CEI 041: Hugh Culver on Discipline and Productivity

Hugh CulverDiscipline and productivity are two of the biggest keys to growing your business, but what exactly do they mean?

Today, Danny interviews Hugh Culver, who comes from a really interesting background in adventure tourism (think whitewater rafting and private tours in Antartica) before transitioning into a corporate consulting role.

About three years ago, Hugh turned his attention from corporate consulting to his third successful business, which grew out of his best-selling book Give Me a Break.

On this week’s podcast, Danny and Hugh explore the idea of discipline and productivity – what these terms actually mean and how to make them work for you. They’ll even cover how to exercise your discipline and productivity muscles!

Podcast run time: 33 min 26 seconds

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How to Get Published on Forbes.com Without Really Trying

blog marketingYes, you read the headline correctly: this post is all about how to “accidentally” get published on Forbes.com.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Tweet it! Forbes.com doesn’t publish just anyone, let alone by accident. So allow me to set the scene for you.

How I Got Published on Forbes

It was the day my first major guest article was to go live. I had just started my personal financial planning business, and was thrilled to be getting press on LearnVest, a Mint.com for women that targeted my niche perfectly.

What’s more, I had waited exactly 4 months for this post to go live. This would be my first major post on the site. As I’m sure you can imagine, my anticipation was off the charts!

Throughout the first 4 hours of the day, I was completely consumed by the stats of my post. I scanned social media interactions, refreshed LearnVest for comments, and delighted in a steady inflow of new subscribers.

I was on top of the world.
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What is a DDoS Attack, and How Can I Protect My Business?

what is a ddos attack Tweet it! Are you aware of the latest threat to your online business? It goes by the innocuous sounding name of DDoS .

That stands for Distributed Denial of Service and it’s no coincidence that it almost always gets used with the word “attack,” as in DDoS attack. It has become commonplace enough to have its own Wikipedia entry, and it’s not a short one anymore, either.

It’s sad, but DDoS attacks are becoming as commonplace as car theft. As yet, nobody has figured out how to protect society from this new evil. Like car theft, it doesn’t affect you every day, but when it does, it causes dramatic (and traumatic) disruption and loss.

You are particularly susceptible to this new form of terrorism if you make your living from the internet. To do that, you use service providers, from email servers like MailChimp, Aweber, etc. and hosts like Hostgator, GoDaddy, etc. to payment processors.

Aweber recently got shut down by a DDoS attack, but they are by no means the only one. Simply Google ” DDoS attacks” and sit back in disgust as your screen fills with endless examples.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the next World War will be fought on the internet. That would, of course, be the ultimate irony, because the internet was developed by the U.S. Armed Forces solely as an impenetrable defense against a nuclear war.

Until then, though, DDoS attacks happen everywhere on a smaller scale, and that’s enough for us to be concerned about right now.
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7 Embarrassing Email Marketing Mistakes

email markting tipsLook around the Internet and you’ll see lots of attempts of attracting traffic. And more often than not, the goal is to get subscribers.

But then what?

Tweet it! Having subscribers doesn’t equal income – it only equals great opportunity. How well you use different email marketing strategies and engage your audience decides how well you cash in on the opportunity.

You can deduce how marketing savvy someone is based on their emails. Noticing the difference between good amateurs and true pros can be a bit tricky, but spotting beginners is easy; they make embarrassingly simple mistakes.

If you fall for those mistakes, you might as well stop collecting emails and move to asking your visitors for their shoe sizes and pet names.

Here are seven of the most common email marketing mistakes, and tips on how avoid them.
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Beware of Google Images: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Images Online

free images for blogsImages are everywhere online. But, do you ever think about where they came from or whether you’re even allowed to use them on your blog?

Many people assume the images they find online are free to use on their blog, social media updates and even print materials. I made the same mistake when I started working with local businesses.

After all, using images for your blog posts is a great way to increase reader engagement. Tweet it! The right picture quickly orients your readers to your topic, jump starts social sharing and even helps break up long blocks of text.

