Don’t Fall Prey to the Get Started on the Internet Ploys

Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 21, 2010

Whenever the economy goes downhill, every Internet marketing millionaire under the sun goes into hyper mode to devise the next great scheme to inspire people to get started making their millions on the Internet. I guess this product is always on the mind of Internet marketers…especially Internet marketers who make how-to Internet marketing products. But, I’m seeing even more new so-called “systems” being made available this month than the last 6 months combined.

Why? Because layoffs are still happening. People are getting more desperate than ever. And, the last holdouts, those who have scoffed the Internet for years are finally giving in, so to speak, and trying to figure out how to take the plunge and start making millions online.

The truth is, I don’t care what process or system you buy into. If you are new to the Internet, you are going to have to go through the wickets just like everyone else. You’re going to learn some things the hard way. You will attempt to learn some things on your own and get massively discouraged when things don’t quite work the way you planned…even if you follow their systems step-by-step. You’ll be scratching your head wondering why Internet marketing comes so easy to everyone but you.

You’re going to spend some money and see little or even no return. You will be tested to see if you have what it takes to persist.

How’s that for some Friday encouragement? Not very inspiring is it? Well, I’m just telling the truth. Whether you follow someone’s proven system or go it alone, nothing comes easy on the Internet or any other part of operating a business. Even the hotshots you’re getting emails from that want to tell you their stories of how they got started online and how non-technical they were and how they didn’t do any work or didn’t even have a computer…have gone through the wickets to get to where they are.

Some have made their millions faster, some slower. But all have three things in common, these are:

1. Crash and Burn – If you think every Internet marketer just came from some corporate job and one day, threw a YouTube video together in the backyard and made millions from it going viral, well think again. They’ve all had ideas that were tried but their hopes and dreams of immediate success just vanished before their very eyes. But, that didn’t stop them because they were….

2. Starving for Success – Every successful Internet marketer I know was so hungry and even starving for success that nothing stood in their way. If one thing didn’t work, they changed course and tried something else. They lived and breathed Internet marketing because making that success was more important than anything to them. The question, “How many hours of my day do I need to spend on (fill in the blank)?” NEVER entered their minds!

The crash and burn experience and their starvation for success wasn’t enough either though. They needed one more thing…

3. Charisma – You’ve seen the speakers on-stage with their jokes, stories and sales pitches that you just can’t say no to. Many Internet marketers do not have that kind of charisma, but some have charisma in what they write. Or, they have charisma in how they participate on social networks. Some simply have more of a psychological or scholastic charisma in that they have a knack for looking at statistics and predicting what kinds of promotions people online might respond to.

One of my former clients who went off on his own makes $50K a month online doing just that. No speaking gigs. No books written. Just has a knack for looking at stats and promoting affiliate products online.

So, my point is that you should beware of falling prey to the get started online pitches you’re hearing about because most of them know first-hand that most people will not have the experience, the starvation or the charisma to work through their systems and methods. But, they also know you’re not going to ask for a refund either. They’ll gladly take your money though!

If you do buy into any Internet marketing educational products, be easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t “get it” or discover it’s more work than you thought. Because any process to make a dime online will be a process and something to achieve over time. Enter into the process with that in mind and you will have peace of mind and accurate expectations.

So, What CAN You Do to Get Started On the Internet?

If you have a few bucks to spend, I suggest buying my book, Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. They tell me it’s on shelves in bookstores around the world. My portion is the first 190 pages or so.

Then, head over to facebook and “Like” my facebook page that I’ve setup where we discuss all kinds of different Internet marketing related topics.

If you’re really strapped for cash, you should at least sign-up to be on my main email list. When you sign-up, you’ll get immediate access to my new whitepaper that describes the 6 steps of the A.C.T.I.O.N. process, a step-by-step guide for starting online or taking your business to new levels using the Internet.

Finally, I’ll just close this blog post by saying, getting started online is no overnight process. You’re going to need to really focus on this and make the commitment to persevere for an entire year. Make it a part of your life and your lifestyle. That’s when you will start to see the rewards. Let me know if I can help along the way. Good luck!

Yahoo Adopts Real-Time Search

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Feb 23, 2010

It’s all over the news. Yahoo! has finalized a partnership with Twitter to incorporate Twitter’s tweets into Yahoo!’s search database. When someone adds a tweet about a topic and it immediately displays in a search on Yahoo! based on the keywords used in the tweet, that is called real-time search.

