When is FREE a bad thing


So many websites on the internet offer “freebies”. Free downloads, free gift offers, even free vacations.
When you sign up for something free, there is (almost) always a trade off.
Here’s a list of some of these freebies, and their reason for being free.

1. Free Samples.

We’ve all sampled free food at grocery stores with little to no “catch”.  But on the internet, or at trade shows, there is usually something they want in return.

Many places will want you to sign up for a free sample and most of the time, they will indeed send you something free. But along with that free certificate or voucher comes a catch: your information gets sold to third parties who will send you offers that you may, or may not want.

2. Free insurance quote.

 

Steer clear…if you really want a quote, you would do better to call several of the major insurance claim companies, unless you want insurance agents from EVERYWHERE calling you day and night.

3. Free email.

We all know about this, but what most of you don’t know is that many free email accounts have a clause in their “Privacy” (hmmph!) policy, that says they can show your emails to anyone they choose. It’s usually marketers who don’t know you personally and use your information for market research purposes. Harmless, probably unless you just happen to be one of those people who think that your personal emails should be… well,…personal

4. Free information.

This can be good or it can be a nightmare. Most people who send you free information are hoping to keep you “in their loop “ so that you will return to their website and think about buying their product. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will ever visit their website every again, once you get that free download; but they hope you will.

Well, that’s the innocent side. But the very, very invasive side to free information are the people who shamelessly sell your email address to third party vendors who flood your email with unsolicited offers.

It is illegal for anyone to sell your information without your permission, unless they specifically state in their “terms of service” or “privacy policy” that they may do just that. So read the fine print.

Do you have any crazy stories about not really free samples? Would love to hear your story or comments

How to REALLY generate leads, which are really leads, not garbage


You may not be as attractive as she is, but possibly almost as smug once you get this thing right 🙂

Come on, people, talk to me…we all want it…great leads that really ARE leads! Prospects who actually want what you have, want it RIGHT NOW, and have the moolah to get it.

A lot of my readers have the sales funnel thing down. They know how to set up a lead capture form, and they have some website. Technically, their system may be sound. But when it comes to content, and the art factor, there are gaps.

STEP ONE ~ Make Sure Your Website or Landing Page Is The Best It Can Be.

So many people over look this fact, but think about it…if you have a bunch of broken links on your site, if people see “Site Title” or “This is an about page” on your incomplete website, they are not going to think you are for real.

I have to mention this because I see so many blogs that are drop dead gorgeous (like the model) but they have no warmth, no human touch, or webpages that don’t link together in a conversational, topical flow. You need to have a capture form on the home page of your blog, if lead generation is your thing. But less is more…don’t take up all the space on your landing page with a lead form. That screams spam and will lead to high exit rates….which will plummet your rankings.

Instead, You want your capture form to be something your reader looks for, not something they impulsively punch (which always clogs your “filter” full of dead, tire-kicking leads).  Make the capture page, landing page, and or homepage look as inviting as possible.

STEP TWO ~Have a great quality lead magnet.

We all know that lead magnets are a great way to get people to leave their info, but if it’s not a lead that provides value, then your reader will unsubscribe.

Just in case you don’t know, the term “lead magnet” is just marketing lingo for anything that provides your reader with information. But. In only works if its something the reader wants. Like, really bad.

When you are crafting your lead magnet, it needs to be all it can be. Make sure that it’s not some flim flammy lead magnet, but that it really provides inside information about your topic. If it isn’t so good that most people would gladly pay at least $20 for your fresh info, then you aren’t providing enough info, or your info is stale. That is NOT the kind of lead magnet you want to give people. Your lead magnet needs to be the highest quality lead you can give, without giving away too much.

Note for those who sell info products:  I get this question all the time…how do I know how much information to give in my lead magnet, without revealing what’s in my course? If you are concerned about this, it could be that you simply don’t have enough fresh info to go around. So if you are always stressing over whether or not you are giving away too much, then you may need some more info on your topic. Which brings us to our next point:

STEP THREE ~ Always remember….info is free on the internet.

Think about what you are offering…would you give up your own email address to acquire this info if you didn’t have this knowledge? Or would you google in the question? The information you provide has to be something that every one asks, but few talk about.

The purpose of “the list”.

Think about why you are building a list. Why? So that you can keep sending stale info to people who are going to unsubscribe? No, your answer should be, Iam  building a list of people who I am going to develop rapport “.  This is vital because you want them to sense you character, your values and your personality. That’ really is the only way to get more people to buy from you…free info is everywhere, but your reader doesn’t know who to trust.

WARNING….

IGNORE THIS, AND WATCH YOUR

UNSUBSCRIBE RATE SOAR

You shouldn’t go about getting leads so that you can pitch your

product.

Think about this dynamic.

You want their email address.

They want your info.

You want their email address so that ultimately, you can sell to them.

