Category Archives for Strategy

Products to Create Passive Income

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reating products for passive income proliferation is an excellent way to get past the whole idea of working trading hours for dollars. All of us are programmed to work eight hours a day for a wage or fee, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the oldest passive income ideas is rental income for real-estate, but today you can earn passive income online right from home. Here are some ideas that work well.

  • Create Apps - Even if you don't know the first thing about code you can find freelancers willing to create your product for you to spec. Come up with an idea for your audience, then run it by a coding expert. You can find them on Upwork.com, and even place an advertisement on Craigslist.org if you prefer.
  • Write EBooks - Today, publishing your own books is a great way to make passive income. You can write it yourself or you can hire a ghost writer to do it for you. You can publish eBooks on Kindle for free. Or you can, for a fee, use CreateSpace through Amazon to publish a print book if you like.
  • Run a YouTube Channel - Did you realize that some people make thousands of dollars a month with popular YouTube channels? If you want to break in, you don't need to be fancy. You simply need to find a topic that is popular, and present it in a way that people like to watch. You take a share of ad revenue.
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    Create a Paid Directory - Software is available that allows you to create a directory website that is run practically automatically. The people put their information on the directory for a fee, then you simply approve them or not. Approvals can even be automated.
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    Develop ECourses - With websites like Udemy.com popping up all over the place, you can now create your own eCourse and get paid for each person who signs up to take the pre-created class. This is passive income at its best. Outside of updating outdated courses, you just publish and collect.
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    Create an Information Product - An info product is one of the oldest forms of passive income on the net. Simply create a product that teaches someone how to do something that you love, or provides a collection of information for them that they want, and you're in business.
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    Make a Membership Website - People love to be exclusive and feel as if their part of an inner circle. You can charge a monthly fee to allow people to be part of your inner circle if you have enough information to share with them. Add in a forum and a lot of people stick around just for that.
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    Run a Website/Blog - Blogs and websites that are active have content that goes up on them daily. The content is free to read and advertiser supported via ads and affiliate products. But, you can create a pay-to-read website and blog as well. It's up to you.

While creating these products is not actually "passive" in that you still have to do some work, collecting a big pay day later when other people promote your products as affiliates will feel as if you didn't work for it.

Software to Help Deliver Your Course

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hen it comes to eCourses there are many ways to deliver the course. You can do it yourself on your own website using a password protected page, through email autoresponder like Infusionsoft, or through other methods. Let’s go over a few of those methods to familiarize you with the multitude of ways that you can deliver your course.

  • Udemy - You can build a course, and then earn a percentage of sales, through using a third party system like Udemy. Your course has to be approved, and they have high standards of what is included and how you do it. For example, using the method requires a certain percentage of your course to be in video format.
  • Infusionsoft - You can deliver your course through email using an autoresponder like Infusionsoft. Simply use a password to protect each page that has the download on it, and use a payment gateway like PayPal first.
  • Memberium - This is a great way to deliver your course. You can have them pay using the system, then sign up for a list. You use the list to remind them about the pages to allow them to download your course.
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    InstaMember - This membership site software helps you build a page that is members only so that they can get courses delivered to them. This is a WordPress plugin; the biggest drawback is you cannot drip the content.
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    MindFlash - This is an LMS system that allows you to accept payments, teach courses via mobile, social media, and more. You don't need a website or a system to use this. It's an all-in-one course delivery service
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    LearnDash - This is an LMS plugin for WordPress that you can use to host your own learning management system easily to drip feed your courses to your audience. This is one of the easier options if you have a WordPress website.
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    CouseCraft.net - This is a hosted system that will allow you to create and deliver your course without having to set up a system yourself. It's simple to use, the price is fair, and it's free to get started. Try it out.
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    Academy of Mine - This is a cloud-based system that allows you to upload your course. You can even start an entire school and conduct live streaming courses if desired. This software has features you may not need that are very advanced, including affiliate program, multiple teachers and more.

However you decide to set up your course, it's important to ensure that you have the right payment gateways that your audience wants to use. In most cases, most people who buy courses on line like to pay via credit card or PayPal. So, you'll need a professional account in order to accept payment.

Get the Most from Search Engine Traffic

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earch engine optimization is an important component in online marketing. It uses techniques to ensure that your website or blog receives as much traffic as possible from all the search engines. But, you don’t really want all the traffic; you just want the traffic that is right for your website. You want targeted traffic that wants what you have to offer. This is the way you make the most of search engine traffic.

To get started making the most of search engine traffic, do the easiest things first.

