When you are creating a brand, you’ll want to lock down all the user accounts for it on as many websites as possible. There are two resources to help you do that.

How To Check Username/Brand Availability Across Hundreds Of Websites

When you have a growing brand you’ll want to protect it. One way to do that is to register your brand name on every possible (popular) website. Though checking to see what’s available and what’s not can be a rather tedious process. Below are two websites you can use to help speed this up:

  1. http://knowem.com
  2. http://namechk.com/

Both sites work the same way:

  1. Enter your brand name (or username) that you want to search for.
  2. Click the search button.
  3. Get the list of sites that your username is already taken on and where it’s available.

Wherever it’s still available: register it … or outsource that. How To Check Username/Brand Availability Across Hundreds Of Websites We’ll be doing that soon!

Do you have any tools that can help automate this process or tools to help you find places to register your brand? Let us know in the comments.

The Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia

The Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia

The Not Wedding Backstage With ChykalophiaThe Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia The Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia The Not Wedding Backstage With ChykalophiaThe Not Wedding Backstage With ChykalophiaThe Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia
The Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia

Ari Chykalophia @ The Not Wedding

The Not Wedding Backstage With ChykalophiaThe Not Wedding Backstage With ChykalophiaThe Not Wedding Backstage With Chykalophia

Webinars are a great way to reach your target audience, but if they can barely get to your webinar it makes it rather worthless. The harder you make it for people to learn about, sign-up and view your webinar the lower your viewer count will be and it’ll also drop your conversion rates. TLDR: Make your webinars easy to access.

Increase Webinar Subscribers By Improving Usability

From a business perspective it might seem like the more information for (for a webinar sign-up) the and the more they fill in the more likely they are to be committed to listening to your message. Though that is an incorrect way of thinking. People might be willing to divulge a lot of information to you only if they really trust you, already have bought from you and if the webinar you’re offering is going to give them extremely high value. It also helps if you’re already very famous. But even then there is only so much information the average person from your target market will give you.

Asking for too much information will turn away potential people on your list and discourage them from ever signing up. Why?

  • You haven’t offered them enough value.
  • You haven’t build enough trust with them.
  • You haven’t made your offer enticing enough to be given a high priority.
  • You’ve made it too difficult or annoying to sign-up.

This is the same no matter if you’re a big fish like Tony Robbins or just starting-up.

How to improve usability

Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object
(source: wikipedia)

Improving usability means making it easier and more user friendly. While offering a webinar without any sign-up restrictions might be the most user friendly, it’s not a practical business application. We’re here to do business and build a brand so we have to strike a balance between business needs and usability. For myself and many others such as Frank Kern, Jay Abraham and Michael Hyatt the balance is very simple. We only ask the bare minimum needed to run a (successful high quality) campaign:

  • Name
  • Email address

We only ask for the name and e-mail because asking for more starts to significantly reduce sign-up rates.

Once they are signed up these need to know three things:

  1. The webinar URL.
  2. The webinar start-up.
  3. How to get to, view and interact with the webinar.

Most people get #1 correct. It’s easy, just stick the webinar URL in the e-mail and make sure it’s clickable. Easy.

It’s #2 and #3 that most people get wrong. Just the other day I received an e-mail newsletter informing me of the webinar start time. The time was listed in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). GMT is a good standard to use, though the average person isn’t very familiar with it and adds another layer of effort to try to figure out the start time in my local area. The fix is very simple:

  • Include start times in several time zones for your target market (if it’s spread across many areas and not a very local event).
  • Include a link to an easy to use time-zone calculator tool.

For example, if my target market is only in the USA I can say something such as:

The webinar starts at 6pm CDT (7pm EDT, 4pm PDT). You can find out when this webinar starts by using this handy world time calculator: http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/?qm=1&lid=6,5,8&h=6&date=2014-8-11&sln=18-19.

Now that they know when they should be on the webinar, it’s time to teach them how to get there and what to do once they are there. We can say something such as:

To join the webinar at the appropriate time click on the webinar URL provided below. On the webinar page you’ll be asked for your name and e-mail address, so please enter those in so that we know you made it to the webinar as this is a private invitation only event. After you enter your information click on “Enter Webinar”. If you arrived early you’ll see a “Please wait for the webinar to start screen.” Once the webinar starts the video will automatically start playing and you’ll be able to chat with your fellow webinar viewers through the chat box on the right side.

To ask a question click on the green hand button and enter your question into the pop-up box, then click Submit.

And so forth.

This takes all the guesswork out and lets the viewer know exactly what’s going on, when and what they can expect.

These types of experiences are what build your brand and help you grow. Once you’re webinar is started all that’s left is for you to put on a great show and give them all you got!

If you have other suggestions on how to improve webinar conversion rates, sign-ups and usability write it up in the comments. I’m curious to know how you guys do it.

By offering both high end and low end services you open your business up to more potential streams of income, a greater audience and a larger market share. You don’t have to compromise on quality in-order to appeal to price conscious clients, though you will have to alter your strategy.

