The Perception of Success

The path to the perception of successThere are a great number of factors that play into the successful care and feeding of a website, and not the least of these, the perception of success.

Yep, you need to look successful before you can become successful.  It’s a pretty general law of business.

Did you ever know a mortgage banker that wore blue jeans and an open shirt to work?  No, they need the perception of success.

Have you ever gone into an investment firm that was shabby?  Did you invest there? Perception is everything in that business.

Did you ever buy a refrigerator from a dealership that looked like it was on it’s last legs?

Translation to the On Line World

My sweatpants and T shirt won’t sell you a thing, and my house has definitely passed it’s prime.  But in my point of contact with the on line world, I look pretty good.  TrackeryMe is a site designed by Rhonda Pizor and executed by Sunny Suggs.  The small amount of money that cost is so worth it.

My blog site tomwacker.com is not a professional site, but I have spent a lot of time on it and am more or less satisfied with the results.  The point is, I look good to an online visitor.

My third site, motorcyclebackroads.com is a premium theme with professional (expensive) help with the look.  All three sites give off the perception of success and have helped me to success simply by looking the part.

What’s the Point?

The point is that the competition for the customer’s dollar (the ultimate point) and time is frantic.  Any little thing that doesn’t look or load right can be the difference in any transaction.

Good enough isn’t.  In online business, your website/landing page/sales page is either perfect or you are still working on it.  No other choices.  Good enough will not even let you show your product, it will be ‘back click and gone’.

What’s the Ultimate Point?

Dress the part.  If you are going to a job interview, dress appropriately.  If you are enticing online visitors, look the part.  The absolutely best product or service in all the world does not stand a chance with a shabby website.  Good enough is for the lazy and complacent.

And in the End

I just don’t get not putting in the effort to be the very best you can be.

I’m just sayin’

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That’s Cool: Legacy Refocused

Every once in a while, every now and again, things come along that are just so cool it’s hard to wrap my head around just how cool they really are.

By now, everybody that gives two beans about our industry knows that the Legacy Team grew by one member, Corina Ungureanu. Even the trolls can agree that is cool. But how cool is it, really?

It’s like the happy ending to a fairytale for Corina. She’s been doing some support and other work for the guys, but I’m reasonably sure she never expected that they would give her half ownership at SocialAdSurf in order to cement her position on the Legacy Team. It certainly took me by surprise…

But wait, there’s more! How cool is this for the Legacy Team? There is a lot of coolness factor there, too. I mean, it’s obvious on the surface. I like Ken, Marcus and Rodney, consider them friends. But really, I wouldn’t give them many props for ‘sex appeal’. Add Corina to that wanted poster, and you have a happy smiling group. A big win for the team.

But what about behind the smiling faces? Coolness there, too. The fact that the guys opened up their empire to add a member is almost shocking. I know how hard they have worked and at least some of what they have sacrificed to get where they are, and to cut a piece of that pie for the right person is cool almost beyond comprehension. The boys showed me something right there, and it’s all good. I am seriously impressed. Seriously impressed.

There are a whole lot of factors that come into play on this deal, I would be hard pressed to name them all here.

Commitment? Yes, in spades. There was no ‘lets try this for a month to see if it’s going to work’ stuff here. This was dive in to check the water at it’s best. Gotta like that.

Come to a conclusion, identify a need, offer a solution and let’s move forward. How cool is that?

I guess it all just boils down to what Zig Ziglar said “Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.” It just doesn’t get any more cool than that.

I’m just sayin’

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Saturday Shortstop: Mark Belanger

Mark Belanger
Mark Belanger

A nefarious poor hitter and equally great fielder, Belanger had an 18 year career in the big leagues, 17 with Baltimore in the 60’s and 70’s.  It was darn near impossible to hit a ball between Belanger and Brooks Robinson at 3rd base.

The CTPis3 badge hunt is winding down, less than a week left.  You can read all about it everyday, right here on the Sunny and Tom blog

Badge Badness

Lynn M wrote about it much more eloquently than I can, but I just don’t understand the under utilized badges.  Less than a week left, more than half the contest over, and there are still quite a few badges that haven’t been touched.  I understand ‘strategic waiting’, and I know several fit that category, but several also are just unused for no apparent reason.  I don’t get it, really.

Badge Goodness

Several 1st time badge holders are doing just great things with their badges.  Really enjoyable to see.

