Archives for January 2013

Shark Tank – Would you be prepared?

The following began as a simple post on my Facebook wall.

Blows me away! Out of all the people who appear on Shark Tank only a handful have their websites optimized for new traffic.

Most do not have a way for visitors to opt in for anything whether it be a coupon, a report or a training video as it relates to their products and services and market need. Oy vey.

These people are being seen by millions of people yet they are not doing all they can to have their site completely “visitor” ready.

Wake up folks. If you've made it to the Shark Tank wouldn't it be a good idea to prepare your site for it?

The number of likes and comments I received on this short post were a lot more than expected. Most people agreed with me while a couple of people said I shouldn’t be critical.

It's not about being critical, it's about educating entrepreneurs on how a few simple steps can increase effectiveness and revenues.

Imagine the hoops Shark Tank contestants have to go through to appear on the show. This is no easy feat.

It is beyond my comprehension that contestants wouldn't do all possible to bring their site up to the highest standard possible when their story will be seen by millions of people.

You can bet lots of viewers are checking out contestants websites on their IPads, IPhones, and laptops while watching the show.

Imagine how many opportunities are missed if there isn't a way for someone to opt in. Ouch!

Without capturing contact information visitors will likely never come back to your site and will soon forget about you. A harsh reality.

Here's a simple rule; have an opt in opportunity with something of extremely high value for site visitors. 

When you have someone's email address you can let them know about specials, discounts and product bundles while continuing to create massive value for your subscribers.

Once someone opts in continue to create high value as well as offer products and services they would benefit from.

If you've been looking for a simple solution on how to increase revenues you generate from your site, I just gave it to you.

Far too often people say, “My business is not working.”

Yet, when they are given the solution on what to do they don't take advantage of it.

For example, there was one Shark Tank participant I had a phone conversation with after he appeared on the show. He was frustrated he didn't get the funding he had hoped for nor was his site selling much at all.

Within seconds of being on his site I identified a few glaring problems with his site.

I told him I wanted to use his site as a case study for a group of my high level clients. I wanted to show them a few simple changes that he could make to make the site a money magnet.

“Absolutely,” he said without hesitation.

I created a short screen capture video in which I pointed out the most obvious steps he could take to improve conversions. The video was made available to my private clients as well as to the owner of the site.

The guy got really excited about the information, saying he was going to update his site as soon as possible.  

One change would have been very simple; offer a gift such as a report, short video or MP3 that visitors would opt in for.

Another was to offer a fabulous special for Shark Tank viewers. Make it super easy and very low risk for people to make their first purchase.

The site owner received the video about four months ago. Not one change has been made.

Mind you, if he would have said, “I'm not interested, I have no desire to change things, beat it,” I would be fine with that But the fact is, he got really excited by my offer, said he didn't know much about using the Internet to market his business and welcomed my recommendations.

So why hasn't he updated his site? Simple. He's not convinced it's worth the effort.

Consider this, online purchases this holiday season were up considerably from last year.

Retail web sales increased 12% over last year’s holiday shopping season and surpassed $92 billion according to, the digital division of the National Retail Federation trade group.

The increase covers shopping during November and December.

E-retail spending to increase 62% by 2016.U.S. consumers will spend $327 billion online in 2016, Forrester Research says.

Personally, I think the projection is low. I predict the increase will be well over 100% in the next three years.

Most consumers are choosing online means to purchase what they want. For an entrepreneur not to have your site fully optimized (especially when millions of eyes will be seeing what they offer) is crazy.

If you're not doing everything you possible to ride this ever-increasing wave, you're soon to be left behind.

Mind you, opt in boxes are not the only thing you have to do. There is more to the process. It would behoove you to be fully prepared when any opportunity arises.

What would you do to prepare if you knew you were appearing on Shark Tank? Comments welcome.

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Bureau owner reveals what it takes to make it as a pro speaker

I began my career as a professional speaker nearly two decades ago. Little did I know what it would take to make it as a speaker.

Like many wanna be speakers I thought all I needed to do was have a great presentation. I found out there is more, lots more, to the speaking industry.

“I want to motivate people,” was my answer when my mentor asked what I wanted to speak on.

“That’s great, but what will you motivate them about?” she would always respond.

This question always left me speechless.

The more vague I was on my speaking topics the fewer gigs I got.

As I became more defined in what I spoke on there was the issue of finding the speaking engagements. I had to know how to market myself as a speaker.

There were, and continue to be, a few primary choices as to how I got the gigs.

1. Book my own

2. Contract with a seminar company

3. Be an internal corporate speaker

4. Utilize the services of a speakers bureau

Regardless of what route a speaker chooses, there is foundational work to be done. For example, you must have speaker promotional material, determine your fee schedule and develop your topics.

Without the right guidance a speaking career can end faster than just about anything.

However, with the right information there is incredible opportunity for someone with the dream of being a speaker.

Recently, I had a discussion with Cathleen Fillmore, owner of Speakers Gold speaker’s bureau about what bureaus look for when they represent a speaker.

Here’s what she had to say.

As a bureau owner, I have chosen to represent a small select roster of speakers simply because I like to be really familiar with the speakers I recommend.

Here’s what I look for when considering whether or not to represent a speaker.

First of all, integrity and enthusiasm.

Secondly, does your promotional material really reflect your fee level?  If your fee is higher than your promo materials merit, I have to wonder about the disconnect.

Do you have a well designed promo page?  If not, I just can’t sell your services.  Bureaus sell the package not the person.

Do you have a credible short video?  Buyers want to make sure you can engage an audience.

And finally do you have a reputation for being easy to work with?

There is more to being a speaker than simply having a great speech. Want to find out what this is? Join Cathleen Fillmore on January 17th for a FREE webinar becoming a six figure speaker. Register at




What my critters teach me about marketing each and every day

I have several four legged critters that trust me to take care of them. Between the three horses, two dogs and two cats there are lots of unspoken rules around our home.

1. The critters get fed each and every day, twice a day.
2. They always have fresh water
3. They have regular grooming schedules
4. Quality vet care is something they receive
5. Each has a safe space for sleeping
6. They are in their forever home
7. Exercise is a must do

Each of the critters are special in their own way. Each receives unconditional love.

Every morning there is a ritual I must go through in order to make sure all start their day off right.

This morning, as I was taking hay out to the horses, followed by filling up their water troughs and scooping their poop it occurred to me that taking care of my critters has a similar flavor to it as marketing in my business.

Regardless of whether I “feel” like it there are certain activities that must be done on a consistent basis. It's the same with my business. There are specific activities that must be done regardless of whether I feel like it or not.

Marketing is top on the list. Without a focused approach to marketing my business would not be doing as well as it is. Actually, in the last year, business grew by 50%. While other entrepreneurs talked about how bad things were, there were those of us who continued to grow.

Why is this?

Countless times I have had discussions with entrepreneurs who are frustrated with their business growth. Upon closer examination it is apparent that there is little consistency to how they market.

Additionally, they are getting caught up in the bright shiny object syndrome that keeps them occupied with useless activities that produces little, if any results.

Far too many entrepreneurs take a hit and miss approach to their businesses. Rather than having a daily plan for marketing, they occasionally do something to get their message out to their market.

This is not the way to run your business. To succeed you must have a strategic approach to what you are doing.

Elements of what will enhance your marketing efforts include:

  • Building your opt in subscriber list
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Interviews
  • Media releases
  • Article marketing
  • Aligned partnerships

Start today to have a plan of action that reaps the kind of results you want and need.

What do you do to consistently market your business? Why not share your best practice with others? After all, if you share yours they may share theirs and this definitely benefits everyone.