Finding Inspiration and Motivation Every Day

Even if you absolutely love your business, it can be difficult to find daily inspiration and motivation. However, when you can wake up each day excited and ready to go, your business and your personal life will thrive. There are tremendous benefits to finding inspiration and motivation every day. Here’s how to get it done:

#1 Gratitude – Gratitude accomplishes amazing things. One way to wake up motivated and inspired is to create a habit of gratitude. Journal the things you’re grateful for at the end of every day. Or wake up and before you get out of bed, journal what you’re grateful for today. Create a habit of gratitude and you’ll establish a positive and energetic mindset. There really is so much to be grateful for.

#2 Set small goals – Long-term goals are great. However, when a goal is far off in the future, it’s tough to find motivation to achieve them. However, smaller goals can be inspiring. You can set smaller daily or weekly goals to spur inspiration and motivation. Remember to set goals that get you excited. If you’re not a money-motivated person, for example, then a monetary goal isn’t going to motivate you.

#3 Do what you love first – It’s easy to get into a ritual rut. You wake in the morning, have your coffee, check your email and start working. The thing you love to do most is often down on your priority list. This makes starting your day less than exhilarating. However, if you rearrange your daily routine and do what you love first, then getting out of bed is easy and exciting.

#4 Affirmations – Mindset is powerful. An affirmation is a positive statement that helps you create inspiration and motivation. Affirmations help reaffirm and inspire a positive mindset. Determine what’s preventing you from feeling motivated and inspired each day and create an affirmation that supports change.

#5 Reward yourself – Some days are just tough to get through. Instead of trying to avoid them or forcing yourself to push through them, reward yourself. Rewards help you stay focused on the end result and the silver lining. Additionally, a reward doesn’t have to be huge. Sometimes a simple reward like your favorite coffee drink at the local coffee shop can be enough to help you stay positive and inspired all day long.

#6 Surround yourself – One great way to stay inspired and motivated is to surround yourself with inspiration. Listen to inspiring music. Create a home office that you enjoy spending time in. Surround yourself with the things you love. It’ll make each and every day so much more enjoyable.

#7 Take time off – When most people think about taking time off, they look at annual vacations. However, it’s important to take more time off than just a week or two a year. Consider taking time off each week or month. Even a few hours or a day or two can really make a difference. It gives you time to recharge and find that original source of inspiration and motivation.

Building and growing a business is difficult. Finding inspiration and motivation can make the difference between a struggling business and discontent to a thriving business and joy. Use these seven tips to help find inspiration and motivation each and every day.

Article Marketing – Why It’s Still a Fantastic Way to Get Free SE Traffic

When it comes to tried and true marketing tactics, few have stood the test of time. However, article marketing has always been a fantastic way to get free search engine traffic. Today it’s still true. If you’re looking for a quick way to drive traffic to your website, few tactics work as well as article marketing. Here’s how to make it work for you.

#1 Create content that offers value. Article marketing works best when you’re publishing top quality content. The more value and benefit your article offers, the more attention it will get. On article marketing sites this means you’ll get more readers.

It also means you’ll have more website owners publishing your content. The more people who publish your content, the broader your exposure. From there it’s a simple process. As each person reads your article, they’ll click through to visit your website. More readers then means more website visitors.

#2 Write a headline that captures attention. Your article may be the best article ever written. However, if the headline doesn’t grab a reader’s attention, it’s probably not going to be read. No one will know how wonderful your content is. Your headline plays a very important role. To grab attention there are a number of headline styles that work. They include:

* Numbers – 10 tips to look younger today
* Benefit – Discover how to look younger today
* News – Newly discovered secret promises fountain of youth
* Question – Do you want to look younger without spending a fortune?

Take a look at headlines that attract your attention. With a little practice you can quickly discover how to write attention- grabbing headlines. Also, be sure to pay attention to the data. Look at your article data to find out what articles are published most often, what articles generate the most click throughs and what articles are read the most often. That will help you learn what your audience responds to.

#3 Make sure to include a call to action. Each article directory has its own guidelines about what’s acceptable. Some allow you to include embedded links in your content. Some allow photos and graphics. All of them allow an author’s box. This little box is where you include not only a brief sentence about who you are, but also a call to action and a link to your web page. If you’re driving traffic to your website, then you may link to your landing page.

