Like Gating is Gone! And I Couldn't Be Happier!

Approximately 90 days ago, Facebook announced on its Developer's Blog that it would do away with Like-Gating by November 5, 2014 (that's in 2 days).  "Like-Gating" is requiring someone to like your page in order to see content or enter a contest.  Many pages used this method of acquiring likes but was it getting them the right kind of likes?  Like-Gating is almost as bad as participating in Like Ladders or Like Exchange Groups.  You want to know why organic reach is down?  BECAUSE YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF FANS WHO LIKED YOUR PAGE FOR THE WRONG REASON!  If you sell apples and run a contest giving away oranges to everyone who likes your page, don't complain when you orange-loving fans are not engaging with your page about apples!  It's an extreme and silly example, but I hope you get the point.  If you have not yet read my post on how Like Ladders kill your reach and visibility, please take some time to read it now. It's long (and I apologize in advance for that) but it has a lot of info and explains how Facebook works when it comes to what people see in their News Feeds. Continue reading

Not All Likes Are Good Likes

This week in my 5 Week E-Course: How to Increase Your Visibility on Facebook Easily, Ethically and Free we are discussing low quality Likes, how to remove them, and how to prevent them from decreasing your visibility.  Below are some of the actions steps I shared with my enrolled course members:

 

Stop Participating in Like Ladders

These get you a bunch of low quality likes that make you invisible to your high quality, interested fans.  Learn all about how Like Ladders and Like Exchanges are hurting your reach and visibility in this detailed blog post.

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Continue reading

Things You Should Know When Setting Up Your Faceboook Business Page

There are many things to consider when creating your Facebook Business Page.  In this blog post I will go over Category, Name, and Web Address (your Page's URL).  For additional tips on using Facebook for Business, especially if you are in Direct sales, check out my E-book: Top 25 Facebook Tips for Direct Sellers (recently updated in Jan. 2015).  This post below is taken from Tip #1.  Check out the other 24 tips by getting my e-book here.

To create a brand new page, go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.  You can also just click on the green “Create Page” button located at the top left of every Page (except yours - you will not see this option when you are visiting a page you are an admin of). Continue reading

Like Ladders and Exchanges Make You LESS Visible on Facebook!

stop-like-laddersThis topic has been coming up a lot with my clients lately, so I thought I would create a reference post with my advice on how Like Ladders/Exchanges could be hurting your reach on Facebook.

First, let me clarify what a Like Ladder or Like Exchange is.  It is a very common practice among small business networks on Facebook.  The basic principle is to post your Page in a comment thread and ask for Likes.  In exchange you agree to Like all the other Pages on that same thread.  These definitely work for getting your number of Likes up, but most of the time Continue reading

Get a Yearly Wall Calendar

The idea of getting a LARGE yearly wall calendar first came to me from Caterina Rando when I attended one of her Sought After Speaker Summits.  She uses it in her speaking business but I would like to go over the benefits of having this type of calendar in your home office for your Direct Sales business.

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In this industry we have so many tasks and activities to plan and schedule throughout the year.  Continue reading

My Favorite Facebook Apps and Other Useful Tools

This list is always a work in progress, but I wanted to share with my readers some of my favorites.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.  I'm always up for learning new ways to simplify business.

APPS FOR CREATING CUSTOM PAGE TABS

22 Social is hands down my favorite! The possibilities are endless. It is not free, but you can try it free for 14 days. Their pro plan is $22 a month, or you can pay $222 per year and get 2 months free. I host almost all the apps on my Facebook page through 22 Social, especially my live webinars and virtual parties. For more info on how 22 Social can help you grow your business on Facebook, click here.

Woobox is a flexible Facebook app that has some free options for things like HTML Fangate, which is nice. The paid plans for contests and other features start as low as $1/month. But Woobox has great some free options that are great for beginners just getting started with Facebook apps. Check out THIS VIDEO on how to set up a catalog tab for free using Woobox.