Check Your Site for Broken Links

Do you have broken links on your page that you haven't fixed? This can happen easily for many reasons. However, the reasons don't matter as much as making sure that you fix the broken links. You can use a broken link checker to check for links regularly on your website. When you find links that don't work, fix them right away.

Link - http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/

Optimize Your 404 Error Pages

You can personalize a 404 error page to take advantage of your audience members accidentally going to the wrong page or a link you didn't catch that's broken. There are many ways you can personalize and optimize a 404 error page; how you do it will depend on the voice you want to project on your website or blog.

Update Keywords

Over time keywords change due to the audience changing or society changing. Words today may mean something else later. Taking time to study keywords and making a long list of all variations of keywords can also help you think of new content to create for your audience.

Use Keywords in Headlines and Titles

When you have studied the right keywords, you can use them as titles, headlines and sub-headlines on your website and blog posts. Don't try to be tricky in your titles at all; instead use all words correctly and accurately.

Remember Benefits over Features

Your audience cares more about what's in it for them than about what's in it for you if you answer the CTAs. Find ways to get through to your audience about all the benefits of your offerings and what you can do for them.

Get Links from Authority Sites

The days of getting any links into your site are over, but getting links from authority sites is always important and will always be in. If you can get links from .edu sites, that's even better. A way to accomplish this is to create your own courses that are high value enough that an education site may take notice.

Link to Authority Sites

A great way to get noticed by others, including search engines, is to link out to other sites that have authority. Content curation is a great way to create valid links out from your website to authority websites. Include a blurb of your own for each item you link to so that your opinion and thoughts are added to the information you share.

Keep Content Updated

Content of all forms is important to put on your website and blog. Use text content in the form of blog posts, audio, video, long form, short form, white papers and more on your blog and website to get the most from search engine traffic.

Finally, use the right meta information such as "alt" tags on images, tags on posts, and so forth. Try using a plugin like SEO by Yoast if you use WordPress to build your site, to help you get the most from search engine traffic.

How to Improve Your SEO from A to Z

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ou hear a lot about search engine optimization or SEO, but often what that means is a mixed bag. Many people don’t understand what SEO is, or that there are many kinds of SEO and that you don’t have to be an expert to improve your SEO. There is both on-page and off-page SEO. Let’s take a look at both types.

The thing to remember is that SEO tactics change continuously based on the algorithms that the search engines choose to use to help their audience find what they're looking for. The big key to remember is that the search engines are trying to deliver excellent results for their target audience. Your job is to help them.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO consists of anything you do to improve search engine traffic and results such as inbound links, trust building, social media, blog promotion, videos, press releases, commenting and more. You can use all of these tactics to help build up your website's traffic and thus your conversions.

  • Comment on Blogs and Forums - Even if you're not allowed a link back to your website, your comments on blogs and forums do not go unnoticed - especially today when most use identification procedures via Gravatar or Google to find you through your profile.
  • Social Media Posts and Promotions - When you write a blog post or publish anything on your blog use social media to promote it. Not only will you get more traffic to your posts, you'll get more links to your website via your general social media promotions.
  • Conduct Interviews - Give interviews on radio shows, on blogs, and more. The more authority you can build by being interviewed, the more links you'll get back to your website and products, and the more people will get to know you.

Finally, when it comes to off-page SEO, don't underestimate the power and effectiveness of the good old-fashioned press release to get the word out about your business to the media. Press releases are still excellent ways to publish information about your products and services, especially if you can tie it to a popular human interest story and news of the day.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO consists of anything you do on your website to ensure that you get more traffic to your website via the search engines without paying anything for the traffic. Creating perfectly optimized pages is as simple as adding a little extra effort.

  • Publish Targeted Content - If your content is high quality, unique, and relevant to your audience, this will help them find you. They'll look for words that are inside that content and be sent to your pages.
  • Headings on Pages - Using keyword-rich phrases for the headings on your website, including your blog posts, will help search engines find you too. Plus the words will be something your audience will focus on as they scan your page.
  • Check Grammar and Spelling - You want people who visit your website to come away believing you have authority on the topic that's in your niche. Therefore, it's important to double check your grammar and spelling.
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    Code Your Site Right - Within images, headings, descriptions and more, there are ways to use metatags to give the search engine clues about the topic on your blog or website. Use them properly to describe images and the subject matter, so that your audience will find you.

Using both on- and off-page SEO is an effective way to ensure that you set up each page on your site properly. If you use self-hosted WordPress, you can use various plugins like SEO Yoast to help guide you for on-page SEO.

