Facebook my secret weapon … Epic fail

Oh dear, complete epic fail with my secret weapon, Facebook ..I asked my friends to come up with some good money making ideas for my £10 challenge with Graham, all I got were some stupid answers ranging from “use the £10 as a stake on a poker tournament” through to “buy a pint of Stella and 10 lambert and butler and just chill out and not worry about”I’ve decided to donate all the money I make to Diabetes UK, (my Son, Morgan is type 1 diabetic ) so it’s all for a worthy cause.I went to three charity shops today looking for a “hidden gem” to sell on eBay in three day auction, I was looking for anything that was a little bit out of the ordinary and something I could make a quick turn on but sadly, the three shops were full of junk, old people’s junk .. The 70’s must’ve been a really great year for the nic nak and I’m not talking about the MSG soaked 80’s crazy snack ! Gold plated tie pins, plates with pictures of kittens on and the odd selection of plates with matching gravy boat.I will update again soon

The June 2012 £10 Challenge

My friend and business partner Graham has asked me if I would like a little challenge “let’s see how much money we can make in 1 month with a starting stake of £10” Great, I thought .. Let’s get it on 🙂

I will be posting here and letting you know how I’m getting on – I’ve already invested £0.40p putting up for sale on eBay a collection of romance aids … Now,  now! not sex toys, a collection of romantic things to text your lover to try and bring a bit of passion back into your life …

Check out the eBay item here

I’ll let you know how many I sell, also I have some other excellent ideas to swell the coffers so I will get cracking with some of those and let you know how I get on … I will update you all next week 🙂

forget the product, it’s the process that will sell it ..

“so, you’re telling me that it’s not about the product and it’s all about the sales process” yes folks, that’s exactly what I am telling you. Online, offline or inbetween it’s all about the sales process, make it easy for people to buy your product and they will buy, show them how to buy your product and they will buy build a process to sell your product and it will sell …

Facebook fans and jumping off a cliff to get an IPad2

Graham and I wanted to build a Facebook fan page for Renewal Buddy as we soon realised that if we didn’t we would miss out on the world’s most important marketing tool since the advent of the printing press and Google AdWords. I do not need to tell you about Facebook and the power of social marketing but I might be able to give you a few tips on how to win fans and keep fans.

We wanted to get the following from our Facebook page :-

  • Build a community
  • Build the RenewalBuddy.com brand
  • Learn about our potential customers
  • Drive traffic to the website

What we did not want to do :-

  • Sell to our fans directly from Facebook
  • SPAM the fans
  • Spend money on getting fans only to let them to unlike us after the competition

Winning fans (I use the term winning as there is usually a cost to getting people to “like” your page if you want rapid growth) is fairly easy as we soon realised that most people would jump off a cliff to win an IPad2 ! The power of the Apple brand was too much for some people to resist and a sleek, over-sized smart phone, was a big attraction, big enough for 4287 fans to like our page within 8 weeks. This number continues to grow on a daily basis as even after the “main” prize draw took place we still keep an interest with our fans by offering weekly “micro prizes” which still have significant value to the end user but in our case were relatively low cost.

We learnt that if you post any message on your wall that was even slightly spammy people unlike straight away, there are some cool tools available in “insights” within Facebook that I urge you to look  at with these tools you can pretty much gauge what your fans like and what turns them off .. We could almost hear the unlike buttons being pressed when we sent a “salesy” message to our wall …

So how did we do any the other areas that we wanted to achieve ?

Building a commuinity was really easy, we are like a family of friends, tools like our “technical help” forum only add to the stickyness of our page – We like to give a reason for people to come back to our page ..

Building a Brand ? Well, Renewal Buddy is a pretty cool and rememberable name so I hope that this is working but we will have to wait and see.

We are learning lots about our fans and we try to engage with them on a regular basis but one thing we have not been able to achieve is driving traffic to our website yet – We have a number of cunning plans that we are working on at the moment and I will write about those and their success (or not) in a few weeks.

One thing we have learnt early on … Do not try and sell from your Facebook page directly, it just doesn’t work.




The Power of Focus

Like it or not you can only focus on one thing at a time, no matter how much you think you can “multi task” or how you pride yourself on being able to do 3 things at once, you can only really focus on one thing at a time.

For people already running an online business, how many times have you thought “I need more traffic to my site to make more money” We’ve all been there, then as if by magic you find yourself looking at as many ways as possible to get more traffic, you start to look at quick wins, you see adverts to buy “1 gazillion email address for $29.99”, buy “web-traffic 10,000 hits for $100”, you look at Elance to find “the world’s best PPC expert” all to bring you more traffic.