Some people believe real-time search will overpower regular search on main search engines, thereby forcing people to be active on Twitter and other social networks if they ever hope to generate traffic from search engines.

But, that doesn’t make sense for two main reasons:

1) It will be too easy for hackers to game the real-time search system so that only their massive quantities of tweets will drive the content generated for search engines to post.

2) Standard search content will always be a necessary component of search engines because tweets can still only be 140 characters in length. And, people expect that when they do a search, that a page will display with enough content for them to be informed.

So, yes, real-time content will be an important factor of search going forward, but that doesn’t mean stop making blog posts, adding pages to your site and optimizing both of those for search engines. Search engines including Yahoo! will still need your content beyond 140 characters.

Part 2 of 7 Numbers to Know to Grow Your Business: Sales

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Feb 16, 2010

How many sales do you need to make the amount of money you want to have in a year? As simple as this question might be, I’ve found very few people actually have this number in the top of their minds.

If you want to take home $500,000 over the next 12 months, you either need one big sale at the end of the year, or an average of $42,000 each month, right? Of course, that’s figuring you have no costs involved.

Once you do have costs to add to the equation, the calculation gets more complicated. And, costs can fluctuate from month to month. Now managing that almost sounds too much like work, doesn’t it?

Y’know, there are a few things that I consider myself to be at least semi-skilled at doing…but accounting is not one of them! So, I’m not even going to suggest how to come up with a formula for calculating required sales to generate $500,000 net profit, by subtracting fixed and variable costs.

No, I have an accounting system to do that for me.

What I will say is that it will take more than monitoring leads to get to your number of sales needed for your desired income level. Here is a short sequence to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

1. Determine your sales goal. Let’s say you want to make $100,000 in sales next month.

2. Calculate your current conversion rates. For this example, let’s just keep it easy and say the only way you get leads and sales is through your website.

Now let’s say that for every 1000 visitors, you “convert” 2.5 of those visitors to leads. That’s a .25% conversion rate. Let’s also say you are a master seller and convert every lead that comes to you into a sale. Good job! You’re a sales machine! Again, we’re just trying to make the calculation easier for the example.

3. Use this formula to figure out how many visitors you would need to your website to acquire enough leads to get the sales you want.

(Desired Sales / Sale Price / Conversion Rate) X 100

Now, let me explain that…

The / marks signify “division,” so you have to remember your old math here and do all your divisions first and then multiply X 100.

So, if I want $100,000 in sales and my sale price is, say a $20 ebook, and I only have a conversion rate of a measly .25%, my formula would look like this:

(100,000 / 20 / .25) X 100 = 2,000,000 Visitors Needed to achieve $100,000 in sales

Now, there are only a few things you can change about this fact. You can change your price. You can change your visitation or you can change your conversion rate. In your situation, what would be easiest to change?

For most people, it’s the conversion rate. If you test a bit, it’s actually quite easy to bring a .25% conversion rate into the 1.5% or even 2% range.

Let’s look at the difference using the formula:

(100,000 / 20 / 2) X 100 = 250,000 visitors.

That’s a huge difference my friend!

Now let’s say that simple ebook is raised in price to $47. Quite possibly your conversion rate will stay the same or even go up. It’s not unusual! So, let’s continue with the example and just say:

(100,000 / 47 / 2) X 100 = 106,383

You can hopefully see how important it is to start playing with numbers when planning for the coming months and year of your business. Of course this calculation can be expanded to include suspects, prospects, leads, and sales, but I just wanted to keep this example easy.

We’re only part way through the seven though, so stay tuned until next time where I’ll reveal the third number to watch in your business.

The key to knowing how many sales you will get is knowing how many leads you need.

Part 1 of 7 Numbers to Know to Grow Your Business: Leads

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Feb 5, 2010

How many leads did you get last month? I don’t mean visits to your website or even those that called you on the phone or submitted something to your contact us form. Those are just “suspects.” Then, if you’re lucky, some of them will turn into “prospects.” If you’re a good sales person, several of those prospects will finally turn into leads.

Now, here’s the kicker. Any idea how much money you spent to get those “leads?” How much has each lead cost you in marketing dollars to attract? If your cost is $20 per lead, can you imagine what the difference would be in your bottom line if you could reduce that number from $20 to $18 or even $15?

Over the next six of seven entries to this blog, I’m going to unveil 7 secret numbers that you need to be able to track every day, or at least every week, to assure your company is growing in a positive direction.

Once you form the habit of looking at all of these numbers combined, you will see how easy it is to use the numbers to PLAN for your future instead of always looking back on the results.

