How to be more engaging in Twitter

Although social media platforms possess different functions, strengths, weaknesses, advantages and utility, I’ve found that Twitter is the most engaging and real-time of them all. What could be more real-time when every other second your Twitter home feed updates and publishes your followers’ update? They could be from all over the world which makes any timezone look non-existent as it updates all the time. Talk about lasting friendships and contacts, yes?

 Engage Twitter by 7 Figure Surfer Scott Smith2

But how do you sustain that friendship and connection? How do you engage more conversations in Twitter besides being active all the time in it? Watch this video on how I managed to become an online marketer at Empower Network Australia in a span of months here.

Tailored to your interests, Twitter gives tailored suggestions to make timelines interesting and relevant. Tweets, links, media and updates from people you found interesting are going to be the ones that are going to fill up your news feed. Easy and fast, tweets or followers give you more suggestions that are tailored to who you should be following according to your interests.

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Make your tweets short and succinct. Get your point across with 140 characters or less. Use URL shorteners if you need to publish a link and still can talk more.

Schedule tweets and do not spam your followers. Fifteen tweets a day in a span of 5 hours is acceptable compared to 15 tweets in one hour. Be consistent and pace.

Ask questions. Answer some. Other users are also soliciting for advice. Give them. Reply to questions more.

Hashtags (#) are extremely helpful. Your tweet, news and even profile can be easily searchable.

Retweet if you can. Quoting is better. It makes you look less lazy and the user will appreciate you sending in your comments and feedback. Twitter is less lonely if you try to engage in conversations with your followers. Be generous and help others by promoting their tweets. Good karma for you then.

Find users from online marketing organizations that you are in or industries that you have signed up for. Find a niche and encourage discussions with users that share your common interests.

Monitor trends and find out what people are talking about now. Debate, argue, give opinions and it will definitely spark a conversation. Be the first to always break the news. Always stay on top of things.

How much time do you devote to your tweeting? Do you find yourself answering to @Mentions more or basically just typing away status update after status update without even considering your audience? Remember, you are what you tweet! In the beginning, don’t be put off if you don’t have followers yet or mentions. With a little effort and time, you’ll soon be able to use Twitter better.

———————————– * How To Be More Engaging in Twitter blogpost is first published at the 7 Figure Surfer blog. Follow me here  @Number1Income.

5 Business Books for Summer Reading

The weather may have overcast clouds but then the sun always finds a way to shine through. Care for some summer reading lately? Marketers like us at Empower Network Australia, although we are constantly online and the internet is our bread and butter, we also have in between downtimes where we just sit back, sip cocktails and pore over a good book. Of course – the education just don’t stop there. We read books that enhance our knowledge and continue our education on the business that we are in. Books also inspire us and remind us to become better entrepreneurs than we already are. This post will list some of our top ranking books to consider during those downtimes that gives us better insights, inspirations and determination to hone and develop our talents and skills.

Contagious

CONTAGIOUS: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Topping my list is this book by Jonah Berger that narrates how content marketing becomes viral – hence, the title “Contagious”. This book makes it relatable to the industry especially with Empower Network members and generation nowadays when people listen to their peers more than watching generic advertisements being flashed on screen.

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The New Digital Age: Reshaping The Future of People, Nations and Business by Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt together with Jared Cohen are two global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs, who, in this book, gave us a visual of how the world will look like in the future. They depicted how everyone is going to be connected in the future yet might meet the peril and promise that will await for us in the upcoming years. Who doesn’t want to read about the Digital Age? The authors just made it simple yet insightful for us to prepare what is going to be there for us in the next ten years or more.

Keeping Up With Quants

    Keeping Up With The Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics by Thomas Davenport

Welcome to the new age of data. This book tells you why everyone needs to analytical skills no matter what your interests are. With analytics and statistical data, you can easily make use of the information as it improves your understanding of the data on hand.

Sexy Little Numbers

Sexy Little Numbers: How to Grow Your Business Using the Data You Already Have

Although written by different authors, it seems like this book by Dimitri Maex is the sequel to Keeping Up With The Quants. Now that you have sufficient analytical data on hand, Dimitri teaches and inspires you to grow your business using that information.

Whiteboard Selling

Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales Through Visuals

This is a personal favorite considering that my multi-level marketing business, Empower Network, utilises a lot of visuals such as videos and white board tutorials. This book by Corey Summers and David Jenkins explains how powerful standing in front of a whiteboard can be in building the relationship between the salesperson and the customer.

What about you? Do you have a favorite business book that you like to whip out during summer? Tell us what inspires you!

** The blogpost 5 Business Books for Summer Reading is first published at the 7 Figure Surfer Blog.

Why Working at Home is More Productive

In our line of business and work, we have tremendously enjoyed the perks of working at home and building our empire at the comforts of well, our comfort zone. I couldn’t stress it enough how much I would like to help, coach, advice and bring people the kind of success that I am now in.

