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10 Key Tricks to Successfully Start a Blog in 2018

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Blogging isn’t what it used to be. Years ago, people started blogs to tell personal accounts of their lives detailing travel adventures or other exciting feats. While these types of blogs still have a place on the internet, the purpose and audience reach of blogging has significantly grown. Today, everyone from self-starting entrepreneurs to large corporations can use blogging to tell their stories and promote awareness of their brand.

Whether it’s your first time blogging or you’re looking for new ways to improve your strategy, focus on these 10 key tricks to get you there:

1. Understand Your Brand Message

A great online presence starts with the key messaging built behind-the-scenes. This messaging is what people remember when they think about your brand. Whether you’re a freelancer building your personal brand or a huge company wanting to better relate to customers, what do you want your brand to say about you?

Before you write a single word, nail down your brand message. Write down a few sentences describing what you want your company to be known for. Then, filter to a few key adjectives describing your brand.

Once this is solidified, everything written thereafter should relate to this original message. This message can adapt in time, just like any business adapts to the changing needs of the customer. However, you want it to carry that same original theme.

2. Create a Blogging Schedule You’ll Stick To

When starting a blog, one of the most challenging parts is to put out content on a continual basis, but this is the most important part. One of the reasons that blogging is so powerful is because it helps you quickly climb higher in search engine results.

Due to the higher volume of content produced through blogging, Google notices your site building a larger online presence. All of your articles help grow this presence by publishing content with the same theme. Whether your blogging schedule is daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you’re consistently putting out content that strengthens your brand awareness online.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Tell Stories that Further Promote Your Brand Message

Marketing no longer tries to catch customers’ attention by interrupting them with ads that will get the most views. Instead, the focus is to tell a story that pulls the right potential customers in. This is a much more pleasant experience for all parties involved because the message gets in front of the right people.

There is no need to cast a wide net by reaching out to a countless individuals. Contrarily, the objective is to promote stories that organically draw the right people in and speak to their specific needs.

4. Use Keywords that Align with Your Brand

The best way to create an online presence is to tell the same story across all content. Every time you write a blog post, the title should accurately depict the article’s content. What words or phrases might your target audience use to search for you?

Starting with who your potential customer or reader is, you can pinpoint why they would be looking for you. Once you’ve nailed down a list of keywords, use these throughout your blog post titles and content. Continually producing articles that highlight these keywords will help you to be recognized for the right thing.

5. Utilize Long-Tail Keywords to Attract a Niche Audience

When implementing a keyword strategy, you can target words with the highest volume or drill down to longer phrases that pull the right audience in. It’s always best to begin your keyword optimization targeting long-tail phrases.

You can still go after more general keywords as long that are a good fit, but this shouldn’t be your main priority. You’ll be able to rank higher quicker for more specific phrases since you’ll have less competition and will be a relevant search result.

6. Speak the Same Language as Your Ideal Reader

Your English professor might have asked you to write more eloquently, but you have to use a different mindset to attract your ideal reader. Think of the way you search on Google, you don’t waste time writing scientific sentences. You probably write in a more casual tone similar to how you might talk with your friends.

Whether or not your ideal reader speaks in a more formal or casual manner, make sure you write articles speaking to them. What would a conversation with your reader sound like? Mimicking this tone will help you to attract the right audience.

7. Create Blog Url’s that Align with Your Title

In line with your successful keyword strategy, make sure your blog url’s are utilizing long-tail keywords. Your article titles should contain a long-tail keyword phrase that bring in the right readers. Use this title as the end of your url, separating each word with a dash.

For instance, in this article’s title the long-tail keyword phrase is, “Successfully Start a Blog.” This way, when someone searches for how to start a blog, this article will have a higher chance of showing up in the results. The keyword phrases that readers use to search for your article do not need to be exact matches to your article’s title. If they are slightly reworded, they still have the same meaning.

8. Promote on the Right Social Media Platforms

Once you’ve done all the hard work of creating your content, you now have to get the right people to view it. With the countless number of social media users out there today, you can quickly get the word out. However, take a minute to think about which platforms would be the best fit to get to your target reader.

Which social media platform would you find your target reader spending the most time on? If your content best aligns with LinkedIn, then use that as a means to get to your reader. Getting exposure on the right social media platforms will help to find your target audience where they already are.

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” – Warren Buffett

9. Use Social Sharing Buttons

Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest forms of marketing. It exists today greater than ever through online conversations others are having about your company or brand. More than ever, we have the ability to learn about new companies by what our friends are sharing.

Once your reader finds your content, make it easy for them to share. By adding in social media sharing buttons around your article, you give the reader an opportunity to amplify your message. If this message aligns with their passions and interests, then you want to give them the ability to share amongst their friends. What better way to get the message out?

10. Extend the Reach of Previous Blog Articles

Once you’ve successfully published and shared an article amongst your network, don’t let it die just yet. If an older article lines up with your current brand message, extend its shelf life by reintroducing it to your network. Of course, you’ll want to reword your social media post to liven things up. But, you never know how relevant your article might be still today.