John Novak gave up 20% of his badges to promote two charitable causes, Kiva and the TE cares clean water campaign.  Just only one of the coolest things ever.  Even if you can’t afford to give at Kiva, just by signing up for the team you ensure that $25 will be loaned.  No reason not to…Kiva here and clean water here

Otherwise

Am I the only one that noticed that 2 very well hyped launches just didn’t happen?  One was going to be ‘the biggest launch of 2014’ and the other modestly claimed ‘the biggest launch ever’.  Neither one fired off as planned.  Do you think people are finally getting the idea about these stupid pre launches?  I certainly hope so…

I know it’s a language/translation thing, but I saw a ‘Bitcoin Ponzi’ promise.  And no, I didn’t click, just in case…

Janelle Pineau is just rocking it with her splash pages right now.  She’s turned out about 10 in the last week or so that are just out of this world.  The Doctor Traffic model is particularly unique, maybe the shape of things to come…A guy can do worse than emulating genius…

Mark Belanger had a very good career out of doing one thing extremely well.  He just fielded everything that was hit his way.  I could do a lot worse in my business career than to be the leader in just one thing…

I’m just sayin’

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Bend it like Seth Godin

Seth GodinI tried to write a post in tribute to Seth Godin when he published his 5000th post, and I couldn’t come up with the words. He publishes an average of more than one per day, every day, and has for near 15 years. I have no comprehension of how.

I am shuffling hard to get this post started, much less written.

How does he Do IT?

There are several factors, some of which I am not aware. For instance, I have no idea if all the ideas come from his head, or if he has topical assistance. I know that if a particular post or column strikes his fancy and he writes with it in mind he makes the attribute clear.

He writes. I can tell you with no hesitation that the more you write, the more you are able to write. I don’t write a thousand words every day, but I do at least several days a week. That alone makes looking at the cursor on a blank page less intimidating. And a blinking cursor on a blank page can be very intimidating indeed.

He disciplines himself TO write. He keeps lists, he keeps schedules. The blogger that writes to a schedule has to have a ‘Just Do It’ mentality. Some days it is just as easy as anything, some days it is a real grind. It is being able to put out useable, interesting content on those days that is a real feather in your blogging cap.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’ll bet anything that Seth Godin keeps a notebook or a notepad on his computer with ideas that come to him. I know I do, I even use my phone when necessary. I find that most of these ideas don’t make an entire post, but combine the right two or three and you can have a magical post.

He thinks about writing. I’m positive that Seth Godin thinks about writing, even when he isn’t sitting at the keyboard. He writes with obvious passion and authority, it is obvious that he doesn’t just sit down at the keyboard for an hour a day. The beginning of his writing is done in his head before he sits down.

Conclusion

I’ll never be a writer of Seth Godin’s caliber, it just isn’t going to happen. But I can pattern myself and my writing after the Seth Godin model, and make my writing improve.

And in the End

I believe in Just Do It. Flush the excuses, forget the embarrassment. Just Do It.

I’m just sayin’

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A Bad Business Lesson

Bad Busines-Bad NewsSo. Badge #124. An E book by a TE expert for $9.99, special deal for badge hunters that want his badge and buy it before today because tomorrow it goes to Amazon and will be $14.99.

Now I’m all for writing books and selling them. I have written a couple myself. One I sell on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing, the other I give away to entice people to sign up to my list. Both are accepted business practices, I never have to feel any regrets with either one.

So what’s wrong with badge #124? I’m glad you asked.

Create a Shortage

A very well known marketing technique. By making you believe that you can save some money if you take the deal right now. “It’s $9.99 for today only, then it is out of my control and will go to $14.99 at Amazon” Here’s the bad part. I know how Kindle Direct works. They don’t set the price, you do. In fact, there are some serious advantages to keeping your E book under $10.00. So much so that I really don’t believe the price will be $14.99 at Amazon.

So I sell my book for $3.99. Probably priced a little high, but at that price I make more royalty than Stephen King does selling a copy of The Stand. Granted, Mr. King sells more copies than I do, but my point is that I make a very fair % by doing all the work.

Expert Status

I don’t know everybody in TE land, far from it. But this is a guy I’ve never even heard of before this badgehunt. NEVER. He claims expert status and that he has been around since 2006. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying. I don’t recall ever seeing his name on a comment, or in TE Live or a forum or on a blog post.

I did a little research, went to his website. He’s had it up since sometime in January of 2014. There are a few blog posts, some are just strictly banner posts (no words, just ‘my favorite TEs” and banners with reflinks. The rest are pretty crudely written link buckets for all the products he has for sale, including the book (the other prices are equally outrageous).

