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3 Game Changing Apps for Writers, Content Marketers and Creatives

Here are 3 apps I’m loving this month.

Milanote:  I’ve mentioned them a few times over the last few weeks, and I keep finding new and creative ways to amp up my productivity using Milanote.  For example?  You can not only storyboard or mock up an entire writing project (complete with live links, images, quotes, etc) you can also export the board to a PDF in one click, and then share that PDF with your readers, students (for those of you teaching) subscribers and more.  I can’t over state how important this is for content creation – AND, surprisingly enough….. for authority site marketers, too.

Here is an example:

I recently took an entire category on a niche directory and dropped all the listings into a milanote board – then exported that to a “canvas” PDF – (which is just a nicely formatted horizontal axis copy of your board) posted it on the directory – and offered that up to my readers, with live links – for folks who want a nice looking PDF with all of the listings in their area, complete with member pictures, a sponsored link, etc.  I can see (by dint of tracking links) that folks are clicking on the listings even a day or two later…..giving our site (and by extension, our paid professional listings) a “stickiness” that doesn’t require a repeat visit to earn.

Thank god I still get such creative ideas after drinking half of a family sized bottle of wine.

Don’t let anyone tell you drinking alone is a bad idea.

Cassette.design

This is a total game changer for writers, authors, and content marketers.  Simply stated, you can literally RECORD an entire book using this app, as it will transcribe your dictated text with amazing accuracy.  You can also (obviously) record articles, blog posts, tutorials, etc and have content you can use in a plethora of ways, even if (or especially if) you hate to write.  I don’t hate to write, and I still find Cassette is amping up my productivity in amazing ways.  Cassette makes me WANT to create and communicate and for those of you who love to talk but hate to write…..can’t recommend it highly enough.

Adioma.com

Loving adioma.  It’s awesome, easy to use and has turned me into an infographic making machine.  While other people go out and make friends, socialize and get fresh air, I stay inside and make infographics with Adioma.

If you would have told me 6 months ago, that I’d be designing great looking infographics and visualizations that looked pretty, professional and were being shared by hundreds of people on Pinterest, I would have told you the chances of that happening were as likely as the Celebrity Apprentice taking over the White House.  Guess what?  I was wrong.  The lead singer of Poison is probably 4 months away from being the next Secretary of State, and Amorosa is one election cycle away from being Speaker of the House.

Yes I failed civics class – but i’m crushing it with infographics, which is a sweet consolation prize.

Trump steaks for everyone.

 

What Problem Do You Solve?

I was re-reading a few of my older posts earlier tonight, looking for some insight and inspiration as to how much my thoughts and ideas and insights have grown over the last few years.

The truth is, like most other areas of my life, unfortunately….i haven’t grown all that much.

But one thing struck me, that i had written a few years ago, about focusing on helping folks high step the hurdles that are holding them back from achieving what it is that they want in life.

I promised that I would filter everything i created through one simple filter.

What problem do you solve?  And while the below was written specifically for Amazon, the truth is, it applies to every other area of my consulting/content marketing and adventures in the ideosphere as well.

 

How to tackle a problem, or fix a flat or overcome an obstacle in a very straightforward way. If I want to read or experience someone emote and express about their own existential life crisis, and pursuit of purpose, I’d watch more Glenn Beck.

So I decided that everything I publish  going forward would help people solve a problem that was central to the reason they bought my book….and even if they hated my strategy or solution, it would still be worth 3 bucks to discover why.

Solve a problem.  Begin with the win. Give people an insight, an experience or an outcome that they couldn’t get on their own and you’ll never beg for business again.

I find that in my own life, my interests are often outside of the scope of what serves my audience.  I like to entertain, and inspire, and encourage.  I like to think outside of the box, and try to come up with unique ideas, and angles and approaches to common challenges.

The truth is, often this is an exercise in intellectual indulgence that serves no one other than my own self satisfaction.

If I’m not helping people make money, build their business or dance in the direction of their dreams in practical and pragmatic ways, I’m serving only as a sideshow.

