Escape the Webinar Noise: 3 Ways to Choose Wisely

Escape the Webinar Noise.pngWEBINARS ARE EVERYWHERE YEAR-ROUND

Webinars are web-based online presentations being offered to you on Facebook and Twitter regularly. Sometimes offers pop into my in-box from unknown sources. I’m left with the question, “How was I added to this list?” Other times, I visit a website and a pop-up window reminds me that the creator of the website offers an expensive webinar course. The good news is that there’s a free webinar prior to the paid webinar.

Most of the initial webinars are being offered as free educational or informational trainings. They tease you into paying for a complete webinar series. More of the webinar artists are offering the module approach. I’ve seen more than a few claiming to be online universities that are tuition based. Hey, if you offer a tax write-off for a university tuition, count everyone in! This is a genius approach.

Of course, all webinars are not created equally. The value of the free webinar can be zero to 100. I have to admit I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been selective in watching the top tier masters of the webinar. I’ve studied the approach. I’d only give a few high ratings.

I’ve also watched a few zeros that beat around the bush for an hour and a half without providing any takeaway material except for their pricing. As a result, I’m burned out on the webinar approach. If you give me little information in a confusing free webinar, the chance of me paying you $2K – $5K upfront for a lifetime membership is zero to match your zero on information.

TO THE WEBINAR MARKETERS

If you have a legitimate niche, great. Offer your niche an educational webinar for free and then offer a series of webinars for a fair price.

So many marketers seem to be marking up their program price into the thousands without being established. Sorry, but that’s not a fair price for today’s market and especially for someone who is fresh out of the gate. I’d rather see the price points lowered for the newest tier of webinar providers. Over time, your content is only going to get better so save that high price tag for down the road. Being greedy does not sell.

TO THE WEBINAR STUDENTS

Study the experts. Not only those who have become millionaires from webinars, but those who receive the highest rating return from their students. The best testimonial comes from someone you trust.

I know people who have thrown thousands of dollars at a weekend event in New York City or online webinar series only to give the experience a poor review when their business went nowhere after using the training. Get authentic feedback and network about the best webinars.

3 WAYS TO CHOOSE WEBINARS WISELY & DECLUTTER THE NOISE

There are so many webinars on the market these days, you have to consider your options and your needs. Make an educated decision because your time and money are valuable investments.

  1. WHO IS TEACHING THE WEBINAR? Research the person or business leading the webinar. Where are the statistics on his/her student success rate? Unless you’ve won the lottery or you’re independently wealthy, you can’t just throw $2K to $5K at every single webinar being offered. Declutter the noise.
  2. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO LEARN? Create a detailed business plan and then decide if you need to invest in a paid webinar training. How will the webinar help you? What exactly does your business need to experience growth? What are your immediate and long-term goals? Will the webinar catapult your business to the next step?
  3. WHY PAY FOR IT? Do your research. Is it really expert advice you’ll be receiving? If you can find the information elsewhere on the Internet for free, why pay for it through a webinar?

If you’re on the fence about paying for a webinar series after doing your research, watch the free seminar and make a smart decision that will benefit your personal and professional growth.

The current market is overloaded with webinars. To avoid the noise, I’m sitting out the next round of webinars that come into my Facebook and Twitter feed. For now, my mind is open to opportunities but my checkbook is closed.

If there’s a webinar you love and you found success by following their formula, let me know in the comments below.

Entrepreneurs Delegate Busy Work: 4 Ways to Outsource

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING

There are only so many hours in the day.

Be honest. Can you do it all by yourself?

As an entrepreneur, your time is valuable. Consider how your time is best spent.

If you’re the owner/founder of your company, how do you get the most out of your business? Do you work the phone? Do you call clients? Do you network? Do you accept in-person meetings? Do you take lunch and dinner meetings? Do you need to travel?

It takes an enormous amount of time to keep pace with your social media accounts, written content, and administrative needs. Put things into perspective and note what is making the biggest impact in your bottom line.

