Interview with Janet Kwan – Lifestyle Commercial Photographer

I have recently interviewed a very talented Lifestyle Commercial Photographer Janet Kwan. I came across her work through Instagram and couldn’t take off my eyes from her beautiful and clean works. Her photography style is great if you want to build a clean, light, modern brand.

Photography is a competitive field. Nowadays with having good quality cameras on the phones it is getting harder than ever to have a successful photography business. But it takes one so many photoshoots, and eye training to be able to capture a photo that can tell a story and make connection with audiences. And this type of photography is what businesses need to improve their online look.

If you are in the field of photography don’t get discouraged. Just keep shooting and look at great works to train your eyes. Make sure to tell clients you are not just a photographer. You are a storyteller. Businesses need to make connection with their target market and the best way is through storytelling and beautiful images. And this is what you do.

I have done this interview with Janet to inspire you if you are interested in this field and answer some of the questions you might have.

By the way don’t forget to follow her beautiful work @janetkwan.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? When did you start photography? Where is your location? What type of clients do you have?
My name is Janet Kwan and I’m a lifestyle commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. My clients range from small business owners to large companies who need professional lifestyle photos to elevate their marketing and branding.

I started photography as a hobby in 2009, but I usually carried a camera with me even before that. I started my photography business in 2016.

Did you have any training or was it self-taught?
I like to say that I’m self/peer/Internet-taught. Without the help of others, it would have taken me much longer to learn completely by myself.

When you started did you always know your style or did it change over time?
I didn’t have my own style when I started. I was just learning how to reverse engineer the photos I really liked. Over time, I gravitated towards a more clean, minimal and bright style so I focused on developing that. I don’t limit myself to only shooting in that way, but it is what I intentionally work on.

When starting your journey did you have any challenges? Like finding clients? Keeping yourself motivated? Creating your website and online portfolio? How did you overcome those challenges?
Yes, I definitely had some challenges! Like many creatives, the challenge I faced was the imposter syndrome, being able to own the fact that I am now a professional photographer. Another challenge was the fear of not getting work on a semi-consistent basis. Being self-employed, finances are always on my mind, but that motivates me to connect with people and create new work which opened the door for opportunities.

How do you connect with your target audience? And how do you find your clients?
Because I had been doing photography on the side before turning it into a full-time business, I had already cultivated relationships with clients and word of mouth played a huge role in getting new clients. This also helped to lay the ground work and build my portfolio.

Besides word of mouth, social media (especially Instagram) has been a great tool for potential clients to find my work. I also get inquiries through Google. I don’t use paid ads but I write with SEO in mind so that’s helped to boost search results.

How much of your daily tasks would you say is creative and how much is business?
That’s a great question. What many don’t realize is that business tasks take up a large portion of your time. If I were to divide my tasks into two, my actual time spent behind the camera takes up about 30-40% and everything else (emails, marketing, shoot prep, bookkeeping, etc) is 60-70%.What is the definition of success in your mind for your business?

Success in my business is using photography for a greater purpose. It’s not just about taking nice photos. It’s the reason behind the photos. If I can help someone, a cause, or a business with my work, I will have succeeded.

What is the big next step you see in front of you?
I’ve already been shifting away from wedding photography to focus on lifestyle commercial photography so the next big step is to grow a different client base.

How much collaboration do you do with other professionals?
I collaborate with other self-employed creatives every couple of months. Most of us don’t have office coworkers so it’s a great way to meet peers and work together.Do you do any networking? And do you see any benefits in networking with like-minded people?
I rarely ever attend networking events. It’s not how I connect and build relationships, but it works for some people. Creating a community through collaborations and referrals is much more effective for me.

Is there anything you’d like to add for those who are interested to start doing what they love but are afraid from the challenges that come their way?

  • Before making the leap, set out the reasons and purpose for why you want to pursue your passion. While there will definitely be challenges, focus on that purpose, the reason you started.
  • There will be times when you feel like you’re failing or want to quit. Don’t be afraid to take a step back, reassess your methods and ask for help and guidance from someone more experienced.
  • Don’t quit too soon. If you’ve done all you can and you no longer feel the same drive, go back to what you originally wanted to achieve and decide if that’s still your goal. If it is, keep going. If not, give yourself permission to find another purpose.


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8 Secrets to Copy that Connects and Converts

Copy is words that you write any where on your site, social media, ads,… that relates to your business and brand. Copy plays a big role in attracting your consumers attention to your business and in making the right connection with them. Copy has the power to make you money or send your consumer off your website to someone else’s. Copy writing is very important these days and there are many experts out there that their job is to write a good copy for you to introduce your brand, products, and services to your audience.

If you like writing, it is always a good idea to try to write your own copy. You know your products or services better than any one else and you are the passion and brand behind what you are offering. So you can be the best person describing what you have, to your audience.

Here I am covering few secrets, tips and tricks that would instantly improve your copy writing and make what you write stick in mind.

1- Clarity: it is very important to write a copy that is crystal clear to your audience. You want to answer questions not make questions. You have to know exactly what you want to talk about and simply talk about that. Don’t write overly clever copy or cluttered copy. What you write should be easy to understand.

2- Personality: don’t write like a robot. You can easily give some personality and voice to your copy when you write like how you talk. One trick to do that is to use contractions. So instead of writing “You will”, write “you’ll”, instead of writing “I am”, write “I’m”. You’ll see that how this one quick and simple trick changes the the tone of your copy. Make sure to find your voice and use that in all your copies.

3- Resonance: no matter what field you’re in, there are always words that you use in your field that your audience don’t know about and don’t use at all. You’re writing for them, so make sure you know their language. What words they are using to describe your services, products, and what you do. Find those words and use those only in your copy to make sure they understand you. One way is to listen to your consumer when they talk about their problems. Another way is to use Google Trends to compare words and see which ones are used more.

4- Simple: you have probably heard this “Less is More”. Tell people 10 things and they won’t remember anything. Tell them one thing, not only they’ll remember than one thing, you’ll also make them curious to learn more. One good example is First MacBook Air Ad in 2008. They could go on and on about all the features it has and once the ad is finished you’ll forget most of them. But instead they only picked one feature they wanted you to know and that is how thin the macbook is. And then they simplified what they wanted you to know by comparing it with something you already know very well “an envelop”. Click here to see the ad
Now, is there any way that you would forget about this feature after the ad is finished?

5- Unexpected: violate expectations by breaking the pattern. When writing your copy, or making your ad you can put patterns one after another to make something logical and meaningful in your readers’ mind. And then one trick to make it stick is to unexpectedly break that pattern. This also opens a curiosity gap and make your audience want to know more.

6- Concrete: Use words that people can see in their mind.  For example instead of saying property crime, you can use shattered glasses. Or instead of using estate tax you can use death tax.

7- Credible: make your message credible. Make your audience believe in what you have said. One way that is mostly used is statistics. While they are good and adds to your message credibility, they are numbers and numbers often don’t stick. They are hard to remember. Usually once people read numbers they say wow that is a good point but later on they can’t remember. Or sometimes numbers are just meaning less because they are not used in comparison with anything else. So what you can do is to use statistics in a way that is easy to understand, relate, and remember. Here is an example: if you want to say movie popcorns have lots of fat, instead of saying movie popcorns have 40 grams of fat you can say  a medium sized movie popcorn contains more fat than a bacon and egg breakfast, a big mac, and fries for lunch, and dinner steak with all the trimmings – combined! You see now you are talking to your audience in a way that they can understand and remember.

8- Emotional Stories: you can use emotions to make people care about what you are saying. See what emotion you want your audience to feel. If you don’t know the answer, you can simply ask questions. Here is one example: Why people want to use my product? because they want to lose weight. Why do they want to lose weight? because they want to fit and look great in the clothes they love to wear. Why do they care about this? because wearing what they want and looking great in their clothes give them confidence to speak louder, hold their head high, and communicate better.This is one simple example to give you a hint on the emotion that you want your consumer to feel. Which in this case is confidence and self-love. Now you can write your copy addressing this emotion and make the right connection with your audience and how they want to feel.


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Your Guide to attract more customers online

If you have a business you most likely have a website. If you don’t, well you should definitely act now and put yourself online because you are missing big on opportunities.

If you have a website, then you have probably heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is about increasing your website’s visibility to your potential clients and customers when they search for products or services similar to what you offer.

To get that visibility

  • You have to know your customers, what they want, and how you can help them.
  • You have to know about search engines and how they go through your site to understand if it is related to what people are looking for or not.
  • And you need to know how to promote your business online so that people will trust and contact you.

There are many factors that impact your website SEO success, such as:

Technical: This is about your website and how well it is made to communicate with the search engines. It is about speed of your site, your website structure, URL structure, indexing, coding, and many more…

On-page: This is about your website content. Anything that you have on your site such as text and images, videos, and the code that holds your site.

Off-page: This is anything that bring your business attention but is not on your website. Off page SEO is used to bring your business and your website, trust, authority, and show search engines and visitors that you are related to what you claim you are. Off-page SEO includes link building, PPC (ads), reviews, and social media marketing.

Now this Search Engine Optimization have been in place for many years and many businesses and people are benefiting by getting it right and gaining trust and attention from their target market.

You can bring things to another level by thinking about “New SEO” or “Search Experience Optimization”.

Search Experience Optimization is optimizing your website for your target market in all the places your brand could possibly appear.

93% of online experiences start from search engine. This means that search engine can be your biggest advertisement medium to show your brand and business.


When searching for a product or service google uses different ways to show you results. It shows “Ad” above organic results. This means on desktop you might be able to see only one organic result above the fold and on mobile you will only see ads. This should give you a hint that if you want to be visible you might want to try ads to reach more people.

Google’s Knowledge Graph

It also shows results on Google’s Knowledge Graph which displays basic information about your business such as Location, phone number, Ratings, reviews, hours of operation, and link to your website. This is an amazing opportunity to give your users an instant and quick information about your business. Sometimes people don’t go beyond these info and once they see your ratings, reviews, and location they will just give you a call right away. So you have to make sure that you are using this important real estate on the search engine results page to maximize your business awareness, website traffic, and conversion.

Local businesses are benefiting from Google’s Knowledge Graph with minimum effort. Here is an example:

SEO in 2018As you can see in this photo, if you give information to Google it collects all it finds to put in front of people for you.

To get the most out of your Google Knowledge Graph just make sure your business is integrated with Google+.

Use Schema Markup to communicate better with search engines. Try to get listed at Wikipedia or Wikidata.

Optimize your Google My Business page and Google Maps and create Social Media profiles.

Make sure you are on youtube, or on third party websites like yelp and amazon. Try to be visible as much as possible.

Optimize it for People

When optimizing the content of your website, optimize it for people. Get to know what your target is looking for, how they search, what keywords they use, and with voice search what they may say and optimize the content according to these keywords. Google understands the context of your content so you don’t need to over use the keywords. Make sure the content is useful and as natural as possible. Keep in mind that you want to give a good experience to the viewers of your website. You want to give them what they are looking for and make their job easier when making the decision.

If you want to know what people are looking for, you can use Google Autocomplete, People also ask, Related searches to learn about what people are looking for. This gives you a great idea on your keywords as well as how you can help your consumers.

Website Speed & Mobile First

You want your content be accessible fast regardless of what device people are using. Slow loading pages impacts your SEO performance and user experience. Having a mobile responsive and mobile friendly website that shows your site in a readable and easy to navigate way is a must have. Google crawls and indexes mobile sites first. So if your website doesn’t have a mobile version you will miss on this one.


