How to Make Money While You Sleep

business, entepreneur, Start Ups

It was during a back-to-back deskside media tour here in NYC smack in the middle of an epic snowstorm, as we rushed to appointments with top tier publishers of magazines like People, Elle, Fitness, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health magazines that Ottmar, one of my all-time favorite clients,  told me “I think you should start figuring out how to make money while you sleep.”  He claimed that was the smartest advice he ever got from his father.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Sure, just make some money while you sleep, you know, sell something on line or invest in the right stocks and bonds or braver yet, try to run more than one business at a time. Hah! fancy me, a serial entrepreneur.

Before you even start thinking about starting a new business, your own company or a second brand, understand that there are some right (read: smart) and wrong ways to expand your entrepreneurial profile.

I was interviewed for the May issue of Inc. Magazine about how to start up and manage more than one business at a time.  I learned an awful lot about what not to do and finally figured out how to grow faster and easier.  If you are running off on your second venture take a moment to read some wise advice here,  Just Because Elon Musk Is Doing It All, It Doesn’t Mean That You Should Too.

The takeaway – do what you know, expand on your strengths and don’t try to make money in an industry that you know nothing about.

The Healthiest Mindset for Thriving in The “Gig” Economy

Angel List, freelancing, future of marketing, Gig Economy, LinkedIn ProFinder, Marketing Strategy, media relations, Thumbtack, Upwork

Another title for this post could have been, a fearless manifesto for 5-star reviews & making money on UpWork, Angel.co Thumbtack, LinkedIn Profinder, Clarity.fm and Table.co.

Okay, here we have my contribution to a healthy set of rules to follow with a go get ’em 😎 strategy for freelancers navigating the new gig economy.  Maybe you were laid off, looking for a new job, searching fo a way to make extra coin or you are having a hard time figuring out how to do so. These rules encompass what I have learned so far from helping others build their dreams.

It’s not all about making money. How boring. Set out to meet and work with interesting people. Network like hell, join Meetups, free workshops, seminars and lectures on Eventbrite. Strike up conversations. Don’t be shy, ask interesting questions. Take the focus off you. That will make you less self-conscious.

In the beginning, say yes to everything, thank you, Derek Sivers,  so you can say hell yeah to what you really want later.  Do it. The small, the tedious, the boring, the ridiculous, the uncool. Unless it’s really illegal or something that could hurt someone, say yes to every project you get.

Now work for five-star reviews. Client not 100% happy with the job you did? Need to put in another weekend to respond to their requests and questions and remake that thing you created for them? Do it. Do anything you can to score a five-star review on your profile from a satisfied human being. Be of service and do it well.

Give away your best ideas for free. All of them. Seriously. All of that research you did to help you become better at what you do. What you learned from the courses you paid for and all the takeaway lessons from the hours spent fine-tuning your skills. Write it, film it, document it and give it away.  Gracias James Altucher.

Slow down. Don’t rush. Create quality. Approach everything, every project, whether it is personal or professional with a grateful mindset. From doing your laundry in between UserTesting gigs to getting out for a mind-clearing bike ride between blog posts. How you do anything is how you do everything. Focus. Train. Practice. (Tim Ferriss)  

Don’t be rigid. Be flexible. Flexible about everything. How much you get paid, how long a project will take, who you choose to work with, your relationships and what you learn. Think like Bruce Lee. Be water, my friend. Be water.

adaptable

Do not try to be a thought leader, expert, guru or God forbid, an influencer. Aim to be helpful and valuable instead. That’s it. Oh, and be yourself. Comb your hair first. Sometimes I forget to do that. 

value

All advice starts with “Be true to yourself”. Do what you’re passionate about. That’s hard to figure out. How about starting with being frank and honest. But do it in a kind way. Don’t be snarky and condescending, but be real. That is how you begin to remain true to yourself.

Take some time each day to feel your feelings. Don’t just work like a beast. For God sake, be vulnerable.   Don’t hold that shit in.  Being vulnerable will help you attract better clients and build stronger relationships with people. People like honest people. So, learn who you are and what you stand for. Self-awareness makes for an improved portfolio and body of work. I think Gary Vee agrees

When you land that project, take a moment to ask yourself – How can I do this in a better way? Reexamine your approach to projects. Learn how to be more productive, more efficient and more creative.  

Expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then bring those ideas into your realm.   Steal ideas from the best. Blatantly rip them off, don’t forget to put your spin on it too.

quote-i-steal-from-every-single-movie-ever-made-i-love-it-if-my-work-has-anything-it-s-that-quentin-tarantino-98-75-62

Choose yourself, start hustling today, because honestly no one except your mom and dad or family you actually get along with really care.  The idea of security and safety in a job in 2017 and beyond is a false narrative. 

There are just a handful of old skills you can bring to the new economy. So everything that got you through your last job, well yeah, no. You need to build an arsenal of talents. Carry over the timeless and true but plan on learning something new every single day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the money. If you are nervous and don’t feel quite confident about your value, ask for a little at first. Don’t worry, you will get tired of making peanuts for a living and competing with half the world that lives on $2.00 or less a day. Work, learn, build, upgrade. Repeat. Then ask for more. 

Sign up for all the new bank-disrupting ways to get paid. Stripe, Square, Shopify, PayPal, Venmo, ACH, Wire transfer. Hell, take cash when you can.

You are only as good as your last gig. Seriously. A review or case study older than a month is old news. Keep on working, building, creating, repeating. Share projects you are proud of on your website and social media. (Omit names and specifics when you have signed an NDA)

Hello there, I am Madeline Johnson,  a marketing and media strategist based in NYC, specializing in health and wellness. I love working with people who are creating products and services to help us look and feel our best. I also strive to be 1% better each day.  That’s it, I take baby steps because it’s hard and I suck at a lot of things, but I do it anyway. It seems sinful not to. My quest to make sense of it all Undisputed Origin.

Oh and I have a course for you. It’s only two hours long and it will help you understand how to be a better interview guest, collaborator, and freelancer, while scoring media and influencer coverage for your new company. It’s called The PR Playbook. If you are just starting out and on a budget, hit me up @marketcouncil on Twitter or @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram for a free promo code. I know what it’s like in the beginning. 

How Does Your Business Add Value?

building brand trust, editorial know how, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, media relations, media relations expert

Writers for top tier media like The Huffington Post are generally very curious people. If you are going after media coverage and you’ve landed an interview, be sure to share the problem your business helps solve. Share your personal story as well. Did you create your business because of a problem you were having yourself? This is what makes your story more interesting, authentic and possibly more shareable.

Need help sharing your story with editors and journalists? Reach out for a complimentary brain storming session with me. Send me at Tweet @marketcouncil

Standing Out in a Sea of Startups

brand publishing, brand reputation, Communications, Content management, Content strategy, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, media relations

What’s keeping me busy these days involves writing and filming digital news kits for startups and new brands. I have a lot of fun helping them shape their brand stories as I prime them for interviews and news coverage.

Watch this 45 second video above for one of my best tips on how to share a more authentic brand story that influencers and journalists what to hear.

Like these tips? Want more? Sign up for my media relations 101 course for start ups and entrepreneurs, launching this September 2016. Check out ThePRPlaybook.com

News Coverage for Your Personal Brand

digital content strategy, Digital Newsroom, Earned Media, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage

Here is an important tip for you to follow when you are reaching out to the media for news coverage. Ask yourself Why??? Why would the audience of USA Today, The New York Times or The Huffington Post care? What stories are they sharing with their friends, family and co-workers and why? Build your story around what matters most to the writer’s audience.

You may have the most remarkable business idea created this year, but it’s just not enough to pitch your startup’s story to a reporter or journalist.

Influencers and journalists want pitches that will get shares. They are looking for news that will be retweeted on Twitter, shared on Facebook, repinned on Pinterest and forwarded through email.

You can increase your chances of news coverage success when you include why the writer, reporter and producer’s audience (their fans and followers) will share the story you are pitching.

So how do you do that? How do you know if your story pitch is a shareable one?

  1. Create an emotive pitch. Get to the heart of the story. Make it moving, inspiring, shocking. Something that will make other’s wake up when they read or watch it.
  2. If you are emailing a pitch to an influencer, craft a headline that arouses curiosity.
  3. Make sure you load it with emotional appeal and if you can leverage some controversy. More from @Jeffbullas here.