They want your newsletter for info, not for a sales pitch.

The only way they will buy your info product is if it’s something that they can’t get anywhere else…for free. Or, if it’s info that answers the question that they don’t know the question to. Or, they just like you and want to know your take on marketing.

Also, some people just like collecting knowledge.

But it has to be fresh knowledge, or they won’t buy from you.

Here’s the question that you need to be asking yourself if you want to gather leads that actually convert into sales:

What “bottom line it”,  what “get to the point’,  what “sum it all up” answer is my prospect looking for?

Is it “How to get traffic”?  Is it how to solve this or that problem…for good? Is it how to get sales? How to keep their boyfriend/girlfriend? How to lose weight? How to pass their finals? Whatever it is that you are selling, it has to answer a question, or solve a problem. The answer or solution to this question or problem is what you need to give your reader in their lead magnet.

Conclusion: When done right, lead magnets are a great way to gather leads off of the internet. Your info piece must be the highest quality possible, in order to attract leads.  The information you send should be of the freshest quality, meant to instill trust in your reader, and to educate them.

Sometimes it is a delicate balance between providing info, and mentioning your product. You should take the time to educate yourself fully on how to create great meaty, personable articles that pull your subscriber into your world (a.k.a., your blog), ultimately resulting in sales.

I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to craft an information piece which will truly educate your reader.

If you would like to learn more about how to write newsletters (which really contain news ) and create awesome lead magnets including cheat sheets, custom data graphs, and special reports to wow your reader, than check out my tutorial here.

A Season of Isolation


This Post has been updated

Here are some of the reasons God puts His people in an isolated position ( see if any of these apply)

Do you find yourself in a season of isolation? Maybe you have been “in hiding” for a while. Maybe for a very long while. And you are wondering why? In addition to the reason many of us are isolating, due to CoVid, sometimes there are other reasons we find our selves stuck in one place.

You are being tested

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you might lose your mind? I’m talking about not being able to get out for a long, long time. I went through a season in my life where I was completely homebound. My future was uncertain and I had to rely on God completely to come through for me, for everything from getting me to the store, and even hustling up a ride to church. It stretched my faith like few things could, and proved to me that I was much stronger than I realized. I remember almost feeling animosity toward the Lord. How could he abandon me like this while the walls were closing in on me. Didn’t He care?

Thoughts of divorce, walking down the street to the bar (the only place in walking distance) and other quick fix temptations assailed my lonely and seemingly abondoned heart.

It was during this tough time that I completely surrendered my very sanity to the Lord and , no, He did NOT let me lose my mind. And I did get through.

If you are in a tight spot and feel closed in, even trapped, it could be that God is testing you, to see if you will still be devoted to him. Some people think that their life is not worth living if they don’t have the freedom to mix with others. Or if they don’t have a family. Or someone to love. Lonely people are often bitter at God for their state, but could it be that God is testing them to see if they will love him… no matter what?

Character development

Sometimes God will separate someone so that He can develop their character. Some new believers that found Christ during a life of crime, later find themselves incarcerated for something they did before they were a Christian. Why would God allow that? I mean, He’s God. He can cause prison sentences to be reversed; He could have caused the person to walk away free. But He doesn’t always do that because sometimes, He wants to develop that person’s character. Stuck behind four walls with nothing but a Bible is a good chance to get to know God better.

The hardboiled personality. 

Hardboiled is a term  used to describe someone who is just hard to deal with. Sometimes, God will put overbearing people “on the shelf” so to speak, to protect others from them. There are many fine people who love the Lord, but their lack of tact makes them very hard to deal with. A lot of strongst-jerome

Christian leaders were like this, so if this describes you, take heart. Some personality types are so strong, so forceful, that if not left in check, they can cause regular damage. It appears that the Almighty has to put some of these people “on a leash” so to speak, until they are ready to be loosed for a special project or season.

Note: I speak this from experience

You are being protected.

 

While hardboiled people are often put in isolation to protect others from them, sometimes God will put you aside to protect you. When I was a very young Christian, there were many times that I would feel the hand of God sheltering me by putting me in a state of isolation. Perhaps this meant going without a car for a season. That lack of transportation protected me from the sure temptation of going to some unsavory places that I use to frequent This was temporary, as I later was given a vehicle, after I had matured a bit. Then, there was a season when I was pregnant, and was told I needed to take it easy. Again, I found myself without a car to take me anywhere and everywhere, whenever. What could have appeared as deprivation actually proved to be a blessing. I could sense the Almighty shielding me in and keeping me safe from my own impulsiveness. I got regular sleep, and didn’t stay up all night carousing around at various places, all be they wholesome. Finally, there was a time in my life when I was going through a very emotional time. My moods ran back and forth like wild horses. It was during this turbulent season that I found myself once again, without a vehicle. Just as before, I could strongly feel the hand of God shielding me from too much freedom. If you find yourself in a situation where you seem to be “tucked away” from the outside world, it could be that God is protecting you from it.
In addition to protecting you from yourself, there are also times when God may protect a person from real danger out there. Even good, stable steady people have at times been placed in a period of isolation to protect them from malevolent forces around them. It’s entirely possible that you would be entirely unsafe if you weren’t in isolation. A good example is prisoners who are put in solitary confinement. Could it be that God is actually protecting some of them from something that is about to happen? There is no telling. Not until we get to heaven will we fully know all of the times that God has protected us from the forces of evil.

