law of leadership

Marketing Lessons from the Presidential Race

marketing lessonsI’m gleaning marketing lessons by re-reading “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them At Your Own Risk” again. I originally found this back in the late 90’s and it significantly impacted my business.

The book, by Jack Trout and Al Reis, starts by saying that to succeed in marketing you want to be first to be known in your category. If you’re not going to be first, then make up a new category.

Marketing Lessons from Trump & Clinton

I’m thinking of this in terms of the upcoming election. Clinton’s obviously going for the “first woman president” category.

I think Trump is #1 in the “America first” category. This is depicted in his political incorrectness. That’s what’s made him stand out and be popular — a maverick entrepreneur who is giving a voice to traditional Americans who are sick of the political correctness and want to think, believe and speak what they want.

His border and immigration policies are cohesive with his “America first” brand. Nationalism in opposition to globalism. (These are examples of laws 1 and 2: the Law of Leadership and the Law of the Category.)

The “make America great again” slogan represents Trump’s America First niche while Clinton’s “I’m with her” slogan speaks to her “first woman president” objective. These slogans are representative of Law 5: The Law of Focus.

Law 8: the Law of Duality states that every marketing race tends to dwindle down to 2 main players (think Coke and Pepsi). While there are 3rd party candidates in the US, they don’t stand a chance because by this late in the game, the Law of Duality has already taken us down to a two-horse marketing race.

Kind of fascinating to examine these laws at work in not only business, but also politics.

Join me for Marnie’s Marketing Mondays as I discuss the laws of marketing and how to practically apply them in your business. Click here to learn more.

Pray for America: Can One Simple Thing Turn the Tide?

pray for americaMany of us feel like we should pray for America. My father taught me this principle about how small and simple actions can make a world of difference in a country.

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
– Benjamin Franklin

What if we all asked ourselves each day, “What is the one little thing I can do today to save my country?” And then did it… What nail do you have in your possession?

Pray for America

Mother Teresa said,

I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

I love this. I used to pray for God to save my country. Now I ask every morning “What can I do today to save my country? Use me, please show me what to say or do.”

Each of us can do some small and simple things that can make great improvements in our country and society.

Royalty Free Pics: 2000 UNIQUE High Def Photos

royalty free picsAre you like me? Always looking for royalty free pics, photos and images to use in blogs, social media posts, pinterest posts, info products, Facebook ads and websites?

Royalty Free Pics for Free

There’s a couple sites I like to use frequently that offer free stock photos:

  • MorgueFile.com – Has lots of free images. Some are higher quality than others.
  • Pexels.com – Lots of great free high resolution images
  • TheNounProject.com – This site has black and white graphic images and symbols that are great for using in logos.

But if you can’t find what you’re looking for on free stock photos sites, here’s a super-affordable package of new, professional high resolution, royalty free images. (This package is only $29.99 — less than the price of one photo on Bigstock. That makes the images less than $.02 each!)

  • 2000 Original Stock Photos with Extended Licenses
  • 210 Graphic Icons
  • 176 BackGround Images
  • 50 Facebook Header Templates (with editable PSD files)

Click Here to Get Yours

 

 

 

climbing mountains

Climbing Mountains & Taking Leaps of Faith

climbing mountainsHave you enjoyed the vistas of a breathtaking spiritual mountaintop? And after some time there, felt inspired to do something equivalent to diving off a cliff?

In faith, you leaped. You expected to sprout wings, but they didn’t extend… At least not enough to keep you from flailing about, struggling, crying and landing in an excruciating heap.

As you lie splattered on the earth, crushed and battered, you question what you heard and the choices you made. Maybe you even got frustrated, confused about, or downright mad at God.

Why in the WORLD would He tell you to do that? Maybe He didn’t and you were drinking some weird Koolaide.

Eventually, you make your peace with Him and with yourself. You nurse your wounds for a spell and life starts to reboot. You can breathe again and your soul starts to heal. It’s not painful anymore when you move.

You even see some reason for it all, perhaps some method in the madness. You even see it has all worked together for your good.

At this point the Spirit whispers, “I have another mountain for you to climb.”

Wide-eyed you reply, “Are you bonkers? I’ll sit here where it’s safe and warm, thank you very much.”

“It’s time to relight your fire,” that still, small voice whispers.

“Who needs fire? I’ll just stay here lukewarm and safe,” you insist.

But the longer you stay in this comfortable place, the more you know that you were never meant to play it safe on the ground. You were meant to climb, reach breathtaking vistas, and yes, most likely free fall and soar.

