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The Cost of Writing a Bad Review (Or said differently…..the cost of doing business with the worst company in the world)

This story is so incredibly outrageous….I wouldn’t believe it unless I read it twice. Sober.

And alas, because it is a Sunday…. I’m not really all that sober, so I’m not 100% sure it’s really true.

But it appears to be.

And if it is…….this just might make KlearGear a prime candidate for worst company in the history of the world.

Why?

Well, apparently….when you buy their products (or at least used to) you are “signing” some sort of underhanded agreement to NOT say anything negative or disparaging about the products you purchased.

Even, if you don’t like them.

Or, in the case of Jen Palmer….didn’t get the stuff you ordered, and couldn’t find a human being or customer service representative available to ever make it right.

Of course, the real loser here is not the Palmers……it’s the company themselves – who with really dunderheaded approach to securing positive press, have unleashed a demon of devilish and destructive news and reviews that have literally led to them having to shut down all of their social media accounts.  (and watch helplessly as “fake” accounts pop up decrying and defaming and destroying what’s left of their reputation)

To  be totally honest with you, I was actually thinking about suing someone who left me a negative review on Amazon recently.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out any personal information about them, and ended up just visualizing that they were really broke and unhappy with lower than average reading and comprehension skills, which is a technique i learned about on oprah.

That made me feel a lot better, which is a far better strategy that getting all litigous for no reason.

Anyway – you can read the whole story at the link below.

(honestly – it is a pretty crazy story – and truly an outrageous and obnoxious example of how some people in positions of power can make some pretty poor decisions)

When Utah couple John and Jen Palmer didn’t receive an item they ordered in late 2008 from the online retailer KlearGear, they canceled the order and Jen Palmer posted a negative review of the company on RipoffReport.com.

Four years later, the company responded by demanding that the Palmer’s pay the company $3,500 for allegedly violating KlearGear’s terms of service. KlearGear allegedly said its terms of service included a non-disparagement clause.

The Palmers didn’t pay, following which KlearGear allegedly reported John Palmer to at least one credit agency, resulting in a hit to the couple’s credit rating. When the Palmers tried to contest the “debt,” KlearGear allegedly insisted that it was owed the money — and an additional $50 “dispute fee.”

 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/214465/couple-fined-3500-by-kleargear-for-bad-review-fi.html

Using “Sites” to Sell High End Continuity Services (The Secret to Getting Big Money from Small Sites)

Here is another short article I wrote earlier this week for EZA on using sites to sell high end services, something we’re going to be focusing on, and demonstrating in the upcoming “build an online agency from scratch” challenge.

If you look at a domain or website marketplace like FLIPPA.COM, you’ll see a lot of the more experienced online enterpreneurs will be selling themselves, or their services…..with the “ruse” of selling a site.

Essentially, if you look at the ads, the sites themselves that are being sold are very modestly profitable, maybe earning a few hundred dollars a month in adsense or affiliate income, or more commonly…..are earning even less, but have “proven” traffic numbers that emanate from some sort of technique that the person or group controls.  (like an inexpensive source of paid traffic from “warez” style sites, or even article re-directs, for example)

The person selling the site will then use the SITE as a lead aquisition tool to say – “hey – this site earns $200 a month – or gets 25K visitors a month – and we’re barely touching it or optimizing it – when you buy the site we’ll GIVE you our secret traffic source – or the secret technique we use to get low cost visitors, or easy affiliate sales, etc.  Our normal rate is 18 billion dollars an hour – so when you buy this site that is earning very little – you are getting our TIME, which is  an incredible value worth tons more than your paying for the site itself”

Of course I’m paraphrasing this nonsense…….but it’s a great example of packaging and selling SERVICES (the person’s time and expertise behind the site) as the big value proposition that is thrown in as part of the transaction.

It’s actually a GREAT way of selling services, and using front end “assets” as the lead aquisition strategy in a marketplace that wouldn’t allow you to hock your expertise alone for thousands of dollars.

