Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The value of time.

This is nice extract on time management from Russel :

I'm not sure when you are reading this, but I'm writing it the day after Thanksgiving. I saw a lot of stuff happen this weekend that made me think about the value of time.
If you are living in the US, the day after Thanksgiving is called "black Friday" because all the stores have huge sales to get them back into the black.
Now, Friday afternoon I was playing w/ my twin boys, but when my family got back from shopping, I heard stories about saving $20-$30 on some stuff... but having to wait in line for 2-3 hours to buy the product.
That doesn't even count the time it takes to drive to the store, find parking and then fight your way through all the people.
This made me think...
If someone spent 4 hours saving $20.... how much did the actually save?
I'm not sure about you, but I value my time very highly. It's the only thing in the world that I don't get more of.
So, what do you value your time at? If you are working for a job, getting paid $8 an hour... then your time is valued at $8 an hour.
So, if you were shopping this weekend, and you spent 4 hours - it cost you $32 (if you are charging $8 an hour). If you value your time at higher - then it could have cost you a fortune.
Well, I personally value my time around $1k an hour. The reason...? If I spend a focused hour on a project, it will always turn into at least $1k (usually more).
So, when people call and want me to consult them on a project, I charge between $600 - $1,000 an hour depending on the client and the situation.
That is why I believe so strongly in outsourcing - because it's usually a lot cheaper to hire someone to do a task - then to personally do it myself.
Last weekend we paid 2 people $650 to clean up my yard for the winter. It took them 7 hours each to get the job done.
So, If I would have done the work myself, it would have cost me $14,000 to do it (7 hours X 2 people X $1k an hour).
In that case - $650 is a no brainier.

Now, with that said... I want to show you some ways to free up some more personal time for yourself to get done the stuff that YOU have to get done.
1st - learn to cluster your time. One of the things that kills the productivity of online business owners is instant communication.
People want to answer their emails or phone calls the second they come in. I can tell you from experience that this will kill your productivity.
Every time you start into a project, you are interrupted by email, phone calls, instant messages....
Learn to cluster your time - take 60 minutes at the end of your work day when you are less productive... and then (and only then) answer your emails - and make phone calls back.
You need large clusters of time that you can focus 100% on a project so you can get more done faster.
2nd - Kill your email addresses. Have you ever tried to email me? If so you've probably got a response saying that you have to submit a ticket to my help desk.
The reason?
First - so I can cluster my timeSecond - because I've outsourced my customer support
I think email is the biggest killer of productivity in the world. I've turned off all but one of my email addresses - and if more then 10 people find that one out - then I kill it and start over. Beware of email.
So, what help desk software do I recommend? There are a lot out there - currently we are using and it's been great.
3rd - Charge for your time. You should not be giving away your most valuable asset for free. Every second that I am spending with a client, I am not able to spend with my wife or the twins.
We talked earlier about the value of your time... how much is your time worth? As you grow in your niche, people will start trying to get your time for free.
Beware of this - because it will quickly kill your productivity and your business.
Have you ever tried to call me? I've set it up where it's impossible for anyone besides my wife to call me and get through. My assistant tells anyone calling requesting my time to visit
I have my call times clustered, and charge $300 for every 30 minutes that someone wants to talk on the phone.
I use a company called "Ether" (see the pic above) that charges the person and then lets them ring through to my line.
The service is free to use - they just take a % of what your client is paying you to talk. You can bill people by the minute, hour, per call. It's awesome way to make sure you are charging for your time.
4th - Replace yourself. Your goal as an entrepreneur isn't to work forever - it's to create a business that will generate the money you need to live the life you want.
So, from day #1, you need to be thinking about HOW to replace yourself. The first thing you need to replace is your customer support. Do this as fast as you can. Then follow it with website design, writing, link trading, research... anything and everything else you can until your business can run without you.
That should be the end goal of your business. That is the dream that you, me and everyone is looking for online.
Replace your self by either outsourcing the tasks you currently do - or hire employees.
NOTE: When hiring employees - be sure to read "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber and save yourself a few of the headaches I had before I read his book. You can get it on Amazon for about $12.
I hope that this newsletter has been beneficial. As your business grows, you are going to find yourself with less time every day. If you're not careful, it will consume you.
What you started so you could have more time - will be taking every last second you have. Remember the value of your time because every second it precious.
I hope this helps.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ways to Create a Product