“Sigh… Here we go again. Which mountain, Lord?”

“Patience, child. Let’s prep for the trip…”

timer plugin

Timer Plugin Gets People To Buy From You NOW!

How many times have you had someone looking at your products or services, but then they decided to “think about it” and never managed to come back around to a purchase?

Frustrating – isn’t it?

Imagine if you could get people to stop procrastinating and be excited to buy from you NOW!

We all know that scarcity creates a sense of urgency that gets people  to buy faster – right?

Think about it…

How many times have you bought a product on Amazon sooner than you planned because they told you you could get it delivered in 2 days with free shipping if you ordered within the next 5 hours?

How would you like to create this sense of urgency on your own site, with your own products and services?

Doing that just got SOOOO simple.

Introducing a New WordPress Timer Plugin

My friends at NAMS have created this really cool WordPress plugin called Simple Conversion Commander that will let you add all kinds of nifty timers to your web site… simply and easily. You can even place the timers on non-WordPress sites.

What this plugin does that others don’t is it lets you have control over what happens when the timer runs out.

You can automatically send the person wherever  you want them to go — to an offer with the normal price, to a downsell, or to some other page.

Think

  • book launches,
  • product launches,
  • early bird specials,
  • fire sales,
  • daily deals,
  • the possibilities are endless!

No more staying up til midnight to change web pages. No more forgetting to change early bird prices and people signing up after the deadline and getting the early bird price.

Also, these aren’t just fixed date timers. You can create really personal timers that keep track of when each individual visitor hits a page. It starts a countdown for that individual person!

What’s more, these timers REMEMBER that your prospect is out of time. So it’s a very REAL sense of urgency… not some made-up, ineffective deadline that trains people to ignore your deadlines in the future.

Another thing I like about this is it takes the personal element out of it. It’s a software timer. When the time runs out, it’s out. People are less likely to beg you for exceptions to your deadlines. The software isn’t going to let them buy if they don’t act within your deadline. It gives a professionalism to your site and your business that people respect.

I just bought my copy of Simple Conversion Commander.
Why not get yours?
It’s available through midnight August 28, 2016.
Check it out here!

woman watching sunset

Being Offended Is An Inside Job

Let’s talk about something that might offend people… the topic of being offended, discriminated against, criticized, etc. When you live in a free country, Christians aren’t getting their heads chopped off. Women aren’t being stoned. Gays aren’t being slaughtered (unless we’re talking ISIS attacks). If it does happen, it’s a crime and there are punishments. That’s REAL discrimination.

If someone takes away your life, liberty or property because you fall into a group (other than a criminal who deserves rights to be curtailed) then yes, you are discriminated against. In this post, I’m not talking about crimes. I’m talking about, for instance, someone said something mean to you, called you a name, or disagreed with your opinion or doesn’t want to do business with you because your hair is blue.

In a free country, if I want my right to think, believe, speak and feel what I want, then I have to allow you to think, believe, speak and feel what you want.

Thoughts, feelings, words and beliefs aren’t crimes. Actions that take away life, liberty or property are crimes.

Being offended is NOT the same as being discriminated against. Being offended is an inside job. It’s something you get to decide. The Amish weren’t offended when the guy came in and slaughtered their school children. They embraced his mother as if she were a victim too. That’s how much being offended is an inside job.

Most of us aren’t that forgiving. We all get offended. Being criticized for some aspect of your life, behavior, body, actions or beliefs is NOT a crime. It’s something we have to learn to work through on our own.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

What It’s Like Being a Minority

I spent 9 years in private fundamental Baptist schools. Yep, my brother and I were the only two “Mormons” in that school. I certainly never felt discriminated against. No one beat me up. I was first string on the basketball team, got to be in plays, was junior high valedictorian.

They may have promoted their points of doctrine that were different than mine. They had every right to do that, just as much as I had a right to believe what I wanted to believe.

I suppose I could have been offended, but I was not. Instead, I saw it for what it was – a bunch of people who believed differently than me on some points of doctrine. It’s a big world with lots of viewpoints. In fact, being among them helped me learn to love, respect and find common ground with people of all faiths.

Dealing with Bigotry

When I started a site for Christian women, I got some really nasty emails calling me a cult member and insisting I had no right to run a Christian web site. Yes, I took offense. My feelings were hurt. How dare someone accuse me of not loving my Savior? Were their comments some heinous crime? No, they had a right to say what they wanted to say, and I had a right to delete their emails without reading them.

