OK, Healthcare Entrepreneurs…Your Turn.  Let’s Resuscitate Your Professional Portfolio

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives.   Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.  

For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them.  Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.

As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies.  When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter.  These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do. 

More specifically, we should consider:

*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online

*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).

*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face

*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current

* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)

In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible.  Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.

They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare. 

Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.”  This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.

Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it. 

Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:  

  1. positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
  2.  a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).

 

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Online Advertising Fraud 101

 

Online Advertising Fraud 101

 

I have long been of the opinion that the lack of transparency on the web is one of its growing and impending problems. It has become clear to observant consumers that it is very easy to create a false and misleading impression on the internet if one has the skill and desire to do so (for financial benefit).

It hasn't taken long for advertising to become just as big on the internet as it always has been in more traditonal commerce. While the majority of online advertising purveyors are legitimate businesses or solopreneurs, it has recently been revealed that, in the aggregate, there is a tremendous about of money lost, by advertisers, to advertising schemes and scams.

In fact, no less prestigious authority than Advertising Age’s online magazine recently stated that 1 out of 3 advertising dollars spent are siphoned off by fraud. They estimated the total lost was $18.5B. That’s a lot of money.

But, like anything else, this subject has already gotten obscured, to most people, by terminology and a lack of understanding of the basics involved. That’s what this article is about.

Another commonly used name for ‘online advertising fraud’ is ‘Click Fraud’.

Click fraud is especially common in something you've probably at least have heard about…PPC (pay per click) advertising. It occurs when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link.

Click fraud is the subject of some controversy and increasing litigation due to the advertising networks being a key beneficiary of the fraud.

In the book, The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture, media entrepreneur and journalist John Battelle described click fraud as the "decidedly black-hat" practice of publishers illegitimately gaming paid search advertising by employing robots or low-wage workers to repeatedly click on each AdSense ad on their sites, thereby generating money to be paid by the advertiser to the publisher and to Google.

Pay-per-click advertising

PPC advertising is an arrangement in which webmasters (operators of websites), acting as publishers, display clickable links from advertisers in exchange for a charge per click. As this industry evolved, a number of advertising networks developed, which acted as middlemen between these two groups (publishers and advertisers).

And of course, any time there’s big money involved, some people succumb to the temptation of scamming consumers.

 

Each time a (believed to be) valid Web user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays the advertising network, which in turn pays the publisher a share of this money. This revenue-sharing system is seen as an incentive for click fraud.

The largest of the advertising networks is Google's AdWords/AdSense and Yahoo! Search Marketing. They actually act in a dual role, since they are also publishers themselves (on their search engines).[3]

According to critics, this complex relationship may create a conflict of interest. This is because these companies lose money to undetected click fraud when paying out to the publisher but make more money when collecting fees from the advertiser. Because of the spread between what they collect and pay out, unfettered click fraud would create short-term profits for these companies.

Non-contracting parties

A secondary source of click fraud is non-contracting parties, who are not part of any pay-per-click agreement. This type of fraud is even harder to police because perpetrators generally cannot be sued for breach of contract or charged criminally with fraud. Here are some examples:

  • Competitors of advertisers: These parties may wish to harm a competitor who advertises in the same market by clicking on their ads. The perpetrators do not profit directly but force the advertiser to pay for irrelevant clicks, thus weakening or eliminating a source of competition.

  • Competitors of publishers: These persons may wish to frame a publisher. It is made to look as if the publisher is clicking on its own ads. The advertising network may then terminate the relationship. Many publishers rely exclusively on revenue from advertising and could be put out of business by such an attack.

  • Other malicious intent: As with vandalism, there are many motives for wishing to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher, even by people who have nothing to gain financially. Motives include political and personal vendettas. These cases are often the hardest to deal with, since it is difficult to track down the culprit, and if found, there is little legal action that can be taken against them.

  • Friends of the publisher: Sometimes upon learning a publisher profits from ads being clicked, a supporter of the publisher (like a fan, family member, political party supporter, charity patron or personal friend) will click on the ads to help. This can be considered patronage. However, this can backfire when the publisher (not the friend) is accused of click fraud.

Advertising networks may try to stop fraud by all parties but often do not know which clicks are legitimate. Unlike fraud committed by the publisher, it is difficult to know who should pay when past click fraud is found. Publishers resent having to pay refunds for something that is not their fault. However, advertisers are adamant that they should not have to pay for phony clicks.

Organization

Click fraud can be as simple as one person starting a small Web site, becoming a publisher of ads, and clicking on those ads to generate revenue. Often the number of clicks and their value is so small that the fraud goes undetected. Publishers may claim that small amounts of such clicking is an accident, which is often the case.

However, this technique can be scaled up considerably. Those engaged in large-scale fraud will often run scripts which simulate human clicking on ads in Web pages. However, huge numbers of clicks appearing to come from just one, or a small number of computers, or a single geographic area, obviously look highly suspicious to the advertising network and advertisers.

Clicks coming from a computer known to be that of a publisher (which can be and usually is tracked) also look suspicious to those watching for click fraud. For that basic reason, a person attempting large-scale fraud from one computer stands a good chance of being caught.

One type of fraud that usually circumvents detection is based on IP patterns uses existing user traffic and turning this traffic into clicks or impressions. These types of attacks can be camouflaged from users by using 0-size iframes to display advertisements that are programmatically retrieved using JavaScript.

They could also be camouflaged from monitors (advertisers and portals) by ensuring that so-called "reverse spiders" are presented with a legitimate page, while human visitors are presented with a page that commits click fraud.

The use of 0-size iframes and other techniques involving human visitors may also be combined with the use of incentivized traffic where members of "Paid to Read" (PTR) sites (often in developing countries) are paid small amounts of money to visit a website and/or click on keywords and search results, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times every day.