Bogus Comment

Here’s what started this investigation. We got a comment on the CTPis3 blog site. It was from “Stephanee” (who had no picture) and was quite long for a comment, raving about the ebook in question and how much it had helped her turn her online life around.

I originally approved it, then went back, because it just didn’t sound right. Turns out Stephanee’s return address went directly to the above mentioned website. Oooppss. Not even inventive enough to create a bogus address to post under.

Conclusions

Don’t create artificial shortages. It may work for awhile, but people get wise pretty quick, and your reputation suffers.

Don’t lie. You get caught in just one lie, and suddenly every thing you have ever said or will say is suspect.

It takes time and effort to be an expert. There is no shortcut. Saying you are an expert doesn’t make it so, and it annoys the very people that you are trying to sell to.

And the worst offense: Don’t post a bogus comment like that on a Sunny blog. She blasted it to the spam file and sent it to Spam Filter Service when she got her first look. Trying to run crap like that past Sunny is like trying to sneak a pork chop past a wolf.

I’m just sayin’

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Saturday Shortstops: Ozzie Smith (CTPis3)

Ozzie Smith FlipsOzzie Smith. Just the name brings up magic (not to mention the back flip) on the baseball field. If there is a Yoda figure in all of baseball it has to be the Wizard of Oz…

CTP is 3

Another in the blockbuster series from TimTech. Click Track Profit has turned 3 years old, and to celebrate, TimTech ran out another badge hunt. So far, this one looks to be the best one yet. Results from badge holders show results ranging from real good to unbelievable. I know my results are certainly in the real good to extraordinary category.

A byproduct is the increased activity at CTP, pushing membership ever nearer to 100,000. Also, for those of us who are upgraded members of CTP there has been a clear upturn in Random Referrals. Always a good thing.

CTPis3 Blog

Once again, Sunny Suggs and I are running a support site to a badgehunt. You can get a spreadsheet that makes keeping track of your badges easy and a daily update blog that will let you know what is going on. The happening place to be for all things CTPis3.

Note the website: This is a good example of the sort of site that Sunny can and will build for you. Having had it both ways, the Sunny option is way better than ‘Tom Built’. She is fast, experienced and inexpensive. She will even host it for you!! Find out more at BuiltJust4U. Best deal on the innerweb.

CTPis3 Badges

The Good

Quite a few really creative badge clues in this year’s contest. Several people used rhyming clues, and several badges were given creatively…

Like John Novak, 2 badges were used to get people to give charitably at Kiva and TE cares.
Lynn M launched a new product with a badge. Win $10 with Lynn. Virginia Herron has people write a blog post for her site (not that I know anyone that would do that) and Sunny Suggs had the ‘funnest’ badge clues ever!

The Not So Good

There are a few in the hunt that are just too complex and hard for most people to get. A couple of ‘buy my stuff’ badges that won’t get any play from me, and a couple that are just not very well thought out…

So, it turns out the whole page was about the CTPis3 promotion. That’s OK, Ozzie would understand. When it was time to perform, The Wizard of Oz was laser focused and up to the task. Long term focus is a good thing for business, too.

I’m just sayin’

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PTC Revisited

PTC Paid to ClickThose of you that have been with me for a while (ok, a long while) might remember that I tried to write to the PTC world.  I immersed myself in the culture and the websites, and tried to learn everything that I could as fast as I could.

And it didn’t work.  I couldn’t just force it in and make anything out of it.  It got jumbled and crazy and I just decided to put it away and concentrate on what I know…or think I might know.

But PTCs just would not go away for me.  I admit, I am intrigued and have been experimenting and learning (at a much slower pace) about them.  So, I’m going to write about them again,  Not on a regular basis, not in any sort of directed way…

PTC Land

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT an expert.  Do not use this as a basis for investing time or money.

I have been hanging around NerdBux and Legacy Clix and DrClix right from the start.  Call me a coward, but I know, like and trust the owners, and knew I couldn’t go far wrong hanging out there.  I have a few direct referrals, and have rented referrals at all three.  Most of my current experience comes from these three.

What I Have Learned

1  Direct Referrals are way cool, especially if they are active.  Particularly so long as you don’t pay too much for each of them.  My best results for direct refs is at Dr Clix, I have some that are just outstanding clickers.

2.  Rented Referrals can make money.  Like almost everything else, they are not ‘set it and forget it’, they need to be managed carefully.  Carrying rentals in the hope that they will go active is an expensive proposition.