In this crazy economy, I honestly don’t know how anyone would be able to look the other way and NOT pay attention to these 7 numbers.

I’ve been in business for 15 years and in the sales arena for even more. And, I was only introduced to these 7 numbers a few weeks ago by a local guy here in Denver, Jeff Prager.

Jeff and his team run a web-based accounting system he developed.

And, contrary to other accounting systems I’ve used, the first goal above anything else with his accounting system is to keep a running total of these 7 numbers. So, literally, I can spend just 5 minutes every few days in my accounting system by running this one simple report and know all the 7 numbers I’m going to be covering in this series. Pretty cool. Anyway, let’s get back to the actual discussion about today’s topic…leads!

What is it exactly that you need to know that you can’t mentally store in your mind week after week? I mean, most of us can think, “Hmm, I think I got 10 new leads last month.

But, there’s a lot more to it than that…

There are three things you need to know about your leads, including:

1. What main sources did your leads come from? The Internet, a trade show, a magazine ad are examples of main source.

2. What “specific sources” did your leads come from? Organic search, PPC, Another website, response to a blog post on someone else’s blog, are all examples of specific lead source.

3. How would you rank the quality value of each of those leads from your source and specific source?

4. Where are they in the sales cycle? I like to rank my leads with the following:

.10 = suspect (not even really a lead yet)

.25 = prospect (someone who is actually interested and we’re talking more)

.50 = proposal is made (just waiting for questions to come in from proposal and next discussion)

.75 = proposal was accepted and the deal is probably going to happen)

.90 = proposal accepted (just waiting for the check or credit card payment, since I do everything pre-paid)

1.00 = client

0 = dead lead

99 = former client

5. How much traffic to your website do you need to get one lead?

6. How many leads to you need to get a sale

7. How much time or money do you need to spend to get those leads?

Number 6 and 7 there are sort of getting into the next part of the series, so I’ll stop there. Let’s just say that for this step, I’d like you to consider all 7 of those items as they relate to simply getting and managing leads.

Your traffic can be monitored, of course, through your Google Analytics account. The quality of the lead can be determined when you talk on the phone or receive an email. And, of course, the number of leads you need to get a sale is called a sales conversion rate. I’m going to go into more detail on those in part 2 and 3 of this series.

Sign-up for our rss feed to be notified every time a new post is added or add your email address to be sent an email every time a new post is added.

Checkout the accounting package I was telling you about earlier if you have another few moments.

Sure, it’s a product that I am promoting as one of my many affiliate products now and let it be publicly known that I will be financially compensated if you click the link and buy their product. But, I’ll tell ya, it took me evaluating this system for a MONTH before I finally was convinced to give it a shot. We’re only in our first month of using it and our sales planning time for 2010 has been cut from like, what, 30 hours or so of manual spreadsheet creating, to like minutes of clicking reports from the system.

Anyway, I don’t want to get too crazy on you about the product. Next time, I’ll cover Part 2, the second number you must be watching every day or at least every week to even HOPE to survive in business and grow.

Struggling Webmasters are Bringing Pain to their Clients

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 19, 2010

Apparently 2010 is not off to a good start for webmasters. Not since 1998 have I heard of so many webmasters baling from their client projects mid-way leaving their clients stranded without a completed website, or even worse, a completely “down” website.

Over the past two weeks alone, my company at HereNextYear that has worked with over 300 client projects over the past 15 years has received 4 new client calls where their webmaster has simply left them in the lurch. One disgruntled webmaster even attempted to discredit his client by getting the client site banned on Google search after a dispute.

Two of the other cases were as a result of fed-up business owners who had been waiting for six months…that’s right “6″ months…for their basic websites to be designed and launched by their webmasters. There was no giant back-end database here folks, we’re talking like 7-page content sites with a PayPal link!

Finally, with no hope of a refund in site, they both bit the bullet and came to us at to get the jobs done…in two weeks (our standard turnaround time).

The final example was a volunteer webmaster who did a superb job maintaining a site for a small church and just decided it was time to do something different.

On one side of the fence, this is a big shameless plug for my website implementation team at HereNextYear. We are still in the business of, like, actually completing websites for clients and helping them maintain them for years to come. We just had a record breaking sales month for December 2009 and are completely focused on doubling our client base by the end of 2010.

