Virtual Event Etiquette — 10 Tips to have a successful event

1. Send a reminder — Send every registered participant a reminder about the event at least the day before and an hour or so before the event. By sending a reminder you ensure better attendance to the event. People have very busy lives, get mixed up with time changes, and just simply forget about things even when they paid for it. Reminders are really nice and help clear up misunderstandings about time zones.

2. Send an agenda — In your last reminder sending an agenda or menu of what is going to happen during the event is a very nice added special touch that can create anticipation and excitement for the event. It can also help attendees think of questions and encourage them to invite more people if there are last minute sign ups.

3. Greet participants upon arrival — If you had an in person event you would stand at the door and greet visitors as they came in the meeting room. It is important that you, or someone assigned to do so, greets attendees as they come into the conference room. This will make them feel included and avoid the tendency for people to just click in, and click out if they don’t know what is going on.

4. Explain the technology — Before the virtual event officially begins but most of the attendees have arrived take the time to explain the technology to them. Just a quick couple of minutes explaining how to mute a microphone, raise your hand to speak, and how things should look can go far in making attendees comfortable.

5. Explain how the event will proceed — When the event officially starts take time at the beginning to go over the order of events according to the agenda. This will be a way to prepare yourself, the speakers and attendees about how everything will proceed.

6. Introduce each speaker/presenter — Always have a clear transition to the speakers after the Q & A time. Either have the speaker introduce the next person or, most effective, the host should introduce the next presenter.

7. Keep track of time — Someone should be keeping track of time, it is important to keep the event running smoothly on time so that everyone has plenty of time to do their planned presentations. This is why practicing helps keep the time factor into consideration.

8. Allow for Q & A after each speaker/presenter — Another reason time is important is to ensure that each speaker / presenter has ample time for a Q & A session after their presentation. Most event participants report better experiences (and open their wallets more readily) when they feel heard and have their questions answered.

9. Have a clear closing of the event — Instead of just stopping the event suddenly make sure to have a planned closing that has some sort of call to action, whether that is to sign up for a newsletter, attend the next event, or to remind participants to grab their bonus materials does not matter, just make sure that a clear closing occurs.

10. Follow up — Never ignore the follow up after a virtual event. Sending attendees some bonus materials in email, a recording of the event, and thanking them for coming along with a survey that gives feedback to you so that you can do better with each event is a very important part of the entire experience.

Manage Your Time — Focus on Income Producing Activities

One of the most productive time-management success secrets for business owners is to learn to focus on income producing activities. As a business owner, everything you do does not produce income. It doesn’t mean that those tasks that do not produce income aren’t important, all business owners have tasks to do that aren’t related to billable hours that are absolutely essential to having a successful business. But, knowing the differences of these various tasks is important to the effective management of time, because it helps create a better schedule when you differentiate your tasks.

Keep your focus — Each time you start a task ask yourself the question: “Is this a money making activity?” If the answer is yes, continue. If the answer is no, it is important to make a choice about whether or not the task is essential or a time waster. If it’s a time waster, stop. Save time wasters for when you really have time to waste. During business hours, you don’t have time to waste if you want to be successful in both business and leisure. Focus fully on any activity to get the most out of it.

Get into the flow — Brain studies have shown that most humans sleep and think in 90 minute cycles. Focus on each task or group of tasks for at least 90 to 120 minutes without interruption. Allowing yourself uninterrupted time, free from social media, email, door knockers, and telephones will enable you to get much more accomplished faster due to the existence of “flow”. According to Wikipedia, “Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus.” The point is, a lot happens during flow — and it happens regardless of the activity you’re engaging in. Whether you’re wasting time on Facebook, creating a work of art, or whether you’re entering data into a spreadsheet flow is your friend when it comes to time management.

Choose your priorities — Aside from the obvious, deciding what it is you want out of “life” there is a smaller picture to look at, which is what you’re going to do today. What are you going to do today that advances your business, brings in money, and gets you closer to being a successful business owner? That’s what you need to know each day as you go to work. If you aren’t centered on what it is you want to accomplish, you can get bogged down with a task list of 30 things and be upset that you only crossed off five of them today. But if you know exactly what you’re working toward and making the money you want to make, you can also feel good about getting the five things done if you didn’t allow yourself to get sucked into time wasting activities. If you’ve scheduled uninterrupted working time, stick to it unless a true emergency arises.