But, finding the right image can be a challenge. Sites like Twitter, Instagram and even Google Image Search provide an endless stream of seemingly “free” images.
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CEI 039: Gamification Elements for Your Blog or Business

gamification Andrzej MarczewskiToday, Megan interviews Andrzej Marczewski, author of Gamification, & a Bit More, on how to include game elements in your business or on your blog to increase your audience size and engagement.

Gamification is, quite simply, the practice of include game-like elements in tasks that are not games. Our recent Online Scavenger Hunt is a great example of how gamification can be used in your business.

Listen in to this week’s episode all about gamification – what it is, how to recognize it when you see it online, how it works, and how you can apply elements of gamification to your business or blog.

Podcast Run time: 18 min 45 seconds

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7 Tips to Create Killer Email Newsletter Campaigns That Convert

Email marketing campaignsHave you ever found yourself racking your brain for hours, trying to come up with ideas and topics for your email marketing campaigns?

If you have, you are definitely not alone.

As an entrepreneur and marketer, one of the most challenging problems I constantly face is figuring out what content I should send to my email subscribers to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

When it comes to email, content marketing is definitely the name of the game. So much so that companies with less than 10 employees are spending 42% of their marketing budget to produce content to increase brand visibility and attract new customers.

Email Content Marketing Works

This may be attributed to the fact that content marketing via email is very effective. It continuously produces measurable results, not just in terms of sales but also engagement, which is a crucial component for building relationships and inspiring trust with your readers.

Just take a look at some of these content marketing statistics from the past years:
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How to Turn Down Clients Without Alienating Them

business growthNew businesses will often take on every single client or customer they can attract.

If you’re still building your customer base, enhancing your reputation, improving the quality of your services or products, acquiring customer testimonials and developing a ground-swell of word-of-mouth support, then you’ll likely be exceedingly grateful for – and accept – every client walking in the door.

That won’t always be the case.

Over time, Tweet it! as you become more successful, you’ll get to a point where you’ll be able to (or may even need to) turn work down .

The very first time this happens to you, relax and enjoy the ride!  Rest assured, this is an extremely high class growth problem to address in your business.

One of the reasons this is such a coveted moment is that it’s usually time to start pricing smartly!
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Late Snows and The Best of the Web

Best of the WebThree feet of snow is only a bit unusual for April in Montreal. But we think it’s going to melt! ;-)

April is here and it’s going to be another busy month for Firepole Marketing. We’re looking forward to onboarding a new wave of students into our Audience Business Masterclass training program, and we’re excited to work with them to launch and grow their businesses.

But, we’re not *too* busy. We remembered to bring you our monthly Best of the Web!

This month, we didn’t hold back! We share some posts about: the length of your blog posts; improving webpage design; product launches that sell more; Facebook ads; growing your business; and more.

Take your time and dive in. You’ll gain some great knowledge out of it.
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4 Offers You Actually Can’t Refuse

Image source

There are natural substances inside every single human being that drive us to action. Image Source

These substances are chemicals, produced by our bodies in reaction to stimuli. Activate one of these chemicals, and you truly have an offer no one can refuse.

Simon Senek is a pioneer in understanding these chemicals and using them effectively.

According to Senek, these are the 4 most powerful chemicals.

Endorphins: The Exercise Chemical

Endorphins are released when we do physical activity. They are the reason “runner’s high” exists. Endorphins also mask physical pain. When you are pushing yourself further than you’ve ever gone before, endorphins are released so you feel good.

Toyota’s most recent ad campaign stimulates endorphins by placing ordinary people in “boring” old Toyota car models with a professional race car driver. The driver whips the car around tight turns on a race track to the delight of his passengers. Toyota is showing that their cars are exciting and push the limits of what’s possible. Just the idea of being edgy in a Toyota is enough to produce endorphins.

Chevy decided to one-up Toyota by creating a series of ads where their Sonic model cars go bungee jumping, sky diving, and one even does a kick-flip over a giant skateboard. The Sonic is a car built for young professionals who crave excitement, and Chevy needed to appeal to that. Watch the video below and see how you feel after watching it. If you start to sweat a little and get excited, Chevy did their job and induced endorphins.
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