Best Business Books: The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List

Best Business Books

If you’re anything like me, you’re in a constant state of learning.

And with Game of Thrones still a few weeks away and the Netflix catalogue exhausted, I have a little bit of time to fill!

Barely a day goes by that I’m not tuning into a podcast, webinar or reading up on the latest business and marketing trends from my favourite blogs and books.

I even have time blocked out time in my calendar each week specifically for “learning” activities.

Some of my greatest business learnings have been from the humble book! There is such a wealth of information out there with years of experience and knowledge at our fingertips.

So, while you’ve been a busy bee getting things done, I have compiled The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List: 25 of the Best Business & Marketing Books to tide you over till Game of Thrones starts! Continue reading “Best Business Books: The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List”

Why I Have No Problems Paying Zuckerburg & Neither Should You

Facebook Like

You have a Facebook Page, you’re engaging with your loyal fans and getting amazing reach with your page “Likes” growing by the day.

Then, BAM.

Zuckerburg moves the goal posts, decreasing the amount of people who would organically see your Facebook posts.

Now you need to work harder to get the same results and you’re just a little bit peeved.

How dare he?!? Why should I have to pay for advertising to reach my customers?

This has definitely caused a bit of a ruckus within the business community and I often hear how people feel hard done by now they’re “forced” to advertise in order to reach the same amount of people previously.

But here’s the thing … I have no problems paying for Facebook Advertising.

It baffles me that businesses believe they’re entitled to a free ride. I might ruffle a few feathers by saying this, but it’s kinda a little arrogant and misguided.

You’re using this platform to make money and grow your business. And Zuckerburg should allow you to use his infrastructure (that costs him millions to build and maintain) for free, why?

Would you allow a random business to set up shop in your house and not pay rent, electricity, internet and phone? I didn’t think so.

As social media guru Guy Kawasaki says “Facebook is not a charity – don’t expect to get your brand message out for free”.

I love Facebook. It has been pivotal for my business growth.

Sure, Facebook can change the game at any time. But at the end of the day, Facebook has 1.5 billion monthly active users, and chances are, your ideal customers are part of that.

So Facebook has made it a little harder to reach those people …

I see this as an opportunity.

An opportunity to rise above the crowd and do better than those still whinging about the lack of organic reach on Facebook.

Setting up a Facebook Business Page is still free. Facebook still allows you to connect with your audience through photos, text, video and more – for absolutely no cost.

Time to hustle. Time to go with the Facebook flow and play Zuckerburg’s game if you must.

If Facebook video is what’s appearing in people’s news feeds, then post more video.

Have a look at what is being shared in your personal new feed. Post more of that.

Keep an eye on your Facebook Insights. Was there a particular post preforming better than others? Post more of that.

Research what’s working for other businesses and reverse engineer their success, because there are still many businesses out there who are getting crazy organic reach.

Take Simple Green Smoothies for example. Or Cooking For Busy Mums. These guys have a crazy organic following!

Test and measure. If it isn’t working, try something else.

Want to fast-track results? Try Facebook Advertising.

Promoting your best content maximises your reach and it puts your content in the hands of the RIGHT people.

It doesn’t have to burn a whole in your pocket. YOU set the budget. Start with $1 per day and increase your spend as you start to see results.

The key is to be targeted – if you market to everyone, you market to no one.

  • Are they Male or Female?
  • What occupations are they in?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are their interests?
  • What Facebook Pages do they follow?
  • What device are they using the most – Desktop or Mobile?

Your objective is to put your content in front of exactly the right people and none of the wrong people.

Facebook Advertising is a powerful tool and an opportunity for those who want to stand out from the crowd rather than follow.

Now get out there and do the Facebook hustle!

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The Dirty SEO Truth & How To Do It Right

The dirty truth about seo

I get emails from SEO experts daily.

They claim my website is ranking poorly in the search engines and I’m loosing customers.

Funny, they seemed to have found me just fine!

Meanwhile on the blog, I am bombarded with comments on my posts.

Typically in broken English, referencing content that has nothing to do with the post. Most don’t make any sense at all.

Ever had a website hacked, injected with malware and links to other people’s websites?

Or what about the guest post and link requests from companies that aren’t even remotely related to what you do?

These are all the shady “Black Hat” techniques and shortcuts of these so called SEO experts.

But they GUARANTEE me a number one ranking in Google, I hear you say!

Don’t be fooled! No one can guarantee a page one ranking.

And if they do run for this hills!

Google is the boss man. And Google says no.

I don’t believe in paying for SEO

The harsh reality is, a lot of work goes into doing SEO correctly and in a way that won’t land you on Google’s naughty list.

Interflora can attest to this. As well as BMW Germany.

And it’s an ongoing battle.

With the sheer amount of websites out there (millions and billions) all competing for that elusive number one ranking, you need to pay a reputable company thousands a month on an ongoing basis to maintain your rankings.