Delegate and Automate — It can be very difficult for a business owner to let go of non money making tasks to others. But, ultimately it is imperative that you find a way to automate, outsource, delegate or otherwise let someone else do tasks that aren’t a priority to earning money, but are nonetheless tasks that need to be accomplished. Whether it’s employing automation technology, hiring a bookkeeper, a receptionist, a Virtual Assistant, or a housekeeper it doesn’t matter. Any help will be a real time saving measure.

Tips & Tools to Make Your Online Events Rock

Hosting online events is a great way to make more sales, get more leads, and take your business to the next level. Online events take some extra work, but they are more than worth it. You can even create an entirely new income stream from online events if you have something useful to tell your audience.

Use a Paid Webinar Service — Skip the free services. You want to host a professional event where your attendees aren’t inundated with advertisements. No one wants to pay for an event, and then watch advertisements flash on their screen. A couple good ones to try are and Adobe Connect Pro. If you need more attendees you might want to try which allows for 2000 attendees.

Pay for an Auto-Responder Service — One of the reasons to host a webinar is to get more leads, therefore you want each person who signs up to attend your event, or inquires about your event, to be placed on an appropriate autoresponder list. Which service you use will probably depend on which webinar service you use.

Create a Custom Sales Page — Take the time to make your sales page stand out from the rest of your site for your events. The sales page should let your audience know why they should attend. Remember that your audience wants to know what’s in it for them. Address their fears, and tell them how your event will solve their problems.

Use A Simple Payment Processor — People click away if paying for the event is too complicated. Try to choose an all in one system that easily allows sign up for the event, allows the person to pay, and puts them on your autoresponder list at the same time. Don’t make them jump through too many hoops if you want people to attend.

Provide PDF Handouts — When someone signs up for your event and pays, immediately send them the agenda for the event, reading suggestions, and other handouts via the autoresponder, so that you can create excitement and buzz for your event. An excited guest will tell others about your event, thus helping you sell more tickets.

Have a Plan — Create a theme for your event and know why you’re doing it. What do you hope to accomplish outside of earning money. Why will your audience come to your event? If you can’t answer that, it will be hard to create a plan. A plan will ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.

Know Your Audience — This should really go first. If you don’t know who your audience is, if you can’t describe their deepest fears and joys, it will be hard to know what kind of event to have, and it will be hard to attract your audience to your event.

Finally, it’s important to practice, practice, practice. Things can go wrong with technology so you need to understand the tools you choose to use. Plus, by practicing the delivery you’ll have a better chance of making an impact on your audience.

Optimize Pinterest for Business

With the advent of Pinterest for Business there are now brand-new opportunities for any Business who wants to use Pinterest as a means of marketing and advertising. Businesses were already using Pinterest for marketing before, but now everyone can brand their business on a specialized account instead of their personal account. As one of the most used social media sites it cannot be ignored. The marketing possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Finding the right approach for your own brand might take some trial and error but most businesses will benefit from the following optimization tips.

Get Verified — By providing your URL for your website that is clickable that is only available if you verify your account you’ll add to the legitimacy of your business. Simply go to your profile and just follow the directions on Pinterest for Business to get verified.

Get Variety — By now you know that the more relevant content you have, in the most ways that it can be presented, the better your marketing efforts will be. Using a variety of different types of avenues from blog posts, article marketing, videos, and now Pinterest to help market it all will ensure your place in the business world.

Get Active — It’s important to realize that like any social media, Pinterest is after all: Social. It’s important to actively engage with others on Pinterest just like you would on other social media sites. Pin other people’s content strategically. Simply search for content relevant to your target audience that isn’t in direct competition to you, and share it. Your audience will appreciate it and those whom you share will return the favor.

Get Serious — If you don’t have an editorial calendar that you’re using for all your content including blogs, videos, article marketing, gets posting, pinboards and more then you’re not serious enough. If you want your business to succeed establish a schedule for all aspects of your Pinterest posting so that your followers will know what to expect and you’ll have a continuous stream of targeted traffic.

Get SEO — Fill out all of your profile with keywords in mind. Fill out all captions, descriptions and text with keywords that your target audience might use to find your information. Whether it’s the about section, or the captions it’s important to always think strategically about keywords and never forget who your target audience is.

Get Organized — Put your best foot forward on Pinterest like you would anyplace else. Organize your pins by what is most attractive and most popular based on what people see “above the fold.” Concentrate on that and the center where the eye travels for your most important boards and pins. Create boards that are keeping like content with like content.

