Menu

Free Access to Updates & Subscriber-Only Videos:

© 2012 BlogName - All rights reserved.

Firstyme WordPress Theme.
Designed by Charlie Asemota.

How a Mattress Startup went from 3 sales to $100,000/month in 3 months

I found this post online from a marketer/SEO who took a fledgling mattress startup, and applied some crafty advertising and targeted ads to the tune of helping explode the sales of the startup that he worked for.

Some of my favorite takeaways are that he targeted his competitor’s names in google adwords, and then had a landing page where he compared his product to theirs. This is genius, because he gets to ride their coattails, and when it comes to mattresses, there are a lot of unsure customers, that will obsess over comparisons. (I know, because I was in that spot a few years ago!)

I also liked his affiliate strategy of sending people with big enough audiences a free bed for a review. And I loved the part about not ignoring local PR. This was a great piece of learning, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Here’s the content:

(more…)

Categories: Google Adwords, Intermediate Tips

What’s it like to work for a non-profit?

For the past year, I’ve been working as a digital marketing consultant for a nonprofit, located in Silicon Valley, California. I visited the office for the first time a few months back, and enjoyed driving past Facebook and Google, and seeing a self-driving Google car around Palo Alto. The future is near, folks.

The nonprofit that I work with is InSTEDD, which was created from a prize-winning TED talk by Larry Brilliant, and the main focus of the nonprofit is to use technology for humanitarian aid.

I must say that working on projects such as bettering digital disease detection in West Africa, environmental mapping in Rio de Janeiro, and UAV/Drone use for humanitarian relief in Southeast Asia is way, way, more interesting to me than working on a website to sell dating website subscriptions, or antivirus software. Is the income as passive? No, it is not, but thankfully the work is engaging, meaningful, and I can still work from home.

I was in Cambodia in the beginning of the year, working with the iLab Southeast Asia, to help them better communicate and tell their story during an important software launch with the CDC Cambodia. My main role was to help script an informational video, and do so while working closely with the communications lead. This was to help build capacity in the film-making area, so that future projects by the iLab could be covered in this way. We are working on the final edits as I type this post. It’s a video project that included clips taken in California, Cambodia, and New York City. The scripting was pretty difficult, as the context of each interview was not the same, however I think we’ve done a great job and I’m looking forward to watching the final edit.

The big benefit of traveling to Southeast Asia for work is being paid to travel. It’s something that I always romanticized. This idea of stepping on the plane, consulting with others in a faraway place, and also having time to enjoy my surroundings. I was lucky enough to be able to make that happen on this trip. I toured Bangkok and Koh Lanta in Thailand for 10 days before I had to work, which helped a lot with my jetlag… and I then toured the temples of Angkor Wat, the beaches of the south, and Saigon, Vietnam, after I had finished my week of work.

In total I was gone for a month, and I caught myself at various times telling myself how grateful I was that not only I was traveling in Southeast Asia, but was doing so for work.

 

Categories: Travel, Work

Are you just fine, or are you f***ing great?

I’ve been meaning to watch a movie I heard about recently which features guys like Grant Peelle, Pat Flynn, and others.

It’s all about people who left soul-sucking jobs to pursue their passions. The reason that I enjoyed this documentary is mainly because throughout the course of the film you can piece together the journey that each of these people go through, from frustration, to fear, to just going for it, and the results for each.

Google “I’m Fine Thanks film“.

I think it’s a worthwhile watch, especially for those of you interested in film, as they put this idea together and shot it in 6 weeks!

Enjoy –

Simon

Categories: Motivational

The BEST Free, Invoicing Web App

I recently purchased a course on developing business videos. I plan on perfecting my craft and becoming a better videographer.

However – I stumbled on the best invoicing app I have ever laid eyes on, and best of all it’s FREE.

There are countless other invoicing apps, and they range from $10-$100+/month depending on your needs.

The site that I use (and they just came out with a mobile app as well) is WAVE.

These guys make the entire process so incredibly easy. You just set up a profile, you can connect payments via Stripe (a PayPal alternative) and  then you just create invoices, and send them to your customers through the app.

Your customers can then pay you via their invoice that they receive in the mail.

You also get to see if your customer viewed the invoice or not – and the best part is that when they pay you via Stripe, your invoices change themselves to “PAID”.

The site also lets you send reminders when people are late to pay their invoices, and it gives you a useful overview of your incoming and outgoing funds by the month.

I can’t recommend WAVE enough for it’s incredible invoicing capabilities. As a freelancer, I wouldn’t want to use anything else.

 

Categories: Product Reviews, Productivity

A mystery swag bag arrived today!

I just checked my mail and received an airmail package from Estonia.

Weird, I thought… Until I remembered that the team at Toggl (a time keeping web app that I love and recommend) offered to send me a T-Shirt.

You could say they over delivered :)

They sent stickers, a pen, a bag, and a shirt.

All because I wrote to them with some feedback.

Pretty cool, huh?

20140416-180414.jpg

20140416-180438.jpg

Categories: Uncategorized

A creative ad that hit me like a ton of bricks

Lately I’ve been exposed to many similar messages talking about the importance of giving value, giving of yourself, and improving situations wherever possible.

