Success Circuit

Archive: Feb 2009

  1. What is Going On?

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    Hello everybody,

    I have had many people been asking me lately what I have planned for Success Circuit. I believe it is now time to share a little bit of this with you. Hold on tight, this is going to be a long ride!!

    The Contest

    The big secret is no longer a secret! We are currently in the planning stages of this, so all I can tell you at the current time is that there is going to be a contest. I am trying to get many sponsors, so if you have anything at all to offer then contact me! The more people that sponsor, the more people that will participate. Remember, all sponsors will get a link but the quicker you are in contacting me, the higher you will be on the list and that means there is a higher chance of more visitors than people lower on the list.

    Please let us know, by commenting, how you would like to contest to run. One idea is to run a points system where you get posting comments, posts to your own blog, guest posts, subscribing to rss or twitter. Another, simpler, idea is to run contests such as the ones mentioned but rather than use points, run them seperatly and have many winners. The second idea is currently my favourite, what do you think?

    Also we need a name for it!

    Theme Customisation

    You have probably noticed some of this by now. The best example so far is the slideshow on the front page which I think really makes the website look better, what do you think? I must say right now, all credit for the slideshow must go to Shannon Lilly as all I did was incoperate his slideshow into this theme. Another update we have made this week is the comments now have gravatars which seem to make the comments a little less boring, as they should never be boring! I have many more little updates planned, so if there is any downtime because of errors then don’t worry, it will always be back. If you have any ideas for how I could improve this blog, tell me!

    How Can I Help?

    Here is a quick list of ways you can help Success Circuit to grow.

    1. Subscribe to our RSS feed (you can even use FireFox to do this!) If you use email, you get a free ebook.
    2. Twitter about Success Circuit! A good way would be to follow me and re-tweet some of my tweets.
    3. Comment on any post. Sure I would love you to be a loyal commenter but you probably do not have the time, so I appreciate any comment you give.
    4. Sponsor a prize to the contest, to do this you will need to contact me.
    5. Write a guest post, this is another thing you will need to contact me about.
    6. Get reviewed! If you contact me I can review you, it costs $30 per review but I have been known to write them for free.

    So thats about it for today. Please do not forget to sponsor a prize! Anything is accepted: a tiny bit of money, a phone call, website theme; we are accepting anything!Another thing you could help with is guest posting, subscribing and commenting. Please do not forget! Also, if you have a blog or website, tell me about it. I might like it so much that you get a free review (worth $30).

    Thank you,

    Shane Hudson

  2. Beat the Recession!

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    In this post, Roland from In Business shares some valuable advice about the recession.

    Recession! Recession! Recession!
    How many times a day do you hear that word? I wish I got paid £1 a time! I could make a great living that way! From the way that the media were reporting this anyone would believe that no one was buying anything or able to borrow any money at all!

    The fact of the matter is however very different. People are spending and some are borrowing. Yes, it is more difficult but if we were to follow every word that the media puts out we would all think that there is no point in living.

    The truth is that for entrepreneurs great opportunities are there for the taking. Every business that closes down used to have customers. Those customers now need to buy their goods and services from someone else. Every shop and office that becomes empty is now available at a lower rent or price to buy. If you need a car, computer, office equipment or just about anything else you can buy it at knock-down prices from businesses who are panicking over their survival.

    I have recently heard from many successful business people that they actually started their businesses in the last recession. The very reasons above helped them get their fledgling business off the ground.

    How can an entrepreneur make sure that their business survives when others will not? After all many well known companies have closed and many more have serious problems. The answer is not so difficult although the application of the answer may be for some.