Want more tips like these? Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Sign up for my course www.theprplaybook.com launching this September 2016.

Follow me on Twitter @marketcouncil

The Smartest Way to Get PR Coverage

Earned Media, editorial know how, media relations, media relations expert, press coverage, Public Relations

Media outreach can be the bane of any PR/social media manager’s existence. When it comes to the day-to-day in marketing and PR, there is nothing more frustrating than pitching people who aren’t paying attention.

Even if you have the most fascinating and compelling story ever told, reaching out to incredibly busy influencers and reporters can feel like throwing darts into the dark. Some writers and reporters admit to happily deleting over 500 pitches a day. Some even find the purging quite therapeutic.

Babbler, created by two very smart sisters in the PR world, is a more strategic way to share your story with influential writers, journalists, bloggers and reporters on YouTube.

In this inteview, Hannah Oiknine, co-founder of Babbler explains how the social network for media relations works and why it is easier than a source like H.A.R.O.

Babbler is growing daily. Over 300 small and big brands have joined on, including Yelp and Nike and publicists from agencies of all sizes have brought their connections of over 5,000 media members.

If you are a frustrated digital media manager looking for some vanity credentials for your home page or a public relations professional checking out new tech tools, then sign up for a 30-day free trial of Babbler using the code Madeline Johnson today.

The Fastest Way to Finding New Clients & Customers

business, Customer Acquisition, marketing muscle, Uncatergorized

Spying on competitors and copying their best practices is a growth hacking and marketing secret to finding your next clients or customers. This tip really applies to all businesses, so anyone can really benefit.

Stealing from your competitors is nothing new. That’s how Airbnb built their business off Craig’s List. Read here for the back story.  It was pure, unadulterated hustle.

Growth hacker Vincent Dignan recommends a site like SimiliarWeb but I really like the list below. Spy on your competition with these tools.

1. SEMrush (super powerful, highly recommended)

2. ahrefs.com

 

Have you found a way to dig deep into your competitor’s best practices? If so, comment below.

Building Your Business with Growth Hacking Skills

growth hacking, Uncatergorized
Read and watch the two minute video above if you are struggling with your side business. You know the one you have been trying to build for the last two years.
If you are driven to build a business of passive income (read: make money while you sleep) than this 2 minute growth hacking tip will get you to your first 500 paying customers and clients. Note: I did not say registered emails or eyeballs on your website or app. No, people who will actually cough up some cash for your amazing new product or service.
Need help with lead generation? email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com
Follow me on Twitter too @marketcouncil
and forward this video to a friend or family member that is struggling to build their online business

Two Smart Tips for Better Blogging

Blogging, branded content, Content management, Content strategy, Cool Branding

Watch this short video to learn two tips for creating more followers and engagement. Blogging and VLogging tips from The PR Playbook, your essential guide to growing your online brand.

1. 80% of your content will come from 20% of your posts or videos. Create more of what people what to read, watch and share.

2. Creating helpful resource articles out perform anything that you are trying to create to go “viral”.

If you find these tips helpful, please subscribe. If you need help with your personal brand or business, send me a tweet @marketcouncil or email me m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com

Networking Your Way to the Top

Brand Awareness, brand reputation, building brand trust, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, How to Do Your Own PR, public speaking, Uncatergorized
The best way to grow your business is to build brand awareness to create word-of-mouth demand. Everyone I interview and I myself have found public speaking and networking at events to be an extremely effective way to attract new customers and clients. The larger the group and the more focused on your niche, the better.
Vincent Dignan, a UK-based growth hacking pro offers up his way to speed up the scheduling of your next series of public talks.
This quick video clip cuts right to the chase.
  1. Search sites like Meetup and Eventbrite for events with a larger number of members in your niche.
  2. Ask to join the groups and then contact the leader or group admin with this –
Hi there,
I am a (expert, pro, guru) at (your specialty) and I would love the opportunity to share my (top ten – fill in name of talk) at your next meet up. I have a huge network that I will invite as well.
Let’s connect,
Sincerely, you
  1. Cut and past that message into an email for each and every Meet up you target and cross your fingers for replies.
Now, he also makes a good point. About 5% (I say even less) of the attendees will actually buy something from you. However, focus on making your presentation entertaining and informative so you increase the chances of attendees telling their friends about you.