As luck would have it, my sister in law is getting married on Saturday.
It's gloomy out today and the forecast calls for rain.
Generally, here in Northern California, the first rain comes on Halloween.
But it's supposed to rain cats and dogs (up to half an inch, which is YUGE! here) on Saturday.
Her wedding is outdoors.
And I don't think she has a Plan B.
In business school, the profs tell you to always have a Plan B.
And in life, your mother often tells you the same thing.
I say, “F that!”
Go all in or go home.
You want a wedding outdoors? Do it and damn the rain.
It's just water, after all.
Sure, you can put up a canopy or whatever.
But that's not a Plan B.
That's risk mitigation.
There is a difference.
Sometimes, having a Plan B allows you to focus less on Plan A.
Because you can fail and just say, “Well, good thing I had a Plan B!”
When all along you weren't committed to Plan A.
You were just vaguely participating.
Like the old joke about the pig and the chicken.
The chicken lays the eggs. She participates.
But the pig? He's committed.
I love bacon!
Look, a squirrel! 🙂
Get my point?
Commit. Make the best damned Plan A possible.
Then do EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER to see it through to completion.
That's how real businesses achieve success.
Image credit: ND Strupler under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Modified for re-use. Original file: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7286/8739978723_a3cf5126ef_b.jpg
Below is a presentation I put together for my Internet Marketing Mastermind meetup. In it, I describe the 3 things a local business must do in order to be successful with their online marketing.
Those 3 things a local business must do:
It's really that easy. YOU, as the local business owner/operator do what you do (whether it's cleaning carpets, doing dentistry, or selling garden supplies) and leave the online marketing to professionals who know how to do it well without mucking anything up.
And there's lots to muck up. I've seen it all.
It boils down into putting together a solid strategy, with an actionable plan.
But before you do anything, you ought to know where you stand today.
And you start by getting your free local business marketing report card (link is in the presentation at the end, or here, if you're in a hurry).
A new day…a new scandal.
Apparently, now it's the Democrats' turn to screw everything up and keep this Presidential race as close as possible.
(Trump is ahead, by the way, and has been on top in the last 6 national polls.)
Head of the DNC is out (after the convention, of course). Oh, and she was appointed by the Clinton campaign to chair a group…geez, really?
Email leaks all over the place. Apparently, the Russians are behind it. Or aliens. Or the Kardashians. I can't remember.
It's a race to the bottom.
Where the scum of the earth hang out: Lawyers, politicians, and used car salesmen.
I implore you: Race to the top.
It smells better.
I leave you with this picture of a bear who got his head stuck in an empty jug of cheetohs (who knew they came in jugs?)
Want to read about the silly bear? Click here.
With June out of the way, we are officially in the second half 0f 2016. And two questions arise:
Now, I'm not a big goal setter. That doesn't mean I don't have big goals. I just don't rely on the whole “goal setting” exercise.
I often set only one or a few big goals for a year. And they're usually big stretch goals.
For example, this year I set a goal to immerse myself in creating Udemy courses. My big hairy stretch goal was 12 courses in 2016 (one a month).
How many have I made? 0. Zilch. The big fat ZERO.
So has the first half of 2016 been a failure for me?
At first blush, sure. No doubt.
Can I recover? Undoubtedly.
Because I look at 2016 not as half over but as half left.
Now, will I be able to create 12 courses in 6 months, when I haven't created any in 6?
Probably not. But I can. There is no limit to my productivity. And I can re-set my goal to 6 in the last 6 months (still one a month). I know, I'm rationalizing. So be it.
So what's up? Why haven't I even started on my one big goal?
I can't explain it, really. Lots going on. Busy being busy is most of it. I don't really like this feeling. I've had a lot of false starts this year:
In a sense, I'm stuck in “analysis paralysis.” But here's the deal:
You KNOW which one I'm taking.
Which one are you taking?
If I can point to ANY one thing that I need in my business, it's email. It's the lifeblood on any online-focused business.
And I depend on it!
But I'm needy, so I need two things (well, besides a blog). So, three things 🙂
Here they are. Hold your breath. I'm sure you've never seen this before (queue the sarcasm font):
Like I said, and I don't think you need any proof, email is the key. You need a good email service provide like Aweber.
Why? Because once somebody visits your site, whether they got there through a search engine, social media, or directly, they may never come back.
If you can entice them to sign up for your list (offer them something cool in return for their email address and permission to continue to market to them), then you can continue a dialog with them even if they don't bookmark your site or visit again.
Then, you can send them back to your site or send them valuable information.
This is critical.
So choose Aweber. It's an easy decision.
Now, getting people to sign up for your list is another matter altogether. Sure, you can mess around with your email service provider's generic forms (admittedly, Aweber's are pretty good, and there are a lot of them), but you won't get the beautiful output Thrive Leads gives you.
It's a plugin that you activate on your WordPress blog that makes creating truly impressive and beautiful opt-in forms SUPER easy.
No coding needed. Plus, really good stats on how many visitors see the form and fill it out (that's called “conversions,” folks).
Thrive Leads is the opt-in form creator I'd been looking for over 10 years. Creating forms in HTML is a PITA. Plus, you have no idea how well they're working.
Last, you need a blog. Your online business needs a home. Your blog is its home.
Plus, you can't really put an opt-in form on twitter. So you drive traffic to your blog, present your visitors with a beautiful opt-in form with a solid offer (checklists work great), and have them sign up.
And then the magic begins when you email every single day.