Why You Should Offer Both High & Low End Services

Most clients (and projects) fall into two categories: high value, low value. High value projects give you the greatest profit margins and gives your clients an extremely good value for their money (in other words: a good ROI). Low value clients and projects won’t bring you in nearly as much money though they are small enough so you can offer them in a higher quantity. Another way to think of this can be: high end / high value services are your big, fat consulting contracts while low end / low value services are very low maintenance (for you) and have recurring income.

Why you need recurring income alongside big contracts

Big contracts are great though most of the time they are one shot deals. For example: a 100K contract to help fix a company’s hiring practices, a 18K brand design package, or even a $4M 2-year long marketing project. The big projects are your portfolio builders, your game changers and the way you move forward significantly in your career.

Though in-between your big projects what are you going to go for income and stability? What if you only get that first 100K sale and then nothing more for the next several months? Or what if the project is delayed? Or if the client pulls out, cancels the project or refuses payment? What then? Those are unlikely to happen, though it’s best to have stability and a safety net. One of the best ways to build a safety net is through easy services and give you a stabilized income.

These lower end services, if they are recurring and passive, will give you money every single month whether you find new clients or not. Big projects are great and we should all be pursuing them: though we need stability in-order to chase those big projects.

Barely any company survives on big projects alone. Big name consultants, coaches, actors, and companies all do both big paying projects and smaller things that pay less, but quickly and easily.

Bill Clinton was well paid for being the president of the USA, though most of his current income is split between two categories: bigger things such as speaking engagements, joint ventures and consulting and smaller things which are low maintance such as publishing and licensing media. Accenture, the big consulting firm, makes a lot of their money on big big projects though a good portion is made on recurring maintenance projects, retainers and providing lower level simple support.

You have your bread and butter services, and then you have the services which can also get you some meat on the table as well. You need both.

Examples of low end services / recurring income / passive income

Passive income is my personal favorite as it’s “set and forget”. This includes things like:

  • Novelette self publishing
  • Stock photography/images/audio/video
  • Media licensing
  • Royalties / franchise fees
  • Interest on investments
  • Simple online (info) products
  • Designs you can sell online (such as t-shirt designs)
  • Ads on things you have online (such as videos on Youtube, or ads on your blog)

Recurring income might require a bit more work from you, though it’s also generally rather easy money:

  • Hosting fees
  • Website retainer contracts
  • Rental income
  • Landscaping / yard care
  • Insurance
  • Online community memberships
  • Small business book keeping

What ideas do you have for recurring income?

If you’re having trouble getting HTML5 video to work on your website in Firefox it might be because of a server issue. If when you check the FireBug console (in Firefox) you see something like one of the following lines:

HTTP “Content-Type” of “text/plain” is not supported. Load of media resource http://www.example.com/path/to/your/videofile.webm failed.
HTTP “Content-Type” of “text/plain” is not supported. Load of media resource http://www.example.com/path/to/your/videofile.ogg failed.
HTTP “Content-Type” of “text/plain” is not supported. Load of media resource http://www.example.com/path/to/your/videofile.ogv failed.

If you instead see something like this:

Specified “type” attribute of “video/mp4″ is not supported. Load of media resource http://www.example.com/path/to/your/videofile.m4v failed.

That’s just telling you the MP4 (and thus M4V) video file formats are not supported in Firefox. You’ll have to convert the video file into another format and use that as a fallback in browsers that don’t support MP4.

To fix the ‘text/plain’ issue, all you have to do is edit the .htaccess file in your website root directory (usually something like ~/public_html/.htaccess) and add the following 3 lines to the very end of the file:

The issue is that Firefox doesn’t understand the file format all by itself and the server isn’t sending out any information to correct that mistake (or it might even be sending the wrong info). By adding those three lines to .htaccess we tell your server (assuming it’s Apache) exactly the types of files you’re using and their file extension(s).

It’s common sense that eating healthy is good for you, though it’s less known that eating healthy will also improve your productivity and thus business. Let’s talk about what eating healthy does to you, some healthy eating basics, how it won’t break the bank and the Food Pyramid myth.

Improve Your Business & Productivity By Eating Healthy

According to WHO “Adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent on average.” And that’s assuming you’re already eating decently well and have average (normal) health. Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice that will affect every aspect of your life from business, to relationships, to self-esteem and even your ability to concentrate. It’s in your, your families and the people who depend on you best interest that you eat (and stay) healthy.

Healthy Eating Benefits

Healthy eating is a slightly overused word, though the issue is that it’s largely a misused word. I take healthy eating to mean:

Eating and drinking for an overall balanced diet that my own body processes and uses well.

I didn’t say anything about carbs, calories, nor foods to leave out. I’ll eat pretty much anything you put on my plate as long as it’s tasty. A day here and there I’ll eat something rather unhealthy, greasy or sugary. Though my overall, over a long period of time, my meals are well balanced for what my body accepts. I eat for MY body, not on someone else’s diet nor plan.