This video hit me like a ton of bricks. Such a beautifully done video.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Categories: Uncategorized

Start With WHY: What’s Your “WHY”?

Simon Sinek Start With Why

Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle”

WHY do you do what you do?

When someone asks you what you do for a living, what’s your answer?

For most of us, it goes something like this:

“I’m a fitness coach, I train people to get into great shape, I make a diet plan for them, and help them achieve the lifestyle and life that they deserve.”

The problem with the above explanation is that this person started with WHAT they do, HOW they do it, and ended with WHY.

I was referred to a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek that drives this point home. I’m reading his book right now “Start With Why” and in this book he explains what separates uber-successful companies and politicians from companies that fail to gain a strong following of believers.

The common thread is that the innovators start with WHY they do instead of with WHAT they do.

Our beliefs are what tie us together. If we can attract people who believe the same ideas and dreams that we do, then our following can grow in this way.

A funny quote Simon said in his speech was that Martin Luther King didn’t say “I have a PLAN.” he started with “I have a DREAM.” It’s an ideal, a belief, a vision.

One of my current goals is to solve this question myself.

What is my WHY?

I encourage you, dear reader, to think about what your WHY is.

For example – Apple starts with their WHY instead of their WHAT. Instead of saying “We build super fast and top-of-the-line computers, we do this with the latest technology and all the best and greatest features, do you want to buy one?”

Apple starts with their WHY, their vision. They say something like “”In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. We do this by making our products beautifully designed and simple to use. We just happen to make great computers. Do you want to buy one?”

Currently, I write in this blog because I challenge the idea that people are forced to accept to live a normal 9-5 routine, I believe that people can use clever tools and tricks online to live fruitfully, with a job-replacing income. I spend dollars and days of my life finding the most useful tactics for my readers. I want to empower people who think it can’t be done.

Not very poetic, but that’s my why.

What’s YOUR WHY? 

P.S. – Here’s the “Start with WHY” Ted Talk:

Categories: Motivational, Personal

My Top 6 Free Productivity Apps That Have Changed My Work Life

I see about 10 new posts on productivity every day. I browse various blogs, reddit, and YouTube, and productivity is something that people just cannot wrap their heads around.

I’ve followed lots of productivity advice in my life, and I’ve had mixed results.

I’ve had periods where I’m “on fire” and I’ve had weeks where I felt like I accomplished nothing.

If you’re in a funk right now, I hope that using some of these tips will get you going again.

Instead of a generic productivity article where I tell you to “eat right, exercise, sleep enough, drink enough water, take 1 step forward, and be grateful…”

I’ll instead detail the apps that you can download today and have a tangible positive effect on your work life.

Like any app or trick or secret, it’s all about how you use the apps. Some apps won’t mesh with you, and some will boost your results. There are hundreds of options out there, these are just what have worked for me.

Leave a comment below the post if you’d like to add an app or tool that you use and love.

The Top 6 *FREE* Productivity Apps That Have Changed My Work Life

(more…)

Categories: Product Reviews, Productivity

The Roost Stand – A Review

One blogger who I love to follow is Charles Ngo. He’s not only an expert mobile and dating marketer, but he’s a big supporter of keeping correct posture while working.

As a guy who works from home and sits nearly the entire day, his suggestions are targeted directly to someone like me.

One such suggestion recently was the “Roost Stand.”

You see, the problem with my posture is that I work on a laptop. So every day, around 3 or 4 pm, I start to feel my upper back tightening and getting sore, and it’s because I’m looking slightly downward. The roost stand attaches to your laptop to bring the screen to just below eye-level.

Credit: SpicyTec.com

Credit: SpicyTec.com

The Roost Stand comes in at around $80 after shipping.

I decided that $80 is about 2 visits to the chiropractor, and it’s way less than purchasing another monitor. More so, the Roost Stand is pretty cool looking, has a beautiful website design (an alteration of a Shopify template) and could make an immediate impact in my well-being, and sore back.

So I decided to buy a Roost Stand. I actually used Bitcoin. It was my first purchase using Bitcoin, so that was pretty cool.

Roost Stand Review:

roost stand review

Credit: MakerFaire.com

The stand took some getting used to in the beginning. It took about 2 days until it started feeling more normal. I also had to buy a wireless keyboard, as my old wired one just wasn’t cutting it, and my wrists weren’t comfortable.

Before using the Roost Stand, my shoulders would start to ache at around 3 PM every day. It was like my body’s alarm clock – I knew it was 3 PM when my shoulders started to ache. That problem is now gone. For this alone, I feel like the Roost stand is worth it.

The compactness of the stand is another very cool thing. If I want to go work at a library or coffee shop with this stand, it can be folded and packed away. I can throw in my slim wireless keyboard and be good to go.

It clips in quite easily – I suggest starting with one corner of the laptop, and then following with the next corner.

All in all, I would give this stand a solid rating. Let’s call it an A-. I would like to be able to adjust the height of the screen. That’s one thing that maybe they can create in a future model. Reason being that every desk and chair height is not equal. So some people might want to adjust how high or low the screen is. (They have an adjustment based on screen size, but I would like to adjust more than that.)

Keep in mind that this stand does not work with all laptops. You will need to go visit their website and see if it fits your particular make and model.

For more information, visit the Roost Stand website.

Categories: Product Reviews