6 Rules to Make Sure Your Marketing Messages Don’t Smell Like Spam

Email Marketing, marketing demographics, Marketing in the Moment, Marketing Mavens, Marketing Strategy, Measureable Marketing, Uncatergorized
Nobody wants to spam their customers, but most do it anyway.  Spam isn’t just about the quantity of emails and marketing you do you. It’s also about the quality.

Rule 1

Make a promise to yourself to never underestimate the intelligence of your customer or client. People are much smarter than you give them credit for and every time you send them an email or lead them down a drip campaign that smells like spam, you lose any form of trust that you were hoping to get.
When you are building a business, trust is everything.

Follow these surefire ways to build trust with your future customers.

Rule 2

Marketing messages that over promise and under deliver and sound too good to be true not only smell like spam, they taste like it too.  Keep your claims and benefits realistic and believable.

Rule 3

So don’t use unnecessary words to describe your product or service. It’s better to describe what your offer is in a more clear and precise way than to add on adjectives that lose their meaning. Another benefit of writing concise copy – it can be read and understood faster and easier.

Rule 4

Speaking of wasting another’s time, that is exactly what spamming does. If your email or landing page copy takes more than a minute to read or watch you have wasted everyone’s time. Get to the point as soon as you can. People are smarter than you think and don’t enjoy being lead down a long, boring sales funnel.

Rule 5

Especially if you are trying to put a squeeze on their decision making. People are on to your tactics and they aren’t going to buy into your limited time only offer. Knock it off. If they are looking for what you are selling and you have a superior product, they’ll buy it. No need to put the squeeze play on. It’s a total turn off.

Rule 6

Please price your products competitively. The more time it takes to understand how much you want for that product or service you are selling the more frustrated your customer will become. Be upfront and make sure your price is sensitive to competitive pricing. If it’s higher, be prepared to explain why and if it’s too low, you risk looking like a cheaper and lower value offer.

Would you like me to review your marketing messages? Drop me a link at hello@mj.works  – I am happy to connect.

 

Your Top 5 Health & Fitness Marketing Questions Answered

Marketing Strategy, personalized brand experience
  1. Q. I’m launching my business in two months, when should I start marketing my business.   A. Now.
  2. Q. How should I begin marketing my business on line? A. With a marketing plan and a clear strategy.
  3. Q. Should I start with Facebook and Instagram Ads?  A. No. Start with organic posts first.
  4. Q. How can I increase sales on my website? A. Brand awareness through links to your site.
  5. Q. Where do I find influencers to review my products. A. Instagram

Do you have a question about how to grow your new idea? I have helped hundreds of brands start their businesses online. If you need guidance, you can email me at hello@mj.works or reach out on Upwork. You can find my profile here.

me

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Helping Health, Beauty, Fashion & Fitness Brands Grow Their Businesses