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I now own my own time. I see to it that just because I am mostly working from home and enjoying my financial freedom without waking up at 8am to beat the rush hour traffic heading to an office. How, then, you ask, can working at home is more productive compared to being inside an office that binds you to your chair until the clock strikes out?

There are others who compel themselves into thinking that working from home is productive when in reality – it really is. There is no rocket science to it how it works. It makes people much more efficient because it allows us to deal with the littlest chores at home while getting the work done at the same time.

You see, a large percentage of the city’s population do their groceries after work – which is usually around 6pm onwards. When you get inside the supermarket, I wouldn’t be surprised if you get out as fast as you got in. It is a nightmare shopping for groceries when everyone else also has the same idea at the same time. Because of the flexibility of my time, I can do grocery shopping before the rush hour strikes and leave as quickly as I came.

And don’t get me started on bank hours. If you start working earlier, you can pop by the bank a little too early than the cut-off time for banks to close. These lull times make you queue faster and shorter.

See – what do you think will happen if more people can do that? We can all possibly eliminate both human and vehicular traffic. The whole point of working at home AND being productive at the same time is to find a balance where you can fit your work life into the rest of your life – while being EFFICIENT at the same time.

Convinced so far? The next time you get distracted by the background noise of your officemate behind you who is chattering away and spilling coffee all over his desk or the next you roll your eyes over the long queue at the supermarket during rush hour – think about gaining traction in the telecommuting business and build your empire at home.

More stories of how to increase productivity here. Ciao!

Scott

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3 Major Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make

Marketing Mistakes - Scott Smith Empower Network

Business owners sometimes are unaware of committing one or two marketing faux pas that costs them millions of dollars in lost revenue and profits. Yes, it cripples their business but the extent of such mistakes might not give them the chance anymore to get back on their feet. Consumers are harsh and unforgiving and it will cost thousands again to rebuild another campaign to redeem themselves.

Marketing Mistakes - Scott Smith Empower Network

Whether business owners need more education or training, it is best to know what could be the possible outcome should they avoid committing the mistakes listed below.

Mistake #1. Not having a Unique Selling Point or USP.

Your USP is one thing that is going to set you apart from the rest of the competition. Without it, no can really differentiate you from the rest of the thousands of competitors who are also offering the same services that you are selling.

Mistake #2. Going into battle without ammunition.

Just like establishing a USP, every a marketing pitch has to have a strong offer. Prepare for the battle when you launch it. Turn it into a religion when you study, practice and devote all your time learning it.

Different businesses automatically send proposals and marketing letters that are poorly written that it is going to be miracle for someone to actually read it. They thought they can guarantee sales already by taking that huge leap into pushing their products aggressively.

When your sales and marketing are your foundation, establish them one by one. It might take time but the rewards are bigger and greater.

Achieve success by getting things right. Always prepare NOT to fail or you’ll end up preparing to FAIL at all. Athletes train all the time. Do you think they would win at the battlefield had they not practiced, exercised and prepared?

Mistake #3. No Sales and Marketing System.

So you’ve sent out your proposal and waited for a reply. How do you convert these leads?

How can you qualify if this lead is valid or not?

When brands form a system to market their brand, it does not establish on its own. A branch with a huge following like BMW, for example, might be doing well in one region but not in another. When I visited one BMW dealer in the area, I was surprised that they don’t have a marketing department at all. A marketing and sales department should be handy and ready to promote their business – and they should together and hold hands while at it.

Marketing your business is an art that you have to get down on your knees sometimes just to produce something creative – but it all boils down to one system. YOUR SYSTEM. Without that foundation, your efforts and conversions will go haywire.

Think this is it? There could be so many marketing mistake we could all do in a lifetime but the ones mentioned above are the basic marketing mistakes that we miss to correct but could certainly affect our businesses in the long run. I will be concluding more soon.

What about you? Have you committed mistakes in the past that affected your marketing efforts?

Keep posted for more marketing tips here.

Scott

Market Online – Enlist in Local Directories

Regardless if a website is operating only online or not, the best presence you need to establish first is your presence locally. When word of mouth also spreads, so will your business. Have you taken advantage already of free local business directories? When you get your business listed in these local sites, you will also see visitors coming in from those directories and traffic will instantly boost.