Make sense?   It’s a bit sneaky…..but based on how popular some of these offers are in the site selling marketplace – an effective way of saying – the only way you are going to be able to get access to my expertise is to buy one of my sites for XYZ dollars – and then I’ll teach you how I do what I do.

The good news?

This CAN be done very ethically, and very easily in your local community without any of the sneaky stuff or even head scratching on the client side  while delivering tons of value at the same time, without the common high pressure sales pitch style silliness that perpetually poisons these style offers when they’re made in the online entrepreneurial or income space.

One way to do that is to give sites away that may take a few hours to create once templatized – but have high perceived value  – and most importantly, have REAL WORLD value to your local clients as they do exactly what they’re designed to do – help YOUR clients get more clients themselves.

Of course, it’s much more difficult to ask a local professional for 2 or 3 thousand dollars for a new website – even if it looks good, all upfront.  What IS infinitely easier, is to offer something of obvious value on a continutity basis – and where a recurring 2, 3 or even 500 dollar monthly investment on their part is par for the course with what they’re spending elsewhere…….or what your competition may charge for a whole lot less, and yet, allows you to turn something you built into an afternoon into a 3-5K transaction with ease to YOUR bottom line.

Yes, I know that was a long run on sentence, but i’m heavily caffeinated and easily excited.  

Plus my keyboard has no periods.

If none of this makes sense…check out the article I submitted to EZA earlier below – or schedule a Campfire chat session and I’ll walk you through the process.   (free 15 minute consultations available all next week, starting on Dec 2)

EZA Article reprinted below:

The SECRET to Selling Your Websites for TOP Dollar?  (Give Them Away)

 Think you’ve got to ask for a lot of money to make a killing flipping, or selling websites?  What if I were to tell you that the absolute easiest way to earn amazing money selling your online assets, or flipping web properties was actually to give them away?

 

The funny thing is, it’s 100% true in most circumstances, and I’m going to show you how to do it, immediately below.

 

First, understand THIS to be true, because it is:

 

In most niches, the market for selling high end websites is actually fairly limited.  Unless you own very high value .com domain names, or are an experienced seller on one ofthe most popular platforms like FLIPPA, it can actually be somewhat challenging to make a great income selling domains, blogs or websites full time.

 The place that is MOST profitable for most entrepreneurs may surprise you.

Look outside your own window right now.  If you truly want to “get rich online”, that’s your target market.

Your local community is actually the gateway to more income than you can conceive.

The irony?

Most people NEVER look locally when it comes to building a business online, and in my view, that’s a HUGE mistake.  (and a big reason why 99% of online entrepreneurs never make $100 in profit as well)

 The very same things that are challenging or even difficult on a national or international basis can be DEAD simple where you live right now.

Let me give you a really quick illustration that you can test for yourself, right now,step by step.

  1. Register a local domain name in your current community in a high value niche.
  2. Build a blog on the domain.  Add a little bit of curated content, and install a premium wordpress framework on the site if you have access to one as well.  (this gives the site additional incremental value, as premium frameworks can be “quantified” on a cost basis much the same way is done with materials in conventional real estate)
  3. Add as much value to the site as you can in the first week.  Å newsletter opt in form, for example…with a few pre-written follow up messages, may seem like a very simple thing to you, but to a realtor who has no clue about web design or development, that may feel like a high end job he or she would have to spend $100 an hour or more to replicate on their own site.
  4. Next, make a list of the top 10 people in that niche, where you currently live, who have an inferior web presence than what you just built.
  5. In some niches, especially blue collar ones that have a high lead value, you may find that 70% of the websites in that niche are terrible, or even don’t exist at all.
  6. Reach out to that first group of 10 people, but rather than offering to SELL the site you just built, offer to give it away.
  7. Then, sell your SERVICES as a value added benefit behind the site.  For example, selling that site for $4000 might sound crazy, right?  After all….it only took you a few days and probably doesn’t have enough content, or high end design elements to be worth 4K to a realtor on face value.

 

But, if you already know that the realtor is spending 5-800 per month on SEO, and blog building, or Craigslist marketing, or some permutation of all of those elements right now, you can step in and offer them a brand NEW site for free, and bundle in back end services that add up to far more than 4K, over the course of the year.