Beauty pr, Brand Awareness, business, Clients, digital content strategy, Fashion Marketing, fashion PR, Fitness, Fitness Marketing, instagram, instagram insight, media relations, Public Relations, social networking
As a business marketing coach, I specialize in helping people who are creating and building anything that makes you look and feel great. This includes designers, doctors, trainers, and formulators in health, fashion, fitness and beauty.
Today I will be interviewed by Tyler Wagner on The Business Blast podcast.  He’s received over 130 five star reviews and after listening to his profiles, I highly recommend adding him to your list of business growth gurus.
Working with Wellness Professionals
adam perlman
Health & Wellness Clients
Most recently, I have been working with Duke University’s Dr. Adam Perlman. He is a doctor of functional medicine based out of Charleston, SC and now moving over to Mayo Clinic. I built his website (WordPress) and a series of 28 videos to kick off his blog on alternative therapies in health and wellness and a new type of health & fitness concept that he helped build called Synchronicity. This project had me reaching out to influencers in nutrition, fitness, meditation, yoga, cryotherapy and flotation tanks for collaborations with Dr. Perlman. I did all of the leg work and production and collaborated with Travis and Aja on video and graphics.
soon skincare
Starting Up with Skincare
I just finished a project helping launch @soonkskincare a new Korean skincare brand with a smaller marketing budget. I helped the team by reaching out to vanity media (Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, etc) and at the same time micro bloggers in the beauty space on Instagram. I wrote the pitches, DM’d the bloggers and connected them with skincare enthusiasts around the world. This led to Soon Skincare getting noticed by Nordstroms for a holiday pop up.
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New Fashion Frontiers
Day-to-day I help run the business side of things with the designer of Orseund Iris, an emerging fashion brand. We just launched on Net A Porter this past November and I am happy to say we are into our second buy from them and Bella, Beyonce and Kim are still asking for styles, so we remain humble and continue to create beautiful apparel and accessories for women around the world.
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Fitness on Instagram
I am in the midst of creating a guide to getting started on Instagram as a fitness brand guide. This will be a lead generation tool for Fitness Mentors, a study guide site for personal trainers trying to pass the very difficult NASM tests.  The guide will include how to develop fitness tutorials that are helpful, useful and valuable to followers, unique hashtag strategies to broaden audience and target new followers along with collaborating with others trainers to build a community of loyalists.
undisputed origin
Emotional Intelligence
I have a passion project that I am working on and it is
It is a website devoted to self-awareness and emotional intelligence. I write each morning about something I am learning about myself and others. I pair each essay with beautiful artwork and credit the artist and post to Instagram. I am devoted to learning each day and read a wide variety of books which I also recommend on the site. I spend equal amount of time writing as I do reading and following other sites on the topic of mindfulness and self-improvement. I believe this practice is important for any business to build brand awareness. Your work can be great but it must be discovered by others.

How to Become a Thought Leader in Any Industry

How to Do Your Own PR, Influencer marketing, madeline johnson, marketing plans, personal branding, Thought Leadership, video marketing, website design, Wordpress website

Sometimes I work with individuals who are interested in developing their own personal “brand”.  They want to create what is currently called a “thought leadership” position on the internet and social media. This will develop opportunties to meet more clients, customers and well, maybe even new friends.

Often, these clients will have years and years of real-life experience and talent but little knowledge of how to bring that to the world wide web. They know it’s the smart thing to do, the next step in their career and a way to stay relevant, but they don’t know where to begin. It’s foreign territory and it feels uncomfortable.

What is a thought leader exactly?

Someone who demonstrates knowledge and authority on a specific subject that targets their potential customer or client.

“Thought leaders become the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who inspire people with innovative ideas”

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For the past four months, I have been working with Dr. Adam Perlman,  Co-founder of Synchronicity, a Charleston, South Carolina company developing next-generation wellbeing centers.    He is also an adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and from 2011 to 2017 was the Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness for the Duke University Health System as well as Executive Director for Duke Integrative Medicine. He’s currently the Director of Duke’s Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare.

Fitness

We started with a meeting to brainstorm Adam’s core messages, what he felt the world needed most.

Once we nailed down his messages, I created a plan to develop three months (posting once a week on his WordPress blog) of video content. Why video?

  1. Adam is good on video. If he wasn’t easy on the eye, knowledgable and relatable, I would have rethought this approach.
  2. Videos are more impactful and consumers of social media content want more of it.

How to Develop Your Own Personal Brand

No matter where you work or what you do, you need to be continually developing your connections, influence, professional relationships and your network.

A personal/professional website and social media allow you to scale this process on a regional, national and worldwide level. As long as you are creating helpful and useful blog and video content with the proper organic SEO and hashtag strategy you will be assisting others in a very valuable way. At the same time, commenting and sharing your point of view with others in health and wellness or whatever field you are in you will develop an influential presence.