You find yourself looking at advertising on sites or search engines “because they offer cheap clicks” and so on … You are being pulled in every direction, as well as spending money on things that just don’t work. You need to focus on one thing at a time – 95% of the world’s search engine traffic comes from Google – Start by learning PPC!

Do not, I repeat, Do not hire a PPC “expert” to do this work for you – you need the skillsets in house to do this work (after all, you are running an online business, it must be worth knowing and understanding how the customers are getting to your site?). My business partner, Graham picked up the basics within a few days and after a few months was producing better performance than Google’s own in-house team ! (Google kindly approached us to “show us” how to make our campaign better – they made it worse.)

I cannot stress to you enough, focus on one marketing activity at a time, start with PPC and don’t move on until you 100% happy – Google will bring you enough traffic, you don’t need to look anywhere else just yet.

You will be inundated with a list of requests from potential partners, investors, employees, and more. They will all sound absolutely wonderful. As you grow, you will also have the resources to execute more of them. Don’t. It’s easy to say yes, but so very hard to say no. By having the balls to say no, you can keep your company on track with the large vision you maintain. It will also keep your team members laser focused and feel more rewarded as they are able to focus on one thing for a good chunk of time. I’ve seen too many start-ups fail because the CEO keeps changing the direction of the business.
“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.”

Anthony Robbins

Niche is the New Goldrush

I kid you not but if you’re not in a niche market then you better have really deep pockets ! Because you will be competing with the big boys and those guys have the deepest of deep and they will out spend anyone that tries to compete with them.

Niche marketing is the best way of making money from the Internet, in fact, you should be focused on identifying niches and providing products or services to accommodate the need of your prospects.

One of the biggest mistakes made by new businesses on the web is trying to eat the elephant in one go, you need to take small bite sized pieces if you want to succeed. You are not going to compete against Amazon for general book sales. On the other hand, you might be able to smash Amazon into the ground in the “rare book” market or in a specific niche such as Gun Dog training for beginners. The point is to try to focus like a Lazer beam both your site and marketing on a segment of the market that is not already dominated.

One area that is super hot today is Social Media, helping businesses find Facebook friends, Twitter followers and YouTube video watches – If you can find, resell or invent something cool in this arena – you’re on to a winner !

Fear and Making Yourself Super Human

Fear :A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος,phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus.

Well my friends fear is your friend !

Fear is the single biggest reason that people don’t start businesses, fear of failure. They fear “losing everything” they fear the “embarrassment” of failure they fear the unknown and you my friend need to learn how to deal with fear because it is fear that was sent to protect us when we were hunters, it was fear that was there to stop us getting eaten by a big dinosaur or wild animal, it was the flight or fight.

Fear is in the genetic fibres of our body, controlling your fear and having confidence in what you are doing will be the single biggest asset that you have. As long as you have followed a plan of action, you have researched the demand for your product or service and you can understand the basics of business, then you can learn to control fear.

If running a business was easy, everyone would be doing it, well they would be if it wasn’t for fear, so this is the reason “fear is your friend”. Running an online business is pretty easy but it takes commitment, passion, a desire to succeed and a journey of learning and boy, do you need to learn fast.

“Hey Matt, what if it does go wrong?” well, the simple truth is businesses do fail, they fail everyday and only a few will survive, you need to make sure you have done the groundwork before you put a single cent into the business, research and research again. You would not start a journey to the top of mount Everest without a list of things you need, a plan of the route you are going to take or a list of provisions that you will need? Well don’t start a business until you have a plan, an end goal, a finish line .. without that you are doomed to fail and with it, you are not guaranteed to succeed but you will have something to help you control the fear, a direction.

Most people fear or worry about things going wrong and the consequences of failure. Trust me on this one, the worry is usually far worse than the consequences of things going wrong!

OK, so you’ve made the decision to start an online business, whether it’s part time, full time or just a hobby you have already started the amazing transformation into being super human. I don’t mean that you’re going to start flying around the room or have the ability to lift cars from injured car crash victims (a la David Banner) but what it does mean is that you will have an incredible drive, focus and determination, you will be working at 110% with thoughts whizzing through your head at light-speed, you will feel good in yourself and confident and your ability to take on more work will increase, you will feel like superman/woman.

This is the start of the transformation and you need to remember these feelings, because when (and they will come) darker days are taking their toll – they will be the drive that pushes you further and keeps you going.