Rather than cry “discrimination” I decided to make that site so Christ-centered no one would EVER accuse me of not being a Christian. What happened? I did that and the attacks stopped. Mysteriously, just stopped. Hmmm… Amazing what the power of Christ can do.

Dealing with Criticism

Being offended, for me, is a choice. I can choose to get my feelings hurt. Or I can look at the situation and ask, “What needs to be done here?” I started the first article directory and ran it for 14 years. During that time, I received lots of nasty emails, was cussed out by people griping about how the site was constructed or that they encountered a bug in the programming. I was even accused of single-handedly ruining the freelance writing industry.

I learned to look at each accusation or criticism and ask if it held merit. If it did, I used the feedback to improve the site or create a cool new service. If it didn’t, I wrote it off to their opinion and let it go.

Everyone Discriminates

Every day you and I are being “discriminated” for or against. You hire that consultant because she has a Pitbull like you do. You go to one hair dresser because she’s easy to talk to and avoid another because she bores you to tears.

I’m sure I’ve had people who didn’t want to work with me because of my religion, political views, the fact I got divorced in a family-focused religion, or that my southern accent grates on their nerves. Who cares? So what? I choose not to be offended – at least not for more than a couple minutes. 🙂

They aren’t my customers. They’re someone else’s. I go find the people who like me and what I have to say. To think I have to please everyone is rooted in insecurity and scarcity. There are plenty of people out there. Go find the ones who want to hire, be around, and love you. Let the rest roll on by.

That’s the beauty of a free country (and entrepreneurship). Let’s keep it that way!

capture video viewers

Capture Video Viewers and Remarket Them

If you’ve ever lucked up and created a viral video, you may have wished there was some way to capture video viewers and reach them again with something else you have. This is possible with Facebook video views if you have posted the video to your Facebook business page.

In this video, I show you how to increase your Fan Page Likes and create a Custom Audience from video views. Once you have the custom audience, you can easily boost posts to them or create ads directly to that audience.

Successful online business is all about remarketing to people who have shown an interest in what you have to offer. This is a great way to do it.

If you’d like to explore ways to make Facebook work for your business, be sure to schedule your FREE 20-minute Facebook Ad Strategy Session with me.

Facebook Ad Strategy: How to Target Other People’s Followers

If you’re the author of a self-help program, perhaps you’d love to reach people who follow Oprah. Or maybe you invented a football video game and you want to reach people who love Madden NFL. Both of these are possible with Facebook advertising.

Bear in mind that you can target other people’s followers IF Facebook chooses to make that person an option in the interests. People you can target are not always available just because they have a lot of followers. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason about which people Facebook allows you to target. But it’s definitely worth a try to look and see if the person is an option in the “interests” section when setting up your ad.

Targeting Oprah will give you about 800,000 matching individuals whereas Madden NFL will give you 17.8 million matching individuals. While the Oprah crowd is a good size, the Madden one is probably too large to effectively market. I’d recommend narrowing it down by age or by game system like WII or Playstation depending upon the system for which your game is designed.

For example, if your football video game is for Playstation 4, then make sure you target individuals who showed an interest in Madden NFL AND Playstation 4. That will give you a potential reach of 1.6 million individuals. See how much more targeted that is than 17.8 million? That’s a much more manageable number to market to as well.

target someone else's audience on facebookWhen you’re targeting someone else’s audience, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself to them first. If you’re a self-help guru, you might run a series of informational 1-2 minute videos that put you in front of Oprah’s followers.

  • Video is a cost effective way to reach an audience,
  • introduce yourself to them and
  • gather a custom audience from all the people who watched the video.

Then you can remarket to the people who watched your videos and offer them some kind of freemium (free opt-in gift) to get them on your email list.

In the case of the video game, you might run video trailers of the game to the Madden NFL Playstation 4 audience. Again, you’ll be able to gather a custom audience for these people and perhaps offer a coupon code to purchase the game

Be aware that Facebook is gradually rolling out the ability to retarget video viewers (aka create custom audiences based on Facebook engagement). Some of my clients have the ability inside their accounts and others do not. When I contacted Facebook they said it was a gradual roll-out and there’s no way to request it for individual accounts. Hopefully, it will be available for everyone soon.

Need help with your Facebook advertising? Let’s talk — get a free 20-minute strategy session.

Let Go and Let God

As you know I’m a goal oriented person. For most of my life I’ve gotten clear on what I wanted and went for it like a heat seeking missile. There was one thing I wanted more than anything. I got super clear on its characteristics and repeatedly stepped out of my comfort zone to find it.