    1. Offer value.
      Do not try and be the same as other businesses. Be better not cheaper.  Look at what you can do to give your customers good service and good products. Add value by such things as faster delivery, longer warranties, a better environment in your store, or a clearer better designed website for online customers.
    2. Cash Flow
      Cash is king! Without cash your business is dead. Make sure that you forecast your cash properly. If you issue invoices make sure that you chase up outstanding payments regularly and take appropriate action on late payers.
    3. Control Costs
      Keep a careful eye on costs and avoid wasting money. However do not cut costs across the board. Each cost cutting exercise must not in any way impact negatively on your income. A retailer could reduce the sales staff and strangely enough the sales of the store could go down because the customers are no longer receiving good service. I have seen this done and the management thought they had made a good decision because the sales had gone down so it was a good job that they reduced the staff levels!
    4. Look after your clients
      An Indian restaurant in my town has recently won a local business of the year award primarily because of the way that they look after their customers. Their secret is that they know every birthday and special anniversary of their customers. They send cards and special invitations to meals on these dates, they have even invited clients to their family weddings in India! If they have not seen a client after a certain amount of time then out in the post goes a special voucher for a meal. Keep in touch with clients and they will not only come back but will recommend others. Do not constantly try to sell them things. A newsletter that keeps them up to date will work wonders. I have found this very effective in my business as a mortgage broker.
    5. Speed of Action
      The most successful people have proven to be the ones who action their ideas the
      fastest. That does not mean rushing into something without thought as that could be costly. However once you are aware of a change that needs to be made then do it fast. For instance you may be reading this and think, “I could do with a database of my customers so that I can keep in contact with them” So what are you waiting for? Put it into action today, yes NOW! That may mean doing it yourself or sending an email or making a phone call to someone to do it. But above all else do it!
    6. Be Positive
      Do not reflect a negative attitude in your business. If people ask you how business is going, then tell them that your plans and actions are working to keep your business strong and growing. Tell them that you see a great future for your business. This will in still confidence in them to use your services and buy from you. This is not dishonesty as dishonesty in business will get you nowhere in the long term but will be a true reflection of how you see your business.

    Can you beat the recession? Yes you can! Listen to advice from reliable sources and learn from others that are successful and have been through these times before.


    Roland Millward is a mortgage broker based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. He blogs about business at In Business which is one blog you should check regulary! One post that I really like is
    Power of the Pause.

  3. What can I Watch? Edition 6

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    This week I have been watching many live shows on UStream.tv which have resulted in meeting some amazing people and even coming up with the concept of the first Success Circuit contest (which I shall speak about later this week). I recommend watching some of the videos there! This week, however, I would like to cover a website community called Club E Network, which is the place for entrepreneurs to connect! The Club E Network is a provider of amazing resources, such as videos. I am going to share a few with you, the rest you can find on their website.

    Absence of Greed & Fear. RISE Austin #7
    Philip Berber, founder of Cybercorp & A Glimmer of Hope, talks about selling Cybercorp for $488M two weeks before the bubble burst & what ‘special’ investment banker stepped in to guide him. Philip also touches on his transition from running a fast based for-profit dot.com to a humanitarian aid project in Glimmer. CLUB E original. Come hear Philip & other captivating entrepreneurial stories at RISE Austin

    Rebranding your baby & turning down giants – Segment 2
    iV gets silly with Shelley Foster as she talks about rebranding her babygags because a retailer (a little co. called the GAP) wanting to carry it was concerned about market confusion. Learn how she handled it and started babygags on $25k & living off her day job. AND see if you think Shelley is silly herself after turning down Walmart. CLUB E “Original Programming.”

    As you can see, all of their videos are inspirational and motivational… so go and watch more of them! Also, did you realise that the in second video you watched Ingrid Vanderveldt? You probably did not even notice!
    Thank you,
    Shane

  4. Attitude

    2 Comments

    What is attitude?

    Well, correct me if I am wrong but I believe that attitude is the way somebody treats their life and that of the people around them. This may seem to be something that only refers to hormonal teenagers. This is not true, I am going to show you why.

    As I have shown you before, social networking is an incredible force at the moment where a lot of details are available. This means that everybody that you follow or are friends with, depending on what network you use, can see how you act. Normally this would be fine, everyone has mood swings at some point. But when people that may be your clients or that you have to potential to be in business with then just one step out of line and, in severe cases, your life could be damaged immensely.