Here are things you can start taking care of right now and keep going with it to make sure you are using your opportunities in 2018 to become more visible and hopefully make more conversion by attracting right traffic to your website.

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The Truth About Your Calling

I was watching this video today “The Truth About Your Calling” with Seth Godin and Marie Forleo. It is an interesting talk that makes you think about your choices and things you want to do in life. It is a very easy to understand interview that takes off the pressure of “what I should be doing” from your shoulder and makes you relax to just go and try. To fail and be happy. To push the buzzer before you know the answer.

We are living in a world that everyone is under pressure of becoming the perfect version of themselves. And “Perfect” has a very narrow and specific meaning that is defined through media. When perfect is defined this way more and more people become followers than leaders and more and more people get tired and give up after some attempts.

We should appreciate people that do their best to show we are perfect in every sense we are with all our failures and all our imperfections. We are perfect not because we do everything right, but because we fail and we grow. This way of thinking would make us a leader and not just a follower. And this world right now needs more leaders.

Here are some quotes from the video that I really liked.

“Schools should teach people to lead and teach them to solve interesting problems.”
“Raising free range kids means teaching kids to fail at solving interesting problems because that’s the only way you ever get at solving interesting problems.”
“Don’t wait for the right answer because there are no right answer. There are challenges we can sign up for and emotions we can experience. Your life doesn’t get more sensational when you have more followers on twitter. That’s not what you out to be keeping score of.”
“Productivity is an economic measure of how much you output for the amount of time and resources you put in. Some people have figured out how to be naturally more productive than others per minute, and the way you do that is by having an instinct to ship. Most people hesitate to ship not because it is not ready but because they are afraid.”

“You gain trust and permission to talk to people by showing up in a way that you’d want someone to show up for you.”

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What is Branding and Why is it important for your business success?

What is Branding and Why is it important for your business success?

Brand is about meaning. It is what your customers and audiences carry about you in their heads and hearts. It is what they feel, think, hear, imagine, and expect from you. Your brand is about your business values. It is what makes you stand out among your competitors. It is the context and story of your business and what you do. Your brand is not about the design, colors, and logo of your business. Most people think of these when they think about their brand. When thinking of your brand you need to see what you want to be remembered for. How you want your audiences to think about you, your services, or products.

One of the great examples of an outstanding brand is Nike. People usually associate Nike with these meanings: achievements, sport, design/technology, fashion, quality, expensive, high-profile sponsorship figures,…

When designing your brand you need to go through the meanings you want to associate with your business. That usually comes from your values, story behind your business, the purpose of what you are doing. Once you have these meanings set, you and all your employees should commit to these values and do the job on a daily basis accordingly.

According to Denise Lee Yohn, brand building consultant and author of “What Great Brands Do” there are 7 principles that great brands follow. You can build a powerful brand following these same 7 principles:

1) Great brands start inside

Develop greatness among your employees. Make sure your employees know about the meanings and values of your brand. You need to train them on how they can best perform to deliver greatness to the customers.

For a quick fix, analyse your business and find the gaps between what the values are being said and what is actually being performed.

Culture is the first step when you are going to define your brand. All employees should focus on making the great, unique customer experiences based on the values of the business.

2) Great brands avoid selling products.

Make emotional connection with your consumers. Ads should be about customers. Nike’s Just Do It ad is a great example. This ad is not about Nike’s products superiority. It is all about their customers. It is about consumer achievements.

As Yohn says:” People make product decisions based on how that product make them feel. And product features are secondary that only serve the support to that emotional connection”.

3) Great brands sweat the small stuff

Every communication matters. Pay attention to every single detail. Every communication and interaction with your customers should follow your values and brands’ meanings. Customer experience has a great impact on your business success.

4) Great brands never have to give back

Yohan says “Great brands have no need to “give back” to society in the form of charitable contributions because they employ a more integrated approach, as they do in all aspects of their business”.

These brands create shared values for their employees, customers, investors and communities and they use the power of their brands to inspire change to have a beneficial impact on the society.

5) Great brands commit and stay committed

To build a strong brand commit to the core of your brand. There will be temptations and pressures to make changes to your  brand especially by competitors priorities, organizational politics, reaching your top-line revenue goals. But bringing your focus to the core of your brand and staying committed is a good way to stay away from those temptations.

One example is Shake Shack’s restaurant. The CEO is willing to sacrifice short-term profit to maintain brand integrity. “We get asked to cater all the time, but we fight it” says Garutti CEO of Shake Shack. “We want you to come to Shake Shack. We had even bought the vehicle but I wasn’t convinced the product would be as good and so we scrapped the idea and ate the investment’.

6) Great brands don’t chase customers

Great brands don’t chase customers. They attract their ideal customers by staying true to what they stand for.

Brands with confidence and integrity attract loyal and high quality customers.

Lululemon CEO says in response to the fact that their products are priced a good deal higher than their competitors that “ If you want the cheapest product out there, there are plenty of places where you can find what you’re looking for. But you’d be hard-pressed to find the level of quality and innovation in fabrics and finishes that we offer. And there’s a cost with doing that, so that’s why our prices are what they are. We don’t try to appeal to everybody.”

7) Great brands ignore trends

Trends are trends. They come and go. It might be tempting for a short-term attraction to go with trends. But they change quickly and by following trends you would put your brand identity at risk. “If you are out to build a brand, you have to know what is real and right for you” Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue.


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5 steps to improve your website SEO

In order for your website to be found you need to Optimize your website for Search Engines to find your business online. You need to make sure the search engines such as google can actually read and understand your website in order to put it in front of their customers (those that are searching the keywords). Search engines should be able to read your website to see what it is about and also they need to find out if it is attractive to the viewer. By attractive I mean if it is exactly what they are looking for, and your website would deliver what they need, or can answer their questions, the pages are not broken, and it is useful, and view able on their device.

You need to communicate with search engines first through your website so that they show your site to the viewer.

Search engines are getting smarter but that doesn’t mean they can read your mind and intentions. You have to make sure you can communicate to the search engines about who you are, what you do, how professional you are in your field and how you can help people that are looking for your products or services.

Here are 5 very important steps you can take today to make sure you are communicating with the search engines in a right way.

  1. Keywords: you need to make sure you know your keywords. Keywords are words that describe your business. And once you have your keywords you need to make sure to use the keywords in the urls and content of your site. Don’t over do it. Keep in mind that you don’t want to force anything. If you do it right search engines will find you. So use the keywords naturally in the content and the urls. For instance if you are a fitness coach in Toronto one of your keywords can be toronto fitness coach or fitness trainer in Toronto and other keywords related to losing weight and getting fit and healthy.
  2. Accessibility: Is your website visible on all devices? Is it user friendly and easy to navigate? Can users find what they are looking for easily on the site? Is it mobile responsive and mobile friendly? Is your site consistent using different browsers? What is the load time? You want a website that loads fast, people won’t wait for your site to load. Your site should be user and mobile friendly meaning that people can easily find what they are looking for and on mobile it is also easy to navigate. You need to have your site mobile responsive. Accessibility is all about user experience and how they see your site and browse through it to find what they are looking for.
  3. Setup your social media profiles, and put your location in the exact format you have on your contact page. This is very important for your local SEO. You need to have your location address in the same format everywhere on the internet.
  4. Get reviews, on google and other websites where customers can write about their experience. Ask your happy customers for reviews. And don’t worry about negative comments. The negative ones are actually an opportunity for you to answer them and show your care and customer service.
  5. Links are important for your website. Find authority websites in your field and contact them and see how you can have them post your link. Having links on other websites show search engines that you have something of interest to people. Make sure you don’t post your link on spam websites. This has negative effect on your seo.

Once you have these, you can use services such as google analytics to see the number of visits to your site, duration, and many more information that help you easily learn about your customers’ behavior and learn about the performance of your site. This is a very valuable information. You have to always set goal, monitor, measure, and make changes accordingly to your site to see improvement and results.


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Can I take care of my own Online Marketing?

Who doesn’t want to save some money by taking care of their own online marketing? The big question is that Is it possible?

Yes, of course. It is possible and if you can’t find a good marketer to take care of it for you it is always a great idea to do it yourself. Because without marketing there is no business.

How can you take care of your own online marketing?

You can start reading about it. First you should understand what is online marketing all about. In short it is how you brand and present yourself online. It is how visible you are to those who are searching for services such as yours. And it is about making the right first impression. And turn the visitors into customers.

Digital marketing works best when you know your business well. When your business model is strong and you already know your uniqueness, and what differentiates you from your competitors.

Sometimes it is hard to see all the great things you have which makes you different from others in your field. So from now on listen to your happy clients and ask them what they thought about you and your services. These will give you good reviews to share on your site and social media. And these reviews will make you understand what people and your clients see in you.

There are two parts for a successful Online Marketing. One is Creative and another is Technical. The technical part is about things that have to be done on your website. There are many things that should be done right when your website is built to make sure search engines can find your site when people look for your services.

Things like headers, content, tags, code, image names,… If you don’t have access to the back-end of your site and if you can’t make changes to it then you can’t do this on your own and you would definitely need help. You can of course ask someone to teach you on how you can take care of this part. It shouldn’t take long to learn about it. The tricky part is to be committed and actually put time to do these things.

The creative part is how you want to present yourself and your brand and how you want to be different with others. This is where images, videos, promotions, social media, and content come handy. Think blue sky and write all creative things you can imagine to make the connection with your target market and show your uniqueness. Once you have a list start doing them one by one.

For instance if you are a dentist, see what are some common questions of your patients. And star answering those questions. Make videos and introduce the staff and your office.

If you are amazing with kids, make sure to make videos and take photos that shows that. Start helping and writing useful content on social media and on your blog.

You can also start connecting with your potential clients through other activities. For instance if you are a dentist who is also a professional tennis player start connecting with people through talking about tennis on social media. Or if you like movies share what you like and make suggestions. Your patients and clients are using different channels and have different interests. They can find you even when they are not specifically looking for your services.

So, yes you can take care of your online marketing as long as you take care of it :)

Sometimes businesses don’t ask for online marketing help to save money but they end up losing money and clients that could be theirs. Monitor your progress. Monitoring and measuring is a very important part in online marketing. If you see you are not making progress definitely get help. And if you see yourself busy with work then ask an expert to help you on your online marketing. Someone who cares about your business and success as much as you do.




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How to Become Financially Independent

Financially independent is someone who is making money based on their own resources. The good thing about being financially independent is that you can become one at any age. You have to be at least 15 or 16 to receive wages but you can be financially independent any time at any age.

First you need to know you have to bring value to the market. The bigger the value the bigger the income. You can always improve yourself and become more valuable. There is no limit to it. Having this in mind, it make sense why in a company one person gets $1000 in a month and another $4000 and another person $100,000. It is because they are different in the value they are bringing to the company.

There is always room to develop your skills. To learn more, and make yourself more valuable.

Look at your past and let it teach you. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from your achievements. Try to change  things that led you to failure and do the same things that led you to your current achievements.

Don’t hold your past as a burden. If there are things in it that bother you, I highly recommend get rid of those memories.  Don’t let them come to your mind. Be in charge of what comes to your mind and don’t let your thoughts control you and your decisions. Nothing is worse than having no control over your body, mind, and time.

Learn from others. Ask questions. Find those that are in the same situation you want to be and ask them how they have got there. Observe, and listen. Be coachable. put your ego aside, observe, listen and learn. Learn as much as you can. Sometimes you don’t even need to contact that person. If you search their name their biography and so many videos and interviews come up. Listen to them. Believe in what they say and do it. As I said be coachable you can’t go far in life if you put your ego ahead of you.