I kept receiving what I was going for only to discover that what I got didn’t make me happy. I kept tweaking and adjusting my wish list thinking I just needed to get clearer. Finally, something came that I thought was what I really wanted, it fit so much of my criteria. But it ended up being a devastating mistake.

Let Go

At that point, I gave up and said “Lord, I obviously don’t know what’s good for me. You send me what’s best for me.”

What came was so much of what I wanted but infinitely more. There were so many things I would have never thought to ask for or to list. I call what came “the gift that keeps on giving” because every day I seem to unwrap a new pleasant surprise. Some new aspect of this gift I never knew was there. Every day I thank God for this beautiful gift.

It’s made me look at goal setting completely differently. It’s more like, “this is what I’m thinking I’d like, but You decide. I trust You to send me what’s best for me.”

Work on my existing marriage to see if I can bring it around.

Big Dreams Require Big Sacrifices

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about going for big dreams and achieving them. While I do believe we can set goals and achieve them and envision big dreams and navigate toward them, how they materialize isn’t always what we expect.

In fact, the bigger the dream, the bigger the price you’re probably going to have to pay.

For example in August 2011 on the way home from a family beach vacation, I caught the vision of a loving, connected marriage. I envisioned being with a lively, energetic person who would travel with me and share a true connection with me. I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen because I was not in that type of relationship at the time. The plan I laid out to achieve that looked something like this:

  1. Get in shape, get healthy. In other words, make myself energetically capable of achieving the dream.
  2. Work on my existing marriage to see if I can bring it around.
  3. Hope that somehow my spouse would start taking care of himself and get passionate about life.
  4. Keep making the great money I made at the time and travel and see the world.

Big Dreams Rarely Materialize As Planned

When I envisioned my big dreams, I never would have chosen the route I ended up traveling. I do believe it was important for me to have a plan and step out onto the path. Getting in shape and getting healthy gave me the strength for the more rigorous path that I ended up traveling. Also, having a compelling vision kept me going when I otherwise would have thrown in the towel.

Here’s how the road to my big dreams really looked…

  1. Lose your business overnight.
  2. Scramble to re-invent yourself FAST.
  3. Get divorced after 28 years.
  4. Make some stupid dating mistakes.
  5. Get your heart stomped on after giving a relationship all you had.
  6. Learn how to set boundaries with men and truly value yourself.
  7. Give up on the whole idea of getting married and just be okay with yourself.
  8. Find the love of your life (the son of one of your good friends) right under your nose. In fact, you’ll pass him every day as he directs traffic outside your son’s middle school.
  9. big dreamsFigure out how to open up your heart again and release the fear to let him in.
  10. Get married after a brief engagement.
  11. Suffer a health challenge that negatively impacts your business.
  12. Lose confidence in yourself mentally, spiritually and financially.
  13. Lose your home and property you bought with your grandfather’s inheritance.
  14. Start over in a smaller “new for us together” house.
  15. Take your business in a different direction – a direction you’ve been resisting.
  16. Find some great clients to work with who send you lots of word-of-mouth referrals so you can get back on your feet again.
  17. Find more peace and harmony in your home than you’ve ever had in your life.
  18. Love the man you married more each and every day.
  19. Take that beach vacation together that you envisioned 5 years earlier.

Not in a million years would I have crafted a plan including that much disappointment, heartache, or loss.

Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely!

Lessons Learned from Going for Big Dreams

  • the path you are resistingThe path we keep resisting is often the path we’re supposed to travel.
  • Nothing comes without a price. Within everything bad is an equal and opposite good. And sometimes the road to heaven takes a detour through hell.
  • Through it all, God is with you. You may have times when you can’t hear His voice and you think He’s abandoned you, but He is found in the tiny little tender mercies – the friend who comes to your aid in your darkest moment, or the scrap gold you find in an old jewelry box that you can sell to pay a bill.
  • It’s all about learning to TRUST. You come to the end and KNOW — absolutely KNOW it wasn’t you that created the happy ending, because there’s no way on earth you would have created such a crazy path to get there.
  • Only God is creative enough to give you your dream with the added bonus of all the character traits, life lessons and valuable experiences to shape you into the person worthy of the dream.

So craft that vision that makes your heart sing and propels you forward at all costs. Formulate your plan to get started. Take action. Let go. Let go. Let go. And hang on for the ride, knowing in the end it will all be worth it.