 

Training and instruction

Moses went up into the mountain for forty days, and it was there that he received the Ten Commandments. He also received the law, which included lots of rules and regulations but he wouldn’t have got all of this if he had not separated himself and gone up into the mountain. Sometimes God separates us for a season so that he can train and instruct us.

Being taught contentment

Is God really enough? Can you endure a season of isolation or loneliness without being bitter? Can you learn to rest everything in God’s hands believing that He is in control and that He knows what’s best? If you can, then you will have learned how to be content in every situation.Remember, Job? He’s the guy in the Bible who had everything taken from him…his car, (no, not really….his camel) and his livestock, his family (except a nagging wife… he got to keep her). God was testing him. Satan and God had this discussion where he told God that Job only served God because he had been so blessed by Him. The text reveals that Job was going through a time of testing to  prove to Satan that God had a people who knew that their God was really enough.

Preciousness

Has it ever occurred to you that God is hogging you all to Himself? What an honor! Isolation provides us with plenty of time for intimate fellowship with the Creator. Will this season last forever? Will the honeymoon season of isolation have an end? Who knows…enjoy it while you can!

You are needed or maybe, where you are is where you are supposed to be. A family or responsiblity might need you right where you are

The “I don’t know file”– Let’s face it…like Job, sometimes we just don’t know and we never will. God has a big “i don’t know file” and it’s sealed. But one day maybe we’ll get to read it. Dump it there and don’t worry about it.

Climatic adjustment

It takes time for a goldfish to adjust to its surroundings. If you feel trapped in a sandwich baggie, floating in the sea of uncertainty, don’t fret…you may be getting acclimated to the environment before being dumped in.

You need to move on

Are you certain that there is nothing you can do to get out of your tight space? If you are restless, it may be more than an unsubmitted heart or the protecting, nurturing hand of God; instead, your restlessness could be God’s way of prodding you to move on. Pray, and then withdraw and analyze. Maybe you do have options and aren’t exercising them.

Do you have a story to share about being isolated? Leave a comment

My one and only New Year’s Resolution


tieEarlier, I told you that a lot of people make the mistake of stopping their New Year’s resolution, when they don’t do each and every day one specific thing.

The one thing I didn’t emphasize to you, though, was how.

How to do that resolution every single day. I probably gave you the impression that it wasn’t possible to do something each day, hence, look at the year as a whole.

But this morning, at the breakfast table, I had an epiphanal moment. I realized that I can reach each and every goal I want to, and do the accompanying steps each day, if I just do this one thing (continue reading)

My (not) perfect New Year’s Resolution


 

We all do it. And fail. So what IS a perfect new year’s resolution? Well, it’s one that resolves the right thing.

A lot of people do this bait and switch thing. They say that they are going to lose weight, they even write it down, and then the first time they fudge (pun intended) and go of the rails with their psuedo diet, they quit.

Say whaaat? Dude/dudette, your resolution was to lose weight. But look what happened in your mind…

( I call it the internal mind twist).

Your resolution was to loose weight, but you switched it in your head. It started off with a goal of “lose weight” but your perfectionistic, exacting, cruel task master of a brain changed that simple resolution to a ball and chain.

Here’s what your brain told you. “This year I resolve to never, ever, under any circumstances (including death in family, divorce, job loss or any “are you kidding me?” Covid restrictions to ever ever take a bite of anything fatty.”

And then, it happens. The break up. The shut down. The isolation. The job lay off. And now, here you are sobbing in a corner with your roommates hostess ding dongs staring you in the face. And you bite.

 

I almost think that people set themselves up for failure, knowing they won’t be perfect.

Am I right? On Monday morning, doesn’t everyone jokingly ask their coworkers, “How long did it take YOU to break your resolution this year?”

(um, like….10 minutes?)

This year, write your resolution on the wall. And when you forget to

go to the gym

abstain from something

Or work on that daily do list toward your goal,

remind your self… my New year’s resolution was not a perfect year of implementation and performance. My New Years resolution was to reach that goal.

Then look at the calendar, and remind yourself how much time you have left.

Better yet, break that goal down into monthly increments.

And finally, be easy on your self. These Covid restrictions have hit all of us hard, so give yourself a break, and enjoy your favorite desert before Midnight tomorrow :>