30 Apr 2014

Break Out The Photo Album - It's Time To Market Your Business!!!!

Do you provide products and/or services that are best marketed using images?

What about pictures you can conjure up in your mind about how much easier a customer's life will be if they use your product or service to help them in some aspect of their life?

Well, if images can help you market your business more effectively, these days there is a wonderful platform that you can use to get your marketing message out there - and this platform is called Pinterest.

And on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity you get to meet a person who is setting the benchmark for effective Pinterest marketing, because today you get to meet Cynthia Sanchez of OhSoPinteresting.com.

Cynthia provides workshops and speaking engagements on Pinterest marketing and in this discussion she will give you some wonderful insights into what to think about when you decide to use Pinterest to start marketing your business.

We hope you enjoy this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

27 Apr 2014

Talk About Making Your Head Spin!!!!!

I have just been checking the podcast visitor stats and we are doubling our podcast downloads every 4-5 months!!!!

At the end of December 2013 we were sitting at 5000 downloads and today (27 April 2014) we are at 10102 podcast feed hits!!

I don't mean to brag when I pass this information on (although I am chuffed!!!!! LOL) - I am highlighting this "stat" simply to give you an idea of how powerful starting your own podcast can be.

As we have always said here at BookPals, our goal here is to provide you with hints and tips to help make your business life just that little bit easier and we believe that providing you with the means to get this much traffic to your website is definitely in line with our goal.

This is why you can sign up for the Rapid Action Podcasting course via our website these days, because it is all well and good for us to be telling you how effective podcasting is to market your business, but we would not be holding up our end of the bargain if we didn't provide you with direct access to a training course to teach you how to create your own podcast.

Check out the training and sign up for the course - it's seven bucks - what do you have to lose?!!!!

26 Apr 2014

Time To Sharpen Your Pencil!!

Call it Karma - call it coincidence - call it whatever you like, but isn't it uncanny how things happen just at the time when you need them to?

Only yesterday I was out with a customer who has his own trades services business (he is a builder) and he was grumbling because he knows he has to start marketing his business online, but (to quote him) he doesn't know the first thing about this "online marketing stuff" and can't be bothered learning it, because at the end of each day all he wants to do is relax - he's in his mid 50's, has been "on the tools" for nearly forty years and works like a "dog", so give him a break!!! LOL.

He continued his "grumble" by mentioning that he spends thousands of dollars a year on traditional advertising (local newspapers, phone books, etc), but all that seems to be happening these days is the price of his advertising just goes up, but the number of calls he gets to give potential customers quotes just goes down!!!

While he was having his little "rant" I was standing there smiling and at one point in the discussion he noticed this - of course, I then get the "Do you think this is funny?" question!!!

We know each other well, so he wasn't really upset when he saw me smiling - and he started smiling himself when I told him that I was about to launch a new episode on the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast that is exactly what he needs to listen to - because in this episode I am talking with Sean Kaye of Rapid Action Writing.

You would remember Sean from a previous podcast episode where he talked about his Rapid Action Podcasting service and in this episode Sean talks about his Rapid Action Writing service where he can provide you with quality copywriting services to promote your business online via blog posts, social media posts and anywhere else where the written word can be used to market your business.

If you are one of those business owners who knows they have to start doing more to market their business online, then this episode of the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast is a "must listen to" - enjoy!!

24 Apr 2014

Here Is A Perfect Example Of What We Were Talking About!!

If you have been listening to the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast, you would recall back in Episode 9 that we chatted with Pauline Murray of Pauline R Murray Accountants.

During that discussion Pauline made mention that you should look upon your Accountant as a "silent partner" in your business - because a good Accountant not only completes your financial returns, but also provides you with timely information that you may not think about during the day to day running of your business.

Well, today I received a letter from Pauline that I think is a wonderful example of what she was talking about.

Check out Pauline's letter below -

I think this is a wonderful example of what Pauline was talking about in our chat.

If you are a business owner engrossed in the day to day running of your business, how often have you thought "I wish I had taken the time to see how my business was travelling before the end of the financial year", but it is one of those things that can easily be forgotten - or overlooked - because of the thousands of other things you have to think about when running your own business.

Well, with Accountants like Pauline Murray acting like a "silent partner" in your business, this is just one small thing that you no longer need to worry about.

Is your Accountant helping you in the day to day running of your business?

22 Apr 2014

Time To Supercharge Your Marketing Efforts

You may recall that back in Episode 11 of the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast we chatted with Sean Kaye of RapidActionPodcasting.com.