 Ask that realtor or credit guy or contractor to refer 4 of his friends your way for a 10% discount?  Now you can potentially turn a simple 3K client into a 10K day, simply by being creative, imaginative and a little bit assertive with your marketing.

The best part?

Everybody wins.

Other than Mel Gibson.

He can’t seem to get a break these days, but that’s what happens when someone regularly spikes your Cheeerios with tequila.

(I’ve had it happen, and it’s a fun but fuzzy way to spend your holidays)

Especially your clients.

Because if you work as creativity to serve them AFTER the fact as you did to acquire their business in the first place, I promise…they’ll be more than happy to spread the love for you in more ways than you’ll ever know.

farmer

My Favorite Business (And a Great New Challenge, Invitation and Offer)

For those of you who have expressed interest in building a fun, easy and incredibly exciting (and lucrative) online agency style offer from home…..and on a bootstrap budget, I have a great new challenge (and opportunity) launching over the next week that I’d love to invite you to take part.

It’s going to be extremely limited…..and open to only existing clients and those who proactively get in touch with me, and i’m still figuring out the specifics of the offer, but if you’ve ever wanted to build, grow or launch a service style online marketing agency offer from a corner table in your kitchen, this is probably going to be a good fit for YOU :-)

The truth is, especially as we celebrate the holiday season, and inch precariously close to yet another turn on the calendar year, and I’m reminded how blessed I am to be able to do what I love for a living

…...to communicate creatively with other professional people who value contribution as much as cash and a sense of purpose as much as profit, and truly want to do meaningful work in their own communities while earning a great living to boot.

  1. Yes there are challenges.
  2. And yes, it’s not always easy.

But if you truly have a burning desire to be able to get up in the morning and know that you are accountable to yourself first and foremost – and to have the fun and freedom that comes with that – I believe that being a business coach, consultant, or A “buzz” & BRAND builder for passion  professionals is probably the best “job” in the world.

It gives you access to opportunities – especially if you are committed to your local community….that other, even successful online marketing strategies can’t offer.

Connection.

Culture.

Community.

Creativity.

Commitment.

Challenges.

Real rewarding, enduring relationships that matter.

 And bumping up against passionate people and inspired ideas that challenge you, and make wanting to do the best “work” of your life….each and every day an exercise in enthusiasm, excitement and energy.

I’ve got a lot more to say about this…including a brand new short Kindle book – and a new content marketing campaign as well – the article below was written for EZA this morning – and as I get ready for the busiest “launch” season in my own business in years over the next few months….if these ideas resonate with you, and you’d like to join me for an exciting ride – I think you’ll love some of the creative opportunities to work together that are coming next.

You can read the EZA article below –  or if you’ve with me for a while……stay tuned – or better yet, get in touch and I’ll fill you in ;-)


Who else wants the absolutely easiest way to earn great money online…without gimmicks, gadgets or gurus?  

Are you fed up jumping from idea to idea, product to product, without any real progress, or profit to show for it?  

The simple truth is, if you’re still struggling to get ahead……it’s really NOT your fault.

As a matter of fact, in my view…the whole silly system of “confuse and conquer” is designed to overcomplicate the process of building a home based business, so that you believe you’ve got invest in expensive home study courses, seminars and silly sales pitches to succeed.

The good news?

You don’t.

You can quickly, easily and ethically build a profitable, powerful and enjoyable business from the comfort of home, and I’m going to lay out the absolutely easiest path to get started, in a few simple paragraphs below.

The first thing to do?

Change what you’re trying to sell.

Stop focusing on selling things to people who need to be “sold” that they need something they don’t.  The vast majority of affiliate products, or digital downloads have conversion rates of under 5%…and usually, closer to 1 or 2%.

Why?

Because most people intuitively  understand that they don’t need a new ebook on weight loss, or a new digital download, or membership or subscription.

Instead…..

Focus on professional people in your LOCAL community who have a burning need for something REAL that will help them improve their brand, their blog, their business and their bank account.