By super focusing on how you present your business on Pinterest you’ll go far in creating an excellent marketing channel that will incite trust and loyalty — and not only that, be fun to create as it is for your target audience to view, share, and re-pin.

What to do before your Virtual Event

Knowing what to do before your virtual event will help to make the big day very profitable and successful. The planning process is crucial to having a great, successful, low-stress event. During the planning process aside from knowing your content, the message and your audience, it is important to recognize ways to be prepared. If you pay close attention to, and are mindful of the following before your event and you will create a successful virtual event.

Market through all channels — If you don’t market your event, no matter how great the information and content is, you won’t have any visitors or only your friends will show up to support you. Use all means, from blogs, to article marketing, to affiliates, to Pay Per Click (PPC) to get the word out about your virtual event.

Choose the right Technology — Do your due diligence and choose the right technology to ensure that it has all the functionality that you need and want. Test out several platforms taking advantage of the fact that most services offer a free trial. Don’t skimp and only use the cheapest service, use the best system that does what you need it to do that you can afford.

Learn the Technology — Learn how to use the platform you choose to use. Watch the training videos if they exist, and ensure that you know how to use the system no matter what happens. If you don’t want to learn the technology hire someone who does know it to run the event. There are many service providers who specialize in online events.

Test the technology — Do a run through of the entire event with the speakers (or stand-ins for the speakers if you can’t get them) and even a limited test audience to test audience participation tools and features. Ask for feedback from everyone. For the best feedback create a form or survey using a service like

Technology Glitches Happen — No matter how you prepare remember that glitches will happen. Don’t stress out about it too much because most people who use technology realize that things happen. Just do your best to anticipate as many eventualities as you can so that you can be prepared.

Notify Participants — Send out a reminder to the participants, speakers, organizers and attendees before the event more than once. Sometimes people get confused about times, directions and time zones, by explaining everything to them more than one way, more than one time you will eliminate most problems.

Send out an Agenda — Have a written agenda that is given out to all the speakers, organizers, and attendees so that they know what to expect. It will help them be mindful of their time limits, and understand the schedule.

Be on time — It is essential that the organizer of the event and all the speakers / presenters are on time for the event. In fact, it is best if they arrive 5 to 10 minutes early in order to greet guests before the start of the virtual event.

Duplicate yourself by outsourcing

When you started your online business, you probably did not envision a life of nonstop work, no vacations, and even days where it’s hard to find time to take a shower! Nope, you likely had many visions of yourself working remotely from your favorite vacation spot or the local coffee shop. If you’re a work at home mom, you likely envisioned yourself working in your air conditioned home office around your family’s schedule, having elaborate dinner ready on the table each and every night, all the laundry done…. You get the picture.

Now that you’re actually doing it, things aren’t going exactly as planned. Sure, you’re starting to see results, and you’re getting a lot accomplished, but the work never ends. You’re never done, and you have a hard time shutting the business off at night and focusing on yourself and your family. You can see a future where the business is earning a lot of money, but you’re no longer sure you’ll make it at this rate.

You’re in luck because you can duplicate yourself by outsourcing! Imagine this: Someone else is handling your customer service email, someone else is setting up your sales pages, someone else is adding products to your shopping cart after setting it up, someone else is writing unique content for your blogs and article marketing is handled by someone else, all without hiring a single employee. That’s right! You can outsource many of these tasks and more without hiring a single employee. There are contractors who love doing these tasks for you with whom you can contract. They will work as “Independent Contractors”.

Independent Contractors are available in many countries and at many different prices. Remember, that most of the time you get what you pay for, and you have to determine for yourself whether it’s moral or ethical to outsource outside of our own country. You can’t let other people tell you what is right or wrong in terms of whom you choose to pay to help you with your business. The important thing is that you invest in your business in a way that lives up to your own ethics and expectations. In addition, interview each person who applies to work with you and make sure that the fit works for you both.

There are laws regarding what constitutes an independent contractor in each country so ensure that you read up on that. In both Canada and America, the law is essentially the same in that you cannot control those you outsource to in terms of whether or not they have other clients, and you cannot provide training, or tools for them to complete the tasks you assign to them. However, please read about the laws in your own country. Outsourcing is very simple and has very little paperwork involved. The contractor is responsible for paying for all his or her own taxes and benefits. This makes for an ideal situation for you because it makes outsourcing as simple as determining which tasks you want to outsource, and finding the contractor in which to outsource.