If you have not listened to this episode, we would encourage you to do so, because it gives you a wonderful insight into how you can let hundreds - if not thousands - of people find out about your products and services by creating your own podcast.

For those of you who have already listened to the interview with Sean Kaye, you would remember that his Rapid Action Podcasting course is exceptional value for money when you take into account the marketing "reach" you are able to achieve through podcasting.

Don't believe me?

Let me show you just how effective podcasting is -

As at the time of this post (22 April 2014) the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast has been going for just short of 23 weeks (it started on the 14th of November 2013).

In that time, there have been 5458 visitors to the podcast site and 15169 podcast feed hits (this is podcasts downloads from places like iTunes) which means that in just under 23 weeks, 20627 people have taken time out of their busy schedules to check out what is happening over at BookPals Business Sanity.

You do the sums - this is almost 900 people every week listening to our podcast to find out what is happening there - and that doesn't include those people who listen to the podcast via places like Stitcher Radio - so let's round the figure off at 1000 people listening to the podcast every week.

Could you sell more product if an extra 1000 people were listening to you every week?

Could you sell more of your services if an extra 1000 people were listening to you every week?

We think you could and because of this - and as part of our promise to provide you with hints and tips to make your business life just that little bit easier - you can now get access to Sean's podcast course right here at BookPals.

Now the nasty part - the price!!!

The course costs $7.00!!!

Yep - just in case you think this is a "typo", I'll say it again - the course costs $7.00!!!!

I challenge anyone to show me a more cost effective way to learn how to market to thousands of people who are looking for what you sell - and I haven't even mentioned the fact that the course is business related training, so you can claim this "huge" course cost as a tax deduction as well!!!! LOL.

Sign up for the course now - get your podcast going - and drive your business to further success.

Even More Ways To Say Hi!!!

You would have noticed the "Send Voicemail" widget over to the right there where, instead of having to type a message to us, you can now simply send a quick voice message --------->

Well, if you check out the BookPals website now, you will notice that you can send us a voice message from anywhere on the website.

We have set this up to make it easier for you let us know what we are doing right (and wrong - we want to know if we are "mucking up" anywhere!!!) with the information that we are providing you to help make your business life just that little bit easier.

Send us a quick voice message to say "Hi!!" and let us know things like what hints and ideas the BookPals Business Sanity podcast guests have provided to help you drive your business forward and we will will make sure that your message is passed on to our podcast audience (hey - make sure you give your business name a "plug" and read out your webpage address when you leave a voice message - use every chance you get to promote your business!!!! LOL).

If you - or someone you know - are really "kicking goals" in your own field of business and would like to tell thousands of people about your products and/or services, why not leave us a voice message and tell us about your "thing" and we will be in contact with you to get you on the BookPals Business Sanity podcast for a chat.  

15 Apr 2014

Ladies & Gentlemen - The Stage Is Yours!!!!

As part of our promise to make your business life just that little bit easier, we would love to know what aspects of business reporting you find the most "painful".

The reason we are asking you this is because we are committed to providing you with hints, tips and tools to help make your business life easier.

We know (from the feedback that we have already received) that the BookPals Business Sanity podcast is helping us to achieve this goal and now - as the BookPals software development begins to "kick into gear" - we want to make sure that when it releases, it provides you with an easy to use business reporting tool - not just another one of those programs whose startup icon sits on your computer screen doing nothing.

So, the stage is yours - let us know what parts of business reporting and business bookkeeping you find difficult and we will do our utmost to ensure that we make this aspect of your business life as easy as possible.

By the way, if you haven't already noticed, have a look over to the right of your screen --->

See something different?

That's right - we've installed SpeakPipe onto our blog now so that you can leave a voice message instead of having to type comments underneath each post (told you we were making your life just that little bit easier!!! LOL).

Ok, chat - or type - away and let us know what you want from us!!!

13 Apr 2014

What Marketing Method Do You Use?

When you convey your marketing message to customers - or potential customers - do you talk to them, do you talk at them, or do you communicate with them?

It is really important to keep in mind that communication is what the listener does - not what the communicator does (I need to thank Mark Horstman of Manager Tools for this insight here, as this is a saying that he regularly uses on the Manager Tools podcast) - so if you are talking to your customer, or at your customer, they may not be hearing your marketing message because you may not be communicating the correct marketing message to them.

Well, today you get to meet someone who can help you effectively communicate your marketing message to customers and potential customers, because on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity you get to meet Michelle Prak of prakky.com.au.

Michelle has a wonderful story to tell about how she made the "jump" from being a corporate employee herself to where she set up her own small business and now teaches these same corporations that once employed her how to effective communicate to their customers.