ShortStack is another nifty app. It's very versatile. You can create your own widgets or use their pre-built templates and themes to create something that looks great. The nice thing about ShortStack is that it’s Continue reading

S.M.A.R.T. Goals


S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for 5 characteristics that help you set well-defined goals:

          S = Specific

         M = Measurable

         A = Attainable/Achievable

         R = Realistic and Relevant/Rewarding

         T = Timely

 S.M.A.R.T. goals are used by those who want to go beyond the idea of goal-setting into an actionable plan for results.  It’s a great acronym!  We want to be smart about setting our goals, right?  If you want to actually accomplish your goals, you must first be smart about defining them.  Let's break down each of the components of S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Specific: What exactly is it that you are trying to accomplish? Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results, and paint a vague picture of your future.  Be specific when it comes to your goals and dreams. A great goal is well-defined and focused.  Focus sets in motion a powerful force that is needed to achieve your goals.  According to Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy, "The moment you focus on a goal, your goal becomes a magnet, pulling you and your resources toward it. The more focused your energies, the more power you generate."

Measureable: It’s important to set goals that are measureable.  Otherwise, how will you know when you’ve reached your goal?  The description of your goal and the outcome should be quantifiable.  As you work towards your goal, you should be able to clearly see the direction you are going and how far you have travelled in the direction of your goal.  How many pounds have you lost?  How many recruits have joined your team?  How much money have you made?  Put concrete numbers in your goals to measure them accurately.  Seeing your progress keeps you motivated to keep going. On the other hand, not seeing progress is a signal to make adjustments to keep you on the right track.

Attainable/Achievable:  Your goal should be attainable given available resources.  You must ask yourself if you are prepared to make the commitment your goal will demand of you.  Setting a goal that is so high it is unattainable can be detrimental to your success.  While it is a good idea to get in the habit of setting big goals that fill you with excitement, it is also wise to make sure that they are achievable.  Sometimes people confuse attainability with the next characteristic in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym, Realistic.  An attainable goal is one that is both realistic and achievable given your available resources (including time).  This doesn’t mean it has to be a goal that easy to reach, rather just far enough out of your reach so it will challenge you to work harder in order to reach it.

Realistic:  A realistic goal is one in which you have the skills, knowledge, and tools to make it happen. The root word of realistic is "real." A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make "real" or a "reality" in our lives.  Far too often, people set goals beyond reach and get disappointed when they never achieve them.  Dream big and aim high, but be sure to keep one foot planted on the ground of reality.  Your goal should require you to stretch a bit beyond your normal routine and regular abilities, but allow for likely success.  You really have to know yourself well.  Be very honest with yourself as you plan and evaluate your goal.  Can you really make this happen?  If you truly believe you can, you are ahead of the game in a big way!

Relevant and Rewarding: Since Realistic is similar to Achievable/Attainable, I wanted to add a second “R” characteristic to the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.  Goals can only truly be successfully fulfilled when they are relevant to your life and priorities.  Too often people set goals that are rooted in ideas inherited from someone else, or outdated schools of thought.  Does your goal resonate with you are as a person?  If it does, then its accomplishment will be rewarding, which is also an important characteristic in defining your goals for success.  A rewarding goal is one you find exciting and valuable.  Setting a realistic goal that is both relevant and rewarding is a balancing act.  You may be able to realistically achieve your goal, but if it doesn’t evoke a passion within you, it will not hold ground very long.

Timely: Finally, a S.M.A.R.T. goal should define the time period in which it will be accomplished. Every goal should have a time frame attached to it. In fact, one of the most powerful aspects of a S.M.A.R.T. goal is that it has an ending.  Being clear about your timeline keeps you from falling behind schedule and missing your deadline.  If you need to, it’s ok to break up a larger goal into smaller ones with shorter time frames.  Do you have a reasonable date for achieving your goal in mind?  Creating a time-based goal makes it closed-ended and prevents procrastination from taking over.  Set boundaries so that you don’t repeatedly delay the start or push back the finish line. However, it is acceptable to adjust your time frames as you make progress.