But, more importantly, I think everyone who has a webmaster should check in with them if it’s been a while. See if you can get a feel for the following so that you don’t get caught broadsided with a down site or a half-baked project:

1. How has the economy impacted his or her business?
2. Is your webmaster getting more clients or less?
3. Will their prices be the same for 2010?
4. How are things at home? Many solo webmasters become friends with their clients and are open to discussing this topic.
5. Does your webmaster still enjoy the work of web design, web development or webmastering?
6. Are you in good standing as a client?
7. Are there plans for the webmaster to grow his/her business, reduce to part-time or leave the industry entirely over the next few months or year?

Some of these are tough questions to get answered. But, I can tell you for sure that your business is on the line if you are aligned with a webmaster that is unsteady, changing their priorities, or can suddenly snap and move to Siberia!

Friends are friends, but business is business. Contact your webmaster immediately (if you have one) and establish a level of comfort that your website is in good hands for 2010. And, if something should happen, know that you have a place to call to get things back on track. Check out for all website and Internet marketing services you would ever need.

Accounting System Has a New Affiliate Program

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 8, 2010

Announcing the launch of Backroom Management’s Affiliate Program. This is a web-based accounting system that integrates G/L, job cost, time and billing, budgeting, financial analytics, break even calculators, financial statements, and even tracks your ongoing “conversion rate.”

What was that?

That’s right. An accounting system that uses a term we use in marketing and sales! What the heck?

The closest thing I’ve heard of that integrates all of those is NetSuite ($15,000 or so). But, Backroom Management’s accounting system is as little as $29.95 a month…that’s right…a MONTH!

Once you sign-up, you can get it to pay for itself by suggesting a few others you know to get it too.  Or, make an ongoing promotion to your list. For the right person, promoting this product could even be a very nice full-time job!

Anyway, here’s a banner ad to the system. We’re moving out accounting to this product as we speak. Once I saw a certain report that provides you with what-if scenarios using my existing numbers to project profit next year, I was sold. That’s like the ONLY report I would ever go into an accounting system for. But, I have to do all this craziness in Excel otherwise.

Backroom Management Web-Based Accounting System

Yes indeed, I’ll get a commission for this if you buy it through this link, but you can also bet I’ll be sharing a tips sheet with anyone who signs-up for it as to how you will be able to use your Internet marketing with this accounting system.

Find Courage and Go For It!

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 23, 2009

How Did You Do That! is that book—that book you’ve been looking for that could inspire you to change your own life. In this collection of amazing true stories you’ll find the courage to finally go for it and do that thing you’ve been yearning to do.”

Foreword by Mark Victor Hansen

There is power in true stories of accomplishment. When you learn how someone overcame a challenge that you too are struggling to overcome, it sets you free.

I am a co-author in a new book filled with powerful stories about achievement of heartfelt desires and the courage that overcame incredible obstacles. Stories like mine. I want to tell you about this book today, for two reasons.

First, it’s a great book sure to inspire you! But also because I am very excited to be a part of this book, and I want to ask you to support our book launch today.

How Did You Do That! features International Best Selling Authors such as Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup series, Barbara DeAngelis, Chris Howard and Brendan Burchard, and 30 other folks just like you …

Here are just a few of these inspiring and powerful true stories.

  1. Living Full Out

Diagnosed with degenerative eye disease at only 16 years of age, Nancy Solari went on to achieve her dreams as a singer and performer. She attended college, enjoyed an internship with Good Morning America, and worked at Entertainment Tonight. Although Nancy is legally blind, she lives full out – hiking, rollerblading, bicycling, bowling — she even shoots pool!

How did Nancy do it? She achieved her goals and life dreams because she refused to accept anything that would limit her. Obstacles most people would find daunting, she was able to use as inspiration. Nancy’s story will inspire you and fortify your courage, so that you don’t adjust to disabilities or fears by downgrading your dreams – instead, follow her lead and live full out!

  1. Cocooning My Way to “Live! On Oprah”

When Maritza Parra’s life hit bottom and she faced her greatest personal tragedy, she never imagined her self-invented coping method would lead her to being interviewed by Oprah on live radio. Maritza’s cocooning process took her from lying curled up in the fetal position to amazing success beyond her imagination in only two years.

Are you wondering what in the world a “cocooning” process is? As you read how Maritza developed her unusual process, you will learn how to create your cocooning process – a process that nurtures you while also encouraging forward motion no matter how traumatized you might feel. With Maritza’s tools for transforming your life, you can move from your own carefully designed cocoon into the world of your dreams, feeling empowered to spread your wings and take flight.