Michelle's story is a wonderful example of how opportunity is all around you, so sit back and enjoy this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

12 Apr 2014

"WOW!!!" is the only word I can think of that isn't a swear word!!!!

We had our 5000th visitor to the BookPals Business Sanity podcast website today and to say I'm "chuffed" is an understatement.

But it gets better!!!!!!

I started thinking to myself, "Ok, so these are people who visit the podcast website itself - how about those people that find out about our podcast through iTunes and places like that?"

So I started having a "dig" around on our podcast hosting site (we host our podcast through a crowd called Podbean) to see if there was more information on who was listening to our podcast.

I find an area there called "Statistics" and a section of this area is titled "Feed Hits".

If you don't already know, you don't host your podcast on iTunes - if you thought you did, you're not alone - until I started doing this podcast "stuff" that's where I thought they all "lived" to!!!

What you do is you host your podcast on a podcast hosting site and then your hosting site gives you a podcast feed URL that you submit to places like iTunes so that your podcast gets referenced there.

When I saw this area called "Feed Hits" I thought "Ok, this makes sense - this is obviously where you find out how many people are checking you out using the podcast feed URL" so I clicked on this section.

Let me share with you the printout -

So, I'm looking at this number - 13857 - saying to myself "Gee - this is interesting" (I didn't actually say "Gee" - I dropped a couple of expletives - but this is a "G" rated post!!!! LOL), then fell off my chair, then got back up and said "This can't be right!!!!".

So I go digging a bit further to find out if what I am looking at is what I think I'm looking at and find this in the Support Center of our podcast hosting site -

So I sit there saying "Well (I didn't actually say "Well" but again, it's a "G"rated post!!!), this is nice - 5000 people have visited the podcast site and 13857 subscribed to the podcast from places like iTunes".

So then I get my calculator out and go "The podcast has been going nearly 5 months (it started on the 14th of November 2013 and today is the 12th of April 2014) and there have been 18857 lets call them "hits" to the podcast episodes (5000 site visits plus 13857 feed hits) so I divide 18857 "hits" by 5 months and I am looking at a figure of 3771.4.

I sit there, staring at this figure saying to myself, "Ok, so almost 3800 people are listening to what we have to say every month - that's a nice "reach".

Sorry, but I can't say what I said after that - I can't even think of a polite substitute for what I said, I was so excited!!!! LOL

If you are trying to work out ways to get your marketing message out to more potential clients, PLEASE consider podcasting - if the example above doesn't show you how effective podcasting can be then I do know what will!!

10 Apr 2014

We'll Never Stop Making BookPals Easier For You!!!

Remember how we keep on saying that the BookPals Business Sanity podcast has been created to make your business life just that little bit easier? Well, we found something on our website today that didn't live up to that promise!!!

You know how there are audio transcriptions available for each episode when you go to the Audio Transcriptions page on our website? Well, we've just realised that this isn't the easiest way for you to download them because it means that you have to leave the podcast site, then go to our website, then find the Audio Transcriptions page and then download the audio transcription of the podcast episode that you are listening to.

Naa!!! Too hard!!! Something had to be done!!!

If you have a look at our podcast site now you'll see that the audio transcriptions are much easier to download.

Underneath each episode you will see an episode outline and at the bottom of this outline, you will see "Click Here For The Show Notes".

Simply click on those words and an audio transcription of the episode will download for you without you having to jump around various web pages trying to find the show notes.

You can even download the audio transcription at the same time as you are listening to an episode itself - much easier now, don't you think?

A quick side note - you may notice that some episodes don't have audio transcriptions included - an example of this is the episode released on the 25th of March 2014 titled "The BookPals Free Report Is Now Available" - this is because we're not bothering with audio transcriptions when the episode is simply an update on how the BookPals development is going - saying that, if you think having an audio transcription of these updates would make your business life just that little bit easier, please let us know and if enough people want them, we'll start doing them for you.

We are constantly reviewing everything we do here at BookPals to ensure we make your business life just that little bit easier, so if you find something that we have missed, please let us know and we will get it sorted straight away.

Ok, enough of me - go and have a listen to the podcasts now - there are some absolute gems there!!!

This Seems A Little Weird - But It Must Be Said!!

It seems a little weird to be raving about someone else's podcast when you have your own, but after listening to a podcast episode that I subscribe to, I have to share this with you!!

I have started listening to Sean Kaye and Grace Bowe's Self Made Marketing podcast and I must say that they are only 4 episodes in and it is already a "belter"!!