Some owners of PTR sites are members of PPC engines and may send many email ads to users who do search, while sending few ads to those who do not. They do this mainly because the charge @ click on search results is often the only source of revenue to the site. This is known as forced searching, a practice that is frowned upon in the Get Paid To industry.

Organized crime or wealthy solopreneur scammers can handle this by having many computers with their own Internet connections in different geographic locations. Because the scripts they use often fail to mimic true human behavior, these operators use Trojan code to turn the average person's machines into zombie computers and use sporadic redirects or DNS cache poisoning to turn the oblivious user's actions into actions generating revenue for the scammer.

These are pretty smart people, i.e. smart at their craft. Thus not only are they good at covering their trails technically but it is usually very difficult for advertisers, advertising networks, and authorities to pursue cases against networks of people spread around multiple developing countries.

Impression fraud is when falsely generated ad impressions affect an advertiser's account. In the case of click-through rate based auction models, the advertiser may be penalized for having an unacceptably low click-through for a given keyword. This involves making numerous searches for a keyword without clicking of the ad. Such ads are disabled[7]

Hit inflation attack

A hit inflation attack is a kind of fraudulent method used by some advertisement publishers to earn unjustified revenue on the traffic they drive to the advertisers’ Web sites. It is more sophisticated and harder to detect than a simple inflation attack.

This process involves the collaboration of two counterparts, a dishonest publisher, P, and a dishonest Web site, S. Web pages on S contain a script that redirects the customer to P's Web site, and this process is hidden from the customer. So, when user U retrieves a page on S, it would simulate a click or request to a page on P's site.

P's site has two kinds of web pages: a manipulated version, and an original version. The manipulated version simulates a click or request to the advertisement, causing P to be credited for the click-through. P selectively determines whether to load the manipulated (and thus fraudulent) script to U's browser by checking if it was from S. This can be done through the Referrer field, which specifies the site from which the link to P was obtained. All requests from S will be loaded with the manipulated script, and thus the automatic and hidden request will be sent.

This attack will silently convert every innocent visit to S to a click on the advertisement on P's page. Even worse, P can be in collaboration with several dishonest Web sites, each of which can be in collaboration with several dishonest publishers.

If the advertisement commissioner visits the Web site of P, the non-fraudulent page will be displayed, and thus P cannot be accused of being fraudulent. Without a reason for suspecting that such collaboration exists, the advertisement commissioner has to inspect all the Internet sites to detect such attacks, which is infeasible. Another proposed method for detection of this type of fraud is through use of site parameters specified by the respective advertising association.

Online advertising fraud isn't anything that's going to be stamped out overnight. The internet is a jungle where the fight for survival is constant. Perhaps the good thing to recognize here is that online advertising fraud has only recently being recognized as a serious problem. That being the case, it might even spawn a new, entrepreneurial, industry of ad-revenue protection.

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

What to Do If Your Mobile Phone Is Stolen

stolen mobile phone

stolen mobile phone

What to Do If Your Mobile Phone Is Stolen

Losing a mobile phone is not an uncommon thing for anyone in this world. You must have heard that your friend or any other person forget his or her phone in a hotel, car, garden, restaurant, etc.  And when he or she goes back to pick up their mobile phone, the mobile phone is not where he or she left it. Now what to do if your mobile phone is stolen.

In many countries like UK, there is a mobile phone database, which can prevent lost or stolen mobile phones from being used on any mobile network, thus these stolen mobile phones are worthless to anyone.

This system exactly works like a stolen credit card, whenever you lose your credit card, you simply make a phone call to your bank to deactivate your credit card. Similar is the case with mobile phones, you call your service provider and give them a specific number to deactivate your stolen mobile phone. This system applies to both prepay and postpaid packages.

Every mobile phone in this world has a unique code called as International mobile equipment identity (IMEI Number). This is a unique serial number that every mobile phone have. If you provide this serial number to your network operator, they will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. No one can use your mobile phone even if the person who has stolen your mobile phone, insert a new sim card into the mobile phone. This mobile phone will be useless on all networks or service providers. All mobile network operators will deactivate or disable the phone by referencing the unique IMEI number of the mobile phone.

Now question is how to get this IMEI number? This number can normally be found under the battery of mobile phone (looking something like 004400/01/123456/7). You can also get this number from the phone software, by entering the following code. Simply dial * # 0 6 #  on your mobile phone.

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen after pressing the send button, or in some phones it comes automatically just by entering * # 0 6 #. So whenever you buy a mobile phone, get this code from the battery or by simply dialing the above code on your phone to get IMEI number.

After this record this 15 digit IMEI number and your phone number on your personal note book, place this book at a safe place and that’s it.

Now suppose you misplaced your phone, make a call to your service provider and give them your phone number and this particular key i.e. IMEI number. They will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones

Remember your mobile phone is very valuable for you. You may have very important data stored in it. So take care of your mobile phones. Don't use your mobile in crowded areas or where you might feel unsafe. Government is trying to encourage mobile phone companies to give more options for improving mobile phone security.

So remember this simple code * # 0 6 #. Tell all your friends and colleagues to get the IMEI number with the help of this code. If all of us simply follow this tip of making mobile secure, believe me no one will try to steal anyone's mobile phone.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Wealthy People Always Network: Are You Doing The Same?