CONSIDER OUTSOURCING BUSY WORK 

The first way to determine your needs is to create a business plan that outlines your needs in detail. What is your mission? What is your strategy? What avenue is showing the most profit for your product or services? What is your marketing budget?

Organizing a business plan is one of the most important parts of my work with clients. If you don’t have a business plan or you’re not willing to pay for a business plan, you may be wasting your time and money. Don’t chase ideas that are only apparitions.

4 WAYS TO OUTSOURCE YOUR WORKLOAD

  1. Employ a Social Media Automation Program. For your social media needs, consider joining an automated social media program. There are so many companies offering automated scheduling and posting services so I suggest you get a solid recommendation or test the program for a free month. See what program works for you. While I prefer real interaction and personal posts in an organic approach to building an audience, it’s important even if you schedule, you or someone else touches your social media daily in real time.
  2. Hire Local Specialists. There are local virtual assistants, social media specialists, writers, and web designers available at the click of a few keys to ease your daily workload. Search online for local businesses, go through a local employment agency, or take a chance by posting ads on Craigslist. Most importantly, work with someone you can talk to directly on Skype, Zoom Video Conferencing, or Cisco WebEx. Better yet, hire someone who you can meet in-person for regular weekly or monthly meetings.
  3. Hire Freelance Specialists. There are many companies online that offer discounted freelancers that specialize in certain areas. Do your homework. Get a recommendation from someone you respect. There are freelancers available on many sites but be prepared to meet people around the world. One of my U.S. clients paid a specialist in Bangladesh while another client paid a specialist in Norway. When another client attempted to hire a specialist in India, the specialist quit the job abruptly and unexpectedly. It can be a wonderful experience or it can leave you hanging with a job incomplete or forever hanging and unfinished.
  4. Hire a Ghostwriter. Professional writers are taking over the duties of successful authors and bloggers. Many ghostwriters are doing the detailed research work required to write about certain subjects. Most ghostwriters will sign a non-disclosure, meaning they will never disclose the fact that you didn’t write every word of your own book or blog. My suggestion for authors is to find a ghostwriter who can capture your voice. But you also need to be willing to work with a ghostwriter instead of replacing yourself by a ghostwriter. If the voices change in the narrative, a reader can sense a change of writing style. Keep the style consistent and edit in your own voice whether it’s a book, a blog, or a website. Customers are paying top dollar to read your voice, so make sure your authentic voice is heard.

An entrepreneur can be more successful by choosing to outsource the monotonous work of the day. Spending all of your time researching details, doing data entry, or clicking the follow button one at a time on Twitter can be time better spent networking or building your skills.

Act as a leader and become a leader by showing your willingness to invest and delegate to a smart team.

Why Fight Social Media? 3 Things You Can Do Today

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WHY FIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?

Social media marketing is important so learn how to use it.

There’s nothing to fear. It’s like anything else that comes on the market. Most of it is point and click along with an educated approach. Anyone who tells you that it’s too difficult to learn doesn’t want to compete with you or help you.

There are some people who repeatedly put off learning something new in social media. They approach it by saying, “I’ll get to it next week.” Next week never seems to come and they find themselves having the same déjà vu conversations about learning social media. Soon after, there’s an entirely new learning curve as the market is changing regularly.

Whether you use a Customer Relationship Management system or not, it’s important for every business to provide content that is both valuable and shareable in every social media forum available.

3 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROVIDE CONTENT TODAY:

  1. Create Original Content. Write a blog to provide advice to your audience. List a few things that are working in your industry or business. Provide takeaway information to your visitors on social media. Make it eye-catching. Record a video or if you know how to create an animated video, do it. A very smart person once asked me: “Which would you rather do – read something or watch something?” Most people would rather watch a two minute video than read a lengthy article.
  2.  Create Images or Infographics. Show me. There are so many free programs and websites online that allow you to create shareable images. Provide the valuable content on those images or infographics and make your assets shareable. The more people who share, the more people who will sign-up to your email list. The more people who join your email list, the more potential customers you’ll create. With an excellent product and amazing customer service, you’ll create repeat clients who will share news for you. When I’m a believer in the value of a company’s products and their customer service, I always share. Most importantly, pictures help to sell your voice.
  3. Curate Content. When I work on social media accounts for clients, I am selective about the articles and links I share online. Be choosy so the material matches the voice of the brand. If you’re on the fence about sharing something, don’t share it. There’s a reason the material is making you stop and think. If there’s a writer or website that shares a similar focus or philosophy, add that writer or blog to your go-to list. If you like a certain an approach, tell the audience why the material you’re sharing is valuable. Those you support will oftentimes become your supporters in return.