An entrepreneur friend came to me recently with a quote from a well known Australian SEO company for $2,500 a month.

She thought it was ridiculous.

However knowing the work involved in doing SEO right, this sounds pretty spot on.

So what’s the answer?

It’s all about the content!

Your best SEO strategy is to simply Blog, Blog and Blog some more.

Share your passion with the world. Solve your customer’s problems. Demonstrate your expertise providing high quality relevant juicy content.

Start with a blog a week. Consistently. Week after week.

This will keep Google coming back for more and boost your rankings in a way that is sustainable.

SEO is a long-term commitment that should form part of your overall marketing strategy – not be a strategy on it’s own.

SEO due diligence

There are also a few quick & clean tips that can help you get on Google’s good side.

Consider this your SEO due diligence.

These aren’t enough on their own. However combined with blogging, it will help Google sit up and take notice.

Create a Google+ Page and link it to your website. Google is the boss man and if Google says websites with Google+ pages rank higher, then that’s what you need to do. Simples. If you have a local business, encourage clients to leave you a review. Google loves reviews.

Share your content on Social Media. Get your message out there. Be discoverable. The more people who share your content on social media channels, the more Google thinks you’re important.

Guest post. Legitimately. Leverage your connections and offer to do reciprocal guest blog posts. These work best when there is mutual benefit, so establish strategic alliances with non-competing businesses where you can add value to their audience and vice versa. Target websites with high page ranks – the higher quality backlinks, the more important Google considers your website to be.

Tighten your “On-Page” SEO. I use the Yoast SEO Wordpress Plugin to optimise my website. I also make sure I place targeted keywords in the title, URL and first few paragraphs of each post. Also include your target keywords in links, image alt tags and image filenames.

Make sure your website is Mobile Friendly. With more than 60 per cent of traffic originating from mobile devices, Google has said websites that aren’t mobile friendly will rank lower in mobile search results. Use this tool to checkout if your website is mobile friendly.

And last but not least, if you’re still intent on outsourcing SEO, do your homework.

Don’t fall for false guarantees of shady SEO gurus. You get what you pay for and it may cost you more money in the long run.

If you want to learn more about SEO check out Shae Baxter’s blog. She is the SEO bomb.

Now go forth and BLOG …

How to Create a Killer About Page that Converts

Want to know one of the most important pages of your website?

If you answered the homepage, think again.

It’s your About Page!

And yet, it’s often a complete afterthought for most businesses.

Don’t have an About Page?

Oh my, go ahead and slap yourself now.

This page is a treasure trove of possibility and probably one of the most visited pages of your website.

If you want to differentiate yourself, build customer trust and ultimately make more sales – you need to give it some love and attention.

So open up that dusty old page you wrote on a whim years ago and listen up!

If you want to attract your ideal customer, tell your story. Make an emotional connection.

You can have a website full of juicy content, but none of it matters if visitors don’t connect with you on an emotional level!

We are emotional beings and make emotional decisions.

The About Page is your secret weapon to hooking your ideal customer. If a visitor identifies with your story, your values and your mission, they’ll want to work with you.

We do business with people we know, like and trust. Your About Page is how you build that rapport and trust.

It could be the single most important factor that turns a visitor into a customer and raving fan.

So be fearless. Lay it all out there. Who are you? Why are you in business? What ignites your soul? What breaks you’re heart? How can you help your visitors? How can you change their lives?

Here are some examples of entrepreneurs who have awesome About Pages and:

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo About Page

Marie Forleo is an entrepreneur, business coach and best-selling author.

She has a killer “About” page.

She strategically differentiates herself by writing in her unique style. At the same time, she big names like Oprah, Richard Branson and Tony Robbins. She tells a story that will make any one of her ideal customers say “YES! I understand you!” while also not being afraid to say just how much success she’s had.

Marie has one of the best “About” pages on the net. If you’re totally lost on what your “About” page should look like, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take some inspiration from Marie Forleo.

Rachel Macdonald’s

Rachel Macdonald About Page

Rachel Macdonald is a writer, coach and speaker who specialises in helping women live the lives they truly desire.

She opens with a powerful mission statement that magnetises anyone who comes across her site. She then talks about her beliefs and what led her to the work she’s doing today. Her “About” page is visually stunning and sucks anyone in to read all the way to the bottom.

If you want to have an “About” page like Rachel’s, she has a handy post about how to create a killer “About Page” right here!

Shae Baxter

Shae Baxter About Page

Shae Baxter is an SEO expert focused on helping women get their message to the world.

Her About page is almost entirely focused on the reader which is great strategy of attracting her ideal customer. After a brief introduction she talks about the reader, their business problems and their values rather than her own.

Her perfect customers will identify with what she’s saying and be hooked by her deep understanding of them.

These approaches are all different, but engaging.

Now over to you.

Time to dust off of your “About” page and add some stories and emotional honesty.

Happy writing!

