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3 Ways to Build Trust and Succeed as an Internet Entrepreneur

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internet entrepreneur

In a fast-paced world of computers, the Internet, and digital commerce, starting a business is easy. Just launch your passionate idea with your Smartphone. It’s that simple. However, building that business into a success is anything but easy. The online world is overcrowded, the Internet user has a low attention span, and with growing numbers of hackers and fraudsters, user trust is more difficult to build than catching a fish in the ocean with your bare hands.

So you ask yourself: How do I build trust? How do I convince a loyal visitor to try my service? How do I convince a cold prospect to click to order my product?

Here are three tips to guide you on your entrepreneur journey:

1. Sell a life-changing product

Convincing a customer to trust your brand is far from easy. Before you get a visitor interested in landing on your e-commerce site, clicking on your product page, pulling out his credit card, and visiting again to do the same, you need to build a memorable, life-changing product.

In the highly, overpopulated World Wide Web—where almost everyone sells products these days—people are more careful than ever. It is no surprise that, according to a survey by Bright Local, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews even before visiting a brand’s storefront. You need to put your all into it when building your products for your respected customers.

In other words, sell products so valuable that they have the positive effect of changing your customers’ lives for the better. Once a buyer has tasted what you offer and felt content, they’ll entrust you with their money again, urge others to do the same and become life-long, loyal customers.

“Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh

To achieve all of that, you need to build a great reputation. Here’s how:

2. Keep your word

Most digital startup founders will position themselves online to promote their brand to millions of prospects, clients, and customers. The sad news is, once they began to expand their customer base, everything changes. The customers might receive products that are completely different from what they were promised in the marketing stage or the business owner promises a money-back guarantee but fails to honor that promise when a customer asks for it.

Nothing shatters a company’s reputation more than false promises. False promises make customers angry, damage a company’s credibility and makes the entrepreneur look unreliable. It’s like a man who lies to his lady. Nothing peeves a woman more than having a man who constantly lies to her face. Even if the relationship continues, there’s a great probability that it will crash in the long run, because the man’s credibility is at stake.

Like a relationship, only one thing can save a digital business when its credibility is at stake. The CEO must work hard to protect his company’s image. Allow me to explain…

3. Protect your image

The major difference between a brick-and-mortar venture and an online business is that your product represents your brand in the brick-and-mortar business, whereas you’re the brand in the online business. As an online entrepreneur, you must understand that your personality, background, and professionalism are going to play vital roles in your business dealings with your clients.

Your customers have to know you and like you before they will entrust you with their money. If your image is shattered by negative PR, terrible stories, or bad reviews, then you’re doomed. That’s why you need to protect your reputation with all of your strength and might. But, you might ask. “How exactly do I do that?” Try the following:

  • Release magical products – As always, your starting point is your product. If you want to shield your reputation in the online world, then release only magical products. In other words, sell super valuable, durable products to your customers. You don’t want to be known as a brand that sells fake products to its customers.
  • Keep inventing – The digital world is moving fast, your customers are always longing for more and better options, and the competition in the online world is fierce. If you don’t build newer, better products with relevant features for your target market, they’ll dump you and buy from your competitor.
  • Offer excellent customer experience – When a prospect lands on your website, for example, wow them with your simple, easy-to-navigate site structure. When delivering an order to your customer, be prompt, keep it simple, and make it look good. When replying to an angry client, listen attentively to their queries and compensate them with something that will make them feel special.

In short, offer an excellent customer experience, because, according to new data from Moz you risk losing 22 percent of your business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of their search results.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

The bottom line, to build trust, you have to offer your customers valuable products, you have to keep your promises, and you have to be exceptional to uphold your image, honor your dignity, and reveal your credibility. Only then will your customers like you, trust you, and keep ordering from your online storefront.

How do you build trust with your family, friends and customers? What do you do daily in order for them to know you care? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Paul Gravette is the Founder and CEO of Le-vel Brands, LLC. Gravette is a serial entrepreneur with over 20+ years of successful experience in business start-ups, brand development, software development, internet marketing, customer/promoter acquisition, and retention. He is considered a thought leader in the direct sales industry and is a highly sought-after consultant in the areas of internet marketing, software development, and health & wellness. You can visit his website here or follow him over on his Facebook page.

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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business success
Image Credit: Unsplash

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 Malot, 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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Image Credit: Digital Uncovered

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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Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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entrepreneurship
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Mindset Shifts That Will Grow Your Business

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Moving from solo-preneur to successful business leader requires a mindset shift before actual growth can happen. Key factors to consider are your strengths as a successful entrepreneur and how you can leverage these as you move forward. At the other end of the spectrum, those skills, behaviours and approaches which might have worked for you so far, but which no longer serve you and should be left behind.