Keep a journal. You can’t keep everything in your memory. Always have a journal with you. I personally use google docs. It is easier for me because I have access to it on my phone and I have my phone with me almost all the time except when I intentionally get break from it.

In google doc you can have different folders for different purposes. Write your ideas. Write whenever you hear something good. Write even the words you hear and inspire you. Put and keep everything in your journal. Write your daily goals. Put images as part of your vision board.

When setting goals break them down into small tasks and focus on them one at a time. Once it is done cross over that and feel the joy of achievement.

Set big goals. Don’t go for easy. Make it always a little hard. Goals are not there to be achieved. They are there for what they will make of you to achieve it. You’ll change, you’ll develop, and you’ll become more valuable when you set your goals higher than what you are. It is not what you get that makes you valuable, it is what you become.

Learn how to deal with money. This has to start from the first time we receive our first dollar. We should be taught on what to do with that dollar or we’ll waste it. Whatever we do with that one dollar will become our habit when we grow up.

Jim Rohn says you have to have the right philosophy. There are two philosophies. Philosophy of the poor: they spend their money and invest what is left. Philosophy of the rich: they invest their money and spend the rest.

Now what do we have to teach that child with a dollar in hand?

Never spend more than 70 cents. Whet to do with the 30 cents? 10 cents go to a charity. 10 cents go to a worthy project. Projects that you believe in. Next 10 cents is called Passive Capital. You let someone else use this 10 cents to make profit and they pay you for the use of it which is called interest. You can lend it to financial institutions, you can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc..

So many great financial advisers talk about compound interest. It is interest over interest which over a sustained period of time will become huge. This can be a game changer for you. The sooner you start the sooner you’ll become financially independent.

Let’s teach our kids how they should spend their first dollar and make them ready to become financially independent in the future.

It is never too late for anyone to start spending their money wiser and use this technique to become financially independent. At the end what we really want is to feel good about ourselves and our future. In order to get that feeling we have to build it today.



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4 Techniques Navy Seals Use to deal with FEAR that you can too

Fear is one important aspect of our lives. It keeps us alive and it also prevents us from moving forward. The Human Brain documentary shows that we can actually train our brain and have control over it. We can train our brain to be able to deal with fear so that we can still  move, make rational decisions and don’t panic.

The history shows that mistakes are almost always associated with fear or panic. The best place to learn how to deal with fear is navy seals training where trainees are introduced to absolute chaos and struggle from the first day to train their mind and learn how they can minimize making mistakes by training their mind to handle fear.

Before getting into how Navy Seals deal with fear we should first learn how brain works and why we panic.

Brain weighs 3 pounds yet consumes 20% of the fuel that body receives to be able to function. The first part of the brain is called Brain Stem. This part is responsible to keep us alive. It is the part that is common between humans and other reptiles and mammals. This part of the brain is in charge of heart rate, digestion, blood pressure and almost anything else that keeps us alive and we do subconsciously on a day to day basis.

The next part above this is AMYGDALA which handles emotional reactions. Amygdala is as small as a finger nail and we have one in each part of our brain. One of the strongest emotions we have is fear and panic.

The Frontal Lobe is the conductor of our body. This is the part that makes us most human. Frontal Lobe is in charge of decision making, problem solving, and thinking.

The reason we freeze when we are in a fearful situation is that information gets to Amygdala twice as fast as it takes to get to the Frontal Lobe. Because of this reason when we feel fear we freeze and panic before being able to think and decide about a rational reaction.

Navy Seals training minimizes these delays by teaching accurate and fast reactions to fearful situations. Trainees will be faced with many struggles from the first day. They’ll learn how to react to these struggles so the delay in brain for problem solving won’t bother them anymore and won’t cause panic and freeze due to not having any clue on how to react to that specific situation.

The way brain communicates with body is through sending electrical signals through nerve cells to other parts of the body. These signals travel with a speed of 270 mph. When we are under extreme stress brain communicates in another way. Amygdala triggers a chain reaction that releases stress hormone to our blood and this hormone prepares our body to react to the situation.

This is when you feel fast breathing, faster heart rate, and blood pressure. This hormone also makes memory sharper, and our body less sensitive to pain.

So now that you know how brain dictates and how body reacts to fear let’s see how Navy Seals training helps trainees to deal with fear. Almost all failings through the training comes from this phase where trainees have to overcome their fear. Through this set of 4 techniques however they have reduced the amount of failures.

Goal Setting, Mental Rehearsal, Self Talk, and Arousal Control are 4 techniques used in the mental toughness program to control fear even in the most extreme situations.

Goal Setting: it is done by using the Frontal Lobe of the brain as this part is responsible for reasoning, and planning. Goal setting brings structure to the brain in chaos and keeps Amygdala in check. Goals should be broken down to small and very specific tasks. This way you bring the focus only to a small part of what you have to do instead of making your brain worry about what is going to happen next.

This way of setting goals is amazing if you want to achieve anything you want in life. Although it is good to have a big picture of the end result but you definitely have to break down that big picture into small sets of goals and bring your focus on only one goal until you finish it.

If you are confused on what to do today, pick only one thing and tell yourself I only need to finish this. And make that one goal your main goal and believe that this is the only thing you need to do to win. Now your brain won’t shift to other tasks and is not worried about what is going to happen next.

Mental Rehearsal or Visualization: this is where your imagination comes to help you. Visualize a situation and set of activities you do to handle that situation. Once visualizing make sure you visualize the perfect reaction you can have. This helps greatly with whatever you do in your real life.

I have personally tried this with my music lessons. When I had problem moving my hand smoothly to play a piece of music I closed my eyes and visualized playing that piece perfectly. I saw my hand and wrist moving in their best way to play the piece smooth without pauses. Once your brain picks the right reaction and sees the pictures you are imagining and learns how to move your hand then you will need way less time to perfectly play that piece of music. Visualization is as important as practicing whatever you do in life to train your brain and body.

Self-Talk: you have probably heard it many times that you are what you think about. Did you know you can actually rewrite brain signals that come from your brain to your body with what you think about and how you talk to yourself? An average person talks to herself between 300 to 1000 words. Why not making all these words positive when we know it impacts our brain and its ability to push us through hard times? If it is possible to overwrite the brains signals why don’t we use “I can do it” instead of “I can’t do it”? Why say negative words when we can say positive words and become stronger?

Frontal Lobe  is always active. So it is easy to get in trap and have negative thoughts. It is easy to see a situation and think you can’t handle it because of lack of training, lack of strength, lack of support which ends up convincing you to give up. make sure you are always conscious about what you think and that you are always thinking positive pushing yourself to achieve more and get stronger.

Arousal Control: this is breathing technique. Slow breathing with long exhales mimics the body relaxation process. Once you practice breathing slow your body relaxes and more oxygen gets into your brain to think and come up with ideas.

These are 4 techniques that you need to combine in order to train your brain handle stressful and fearful situations and help you get through what it feels is impossible.




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Four Seasons of Life and Business

We can learn many great lessons from life and nature. Jim Rohn teaches us a great lesson looking at the four seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Your life, business, or even your days will have winter. You may feel one or more seasons on a same day. Winter is when you feel under pressure. When you feel you can’t keep up with the amount of work you have to do. It is when things are harder for you. No one can say they haven’t experienced winter in their life. We can’t do anything to prevent it from coming. What you need to do is to be ready for your life’s and business winter time.

You need to know your plan when winter hits. When you run out of money. When ideas stop coming. When your hands are tight. When you don’t have energy. When you feel lonely.

Your brain needs to know how to handle winter before it comes. Otherwise, it gives you panic. This is even how navy seals are trained. There is a very small part in the brain that is in charge of our emotional reactions. This part of the brain receives information twice as fast as the frontal lob which is in charge of problem solving, reasoning and thinking.

So if you are not prepared beforehand, when you come across a problem your brain sends panic signals to your body and once you panic your mind freezes and you will have reactions that might cost you. That is why navy seals are trained in hard situations so that they will be ready to face hard situations in the battle field and real world.

How ready are you for your winters? If you want to make the right decisions you have to start planning now. You have to be ready. If you wake up in the morning and you see yourself tired without energy, that might be the winter of your day. If you don’t set a plan to what you have to do on those days to give you back your energy, you might end up lying down the whole day.

For some, it is reading few pages of a specific book. Some meditate. Some people go for a walk in nature. Whatever it is for you, you need to set it before those situations happen so you will be ready instead of giving up.

After winter, spring comes. This is where you are in your best situation. You have lots of opportunities. This is when you have to be active. You have to act fast as this season can pass quickly. Do as much work as you can. This is not the time to sleep.

After spring comes summer. Summer is when pests come around. This is when you have gained a lot in spring and feel the taste of success but you will get attacked. Are you ready for this season? You will be attacked no matter what you do as long as you are successful. Your ideas, works, projects will be attacked if they are performing well. You need to know this and be ready for it.

Fall is the harvest time. It is when you will see the results. The result of your actions. This is the time you have to enjoy for what you have achieved. And don’t be apologetic. You also have to take responsibility for what you haven’t achieved. This season is all about results that you can learn from and get ready for winter. Reflect on your actions and make adjustments.

Are you ready for the four seasons of your Life and Business?

Let’s plan now. When you see your business is not growing or it is going down, know that it is winter time. Go back to your plans and what you thought would help for this time of your business and apply them.

Do as much as you can during springs when you see opportunities.

Be prepared for summer and the feedback you will get from others. Get though this phase and don’t break.

Enjoy Fall and study the results. Plan and get ready for winter.









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Change your Life by Changing your Habits

Take your life out of autopilot and win opportunities.

Look at your days. How many times are you doing things based on your decisions? How many times are you doing things based on your feelings?

It is very important to know, when, we are on autopilot throughout our days. We form our days based on either decisions or feelings. Feelings are based on our habits and past experiences.

Because of our habits we feel good or bad doing something. If you have a bad experience in the past doing a specific task, you would not feel motivated or feel good doing the same task today.

If you are in the habit of eating lots of sugar, not eating it will give you a bad feeling and eating it gives you pleasure. Now if you have to stop eating sugar and decide on reducing your sugar intake; guess what?! The first days and weeks you will feel miserable no matter how right your decision has been.  After several months of not eating sugar you will form this new habit in you and now eating sugar will make you feel bad.

This simple example shows how many other things are in our life that we basically do just because we are used to doing them and it gives us sense of pleasure. But can we live life to the fullest if we only rely on our habits. Especially if those habits are formed based on our poor lifestyle routine.

If you want to make changes you have to take control of your life by making more decisions. Mel Robbins has a great techniue that teaches us how to bring your life out of habits and make it based on decisions.

We all know what is good and what we have to do. We all have that inner wisdom in us. But that sound in us is only active for few seconds. Then it vanishes by thoughts, excuses, and habits.

How can we make ourselves listen to our inner wisdom? This is where Mel Robbins introduces the 5 second technique when you have 5 seconds to make the decision. Whenever you are in a situation to make a decision see what comes to your head first then count 5 4 3 2 1 and then do it.

You can practice and see the miracle in this technique when it is hard to come out of bed in the mornings. Instead of hitting the snooze button count and jump out of bed.

When seeing a yummy cake on a table and you know you want to break the habit of eating sugar, count and look somewhere else. Make your decision and if you can, even throw it in the garbage.