Want to generate consistent, predictable and long-term residual income like wealthy people?  If yes, then, you have to follow certain proven economic/financial principles that ensure wealth-generation.  Now, the definition of wealthy isn’t restricted to those who possess extraordinary large sums of fiat currency but also, include those with mindsets receptive to thinking and executing beyond the limits of conventional restriction (yeah, The entrepreneur).  This applies to those non-comformists who were ridiculed in high school, thought of as techies in college and then, exalted as heroes in adulthood.  So, the question of networking is important because it establishes a foundation where the journey of your success begins with the collective support of other potential business partners with the same vision as yourself.  The Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s, of the world can definitely relate.  So, what motivates these malcontents and why do they do it?

Well, many have identified the following psychological needs as being core factors to their pursuit: personal achievement (lifelong dream), autonomy, creativity and freedom.  Even if, you were not an entrepreneur the aforementioned psychological needs are self-explanatory in having great value in the lives of any individual who craves normalcy.      

Now, wealthy people are generally entrepreneurial and seek opportunities to invest their money in ventures that will yield a positive return on their investment.  One of the ways they do it is by team-building or networking with other like-minded people, who share the same vision, philosophy of financial prosperity, technical expertise and willingness to take calculated risks to achieve success.  Oh yes, the wealthy are willing to network with geniuses/mavericks who possess another approach to problem-solving, while developing new innovations to make things more efficient and ultimately profitable.  Please recognize the creation of a Mastermind Group was no accident and continues to this day because of the obvious benefits it yields to its members.  I trust you are onboard, I hope.        

In truth, the wealthy work with others because they recognize the importance of strength in numbers, which increases the probability of success as compared to going it alone, which increases the severity of potential loss.  Billionaire J. Paul Getty, once said, “I would rather profit from 1% off the efforts of 100 people rather than 100% of my own efforts”.  Obviously, Getty knew something about wealth-generation, but more importantly, he knew the importance of working with others, because strength in numbers reduces risk and provides greater knowledge about similar challenges in the future.  The more sophisticated you are in any area of success then; your odds of success explode. 

Now, are you networking or building a team of entrepreneurs who share the same vision of success that you possess or are you doing it all by yourself?  If you go it alone then, be prepared to spend more money out of your pockets because your risk has increased exponentially.  Additionally, if, you are networking with entrepreneurs who FEAR different approaches or refuse to adjust to changing market conditions and more importantly, needs of their customers then, you are a Dead Dealer destined for the MLM Cemetery.  Why shoulder the burden of your entrepreneurial dream, when you can benefit from the efforts of an entire global online community that receives solid training and support from an entrepreneur dedicated to helping the little guy and gal.   

Are you receptive to benefiting from the collective efforts of a professionally trained global network of entrepreneurs producing quality content through one of the most technologically advanced blogging platforms available for free?  Additionally, you will be able to access an arsenal of content creation resources and tools that will enhance your knowledge base as a marketer.  How about creation of groups being an integral part of the success within Markethive because this is where our network of guys and gals employ the Hivemind into providing solutions to problems through our collective content creation efforts.  Nothing like having a ready-made team of like-minded people, who are ready to work for you?  Well, you now see why the wealthy continue to reign supreme, because they connect with others, so as to leverage their efforts and investment by working with others, while the average broke Richard (Dick) does things unilaterally and generates no return on his investment.  Ready to change your philosophy of going it alone or remaining with a network of so called entrepreneurs who fail to recognize their Comfort Zone is really their Failure Zone?  Let’s not forget playing it safe is costly because in today’s business environment being stagnant as the World passes you by ensures your failure.   

Let’s look at some of the social networks exclusive to the wealthy:

Metropolitan Club, a social network for what was described as obnoxious rich people and fittingly suffered its destruction 2-months after its debut in 2014.

aSmallWorld.Net, an invitation only social network of very young millionaires, who wanted to keep their clique very exclusive.

Total Prestige, an invitation-only networking site for one of the world’s most underserved internet demographics: the super- and super-duper rich … Ten members are billionaires. Most of them come from Europe and the Middle East, and range from royalty and entrepreneurs to entertainers. To get an idea of what these folks are blogging about: One recent post seeks advice for avoiding pirates while yachting up the African coastline."

Diamond Lounge, another exclusive group that is by invitation only of social networks consisting of Hedge fund managers, VC’S and CEOs.

Affluence.org, this is Facebook for the filthy rich.  Cost is FREE but, requirement of a household income of $3 Million must be verified.

TopCom, is a highly secure exclusive club that is like Facebook, Twitter.

Qube and Elysiants, luxury social network that became the most exclusive international social network for high net worth individuals on the planet."

Relationship Science, is a business development tool that provides influential people profiles very similar to LinkedIn.

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Spirit of the Entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs posses a driving spirit:

You hear it all the time from famous business owners: They started flexing their entrepreneurial skills by selling lemonade on the corner, building gadgets in their garage or hosting weekly college beer pong tournaments before they were running multimillion-dollar companies. It would appear that behind every mogul that is successful a kid who was raised knowing these people were born for business.

But what is it that sets entrepreneurs apart from the remainder? What is it which makes people certain of themselves sufficient to just take the prospect of failure head-on and have the determination to emerge on the top? It requires a special types of individual to create a notion in motion, riding the highs and lows from humble beginnings to ultimate success.

The spirit that is entrepreneurial is a gift that inspires other people to end up being the best they could be. From passion and positivity to leadership and aspiration, here you will find the entrepreneurs that most usefully define the entrepreneurial character.

Passion:

No body embodies the term "passion" quite like Richard Branson, creator for the Virgin mega-brand. Part of Branson's passion lies in his insatiable appetite for starting businesses. Established in 1970, the Virgin Group has expanded to a lot more than 200 organizations, ranging from music, publishing, mobile phones and space travel. "Businesses are like buses," he when stated. "There's always a different one coming."