3.  I find that I am a much better manager of my referrals when I am an active clicker.  Having real time information really helps.  There may also be some Karma at work here.  When I am a good referral, I seem to get better refs.

4.  PTSU (Paid to Sign Up) ads work, but also need to be managed carefully.  The number of people that will try you out just to see if you pay everybody is just staggering.  I get my best results from Nerdbux Micro Jobs, but even there I see a lot of attempted fraud.

5.  Standard Ads work fine, but in my experience, the best bang for the buck on any PTC is the fixed ads.  You get the most looks AND the most looks for the money.  It seems to me that fixed ads are the best of the bunch.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t failed to make 10% on my invested money in any month that I have been active at any of the 3 PTCs mentioned here.  That’s a pretty darn solid return.

And in the End

PTCs have a lot of upside.  I still think the TEs have a better overall rate of return, but from my perspective PTCs are viable.

I’m just sayin’

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POSHPERITY Fashion for All

Poshperity LogoWell, this has to be the ultimate for me.  I’m getting ready to write a review for a ‘Fashion Accessory Site’.  No, Really.  There is a story….

Virginia Herron used one of her badges in the CTPis3 badgehunt to have people write a blog post about her site, Poshperity.  Clever name, a combination of Posh and Prosperity…

Those that know me even remotely know my innate sense of fashion.  Blue jeans and a tee shirt, long sleeved in the winter, short in summer.  Probably a motorcycle theme, could be a racing shirt.  A fashion accessory is my well worn boonie hat that keeps my head from sunburn.

I went to Poshperity, Nicely laid out, and easy to navigate.  Still the question remains, what do I know of style?  Not much.  Actually, quite a little less than that.

The site actually reminds me of a friend’s website.  She started with no more than Virginia has, and over the course of 6 years has grown it to a solid 6 figure business online.  Maybe there is something to this, after all.  I tried all the buttons, and looked at all the stuff.

Still comes the question.  What am I doing here?  What do I know about fashion?  What can I possibly EVER know about fashion?

What I do know is people that I know, like and trust.  Virginia certainly fits into that category.  In absolute truth, if she says it is stylish and fashionable, then from my perspective it is stylish and fashionable.  You see, I trust Virginia and her sense of style.

There is a lesson here, if I’m bright enough to grasp it.  About the value of positioning yourself as an expert in your chosen field.  If I ever find myself unable to do without a fashion accessory, I will certainly go to Poshperity and Virginia.  Even better than that, I can recommend Poshperity to anyone at any time because of my trust in Virginia.  That is a pretty powerful business model…

Postscript::

This is, without question, the single most difficult thing I have written in many years. I am so overmatched it is incredible.  Another lesson:  Outside your comfort zone is ALWAYS uncomfortable…

It is my pleasure to have done this piece, but more than once over the last two days I have wondered why I said I would.

I’m just sayin’

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This is MY Story

It's MY StoryDisclaimer: This is my story. It is personal. If you don’t like personal, are looking for business only, you might want to go someplace else. I’ll be back at the regular grind in the next post.

What I Did

I flailed around the internet for several years. YEARS. I spent thousands of dollars. Make that tens of thousands of dollars. I learned a lot, mainly how not to do many things.

I wrote a book. Unlike the promise for the course, I did not get rich selling e books. I am, however, proud of my book, and it ranks very well in it’s niche at Amazon. It makes me about $80 per month, and has for quite some time. I learned.

I set up a website, it was not easy, in spite of the promise of the course. It is still up, and I am proud of that one. I have taken down 8 others since. I did not get rich with websites, despite the course promises.

I drifted. I spent. I joined CTP.

Click Track Profit

I was surfing at the other end of the TE world and saw an ad for CTP. I clicked it, and they promised free training. I didn’t believe, but joined anyway. They weren’t lying. Free training with the promise of more for upgrading. I upgraded within a week.

I met Larry Dame and Brenda Broyles. I screwed up my original password at CTP. Brenda and Larry got me fixed right up. I thought they were geniuses. I still do.

It’s just stupid luck, or maybe a real good ad, but my sponsor is Jerry Ianucci. Jerry was the first ‘regular person’ I met online. Not a shill for the program I was paid into, a regular guy that sent me emails, and responded back when I answered. WTH???

TE Live

I read everything. I watch everything. I do everything. There was a login video in my early CTP days for TE Live. I went to check it out, not expecting much. Boy was I surprised.

