What’s Your Plan?

I train fighter pilots to be the best in the world at what they do.  By the time a pilot graduates from the Basic Course, he’s capable of climbing into a single-seat, single-engine F-16 and employing it anywhere on the planet, any time of day or night, in any kind of weather.  The stakes for the performance of his duties are deadly high.  In addition to his own skin, he’s responsible for the lives of untold numbers of people on the ground below him.  His combat responsibilities require him to make a constant stream of life or death decisions.  

I have about seven months to take this wet-behind-the-ears aviator and turn him into a steely-eyed fighter pilot.  In that relatively short period of time, I have to train him to perform a mind-boggling number of disparate tasks in the airplane.  Of all the skills in which he needs to gain proficiency, the most important one doesn’t involve aiming the gun, launching a missile or dropping a bomb.  The most important skill a fighter pilot needs to perfect is the ability to think for himself.  By that logic, it stands to reason that my most important job as an instructor pilot and as an officer in the Air Force is to ensure that I foster in my student pilots and in the troops who serve under me that skill.   (more…)

How to Write a LinkedIn Pulse Piece & Drive Traffic From It

Driving traffic and potential customers from social media websites is always a challenge. There is so much competition that you have to do something unique — almost every time — to give yourself a solid chance.

Fortunately, there are more ways than you usually think of for driving traffic from social media websites.

When we talk about social media marketing, we mostly think of Facebook and Twitter. However, LinkedIn is another platform that can drive significant traffic.

In February 2014, LinkedIn opened its publishing platform called LinkedIn Pulse. It allows anyone to publish content on LinkedIn which is then shown to many LinkedIn users.

LinkedIn Pulse has great potential, but still so many online businessmen and content marketers do not utilize it properly.

In this post, we discuss how to write a LinkedIn Pulse piece and drive amazing traffic from it.

But before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let’s first take a look at why you should use LinkedIn Pulse.


Why LinkedIn Pulse?

LinkedIn is a platform where individuals and businesses build credibility. It’s a very professional platform — unlike Facebook and Twitter — and can be used to enhance credibility and stamp authority. If a business regularly publishes high-quality content to LinkedIn, it is more likely to appear as an authority in its niche.

  • On LinkedIn Pulse, you can easily publish and leverage shorter articles. Over 70% articles on LinkedIn Pulse contain less than 1000 words. On the other hand, guest-blogging requires long-form content with much more efforts and hardwork.
  • Instant approval is another great advantage of choosing LinkedIn Pulse. In comparison, publishing a blog post on a well-established blog can easily take a few months.

Now let’s discuss a few proven tips and strategies that can help you succeed on LinkedIn Pulse.


1. Pick an Excellent Title

Just like any other online publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse is also a somewhat crowded space.

It’s true that there are not as many publishers there, but there are still too many pieces of content. The only way to make your post stand out is to craft an excellent and highly interesting title.

Remember that LinkedIn has an algorithm. The more people click on your post to read it, the higher reach your post will get. LinkedIn will start showing your post to a larger number of people. It’s a snowball effect.

And it is the headline that encourages people to click on a post and read it. Craft interesting, intriguing, and highly valuable headlines that can attract more and more people.

Here are a few resources to help you writing the perfect headline for your post:


2. Pick the Right Topic

Headlines matter. However, no matter how good your headline is, it won’t work if you select the wrong topic.

Usually, these are the three types of topics that work best on LinkedIn Pulse:

  • Business development and growth
  • Career
  • Self improvement and personal growth

But if your topic doesn’t fall into any of these niches, don’t worry. There is still plenty of opportunities.

Check out LinkedIn’s Channels. You will find plenty of topics. Ideally, you should try to find a topic that matches one of these channels.

Why is it important?

It’s important because each of those channels contains thousands of subscribers. If your content gets featured on any of these channels, it can garner a lot of attention and exposure.


3. Reverse Engineering

LinkedIn Pulse is still a relatively newer platform. There is still so much online marketers need to understand about it.