Over recent times we have had numerous discussions about the best online payment option to incorporate into the BookPals launch and I couldn't have been happier when I saw that the latest Self Made Marketing podcast episode was titled "Unlocking The Mysteries of Online Payments". 

Sean and Grace "deep dive" into the various online payment options available to you and provide suggestions on what option suits you best, based on the type of product or service you provide. 

Thanks Sean and Grace - this episode could not have come at a better time.

Have a listen and let us know if it helps you and your business.

Trying To Work Out How To Get The Word Out? Here's The Answer!!

I have just been reading this blog post by Jeff Bullas of jeffbullas.com.

You may recall we spoke to Jeff on an episode of BookPals Business Sanity where he gave you hints and tips on how to attract more customers using blog and social media posts.

I was talking about that episode the other day with a customer of mine who really appreciated the information, but was reluctant to implement this strategy because they do not class themselves as a good "writer" and had no idea where to start. 

I'll be sending this customer a link to this post from Jeff Bullas as soon as I've finished here, because there are 8 wonderful points in this post to get this customer of mine started. 

What do you think about Jeff's suggestions? 

6 Apr 2014

More Places To Listen To The Podcast

We know that not everyone out there has an "i" something or other in their pockets that they listen to their podcasts on, so to allow you to access the BookPals Business Sanity podcast from your favorite podcast subscription site, the podcast is now listed at Doubletwist, in the Windows Phone Store and at Blubrry.

And remember - as was mentioned in a previous post - you can also listen to our podcast via Stitcher Radio these days as well.

We hope that this now allows you to access the Bookpals Business Sanity podcast using whatever device you have because there are so many "business gems" being provided by the guests on each episode that if you are not listening to it, you really are missing out on so many ways to make your business life just that little bit easier.

If there is anywhere else you would like the Bookpals Business Sanity podcast listed, please let us know in the comments below and we'll get right onto it.

Ok - enough from me -  go and enjoy the podcasts!!!!

3 Apr 2014

Sorry We Were So Forward!!!!

I was out talking to a client today and suggested to them that they download the BookPals Free Report because the points listed in this report would have been really helpful to them.

Their response was interesting (to say the least).

They had read the blog post about the free report when it first went out, but were reluctant to download a copy because you had to provide your name before you could get a copy.

Sorry - honest mistake - I am so used to providing my name before I receive anything that it didn't even enter my mind that you may not want to do the same.

Anyway, all fixed now - if you have a look now you will see that all you need to do is provide your email address - and if you don't want to enter your email address sorry, but we can't help you - we have to email the report somewhere!!!!! LOL

We would encourage you to check out the report - particularly if you are just about to start - or have just started - your business, because if you implement the suggestions listed they could save you a ton of heartache (and perhaps a few dollars) down the track.

Oh - and to my good friend who had the discussion with me earlier today (you know who you are!!), thanks for the feedback - like many things you do when you start a new business, much of the BookPals project is trial and error, so if there is anything you like, don't like, would like, or would like changed here at BookPals, comment below and let us know - your feedback will always be appreciated.

2 Apr 2014

We've Just Been Approved On Stitcher Radio!!!

Do you enjoy listening to the radio while you work?

Well now, instead of listening to all the "Doom and Gloom" you are forced to listen to on mainstream radio, you get the chance to listen to discussions that will help make your business life just that little bit easier, because we have just received advice that the Bookpals Business Sanity podcast has been approved for release on Stitcher Radio.

Instead of hearing about all the bad things that happen throughout the world, which is all you get to hear about on mainstream radio these days (well, it does help with the ratings doesn't it?!!!!), now you get the chance to listen to experts in their chosen fields who share their business journeys with you and give you hints, tips and ideas on how to make running your business just that little bit easier.

Tune into the BookPals Business Sanity podcast on Stitcher Radio and we hope the information provided helps you drive your business to further success.

1 Apr 2014

Which One Are You Selling - And Is It The Right One?

I have just been reading this blog post by Seth Godin titled "The cure or the story?" and I think it is well worth reading and having a think about in the context of your own business.

As small business owners, all too often we sell the "cure" - a simple fix to help customers resolve their immediate problem, but once their "illness" is "cured", there are often times when we never see this "patient" again!!

Now, if we think instead about selling the "story", where - in the context of a customer's immediate pain point - we provide them with hints, tips and ideas that will allow them to "cure" themselves, how much more repore do you build with the same customer?

How much more do they promote your products and/or services to others?

How much more likely are they to ask for your help when their pain point is too hard for them to "cure" themselves?

Are you selling the "cure" or the "story"and if you intend to grow a long lasting and successful business, are you selling the right one?

I'd be interested in your thoughts.