to connect to you on a personal level. I have discussed great customer service over on my youtube channel Solopreneur Success Strategies channel at http://jgtips.com/youtube if you want to get a few ideas.

4/Keep up to date on the new technology coming for customer business relationship

image2

For example, Virtual Reality technology is coming to the customer purchase experience according to this article (well worth looking at what is enterprise VR) as soon you’ll be able to view a product in a catalogue from all three sides, flip it over and measure it to see if it will fit etc. to answer all your questions on whether you need it. It is coming!

Enterprise VR empowers customers to interact with products and content in virtual reality and preview in 3D, touch, flip, and customize the products they are interested in. by Unlock the Key to Customer Engagement with Virtual Reality

image2

As well, how a business will communicate with a customer may change as text messaging becomes more acceptable as communication link to get questions answered or specials broadcast for the business.

An eWeek study revealed that 52% of consumers would be likely to exchange text with a live customer service agent and that the same number would actually prefer it to their existing channel of communication. by Increase Customer Engagement by Delivering Text-Generation Customer Service

To keep up to date on trends follow The Business of At Home Business

The Challenges and reality for Babyboomers as they get close to retirement

Have the challenges of the Babyboomer generation made it impossible to retire?

According to Gallup article, babyboomers still work even though they are eligible for retirement.

Although the first wave of boomers became eligible for early retirement under Social Security about six years ago, the generation still constitutes about one-third (31%) of the workforce, similar to percentages for millennials (33%) and Generation X (32%). via Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire | Gallup

So, why aren’t more Babyboomers retiring?  Well, besides the normal challenges of increased cost of living there are other expenses that were not considered:

For example,

12798668haSU0

Medical expenses for themselves or their family members

When we were younger , did we think that we’d have to pay $10,000 for dentures?

Lack affordable health insurance plans, rising medical costs in general, long wait time for procedures and the massive explosion of the babyboomer population entering the years where they will need more health care, the rising phenomenon of medical tourism also called medical travel or international health travel via Medical Tourism Being Seen as an Alternative To Obamacare

Inconsiderate planning for retirement

Did you have training when you were younger on how to save for your retirement?

Over half of over 55s who currently earn £20k – £30k have saved less than £30k for their retirement. This translates to an income of around £165 per month. Yet despite this, almost a quarter of people (23%) in this category anticipate a retirement they describe as “comfortable”, demonstrating a dramatic difference between what they are used to and what they might actually afford. via Babyboomers reinvent retirement pJ 

Unexpected support of family members

When you were young did you know that besides supporting your children, you would be supporting your parents as they got older? It is not usually planned that you will be the caregiver of your parents. 

The number of older people with intense care needs will outstrip the supply of informal care from family members in 2017, with the consequent ‘care gap’ affecting as many as 230,000 people by 2030. via Thousands won’t be able to rely on family in old age. We need a contingency plan

Little did you know that when you had your children graduate from college that due to the economy and or cost of living, they return to your house a few times to live. Your children want a life of their own but the uncertain economy has made them return to their family home.

 

In the past decade and a half, according to the Economist, about 3.2 million 20- to 34-year-olds have gone back to live with mum and dad via Let’s see some babyboomer rage about Generation Jobless

Many seniors are realizing that what they’ve saved for retirement years isn’t going to be enough to support them and even provide them with necessities – much less the luxuries they’d like to enjoy.

That’s why so many seniors are building online businesses well before the retirement party. One of the benefits of building a part time business in your spare time before you retire is that you’ll already have an income and it can increase as your business grows.

Having a second business to pursue after retirement keeps your mind sharp and you won’t ever get bored if you’re committed to your business pursuits. But this time you can set your own hours and only answer to yourself as the boss!

For more about How to Get a Lifestyle Business Online and how to get an alternate retirement fund even before you retire, go and sign up for my free 30 minute training video which include the book How to Get a Lifestyle Business Online 

 

Customer Service Trends Predictions

Gartner Research predicts that customers will handle 85% of their relationships with a company without ever interacting with another human by the year 2020 from 8 Mega Customer Service Trends for 2016

This year it will be more important than ever for your customer service teams to provide quality support. At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding the customer and predicting what they will want next from  8 Mega Customer Service Trends for 2016

As a result savvy retailers will be switching to mobile formats, with  AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) tipped to be the system of choice for the future from Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source

In 2016 forward-thinking online retailers, particularly in the fashion space, will make more use of augmented reality to successfully redress the balance and eliminate the likelihood of missed sales and abandoned baskets from  Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source

A big focus for Google and one which will become even more prevalent amongst retailers this year is to champion a personalised approach that takes an individual user view to secure not just repeat custom, but incresed purchase volumes. Maintaining relevance means having a broad awareness of past purchases and personal preferences to win the hearts, mind and wallets of shoppers from  Top eCommerce trends for customer experience – Fourth Source