To be sure you are setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal, ask yourself the following questions. What is it exactly that you want to accomplish and by when? Is it something you can actually see yourself doing within the time frame you’ve set? How will you know that you’ve reached your goal?  How will you feel when your goal has been accomplished?

Top Ten Small Business Books - Starting a Small Business

Narrowing this list to only 10 was not an easy task. I made the mistake of originally wanting to make a Top Ten of Small Business books, but soon learned many of the books on my list needed to be categorized. These are excellent reads.  I hope you can find the time to read at least two to three, if not all, of the books from each list. I own (mostly Kindle versions) and have read all of these.

I will start with my favorite recommendations on Starting a Small Business. The other lists I've created are Running a Small Business and Small Business Legal & Tax Help.  I will be posting those soon.  I'm also working on Top Ten lists for Internet Business and Social Networking for Your Small Business. There are many other worthy categories, and I could have easily gone on and on, but these are the main focus areas of MoneliCo Business Solutions.

Top Ten Books on Starting a Small Business

1. Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You'll Ever Need

A VERY comprehensive book on starting a business from the experts at Entrepreneur Magazine. Everything is covered and then offers lots of good resources for acquiring even more help--a plethora of information. It's geared a little more toward product selling businesses (retail) than service businesses, but as a service business owner I still found it INVALUABLE!

2. Growing A Business by Paul Hawken

Although this book was written over 20 years ago, and therefore lacks current business trends (like this little thing called the Internet), it is still a valuable resource for anyone wanting to start or grow a successful business. Commonly referred to as the "business bible", this book gives sound advice and should be part of every business owner's collection.

3. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

This book is a powerful guide to success for small business owners.  The author explains the need for "systems" in order for any business to acheive lasting success.  It focuses on working ON your business, rather than merely working IN it, allowing you to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

4. Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love by Barbara Winter

In addition to offering advice on creating and starting a business, this book addresses the mental and emotional obstacles business owners face and methods on how to deal with them.  It's a great motivational source for anyone thinking about starting a business.

5. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

This is an extremely inspiring book. It focuses on the importance of passion for your business and why you are in business.  The book serves as a great guide to the benefits of brand building and networking with social media tools.

6. The Entreprenuer's Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture by Steven K. Gold

The focus of this book is on getting your new business off the ground.  It's more about concepts than a technical how-to manual.  Lots of valuable and practical information for both new and experienced entrepreneurs that will aid in smarter decision-making and long-term profitability.

7. The Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business by Susan Urquhart-Brown

An insightful and comprehensive list of strategies and tools to build your business, like the 8 questions to ask before you start a business, and the 7 common pitfalls to avoid in business.  This book is a must read for anyone thinking about starting a business or wanting to turn their existing business into a more profitable one.

8. The Big Book of Small Business: You Don't Have to Run Your Business by the Seat of Your Pants by Tom Gegax

This book is a very thorough, step-by-step guide to growing your business and taking it to the next level.  It includes everything from getting off the ground to planning for growth in the future.  Leadership is one of the key business aspects covered in this book, along with many other helpful success strategies.

9. The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide by Peri Pakroo

This guide is very user-friendly and loaded with great business tips. It explains how to easily and quickly launch your business with confidence. What I especially like is that it includes all the forms and instructions you will need to do it properly.  The book covers everything from taxes to marketing, while presenting a realistic and practical approach to developing a business. All of the Nolo series books are very good.

10. So, You Want to Start a Business?: 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap by Edward D. Hess & Charles F. Goetz

This is one of the books I was reading when working on my business plan, and I'm so happy I did.  In it you will learn to avoid the operational mistakes that can destroy your business, and adopt the practices that will lead you to success.  I also like that it is organized very well which makes for a very easy read.