Element of Branson's appeal is he not only has passion for business, but an incredible passion for life. Branson is well-known for an adventurous streak and zest for a lifetime, making him the most admired business owners for their power to have a work/life balance that is successful.

Positivity:

Jeff Bezos knows the charged power of good reasoning. Living by the motto that "every challenge is an opportunity," Bezos attempted to create the bookstore that is biggest on earth with just a little internet startup called Amazon.

Amazon.com established in July 1995, was able to sell $20,000 per week within two months. By the  end associated with the '90s, however, the dot-com bust had brought Amazon's stocks from $100 to $6. To incorporate insults to injuries, experts predicted that the launch of Barnes & Nobles' competing website would wipe out Amazon. Rather than hiding for fear of losing, Bezos came out fighting with optimism and self-confidence, pointing down to critics most of the positive things his company had accomplished and would continue to do.

Bezos proceeded to expand Amazon, which now offers anything from publications to clothes to toys and much more. Bezos claims his spouse likes to state, "If Jeff is unhappy, wait 3 minutes." Thanks to Bezos' good thinking, Amazon.com has grown into a $5.7 billion company.

Adaptability:

Having the ability to adjust is one of the greatest skills an entrepreneur can have. Every business that is successful must be willing to enhance, refine and customize their services to constantly give customers whatever they want.

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page take this idea one step further by not merely reacting to improve, but leading the way. Google constantly leads the internet with revolutionary and new ideas that allow people to see and do things in many ways they couldn't have did before (think Google Earth). Making use of their ability to often be one action ahead, its no wonder Google is one of the many powerful organizations on the net.

Leadership:

A good leader is some body with charisma, a sense of ethics and an aspire to build integrity within an organization–someone who's enthusiastic, group oriented and a teacher that is great. Most of these characteristics had been embodied by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, a company that has helped more than half a million ladies fulfill their fantasies of purchasing a company.

Ash's tale began as a mother that is single, working in sales for a home company many different items. Despite being one of many compannies with sales that are top for 25 years, Ash had repeatedly been refused the promotions and pay raises her male co-workers had been getting. Fed up because of the real way she was being addressed, Ash started Mary Kay Inc. in 1963 with $5,000.

Ash was most commonly known for being a motivator that was a powerful inspirational frontrunner, producing a business with a "You may do it!" mindset. Her sometimes over-the-top incentives included the famous pink Cadillacs she would provide top sales directors. Thanks to her effective leadership abilities, Ash was called one of many in a business that is influential in the last 35 years, and her company was recognized as among the best businesses in America.

Aspiration:

At age 20, Debbi Fields don't have much. She had been a housewife that is young with no business experience, but exactly what she did have was an excellent chocolate chip cookie recipe and a dream to talk about it changing the world.

Fields opened her very first Mrs. Field's store in 1977, despite being told she was crazy to believe a company could endure entirely on attempting to sell cookies. Fields' headstrong dedication and ambition helped her develop her small cookie shop into a $450 million business with 600 locations within the U.S. and 10 foreign nations.

Dennis Roeder
Contributor

  

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s simple. The Alexa  toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank your web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the GoogleBot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

How Being Genuine Can Strengthen You, Your Business, and Your Company

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Recently, I came across an article written by Mamta Chhikara (http://hive.pe/eC), which goes on to list and describe specific qualities that a genuine person possesses:

*They don’t seek attention = Modest

*They’re not concerned with being liked = Confident and Authentic

*They can tell when others are full of it = Intuitive (a good judge of character)

*They are comfortable in their own skin = Self-assured and confident

*They do what they say and say what they mean = Integrity

*They don’t need a lot of stuff = Simplicity

*They’re not thin-skinned = Easy-going

*They’re not overly modest or boastful = Humble

*They’re consistent = Dependable

*They practice what they preach = Genuine, Honest

Always keep these traits in mind not only as business but also as an individual.   As entrepreneurs seeking to gain trust, authority, and a growing customer base, we should always be cognizant of the foundation of inbound marketing, which involves:

*Performing due diligence for you and your company

*Performing due diligence for your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

*Engaging with your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

During the process of engagement, we should always be aware of the above traits of genuineness.  Your future colleagues and customers will be looking for these traits and will likely have the following thoughts/concerns:

*They want to know if you are confident in your company and/or product.

*They will likely be more concerned about the content/effectiveness of your product and/or character more than shiny “bells and whistles.”

*You should be able to eliminate illegitimate leads or potential colleagues within minutes of engaging

*Your customers and your colleagues want to see that not only do you use the product in question, but also that you use the product well and are able to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness to your colleagues and potential customers

*Most of us can eventually “smell” an inferior product or individual within a short period of time.  A usual warning sign is too many “bells and whistles.”  Simplicity is the name of the game.  If it’s too complicated or if it feels like the product (or individual) is too flashy, then it may be perceived as ineffective or disingenuous.

*Your customers and colleagues want to know that they can reach you during tough times or emergent situations.  Are you easily accessible via multiple modalities of communication (i.e., phone, text, email, Skype, etc)?

Now, I am not one who typically needs validation in anything that pertains to who I am as a person but I felt markedly refreshed after reading this article.  Am I a genuine person?  Hell yes!  

Depending upon where you are or whom you are conversing with, we may describe a genuine person as either "the real deal" or "being real."  If you are a fan of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, then you are already familiar with his catch phrase "Keep It 100."  It's the same concept and I believe being genuine is parallel with having integrity as well as the other above traits.  

Not only does a genuine & authentic person display his authentic self at all times (obviously with some adjustment for discretionary purposes), but he also "says what he does and does what he says."  He is honest about who he is and his actions reflect his character regardless of the setting.  