1- Software Creation - Creating software is one of the easiest ways to create a product fast. You can create something for almost any niche. I have one client who had a public domain book about dream interpretation - so he had someone create a software program for under $100 where the user could type in a word, and if found that interpretation in the book and displayed it for the end user.
2- Public Domain - this is one of my FAVORITES!!! These are "works" where the copyrights has expired. You are able to take these and re-package them and sell them as your own products!
3- Interviews - interview an expert in ANY field and sell the recordings and/or the transcripts. This is the best way to become an expert in any field - just interview the experts and people will see you as one of them.
4- Seminar Videos - put on your own seminar, record it with a video camera and sell the footage.
5- Re-niche content - if your selling a product (or bought rights to a product) - you can re-niche it for a different audience. Example would be if you sell a book about speed reading, re-niche it to "speed reading for students."
6- Book on CD - record yourself reading your book and sell it on cd.
7- Resource CD - compile a list of resources for a specific niche, and sell the directory. I've personally bought resources on supplements directories and also one on "spy" stuff. (I know - I'm a geek)
8- Recycle content - take products or content you've created in the past and re-use it. I'm using this blog post as a newsletter, an article, probably a chapter in a future book... Recycle what you're doing now.
9- Camtasia Video - this is one of the most powerful tools online marketers have. Create screen capture videos of anything you can do on your computer. Demos of software - PowerPoint slides, how to... anything computer related. Think how much moolah the "computer professor" makes by making "how to" videos for different Microsoft products.
10- Idea collection - Combine a list of ideas and sell those. I've got friends who sell list of ideas on how to make money quickly, how to clean your carpets, how to take care of lawns, etc...
11- Others experts submit content - get others to submit articles, or audios, or vidoes, and compile them into a product. I did this with one of my wrestling products. I had people submit their best stories, pictures and poems and compiled them into a product.
12- Podcasts - like an online radio show that you can download. Have paid podcasts - or record a bunch, then take the recordings and put them onto CD's.
13- Membership sites - have residual income coming in when people pay you over and over again for access to your membership site. You can provide content in your membership sites - or create software programs that people have to pay monthly to use.
14- Teleseminars - just record yourself interviewing someone or teaching on a subject that you know a lot about. The majority of my products were created with some type of teleseminar.
15- Ghostwriters - hire someone (think outsourcing again) to write a book on a the subject that you want to sell (
16- Free coaching calls - do free coaching calls for your members, track their progress, then compile the recordings into a product.
17- Mastermind roundtables - get a group of experts together and have them discuss the subject - record the full thing and you've got an instant product!
18- Private Label - similar to public domain, but usually created w/ the intent to sell w/out a copyright. A million ways to use private label stuff. Most people fail at this because they try to sell the content "as is." Be sure to make it your own and you'll have a ton of success with these. 19- Case studies - one of the best products I bought this year is 12 hours of case studies. The people teaching the course compiled hundreds of casestudies for the subject we were learning about, and then explained how they all worked

Monday, November 13, 2006

Innovative Ways To Use Your Autoresponder


1. Collect leads with your autoresponder. You will get
an e-mail digest of everyone's e-mail addresses who
requests information from your autoresponder.

2. Publish a price list of all the products and services
that you offer. You could also include order forms,
product descriptions, and other sales material.

3. Publish free reports in autoresponder format. The
reports should be related to your business or web site.
Giving away free stuff will quickly increase your traffic.

4. Collect vital customer satisfaction information by
publishing a survey in autoresponder format. This type
of information will help you serve them better.

5. Instead of answering every customer question that's
e-mailed to you, publish " Frequently Ask Questions" in
autoresponder format. This will save time and money.

6. You could publish your testimonials or endorsements
in autoresponder format if you don't have the room in
your ad copy. It's more effective to include all of them.

7. Provide back issues of your e-zine archives in auto-
responder format. This will give your subscribers and
web site visitors easy access to them.

8. Publish your entire web site in autoresponder format.
Sometimes visitors don't have enough time read your
entire site. They could print it out and read it offline.

9. You could offer your ebook in autoresponder format.
Your visitors won't have to download it or have the
software to read it right away.

10. You could publish the terms and conditions to any
business transactions in autoresponder format. Thiscould include return policies, purchases, refunds etc