We don’t have concrete answers for what works and what doesn’t. So, in such a scenario, one of the best advices is to use the reverse engineering methods to learn from the best.

There are certain publishers on LinkedIn that drive thousands of traffic visitors from LinkedIn Pulse on a regular basis. In their own unique ways, they have identified the perfect formula of making it work.

Read their posts. Visit their profiles. See what they are doing. And learn from it.

  • Notice how they use the platform
  • What types of posts do they write?
  • Which are their highest performing posts? Try identifying the reasons.

Then use that knowledge and apply it. By following tried, tested, and proven methods, you give yourself a much better chance to succeed.


4. Grow Your Followers

Growing followers on LinkedIn is an extremely crucial step that so many content marketers and LinkedIn publishers completely forget about.

Most publishers get views only for featured articles. However, publishers with thousands of followers do not have that problem.

For instance, Bernard Marr is an influencer with nearly 900,000 followers. Even his worst-performing posts get thousands of views.

So focus on growing your followers. It will ensure that almost all your posts will get at least some traction and exposure.


5. Finish With CTAs and Incentives

Here is the most important tip for you.

Whichever post you publish on LinkedIn, always finish it with a specific call-to-action. That call-to-action could be anything:

  • Sharing your post on other social media websites, such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Following you on LinkedIn.
  • Visiting your website.

It could be anything, but the important part is that you at least include some type of call-to-action. A post without a proper CTA is a total waste.

Furthermore, here is another tip that will serve you very well.

If you are driving traffic to your website, do not simply redirect them to your website’s homepage. You won’t be able to retain them.

Instead drive them to a squeeze page where you can capture their email information and build a long-lasting connection. Moreover, introduce a lead magnet — a free guide, email course, or whitepaper — at the end of your LinkedIn Pulse post to encourage more clicks and visits.

Having an incentive can dramatically increase the number of clicks and, therefore, the total visitors to your website.


Final Words

LinkedIn Pulse has a lot of potential. However, it is being underutilized by most influencers and content marketers.

If you are committed enough, you can make LinkedIn Pulse work. And these 5 tips that we highlighted in this article will definitely help.

Welcome To Pain Island


Here’s the thing. If you’re a coach or a speaker looking to write a book, your readers (a.k.a. potential clients) want to know that you’ve overcome the same challenges that they’re currently facing. They want to know that you’ve had your own on-your-knees moment—that horrible moment when you recognized that something had to change; that you couldn’t go on the way you had been; that the status quo was no longer a viable option.

This horrible moment often represents total failure. It represents pain, Pain Island, as Vrinda Normand likes to call it.

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, we open with Elizabeth in the bathroom on her knees, literally and figuratively. She’s praying to God for an answer to her gut-wrenching dilemma: She doesn’t want to be married anymore, but she can’t seem to justify asking for a divorce. This is the moment that sets her on that famous, cross-continent journey to healing and self-discovery.

It’s a wonderful example of Pain Island.

Pain Island often involves the personal stuff we’d prefer to hide: affairs, eating disorders, heroin addiction, bankruptcy, you catch my drift. And even if the catalyst for change isn’t quite so dramatic, most of us expert types are reluctant to share such experiences, because we don’t like to admit that we haven’t always had our act together.

But the shameful stuff—the cat doo we’d like to hide in the litter box—is actually the stuff that sells. That’s the stuff that bonds your reader to you; that allows them to feel a little less alone in this great, big, complicated world; less judged, more understood.

Think back. What did that on-your-knees-moment look like for you? Where were you? What was going on in your head? What were you feeling? Who was with you? What were you saying? What did you hear, touch, or smell? Place us in that moment with you. Paint us a scene.

By the way, Pain Island is likely the introduction for your book. The beginning point for both you and your reader. This is the beginning of the journey. That kick in the pants that gets you, the hero, moving forward on your quest for a solution.

Remember, every good story begins with pain. Readers want to know what the problem is right away. They don’t want to wade through thirty-nine pages, or chapters, to figure that out. Without a problematic situation, or ten, there’s no story. Game over. The book gets tossed.