 Empower Network Local Search by 7 Figure Surfer

The sites listed below are free unless you want to pay for other directory listings that require you to purchase a directory space with them. I highly discourage paying for those listings unless it is a qualified directory listing such as Yellowpages.com. For the meantime, you can always have yourself enlisted in these directories that will help people find you and your business –

a.     Google Local Business Center. Register your business in 5 minutes after signing up. Google Places gets your business in the map of Google and also gives your visitors information on your local address. Enhance photos, discount vouchers and even videos on your Google Places page to enrich the user experience. Not all countries support Google Places though so make certain your region is part of it.

b.    Yahoo! Local. Yahoo! Local is another version of Google Places with comprehensive and extensive information published about your business with ratings, reviews, maps, events and more.

c.     Local.com Have your customers and consumers find you at Local.com where every category and type of business is listed.

d.    YellowPages.com Being the largest online media and database for local insights, Yellowpages is your answer to that online telephone directory people have been trying to look for. Make sure your contact information is updated all the time.

e.    InfoUSA Get found at the largest database for consumers and businesses in USA at InfoUSA. You can find and list yourself in categories that are searchable such as geography, age, income and more. Others can also find you when they look for business type and more.

f.    Hotfrog.com Your business is unique and you have Hotfrog to tell your customers that. Tell, describe and enumerate how you do your business differently and Hotfrog gives you full reign on it.

h.     Yelp – Yelp is quite popular on the food and beverage industry but it doesn’t stop everyone from making reviews of ANY business. Engage with your consumers through Yelp and make sure they find your business there. By listing also what business is “near” their neighborhood, you make certain you also get to have your own business space when customers search for you at Yelp.

If you are in different continents, these major sites also have local versions of your country such as Hotfrog.com who has another counterpart hotfrog.com.au for their Australia network. Make sure you enlist yourself in the appropriate category and region to be able to guide your visitors to the correct business. The last thing we would want is a huge spike in bounced visits because you listed yourself in the wrong category and ended up disappointing visitors.

In conclusion, there are thousands of sites out there – YOU just needed to be found.

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More online marketing tips here.

To A Fellow Online Marketer – Take A Break!

Do you remember when our moms use to tell us, “Drink your milk,” or “Don’t forget to study,” or “Make sure you don’t sleep past your bedtime.” Well, us entrepreneurs and marketers who are constantly breaking over our backs, poring over our laptops and checking our what’s the trend, what is the latest and what is currently being talked about – oh, the perks of working from home and building our enterprise – sometimes forget one tiny detail.

But just like how it is with our moms, let us constantly remind ourselves to TAKE A BREAK. Just because you are working from home does not mean that you will be poring over your business 24/7 considering the easy access to work and business is not making you stop working.

We all deserve a break. Even writers have writer’s block. Marketers also come to a point where we run into a stump and get silly thinking of ways to be creative. Hey – we are human after all. *wink*

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Running a business and raising a family at the same time can burn out the best of us. Take fifteen minutes in between and perhaps try these –

– Make coffee. Brew that Starbucks beans you’ve been dying to try and sip it while lounging on your Lazyboy. – Or make tea and sit in front of the fire and watch the embers grow. – Play fetch with your pet or simply enjoy a few minutes of cuddling and playing chase. – Call a friend. Laugh over old stories. – Take a cat nap. – Whip up a delicious snack. – Take out a magazine that is not related to your business or work and read. – Take a quick lap around your neighborhood. – Indulge in a hot bath. – Skim over Pinterest and Instagram where everything is in photos and does not have heavy reading material. – Clear your head and meditate. – Do yoga! – Rearrange your library or living room. – Bring out that guitar and rock it out. – Zumba away! – Color-code your one part of your wardrobe.

Break out the crazy in between to maintain that balance between your work and your personal time. You will realize how refreshing it is to take these breaks once in a while.

—————————— The blogpost To A Fellow Online Marketer – Take A Break! is first published at the 7 Figure Surfer Blog.

How Work at Home Moms Save Money

We have discussed before the savings of work at home entrepreneurs and the list just keeps on growing. It turns out – mom’s who work at home also get to save and do more! When mothers choose the internet lifestyle and decided to become work-at-home moms, there are tips for them to save money to do away with extravagant expenses. They can easily plan and maximize their time with the family this way.

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1. Create Playdates at Home. One of the best part about being a stay at home entrepreneur is the amount of time you can easily spend with your kids. Instead of brining them to the arcade or spend so much at the mall all the time, schedule it to once a week and create activities at home. 2.   Cook Meals at home. Limit going out of the house and spending so much money on restaurants and diners. Be creative and organize meals that they look forward to every day. Monday could be Asian Fusion while Tuesday could be Mexican food. The possibilities are endless! 3.   Invest in museum, pool, zoo or library memberships. Turn playdates into something educational while you capitalize your income on joining these establishments. It will save you money if you like taking the kids regularly to these places. Visit also places that do not require memberships and cost absolutely nothing such as the neighborhood playground and parks. 4.   Visit the bank once a week. Withdraw money every Monday and stretch until your next visit to the ATM – which is a week after. 5.   Clip coupons. Clip and trade coupons and keep the ones that you need. Trade with your girlfriend if you want and swap items that you can use yourself.

Being a work from home mother sometimes means finding new ways to keep the family entertained. If you consider spending a week with the family and the costs it entails, it definitely helps keeping track on significant ways to save money while building your business at home.

Have you decided yet if you want to be a mom who works in the office or a mom who works from home? More tips only here at the 7FigureSurfer.com.