A call to action is an important element many article marketers overlook. However, it’s essential if you want to drive traffic to your website. People need to be told what to do next. If you don’t ask them to visit your website, chances are they won’t.

Article marketing is still a very effective marketing tactic. Choose one or two quality article directories, create a content plan and start using this free marketing tactic today. You’re going to love the results.

Need Outsourcing Help?

Many extremely successful internet marketers say they would do one thing differently if they could. They say they’d outsource earlier in their business. In fact, many experts advise outsourcing almost from the very beginning. If you’ve come to a point where you’re ready to seek outsourcing help, congratulations! This is an important step. Where you go from here will help determine your success.

Your First Step

Your first step may be surprising. It’s not to start asking for referrals or to do a Google search for freelance help. Your first step is to sit down at your desk and plan.

You want to begin with a definition or a list of the tasks you need help with. These tasks will also likely include systems or a step by step of how you want the task to be accomplished. For example, if you’re outsourcing your customer service, you want to outline your customer service system so whoever you hire can step right in and do the job correctly.

You also want to plan how you’re going to outsource the task. For example, are you going to start small and outsource only a portion of the responsibility? Do you want to be able to add tasks and responsibilities as you develop a working relationship with your help? Do you want to be able to add more tasks as you can afford them? What’s your long-term outsourcing plan? That takes us to your second step.

Creating an Outsourcing Budget

How much can you afford to pay? This is going to involve two key questions:

* What is the task worth to you? (This is in terms of both time and money.)
* What is your hourly value? (How much do you make per hour?)

Your hourly value can be calculated by dividing your profits by the number of hours you work each week, month or year. For example, if you make $50,000 in profits annually and you work 2080 hours annually, then your hourly value is $24/hour. This information can help you decide if it makes financial sense to outsource a task. If it costs more than $24/hour then it might not be a wise financial step.

Where to Find Outsourcing Help

Once you have determined exactly what you’re looking for and how much you can afford to pay, then it’s time to start looking for outsourcing help. You can find good contractors in a number of places.

1. Ask associates for referrals
2. Network online
3. Search engines
4. Freelance websites like Elance
5. Search engines

Evaluating Your Candidates

Once you have a few candidates in mind, review their work samples and references and consider giving them a test project. You want to evaluate their communication skills, professionalism and ability to do the job you requested.

Maintaining the Relationship

Once you’ve had the opportunity to work with a few contractors and you’ve found the people you work best with, there are a few things you’ll want to do to ensure they stick around. The first thing is to work together to determine a method for communication that works for both of you. Some people communicate well with email. Others prefer phone calls or instant messaging. Make sure this communication system is established and works for both of you. Additionally, flexibility, constructive feedback and consistent work all help keep a contractor happily working for you.

Top Viral Marketing Tactics

If you’re like other motivated entrepreneurs, viral marketing plays an important role in your marketing strategy. Viral marketing, when successful, has the ability to skyrocket awareness and profits.

What Is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is content that’s captured the attention of the mainstream consumer. It’s content that people bookmark, forward, post on social networking sites and link to. Viral content has the ability to spread from one corner of the globe to the other. It spreads like a virus and can change a business overnight.

Nine Top Viral Marketing Tactics

First, let’s be clear. Viral marketing is content marketing. However, when you’re creating your content, your goal broadens. You want to offer value to your prospects and customers. However, you also want to go beyond offering basic value. You want the content to be so compelling that it goes viral. There are several types of content that can help you reach your viral marketing goals.

#1 Lists – People love lists. In fact there are many popular books that are nothing more than a long list. For example 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. This book was a big seller and was nothing more than a long, and perhaps humorous, list. Lists are easily downloaded and shared, and they’re often linked to. They make great viral content. Think about your audience and the value they’re seeking. What lists can you provide that might go viral?

#2 Quizzes – Ever notice that just about every magazine has some sort of quiz inside? That’s because people like their content to be interactive. Quizzes offer the opportunity to learn something about yourself or reinforce something you know about yourself. They also allow you to interact. Quizzes, like lists, can be funny, interesting and informative for the user or interesting and informative for you. You can use a quiz to learn more about your prospects and customers.