Here’s where things can get sticky. If you’re over the age of five, you’ll have lots of on-your-knees moments from which to choose. But the moment I want you to choose must be relevant to the big result you sell.

My Pain Island has little room for that moment my Iranian husband took a second wife. It has everything to do with shoving my memoir in the bottom drawer after having it turned down by a few big-time agents. Of seeing my husband get his book published before me, and garnering all of those kudos. Because the big result I’m selling involves writing and publishing a book.

This is the defining moment, the beginning of your journey towards creating that one big result for yourself. What is that moment for you?


About the author:

annsheybani-300x299Ann Sheybani is the author of How to Eat the Elephant: Build Your Book in Bite-Sized Steps. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Harvard University. One of our certified Book Yourself Solid® coaches, she’s also a book coach with a sales and marketing bent. She helps speakers and coaches create powerful, client-attracting books.

The Cleaning Lady at McDonalds

A few weeks ago, I had a long drive through Germany in front of me. So I decided to stop and eat something before going further.

As it happened, the only place close was a McDonalds.

So I ordered my healthy meal and made my way to the table. Sitting there and enjoying my tasty burger, I observed the room.

I love people watching, but in this circumstance, there was one person that particularly stood out to me.

The cleaning lady.

I first noticed her because she was the only person smiling in the room. Everybody else was either busy playing with their smartphone or indulging in their burgers and fries. Everybody seemed stressed and the air was filled with a sense of urgency.

The cleaning lady, however, radiated an aura of calm, something that made me calm just by looking at her.

She moved around the room, doing her job but recognizing that her job was much more important than what most others see in her.

At one point, she stopped at a table where a woman and a child were sitting. She looked at the child and struck up a conversation. The first reaction of the child was a smile and then the mother smiled. Even the people sitting at the table next to them looked over and briefly smiled before staring back into their smartphone.

I couldn’t help but feel great. There was something about this cleaning lady that made me feel happy.

And I think it was the glimpse of hope that humanity may not be doomed after all if we can just care a little more, be a little more human, and give a little more of our humanity.

How This Relates to You

If what I talked about before resonates in any way, I think we both know what our obligation is here.

If we truly recognize that we are human beings, we need to make a more conscious effort on being more human.

What’s the point of being human if there is not much left that expresses this humanity?

And there’s the kicker. For all of us business people, we are always looking for the ROI in everything. So it’s more than justified that we are asking “What’s the ROI of being more human?”

Let me tell you.

Imagine people coming to the office with a smile on their face instead of a wish that the day, or in some cases their life, to be over again soon.

Imagine people actually talking to each other in the train, bus, at work, or any other place instead of mindlessly staring into their smartphone trying to please the notion that being busy is the point of life.

Imagine people seeing each other as possible collaborators instead of competition that has to be weeded out.

Imagine people come to work every day in your company and actually caring about their work, caring about your company and caring about your vision.

And maybe most important of all. Imagine yourself being the “people” in all these instances before.

Now you tell me. What’s the ROI of that?

The Humanity Challenge

While observing the cleaning lady at McDonalds, I came up with an idea.

A little more humanity every day goes a long way and I believe it can even change the world on a massive scale.

So I’m going to start a project in the comings months to inspire sparks of humanity where everyone can share their stories and experiences where “being human” happened.

Obviously, I will need your participation in this to make it happen.

Here’s where you come in.

Please leave a comment below and share a story, an experience, anything where you felt that glimpse of humanity, either because of something you observed or something you did.

I’m counting on your help to make this world a more human place again.


About the Author:

Daniel Jordi is a Visionary Connector who is on a mission to bring humanity back into our business world.

On that journey, he has advised hundreds of leaders and entrepreneurs to create a system for building trust with high-level decision makers, that gradually evolves these decision makers from connections into collaborations.

If you want to make evolving your connections into collaborations more effective and authentic, apply for a Strategy Call here.