Link to SEO Yoast - https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/

Creating Passive Income as a Service Provider

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hen you’re a service provider, in many ways (unless you have a huge team) you are working trading hours for dollars. With only so many hours in the days, your income will eventually top off. But, if you work in your spare time to create passive income, you can create a situation where you can overcome the hours for dollars trap.

First of all, let's understand what passive income is. It's not really as easy as the word "passive" makes it sound. You do have to do some form of work first to collect the income down the road. But, you do the work today and then collect on it tomorrow - many times months and even years down the road.

The best way to approach creating passive income as a service provider is to consider who your audience is right now, then find products and solutions that can help them. For example, if you are a virtual assistant for life coaches, they're going to need systems such as payment processing systems, course delivery systems, sales pages and more. You can become an affiliate for all of these systems that you then recommend and help set up for your customers.

As a service provider, there are many things you know about your clients which can help you determine what they need. You probably know your clients more than other people who create affiliate products and systems to use, so you may be able to find and create even better offerings than others due to your insight.

Here are some more ideas for creating passive income.

  • Write an eBook - You likely can teach other service providers or your client audience how to do something, and writing an eBook is an excellent way to go about it. You can write the book and get it up on Kindle within a few weeks.
  • Develop a Membership Course - You can turn your book into an eCourse easily with the right set-up. You can put your course on a website, or you can use one of the cloud-based providers such as Udemy.com.
  • Create a Blog - A blog is a good way, though a long term way, to earn some passive income by recommending tools, products and services to your audience. You technically can easily create two different blogs. One directed to other service providers, and one directed to your ideal client for whom you now work as a service provider.
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    Build an Online Directory - A directory is a great way to collect some money to allow people to list their business on the site. You can make it pretty hands off with the technology available from directory software like eDirectory.
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    Promote Products as an Affiliate - Your audience likely needs various products that you can recommend to them as an expert service provider. When they use the link you provide to them, you'll earn a little bit of commission.
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    Outsource More - As a service provider you can become the public name of a larger entity when you outsource. If you can find people to outsource to who will do the work less expensively but as well as you, you can make money without having to do the work. Your job becomes marketing the services.
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    Promote an App - You may be able to come up with an idea for an app for your audience. Even if you have zero coding experience, you can hire a coder to make the app for you, then promote it to your audience as well as your customers.
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    Create a YouTube Channel - Popular YouTube channels can earn a full-time income and you can get in on the action. You can either make videos yourself, or you can hire someone to make videos for you depending on which way you plan to go.

Developing passive income sources as a service provider is a delicate balance. Always be honest with your clients when you recommend a product to them that it's something you will earn commission on. Nothing is wrong with that at all, but you have to be up front with them about it.

Seven Ways to Nurture Existing Customers to Increase Sales

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ne of the most important assets you have is your current customers. It’s much less expensive to keep your current customers and turn them into repeat customers than it is to go out and find more customers. This is not to say you should not keep marketing to find new customers, but you should do all you can to nurture the existing relationship you have with current customers in order to increase sales. Here are seven ways to achieve that.

  • Offer Early Bird Sales on New Products – When you know that you’re planning the release of a new product, tease your current customers along the way about the launch. Then finally boost sales of the new product by offering early bird sales opportunities to the customers you already have.
  • Keep in Contact with Your Customers – Even if you aren’t planning a new product launch for some undetermined time, it is important to keep in touch with your current customers by sending them links to interesting products you’ve discovered that other people have developed, or articles that you think they might find interesting.
  • Follow Up with Customers Often – Once a customer buys something from you, it’s imperative that you follow up and ask them how they are enjoying their purchase. Do this after allowing enough time for them to try the product or see the results of the product. Use the feedback you get from your questions to make your next product better.
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    Thank Your Customers – Never pass up an opportunity to think your customer and surprise them with unannounced bonuses. These types of bonuses will encourage future purchases because people love feeling as if they got more than they paid for.
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    Invite Current Customers to Special Events – If you are planning a special event that would be appropriate for current customers, never fail to invite them personally to the event. Whether it’s in person or online, they’ll appreciate the gesture and remember you for it.
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    Make Customer Service a Priority – Never skimp on good customer service. Implement a good ticketing system with deadlines on how quickly someone will get back to the customer, whether they have a problem or a compliment.
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    Invite Current Customers to Private Groups – A great way to thank your satisfied customers for their business is to invite them to a private Facebook group or message board for customers only. These people will be invaluable to you moving forward to create new products and services.

Your current customers are far more important to help maintain a long-term business than you may initially think. They can become your biggest fans, recommending your products and services to others. And if you please them, they will become repeat, long-term customers that will stick by you for years.