    I have been looking for real examples to show you. Firstly, this is not quite what I mean but it shows how social networking effects jobs, take a look at this BBC headline: Facebook’ lost policeman top job. Here is another one: Ottawa employees fired because of Facebook. Another article from the same site really shows the attitude of some facebook users: Experiment proves 2 out of 5 Facebook users will lose the job. Need I go on? Next time you are networking, just think about what it might do to your career. This is especially true if you purposely network with those that you work with, which is very common with the online industries.

    Other than the attitude that people have, the way they use language is also very important. On MSN and through email to our friends we all use internet slang such as “lol” or “rofl” but some people also use this when contacting their business contacts. Even I have been known to do this. So, is it something that we should not do? Or does it not matter? 

    If you have any stories about this, please share with us! This was a short post because I really want you to have a big input into the discussion.

    Thank you,

    Shane

  5. Looking Back Through Week 6

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    Hi everyone,

    Well that was a quick week! We must have all been having fun. Here is this weeks overview.

    Success Circuit’s Posts

    Monday Bye Bye Trust

    Tuesday What can I Watch? Edition 5

    Wednesday My Top Tips to Stable Self-Motivation

    Thursday What Does Branding Mean To You?

    Friday Reviewing ZERGmoney

    Saturday Interview with Danny Cooper (Founder of Linkers Blog)

    I am actually going to be out all weekend, so I thought.. why not let you choose your favourite posts?! So please let me know your favourite posts of the week.

    Thanks,
    Shane

  6. Interview with Danny Cooper (Founder of Linkers Blog)

    3 Comments

    I have another blog owner to interview today! Don’t worry, I shall get some more normal people later. Now, please can you all welcome Danny Cooper, founder of Linkers Blog and DannyCooper.tv.

    Firstly, could you please give us an overview about yourself?

    Hi, My name is Danny Cooper and I live in Derbyshire, England. My main interests other than computing are Snooker, the Gym and going out with my friends. I’m 17 years old and hoping to make the transition to a full online income by the end of 2009.

    How, and why, did you start your career in blogging? Who/What was your inspiration?

    To be honest Shane I can’t remember exactly why I started blogging. I’ve been a member of Digital Point Forums for a long time so I presume like many I was enticed into blogging by the likes of John Chow’s income reports and Shoemoney’s big checks.

    I think I read other blogs and got a good understanding of all the principles for around six months before I created my own blog. Before I start anything I like to learn as much as possible about it.

    You just sold Linkers Blog, why did you do this? How did you manage to make Linkers Blog as successful as it is now?

    Linkersblog became the blog it is now by pure interaction with other bloggers. As soon as I started I went out making a name for myself by commenting and producing good content. Since then I have met some great people online who have not only become friends but also joint venture partners.

    The reason I sold LinkersBlog is because I felt two things were wrong with it:

    1. I was limited to talking about link building, simply because I hate when people go off topic on their blogs.
    2. I felt the readers expected 3-4 posts a week, and I just couldn’t offer that commitment.

    What were your goals when you started? Have you achieved them yet? If so, how did you manage this?

    To be honest I have one main goal and that is to make a living online, I haven’t achieved this yet, but as I learn more I feel it is getting more and more possible.

    At any point have you thought yourself or your blog as a “failure” or had any major problems? If so how did you manage to get through this and what did you learn?

    I have never thought of anything as a failure, the only thing that separates success from failures in my mind is lack of effort or good planning before hand. If I just learn one new thing from a project I feel it’s been a success.

    How did you go about promoting Linkers Blog? Do you plan on promoting DannyCooper.tv the same way?

    DannyCooper.tv is me, developing my personal brand. I will promote it on my Twitter account, and also hope that people promote it via word of mouth. Apart from that I don’t plan to do any other promotion.

    Have you any advice to give to those currently in the position you were in when you first started?

    Treat bloggers as you would like to be treated, and try to build a network of friends just as you would in real life. If you don’t make any blogging friends you will find the blogosphere a very lonely place, which can be discouraging.