What Would Happen If Your Business Becomes Sale Ready?

No, I’m not saying is your business going to be sold tomorrow.  I’m assuming it’s not.  I’m asking whether your business is sale ready.  Sale ready is when your business could be sold but you’re not interested at this time.

A sale ready business is when you’ve become operationally irrelevant.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you weren’t involved in every decision in your firm?  Do you feel burned out from time to time?  If the answer to either is yes you’re not operationally irrelevant.  You’re just too involved in the day-to-day of your business.

Making your business really valuable means you need to pick your head up and look around.  Your real job is to look for and evaluate great opportunities for your firm.  You can’t do this when you only have time to think about producing day to day work.

This is especially difficult in a wealth management business.  Your clients have come to depend on you.  Now, you have to get them to depend on the firm instead.

A sale ready business is one where you have a recurring revenue stream.

If you’ve been in business for over twenty years and every year you start the year off with no business it’s got to be tiring.  A business with recurring revenue either has contracts where business is guaranteed for multiple years or has a system for creating new business every year.

The good news is you probably have great recurring revenues in your firm.  You can estimate what you’re going to do within a few hundred dollars.  Your risk is a market melt down.  The best way to solve for this problem is to have margins that can afford a drop in your revenue.

Burn out comes from worrying whether you’re going to have enough business to keep the doors open.  Without recurring revenue it’s almost impossible not to have this worry.  Figure out how to keep your doors open and have no stress.  Its called recurring revenue or owning a wealth management firm.

You have great systems in place.

You might like to rock and roll with new ways of doing things.  I can promise you that your employees hate figuring it out.  Your employees want to know what they need to do for success.  They want to know what they need to be doing to be great at their jobs.

Too often wealth management firms do one off planning. Every client is different.  When you have a niche with real expertise you’ll find that you can systematize how every client will be handled.  You’ll find that your niche all have similar issues and it’ll become easier for your staff to know what to do.

Look at the best companies in the world.  They all have systems and procedures for how to deliver great service.  Your experience at Starbucks doesn’t happen by mistake.  Starbucks trains and makes sure their employees know what to do.  Why don’t you do the same?

You’ve developed a strong niche.

When you tell me that the whole world is your oyster I know that no one knows how to find you.  The best privately held businesses know exactly who their customers are and how to serve them.

When you have a strong niche you can service your clients in a cost effective basis.  You know what their problems are.  You know how to help them take advantage of opportunities.  If this isn’t you, ask yourself why you haven’t developed a niche.

When your wealth management firm develops a strong niche you’ll have a great reputation and you’ll service clients more quickly.  You and your staff will be able to handle more clients because you’re not reinventing the wheel every time someone walks in the door.

Your measurements are forward-looking.

Do you know what your early warnings are for when things go wrong in your firm?  Do you know what measurements tell you things are going well?  A firm that is sale ready has a dashboard where the owner can see at a glance how their firm is doing.

The numbers that you look at on your profit and loss statement are all historical.  They don’t tell you one thing about what’s going to happen in the future.  Learn what forward thinking metrics are and use them.

It’s a great place to be.

If you can answer yes to all of the questions above I’ll bet you love your business.  You probably have no interest or need to sell your business.  You love what you do and you love the people you work with.

If instead you answered lots of questions with no, you’re probably ready to get out of your business tomorrow.  Sale ready is not about selling your business.  It’s about getting your business to a place where you love what you do.

Here’s the good news.  If you don’t think your business is sale ready, recognizing this fact is the first step.  Start doing one thing at a time and before you know it, you’ll have created a business others would love to own.

Are you ready to make changes in your business that get rid of burn out, increase your profits and fun?  If so, think about having your business be sale ready.


About the author:

Josh PatrickJosh Patrick is a certified Book Yourself Solid® coach and serial entrepreneur who lives in Vermont with his wife Suzanne, their two dogs and a cat. You can read his blog posts, listen to his podcasts and view his videos at www.askjoshpatrick.com.

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