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

41 Tips that Get Over 10,000 People to your Email Sub List

Of course, not everyone struggles to reach these different stages.  Some people skyrocket to success in a few weeks, other people do well with traffic levels but not with your mailing list.

This particular blog has well over 10,000 people on the mailing list and gets a few thousand visitors per day.

In this post I’m going to show you a few really cool lessons I’ve learned while building it up to this level – a level that I think it genuinely attainable by any blog.

Let’s do it.

 

How to get to that magic 10,000 email subscribers mark

As always, I’ve probably forgot a lot of really cool things.

1. You need a strategy

Without an overarching strategy you are just blogging blindly. I spend a lot of time working on my blogging strategy because it gives me a laser-focus for what I want to achieve in the short and long term – and I know exactly what outcome I want from every article that I write. If you want more email subscribers you need to make it part of your strategy.

2. Your traffic sources matter

Some niches prefer Google traffic, others prefer referrals. Either way, you need to figure out which one works for you and go after it. Not all traffic is created equal. If you aren’t getting conversions it might be because of the places your visitors are coming from.

3. You need your own host

If your blog is on a free host with a free domain name you are shooting yourself in the foot from the start. It’s time to start a WordPress blog on your own host and make use of all the plugins and extra features that this allows you. Do it early, before it’s too hard to move.

4. A fast blog can make a huge difference

Speed matters not only for Google rankings but also for conversions. This study showed that for every second your blog takes to load you lose a massive amount of conversions. Figure out how to make your blog faster – it might mean a new host, a cache or some tricky coding fun.

5. Making friends will make or break you

The people that you connect with (both blog owners and readers) will make or break your blog. The more genuine connections you can make the more likely you are to grow a blog quickly as they help promote it and give you the right advice.

6. Free eBooks and courses still work well

Offering a free eBook to email subscribers still converts better than offering nothing. People are reading eBooks more than ever thanks to all our new portable devices. If you can give them something good you’ll make an instant impact.

7. You need to use Aweber or similar

Aweber is a service that hosts your email subscribers, lets you send them a free eBook after they subscribe, gives you access to a huge number of stats and also lets you design your own opt-in forms. It’s not hard to use and makes a huge difference to how a professional blog can function.

8. Costs add up

Website hosting, email subscriber hosting, advertising, purchasing images, etc. all adds up. A blog like this one costs around $300+ a month to keep online. Unless you are making a strategic income from it the costs can make it not worth while.

9. Your goals are important but can often change

It’s extremely important to have goals for your blog or website but it’s also important to make sure that they change if they need to. If something isn’t working and you’ve given it a lot of time and effort than it’s sometimes better to be strong and let it go and try something else.

10. You still have to sell the list

Just because you have a mailing list doesn’t mean that people will automatically subscribe. Don’t just stick a form in your sidebar and hope that people will give you their details – sell it. Mention it in posts, develop landing pages, talk about it in your guest posts. You need to let people know what’s going on.

11. Split testing can change your business

Glen wrote a really good post about split testing and how it can literally grow your conversions/income by 1000%+. You can split test your landing pages, your opt-in forms, your mail outs, etc. and see which versions works best. It’s easy to do nowadays so there really isn’t an excuse not to. Just make sure you’re testing things that matter and giving them enough time to show meaningful results.

12. Write on other blogs more than you write on your own

A lot of bloggers just write on their own blog and then wonder why no one is reading it. Well, it’s probably because no one knows it exists! Use guest posts as a starting point to get your name out there. Write more on other blogs than your own until you have a big reader base.

13. Text is great but other media is growing

Writing is, in my opinion, still the most powerful form of content on the net. People read a lot and not everyone can watch videos at work. But things like podcasts, videos, info graphics, etc. can play a huge role in getting you new and improved traffic.

14. SEO is dangerous

Relying on Google for anything is, as I’ve said before, a really stupid idea. They constantly change their algorithm and cause websites to go from fame to misfortune and visa versa. Play around with it and obviously try to do all the right things when it comes to blogging SEO and getting heaps of traffic but don’t ever rely on Google for your main source of income alone.

15. Advertising is a good idea

Dabbling in advertising can produce some really cool results. You don’t have to spend much. Try out Paid Discovery on StumbleUpon to give your posts a bit of a boost. There is nothing wrong with promoting your blog in this way.

16. Colors make a difference to conversions

Things as simple as colours can have a huge impact on how well your product or opt-in form convert. Again, you want to split test this stuff but I’ve noticed big changes in sign ups when switching my sidebar button from green to red and so on.

17. Social proof works in different ways

My friend wrote a really cool post on how different types of social proof can influence people in different ways. He explains it a lot better than I’m going to so have a read of the article and try to test whether social proof statements like subscriber counts are right for your blog.

18. Less is not always more

The idea that less is more is rarely true for a blog. You want more traffic, more subscribers, more sales. Of course, if the traffic isn’t any good it won’t make a difference, but try to to use ideas like “a small number of loyal subscribers” to stop you from growing a mailing list with a HUGE number of loyal subscribers.

19. Research is important

I spend a moderate amount of time researching keywords and competition before I write a blog post. It makes a huge difference about where I rank and how well the post is received. I show you my methods for this in Subscriber Special Ops – but until that opens up you might want to figure out your own ways to research before you write.

20. Pop ups work

I don’t care what anyone says.

😛

21. HelloBar is a great way to divert traffic

The bar at the top of this site is called HelloBar – a website/tool owned by Neil Patel that lets you put a message and a button up top and then split test two different versions. It’s a really cool way to divert traffic to a landing page or a mailing list sign up area. And it works really well.

22. Trying new things can inject a bit of magic

As I wrote in a recent post, sometimes you just need to do and try new things to see huge changes take place on your blog. You might not always know why it’s working but trying new things and failing is better than being stuck at a plateau for months on end.