The reason that you count and do the tasks is to prevent you from thinking. Your mind brings you your habits and reminds you of your past experiences just to protect you. It convinces you to not do anything different. Just to keep you on the safe side. But how can you make any changes to your life if you don’t change your habits?

After doing this technique for few months you will see how different your life has become because of the new habits you are forming which are based on your sound decisions.

You will enjoy waking up early, being on time for meetings, going to gym, reading more books, talking to friends, and spending your time wisely. And you will feel bad eating sugar, wasting your time in front of TV watching useless shows. And many more things that you used to do and were ruining your days but you were not noticing it because it was part of your habits and your mind made you feel good and safe with them.

Let’s change our life by changing our habits TODAY!




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How Do I Start My First Business?

Starting your first business needs an idea with a unique mission and vision to set you apart from your competitors. And then a knowledgeable team. You would also need to introduce your business through ads, marketing, online presence, social media, etc…

These are all known facts. You know it, right? If you need to buy a product or if you need to book a session for a service, what would you do? You do some research, you’ll find someone you can trust, ask for recommendations and then book your session or buy the product.

As a business owner you need to be present where your consumer is looking for products or services like yours. You need to be part of the research when consumers are looking for information, and you need to be prepared to close the deal when they have made their mind. You need to also give a good service to make a happy client for yourself.

But these are all obvious and easy to apply. You can find tons of information online on how you can best present your business to your consumer.

But here is what I believe you need to start your first business.

You need right lifestyle habits. You need right mindset. You need many soft skills that would guide you through your business and hard times.

You can start as many businesses as you want in a day. But what makes your business successful is YOU. The motivation to wake up every day to start doing your tasks without having a boss to ask you be at work at 9 am sharp. You have to have discipline.

Let me tell you. Starting a business is piece of cake. Starting to make a businesswoman out of yourself is something that requires time and lots of efforts.

The good news is that it is doable. It is like an intense gym workout. During your workout session you may swear and feel the pain, and feel the sense of giving up. But once the workout is done you feel great. If you repeat these workouts and add to the intensity of the workouts you will grow stronger. Then there will come days that you still feel the pain but you don’t swear and you enjoy that pain throughout the workout. There will be days that you won’t be satisfied if your workout doesn’t bring pain out of your muscles. Once it is done you can’t wait for tomorrow to come and experience the same great feeling.

Being in business is like having these workouts every day. At the beginning you have to know that it is hard to make commitment. It is hard to get up without a boss over our head. It is hard to send emails when it is optional. It is hard to do tasks that don’t make you excited. It is hard to make people around you respect your time, just because you are in charge of it.

There will be dark days with no motivation and energy. There will be exciting days that you have to control your excitement. There will be days you feel defeated. There will be days when you feel no one understands you.

So what is needed to start your first business? It needs the right YOU. The first business requires a person who knows what is waiting for her. A person who knows it is not easy and she is not signing up for EASY.

It needs step by step plan that no matter how hard you feel the pressure you still go through it to make yourself stronger.

There will come days that you’ll get use to this pressure and you can’t live without it. Because you have seen how strong, knowledgeable and experienced you have become just by going through these pressures.

First business is like any first experience. It sounds exciting and makes you excited. You go through it and you see reality. You will hate the hard times and want to give up. But the right YOU pushes you through the hard times and you will see the beauties soon after. And this is when you see the signs of success. This is where you feel you want to do what you are doing every day. This is where you smile more often.

You start your first business with the right attitude.

You start your first business with a written plan.

You start anything in life by starting to work on yourself.

Teach yourself deciplin through daily workouts. Give yourself energy through adopting healthy habits. Manage your time by breaking down tasks and switching between them every one or two hours. Get help. Find mentors. Dedicate tasks. Read lots of books. Sleep at least 8 hours. Drink 8 glasses of water. Dress well. Make your bed. Clean your home and working environment. Think positive. Spend time only with positive and like minded people.

As I always say, make the success within you, and everything you touch becomes successful.





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3 Common Mistakes that First Time Entrepreneurs Make

Entrepreneurship comes with a punch in the mouth. Can you take it? Entrepreneurship is not easy. Whatever you want to start that has value and can bring you value is hard to achieve. It is hard because nothing valuable comes easy. There will be many mistakes made, there will be many failures and you as an entrepreneur learn and grow from these failures and mistakes.

There are 3 common mistakes that I’d like to address here that almost all first time entrepreneurs make in their journey:

1) They put all their thoughts and efforts in their product and service

It is important to give value to what you are offering. But putting so much time in the product and service takes you away from putting time for yourself. You as an entrepreneur should come ahead of your product. The mind and soul behind your business determines the quality of it. If you want to have a high quality product or service you have to have high quality standards for yourself too.

Read as much as you can. Gain knowledge in the field you are working in. Get to know the customers. See how you can help them as a human. Work on the values you can offer through your product or service. Learn about leadership. Learn about persuasion. Learn how habits form and how you as an entrepreneur can form right habits that will push you through this rough path.

You have to make every cell of your body and mind work for you to achieve your goal. This is not achievable unless you work on it. Even if you have the best product or service and you don’t work on yourself as an entrepreneur, you will give up. You will get distracted. You will be pushed away and you will fall and you won’t be able to get up and continue.

You are the one forming your future’s success.  Look at yourself and see if you have the characteristics of the successful person you are imagining in the next one, two, three, or 10 years time. See what is lacking and work on those. Instead of putting so much time refining and elaborating your idea, work on yourself first and do other things on the side. Learn as much as you can, grow as a human, be kind to people, always be ready to give a helping hand, listen to successful people, share your knowledge… If you want to become rich, you have to ask others for money. But first you have to make yourself care about them.

2) They give up

Giving up is another common mistake that first time entrepreneurs make. I mentioned that it is not easy to achieve your goal if it is something valuable. You have to give up many things to get what you want from life. This journey is hard but it is joyful as well. Don’t give up when you hear a no for an answer. Don’t give up when you see no sells. Don’t give up when you see no return on the time your are investing.

First of all there are and will be returns on every action you take towards your goal. It is just that we will choose to only see what we want to see. We don’t see the amount of experience we are gaining with each step. You will learn, refine, and act again accordingly. If you believe in your idea you have to be persistent and have patience.

Jack Ma founder of Alibaba says many times in his presentations that he didn’t have any sells on Alibaba for months when they started it. They had to put their own products online, they had to buy them themselves, and they repeated this until they found real  sellers and buyers. It requires patience. As an entrepreneur we have to learn how to become patient no matter how hard it is. Especially these days with the existence of social media and instant feedback, likes and comments, that are making us impatient human beings who need to see quick responses or they will give up.

3) They want to make everyone happy

Steve jobs says it right. “If you want to make everyone happy don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.” It is true. Your product or service should have a niche target market.

You have to make your target narrow to be able to get attention. Sometimes the people closest to you might say your idea is not good enough and you have to make changes to it. If you believe in it, if you see potentials in it, don’t change it. Don’t listen to those who are saying you have to make your market bigger. Stick to your idea, your market becomes big for you. People will find you for who you are. If you think there are people that their opinion would affect yours, don’t share your idea with them. Start your business, get some results and when it is performing to the level that you are confident about it, then you can tell them.

There are many other things I like to talk about from my experience. There are many things I want to tell all first time entrepreneurs. But I will bring this post to the end by just telling you this; you deserve to live your dream life. There is nothing more valuable in this world than trying to achieve what you want to become in this world.

If you are here reading this post it means you have realized you want to make a change. This is the first step and the most important one. I know what you are going through; all the questions, the excitements, and disappointments that come on your way. I totally understand it. There won’t be a stop to it. You will learn how to deal with your emotions as you grow in this journey.

Entrepreneurship is sailing in the sea of emotions. There will be sunny sky and calm sea, there will be storms as well. You will learn how to deal and sail like an expert. But you have to step into the sea to be able to learn and become a successful sailor. Don’t worry about anything. I want to give you the courage to step in. Take a deep breathe and know that you will only face things that you can handle.

Start making changes to your life now. Tomorrow is too late. Decide today and use every second of your life, changing every cell of your body and mind towards achieving your goal. You should become the success you want to see in the future. When you, your mind, body, and beliefs become that success no matter what you do, it will be successful.

Cheers to all of the first time entrepreneurs who are wayyy ahead of many people in life by deciding to change their life for themselves and others.



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Books I highly recommend reading

Leaders are Readers!

here are 4 books I highly recommend reading. These will change your perspective on life, business, and relationships.

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak

“This lyrical, imaginative novel by Elif Shafak, the bestselling author of The Bastard of Istanbul and the most widely read female writer in Turkey, unfolds in two parallel narratives. In the thirteenth century, the Sufi poet Rumi encounters his spiritual mentor, the infamous wandering dervish known as Shams of Tabriz, and is transformed from a successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic and advocate of love. In present day Massachusetts, an unhappy American housewife named Ella Rubenstein, inspired by Rumi’s message of love, finds the courage to undertake her own transformation. Blending East and West, past and present, Shafak provides a compelling, dramatic, and exuberant account of how love works in the world.”


Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

“Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup?

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we’re making smart, rational choices. But are we?

In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.”

The Power of Focus: What the World’s Greatest Achievers Know about The Secret to Financial Freedom & Success by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt

“Do you know the #1 reason that stops people from getting what they want?
Ten years later, it’s still a lack of focus.
In the The Power of Focus, 10th Anniversary Edition, you’ll discover:

  • How to thrive in a turbulent economy.
  • Proven financial strategies for today’s world that will give you freedom and peace of mind.
  • How to focus on what you do best and let go of the rest.
  • Easy-to-implement Action Steps with every chapter.”


Beautiful Money: The 4-Week Total Wealth Makeover by Leanne Jacobs

“Most of us believe that pounding our way through our days is the only way to prosperity and success. We sacrifice time with our loved ones, our weekends, our vacations, and perhaps even our sanity, in exchange for a paycheck. We put ourselves and our health at the bottom of our priority list and give everything to the great pursuit. We want to have it all, but don’t find satisfaction in any of our achievements. Instead, we find ourselves sitting in our offices and big houses feeling unhappy, broke, burnt out, and unfulfilled. Beautiful Money offers another option.
This book does more than show readers how to make more money, streamline personal finances, and learn how to invest and budget. The Beautiful Money program is based on the simple but powerful premise that in order to achieve true wealth, you must connect and align your inner self with clear and specific external actions. Based on Leanne Jacobs’s popular Beautiful Money course, this book shows you how to connect in a deep and meaningful way with yourself and your money. Beautiful Money takes a holistic approach to increasing net worth.”

Let me know what books you have recently read that you enjoyed!


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Change your Life with these 7 Morning Rituals

morning rituals of successful people
  1. Gratitude: it is not happy people who are thankful. It is Thankful people who are happy. List 3 things you are grateful for. One of them should be very simple. Like feeling the wind on your skin.
  2. Write down your most important tasks for the day.
  3. Affirm your goals in writing.
    If you have a goal write it down. If you don’t write it down, you don’t have a goal – you have a wishSteve Maraboli
  4. Exercise: even 10 minutes sprint helps your body wake up and gives you lots of energy for your day.
  5. Hot water with lemon: you just have to try it. You will feel amazing throughout the day. It has many benefits for your health and body.
  6. Rise earlier.
    Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy , wealthy and wise.Benjamin Franklin
  7. Listen to uplifting music. Instead of checking social media or news, listen to an uplifting music. Try not to check your social media or emails first thing in the morning for one week. You will see the difference in your life. One way to do so, is to have your cellphone in another room when you wake up. Try to do these 7 things first in the morning, then you can check your phone :)
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How Social Media Benefits your Business

grow your business - earn more money online

Being active on social media would definitely bring lots of value to your business. People like to interact with humans. And social media sites give you the chance to come out of your business shell and connect with your audience. One big mistake is to create pages for your business and just post all about your services and be super formal with those posts. People want to know you when they come on social media. They want to socialize. This gives you a huge asset to use. Make one on one connection with your target market. Get to know them so you can serve them better.