  • A website and social media functions similarly to a resume or a CV. This is also a place for your own personal portfolio. A platform for you to write, offer video sessions and also share books you have written and/or possibly consult and build other businesses in the future.
  • Most reporters, journalists and influencers will search for your name online, you want to control what they discover. They shouldn’t have to patchwork pieces of your CV from different websites or LinkedIn. Your website is a great introduction to you and your unique point of view. Most importantly, your own published content will help them write or produce stories that are more accurate and true to your point of view.
  • If you are pitching yourself as an expert to the media or collaborating with other influencers, most writers and producers want to know who is behind the brand. What the backstory is all about. How the idea evolved. A website and social media gives you the opportunity to highlight your experience and showcase your work and gives you some control over your image and reputation. It will help fill in the blanks for Synchronicity and give the wellness centers more credibility.
  • Your website online platform where you have the freedom to share your own opinion, this includes the inclusion of photos, work studies, and testimonials.

 

  • The website will also assist you in growing your likes, followers and engagement with those interested in your work, which will benefit you and your future projects.

 

  • Your own website & social media platforms give you the freedom to try other types of approaches to your community, now and in the future and express yourself the way you want to at any given time.
  • Your voice may convince and convert future clients and customers and become a vital part of lead generation for future members. It may be an article or video that you product that influences them to become interested in your business endeavors.

If you are stuck and don’t know where to begin, get in touch. You can email me at hello@mj.works or DM me @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram. I am here to help.

 

How to Start Promoting & Marketing Your Brand Like A True Pro

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, Fitness Marketing, market research, marketing demographics, Marketing in the Moment, marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, word of mouth campaigns

Watch this short tutorial on the three no BS things you must continually do to grow your business.

Most small businesses have a limited budget for marketing and advertising and need to better understand where their promotional dollars will be well-spent.
  • Will targeted Facebook ads bring in new memberships or subscriptions?
  • How about creative outdoor advertising?
  • Maybe collaborating with micro-influencers?
  • Partnering with other neighboring businesses?
  • Try a refer a friend email campaign with a promotional offer for each friend who signs up? Should we invest in a new service, like a juice bar?
  • A direct mailer with a big seasonal discount?
An ongoing approach to market research is the beginning of a blueprint for growth for a business owner and it serves two main purposes.
1. It helps the business become more competitive.
2. It will assist in building a more profitable brand.
Good market research should also tell you (if you are open-minded) what services your customers and clients are not happy with, what needs improvement and what you should be offering that you are not.
Do you have questions about building your business? Drop me a line at hello@mj.works or comment below.

How to Build A Brand from Scratch

Blogging, brand reputation, branded content, building brand trust, code of conduct, content writing, entepreneur, Guiding Principles for Success, Marketing Strategy, website design
When building brand awareness, aim for collaboration over self-promotion.
When building a brand voice, shoot for sincerity over originality.
Worry less about being authentic and more about being honest and sincere.
Monday Motivation

Marketing Health, Fitness, Food & Fashion + 3 Smart Ways To Build Your Online Business

digital content strategy, digital marketing, Email Marketing, Influencer marketing, instagram insight, Instagram marketing, madeline johnson, Marketing Mavens, marketing muscle, marketing plans, social media marketing

shy

What to Do When You Hate to Sell

So many business owners tell me how they hate to “sell”.  They don’t like to push their products or services on people because they can’t stand it when they are sold to by other companies. They delete email campaigns, block brands on their social media accounts and get really weirded out about retargeted ads appearing out of nowhere while they are surfing online. I know, it’s spooky.  I get it, I don’t like pushy sales campaigns either, but I also think many business owners need a shift in their perspective.  If you have a great product, you shouldn’t be selling at all. You should be building a community with your website, blog, video and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. You should be creating valuable videos, posts and downloadable tools that help future customers. Create and share like a thought leader about the problem your product solves and always give them a call-to-action.

community

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Difficult, But It Is Time-Consuming

So many brands want to create social media posts on the fly or worse yet, farm out the work to a freelancer who doesn’t understand their market. The truth is, without  proper planning, research or quality visuals, you aren’t going to attract any attention at all. Posting thoughtless or copy cat content can also lead to breaking trust with potential customers and clients. If clients only spent more time being thoughtful about what they want to post and really answered their audience and their community’s burning questions. If they only put themselves in their customer’s shoes. Think like your customers and clients and then give them solutions and broadcast it out to your social media content.