  1. Slum Lord Queen to Safe Homes Angel

Bonnie Laslo offers a delightfully surprising cooperative business model. She could have been content making her fortune as a property manager and real estate investor, but instead Bonnie created a unique approach to become what she calls a Home Guardian. She works cooperatively with her tenants in impoverished neighborhoods to transform the community and improve their lives in every dimension. Her management team educates their tenants about basic – but important – financial skills, such as how to open checking accounts and create resumes. You will be amazed how Bonnie found a cooperative way to resolve issues with neighborhood criminals so tenants are safer.

Bonnie has applied this principle to many businesses, and believes this approach of building cooperation with her consumers is the primary reason her business is recession proof. Bonnie’s story shows how you can create an innovative approach in any industry, making your business cooperative with your consumers. The rewards are far beyond monetary.

There are many more stories like these. Stories of humble beginnings and heroic endings, but they are also stories of “how” — how they did it, and how you can do it, too.

When all you know is the beginning and ending of a success story

getting your own “happy ending” can seem like a fairy tale.

But when you know how they did it

the story becomes real—and so does your dream.

I am proud to be a co-author of this powerfully inspiring book, and excited to bring you a great special offer. There is a wonderful assortment of empowering tools and priceless wisdom from leading experts to support you on your personal journey to achieve your dreams. All completely FREE when you buy just one copy of the book today. Go here to check it out:

If you are facing any hurdle in life, you will discover at least one person whose story will provide the answer and inspiration you need to clear that hurdle from your life. To achieve the kind of success these authors tell you about.

Then, very soon, people will ask you …


Thanks so much for your support today!

50 Ways to Kill a Perfectly Good Seminar

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 20, 2009

If you agree to speak at enough seminars, or attempt to start one and promote it yourself, the day will come when a seminar you are a part of fails completely and you’ve lost any investment you put into the event. You arrive and simply no one is there to fill the room.

Since the first paid workshop I conducted in 2003 with just 9 people in attendance (a sold-out room by the way) in November 2003, I can remember only once since did I “cancel” a workshop. And, I vowed to never let it happen again.

This past weekend, I flew to the destination where I was invited to speak and even planned an extended stay with relatives. 18 hours before the event would begin, I received word that the entire event had been canceled due to lack of attendees.

The economy is a contributor maybe. People claim they don’t have the money to pay for “anything” let alone a seminar. People pull the “sales pitch” card that they don’t want to pay money only to get sold to. People will find any excuse, such as “too close to Thanksgiving” in this case, in order to prolong their education of cutting-edge material.

Have you ever wondered who is truly at a loss when a seminar bottoms up? Is it the speakers? Heck no! It was only a couple hundred bucks to fly out there and two nights in a hotel. I made that back in new sales from my websites before I even checked out of the hotel!

We just go back to business as usual and do what we do best. It’s the audience, I believe, that really loses out. They’re given the opportunity to hear genuine content about what’s working now…today, and they pass it up.

We as a society have completely lost the understanding of why we should attend seminars and it’s beyond frustrating for me. In fact, it makes me feel like I’m letting people down when I can’t get through to them the importance of their attendance.

I mean, I have a client that has just crossed the $100,000 mark of sales coming in through his shopping cart website. That means actually selling product online. And, we just launched the thing in August! Don’t you think people would be interested to know that there really are people making money on the Internet and how we made it happen?

We had 99 products for that site on TOP of Google’s organic search … in three “3″ days! Wouldn’t you think people would want to know how we did that?

I’ve always had an interest in what makes successful seminars happen. I’ve run “the pit” as we used to call it, at three Brian Tracy events full of volunteers who sold $100,000 worth of back-of-the-room product in under 20 minutes! I’ve served on the planning and promotion team for two Capital Factor events here in Denver that sucked who knows how many hours of devotion over 8-month planning periods. And, I continue to promote my own 3-hour and all-day Internet training events every few months.

It seems like everyone I meet who has a shred of public speaking experience gets this idea in their minds of one day promoting a conference of their own. Instead of using this post to suggest what you should do, I would like to supply a list of things you SHOULDN’T do.

Please accept this “tongue-in-cheek” guide as 50 things to do if you really want to Kill a perfectly good seminar. Use it as a guide when promoting your own seminar or as a checklist for meeting planners to consider before YOU accept the invitation to accept a speaking gig, meaning, if they’re doing any of these, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Or, you will soon find yourself speaking to an empty room.