There was a real guy, Jon Olson there. Often with a sidekick, Justin Ledvina. They talked to a room full of people about ‘doing it’ and talked about how they ‘did it’ and how I could ‘do it’. For FREE. The single most enlightening experience of my TE life, no doubt. There were people, just like me, that I could interact with…Janelle Pineau, you will never, ever know how much your interaction with a dumbass newbie like me meant. I could see you were an action taker, and one of the ‘favored ones’, and wanted to be just like you. I still do. And for what it’s worth, I still go to TELive every day that I can. I don’t miss often.

Taking Action

I met Janelle. I met Marian G. I met Andrew Stark. I couldn’t believe I was meeting all these guys that were getting it done. I had ideas, lots of ideas. I acted on a couple. I wrote ‘CTP Manifesto’. Pretty arrogant of me, but I knew I could explain CTP better (I hadn’t met Patrick Griffin yet) but I worked it out, and got it ready. I could do it!!

I got involved in the 96 hour spreecast marathon. I met tons of people, and was completely hooked. What an experience. Some of the people I met were like Icons to me, I couldn’t even begin to believe they would talk to me, and respond to me…

Then one day in TELive, some person named Sunny Suggs showed up, came back is what the ‘old timers’ said. I thought it was pretty weird, most people use their real name in TELive, and they welcomed her back with great praise. Weird.

How little did I know what that would mean to me. I contacted her, for what ever reason, found out that WAS her name, and interacted. I learned about taking action from Sunny Suggs. Stuff happens when you are around her, and happens FAST. Why she decided that a greenhorn blogger like me would be a good choice for the badgehunt blog is beyond me, but boy, did it change my life.

Reading the Trend Line

There is a trend, here. Any success I have on line is a direct result of people, and taking a chance and acting on things. It’s simple, really. Very hard, but real simple.

Here is the biggest business lesson out of this whole mess: (I am no where near qualified to dispense nuggets) You never, not ever, know which one will perform and which one will not. Treat everybody as if they are the next big thing.

There was no particular pattern in my past to predict that I might succeed.

And in the End

You can do it. I am. If I can, you can.
There is way more to this, and I’ll get back to it before too long.

I’m just sayin’

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Saturday Shortstops: PeeWee Reese

Jackie Robinson and PeeWee ReeseI grew up with  ‘PeeWee’ Reese.  Not the ballplayer, he was before my time.  Nope, for me, PeeWee Reese and his partner Dizzy Dean brought me the game of the week every Saturday morning during the season.  One of the all time greats in baseball.

CTP is 3

TimTech has done it again.  To celebrate the 3rd birthday of CTP they are having another badgehunt.  This one promises to be as epic as the first two, and they were epic indeed.

The advantages are enormous.  As an advertiser, you just can’t spend a better $25 than by buying a badge or two or more.  The number of people that participate in this are just staggering.  I know my personal results in the first two badgehunts were just stunning.

Sunny Suggs and I will be doing the play by play for this one also.  You can access that website here.  Please note how it looks and how it works.  Sunny is a magician with setting up websites, she can do it for you, she can do it fast, and she does it for a very reasonable cost.  Get your own here!

Geotargeting

I need help.  Why geotargeting?  I’m pretty sure I understand the concept, but why?  I mean you are selling stuff, right?  What difference can it possibly make where on earth your ad is seen and sells??  I’d really appreciate it if somebody could give me a clue here.

PTC Land

I can’t help myself, I am simply intrigued by the whole PTC phenomenon.  I have been doing some serious checking around, have joined at least 15 PTCs this week.  I won’t have any ratings for a week or more, but I will say this:  There is some real junk out there, friends.  If in doubt, stick with the winners like Nerdbux, Legacy Clix, Dr Clix, Neobux, Probux and Clicksense.  I hope to find a couple of gems to report to you, but be very careful if doing this yourself…

TERL

TERacingLeague has turned a page.  Robert has completely re done the race way, it is now real racing.  You have to set up your car (which I haven’t done at all well, yet), watch your gauges and there is race strategy involved.  It looks to be great fun, come on in and see!  For the record, I have blown an engine in just 30 laps.  Anybody beat THAT record??

PeeWee Revisited

PeeWee was a true gentleman and teammate.  He was a star player in his own right, but he was legendary as a teammate.  Notably Jackie Robinson the year he broke in.  He risked his reputation, career and life to embrace (literally) Jackie R.  Being a good teammate is an important part of success in our business, too.  Nobody does it all alone.

And in the End

I’d rather be known as a great partner than a great individual.

I’m just sayin’

 

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