How to Analyze the Supply and Demand of a Niche

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s a small business owner it is imperative that you study the supply and demand of any particular niche for which you feel you want to be involved. In addition, choosing a smaller niche market can allow your business to avoid competing with huge businesses that can afford to put out less expensive items.

As a smaller business owner you can charge higher prices for specialized and differentiated products or services that you promote to smaller audiences, giving higher profitability. In contrast, a larger business isn’t going to touch the smaller niches because they want to make much larger profits than the smaller niches will allow.

The trick is to learn how to analyze the supply and demand of any particular niche to ensure that you want to enter that market.

  • Define Your Customers - How many customers are there to whom you can market any particular product or service? Knowing how many there are can give you a good idea about what the price point of the product needs to be in order to make it worth your while. Remember, you’re never going to reach every last potential customer so adjust your expectations accordingly.
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    Determine Their Needs – As you look at the customers you want to work with, it’s important that you develop an understanding of their needs so that you can create products or services that are special, differentiated, and that they’re going to be willing to pay a higher premium for than mass-produced products and services that are lower quality.
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    Provide the Right Products or Services – Knowing the customers and their needs will help you get down to work identifying several potential product ideas that you can do more research on by using keyword research, polling of the audience, and other methods to determine the supply and demand of products like yours.
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    Outline a Marketing Plan – Once you’ve figured out the product or service you want to market, you’ll be able to determine marketing strategies and tactics that will help you earn the most from your small niche. Part of profitability is to know how you can market efficiently to your customer.
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    Make a Profit – Finally, doing the research will help you determine if you can make profit. Take the number of people in the market, the average market penetration and your price point, and you can come up with the most likely number of products you’d have to sell each month, week and day to reach your goals.

In order to make all this work together it’s important to:

  • Choose Keywords – Keyword research is somewhat subjective and starts with an understanding of your audience and a few words that you think they’ll use. You can also use tools to help you do keyword research.
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    Research Other Products – Find products that claim to be answers to your audience’s issues and check them out to find out how you can differentiate yours enough to charge the price point you need.
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    Identify the Price Point – Using the information gathered, come up with a price point that works for you.
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    Determine Your Break Even Number – Using all that information, come up with how many products you’d need to sell to make the profit you need to make, and whether it’s even possible considering all the other factors.

Bringing all these points together will ensure that you understand how supply and demand relates to the profitability of your niche. If there aren’t enough customers, or enough demand, and you can’t sell at a price point that fits with your income needs, you can then know it’s time to move on to another idea.

How to Write Your Business Vision

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very business needs a vision. A vision is like the big daydream you have in the middle of the afternoon after paying all your bills. It’s about sitting on the balcony of your beach-side resort room watching the sunset while working from your laptop. It’s the fanciful but possible potential of your business dreams. It’s not going to happen today, but if you reach for the stars, and work toward it, it could happen.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your USP? – This is about your products and services now.
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    What is in your mission statement? – This is about what you will do for your customers, how and why.
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    What is your five-year vision – Where you will be, and how you’ll get there.

Use this information to figure out where you’ll be in five years from now or ten years from now. That is your business vision.

Example:

Acme VA Services will be the top grossing, premier virtual administrative providers in North America by providing reliable, consistent and knowledgeable administrative and author services to six-figure e-book authors.

Once you write a business vision, use it to take action, create a strategy, and formulate tactics to actually reach your vision. Use the vision to motivate yourself, employees and contractors. You know how they say to dress for the part you want? Well, it’s the same with your business vision. If you have the vision to be the top-selling Kindle e-book seller, then you need to act like you already are and do the things it takes to make it a reality.

Maybe money isn’t the most important thing to you. Maybe something else is important to you. If that’s the case, this should show up in your business vision as well. What’s right for one business might not be right for another. Perhaps you want to be able to donate millions of dollars to charity by giving away 10 percent of your profit each year. If that’s the case, and your dream, write it down.

Your vision can include dreams about:

  • Finances – This could be about supporting yourself, your family, retirement or supporting employees, contractors, or a community.
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    Reputation – This might be about the business’s reputation with customers, employees, contractors and other interested parties.
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    Quality – Your vision could be to provide the best of whatever it is that you make.
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    Value – You want to give your customers valuable information, products and services.
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    Growth – You may plan to double your business in two years, quadruple in five and so forth.
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    Passion – You show your customers how much you and your employees (contractors) love doing what it is that you do.
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    Charity – You want to be able to donate to and help charities.
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    Sustainability – You care about environmental issues or other long-term issues.
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    Service Oriented – You care about doing service for others.
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    Community Minded – You want to help your community, be it local or within your industry.