#3 Tools – Tools are things people can use. One great example of a tool might be an iPod application or a downloadable worksheet. A tool is also something that makes your prospect’s life easier. It offers value.

#4 Video – Video may be the most popular type of viral content. Most often the videos that go viral are funny, but they can also be informative or heart wrenching. Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture is an example of a viral video that is heart breaking and inspirational at the same time. Explore your audience’s needs and preferences and then brainstorm ideas for a video.

#5 Images – Photos and cartoons are common viral images. They can capture an idea, make people laugh, or inspire them to take action.

#6 “How to” content – When it comes to standard content forms, it doesn’t get better than the “How To”. Your “How To” content can be video, audio, or print – whatever your audience responds to.

#7 Funny story (or meaningful/touching story) – Humor tends to be the most popular type of viral content found online. However, a touching story, life lesson, or an inspirational story also spreads quickly. If you have a story to share, craft it well, make it public and then share.

#8 Controversy – Loud opinions about situations always stir up a controversy. Many people will want to weigh in and share their opinion too. Reports are a great way to create viral marketing content that’s controversial. Blog posts work quite well too because they provide people with a format to respond. One way to capitalize on controversy is to create a free report, promote it and discuss it on your blog. This way you’re reaching your audience quickly and the viral report will spread quickly.

#9 Sweepstakes, contests and giveaways – Finally, the last type of content that can easily go viral is a contest or sweepstakes. This is because everyone likes to get something for free and everyone likes to win. The bigger the prize, the more quickly word will spread. For example, if you’re giving away an iPad on your blog, you’ll likely gain a ton of traffic. People will be linking to your blog and there will be quite a commotion. Give away a free report and you’re not going to have as much activity. The key to capitalizing on this type of viral content is to build your opt-in list at the same time.

Creating viral content is the first step to a successful campaign. You’ll also want to integrate it into your overall marketing strategy. Use every tool available to get the word out quickly.

How to Show Appreciation to Customers During The Holidays

Where would you be without your customers? You’d be knocking on doors trying to get new customers, right? One of the keys to business success is to take great care of your customers for without them, you wouldn’t have a business. The holidays are the perfect time to express your gratitude and to show your appreciation. It’s easy to do and sometimes a little token of your gratitude can go a long way toward creating a lifelong business relationship.

Here’s how to show your appreciation to customers during the holidays.

#1 Gifts.
One of the most common ways to show a customer you appreciation is to give them a holiday gift. Many businesses go the way of the marketing device. They give away pens, notebooks, calendars, magnets with their company logo and contact information on them. Small items that have value and can be used to simultaneously market your business. These are nice ideas. They don’t cost too much and they’re an easy way to say thank you.

However, they can also be a bit unimaginative. If you want to be unique, and be remembered for your thoughtful gift, consider stepping away from the marketing gadget. Consider giving something that’s related to your business or your customer’s needs.

For example, if you own an information site on the niche topic of office organizing, you could send labels or a storage box to your customers. A pet niche could send a sample of pet food, personally wrapped pet treats or even a grooming tool. If you’re in the fitness or health niche you could send a water bottle or a few hand wrapped energy bars. The thought you put into your holiday gift can go a long way toward endearing your customer to you. And it’s just a nice way to say thank you!

#2 Holiday Cards
Many businesses skip the whole gift giving concept. It can be very costly. Instead, they stick with a good old fashioned holiday card. This is a wonderful way to say thank you and to show your appreciation. However, to give your holiday card giving the right degree of attention, consider hand writing a note inside each one.

It may seem laborious. You can hire an assistant to do the job for you. However, a personal message is a lot more effective than a stamp or pre-printed message. It shows your customer that you really do care.

#3 Promotions and Discounts
Finally, consider giving your customer something they really want – a discount or a special promotion. For example, you could send a special promotion code to your customers this holiday season. Offer them something for free when they make a purchase. Make sure the promotion ahs a holiday message and demonstrates your appreciation for their business. If you don’t want to make the freebie contingent on a purchase, just send them a coupon or a note telling them how to collect their freebie. There are many ways you can make this a fantastic holiday gift.

When considering how to show your customers your gratitude this holiday season, consider what they would appreciate the most. Then follow through with a message that shows your appreciation. Take advantage of the season to strengthen your business relationships!