How do YOU make people better?   What problems do you solve?  How do you step up and stand out and do the best work that you can, in the service of others?

As always, the better questions you ask, the more clarity you cultivate about what it is that you are doing here in the first place.

You have an Authority site, an Audience, and a Value Proposition

Some quick notes from some of the questions folks are asking about the directory marketing model.

The Pain: “I don’t know how to approach my professional peers, or attract my ideal audience”

The authority site makes you a thought leader by virtue of the fact that you’ve taken the initiative to build it.

(want spiritual teachers or authors as clients? Build a directory that helps the public find them.  Want local insurance agents as clients?  Build a local directory that features the top insurance agents in your town.  Want restaurants and bars as clients?  Build an authority site in your local community that features the top eateries and nightlife, and then approach your ideal audience with irresistable offers that build BUZZ for their businesses in cool and creative ways and that PIGGYBACK off the idea that your directory and they’re listing – gives you them the extra eyeballs they’re going to need)

The authority site model has many lives, and serves many masters.

It gives you the INSTANT appearance of credibility, even if you have none right now.  (you can hand populate a local directory in a day, and on the SECOND day, approach your ideal audience by phone, email or ping, and have the appearance of being a thought leader or mover or shaker in your niche, target market or vertical, simply by having something tangible, valuable or interesting.

Very few will know (or care) that you’ve only recently launched this project.

(note:  For those of you who think you need to build a site like this for MONTHS before you can approach clients, it’s not true.  The first directory I launched using this model, with only a few live listings on the site, a woman emailed me back to to say some variation of  “you need me more than I need you”……and proceeded to tell me how with that few listings on the directory, she wanted all sorts of free extras to be on the site – and proceeded to remind me how important she was, and how inconsequential my offer was, etc.

I added her for free, put her lengthy self aggrandizing email response as her business description, and left her a bad review, not on the basis of her service – which I technically couldn’t honestly assess  – but as a human being – which I could.

None of this was nice, of course –  but it felt better than a small carton of prozac, and was very liberating and made me chuckle at odd times throughout the day for weeks.  Eventually my therapist told me these were not healthy feel good experiences, so reluctantly, I stopped.

So if you are worried about not being expert, experienced or important enough in your niche or local marketplace?

Fear not – i’ve got a carefully curated collection of revenge responses to mean people that haven’t been used in years.  I’m happy to email you a few if you need.

mindfulness exercises for beginners

Mindfulness For Beginners

One of the best ways to learn mindfulness, or to practice meditation, is to use a body.  (preferably your own, as concentrating on someone else’s can get you yelled at, especially on the S. Florida Tri-Rail between Miami and Boca.  Trust me, you’ve been warned)

I recently did a very basis meditation audio for a spiritual development community, doing my best to explain some esoteric ideas around meditation and various out of body types of experiences.  (which is the focus of this particular class, and course, within this community)

I found it to be sort of a strange and uncomfortable experience, as I try to keep my interest in these more esoteric concepts at arms length from my name…..but decided, in the interest of keeping it real,  to share a meditation practice I’ve used many times, to get a taste of what pure consciousness, absent a body, (appears) to feel like.

I was motivated to do this, by dint of some others who are teaching in the same community, and sharing some very exotic “plant medicine” experiences with Ayuhuasca, DMT, and other enthnogenic adventures……. that made my tepid tap dance into the domain of dualism, a bit less of a real risk.

So if you want to hear me talking this sort of thing, feel free to listen here.

I don ‘t think I’ve mastered the guided meditation voice yet.  And as usual, I use very little scripting in my audios and drink far too much coffee.  Which means……this one at times, feels like – WTF is this guy talking about 🙂

How to: Online Directory Marketing Tips (and an Invitation to Watch a Web Directory Business Being Developed Live)

A few quick updates for those of you interested in building a profitable web directory in a niche, market or industry you love.

First, after a LONG delay…..Vantage 4.0 from Appthemes is finally available! Yaaay for patience! 🙂 If you are someone who would love to build a directory or business portal, or niche community, but find the tech considerations daunting, Vantage is probably the easiest and most expeditious path to progress….and profit.