Sell sites and services and you’ll be astonished at how quickly your can turn your passion for marketing….and online entrepreneurialism into a profitable business.

The best way to earn an extra $1000 a week?

Pick a niche.  ( a local professional niche that you want to focus on first)

Then, BUILD something.  Create an online asset that has tangible and empirical value to folks working in that industry, and that your ideal audience can see, hold, touch and taste, covet &  CRAVE before they spend a dime on a promise.

  1.  Use that site to sell services.
  2.  You can give the site away for $300 a month in basic blog and SEO services.  (earning you $3600 for 12 months of upkeep)
  3.  Or you can sell the site for market value and offer back end services as an option.
  4.  Or, you can create a 7 email autoresponder follow up sequence, incorporate a newsletter form on the site and sell a relationship marketing service as well as the site, the blogging service or whatever other combination of creative suite of services you can come up with.

Try a little of this, and experiment with a little of that.

The key is, identifying an audience that doesn’t need to be SOLD something, but who knows they need something to thrive and survive.

A realtor, banker, doctor, designer, car detailer and dentist in your local community ALL have one thing in common.

They are investing money in their “brand” this week, this month, or this year……. or they are losing a lot of business to others who are.

Get your marketing message in front of that audience…and you’ll never struggle to find clients, or generate cash flow again.

14AvjqM

A Few Free Things

Everyone loves free things, right?

I know I do.

Here are a few free tools, templates and little odds and ends you may enjoy exploring if you are trying to build a blog, brand or business around content.

– A really great free Q and A plugin from Designwall – a little known design & development shop that makes some kick ass WordPress themes.  The plugin is very cool for creating Q and A style content that allows your users to interact with your community…and that can help position you as an expert or authority in your niche (using the Content Community Continuum model that many of you remember from my various “challenges) …and of this writing, is 100% free.

While you are on their site – check out their free “Minion” blog theme – it’s something a few of my current clients are using for their personal blog – it looks great – is easy to configure and is also 100% free.

- Speaking of free WordPress themes……another good one that is literally a world class design that is 100% free is BIGFOOT from The Happy Bit.

As a matter of fact……

I used it on this blog for about last month, and it has some really, really cool features that are incredibly cool and unsusual for a $100 theme – let alone one you can download gratis – right now.

The very special “showcase page template” is really an AMAZING way to quickly and easily create killer landing pages on your blog – with prominent above the fold buttons for exponentially higher click through rates…..if you want to look like a world class designer for local website offers – (i’ve seen a bunch of people SELLING $1000+ webdesign services who are using this theme for clients and for their own blogs..:-) or are an affiliate looking for a quick and easy way to create high converting campaigns that look great and get the click - BIGFOOT is truly a crazy cool steal of a deal.  (if you can call free a deal :-)

This week only, you can get PINTO from Themebeans for free as well -

…….a simple, modern and super easy to install blog theme specifically created for creatives, bloggers, and photographers or otherwise really interesting people like you and me – it’s usually 30 bucks or so I believe – but until the 25th of this Month, you can download it on CreativeMarket for free. 

Speaking of a blog platform for writers and creatives…..I’ve been playing for the last week with GHOST – and if you are addicted to simple, sexy and straightforward blog publishing platforms…….GHOST is well worth checking out.  I initally started toying around with GHOST last week, simply because as many of you know, I’ve been doing a fair amount of work with the “psychic”, personal development and spiritual coaching/author market since the summer, and trying to get a bunch of people who claim to speak to spirits to start a blog ain’t ‘easy.

It occcured to me – what better incentive than a blog platform called GHOST, right?

Should be an easy sell, don’t you think?

Let’s hope so.

I had no idea.

Some of these people are nuts.

Anyway – you can check out GHOST here - it’s 100% free – but in beta – and a little bit glitchy – yet……I really love it.

You can also see my own GHOST blog here.….

I’ll be changing the domain to something a bit more branded to  “me” and memorable over the next week or so – but I plan on doing a lot of fun things with Ghost over the next few months for a few personal writing projects, which my shrink says would be a good idea to share with the world, rather than keep all bottled up for another decade, which i’m perfectly happy to do.