  1. Don’t give enough time to promote
  2. Pick speakers who have a reputation for not promoting to their lists
  3. Encourage speakers to not talk with the other speakers during the pre-conference promotion
  4. Don’t have conference calls with potential attendees prior to the event
  5. Pick speakers that do not have a presence on social networks
  6. Do not replace a speaker that does not put a banner on their website to promote the event
  7. Do not offer bonuses of any kind when someone buys a ticket
  8. Don’t have an opt-in screen on the site. Just drive people right to the “Buy Now” button
  9. Don’t send any emails to the list you’ve attracted, even if you do have an opt-in field on your website
  10. Don’t have a blog for the event as people will certainly not want to know of your event building progress
  11. Announce on your site that networking breaks between speakers will be short
  12. Allow 60 minutes or less for each speaker and make it obvious to people that’s all they’ll get with each
  13. Choose a low-class cheap hotel in a bad neighborhood
  14. Make your price bigger than anyone else charges…”your” seminar is worth it after all.
  15. Don’t have a promotion team–you can do it all yourself anyway and keep all the dough
  16. Don’t offer the participating speakers 50% of the ticket price as referral incentive
  17. Rely solely on your speaker lineup to promote the event; surely they’ll send emails every day to their big lists
  18. Bank the success or failure of the event on 2 or 3 large groups coming together to fill your room at the last minute
  19. Promote to people who already know your product well, maybe even better than you!
  20. Don’t have a headliner who is a recognized industry leader
  21. Don’t have a celebrity speaker
  22. Don’t use the successes of your speakers in promotions; only feature their topic agendas
  23. Never tell a speaker to promote to their list; they’ll take it upon themselves to do it anyway
  24. Never join the email lists of your speakers to make sure they are promoting the event and call them on it when they don’t
  25. Pick an area of the country that has heavy hitters and frequent appearances from them in their own back yard
  26. Pick a date on the day of a major sporting event
  27. Pick a day that has a seminar just like yours but bigger on the same day or two weeks before or after
  28. Pick a date five days before or after a major holiday
  29. Don’t make your event sound critical or vitally important to attend
  30. Don’t provide sales copy for your speakers to use in their promotion efforts
  31. Avoid sending mailings to all businesses in a five square mile radius of the event
  32. And, certainly never follow-up those mailings with a cold call
  33. Do not alert all local meet-ups (at that the event will happen
  34. Never offer a giveaway as a taste of what attendees will get
  35. Try to promote a big event when you haven’t successfully promoted a small one yet
  36. Don’t attend potential feeder association events to alert members that your seminar is coming up
  37. Make it obvious that you are really doing a “sell-i-nar” instead of a seminar; people never want to really learn anything but they love being sold to!
  38. Don’t offer an early bird price, because your seminar is so special people will be beating the door down to attend
  39. Don’t have a conference call so that speakers can introduce themselves to the other speakers and the team as this would only make them more part of a team working together
  40. Do not persuade speakers to interview each other and do crazy things like conduct tele-seminars with each other because that would be exposing them to each other’s clients and list
  41. Do not seek volunteers (like local Toastmasters members) to help at the event; they never tell anyone they’re helping at a seminar when they get the opportunity
  42. Do not have a tested method for taking online orders and orders by phone; they’ll always send you an email if there’s a problem
  43. Do not worry about having an affiliate program for affiliate marketers to promote your seminar
  44. Do not have a path and process to instruct paid attendees that they can now start recommending your seminar to others and get paid commission on the sales
  45. DO have a very scary photo on your website and never test a different photo; no one looks at them anyway
  46. Never track visitation statistics for your seminar website; you won’t have time with all those orders rolling in
  47. Don’t plan for how many visitors to the site you will need in order to get the amount of attendees you want
  48. Avoid those long sales letters for your event website; no one really buys from them anyway
  49. Definitely don’t use testimonials as no one reads them or watches them
  50. And above all, do NOT have a project manager on your team that relentlessly gets a ton of work accomplished quickly without whining about it; “get-it-dunners” are over rated

What else can you think of that will kill a perfectly good seminar? List your comments here and we’ll have a complete list!

Hopefully you know I’ve written these totally tongue-in-cheek. Turn each phrase around to the positive and you will have a recipe for success EVERY time you launch a workshop or seminar promotion.

Most importantly, though, it is always my intent to inspire others to attend seminars whenever they get the opportunity. Attend at least 4 conferences or seminars per year that are directly tied to your industry so that you remain on the cutting edge of what’s happening.