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Even The Best Content Won’t Be Seen Without a Sizable Community

On the other hand, many clients have fantastic content, but they haven’t bothered to build a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or Pinterest. They are wasting all that work on a community of zero. The way to get followers is to follow, to comment, to like and engage with the audience you want to attract.

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I often get asked by associates, friends and new clients about what I am currently working on these days. Lately, I am in the midst of helping a number of businesses navigate their way through digital marketing & web-based sales.

I have a digital marketing consulting gig, which includes web and email campaigns for Glaxo Smith Kline. I am working with Roy Heitzer, Head of Multichannel Marketing in the Nordics:  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Norway and his team.

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I am also creating a full marketing plan (including editorial content for articles, video and blog posts as well as strategy for social media and special events) for Nuvo Suites.

Nuvo Suites

On the side, I am writing articles about healthy and natural living for Green Scene Gal, a new blog dedicated to helping women who long for a more natural way of life that is free of synthetic chemicals, GMOs, pesticides and artificial hormones.

I just published this article to help warn new moms and dads about arsenic levels found in baby food.

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In the meantime, I am also developing a B2B Drip campaign for the fitness franchise Get in Shape for Women. See attached for email one of the five email campaign.

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On a day-to-day, I strategize and assist Alana Johnson, designer and founder of Orseund Iris with her made in NY fashion label.  This includes strategizing and optimizing the business for growth which continues to build a following with 98% of online sales coming from Instagram and fashion influencers

Orseund 2

For those startups looking to build their vanity metrics with media interviews, I also have an online course www.ThePRPlaybook.com for  entrepreneurs in health, fitness and wellness. This is targeted to brands like PEbyDesign.com who I have helped from the ground up.

 

HOW TO SUSTAIN YOUR STARTUP SUCCESS

business, creative collaboration, digital content strategy, Email Marketing, Influencer marketing, instagram, instagram insight, Instagram marketing, Marketing in the Moment, marketing muscle, marketing plans, social media, social media marketing, Technology, the future of branding

This list of market building business tips about how to stay on course while you design epic products and services for the world was originally created for my daughter who is a hard-working, bad-ass fashion designer. Like every child ever born, she asks for advice daily and then ignores a lot of it. SO THAT IS WHY THERE IS SO MUCH EMOTION BEHIND THIS POST.  All of these tips apply to anyone making anything. They work and they are important and today is a SPECIAL DAY because she is FINALLY heeding more of this advice. Amen.

Sure she’s nervous, as any startup who has achieved a bit of success would be. You might be nervous too – the big question – how do I sustain the success? Especially in the finicky world of Insta-fashion.   Here, I humbly give you YOUR GUIDING STRATEGY FOR STAYING  & GROWING SUCCESSFULLY.

WAKE UP, DESIGN, REPEAT

Design EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY.  Do not let a morning go by without designing. That means you don’t answer emails or texts or schedule meetings unto 1 pm every day. Why? Because the life of your authentic brand depends on you DESIGNING. Designing can mean sketching, shopping vintage, eating something delicious, going to an inspiring store, museum, listening to music – WHATEVER MAKES YOUR CREATIVE MINDFLOW BABY. The only reason you are in business is that you designed epicness in the first place. There is a lot of stuff people can buy out there, they are choosing to drop their bank on yours. KEEP THOSE CUSTOMERS HAPPY.

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DEVELOP SYSTEMS FOR REPETITIVE STUFF.

What is a system? A set of rules that a baby monkey can do. They just learn the system (written or video instructions) and they do it.

Develop a system for responding to customers emails including templates for their frequently asked questions.

Develop a system for making sizing 1,000% CLEAR for all customers. Put it on the website.