    How did you find a buyer for Linkers Blog? Do you believe you sold it for the correct price?

    Linkersblog was sold for 4 figures, which anyone would be happy with for a small sized blog. Although I do believe in a better economic climate it could of sold for quite a bit more.

    What plans do you have for the future?

    I have some big plans for the future, including a joint venture with the extremely talented Sean Platt. But that’s a secret for now ;)

    Is there anything you would like to add?

    Thank you for taking your time to interview me, it was fun answering your questions!

    Thank you Danny for a very good interview! What do you all think? Would you of sold the blog? Are any of you into vlogging like Danny does on DannyCooper.tv? I am thinking about doing some.

    Thank you,

    Shane

  7. Reviewing ZERGmoney

    3 Comments

    Last night I posted a tweet about giving away a free review, the usual price being $30, and I was amazed by the amount of direct messages I had about it! Everyone that sent me a message had a website, or in one case had a gallery of amazing paintings, that I would have loved to review. Maybe I shall do another free review another time. As I said in the tweet, the first person to contact me got the review. So everyone please welcome ZERGmoney.com and Cameron, the owner of the blog, to the inspection table!

    Firstly lets take a look at the design that ZERGmoney currently uses. I very rarely see such simple designs now there is so much “Web 2.0″ publicity everywhere. Usually simple designs such as this lack the “special something” that designs need to succeed, in my opinion this design is very well suited to the blog because it tries not to take focus off the the content. To improve the design I would recommend changing the sidebars, perhaps either by merging the two together or moving one to the left of the content so that the important information is in the centre. It might also be worth investing in a logo, as it helps to brand your blog.

    The focus of the website is fairly simple, though many would say it is too broad, the subtitle says “Blackhat, Whitehat, Money Making, and Internet Marketing Blog” which tells the audience straight away what the blog is about. One thing that I find suprising is that there is no about page and no archive page. My time machine page is one of my most viewed pages, which makes me wonder why Cameron has not made one. One reason might be because he has not wrote enough posts and does not like to admit it. If this is the case, then I believe that the best thing to do would be to make the archive page and prove to people that even a small blog can have some very useful posts. Also, an about page would be extremely helpful for the reader to understand why the blog was made and who the author is.

    The content that Cameron has written so far is very interesting, most of the posts are fairly unique and not the type that are covered over and over again. I also really like his style of writing, because it is very similar to my own. The way he speaks personally and asks questions is really good because it makes the reader interested and want to answer. This creates a community, which is what I love about blogs. I comment I do have about the content is that some of the posts are uncategorised, it is always best to find a category for every post as it makes the author seem more organised. I have been looking through the posts and the spelling seems to be checked well, there are a few grammer mistakes but nothing that is too obvious.

    That’s it from me, I believe this blog has a lot of potential and could improve by tweaking it as I have stated already. Please can I have your opinion of the blog, what do you not like? What do you like?

    Thank you,

    Shane

  8. What Does Branding Mean To You?

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    We hear the term “brand” quite often, but what does it mean? Well it used to have a strong meaning however, with technology rapidly advancing, many people seem to be confused by the meaning of the word. I am not going to explain what it means; my aim is to make you think. I shall probably write a follow up post, though not this week, about creating a brand.

    “How the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand – and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand

    Take a look at these images. I expect you recognise them all. This is because they are well known brands. These companies probably spent a lot of money designing their logo, creating a logo and advertising the brand. Is there any need for so much money to be spent on it with new technology developing so quickly?

    Now take a look at these, do you recognise them? If so, does that mean they are branded? I believe so, but there are many people that brands must be trademarked and cost a lot. Only a few of these people spent a lot of money trying to create a name for themselves and their website, which is very much what brands are for.

    What do you believe the term “brand” means? Do you own a brand, if so how did you create it? Should websites, and blogs, be able to be classed as brands? Please let me know what you think. Also, could you also let me know whether you prefer to read longer posts or short ones like this. And remember, if you have not already subscribed then do so now!
    Thank you,
    Shane