23. Tracking and stats give you real insights in to what’s working

The statistics that you get in Aweber, Google Analytics and so on give you valuable insights into what is working. You can even use services like Crazy Egg to see where people are looking and clicking on your website. This stuff takes out a lot of guess work and lets you focus on real metrics.

24. You need to be different

Being different is the most important thing you can do online. Find a way to make your brand stand out from the crowd and then push that difference as often as possible.

25. What works on their blog might not work on yours

Sometimes I have “borrowed” ideas from my blogging icons after hearing how well it works for them only to find that it completely tanks for me. It’s a good lesson – what works for one blog doesn’t always work for another. And, yet again, this is why you need to split test different ideas and make sure what you think it the source of a success is actually the true source.

26. Find different reasons to mention your list

At the top of this post I mentioned that SSO was closed but that it would be open again soon and be announced to the mailing list. Moments like that are a very powerful way to get new email subscribers. Find different methods like that to work your mailing list in to your content and you’ll see new and curious subscribers on your mailing list.

27. Explain it in a really simple way

A lot of people who visit your blog will have absolutely no idea what a mailing list is or why they might want to give you, a total stranger, their personal email address. Spell it out for them very clearly, whenever you can.

28. The successful strategies change regularly

Something that I’m really only just learning is that successful strategies change regularly. I used to try to be really conservative with my online stuff because I was worried about compromising a “long term” blog for short term gain. But, what I’m seeing now, is that most of the successful people go after lots of little short term things and push them hard while they are working.

29. Don’t sell too early

Once you get to a certain level of subscribers it can be tempting to sell your blog/website and make a quick dollar (or 20,000). But what I sometimes regret is that I didn’t stick with that blog because I reckon it would probably be pulling in at least $100,000 a year by now. Just because you’ve reached one of those milestones, don’t sell up.

30. The homepage header works

You know those blogs that have the first half of their homepage devoted to an opt-in form? Those things work. I’ve heard of people who have them converting at 10% of all homepage traffic. You can get one of these added to your blog by a good designer and coder probably for a couple of hundred dollars.

31. Don’t forget mobile death windows

Not everyone can afford a beautiful responsive theme and some of us are too lazy to launch their beautiful responsive theme (guilty). But at least make sure your opt-in forms and pop ups work for mobile users. For example, if you use the lightbox version of the pop up you might find that people on iPhones have trouble closing the pop up and thus might exit your site without reading your content.

32. Target your offer in different segments

One thing you can do in AWeber is create different segments. So, you might have one landing page that lets people subscribe to your updates, another landing page that let’s people subscribe to updates only about “watermelons” and so on. By doing this you can target your offers and go after selective sources of traffic to ensure you’re really honing in on what people want.

33. Be consistent in your mail outs

One thing that I have learned the hard way is that inconsistency really gives subscribers the shits. If you tell them that they are going to get updates once a week don’t send them updates three times a week. You’ll lose them very quickly.

34. Email subscribers often hit “spam” first

Related to the last point, often you’ll find that an email subscriber will mark an aggressive or inconsistent email campaign as “spam” as opposed to just unsubscribing or deleting that particular email. Perhaps it makes them feel better but more likely it’s just easier to send it all into the spam folder dungeons.

35. Don’t be afraid to lose lots of subscribers

And now to throw a spanner in the works from the last three points – don’t worry about losing lots of subscribers. Every time we send out an email to the list we lose between 30 and 60 subscribers. That’s good. It means you’re getting rid of people who aren’t interested/aligned to your content.

36. What gets people to open an email might not get them to click through and buy

I ran an email campaign recently where I split test two different subject lines. The first email had an open rate of 41% and the second email had a dismal 26%. The funny thing was that the second email converted better than the first. I think this shows us two things: noise (attention grabbing tactics) doesn’t always lead to conversions, and that split testing is vital.

37. WWSGD?

There is a really cool plugin called WWSGD which stands for What Would Seth Godin Do that puts a little dialogue box at the top of your post and welcomes people based on cookies – new visitors get a message that old users don’t. But you can take this further. For example, if you came from Twitter you might get a message like “Hey there Twitter user! Check out our posts on getting the most out of Twitter”. These types of WordPress plugins are an amazing and easy way to attract more email subscribers by getting people deeper in to your content.

38. Tell me why I don’t like Mondays (but Sunday is okay…)

I’ve also found out that Monday is terrible for new posts, even though some people say it’s the best day. For me the best days are Tuesday and Wednesday but test for yourself.

39. Always be tired

Generally I find that the best traffic is around 9am East Coast time which tends to be around midnight in Australia – unless it’s daylight savings. Sure, I could set an automatic scheduler but I find that readers really love chatting to me in the comments section and if I’m in bed I get a lot less interaction. So – always be tired.

40. Redirect those comments

One of the coolest things I ever did on this blog (and one of the most popular and widely copied posts on my site) was redirecting comments to a “thank you” page using a simple plugin. As soon as someone leaves a comment for the first time they’ll get redirected to a little page that thanks them for their interaction and shows them the mailing list and some other cool content. It converts at around 7%.

41. Be genuine

Unless you can make all of this come together in a genuine way you’ll find that your readers will know. People are looking for a place/person to connect with – offer them genuine friendship through quality content and you’ll grow in leaps and bounds.

What has worked for you?

Growing an email list is one of the most important aspects of a successful blog. It is your mailing list that allows you to promote your content, sell products and launch new projects. So, what has worked for you? Leave a comment and let me know if I’ve missed anything obvious.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Why You Must Become An Entrepreneur

Why You Must Become An Entrepreneur

If anyone has lately been searching for a job lately it soon becomes clear that it’s not just startups that do not want traditional employees, Google does not want them, small businesses don’t want them, agencies don’t want them.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Who do they want then? Entrepreneurs

And companies are using lots of resources to get them.