The technology is here to help you grow.

Find a way to incorporate social media into your business every day.

5 Ways to Gain Full-Time Employment: Homeless Not Hopeless Message in Imgur Sign

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Credit for this photo goes to  on Imgur under the title: Found in the trash. Homeless person gets a job, needs shoes, and the public helps! This photo link is also posted on Reddit with many comments, so I don’t know the whole true story behind the sign.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY

A decade ago, I didn’t know anyone who was unemployed. You could knock on a door and get a job. Today, I know people who are not only unemployed, but they’re homeless and living on Skid Row.

There are fewer full-time positions being offered while more job openings are only freelance or part-time with 10 – 20 hours a week. Many of those jobs do not provide livable wages as businesses are blaming the rising minimum wage for affecting the number of people they can employ.

Even worse, there are big and small profitable businesses that think it’s legal to offer unpaid internships to replace full-time employees. Many of these “unpaid internships” are illegal under the United States Fair Labor Standards Act.

Oftentimes businesses will warn that you can’t list an unpaid internship on your resume because they don’t consider it a real job. So if you’ve graduated from college and in your late 20’s to 50’s but struggling and accepting work as an unpaid intern, it may be wasted time you can never list on your resume.

What’s the answer? Never give up.

People start over in new careers regularly. Look at the Twitter list #FirstSevenJobs. Many people have had more than seven different lines of work until they find the perfect niche.

Put all of your energy into finding full-time employment.

It’s a matter of mathematics. If you keep applying, tweak and customize your resume, you will eventually be offered a job. It may not be your dream job, but it will be a job. Once you’re employed, it’s easier to get another job. Use every job as a stepping stone to the next until you have full-time employment.

5 WAYS TO GAIN FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT:

  1. Education and re-training. Financial aid and loans are easy to get even if you’re unemployed. If you can’t get work due to lack of skills, take a class, enroll in vocational training, or go back to college to get a degree. Defer re-payments of loans until six months after you graduate. Gaining an education is not limited by age. Education is open to everyone. My father always said: “An education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you.”
  2. Work with a career center. If you graduated from a college or vocational setting, go back to the facility’s career center and ask for help. A career center exists to help students and former students network and get jobs. A career center may also offer free resume services. Tap into every free program you can access.
  3. Knock on doors. It may sound old-fashioned, but sometimes it works to simply knock on doors. Smaller businesses often put a HIRING sign in a front window offering employment. It’s true that nearly all corporate job openings require an online lengthy application process and often online personality testing. But having your resume go through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be tricky. It removes the process of meeting someone in person and shaking a hand. If you’re living in a big city, most likely the majority of the job applications can only be accessed online. Monster.com offers members a free review of resumes in the ATS. Monster is free to join so take advantage of that free review.
  4. Ask for help from friends and family. Networking is one of the strongest ways to garner full-time employment. If someone is truly a friend and working full-time, why wouldn’t that person ask if there are any jobs available in their workplace? Asking for help is not showing weakness. It’s a sign of someone who takes action and is willing to network.
  5. Be prepared. Your resume should be tailored for each job but you also need to be prepared by role playing. It’s important to practice answering interview questions. I don’t care if you’re sitting in a room by yourself, practice answering interview questions BEFORE an interview. Sometimes interviewers ask the most ridiculous questions to see your reaction and you can’t look shell shocked or respond with “I don’t know.” You need to be able to answer every question.