I make sure to spend an average of $20,000 a year just on furthering my own education and networking efforts by attending seminars and conferences around the country. That means actually BUYING…yes BUYING…what speakers sell from the stage. Attending a seminar is really just about being introduced to speakers so that you pick the ones you like and want to get to know more. You buy their stuff and learn more about the strategies that work for them.

But, when you decide one day to assemble your own seminar full of speakers, that’s a whole different game. My hope is that you will use this list in your seminar promoting efforts. After all, I don’t want to hear that you are responsible for killing a perfectly good seminar!

New FTC Regulations Take Effect December 1 for Affiliate Marketers

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 8, 2009

I can’t say it better myself than this article about how the
new FTC regulation will impact affiliate marketers everywhere. If you’ve heard about the changes but they just didn’t make sense to you, check it out.

Personally, I believe the FTC will go after the heavyweights making false claims. But, then, the other part of me figures they will go after some small time affiliate marketer and fine them like $50K just to make an example out of them.

Although it sucks, hey, this is America. And, the FTC staff are not marketers. They’re made up of salaried employees who HATE the fact that entrepreneurs make money by referring valuable products to others. Next, they’ll have door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales people giving their prospects a written disclosure of how much commission they will make on the sale before the sale is made.

I don’t know about you, but my dad taught me to never ask someone how much money they made for a living. And, therefore, I don’t talk about it myself. I mean, who cares? Why would it be important for people to know that you’re getting a commission payment for a referral?

And, why would anyone be against that? I mean, I have gone through days and sometimes months of evaluation and use of a product before recommending it to clients for use in their own business. Isn’t that time worth something? Don’t I deserve some sort of compensation if I’m going to save someone a thousand dollars next month?

The FTC doesn’t think so apparently.

My answer to this thing that so many are talking about that “will take down affiliate marketing as we know it” is simple.

1. Go ahead and post your earnings or whatever makes you comfortable that you are meeting FTC requirements.

2. Offer something in addition when someone buys the product through your affiliate link. I’ve been doing this for years. When someone subscribes to where I get a commission every month or to for managing your newsletters and eblasts, I give a free document featuring a page full of tactics and strategies to use that not even those companies will tell you about.

3. Use the products yourself so that your referrals are genuine.

I find it interesting too that the FTC is targeting “bloggers.” Anyone that’s anyone online these days know that blogs are websites and websites can certainly be blogs. My main company at has produced dozens of new or re-designed websites for clients that look like “websites” but use blog software.

So, are the “blogs” or “websites?”

Will the FTC come after them just because they have blogs attached? According to the regulations, it appears they don’t care about main websites…just blogs. So, fine, disguise your blog as a website and enjoy the CMS benefit of your blog software and you’re safe.

I dunno, I just think the FTC has gone too far with this one. But, fine, I will conform but will beat them at their own game by making MORE affiliate recommendations and offering more bonus tips and getting even more affiliate sales as a result.

That oughta really get ‘em going!

Improve Internet Marketing Results for Your Business or Company with These 7 Tips

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 29, 2009

Either have your own business or work for a company if you are reading this post. You’re beside yourself why your Internet marketing efforts have produced stagnated results. You’ve spent hours building followers on Twitter but no one seems to care about what you tweet. Your lead generation has come to a screeching halt and product sales through your shopping cart are even worse. Is this what you can expect for the remainder of the year?

No! Stop the bleeding right now.

Here are 7 tips to give some much needed chest compressions to your dying Internet presence:

1. Look at Your Website for the First Time – If you could suddenly step out of your body and become 1,000 visitors to your website, what would you “expect” to see? Does your website offer what your visitors expect? Be honest and then add the missing pieces that come into mind. Does a strong “upper right quadrant” (URQ) exist on your website? Do you top navigation buttons inspire people to take action by clicking on them? Do you provide content of value on your website that doesn’t always throw the hard sales pitch? Are you absolutely positively sure that a visitor knows exactly what they are supposed to do next after they have found what they’re looking for on your website? I’ll ask it again: Are you really sure?

Why try for 100,000 visitors a month to your website if you’re not able to convert the visitors you do get to leads or customers?

2. You Get One Click – In Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think, he gives a great walk through of website usability and how websites should be constructed. Read his book, but at the same time, think to yourself “I lose 50% of my visitors every time I make them click on anything.” So, if you want to only make one change to your website, add a quote form or contact form to your most important product or services pages…and especially to any landing pages where you are running pay-per-click ads to. If you only get a single click, you want that to be a prospective customer completing a quote form and “clicking” the submit button.