Beyond this, here are three key shifts that every solo-preneur needs to work through on their journey to growing a strong sustainable company:

1. From improvisation to strategy

Let’s be honest, at the start, most of us found ourselves making it up as we went along – trying a few things, taking a few chances, risking a few punts. We improvised, we adapted, we made it work somehow. At some stage in your business journey though, improvising and making it up as you go along is no longer a viable approach. A more stable strategy is required as a platform for sustainable growth.

To the solo-preneur who is used to thinking on their feet and making decisions in-the-moment, this can be a challenge. However, it becomes particularly important once you have a growing team in place, because they’ll need clarity around their direction and purpose.

And that’s a key thing: clarity. More specifically, clarity around your purpose and direction.

What IS your long term vision, and can it be expressed in a sentence or two that everyone understands? What are your mid-term 3-5 year goals? What are you doing in the next 12-18 months to align with those 3-5 years goals?

From here on, your team becomes more actively involved in defining how the strategy turns into an actionable plan: How does this break down into quarterly goals for each area of your business? How do these quarterly goals translate into monthly actionable goals and tasks at an individual level?

At every stage, those involved should be aware of how their day to day work aligns with the overall strategic goals of the business. Get this right, and individuals are motivated and engaged because they can see where they are adding value and making a difference, and crucially where they are going. Get it wrong, and people lose sight of their purpose and direction. They’re more likely to become inward looking, task focused and fall into the trap of working in silos.

“You either control your mind or it controls you.” – Napoleon Hill

2. From holding on to letting go

At the start of your entrepreneurial journey, you had to be a jack of all trades: marketing – yep, that’s me. Finance? Me too.  Sales? Yes…that’ll be me. Service delivery and operations? Hmmm….yeah. Me. The irony is that whilst many entrepreneurs aspire to be able to step back from their business, most find it incredibly difficult to let go. It’s their ‘baby’, after all.

Whatever the size of business, a key factor in growth is for the founder to move from doer to delegator. But whilst in principle that’s easy enough, emotionally it can be hard. The stark fact is that other people won’t do things in the same way that you do but that doesn’t make it wrong.

One of the most useful things that an entrepreneur moving to business leader can do is be brutally honest with themselves as to why they struggle to let go. Are you worried that people won’t do the task as well as you can? Is it quicker to do it yourself? Do you simply not know who you could delegate to? Or do you just not want to let go of something you enjoy doing?

The practicalities of delegation and working through others are pretty straightforward – it’s the mindset shift of letting go that needs to happen first.

Ask yourself: What must you let go of in order to deliver results through others, practically and emotionally? How are you communicating your expectations of what you want others to deliver? (and would they agree with you?!) What does letting go free you up to do?

This last point is often the clincher that allows entrepreneurs to break out of the ‘gotta do it all myself’ rut – the realisation that you simply cannot become a business leader and grow your company if you stay stuck on purely operational tasks.

3. From working IN your business to working ON your business

The whole ‘letting go’ factor is moving towards one thing: the ability to focus on growing your business and moving it forward. The CEO role is fundamentally about building the skills to achieve through others so that you can fully embrace that senior leadership role, and focusing on what really matters.

However, at the outset of business growth, you’ll probably find yourself dragged back into the day-to-day fairly often. It’s vital at that stage to schedule in time to work on your business rather than in it – put it in your diary and stick to it. Yes it will be a juggling act to start with, but without a concerted effort to focus on getting things in place for your business’ next steps, they just won’t happen.

Your focus must shift from the day to day to the big picture, steering your business forward by providing the leadership and direction, identifying and removing barriers to growth and putting in place the things that your business needs in order to move forward; the right people, the right processes and systems, the right culture and day to day practices.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

A word of caution, taking the long term, big picture view of the business leader doesn’t mean losing sight of the day to day. It’s important that communications within any business are two way, and that you’re gathering information from the ‘coal face’ (especially where customers are concerned) as well as clearly communicating aspirations goals and targets.

So is it time for you to shift? Is it time for you to move from solo-preneur / entrepreneur to business leader? Has the time come for you to no longer roll up your sleeves to swab the deck, splice the mainbrace or clean the bilge pump – but to become Captain of the ship? Work on your mindset first – the rest will follow.

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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business success
Image Credit: Unsplash

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. (more…)

Rob Fajardo is 23 year old Thought Leader from NJ. He founded a brand called Leave Normal Behind, a content, community, and events hub for purpose driven people. The mission of LNB is to bring together purpose driven people and inspire them to become the best versions of themselves by creating things that matter and encouraging others to do the same. He is also the viral marketing mastermind behind fidget spinners (check @fidget360 on IG) and helped Gerard Adams, Co-Founder of Elite Daily, establish the executive team at Fownders responsible for building the Seed-2-Scale program there. If you want to get connect with Rob you can email him rob@leavenormalbehind.com.