Most importantly, play the part, dress up, and be excited about every job interview. Send a thank you email after every interview. That single thank you note can make the difference between being offered a job or being homeless. No matter what, as encouraged by the Imgur sign . . . always be hopeful and never seem hopeless.

Employment a Game of Chance for the Over 40 Crowd: 4 Ways to Roll the Dice on Income

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CRISIS OF EMPLOYMENT.

Never in a million years did I think there would be a crisis of employment for people over the age of 40 . . . until I was over 40.

Clearly the government did the research because the over 40 crowd is often treated differently.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act  “forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older . . . Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of his or her age. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”

DISCUSSING AN APPLICANT’S AGE IN A JOB INTERVIEW.

If any representative interviewing you for a job asks your age or discusses your age to prevent you from being hired, it is illegal and age discrimination.

Oftentimes, anyone who is over 40 is judged immediately due to their age.

“You’ve been out of the workforce for a year so I expect you’re not up-to-date on the computer programs.”

“Why did you take time off to stay home with your kids?  Now, you’re outdated.”

“You’re disqualified because you have too much experience and the company wants someone with only one to two years of experience, not five years of experience.”

“You’re overqualified for this entry level job geared at college students or people in their 20’s.”

“We only hire people in their 20’s. The oldest employee working at the company is only 38 so you’re not what they want.”

Thousands of lawsuits are filed every year regarding workplace discrimination and age discrimination. Look at the statistics from 2014 and 2015.

JOB ADVERTISEMENTS REQUIRING A YOUNG AGE.

If you’re looking for full-time employment and you’re over the age of 40, you know the buzz words that deter the over 40 crowd from applying for a job: recent college grad, recent high school grad, young and energetic, young and motivated, and the list goes on.

Guess what? Suggesting an age limit as a requirement for hiring is also an illegal practice.

WHO DECIDED 35 IS TOO OLD TO WORK FULL-TIME?

What’s even scarier is that 35+ is being viewed as too old to work in the tech world.

When did 35 become the new age for being outdated in any industry?

There’s a high turnover in the tech world as employees in their 30’s are being replaced by employees in their 20’s. If you work a full year or more in the tech world at one company, you’ve had a great run.

OLDER WORKERS STRUGGLING TO FIND FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT.

Some businesses see it as business sense to fire older senior employees and save the company money by replacing them with younger employees. As a result, those older displaced workers are struggling to find work.

In today’s world, older workers are often hired as freelance consultants, independents, part-time employees, or not considered at all.

Retirement is no longer guaranteed at the age of 65, as more workers must work into their 70’s just to survive. People are living longer, so they have to find a way to support themselves.

YOU MUST EARN AN INCOME. 

You could spend all of your time filing complaints and lawsuits against companies for age discrimination or you can take action to gain income.

Reality check. You have bills to pay. You need shelter so you have to pay rent or mortgage. You have to pay car insurance and gas. You have to pay for electricity and Internet access. Most importantly, you need food on the table for you and your family.

Fact. You can’t live on credit cards forever.

Even if you decide to file a complaint or a lawsuit regarding age discrimination, you need to work. You need to become proactive in your employment search. Start making changes for your future today.

4 WAYS TO ROLL THE DICE ON INCOME.

  1. Consider Consulting. There’s nothing wrong with becoming a freelance consultant in your field of expertise. Older employees with a wealth of experience have so much to offer big companies, small companies, and individual clients.
  2. Become a Freelance Author. Show your expertise and establish yourself as an expert. Use your self-published book as a business card for your next job.
  3. Become Active on Social Media. Join the tech world and play with everyone in the pool of employment. Connect with companies you want to work with on social media. Share stories in your area of expertise, write a blog and then post it on LinkedIn and Twitter. Share. Share. Share. Don’t fight technology; instead, acclimate and join.
  4. Re-Training. If you really want a full-time corporate job, re-train, and self-teach. Be a life-long learner. Study, read, and take action. Learn new computer programs and apps. Show the next employer that you’re in the playing field and ready to be an asset to the company.

Every applicant of every age has something to offer the workforce. If you’re competing against a variety of applicants, you need to make yourself stand out from everyone else.