Be authentic. Demonstrate your empathy. Keep it real. Post photos of activities at work and outside the work, like community activities. Show  your audience, you are beyond your business. Be yourself on social media.

People might contact you just because they see you are both having the same interests or you are both doing the same sports activities.

Researches have shown that more than 50% of consumers would like to hire an expert who is active on social media. Consumers use social media to evaluate you, your behavior, and your services. They need to see you outside your website. They want to make connection with you as a human and social media is a great platform to do that . Activity on social media also shows that you care more about your consumer. You think about them and how you can help them rather than how they can help you by spending money on your site. You take some time to interact with them and also provide them with free information and help.

Social media is interactive. Make people comfortable to work with you. Show your trust factors.

Social media also helps you show your immediate attention to your consumer by answering their questions, and responding their comments. 

Social media is permanent. It allows you to keep record of all the excellent public interactions you have.

If you think you don’t have enough time to take care of your profiles, or if you can’t respond and interact with others, it is much better no to have a social media profile. Having a dead profile will have negative effects.

How to deal with negative reviews and comments:

It happens a lot that people don’t open social media profiles because they are afraid of negative comments. Don’t fear negative comments: no real business has 100% happy clients.

Negative comment is an opportunity to show your reaction when you have an unhappy client. You can show your constructive, helpful manner. This way it becomes positive. No one expects a business to have 100% positive reviews. 


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Top 7 strategies to convert your Website Visitors to your Paying Customers

Psychology is the base of many things we do in life. When doing business draw your strategies around how people think and make decisions. Read experiments, and learn about human’s decision making habits. Don’t think you know the answers. Sometimes the results are unexpected and totally different from what you think. Psychology helps you become creative. It helps you come up with interesting strategies to convert someone who just came on your site to browse, an actual paying customer/client.

Countless studies in Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and Political Science have shown that humans are not rational decision makers. This is because our decision making is influenced by our life’s experience and how we have developed our habits and how our mind is evolved over many years to provide us with survival advantages.

There are many ways and I am sure endless points, hints, and experiments online and in books about human’s decision making habits. But here are top 8 motivating factors that can help you make more money by converting your site visitors to your paying customers.

  1. Safety
  2. Surprise
  3. Status
  4. Scarcity
  5. Certainty
  6. Similarity
  7. Sympathy
  8. Selfishness


You need to see how your website/product/service helps your potential clients with the risks they might face. In other words you have to mention what they will lose by not contacting you. Keep in mind that fear by itself might have an opposite effect. Your advertising campaigns, or content of your website should inform potential customers the threats that your product or service can alleviate followed by precise and clear steps they can take to reduce the danger. If they need to buy your product in order to do that, you have to mention step by step how your product reduces the risk and how it will help them. Let’ say you are a dentist, you can mention the danger of not having regular dental checkups and then mention how you solve those problems and eliminate the risks your clients might face if they don’t do their checkups. You need to educate them about the risks and give them your solution.


You need to make your website stand out. Don’t copy other sites. You can get ideas, but it is not recommended to copy others. You have to make your site unique in your market. Your brand, the message on your site, your services have to be unique. Think and find what is unique about you and your business. How you are different from your competitors? What makes you a better option? Make sure you show these on your site. Don’t worry if you can’t satisfy everyone. You have to be unique in order to attract your target market. Seth Godin says it right: “Beware of false averages. Some people like really spicy food. Some people like bland food. Building a restaurant around sorta spicy food doesn’t make either group happy”


Humans seek status and social power. Your website should show how your product or service is connected to your client’s desire for status. You have probably felt that after buying some of your favorite brands, you feel rich and great. You could probably get the same thing cheaper from another brand but the desire for status in you make it totally rational to spend more on a brand that gives you the luxuries feeling. So if you want you can relate and show how coming to you and using your product or service is more luxury than your competitors. How having your brand brings pride and sense of satisfaction. Humans desire for status makes you earn more on things you could offer for less.


This is how you can make your potential customers to act soon. Scarcity often makes things more valuable. Let them know what would happen if they delay contacting you or buying your product or services. This can be different for each type of business. For businesses related to health and law, you can mention what health and monetary risks your potential clients will face by lack of action or delay in action.  If you are selling products, you can have great offers that will end soon if your potential customers don’t act soon.  Make sure the negative consequences of failing to act quickly.


Don’t confuse your website visitors with having too many options on your site. Make sure you are clear about your products and services. Your website should be easy to browse for visitors and they have to find what they are looking for easily. Depending on what you are offering you can write step by step and clear messages on what would happen if a visitor does a certain activity on your site. You can have Q&A page. Answer their questions. Make it crystal clear for them. If you want them to fill a form, make sure you are mentioning clearly what would happen when they hit submit button. Making videos, posting photos, answering questions and having chat boxes on your website will help greatly with certainty.


Make sure your website and brand is consistent. Consistency gives a sense of trust to your potential customers. This consistency should be through layout, images, language, feel and tone. Make sure your site is consistent in look with your social profiles. Use the same logo, language, theme, and colors.


This is where you can gain your potential customers’ trust and make them like you. Use images and language that shows how approachable and trustworthy you are. Write content that addresses your potential customers’ core concerns. Let them know that you understand them. If you are offering something expensive and you have financing option for those that can’t pay at once, let them know. Do research and see what your potential customer’s main problems are when making a decision on your product and service. Let them know that you understand and how you can solve their problem.


It is tempting to think of ourselves when we want to start a business. We think what is in it for us. When you think this way and build your business around this idea it makes it bring you nothing. People don’t come to you to give you their money because they think you deserve to live better. They come to you, so you can solve their problem. They spend money to make their own life easier and better. They spend money on your products to give them a sense of satisfaction. Visitors to your website will not take action if they don’t see their needs are met. You have to show your website visitors that you care about them and that you are here to help them. This can be done through educational content, customer care pages, answering questions, and replying quickly to emails.

Having these 8 points in mind and applying them to your website will help you greatly with converting your Website Visitors to your Paying Customers.


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For Tomorrow

how to beat procrastination and get things done

Doctor appointment, weight loss, replying to an email, following up with someone, and so many other things can be done tomorrow as well. We can always start something from tomorrow. We can always push back the deadlines and still manage to live and be alive. But is this the way you’d like to live? This should be the question.

We all have at least one role model in our life. Do you see procrastination in that person? Does she leave everything for tomorrow and she is still your role model? If not, then you know that she is your role model because you love how she does things that you like and appreciate, On Time. The only reason that she is now your role model is her “Let’s Do it Now” attitude. You both love tennis. But she is your role model because she is actually doing it. You both love healthy lifestyle, and know how important it is. But she is your role model because she actually puts effort in doing it every day.

Procrastination is the only barrier between you and your best self.

It is not family. It is not opportunity. It is not money. It is not luck. It is commitment.

Procrastination can make someone who was supposed to be champion winner an ordinary person who has the champion winners’ posters on her room’s wall. She sometimes replaces their faces with her own. It gives her the sense of satisfaction with minimal work.

Well if you are tired of chasing others who are living your dreams, it is time to stop. Yes, I am not asking you to do anything, just stop. Stop for a moment and think. Do you really want to achieve what you are chasing in your role models? Is there anything in life that you want it so bad but never thought of giving it a try? Or you don’t feel like doing anything about it today because there is always a tomorrow coming that you hope you’ll have more energy to do it?

Stop and think again. You just need to decide one time. As soon as you decide, you have to respect yourself and keep yourself committed. The best time to do anything is Now. You can’t and won’t be a champion winner today, but take one step towards it now.

Now is the only time that can tell you if you are made to win or if you are made to lose. We all come to this world with the hope of making it a better place for everyone. But then over time we forget, we do things wrong, we form bad habits, and we get use to our low standards. But it is never too late to wake up and make the changes.

It takes time of course. First, it takes few weeks to get yourself to stick to your plans. And 3 months to improve the sense of commitment in yourself and one year to make sure you are the doer person. And 3 years to be a role model for others.

Days pass one by one. Why don’t we form them as we wish. This is a gift that is given to us. We are free to form it as we like. But how many of us use this opportunity and this gift? Let’s start now.

Decide to push procrastination away. This is only possible if you set rational deadlines. Give yourself incentive after meeting your deadlines. These little steps, this commitment and  energy is what will give you everything you wish to do and have in life. It is not easy. If it was then everyone was doing it right. It takes a bit of energy to start it. But it takes lots of commitment and guts to continue.

Can you say no to your best friend just because you are supposed to do something for yourself and that the deadline is approaching? Can you leave an amazing party early because you have deadlines to meet? Can you ask your children to wait because there are some things you have to do every day and you can’t skip even one day not doing it? It gets hard and harder. Your commitment to do your tasks will be put to the test. You will face situations that it is really hard to decide and almost motivates you to skip your deadline for something else. That is where most people leave the route to success. The route where it leads to championship. The route that leads to a better person, healthier life, fit body, peaceful mind or whatever that is the end goal for you.

If you think you can skip once and it should be ok, you are completely wrong. One takes you to two, and two to three and so on… And then it comes the time you have to restart and push yourself again and this time it gets even harder to start.

Procrastination comes from a Latin word. Pro means for, and cras means tomorrow. It is that simple. Don’t look at the complicated “procrastination” word. It is as simple as “for tomorrow”. Sometimes looking at the procrastination word gives you the credit to say it is too complicated to deal with it. It sounds like a strange disease that I don’t need to know about it. But it is a simple disease of leaving everything for tomorrow.

You can cure yourself  simply by just taking some steps today. Then build from that. Then make it harder for yourself. Have you ever gone to the gym? have you ever decided to grow your muscles bigger? The only way is to start light on weights and once it gets easy for you add to it. Again once it gets easy add more weigh. This is the only way you can make your muscles bigger and bigger.

Now with your commitment to do your tasks on time, to beat procrastination, and to achieve your goals and become successful, you have to start light and then add to it.

You can start by taking one step towards your goal today. Next week, each day you can take two steps. Then make it even harder. Make the phone calls you had to do months ago. Take tasks that are harder for you to do today but you have to do them. Life puts you to the test. You will end up in situations that you have to decide and choose between your commitments and family, friends, and helping others. Of course these are all great and amazing and you have to care about others too, but this should not give the excuse to leave your commitments. The stronger you become the harder life tests you.

And then a day comes that you see yourself winner of this battle. That is when you feel everything in life is manageable. That is when people that you had to say no to, now cheer for you and have you as their role model. That day is when you hold your head high and see yourself as a winner.

Here is a great study from my favorite writer and teacher Dan Ariely that I got to know through my husband. He is done a great experiment with his students that is worth to take a look and learn.

Dan had three classes. He was giving assignments to each class with different form of setting deadlines. First class he said they can set their own deadlines. And once they set it, they can’t change it. They have to be committed to those deadlines. Late papers would be penalized at the rate of one percent. Then Dan told the second class there will be no deadline at all. They can hand in the papers at the end of the semester if they wish. And for the third class he gave strict deadlines for each assignment. Papers had to be given on fourth, eights, and twelfth week.