Develop a system for ordering office stuff – like your favorite drinks, food, printer ink. Yes. make a list for the intern or assistand – where to go, when to reorder, how to pay for it. Make it so YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO TELL HIM OR HER WHAT TO DO.

Develop a system for packing items for shipment – include the surprise and delight gift – write it down or video it for the new interns. Then make them watch it. Show them PRECISELY HOW YOU LIKE IT DONE.

If you are complaining that an intern or assistant isn’t doing something the way you like it, it is YOUR FAULT. You didn’t set up the easy-to-learn systems.

TAKE PRE-ORDERS ON ALL NEW DESIGNS

The best rule of business is to MARKET BEFORE YOU MANUFACTURER. This is done by the best, most SUCCESSFUL companies. Create the demand BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY MAKE THE style. How?? Start sharing the backstory of design on your Instagram and Pinterest (YES PINTEREST) accounts. Show your customers the inside scoop. Tease them and then create a link to a page where they can GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY. Let them know they are going to be the FIRST TO HAVE IT. How exciting is that?? And give them a little something special for supporting you in the meantime. Make the “landing page” really JAZZY, sexy & FUN. Show the super special parts of designing, what inspired you. What is a LANDING PAGE? It is a special page on your website that you LINK TO THE BIO in your Instagram account every time you POST about that one design to INSTAGRAM. Don’t wait for the customer to SAVE your post. Make it EASY FOR THEM TO SHOP THE LINE. Stop with this I DON’T WANT TO BE TOO “PUSHY” CRAP. THERE IS PUSHY AND THEN There IS MAKING IT SIMPLE & EASY. DO THE LATTER.

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SAVE SOME MONEY FOR GOD’S SAKE

Stop f-ing WASTING YOUR MONEY on stupidly expensive food. That $6.00 matcha drink isn’t good for you. Don’t buy into it. What is good for you is PEACE OF MIND THAT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ISN’T NEGATIVE. Lack of money is the most stressful thing that can happen to you. You can lose your lover, break a leg, create something stupid that people will laugh at, but if you don’t have dough in the oven, life will SUCK. Make it a habit. Open up a BUSINESS SAVINGS ACCOUNT TOMORROW. Do it after you finish designing. Move $500 over IMMEDIATELY and then add reminders to your calendar to drop $500 in every month. DO THIS NOW. More if you can. Save, save, save. We are going to INVEST that money too, so your money can make baby money. GROW THAT ACCOUNT BABY.

LET THOSE DAMN HATERS HATE

It’s their job. That is what they do. Haters are going to HATE. It’s GREAT to have haters. Why? Because you are actually doing something that get’s noticed. Hater’s don’t hate on something that isn’t getting any attention. Why? BECAUSE HATERS DON’T DO ANYTHING BUT HATE. That is how they get their ATTENTION. MORE MONEY, MORE HATERS. That’s okay. Hell, some brands actually pay to have more HATERS. It’s called Facebook and Instagram ADVERTISING.

CHILL YOUR ROLL. TAKE A BREAK.

Every day make sure you do something ridiculously extravagant and/or luxurious. GO AHEAD WASTE SOME TIME. Whatever that means to you. A pedicure, a bike ride, a hello fresh meal with your partner. This business building thing is NOT A RACE. It is YOUR LIFE and you need to enjoy YOUR LIFE. So make some time every day to do something fun that you enjoy. DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. Just do it. Just like you design, you also  take time to RELAX every day.

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IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY – MY ASS

Anytime you can call out some creep ass KNOCK OFF cheater brand copying your original designs DO IT. Make them feel like what they are GREEDY, UNORIGINAL A-HOLES. That’s right. Call them out. Call them out in public in a CLEVER AND FUN WAY. Like you care but you don’t care. Unless they are HUGE creepy conglomerate – a dinosaur – looking to stay relevant. Then EMAIL CALL & SCREAM at the CEO & Founder and their BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Remember, however, when YOU are INSPIRED by something to REDESIGN IT and make it your VERY OWN. Best thing to do really is KNOCK OFF YOUR OWN DESIGNS and start a second business in the weird ass bowels of eBay. LOL. P.S. Don’t spend too much time on this and try to design something so ahead of the curve that the market has to catch up. One step ahead baby.