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5 Blog Posts that changed the way I do business

It’s crazy looking back at when I first started out in business and how much I’ve grown – both personally and professionally. There’s been a lot of trial and error and many lessons learned. But also just as many wins!

I can even pin point key moments in the journey that were pivotal in my growth.

Those “aha” moments that change everything.

Some of these moments were advice from trusted mentors. Others were simply the result of stumbling across information that challenged my way of thinking.

So here are the top 5 blog posts that have had a HUGE influence on how I approach business.

Zen to Done (ZTD): The Simple Productivity System

Getting Things Done | Productivity

This seriously changed my life. Way back when I first started out, I struggled with time management and staying on top of everything. I couldn’t get my head around my workload, what to prioritise and how to maintain that ever elusive work-life balance.

I suffered from information overload and was bombarded daily with emails, phone calls, snail mail, social media notifications, meeting requests, event invitations not to mention the client projects and deadlines that I needed to also get done. And that’s not even taking into account my personal life!

I needed a system.

Enter GTD or the Getting Things Done Methodology by David Allen. It all starts with writing stuff down and getting it out of your head. It then goes into an “Inbox” for processing later or immediately assigned to a “Task List / Folder”.

Leo Babauta from Zen Habits has his own take on GTD which simplifies the system and focuses more on taking action. Check out his post here.

The 30 Minute Business Plan: Business Model Canvas Made Easy

Ditch the business plan. Paint a canvas.

So how’s that Business Plan working for you? Oh, don’t have one? Maybe, like mine, it is half baked and unfinished buried somewhere depths of your hard drive.

I say ditch the business plan and paint a canvas instead!

Introducing the Business Model Canvas. I live and breath this tool for my business. It’s the tool I refer to when I’m stuck in a rut. It’s my complete business MAPPED, from now and into the future.

If you’re looking for something practical that will actually help you think through your business, this is the answer. And here’s the best part – IT’S A ONE PAGER!

This post helped me build a long term vision for Kreatology.

How We Sell: Men vs Women

child holding a instant camera

Why do we find it so hard to ask for money? We’ve provided a service, invested our time, expertise and put our blood, sweat and tears into a client project. And yet we still feel guilty about asking to be paid!

I am even guilty of working for free or discounting my services, but why?

Denise Duffield-Thomas sums it up perfectly with this blog post. Time to be fearless about money and get paid what you’re worth!

9000 Unread Emails to Inbox Zero: My Executive Assistant Shares How We Did It

thewordpresslab-kreatology-header

As my business has grown, so have the number of emails received each day. I was easily receiving at least 100 hundred emails a day and the reality is I wasn’t getting to them. Important emails were getting lost. Client requests sometimes took a few weeks to be responded to and as a result, customer service was suffering.

This podcast from Smart Passive Income is only a recent discovery and still a work in progress. But has already made a huge difference to my email management and response time. 

Do You Have An “Upper Limit” Problem?

little power super hero child

I see it time and time again. I’m even guilty of it myself! A business starts seeing the results of their efforts and things are going well. EXTREMELY well. All of a sudden suddenly things start to go wrong. They might get sick. Mysterious gremlins attack the computers. Excuses are rife for why they can’t move forward – too busy, personal problems, other commitments.

Self sabotage.

Without realising, we bring it all back to a level we’re comfortable with. We all have a comfort zone and unconscious ideas of how happy and successful we feel we deserve to be. And that’s ok. But time to hit that BS for six. Marie Forleo sums it up fabulously!

So that’s my list of of Blog Posts! What posts have influenced you on your entrepreneurial journey?

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7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business

7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business

So I am an emotional wreck this morning.

What’s happened you ask?

Mad Men. That’s what’s happened.

I am notoriously critical of season finales. They never fail to disappoint. So I was little cautious heading into last night’s Mad Men.

But, I am happy to say it was EPIC in every way. Perfect end to one of the great television shows … EVER. Pretty sure I’ll be having Mad Men withdrawals for years to come.

How fabulous is Joan Holloway?!?

My favourite character by far. She stole the finale as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it’s the fabulous shade of red hair we share or her amazing sense of style.

That aside, her fierce determination was simply inspirational.

She was the savviest person on the show, strong-minded and entrepreneurial. Bold, sassy and maybe a little complicated. She was fiercely protective of her position and family.

She handled every challenge with grace and didn’t take crap from anyone!

Whenever I’m faced with a problem in business, I ask myself “what would Joan do?”.

So here are my top 7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business:

  1. “If you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.” – Don Draper
  2. “Sometimes when people get what they want, they realise how limited their goals were.” – Joan Holloway
  3. “You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.” – Don Draper
  4. “I have a life, and it only goes in one direction: forward.” – Don Draper
  5. “You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl.” – Joan Holloway
  6. “I’m in charge of thinking of things before people know they need them.” – Joan Holloway
  7. “Change isn’t good or bad, it simply is.” – Don Draper

Throwing a Mad Men party? Don’t be surprised if I rock up as Joan.

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