Here was the result:

We found that the students in the class with the three firm deadlines got the best grades; the class in which I set no deadlines at all (except for the final deadline) had the worst grades; and the class in which Gaurav and his classmates were allowed to choose their own three deadlines (but with penalties for failing to meet them) finished in the middle, in terms of their grades for the three papers and their final grade. What do these results suggest? First, that students do procrastinate (big news); and second, that tightly restricting their freedom (equally spaced deadlines, imposed from above) is the best cure for procrastination. But the biggest revelation is that simply offering the students a tool by which they could precommit to deadlines helped them achieve better grades.Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

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Are entrepreneurs great project managers?

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business from and idea in form of a start up or buys a running business and change it.

A project is something that has a start and end. While a business doesn’t end but it contains many projects within itself that are temporary and have start and end. Usually startups don’t have enough budget to hire project managers or other resources. So an entrepreneur is usually a multi talented person who is great at project management. You need to be able to set goals, do the planning, and execute, to deliver quality results that communicate with your target through the value it is offering.

These are what a good project manager does. So if you have started many things in life and you gave it up on the early stages without knowing why, one of the reasons might be because you didn’t have project management skills.

It is amazing to be born as a project manager and have all the skills in your DNA but not everything in life comes to us that easy. It is a good news to know that you don’t need to be gifted in project management in order to start your business and follow your passion, you can learn to manage projects.

Project management can be the solution for the problems you face while starting a new idea. It actually helps a lot to learn about managing a project while experimenting. It gives you the knowledge and experience at the same time.

As an entrepreneur you  need to know how to set goals, how to set time and budget and do all the plannings. You also need to know how to efficiently test your idea. This prevent you from spending so much time and budget on something that would not bring any value. While testing, you can always measure and make changes in the process of shaping your business.

Even if you are not an entrepreneur and you don’t want to have your own business but would like to pursue your career in the field of project management I highly recommend starting something that would not require any monetary investment.

This gives you a great experience on how business owners, stakeholders, users and team members feel in a project that you are managing. Books and schools can give you knowledge of how you should think and process but only experience and being in the position of stakeholders can teach you how they feel and how they form their expectations.

A successful project manager not only understands the nuts and bolts of the field they are working in, she also understands the feelings, psychology, and thought process of people involved.

Starting your own business teaches you how to be a stakeholder, a developer, a project manager, and a user. And it also helps you appreciate the hard work it takes to have a successful business. This makes you appreciate things that stakeholders have done in the past and show them you know the value in their work and you care as much as they care.

So I would say entrepreneurs should be great at project management and should learn the science involved in it to be able to run small projects in their business to have a healthy running business.

And project managers should  all have entrepreneurship experience to learn about the Art of project management. Learn about all the soft skills required to run a successful project that cares more than having a project done within a time, budget and scope; by bringing value to both stakeholders and end users.

Here is a book I highly recommend reading  if you are an entrepreneur and you need to run your own projects:

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh

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Marketing 101 For Artists – 5 key points to help you make more money today!


You want as many people as possible to consume your art. And to do that, you have to be a business person.Halsey

The power of Online Marketing

You have probably heard this a lot that showing your work in today’s world is much easier with the existence of internet and social media. You make something, you put it on your website and social media sites and you will get instant feedback, love, and support from your followers. The big challenge in the days of technology is not, not having enough tools to show your artwork, it is how you want to show your work to the right audience at the right time and make money. We all get so much support from friends and family online but most of the time they are not the ones who would pay for our artwork.

We have to make sure we are getting the same attention from the ones who are actually interested in our product and services. But how do we find them? How can we stand out in the online world with so much noise and competition?

Here is an interesting truth. Although people use internet to show their works there are few people who do their online marketing right. There are few people who take care of their online presence and take right actions to be the winner. It is never too late to start taking care of your online presence. And once you start it you will see the results. You will position yourself high enough for your right target market to see you and actually pay you for your craft.

Online Marketing refers to actions you take to show your business online to the right customers and boosts your business to a higher and more professional level. Online Marketing helps you live everyday doing what you love.

Here are few recent statistics from Hubspot that shows why you should take action and start your Online Marketing Today!

61% of global Internet users research products online.

44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.

YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.

50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.

60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results.

Daily Pinterest users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012.

A call-to-action pin description sees an 80% increase in engagement.

The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%

Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

So what do these mean?

When you see 61% of people search online to find what they need you instantly know that you should put your product online. If you are offering services you have to mention your services online to be found by them.

When you hear Youtube has become the 2nd largest Search Engine, you instantly should think of the ways you can make videos and be present on youtube as well. There are many ways you can make videos. It can be you talking about your products or services or it can be series of images showing something. Keep in mind that videos are great to make connection with your audience. They work best when you start educating people through your videos. You want them to trust you first. Stay away from selling. When you start talking about selling your products or services you will lose your viewers. You want to genuinely help and educate your audience to keep them and gain their trust. Once they decide to buy they will come to you. You just need to keep posting to make sure they think of you as an authority and expert in your field.

60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 results. This should make you think how you can make yourself visible on the first page of search engines. You have to answer a simple question. Am I the most relevant result for that specific search query? Being on the first page takes time. It takes time because you have to prove search engines such as google that you are expert in what you are claiming and you have authority and you can help those that are searching for that specific product or service. Google wants to make sure that users (people that use google to search) would have the best experience. Therefore it generates algorithms every now and then to make sure the result it puts in front of the users are the most relevant and helpful ones. So to make yourself authority and expert it is important to find a unique point about your work and market around that. If you are a Wedding Photographer with a unique service or if you are a Fashion Designer with a unique vision for your designs make sure that your online presence shows and screams that uniqueness. By this you will take yourself out of competition with general terms and you will be found for specific and more targeted search queries.

As an artist and creative person you are capable of thinking creative ways to do your online marketing. We hear a lot from people that artists don’t know how to do business. Business in general, and thinking like a businessman or businesswoman takes hard work and education but being a creative person you can easily come up with solutions to help you with your online presence and you can always get help for the business parts by asking mentors to measure your progress and give you solutions accordingly.

Here I am listing 10 changes you can make today to your online presence with the goal to achieve more sales and money for your business.

Mobile Responsive Website

I am not saying have a website. Having a website is not enough anymore. Google looks at your website first to see if it is mobile responsive in order to show it. Having a Mobile Responsive website is a must have. What is Mobile Responsive? Your website needs to be shown different on desktop monitors and mobile phones because the screen size is different and the way people interact with websites on their phone is different than how they work on desktop. If your website is not mobile responsive and you check it on your phone you will see small text, small images, and you have to scroll right and left to be able to see the whole website. This brings a poor user experience, makes users tired of browsing your site, and they end up leaving your site. Search Engines don’t want to show websites to the users that would result in poor online experience. That’s why your website should change when you look at it on your phone. It re-arranges the content in a way that is easy to read and browse on mobile phones.

There are many solutions for that. You can build your websites using platforms that offer both desktop and mobile websites. In this way you don’t need to make two individual websites. You’ll make the content and it takes care of showing it. One of these platforms is WordPress. WordPress lets you find your desirable theme and look and you can make the changes to the content of the website without the knowledge of code. You can also have online store on your site.


Now that you have your mobile responsive website it is important what you put on your site. Search Engines find you through your content. So if you are a Fashion Designer or a photographer do you think search engines will find you if you put only photos on your site? How can they read and see what your website is about in order to put you in front of their users? So what is the solution? Having the right content on the right places.

Home page is a great place to talk about what you offer and what your business is all about. Make sure your content doesn’t sound like robots. Write it in a way that you would talk to a friend describing your business. Add passion to it and make the connection with the people coming to your site.

Having a short video under 1 min that reviews your business or shows your products or even you talking about your products or services will be a great idea to engage people and make them stay a bit longer on the home page.

If the nature of your business is in photography and you have to put photos in order to show your work make sure that your website has a blog that will be updated on a consistent basis. Your blog communicates with search engines so that they would know what your website is about in order to show it to the users.

Find 10 or 20 keywords related to your work. And use those keywords in your content. Find the keywords that you want to be found for. Let’s say you have a Portrait Photography in Toronto. You take portraits, headshots, and kids photos. Some of your keywords will be portrait, portrait photographer in Toronto, toronto portrait photoshoots, professional headshot photographer, toronto professional headshot, portrait photography studio, photography studio in toronto… and so on.

You have to write blog posts and use these keywords in your content. When people search for toronto photographer search engines look at the content of the sites and they’ll see which is the most relevant to show.

The headlines of your blog posts is the most important factor in making people to click and read more. Definitely take your time to think about eye catching headlines. One useful trick is to look at the magazines. They have spent lots of money to ask experts to write those headlines and they monitor, measure and make improvements. Look what they are doing and how they are writing their headlines and then follow their work. Just change the words to make it relevant to your post.

Being Local

What does this mean? Well, you will benefit the most when people around your location look for products and services that you are offering. It is more likely that they approach you instead of someone else. How can you be local? How can you rate higher online based on your location?

It is important to create your free Google My Business Page. (

Fill the form by adding a unique description, and choosing the right category for your business. Add your phone number. Upload as many photos as you can. Add your business address. This is very important and wherever you enter your business address it has to be consistent. Write your business address somewhere to keep and wherever you want to enter it just copy and paste it. This way you’ll make sure your address is written in the same way everywhere it is being used. Nothing should be different even the minor things that you think doesn’t matter. It has to be exactly the same. Upload cover photo. Get reviews if you can. Having reviews help a lot in decision making. There is higher chance of being selected because of your good reviews rather than someone else even with more experience but lack of reviews.

Add the same address you entered on your Google My Business page to the footer of your website.

Enter your product/service and location in the title of your website.

Make sure to write the name of the city/region in your images title tag.

Use the name of your city/region in the content of your site.

Find authoritative directories and add your business name and website link with the same address you have on your Google My Business page.

Enter your address, or your city/region on your social media profiles.

Quality Links

It is very important to have quality links. Both being linked to or giving links to other websites. This gives you credits and authority. This gives the Search Engines a reason to show your website. Why? Because this proves, you know something and people are interested to read and learn more from you.

Link building is very important. As soon as Google announced that it rates based on links, black hat SEO marketers started posting links everywhere. On bad quality pages, on comments, on irrelevant pages. Soon Google had to think of monitoring the quality of the links. Now posting links just everywhere gives you negative points and bad reputation. You have to make sure that your links are among the good quality ones. You want relevant websites and blogs to link you because your content is relevant to them. You want people to share your links because you are offering something useful to them. There are many blogs and magazines that accept submissions and want guest writers. You can easily contact them with a piece of content and get links to your site. If you are linking to other sites make sure you are giving links to good quality and authoritative sites in your field. No money should be given or taken for links. Search Engines are way smarter than what many people think. There are so many bad habits and practices that can ruin your online marketing reputation. Stay relevant and show your expertise and become authority in your field and you will gain a lot from that.

Social Media Profiles

There is no secret that social media profiles help your business to be in front of more people. My suggestion is that make as many as possible and make regular updates to your social media profiles and measure your progress. Once you have some data to work with, then close the ones that are not working for you. Not all business types would benefit from all social media platforms. Put your energy in the ones that are working and make the best use of them by making relevant and appealing posts. Social media sites are the great opportunity to have your content shared. Make something shareable. Read about viral posts and see how you can take those steps to make something viral.