Every single blog article you write helps to further your online presence. Instead of just consuming content online, create something that matters for years to come.

What message will you leave behind? Use these 10 key strategies to help you build something great.

Jessica Brewer founded Think Train to help entrepreneurs execute an online presence through digital marketing. Her passion lies in helping companies & individuals pinpoint their purpose & further this message via online mediums. Follow her on instagram @jess_l_brewer or check out her website at www.thinktrain.io to learn more.

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Entrepreneurs

Building a Knockout Team With the 4 Stages of Learning

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I’m sure you’ve heard that running a business alone can be challenging, but if that’s true, then running a business of 5, 50 or 500 must be extremely challenging! This can be made much simpler by building from a solid foundation. By that I mean a strong core of team members around you.

Well of course, everyone knows this…Right? It all comes down to proper development and understanding the stages that everyone goes through when learning new skills. But more importantly, knowing what you must do at each stage as the supervisor/teacher.

Here are the 4 stages and what you must do:

1. Beginner

This is the first stage to learning any new skill. It’s important for you to understand the mindset of the individual in this stage. They are enthusiastic, eager and very confident. But at the same time they have no idea what they should be doing.

As the person in charge of teaching them this new skill there are a couple things you must do. Be Directive. In this stage the student needs you to tell them exactly what to do. They will need step by step guidance. For example: Think about the first step to riding a bike, getting on. Remember, we all needed someone to tell us where to put our feet. Your student just needs you to tell them the steps.

The next thing you must do is build confidence. In this stage you won’t have much to build off of because there won’t be many things that they do right. Do not try to correct wrong behavior at this point. Just focus on giving praise to the things they do right.

For example: Try remembering how good it felt to use the brakes on a bicycle for the first time without falling off. And more importantly how good it felt for your parents to cheer for you. A student in the beginner stage needs this type of “cheerleading.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Apprentice

The second stage is typically a major turning point for most. Mostly because the mindset of your student has begun to change quite a bit. At this point, they have started to notice all of the things they are doing wrong; which leads to frustration. Their confidence is now extremely low, and they have realized that they don’t know what they are doing. This is why 3 out 4 people will quit in this stage. Yet, with the proper supervisor/teacher they can push through.

This is where you come in. There are 2 things you must do in this stage: Reinforce and Redirect. When you reinforce, it will be your job to keep a close eye and point out all the positive things they do. Give praise and cite specific examples of behavior.

Back to the bicycle example, when you were learning to ride that bike, remember when your parents would start cheering for things you didn’t even know you were doing right, like turning or stopping? By using this same tactic, you will help your student to realize that they are not as hopeless as they most likely feel at this point.

When you redirect them, it will also be your job to redirect incorrect behavior. If you spend a lot of time trying to correct “negative” behavior at this point, it will only hurt their confidence even more. Instead, redirect them back to things that they have been doing well. Eventually they will get better at the rest.

Think about a few hours after learning to ride a bike for the first time when you started to fall off, used the brakes too hard or even when you ran into things. Your parents most likely didn’t yell at you, they probably said things like “dust yourself off, why don’t you try going from here to the mailbox again since you did that so well last time.”

Doing this for your student in this stage will help to reinforce positive behavior, giving them the confidence to re-attempt the things they haven’t been doing so well.

3. Journeyman

In the third stage your student’s mindset is going to be up and down. They have made it past the second stage; which in itself is an accomplishment. Their confidence will go up and down, and they know a little more about how things should be done. They will be very good at some aspects of the skill and not so good at others. This creates a variance in confidence.

In this stage, you must empower them. You can either decide to try and build their competency or their confidence. I find that time and experience will develop competency, so as the supervisor/teacher, you should focus on stabilizing the confidence. The way to do this at this point is to give them opportunities to tell you how “they” think it should be done, or what the next step(s) should be.

For example: When learning to ride a bike, towards the end of the day you probably started to get the hang of things. You would stumble every now and then, but for the most part you had the general concept. You probably remember your parents saying things like “you got this, what do you think the next step should be?” That’s exactly what you need to do for your student.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

4. Expert

The final stage means that your student now understands exactly what to do, how to do it and could even teach others to do it. They are completely confident in their abilities. Yet, they still need something from you at this point.

At this stage, you must delegate responsibilities and opportunities for them to use this new skill. You may even want to present them with opportunities to teach others.

Back to the bicycle example, after riding for a few weeks, no longer falling, stopping perfectly and not running into anything, you were probably pretty confident at riding your bike. You might remember your parents saying things like “can you ride your bike to the store to pick up some things” or “can you teach your sister how to ride her bike.”

When you heard things like that, you probably recall feeling extremely confident and feeling like your parents trusted you. Your student needs to feel like you trust them at this point, this is how you will build that trust.

By following this process, you will find that the team around you will be much more competent, independent and productive. And if you are reading this as a business owner, then I’m sure you can understand the value of that. Someone once told me “what you can do in one day, one month or even one year, is limited; but what a strong team can do is unlimited.” The goal should always be to develop the people around you, because at the end of the day it’s a win-win.