MOST PEOPLE ARE CLUELESS ABOUT HOW FAST THE WORLD IS CHANGING

So, don’t listen to MOST anyone, except maybe people like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil and maybe me because I have made it my business to stay RELEVANT, ahead of the CURVE and on top of my game.  I AM FASCINATED WITH CHANGE AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO. NO JOKE. Every business is being disrupted by technology. This includes INSTAGRAM. You have to start emailing  & MEETING with your customers and clients. WHY? Because Instagram may become the old people’s party and then how you gonna find them customers? SnapChat?

But doesn’t everyone hate email? Hello, people DON’T CHANGE THEIR EMAILS. Some still hang on to their freaking yahoo and aol accounts. Emails are a tighter connection. Better YET get the cell phones of your VIP customers and take them to DINNER. Just, whatever you do, DON’T BE BORING. Create an email you WISH SOMEONE WOULD SEND YOU.

GROW UP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS OR KEEP ATTRACTING THE YOUNG GUNS

Yeah, your 25-year-old Insta-hottie is going to have a baby and all of a sudden that cropped off the shoulder number isn’t going hide her love handles and/or mother belt.  Oh, am I “body shaming”? Read the HATERS note above.  This is reality. Have a plan as to how you will keep moving forward with your biggest fans now or the babies coming down the pike.

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EVERYONE IS GOING TO WANT A BIG BITE OF YOU. CHOOSE YOUR PACK WISELY

Why? Cause your haute, hot, HOT right now. Yup. Especially the has-beens and the wannabes.  Be DISCERNING. Be choosy. Be SUPER SELECTIVE about who you chill with. Why? Because if you hang with the reckless and wild, you will become reckless and wilder. If you chill with the sorry asses, you, in turn, will be a sadder one. EVERY dedicated entrepreneur experiences a bit of FOMO at times. There should be a LONELY HEARTS CLUB MEETUP for those building something big. Get out, dance, laugh and then get back to work. That BULL SHIT ABOUT WORKING HARD & PLAYING HARD is for drunks and trust fund IDIOTS without a purpose. Balance your work and play and stay away from the MDMA. Seriously, it’s not worth the emotional roller coaster ride.  Get HIGH ON LIFE.

SELECT WHO YOU WANT TO DO BUSINESS & SCREW THE 15 MINS OF FAME

Stop getting so flattered every time someone wants to COLLAB or PARTNER WITH YOU. You are WORKING YOUR ASS OFF and deserve to be noticed. Say NO to anyone not willing to collaborate with respect or who brings their headaches to the table. You have enough of your own problems to solve. If it’s not a HELL YEAH immediately than it’s a F NO. If you have to THINK about whether you want to sleep with someone, then it’s A F NO and collaborating is a lot like sleeping with someone. Create a list TODAY of the discerning people or businesses you want to align yourself with. SAY NO to anyone else who reaches out. Say it nicely. Always be kind. Kind always works. 

You WON’T MISS OUT. Andy Warhol was WRONG and RIDICULOUS about that 15 minutes of FAME. Not true. Most people remain anonymous their whole lives. You may never be famous. Who cares? It’s better to BE GREAT.

KNOW WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU

Stop measuring your success by other people’s stupid ideas of success. SUCCESS IS SIMPLY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE. Life is short. Everything else is BS.

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IT ALWAYS TAKES LONGER THAN YOU THINK.

Whether it’s sex with an ex or a check-up at the dentist or building your first prototype or sample. So STOP with the anxiousness.  IT WILL TAKE YEARS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS. Even Google, the FASTEST growing business in the history of the world took 15 years to become a GIANT. SO SLOW THE HELL DOWN.

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. 

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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.

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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.