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3. Purpose Your Content - Don’t just add a page to your blog or website for the heck of it. Have a direct purpose for everything you add. If you’re going for getting more pages indexed on Google, for example, find what people are searching for related to your industry or topic first, and then write your article or page to speak to those visitors. Use free tools like Google’s free keyword search tool or Word Tracker’s free search tool to find search volume for any given phrase. These tools will also act as a thesaurus to give you ideas of other related phrases people are searching for.

After all, it’s a lot easier to be hit by a car if you go out into the street! Create your content for what your visitors are searching for.

Now, you don’t always have to produce content only for Google search. This post, in fact, doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting in the top 10 search results with a giant keyword phrase “improve internet marketing” as my leader phrase. And, it’s not worth my time to go through the heroics of what it would take to make that happen. But, that’s okay, because my intention is to promote this particular post on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and a variety of other social networks where the headline itself will hopefully be intriguing enough for people to want to pay a visit. After all, Google is only 1 of more than 100 ways to get traffic to a website.

4. Expand Your Traffic Options – Once you have tested and tweaked your website to increase your conversions, evaluate all the ways to increase traffic to your website. My most downloaded white paper on my company site is called 101 Realistic Ways to Get Traffic to a Website. It’s a 30-page free download that walks you through all the traffic generators I know of. What’s better is that they’re all sorted by cost, ease of implementation, time to implement, and ROI. You can make your entire Internet marketing plan for the next two years using that single document.

5. Get More Involved – When a struggling business owner, author or speaker comes to me saying their website is not performing to their expectation, my first question is 1, how many leads or sales did you get last month. That one is easy. They usually say zero. Next I’ll ask, how much visitation did you get last month? Almost always, “I don’t know” is the answer. Knowing the answer coming next, I still ask it…”Can you make changes to your own website?” A long pause usually occurs and then I hear, “no” as the answer.

If you still have to send even minor text changes to your designer to be added to a page, right now is the time for you to take steps to change that! Joomla is a free content management system that designers like because of its design flexibility and visual editing features. Programmers prefer Drupal for its power and clean code…but you’d better have a programmer in tow if you go with that system. My personal favorite is WordPress. At the Thrive Internet Marketing Super Conference in Chicago, I’m going to show you some uses for WordPress that you might not even imagine are possible! Even if you’ve heard of WordPress before, you haven’t seen anything like this! It’s the new evolution of websites.

6. Perform Mind Magic – It seems easier to introduce this topic using those words than it is to tell it like it really is. People get all bent out of shape when I say “Spy on your competition.” So, think of it as performing mind magic instead. Truth is, in this day and age, you really need to keep up with what your competition is doing. One great tool for doing this is Keyword Spy. There you can plugin your competitors domain name and see all (well, most anyway) of the organic search phrases that come up on Google pointing to their website. You can also see if they are running Google AdWords campaigns as well as the wording they’re using in those AdWords and how much they’re spending per month.

This is by far illegal. It is simply market research. But when you use that information correctly to apply to your own website and promotions, people will think you’re performing some kind of “mind magic.” So, that’s what you want to tell them…or, risk being accused of spying!

7. Create Something Memorable – On my HereNextYear site, you’ll see my mascot. It’s a picture of a dog. It’s not my dog. It’s just a picture. The picture has a name. His name is “Action.” The idea behind Action is that I can teach you everything I’ve learned about increasing leads and sales on the Internet, but unless you’re willing to “take Action,” it’s a waste of time for both you and me.

When I present that at seminars and workshops, people simply go CRAZY! It’s a great opener and it is very sticky, meaning, it sticks in peoples’ minds for a very long time. I get calls from people months after they see me speak. They’ll say, “Marty, I don’t remember what you do, but you’re the guy with the dog, right?”

It’s memorable. It’s sticky. It sells. Action sells! Action even has his own Fan club on Facebook (which you are welcome to join here)! And, I take “Action” in everything I do and everywhere I go.

What character can you create that is related to your business that can be sticky and memorable like Action is to my business?

So, these are just a few of the things I’ll be covering in much more detail at the
Thrive Internet Super Conference in Chicago. Why not join me there on the 19th and 20th? I’m sure it will be worth your while.

If you’re just not into going to seminars anymore for fear of getting those dreeeeeaded sales pitches, well, checkout my recent blog post where I give you 101 reasons to attend a seminar. They each far outweigh any fear you may have of getting pitched.

Hope to see you there in Chicago!