How do you learn new things? Share with us below!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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Life

5 Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Failure

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It’s been said that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I’d like to add another one to the list: rejection. No matter who you are and what life you live, there will be instances in your life when you experience rejection. (more…)

McVal is the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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Entrepreneurs

Building a Knockout Team With the 4 Stages of Learning

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I’m sure you’ve heard that running a business alone can be challenging, but if that’s true, then running a business of 5, 50 or 500 must be extremely challenging! This can be made much simpler by building from a solid foundation. By that I mean a strong core of team members around you.

Well of course, everyone knows this…Right? It all comes down to proper development and understanding the stages that everyone goes through when learning new skills. But more importantly, knowing what you must do at each stage as the supervisor/teacher.

Here are the 4 stages and what you must do:

1. Beginner

This is the first stage to learning any new skill. It’s important for you to understand the mindset of the individual in this stage. They are enthusiastic, eager and very confident. But at the same time they have no idea what they should be doing.

As the person in charge of teaching them this new skill there are a couple things you must do. Be Directive. In this stage the student needs you to tell them exactly what to do. They will need step by step guidance. For example: Think about the first step to riding a bike, getting on. Remember, we all needed someone to tell us where to put our feet. Your student just needs you to tell them the steps.

The next thing you must do is build confidence. In this stage you won’t have much to build off of because there won’t be many things that they do right. Do not try to correct wrong behavior at this point. Just focus on giving praise to the things they do right.

For example: Try remembering how good it felt to use the brakes on a bicycle for the first time without falling off. And more importantly how good it felt for your parents to cheer for you. A student in the beginner stage needs this type of “cheerleading.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Apprentice

The second stage is typically a major turning point for most. Mostly because the mindset of your student has begun to change quite a bit. At this point, they have started to notice all of the things they are doing wrong; which leads to frustration. Their confidence is now extremely low, and they have realized that they don’t know what they are doing. This is why 3 out 4 people will quit in this stage. Yet, with the proper supervisor/teacher they can push through.

This is where you come in. There are 2 things you must do in this stage: Reinforce and Redirect. When you reinforce, it will be your job to keep a close eye and point out all the positive things they do. Give praise and cite specific examples of behavior.

Back to the bicycle example, when you were learning to ride that bike, remember when your parents would start cheering for things you didn’t even know you were doing right, like turning or stopping? By using this same tactic, you will help your student to realize that they are not as hopeless as they most likely feel at this point.

When you redirect them, it will also be your job to redirect incorrect behavior. If you spend a lot of time trying to correct “negative” behavior at this point, it will only hurt their confidence even more. Instead, redirect them back to things that they have been doing well. Eventually they will get better at the rest.

Think about a few hours after learning to ride a bike for the first time when you started to fall off, used the brakes too hard or even when you ran into things. Your parents most likely didn’t yell at you, they probably said things like “dust yourself off, why don’t you try going from here to the mailbox again since you did that so well last time.”

Doing this for your student in this stage will help to reinforce positive behavior, giving them the confidence to re-attempt the things they haven’t been doing so well.

3. Journeyman

In the third stage your student’s mindset is going to be up and down. They have made it past the second stage; which in itself is an accomplishment. Their confidence will go up and down, and they know a little more about how things should be done. They will be very good at some aspects of the skill and not so good at others. This creates a variance in confidence.

In this stage, you must empower them. You can either decide to try and build their competency or their confidence. I find that time and experience will develop competency, so as the supervisor/teacher, you should focus on stabilizing the confidence. The way to do this at this point is to give them opportunities to tell you how “they” think it should be done, or what the next step(s) should be.

For example: When learning to ride a bike, towards the end of the day you probably started to get the hang of things. You would stumble every now and then, but for the most part you had the general concept. You probably remember your parents saying things like “you got this, what do you think the next step should be?” That’s exactly what you need to do for your student.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

4. Expert

The final stage means that your student now understands exactly what to do, how to do it and could even teach others to do it. They are completely confident in their abilities. Yet, they still need something from you at this point.

At this stage, you must delegate responsibilities and opportunities for them to use this new skill. You may even want to present them with opportunities to teach others.

Back to the bicycle example, after riding for a few weeks, no longer falling, stopping perfectly and not running into anything, you were probably pretty confident at riding your bike. You might remember your parents saying things like “can you ride your bike to the store to pick up some things” or “can you teach your sister how to ride her bike.”

When you heard things like that, you probably recall feeling extremely confident and feeling like your parents trusted you. Your student needs to feel like you trust them at this point, this is how you will build that trust.

By following this process, you will find that the team around you will be much more competent, independent and productive. And if you are reading this as a business owner, then I’m sure you can understand the value of that. Someone once told me “what you can do in one day, one month or even one year, is limited; but what a strong team can do is unlimited.” The goal should always be to develop the people around you, because at the end of the day it’s a win-win.

How do you learn new things? Share with us below!

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5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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