As I have mentioned earlier in the stats giving from Hubspot “Daily Pinterest users have increased more than 145% since the beginning of 2012” This gives you as an artist an amazing opportunity to master your pinterest marketing. By creating boards, posting your works and linking them to your site, writing relevant description. Posting inspirational images and thinking of the ways to increase the number of your followers. Keep in mind that in today’s world of internet and fake followers, numbers can lie. Don’t measure your success with number of followers. Your job and the thing that pays your bills and puts you in your dream house is not number of your followers. It is the number or your true followers who are interested in you and your products and services. They engage and learn from you. They keep you in mind and are loyal to you.


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5 ways to drive more Business through Digital Marketing

digital marketing for your business

Optimized Website: 

Website is what you need to have to introduce your business, services to your audience and make connection with them and deliver your message. Your website should be well optimized for search engines. Meaning that when people search for products or services that you are offering search engines bring them back the results. You want search engines understand your website and your business in order to put your site in front of the users.

Your website should have a professional look and be user friendly. Your website is your first impression. You want to make the right impression. If you are expert in your field and you believe in your services then your website should show that. If people come across a poorly designed website, they’ll leave, they can’t trust you. I know we should not judge the book by it’s cover but this is business and not lala land. People judge a book by it’s cover unless they have heard so many good things about a specific book that then they don’t care about the cover and just pick the book because they know the author and the title. Now if they know the author and the title and see a nice cover, that would be even better impression. 

As a start up business you have to take care of your first impression. It is the essential to get customers. Once you have them, then you and your services make them to come back. Your website should convey a tangible sense of trust and that can be done through a great looking design that is easy to browse and understand.

So make sure you have a professional looking website that is clean and delivers your message. It is easy to browse and people can easily find your services, can read about you, and find more information based on the service they are interested in.



Make the content of your website related to what you are offering. Use your keywords in the content of your site. So that search engines can find the keywords and bring your site up when someone is searching using similar or exact terms.

Have blog section and post regularly on your blog. Don’t start selling your services or products on your blog. No one is interested in these kind of posts. Make the need for them to have and to use what you are offering. For instance if you have women fashion line your posts can be around fashion and how women can look good. For instance you can write about “What different body types should wear to look good”. “Common problems when women go shopping”. And many more ideas…

You want to give your audience a reason to follow you and visit your site on a regular basis. When they need something that you are offering automatically they know where to go.



I am sure you already know the importance of mobile. People browse through their mobile and find businesses using their mobiles. Even you do the same too. So it is very important to have a mobile responsive website. Mobile responsive means to have a website that changes when people browse through mobile. Why does it have to change?  To make it more readable and easy to browse on mobile devices. If someone comes on your site using mobile and your site loads slow or doesn’t change according to the device, don’t doubt that the person leaves.

The WordPress platform or even Wix give you websites that are responsive and change according to the device is being used. You don’t even need to do anything extra they care of this through their designs. If you currently have a site that is not mobile responsive stop reading this and go change your site. God knows how many clients you have lost just because of that. Google first looks at your site and if it is not mobile responsive, it gives you a negative point and shows related websites that are mobile responsive first.

Optimize for users:

It is important to have a site that is easy to browse and understand by your audience. If people come to your site and close it right away, google keeps record of that and over time it makes your site less visible to users. This is called bounce back. If you have high rate of bounce back you should double check the content of your website with the keywords you are using, and services you are offering to make sure all are related. Don’t use keywords and tags that are not related to your post or services. If you are giving online ads make sure your ad is in line with your keywords and the service you are offering.  Search Engines wants to give users (people that search for something) the best possible experience. You should give your audience the best possible experience too in order to rank higher by search engines over your competitors.


Onsite SEO:

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Onsite SEO means things you take care on your site to make it optimized for search engines. This includes the content you are writing on your site, the heading you are using, the name of the images you have on your site, anything that is written in text and can be read by search engines. Make sure to use your keywords and make your site the most relevant result to what you are offering. 



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How to Define your Brand

It is very important to define your brand early when starting your business. Put your message out there and see how you want to channel your message to your audience. Tell people why you do what you do. If we go back to the fitness coach example, instead of saying “you help moms get fit after pregnancy”, you can say, “you give confidence back to new moms  by giving them a strong and fit body through fitness and healthy nutrition”. This kind of messages that emphasis on “Why” rather than “What” communicates better with your audience and gives them a reason that why they should come to you. Depending on your work you can go deeper in your “Whys” make them as unique as possible to make a better connection. If you have a personal story that you can attach to your brand and the reason you are starting your business, fuel your brand with your story. Stories are boosters and make great connection with people.

Your brand is your core business principle.When defining your brand make sure you are addressing these three essentials about your business: What is it that makes you or your business unique? How does it connect with your audience? And what is your message that you want to deliver to your audience? Your message should be consistent. One of the goals of an integrated marketing is to show your message to your audience using all the available channels. So make your message unique, easy to understand, and memorable.

So in short your brand should be “Distinct, Relevant, and Consistent”

Audience – How to identify your audience

Your business and goals already identify your audience. Depending on what you do and what your goals are you can find your niche market and see which audience will help you reach your goals. Who understands your business and connects with your story? Who gives value to what you do and sees value in what you are offering? Your business should not appeal to everyone. It should appeal only to your audience. The more appealing your business is to your consumer, and the more value they see in what you are offering, the more you can move on to reach your business goals.

You can define your audience based on their interest, demographics, gender, location, history and back stories, level of income, level of education, psychology, their decision making habits, and so on…

Defining tactics and coming up with solutions in order to attract your audience highly relies on your brand, and on identifying your audience. So if you have not specified your brand and audience I highly recommend doing that before planning your tactics. Because you can’t plan your strategy if you don’t know who you want to attract and what you want to tell them. Once you know your audience and know your message then planning a strategy to deliver them the message becomes very easy.

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How you can create a thorough marketing strategy for your business

Digital Marketing - website - online business

Integrated marketing is the most important aspect of digital marketing for today’s businesses.

Competition is getting high and integrated marketing is the only way to make sure you are taking care of all the aspects that can put your business in the winning position.

As you know and have probably experienced yourself many people repeatedly go to businesses that have gone before and have experience with. So it is important to put yourself among the first options when your consumer searches for a product or service you have to offer. This not only brings you a customer for the first time but also has a very high chance that you can win that customer in the future. It takes a bit of creativity to set up promotions and offers to not only they would come back to you but they would also bring others with them too.

In order to have a thorough marketing strategy you have to make sure your business is highly visible online using different channels. Especially when you are starting out you have fewer data about how people find you and what channels are performing better or where your audience are spending most of their time or where they go to find businesses like yours. So it is important to be highly visible and to use all the available channels until you have enough data to work with. Then you can decide to put more of your focus on specific channels or areas where you think are bringing you most profit.

Business Goals:

The first step in integrated marketing is to define your goal. Strategies form around your business goals. The more defined goal, the better solution you can come up with for your strategy. Also goals help you measure results.

Here are few examples in defining goals: You can for instance say you want to see increase in number of leads. Or you want to see  increase in number of purchases on your site by [set a date], or increase in number of contacts by the next two months.

Just keep in mind that your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and can be achieved in a Time  you are setting. In short your goals should be realistic and smart.

Read on How you can Define Your Brand Here.


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How to Start Your Online Business – First Step


The first step in making anything new is to have an idea. Ideas are very important because you want to spend so many time around your idea. It is better to have an idea that has the winning potential and you 100% believe in it. If you don’t believe in it then you can’t and won’t convince others to believe in your idea.

If you are reading this post it means you already have an idea. You want to learn the steps in making it live online and market your business to your audience.

  • Find a need and fill it.
  • Write copy that sells.
  • Design and build an easy-to-use website.
  • Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
  • Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
  • Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email.
  • Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.


Have a Mission

Whatever your idea is you have to have a mission and your business and online network should form around your mission. For instance my mission is to help people become self-employed business owners that do what they love to do every day and make their -dream life- a possible reality.

Through your mission you can define your consumer. Once you define your consumer, your mission helps you connect with them.

Let’s say you are a fitness coach. You want to establish an online business. You see there is potential in helping new mom’s to get fit and gain their “before pregnancy” body back. You decide to offer online training plans and books. Your mission becomes helping new mothers to get fit and give them back their confidence which leads to happier and healthier lifestyle.

Reading this mission statement you can easily see who the audience is. In this case “New Mothers”. Now, how you can connect with them? By showing what your mission is and how you can help mothers to get fit and healthier.

So as you can see it is very important to have a mission that helps a group of people in some ways. There should be a reason for them to come to you. The better and stronger the mission the less you should be worried about pricing. You have to think of the value you want to serve. The more value in your services the more you can charge.

Keep in mind that your audience does not include everyone. So it is completely ok and normal if your services or products are too expensive for some, or if they can’t see the value in it. But you definitely need to make sure the audience you want to reach understands your services and the value in what you are offering.

Now that you have a pretty good idea about your mission, audience, and your product let’s build your online presence.


The first thing you need is a website. There are few solutions for that.

You can hire someone to build your website for you which is a bit costly but takes away the headache of going through technicalities and boring stuff. Although you can’t just trust anyone with your site. You need someone to have a great knowledge of business and marketing as you need to have everything built right for your website’s SEO in order to be found by search engines. If you decided to go through this route contact me and I’ll help you with more information in this regard. (Click Here to Contact Me)

Another way is to use cheaper solutions like Weebly and Wix websites that give you a pre-built website. Every website’s needs are different. While these solutions can be good for some I highly recommend using WordPress platform for your website.

WordPress is proven to be the best solution in the industry and it is used by big brands and companies. It serves your need of having a website with a professional look. It also gives you the ability to make changes to the content of your site whenever you want without the knowledge of code.

There are both versions of free and paid wordpress themes. Depending on which look you decide to go with, you can select between the many available options. The good thing about wordpress is that whenever you decide to change the look of the website the content stays the same, you just easily switch the look. Of course depending on the theme you would need some adjustments but you won’t loose any content or you don’t need to copy and paste your content to the new website.

Domain name:

It is recommended to have one of your keywords in your domain name. Pick something that is memorable. Your domain name should make sense in order for people to understand and remember. Having a keyword in your domain makes it easier for search engines to understand what your website is about and has good effects on your SEO (search engine optimization). But as you know there have been domain names and very successful businesses who have broken this rule. It is up to you on which root you want to go. But the points that I’ve mentioned help a lot for brand awareness and to start in a better position when your business doesn’t have much history for people to recognize it.

I know it is going to take some time to find a name that is not taken and suits your business. Unfortunately many names are taken and it is a bit hard to find something that you can purchase. Take your time as this will be the name that you want to stick with for hopefully many many years.

Setting up your site and installing WordPress:

Login to your hosting account and go to your control panel. Click on the website icon and enter the domain name where you want to install your site. Once you click on Install button you will have access to your wordpress site..

Choosing a theme:

Now you can choose a look for your site. There are many designs available that are done by professionals. You have the option of both free and paid versions.

To see the free designs login to your wordpress site to see the backend where you can make changes. Type your domain name in the browser like this: “”

Once you login you will see your dashboard. On the left you have your menu. I recommend going through each to explore your options.

To change the look of your site on the left panel select “Appearance”. More options will open, then select themes. When you click on themes you will see your many options on the right side of the panel. All you need to do is to select the one design you like. Click on Install Now and then Activate.

As I mentioned earlier you can change your theme later on without loosing any information or posts on your site.

To view your site, you can simply type in your domain name in the browser.

I have to add and mention that this solution is a good start but it would be a great idea to ask a professional to help you and have your site done and make it keep and running for you. There are some benefits with that.

1) you don’t need to put time to learn and build your site.