You can include any number of other issues that you find important within your business vision. Not everyone is in business only to make money. After all, this is about a vision that you have and it’s personal to you about your path in the world and with your business.

The Importance of Microtargeting Your Audience

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lmost everyone reading this has experienced microtargeting in the form of paid political “robo” calls, personal phone calls, and emails from political campaigns. This is simply taking the idea of the customer of one to new heights. While you may be bothered by the political phone calls, the truth is microtargeting works. If it did not work they would not spend billions on doing it. As a small business you can also take advantage of microtargeting, and you should.

No, you don’t need to make irritating calls at dinnertime, but you can use microtargeting in several ways as part of your overall online marketing campaigns. Probably one of the best known ways that you can engage in microtargeting is via Facebook Ads and Retargeting Ads. These types of ads are directed to you due to activity that you took, or due to the advertiser singling you out using your demographics.

Small Businesses Can Use Microtargeting Too

Your business can take advantage of microtargeting using your email marketing software too, if you send out a poll to your audience to collect more information. You can also look at their behavior to make some assumptions about future behavior. All microtargeting really is, is using the consumer’s behavior to predict future behavior, or their demographics to single them out for specific specials and sales.

Using the consumer data that you can gather to identify and influence smaller groups of people toward purchasing your products and using your services isn’t really anything new. What is new is the technology that makes this one of the most powerful forms of marketing the world has ever known. Microtargeting can improve your sales dramatically, and is not something that you should avoid.

  • Give away a white paper – You can collect more data on your customers by giving away something of value, in exchange for them answering a very short, no more than five question survey that will give more insight into their needs, behaviors, or even buying responsibility.
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    Personalization – This is a way that you are already microtargeting, if you’re using your email mailing software properly. You know your customer’s name, and you use it. You can use the same software to personalize even more if you send out surveys to get more information from your current readers and clients. If you act in small doses, they are more likely to give you the information you need.
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    Facebook Ads – You can use Facebook and their vast amount of information on their members to microtarget specific demographics. Try doing it for a campaign and see whether or not it works well for your needs. For example, if you want to teach mothers how to earn money from home, you’ll send your ad out only to mothers who stay at home, or perhaps even mothers who work outside the home.
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    LinkedIn – If you have your own group on LinkedIn, you can engage in microtargeting by creating an ad campaign that targets only members of the group. This is a great way to market a new product or service just to your group of connections. (By the way, you can also do this on Facebook.)

 Remember, if it’s good enough for political campaigns, and by the way, Visa (who also microtargets consumers), then it’s good enough for you. Imagine bringing back visitors who came to your site with an appropriate Facebook Ad, or sending ads only to a select group of people who are likely to respond positively, without wasting money on people who won’t.

Why You Should Enter a JV

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oining together in a joint venture (JV) agreement with another person or business entity is a common way to join forces without changing the structure of either business. When you join with another business temporarily, you can share resources in terms of people, technology and finances. This can make the combination stronger than each individual business.

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    Grow Your Business - By having access to your partner's connections, you can get your business known by new people and new connections that you wouldn't have access to as quickly otherwise.
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    Expand Your Brand - When you want more people to know about your brand, having someone else mention you, and you mentioning them, can create a discussion that helps expand awareness of both of your brands.
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    Build Your Email List - By giving each other access to your individual lists, telling your lists about the other, some of the people will cross over to become members of both lists. This is a great way to build your list with targeted individuals as long as you chose a partner who sells complementary goods to yours, to the same audience.
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    Enter a New Market - There are often several markets for one service or product. Finding a JV partner who deals with a portion of your audience that you've never dealt with before is a great way to get your foot in the door to the new market. 
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    Develop a New Product - Sometimes two entities can come together using all their resources and create a brand-new product that neither business could accomplish on their own. This is a wonderful reason to form a joint venture partnership. For example, two business owners could come together to create a live event which is recorded to become a new information product.
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    Improve a Current Product - If you both already have similar products but both products are lacking, you could combine the good from each product or service to make a brand-new product or service that provides more benefits.  
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    Bring in Skills You're Lacking - If you are lacking in a skill and don't want to outsource it, find a JV partner who has the skill that you don't have. Then you can each do what you do best to contribute to the JV partnership. 
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    Improve Your Authority Level - When you hang around other smart people, you become one of those smart people just by association. Surround yourself with really smart people in a JV partnership and you'll achieve more than you thought.

There are many reasons to enter a JV agreement with the right person. But, before you get started, know why you want to do it so that you understand, based on your goals, who you should work with. Remember - join with someone who has a complementary business to yours, not your direct competition, and not when it has to do with your main source of bread and butter.

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