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Entrepreneurs

5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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on

business success
Image Credit: Unsplash

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 Malot, 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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Image Credit: Digital Uncovered

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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Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Mindset Shifts That Will Grow Your Business

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Moving from solo-preneur to successful business leader requires a mindset shift before actual growth can happen. Key factors to consider are your strengths as a successful entrepreneur and how you can leverage these as you move forward. At the other end of the spectrum, those skills, behaviours and approaches which might have worked for you so far, but which no longer serve you and should be left behind.

Beyond this, here are three key shifts that every solo-preneur needs to work through on their journey to growing a strong sustainable company:

1. From improvisation to strategy

Let’s be honest, at the start, most of us found ourselves making it up as we went along – trying a few things, taking a few chances, risking a few punts. We improvised, we adapted, we made it work somehow. At some stage in your business journey though, improvising and making it up as you go along is no longer a viable approach. A more stable strategy is required as a platform for sustainable growth.

To the solo-preneur who is used to thinking on their feet and making decisions in-the-moment, this can be a challenge. However, it becomes particularly important once you have a growing team in place, because they’ll need clarity around their direction and purpose.

And that’s a key thing: clarity. More specifically, clarity around your purpose and direction.

What IS your long term vision, and can it be expressed in a sentence or two that everyone understands? What are your mid-term 3-5 year goals? What are you doing in the next 12-18 months to align with those 3-5 years goals?

From here on, your team becomes more actively involved in defining how the strategy turns into an actionable plan: How does this break down into quarterly goals for each area of your business? How do these quarterly goals translate into monthly actionable goals and tasks at an individual level?

At every stage, those involved should be aware of how their day to day work aligns with the overall strategic goals of the business. Get this right, and individuals are motivated and engaged because they can see where they are adding value and making a difference, and crucially where they are going. Get it wrong, and people lose sight of their purpose and direction. They’re more likely to become inward looking, task focused and fall into the trap of working in silos.

“You either control your mind or it controls you.” – Napoleon Hill

2. From holding on to letting go

At the start of your entrepreneurial journey, you had to be a jack of all trades: marketing – yep, that’s me. Finance? Me too.  Sales? Yes…that’ll be me. Service delivery and operations? Hmmm….yeah. Me. The irony is that whilst many entrepreneurs aspire to be able to step back from their business, most find it incredibly difficult to let go. It’s their ‘baby’, after all.

Whatever the size of business, a key factor in growth is for the founder to move from doer to delegator. But whilst in principle that’s easy enough, emotionally it can be hard. The stark fact is that other people won’t do things in the same way that you do but that doesn’t make it wrong.

One of the most useful things that an entrepreneur moving to business leader can do is be brutally honest with themselves as to why they struggle to let go. Are you worried that people won’t do the task as well as you can? Is it quicker to do it yourself? Do you simply not know who you could delegate to? Or do you just not want to let go of something you enjoy doing?

The practicalities of delegation and working through others are pretty straightforward – it’s the mindset shift of letting go that needs to happen first.

Ask yourself: What must you let go of in order to deliver results through others, practically and emotionally? How are you communicating your expectations of what you want others to deliver? (and would they agree with you?!) What does letting go free you up to do?

This last point is often the clincher that allows entrepreneurs to break out of the ‘gotta do it all myself’ rut – the realisation that you simply cannot become a business leader and grow your company if you stay stuck on purely operational tasks.

3. From working IN your business to working ON your business

The whole ‘letting go’ factor is moving towards one thing: the ability to focus on growing your business and moving it forward. The CEO role is fundamentally about building the skills to achieve through others so that you can fully embrace that senior leadership role, and focusing on what really matters.

However, at the outset of business growth, you’ll probably find yourself dragged back into the day-to-day fairly often. It’s vital at that stage to schedule in time to work on your business rather than in it – put it in your diary and stick to it. Yes it will be a juggling act to start with, but without a concerted effort to focus on getting things in place for your business’ next steps, they just won’t happen.

Your focus must shift from the day to day to the big picture, steering your business forward by providing the leadership and direction, identifying and removing barriers to growth and putting in place the things that your business needs in order to move forward; the right people, the right processes and systems, the right culture and day to day practices.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

A word of caution, taking the long term, big picture view of the business leader doesn’t mean losing sight of the day to day. It’s important that communications within any business are two way, and that you’re gathering information from the ‘coal face’ (especially where customers are concerned) as well as clearly communicating aspirations goals and targets.

So is it time for you to shift? Is it time for you to move from solo-preneur / entrepreneur to business leader? Has the time come for you to no longer roll up your sleeves to swab the deck, splice the mainbrace or clean the bilge pump – but to become Captain of the ship? Work on your mindset first – the rest will follow.

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