2) a professional knows SEO strategies they have to use in order to make your site visible to your audience. At the end you want to make money through your website and the only way is to bring your audience and customers on your website. There are many things you have to take care in order to make your online business successful.

Success comes with knowledge and experience. It takes time. There are things you have to do as a start point, then you need to gather information and make changes accordingly. Purchasing of this book is a great first step to give you a starting point. Now that you have your site up and running it is time to show your business online to your audience. Keep in mind that in order to have a successful online business there are many factors you have to consider.  There are strategies to help you put your business online in front of your audience. It doesn’t matter if your business is purely online or if you have a business like a restaurant, salon, photography, dentistry,.. It can be anything and still you need to follow these strategies in order for your consumer to find you.

Read my articles to learn more about these strategies.  How you create a thorough marketing strategy for your business.


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Be positive, give value, solve problems, and be genuine

how to do marketing for your business

When advertisers build their business around the strategy of talking directly to the customers, they become slaves to the math of interruption marketing. -Seth Godin

If you see yourself as a business owner who advertises her business directly to your consumer, know that you are following traditional interruption marketing. This might be the answer to your question that “I am very active I talk to everyone I see about my business, I spend a lot on ads but I don’t get enough money in return to even cover my costs”.

In modern marketing, the marketer creates an environment where the idea can replicate and spread among consumers.

How can you do modern marketing?

You have probably heard about making tribes. Tribe is  where you find a connection between you and your target market. Tribe is where everyone feels comfortable being in it and feels belonged to that place. Tribes help you offer more than your service or product to your target market. You can offer free education on what your target has interest in. Tribes connect you deeply with your audience and makes them part of who you are.

Stop selling. Don’t interrupt people to talk to them about your product. See what they need. And indirectly put your product in front of them. Make them ask for your product. Find the interest areas of your target and be where they are. Be creative and give solutions through your service and product. Let them know what it is in it for them. Be positive, give value, solve problems, and be genuine, these are the best marketing tools you can use to start your business.

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How to do almost anything with ADKAR

ADKAR - project management

The hardest things to achieve are tasks that require us to change. The only reason we are not doing those tasks is because it is hard to change. We might try for a week to adopt the new habits but then again next week we are where we have been before.


Change is hard and it is hard for everyone. You are not alone. Change can be on a personal level, or in an organization.


If we learn the secret that can help us make the change permanent, then we can easily do things that require the change.


There are some achievements that require us to repeat certain things on a daily basis. If you are an Artist you know that in order to be able to draw well you have to draw every day. Muscle memory shapes when you repeat things over and over. And in order to improve we need to do things over and over again to the point that you don’t think any more and you just do it.


Have you ever decided to lose weight? Well, I have. When I started losing weight I had no idea there is a technique we can use to change and make the change permanent. There was a great passion in me that pushed me every day. And that passion showed me the way. And now that I look at the ADKAR technique I see that I did the same things that is suggested in this technique.


Passion and willingness is the number one thing you can have in anything you do to guide and help you move in the right direction and learn from your mistakes. I highly recommend if you want to do something find the reason you want to achieve it and then make that your passion.


What is ADKAR?


ADKAR is created by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt. It is a goal-oriented change management model to guide individual and organizational change.


The acronym is the five essential steps that we must take to make a successful change in our habits. These five steps are: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement


Awareness: Awareness is about your goal. Why you want to make that change? What is your goal/outcome of the change? Answering this question helps you a lot in staying motivated throughout the process. There will come times that you just want to give up and go back to what you used to do. But repeating your goal gives you the motivation to go forward with the new changes.


For me, I had pictured myself in the clothes I have always wanted to wear. I pictured myself in the body I wanted to have and reminded myself of my goal almost every day.


If the change you want to make is in a company and for employees, you definitely need to let every employee know the goal and the reason you want to make the changes. It is very important to have a clear reason behind every change.


Desire: Desire is what makes you want to make the change. It is very important to have desire for the change. You should be motivated; awareness without motivation would not make you successful on this path.


Everyone knows it is healthy to do exercises on a daily basis. But how many are motivated enough to devote some time of their day going to the gym?


If you are thinking on a company level, you have to make employees part of the change and make them motivated to participate in the change. Awareness can help them become motivated.


Knowledge: you definitely need training and coaching. For me and my weight loss, it was reading books and articles in this regard. I read as much as I could. Learning about the process and how things work helps you be motivated along the way. You don’t get disappointed when you don’t see results. You know it is part of the process. It also helps you to only do things that would actually work instead of wasting your time and energy on trial and errors.


In a company, employees must be educated and learn as much as possible. They need to be trained so they would feel more comfortable and confident in making the change.


Ability: Now that you have learned and gained the required knowledge, can you actually do it? Having the knowledge about something and actually doing it are two different things. You might need to make some adjustment to your daily tasks and commitments to be able to do the new habits.


I had to make time for gym. I had to sleep early at nights so I could go to the gym in the morning. I didn’t stay long in parties so I could go home and sleep early. I crossed over all fast foods and had to put time for cooking at home.


In a company level, you have to give employees some time and help them to make sure they can actually do what they have learned to do.


Reinforcement: You constantly need to monitor and make sure you don’t give up. I had to imagine myself reaching my goal to make myself motivated to do hard exercises every day. I was going on instagram and checked girls who were in the same process as me to get motivated and continue. I also thought of giving myself a reward after completing 16 weeks of workout without cheating.


In a company level, you need to monitor employees to make sure they are implementing the new changes. Knowing the reason behind the change, being involved in the process, having the right knowledge and training, and ability to do the new tasks are all great to make someone motivated enough to repeat the change until they become comfortable doing it every day. But until they become comfortable they need monitoring, help, and encouragement (rewards).


ADKAR model is an effective way to give you a guideline on how you can make a change in either your personal life or in an organizational level. Going through the steps you can make all the changes necessary to achieve your goals.


ADKAR => Awareness – Desire – Knowledge – Ability – Reinforcement


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Is a wrong decision, often better than no decision at all?

decision making

According to the HBR magazine yes it is. “High-Preforming CEOs understand that a wrong decision is often better than no decision at all. ” Study of executives show that 6% received low score because they made wrong decisions. And 94% received low scores because they made too little or too late decisions.

Jerry Bowe, CEO of the private-label manufacturer Vi-Jo is an example of a decisive CEO who doesn’t wait for a perfect time to make his decisions. According to the article in HBR he makes his decisions when he has 65% certainty about the answer. When making decisions he asks these two questions from himself: “What is the impact if I get it wrong? And, how much will it hold other things up if I don’t move on this?”

This is a great approach for everyone who is involved in decision making in some sorts. You can also use this approach for making decisions in your life and finally start on tasks that are waiting so long to be done just because you are waiting for a perfect time to make the decision about them.

Of course waiting to receive information that can make your decision making more precise is valuable as well. But you need to know how much you can wait or how harmful making or not making a decision can be according to your situation. But Learning from decisive CEOs once you have some certainty, it is much better to make a decision to make things move on rather than keep everything wait.

There are definitely many decisions in my in my life that I have to make and I am not 100% certain about the answers.  Now that I am thinking, there are decisions that are 5 or 7 years old and I didn’t do anything about them just because I wasn’t 100% sure about what would happen after. I think it is time to move and make the decisions and act like a decisive CEO who prefers to move, make things go, learn from mistakes, and make things happen.

Here are 4 behaviors of successful leaders according t the HBR:

1) Deciding with Speed and Conviction

The highest IQ executives sometimes struggle the most with decisiveness. “While the quality of their decisions is often good, because of their pursuit of the perfect answer, they can make too long to make choices or set clear priorities – and their teams pay a high price. These smart but slow decision makers become bottlenecks”

2) Engage for impact

Successful CEOs know that they should address stakeholders need. They know how to engage people and get team and stakeholders to buy-in.

3) Adopting Proactively

CEOs are consistently facing different situations. They have to excel at adopting. In fact those that adopt are 6.7 times more likely to succeed.

4) Delivering Reliably

Successful CEOs consistently follow through on their commitments. “A key practice here is setting realistic expectations up front.”





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Go, Make Something Happen

Seth Goding says it right “ Go, Make Something Happen”

Opportunities are endless. You just need to start it. But keep few things in mind. Don’t lose your full time job or whatever you are doing now to cover your financial needs for the sake of this new journey. Start this on the side. One because you don’t want to be financially dependent on it on the first few months. As soon as you see yourself financially dependent on it you may do things that you may not have wanted to do initially and those things might change your path against your favor. Also if you don’t see the result you expected or if you see yourself in debt and in need of money you’ll give it up.

Do the new thing with pure love. This suppose to be what you would enjoy to do your whole life. So make sure you are putting your heart and love in it. Once the grounds are set, shape it. Shape it so that people would see exactly what you are seeing in it. Then inject values in it. You want to pass value to your consumer through your new endeavor. Then get help. Help for business and marketing matters. Because these things matter. Now you are at the stage to expect receiving. Receiving a bit of what you expected to receive. Give it sometime. 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, until you see you are making a bit more than what you are making on consistent bases. Congrats, you just made something happen. Now make sure to continue being awesome, and rock with it.

If you are among those who have made something happen and are now living on that, make sure to leave a comment and tell us how you are feeling, how was your journey and leave a link for us to get to know you and your business a bit more.

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Who Will Win? You or Them?


Who Will Win? You or Them?

Digital world has made it possible to see results right away. You can see what your competitors are doing. Where they post links. What ads they use. How many visits they get. And just compare these data with yours.

You can see and compare what successful businesses are doing different. You can run websites on different SEO tools to get so many data on how they are performing. It is easier than ever to learn about successful corporations and apply what they do to your business. 

SEO and Digital Marketing gives you the chance to see results right away. Not only you get information about your competitors, [in which you can use them to your advantage], you can also get results on your performance and your audience’s reactions to your campaigns and ideas almost right away.

Here are free tools you can use today to learn about your online performance as well as your competitors’. Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about your competitors, their performance, and their online actions so you can act more strategically with targeting your audience.

Similar Web:

You can see number of visits, ranks, bounce rate, visit’s duration, countries most visited, referral links, and many more helpful data.

Quick Sprout:

Moz Local – check if the business is Local:

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Emotional brand building

“We humans are emotional creatures. We make our purchase decisions based on how products promise to make us feel.” That’s why great brands always try to make emotional connection with their consumers. This has to come even before showing off the features of the products or services.

Basically brands have to answer the “why” question. Why people have to buy my product? Why should it be important to them? And the answer should always be emotionally connected to what the consumer feels.

A great example is Nike’s “Just do it” campaign. It is one great example that shows how emotional connection triumphs over selling products. Through this campaign Nike didn’t talk about it’s products and runnig shoes. It allowed the athletes to talk about their achievements and rewards through their own emotional words without ever mentioning Nike. People could instantly connect with the campaign. They were so inspired by the stories that were sending Nike notes on how this campaign has changed their life’s bad habits. People get “Just Do It” tattoos! Through this campaign Nike could show that the brand is not about selling products. It is about celebrating customers, changing lives, and inspiring people to be at their best.

Another great example of this is Volvo’s ad. The story in the ad is strong and makes the right emotional connection with their audience. The ad is about  Volvo’s safety feature. Throughout the ad you follow story of a girl with a future she is picturing and telling her mom. At the end Volvo’s safety feature is the only reason she survives from a car crash. As a viewer you picture Volvo as a car that gives you your dream future by saving lives.

Stories and storytelling is a great way for brands to make emotional connection with their audience. Emotional connections make long term relationship with consumers and connections that last.

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