For example 30% of large tech companies have already set up a seed fund to provide capital for startup entrepreneurs. In the administration of traditional companies, entrepreneurship is more sought after than ever before in history. The use of the term “intrapreneur” dates back to 1992, but it is historically at the present era that intrapreneurship has become a global phenomenon with companies hiring entrepreneurs-in-residence, holding “hackathons”, which are company-wide startup competitions, and encouraging employees to work on creative projects by allowing them a percentage of their regular hours to learn entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurial worker has become a popular person. However, the question is then, Where does that leave employees who were molded in the tradidional way, the ones that you could tell what to do and they would do it. Does that literally mean that everyone needs to become an entrepreneur?

The robot model wherein employees just do what they are told is quickly becoming outdated.

Consider an appliance building factory. You can either hire two people at $50,000 per year or buy a robot for $100,000 that will serve you for 15 years, with no coffee breaks, 365 days a year 24 hours a day and no absences due to Illness and the like.

No wonder robots are catching on. The current world robot population is around 10 Million. In South Korea, where the highest number of industrial robots exist there are 347 robots per 10,000. How valuable are these robots? By 2030 it is estimated that robots will perform as well as humans at most manual jobs. That means that it would be good to look into the future and consider our job prospects, whether our jobs will still exist in 10 years.

The good news is that there is one quality that robots don’t have – a human factor- which distinguishes robots from entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have the capacity to understand humans, to know the problems humans are faced with and to be able to create value out of nothing.

Suppose You Don’t Want To Become an Entrepreneur

What if entrepreneurship just rubs you the wrong way? You are a very good at what you do and you just want to keep things the same? Ok, then let’s suppose in your lifetime there will not be any robots able to do what you do. Well, there is another problem you have to deal with: other people. There are people living in other countries who are willing and able to carry out the same work you do for less, being the same level of a specialist as you may be. In many areas of work roles does not matter if other people live elsewhere. And here is a compelling statistic; wherever you live, there are probably other nations where the type of work you do is cheaper. For example, IT coders from Russia code for 3 times less money than American coders. If we consider India, the rates would be even cheaper. But what about the newly emerging labor sources?

If there might be any safe haven from this entrepreneurialization of labor, it might be that your creativity would prevail to preserve your merit. If it falls to you to be creative perhaps this would preserve your particular niche of employment. However you must consider that an entrepreneurial creative type person would probably try to leverage his creativity outside his main job, so that he would receive more recognition as being someone who is considered to be creative. This creative aspect could be manifested in blog posts, an interesting ebook or an exceptional profile on LinkedIn.

So everything resolves to this: you need to be someone who can create their own opportunities and market the result. That’s entrepreneurship. If you happen to be a mid-level manager, you’ll never rise to the top unless you are able to create substantial value for the company, measured by profit. That’s what it means to sell. And if you don’t want to rise in the ranks, then sit tight, your replacement will probably be someone more dynamically entrepreneurial.

For those who are not happy about this turn of events, this state of affairs is actually a betterment of the workplace. The world is becoming better, but in order to stay competitive you only have to do one thing; you have to change with it – and the best way is by learning to become an entrepreneur.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Rise of the Entrepreneur — Get Started Now!

Rise of the Entrepreneur — Get Started Now!

While being your own boss can be scary and a little risky, it’s not as difficult as people think. You do have to be someone who loves his freedom, likes to be able to set his own schedule and likes to work on things he’s excited about.

Is that all there is to it? No, it takes a ton of hard work, and an ability to learn from your mistakes, and an ability to get up and go again.

Let’s briefly look at some of the things that will help you on your journey to freedom.

First: Can Anyone Be Self-Employed?
Not everyone should, because some people just love working where they’re working, they love the people they’re working with, and they absolutely love what they do. They couldn’t be happier working on their own. And, that is probably great if you want to be in the same situation year after year.

But … there’s a fallacy that those who start their own businesses or work on their own are somehow born with an “entrepreneurial spirit” that the regular workaday employees just don’t have. They aren’t “risk-takers”, they aren’t self-motivated, and they just can’t manage themselves.

That is just a load of excuses.
Sure, some people like the security of a regular paycheck, but if recent events have taught us anything, it’s that this kind of security is an illusion because they usually spend everything they earn and are no farther ahead at the end of the year as when they started.

Sure, some people are afraid of starting their own business, because it means they have to figure out things they know nothing about … but don’t we all do this, anyway?

No-one really likes being told what to do, or work on what someone else wants to do. We all like freedom, but we allow our freedoms to be sacrificed out of fear.

It’s this fear that stops us. And so the question really becomes: can anyone overcome this fear?

It is possible. Whether you’ll be successful at overcoming the fear, and at starting your own business, is another question — it takes work, and time, and an ability to accept failure and learn from it.

How to Overcome the Fear
Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen?

For some, it’s that you’ll lose your mortgage and become bankrupt. But that’s happened to millions of people recently, and they’re OK. They just can’t get another loan soon, but they’re still living. For others, it’s a fear that you’ll be out on the street or hungry. Ask yourself, though, if you have a safety net: family and friends who will take you in if it ever comes to that.

That’s the worst case scenario. Now ask yourself: is that likely to happen? Probably not. If things get bad, you can take a job with someone else, or try a new tactic, or figure something out so that things don’t get that bad.