How To Achieve Your Goals

There is, unfortunately, no set formula for knowing how to achieve your goals. Goals are funny things: although they are generally there to help make our lives better, they can soon become overwhelming and things we come to dread. This is why it’s important to think carefully about the goals you set and the way you go about achieving them. Here are 5 steps to increase your chances of success.

1) Make Them Realistic – When you set goals, they have to be realistic. To help make sure that they are, make goals that are actionable and measurable. For example, instead of saying you will lose weight this year, tell yourself that you will lose x pounds by March, by walking to work every single day. This kind of goal is specific enough to achieve, and is the first step in knowing how to achieve your goals.

2) Make A Plan – Once you know what your goals are, you need a plan to make them happen. The last point touched on this fact: if you can make a solid plan for a goal then you know it’s a realistic one. This may mean breaking down goals into smaller steps you can take every day or every week. For example, if you want to de-clutter, you might target one area of your home a week. This will help to prevent overwhelm.

3) Set A Deadline – If your goal has no deadline then you’ll just keep putting it off. If you want to know how to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to set a date by which you want to meet all of them. We all know things may eventually change, but setting a date in the first place is the best way to make sure you put in some real effort.

4) Take Action – Although it sounds obvious, a goal will never become a reality unless you take action. So many of us make goals every January only to forget them a few weeks later. Don’t let this happen to you! Start working on your goals immediately, even if you’re only taking small steps to make them happen.

5) Keep Track – Now you’ve started taking action, it’s important to keep track of how you’re doing. Keep yourself accountable by taking an honest look at how you’re doing to meet your broken-down steps, and change the way you do things if you think it’ll help. Realize that everyone does slip up from time to time! But measuring your progress can help you to keep going.

Knowing how to achieve your goals is one thing, but it’s up to you to put things into action. Make this your year!

Social Media Strategies – Goals, Tactics and Metrics

Setting achievable goals for your social media marketing efforts is essential to making sure that you’re not wasting time, money and resources hitting your head up against a brick wall. It’s essential to test and measure each marketing strategy, including social media. If you lose sight of the point of social media in terms of using it to promote your business efforts, you can also lose track of the amount of time you’re spending using it. And let’s be honest, sometimes the time you’re spending is just messing around.

In order to set goals you need to be able to write down what your goal is. A goal is something like — “Increase sales by 5% in 60 days.” Now you’re going to have to develop and discover ways to verify that you’ve achieved any goal you make. That is where testing, and evaluating metrics comes in. First you create the goal, then you decide how to achieve the goal (tactics), then you test and evaluate (metrics).

The steps look like this:

Determine Goals

Determine Tactics

Perform Tactics

Study Metrics


The important thing to remember is that you can’t achieve what you don’t name and plan. In other words, if you have no idea where you’re headed how can you create a map to get to your destination? If you’re not quantifying your efforts, it’s impossible to ever know if you’re achieving anything. One of the main reasons of business failure has to do with not having a plan, not following the plan, and not tracking metrics to ensure that the plan is working and the goals are achievable.

Determine Goals — Achievable goals are small, short term goals. To create a small, short term goal you create a long term goal and break it down to manageable chunks. For instance, if you want to increase traffic to your blog by 100% in one year, you’d need to figure out what your traffic is today, and what your traffic growth needs to be each month to achieve a 100 percent growth in one year.

Determine Tactics — Now that you have your goal, you’ll need to figure out what actions you’ll take to achieve your goal. Actions may involve using social media more strategically such as creating a social media calendar and then sticking to your plan. Your social media calendar might look like this:

(10 am, 4 pm and 9 pm) Monday through Friday — Auto sharing of new blog posts each day (posts which were either written by a ghostwriter, or yourself from a publication calendar)

(8 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm)Monday – Wednesday -Friday — Re-Tweet useful information to my followers

(11am, 3pm, and 11pm )Tuesday & Thursday — Introduce or hint about new products (you can do this via blogging as well if you have everything set up to be automatic)

8am each day spend 10 minutes answering direct messages personally

Post 2 articles a week to article marketing sites, share said articles with social media

Once you write it down, really do it, or delegate it, but get it done. You can’t succeed in any plan without carrying out the steps no matter how hard you wish it or think about it success takes action.