This means I can eat whatever I want as long as I keep my meals overall balanced. One junk food meal isn’t going to ruin me. The benefit here is:

  • Less stress from worrying about calories, carbs, whatever all the time.
  • Easier meal planning.
  • Easier to east with friends and family.
  • Better for my wallet since I can pretty much pick whatever.

Yes: eating healthy is better for my wallet in the short term and long term!

Other than the monetary reasons, eating healthy will:

  • Improve (or maintain) your overall health.
  • Help you digest better.
  • Better digestion means less energy wasted on digesting which means more energy for other things such thinking.
  • Give your body the optimal conditions and energy for thinking, working, .. whatever you need to do.
  • Staying younger for longer.

This all helps you be better at business since your brain has optimal conditions for thinking and processing! When you control your emotions more, think faster and better and retain memories better you’re able to (in guy terms): “Be the better man” more often.

The Food Pyramid Myth

You know that food pyramid we (Americans) were all taught in school right? This image:

Improve Your Business & Productivity By Eating Healthy

Image source: http://diagrampic.com/food-pyramid-for-kids/

This pyramid is also wrong. Even though it’s the accepted model in schools, the government and even accredited organizations it’s still not right. You can read more about that here: http://www.rense.com/general12/wrong.htm.

A better model is to minimize wheats and fruits and:

Willett says that the USDA pyramid puts too much emphasis on red meat and lumps too many types of carbohydrates together. The pyramid gives too little emphasis to nuts, beans, and healthy oils, which have positive health effects.

Willett’s alternative, the Healthy Eating Pyramid, has daily exercise and weight control at the base, and recommends eating whole grains like brown rice at most meals.

It also emphasizes eating plant oils like olive, canola, and soy, and suggests eating lots of vegetables and gives fish, poultry, and eggs a higher profile than red meat.

And that’s just one healthier alternative. There are many new studies that significantly improve on the food pyramid and focus on the things that really matter.

Healthy Eating Basics

The basics to keep your mind strong and your body in top-shape are rather simple:

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat well & healthy.

Eating healthy and well is easy to do once you get used to it. Though the best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice … much. To eat healthy follow these basic 7 principles:

  1. Include lots of RAW vegetables.
  2. Eat red meat when possible.
  3. Fish. Fish is good, but in moderation.
  4. Nuts and whole grains are your friends.
  5. When cooking vegetables, do not cook them for long at all. If possible, add them in near the end so they stay as fresh & raw as possible.
  6. Learn what your body accepts the best and what it can’t tolerate, cut out the bad and stick with the good (most of the time).
  7. Don’t worry too much about the rest, eat whatever as long as you strike a decent balance that works for you.

Eating well on a budget

Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. If you always shop 100% organics and at places like Whole Foods: then yes, you’ll have an empty bank account soon. Though, there were a few studies done that showed that there wasn’t much of a difference, if at all, between ‘regular’ produce and fruits and the organics.

Translation: it’s perfectly OK to buy ‘normal’ produce at ‘normal’ grocery stores!

Here’s how we try to keep our grocery bills low:

  • Look for deals where possible + coupons. We don’t do any major couponing, we value our free time more than saving pocket change amounts of money.
  • Learn which stores have the best prices locally (or online) for what you need. For example, we shop at Costco for basics such as toilet paper and paper towels. Food items we get at a local super market that caters to the lower-middle class. There I can buy so much produce for $40 that at Whole Foods would only buy me an apple or something (a bit of an exaggeration of course, but you get the point).
  • Biggest ‘trick’ we learned: Make and use a meal plan!
  • Buy in bulk and freeze when possible.
  • Cook foods that can be stored and whose left overs can be re-used.
  • Find cheap foods that can be used in A LOT of recipes and are nutritious and use them as the base for most of your foods. For us, that’s a variety of rice.
  • Left overs are your friend.
  • Frozen vegetables will last a LONG time in the freezer and are (almost) just as healthy as the raw / fresh ones (really, go look this up yourself if you don’t believe me).
  • Try to eat less by drinking a cup of water before your meal. Then a cup of water with your meal. This will fill up your stomach fast.
  • Try ethnic stores for lower prices on veggies or certain meats. For example, our local asian store has some green veggies at rather low prices, though their meat prices are high. There’s a local meat store where you can get meats at good prices; that, and Costco meats are decently well priced too!

That’s how we keep healthy and keep within our budget. The level of business we do wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t eat well.

TED talks can offer great inspiration, invoke emotions and move many great people into action. Though not all TED talks are created equal. Let’s take a look at some of the most eye-opening, jaw dropping TED talks publicly posted on their site: <ted.com>.

What Are The Most Jaw Dropping TED Talks Worth Watching?

I’m curious to know what TED talks truly opened your eyes and made you think. Share the links in the comments!

just random fun-12
Welcome To Google My Business Mailer

Once you’re part of Google Places Google My Business you’ll receive this handy mailer!

Welcome To Google My Business Mailer Welcome To Google My Business Mailer Welcome To Google My Business Mailer Welcome To Google My Business Mailer Welcome To Google My Business Mailer Welcome To Google My Business Mailer