In the early days one of your biggest frustrations will be that others around you, web designers, marketing people, server suppliers, banks and credit card merchants, product suppliers, and the other people that you will meet during the start-up process will be working at 50% effort, they will be going backwards compared to your new superhuman pace, don’t settle for this lacklustre approach from them – keep pushing and pushing, like pushing a boulder uphill you must keep the machine moving. If you’re not prepared to do this then you will take years to launch your new online business.

“Tough times never last but tough people do” Don’t be a bully, gentle pressure at the right time will keep the machine on the right track. Most suppliers put their customers in the  following order :- “How much can we make from them”, “who we like the most”, “who screams the loudest” and “others” – Be the ones they like, not in the “screamers” section as you will find that they might not want to do business with you anymore if you scream too loud when things take time.

What business shall I set up ? The power of focus and “niche is the new goldrush”  and why you need to find one in my next blog.

Matt Baker’s Blog Day1

So, you wanted to find out about me, Matt Baker, well if you are looking for Matt Baker, the famous Blue Peter and One show host then sorry folks – That’s not me ! You can however find him here

I am Matt Baker, entrepreneur, visionary and one the the founding Directors of everycloudtech.com  the world’s fastest growing email protection company. This blog isn’t about EveryCloud but I will share some of the ups and downs of starting an online business, giving some helpful tips to start-ups and trying to be funny and entertaining too !

If you are thinking about starting an online business, have thought about running your own business or just have an interest in the online world then I will be sharing my views and giving help and advice and best of all, it’s all free !

I will be making reference to my business partner, Graham O’Reilly, on many occasions throughout this blog, Graham is a truly extraordinary person with more drive and ambition than anyone I have ever met, he can turn his hand to pretty much most things and has mastered Google PPC (so much so that he has out performed Google’s own in house team)

I couldn’t imagine running any business without Graham as he is a real asset but best of all, he’s my best friend.

A little about me, I’m not a wordsmith or great writer, so please forgive any of my grammatical errors, I left school with a GCSE in motor vehical engineering and a nice Adidas sports bag that would look pretty cool now. I wasn’t the most academic of people but I had one thing on my side, a burning ambition to be successful and one thing you can’t stop is a man on a mission.

I will fill you in over the next few posts on how I got to where I am now and will give you an insight into my life now but for now there’s something really cool I had to share with you. For all of you budding online marketeers, the following information will be like gold dust.

The 12 amazing statistics below will be able to help you shape your online business plan (more about plans in my later blogs)  these stats really made me think and I have already started to make changes to the marketing of renewalbuddy to take these into account.

1. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
That means your website stands a good chance of being a prospect’s “first impression.” That also means your new business card isn’t a business card—it’s Google.

2. In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds, who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks.
If 12-17 year olds aren’t your primary customers, you may think, “So what? They’re just kids.” But web-based email usage has been on the decline among ALL Internet users under the age of 55. And by the way, today’s kids are tomorrow’s customers—and they’re probably not going to be reading your email.

3. 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email.
So that means pretty much everybody that can check email on a mobile device, does. Is your email newsletter optimized for mobile devices?

4. 40% of US smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item.
Is your business website optimized for mobile devices? If not, you may be missing out on hundreds of sales opportunities.

5. 200 Million Americans have registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
That’s 2/3 of the country’s citizens. The other 1/3, I’m guessing, probably don’t have a home phone anymore.

6. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to.
We’re getting savvier with technology and less patient with unwanted solicitations. And it’s just so easy to hit ‘delete’.

7. 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.
Frankly, I’m surprised this stat doesn’t read “100%” and apply to a much wider age range.

8. 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog.
Finally, some good news! Blogging is good. Intrusive adds are bad. See how simple it is?

9. 67% of B2B companies and 41% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.
If this stat doesn’t poke a hole in the “Facebook is not useful for B2B companies” myth, I don’t know what will.

10. The number of marketers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased 83% in just 2 years.
That’s right—critical or important. When a channel generates not only leads, but real revenue, you can’t call it “experimental” any longer.

11. Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
The more you blog, the more pages Google has to index, and the more inbound links you’re likely to have. The more pages and inbound links you have, the higher you rank on search engines like Google—thus the greater amount of traffic to your website. Which is why we repeat: Blogging is good.

12. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
That’s right—62% less. The average outbound lead costs $373. The average inbound lead costs $143. And as we love to say around here, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Outbound marketing just don’t make sense anymore.

Well, digest this information, it could save you a whole heap of money in marketing and remember this is the first time in the history of the world whereby you can switch on an audience or willing buyers just by opening a google PPC account. The buyers are coming to you – are you ready ?