Lastly, speaking of all bottled up…….I have a really interesting “Challenge” idea I’m thinking about launching over the next week or so for folks who are interested in building an online agency style business from home…….where I will share a whole bevvy of brand, blog and business building blueprints for going literally from ZERO to your first $1000 + in income, within 30 days, on a boostrap budget……..while getting REAL cash paying clients in your LOCAL community.

The truth is, from my perspective – building a growing, flowing, enduring brand and business that has real value is super duper easy if you look local & THINK REAL PEOPLE WITH REAL BUSINESS NEEDS –

…….find something you want to specialize in – and offer a suite of superior services that professionals are already paying for where you currently live……and quite often, getting far substandard results than they deserve.

If you have interest in particpating in this – i’m still sort of fleshing out the details a bit in my head – and how it will be delivered……all current clients will get access to it of course for free – but if you are a “lurker” in the background like most who read this blog unfortunately are, this will be a good opportunity to build something significant through getting involved.

More on this to come – it will be extrememly limited (maximum 50 people out of an overall email list of close to 10K will be taken) feel free to get in touch with me (or leave a comment) if you’d like to know more.

:-)

 

 

 

cliff

Building a Community on Tumblr

A good article on community building – and niche culture on Tumblr.

For many markets…..Tumblr is the smartest blog building strategy you can find – simply due to how easy they make it to find, bond and build relationships with other people who share your interests…and will help spread your message to the masses.

While there is a whole lot of wierd and wacky stuff on Tumblr as well – let’s face it – we’re all a bit weird and wacky on the inside.

Tumblr just reminds us that we’re not as weird as we thought.

Maybe you are.

But I’m definitely not.

Well worth checking out if you are struggling to find an audience with your conventional blog – Tumblr DOES have it’s shortcomings (not great for long form blost posts like these) but it’s strengths, especially for strategically building a blog, brand, or content oriented community, should not be overlooked.

Check out the full article at the link following the short excerpt below.

On Tumblr, users can post a huge variety of content and media. So, it’s no surprise the social blogging platform hosts wildly diverse communities. Some of these groups are so big and so active they become subcultures in their own right. They take over tags, earn thousands of reblogs and even create dedicated blogs entirely dedicated to one, very specific subject.

Most Tumblr users partake in one or several different subcultures, depending on their personal interests. Because Tumblr allows users to create multiple blogs, a single account can have various subculture-related blogs, as well as a personal one.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/13/tumblr-subcultures/

 

Gumroad

Find Me on Gumroad

I’ve started the process of uploading a lot of my free files to Gumroad.….a great platform for selling (or giving away :-) your best content, or building your own online store in a jif.

I still have another 5 or 6 PDF’s to upload….and a whole suite of new stuff that I’m sharing with folks who want to build an online “agency” style offer as well – including some really super simple tips, tweaks and I dare say innovative techniques you can use to get premium prices for your sites and services….all while really offering incredible value to your end clients as well.

I’m also doing all of this while trying to get all caught up on Sons of Anarchy, season 6.

If you haven’t been watching – but have always wanted to be in a motorcycle gang like me, it’s really quite an exhilirating experience.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say – if you are trying to pick between downloading my recent PDF’s on Gumroad, or watching Sons of Anarchy re-runs, it’s really no contest.

Read the PDF’s.

Gang banging is dangerous.

Just ask Opie.

It’s hard out there for a pimp.

He’d still be around if he’d been thinking about improving his click through rate, or doing some good old fashioned brand building or content markting for a living, rather than running guns, or worrying about wearing colors in the can.

Whatever they say about this life – you’ll never get capped on your keyboard.

PS – I really should have put a spoiler alert a few lines up.

I hate when people give away a major plot point in one of my favorite shows without warning me first.

Consider yourself warned.

Opie doesnt’ make it out of season 5.

It may be tough love…….

But –

I just saved you 40 hours of TV.

Now go read the PDF’s.

You’ll thank me later, I promise.

 

 

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