Study Metrics — Before you start any new campaign check your current metrics using whatever system you like such as Google Analytics. Then, pick a specific time each week or month to look at your data again. You can keep track in a spreadsheet to put it all together in one spot. Track subscriber rates, new comments, visitors, and even by how many people re-tweet and or share your information. Hint: Use Google Docs and hire a VA to keep track of this for you.

If you find the tactics you used worked well and you’re satisfied with the results, repeat them. If you want to ramp something up, or change a tactic, change only one tactic or even part of a tactic at a time, that way you can really measure and test how your one change affects your future results.

7 Ways to Make Your Readers Eager to Link

The biggest reason blog readers don’t leave comments – or click away before they’ve even finished your blog post or article – is because you haven’t given them any new ideas to chew on… or any reason.

Your readers are also investors, and investors need to be convinced the venture they’re going spend their hard-earned time on is worth it.

If you’re like me, however, there are definitely times when you feel as if you’ve said it all a million times. There’s nothing left to blog about that excites you. It’s just another chore that has to be performed.

Here are 7 ways I jolt myself out of Writer’s Blahh, when I’m feeling too dull to blog. And I discovered – quite by accident – it’s also a great way to give your readers a genuine reason to leave their linkback!

1. Climb the fence and switch sides. For example, if you always blog about the necessity of keyword research, find all the reasons keyword research doesn’t do the trick – and blog about that!

2. Take a shortcut. One of my favorite shortcuts is to visit, and read something interesting – and timely – from their “Trending” section. The beauty of this lies in the fact that what’s being trended is popularity and user driven – which means it’s currently on people’s minds. And if what you’ve read that’s so interesting doesn’t relate to your niche, I guarantee that if you write your own posts at all, it will still most likely spark an idea – a tangent, perhaps; but something related to your readership, and a new, fresh thought for you.

3. Reverse-engineer a “family story”. But first, think of your family favorites. Which one resonates with you? What principle does it deal with, and why do you care enough to write? Answer this question – then briefly illustrate it with the anecdote. People are more likely to identify with a story than a lecture – and so are you!

4. Relax. Not every post is going to generate tons of links. Some are like the foundations of a building: They’re laying the groundwork for the second post… or the third… It’s more important to be real and keep your focus on your reader. Ask yourself: “Why does this relate to him?” – make it a habit as much as writing from a relaxed viewpoint.

5. Piggyback-post. The most effective way to do this is to take a hot topic currently under blog discussion, and summarize 4 or 5 top arguments on other blogs, crediting the authors. Not only can this provoke an immediate linkback from the (top-level) author in question, people will find it more authoritative (if you’re relatively new to the game) than your personal opinion… and the hot topic has already been identified for you.

6. Look for the Gaps. Just as you would when assessing the competition’s products prior to creating your own, look for the “gaps” your competitors are leaving in their post

7. Read Authority Blog Comments. Sometimes you can get great ideas for new blogging subjects in reader comments – particularly when it’s a hot topic. And using the “keywords” their comments generate is a great way to invite traffic over to your “house”.

So there you have it – 7 ways to engage your next blog visitor. Try it for yourself – and see if these tactics don’t generate the side benefit of links!

Pros and Cons of Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising (PPC) such as that offered by Google Adwords has long been hailed as an economical way to get traffic to mini sites. It allows webmasters to pay only for actual visits to their sites rather than paying for each impression. But is it really as great as the PPC gurus would have you believe?

There’s no doubt that PPC can bring results. But there are certain disadvantages that every webmaster should be aware of. Here’s a rundown of the good and the bad.


PPC campaigns allow you to target the keywords of your choice. If you do your research and choose descriptive keywords with a low level of competition and a reasonable search volume, PPC advertising can bring you highly targeted traffic.
Prices are determined by bidding. For keywords with little competition, you can often get great placement at a very reasonable price. And you don’t necessarily have to place the highest bid to get a good amount of exposure.
Search engine optimization can take some time to get traffic coming in. But with a PPC campaign, you can begin to see results immediately.


Finding the right keywords can take some work. If you choose the wrong ones, you might get traffic that will not convert to sales. And that results in money lost.
Some Internet users have developed what’s known as “ad blindness.” They have learned to ignore the paid search results in favor of natural ones. That means that people who could potentially become customers might overlook your link.
If you’re concentrating on PPC, you might neglect search engine optimization as a means of getting free traffic. This could prove to be a costly mistake.

Every mini site can benefit from a good PPC campaign. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that’s the only way to get targeted traffic. While it’s a good way to supplement your SEO efforts, it is no substitute for good organic search rankings.