Here is why:

The Listify and Listables of the world LOOK great, and have a more modern aesthetic in my view…..but, there are so many external dependencies, and so many moving parts and pieces and PLUGINS that all have to play together in a cooperative way, that there always seems to be some sneaky shoe drop disapointment every time someone updates something…..and you have to wait for all the pieces to play nicely together, yet again.

(this has been most recently notable with some of my readers who are using LISTABLE on some pretty popular projects, where one of the WPmanager add on premium plugins “broke” a number of Listable sites, and caused a whole bunch of headache, heartburn and anxiety for the folks running the sites.

As of a few days ago, this plugin issue was still an ongoing problem for these folks – and all sorts of roll back gymnastics were required to keep clients, customers and subscribers not bailing on the project)

So while I do really like Listify – and do use the framework on a current project – and while I DO actually recommend checking out their new “done for you” hosting package too (which I checked out on a free trial a few weeks ago, and think it looks like a really good option for folks who want a turn key hosted/managed directory solution), I’d still hesitate to really recommend these style solutions (WPmanager + Woocommerce + premium plugins + booking plugins + claim plugins + review plugins/bookmark plugins + bridge plugins, etc) for folks who are as tech challenged as I am – and simply want to BUILD a business – and market/promote and LOVE it in a niche you love.

For these people, I really do think VANTAGE is a killer option.

It looks great – I use the OLD version of VAntage on my own most active directory community, and I’m looking forward to upgrading it to this version, maybe as soon as this weekend. (Simply because I spend most of my weekends drinking cheap wine, wondering what happened to my life, and binge watching Netflix – I like to flex my multi-tasking muscles while doing both)

Here in the invitation: If you want to learn how to build a LIVE directory businesss, and earn EASY money using the directory/portal + online agency style model (e.g. – you would be building your OWN online agency, with a suite of high end services that you can immediately offer, in YOUR community, to people who need your experience and expertise – if you would love to be a marketing consultant, and want to incorporate directories/authority sites/niche communities into your offer arsenal)….

I want to offer a 12 month course LIVE experiential workshop where we will detail, document and deep dive into this process with you – in a step by step way, helping you launch your OWW business, while giving you inside access to what we are building at the same time.

(a project i’m developing now with partners, that is live, with outsourced help, content, courses, community, products and partners…… growing a little bit everyday, in March of 2017. (in the self publishing and “enlightened entrepreneurial” niche)

I’m only going to do this if there is enough real interest (the course + private consulting that goes with it), so if you are interested in this, send me an email (ianrhollander@gmail.com) or say hi/leave me a message in the chat box below.

Ready to launch a profitable online business in a niche, market or industry you love? We want to help! join us in a private year long workshop – get in touch below for details.

And for those of you just looking for the right WordPress directory framework in 2017?

It’s too early to say Vantage 4.0 is the best.

But it’s not too early to say it’s the easiest way to get up and running with NO outside dependencies – or with the fewest moving parts and pieces (and plugins) – so I’d certainly recommend if you’ve waited this long to launch your directory, you start there. (or here)

marketing consultant how to

How to: Starting an Online Agency in Your Community

NEW: Beta Course: Learn how to quickly and easily launch a profitable online agency from home.

Are you interested in learning how to build a fun, profitable and exciting online agency doing work that you love? In this audio, i cover the bullet points in the infographic above, and articulate what i believe is the absolute easiest way to create a viable, valuable, scalable service related business that empowers you in unique ways – and inspires your ideal audience to want to work with YOU (rather than others) as well. This is really most ideally suited for folks who want to focus on a LOCAL business, as the strategies in this particular course are going to focus on targeting local professionals who will immediately benefit from your experience and expertise. (note: it doesn’t have to be YOUR local area per se if you don’t want to start where you live – but you should target A local area, even one a distance from you, to really optimize this particular approach. Feel free to jump to the end of the audio as I share a quick story of how I started a “local” business a few thousand miles away from where i was living at the time (NJ) – and this certainly still works equally as effectively today.


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