Stay Lean and Small
Lean and small and hungry and nimble and flexible are good things. It means you don’t need to pay a lot of bills, you don’t need a huge amount of revenues, and you can change as you need to. Big corporations need to make huge revenues, need to sell millions, and have a hard time changing because of a massive corporate structure and thousands of meetings and lots of invested time and lots of people who are resistant to change. Small and lean has none of those problems.

Don’t start with a lot of expenses — start small, with zero or almost zero expenses.

Sure, not everyone can start for free, but you can start small.

Want to run a ballet studio or fitness studio? Start by going to your clients, or start in your home, or do it at schools and use their space. Want to start in retail? Start online, with a cheap host and free web software. Want to be a marketer? Do it out of your home, with a cell phone, a computer and a car. Want to be a landscaper? All you need is a lawn mower to start out. Want to start a health clinic? Operate out of your home, or make house calls, in the beginning.

There are lots of ways to start out cheap — if your business requires lots of money, think about scaling it back or finding a different way of doing it, for free.

Starting out cheap means it’s hard to fail and easy to succeed.

Start Right Away
Don’t wait for perfection. Figure out the simplest way to start, and just start. Don’t worry about taking a bunch of expensive courses — just do it, and learn as you go. You might even start for free if possible, so that you can gain experience and as you get better, you’ll get good word of mouth.

Start out without an office, a website, business cards, employees, and a lot of equipment and software. Sure, you’ll need some of those fairly soon, but you don’t need them to start. Well, unless your business is a website — then you’ll need a site, but those are cheap.

You can get a business card later. You can set up your accounting structure later. You can figure things out as you go. The important part is just starting.

Does that mean you don’t need to plan? Well, you should, but don’t overdo it. You should give a lot of thought to what you’re good at, what you can offer, who your target customers are, how you’ll make money, how much you should charge, how you can add value beyond what is already offered out there. But don’t let it stop you — if you can’t decide on something, just start and adjust your targets as you learn.

On Quitting Your Day Job
For most people, it’s best to keep your day job at first, just so you have some income while you get the business started. Work in the morning, on your lunch break, after work, even during work if you’re not super busy — just don’t get fired. This is a good way to fund your start up — have a steady income and get the business going until you’re ready to quit the day job.

For some, quitting the day job is best right away, because it gives them the kick in the butt they need to get moving. It’s scarier this way, of course, but there’s no better motivator. This is best for people who don’t have a big family to support — singles or couples without kids — or if you do have a family, perhaps you have some savings you can live on for at least 2-3 months while you get the business off the ground.

Even if you quit your day job, you might be able to do some freelancing or consulting business to get some regular income right away, as you also get the business going.

What to Do
First, you should choose something that you love and know a lot about. If you love gardening, do something related to that. If you love writing, do that. You should ideally have some experience, or be willing to put in a lot of hours learning at first. If you’re already good at something, and you love doing it, you’re off to a great start.

Next, you should figure out what you have to offer, and how it will be different than what’s already out there. How will you meet people’s needs in a new way? Who needs your service or product? How will you reach them? Where do they go now, either in the real world or online?

And what’s the simplest way you can reach them and offer your product or service? Simplest means the least work, the least amount of steps and complications, the easiest for the customer, the least expensive, the least amount to start up.

And how fast can you get started? What’s the bare minimum you need to get started? For many, this is signing up for a free web account and putting up some content. For others, this is calling the right people and meeting with them with an offer to provide services. And that’s all — get the basics started, and add the rest later.

Again, you can get the business card later. You can figure out accounting and corporate structure and all that later. You can refine your marketing and product later — just start, and keep improving.

Never Stop Learning, and Never Stop Failing
Failure is not the end of your business. It’s just the beginning.

You have to take the attitude that failure won’t stop you from making it on your own. If your business doesn’t get off the ground, learn from that. And try again, but do it better this time. You might need to get a job temporarily to fund your life as you make another attempt, but that’s OK. You do what you gotta do.

Failure isn’t a reason to get depressed, to quit. It’s a learning opportunity. Failure is a stepping stone to your success.

And if you make it, don’t take that as a reason to get complacent. You should always be learning, always improving — not because you’re not satisfied with what you’ve done, but because if you stop learning, you’ll stop having fun. There should always be new challenges, new things to explore, new skills to learn, new ways to grow.

One more thing: do not be afraid of hard work. You’ll work harder than you ever have. Becoming an entrepreneur is not about laying around in a hammock and drinking Margaritas. Although you can do that, when you want to. It’s about loving what you do, about working hard to build something you’re proud of, about pouring your heart and soul into something rather than giving it to someone else. Make no mistake about it: you’ll work hard, or you won’t succeed. But you’ll love every minute of it.

Should you Start in a Bad Economy?
Yes.

This is the best time to start. This is a time when job security is low, so risks are actually lower. This is a time to be lean, which is the best idea for starting a business. This is the time when others are quitting — so you’ll have more room to succeed.

And with social media and networking taking off, this is the easiest time to start a business, the easiest time to spread the word, the easiest time to distribute information and products and services.

And while the big corporations may struggle in a bad economy, you’re small and lean, which means you don’t have the fat that the big guys have, you are able to adjust to the market much better, and you’re less subject to the problems of financial markets, real estate markets, and other external realities.

But What If Everyone Were Self-Employed?
What if everyone were in business for themselves? Would this be a horrible thing? I can imagine a world of tiny businesses and free agents. I think people would collaborate — with many people — but they’d do so as free agents, not as employees. And that’s a huge difference. A world of difference. Because then they’d come in as equals, and they’d be collaborating because they want to, because they’re excited about a project. Then the world of trying to motivate employees disappears, because people are motivated already — they’re excited, they have freedom, they choose to do the work.

Origional article by Leo Babauta

Dennis Roeder Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Be As You Are ….