Just jump in

So here I am then, in the blogging ‘pool’, so to speak. After much swithering, swinging wildly from ferocious determination to overwhelming nervousness, after a long drawn out time on this pendulum of uncertainty – I’ve gone and done it. I’ve created my blog.

I’m not really one for jumping in headfirst, (being as I’m actually a closet control freak), so I have thought long and hard about doing this for a long time. So long in fact, that instead of jumping in headfirst, I have lingered around and cautiously poked the water with a stick, then nervously swirled my pinky finger, eventually sticking a toe in, and finally, lowering myself in at glacier pace! Even after deciding to stop being so afraid and just do it, I have taken weeks to build up the nerve to actually post anything.

I’m a bit of an over-thinker, and although I’ve written and planned out countless blog posts in my mind, and decided that this is the tool I need in order to let those ideas / musings / observations out into the universe, it’s actually a bit daunting to do.

Nevertheless, having already committed months and months of my life to consideration of whether to blog or not, it’s done, decision made, action taken, words typed. I may have only slinked into the ‘pool’ rather than jumping headfirst, but, I’m in now. It has begun.

Les Mills Pump

So I haven’t really weighed in on my experience and review of Les Mills PUMP in a while and thought it was about time. I am still workout to a different Les Mills PUMP workout every morning. This past Monday I began week six of the program which started the second phase of the program. The second phase named, Panoni, is the change. This phase of the program really focuses on changing your shape by building and sculpting the muscles for the long lean look. But we will get more to that later.

Sunday marked the end of phase one which is named Te Wero, which is the challenge. This phase is designed to challenge your body to shed some serious pounds. These challenging workouts aim boost your metabolism and stimulate weight loss. During this phase there were a lot of workouts that you completed several times per week, I felt that this repetition was a good way to get your body use to the new moves and to really focus on perfecting form. Personally, not having much experience with barbell training I loved that I was able to get to really know the routines so I was less worried about what they were doing on the TV and more focused on my form.

Throughout this first phase of Les Mills PUMP one of my favorite workouts was Pump Burn, in this thirty minute workout you are working several muscle groups at the same time to really increase your heart rate, burn calories, and kick start your weight loss. During week five of the workout you add the workout Pump Shred to your regime. This has become another one of my favorite workouts, this is a forty five minute workout that focus not only on the calorie burn and fat burn but also building your endurance. You really get to experience the rep effect in this workout.

The rep effect is a major building block for Les Mills PUMP. Traditional weight lifting tells us that in order to build muscle you need to lift heavy weights at a low repetition count. The rep effect tells us the exact opposite. Here the muscles are fatigued by using light to moderate weights at a higher repetition count. During some of the routines you will be completing 800 repetitions. Using this thinking, the rep effect of Les Mills PUMP will allow you to fatigue your muscle, lose fat, and build strength without becoming bulky. That means that by the time you complete this program you will have a sexier, sleeker, stronger, and toned physique than you have ever imagined possible.

In terms of weight loss during the first phase of the Les Mills PUMP program; I have shed five pounds and two inches from my body. I am seeing a lot more definition in my arms, back, and chest. Overall, I must say that I am extremely happy with my results thus far and cannot wait to see what the next phase has to offer!

How to succeed in your new business

Next I am going to share a few things that if you do consistently will help you SUCCEED in your new business:

1. Learn about network marketing: Understanding the basics of networking marketing and learning some basic marketing skills will help you grow your online business. Things like general conversation skills, how to talk to potential customers on the telephone, how to handle objections, social media marketing, etc. will help you immensely.

2. Stay on top of all related information: Business is constantly changing and offering training tools to help you succeed. You are going to want to check your online office EVERYDAY for new news, promotions, etc. Also you are going to want to tune into the National Wake Up call every Monday. These calls are so motivational and really keep you up to date on all of the latest news!

3. Determination and Persistence: To be a successful coach you are going to have to be focused, determined, and persistent. You have to be willing to “open” your business everyday! As with other businesses there will be times where everything will be booming you will be getting orders and signing up new clients; however, there will also be times when things seem extremely slow. It is during these slow times that you need to remain focused and working towards your goals know that this slow time will pass!

4. Personal Development: To be a successful Independent business you have to be willing to grow yourself. A good starting point is to read 10 pages a day of a good personal development book. We even offer a section within the Online Coach office, titled SUCCESS which is filled with all types of personal development information.

5. NEVER take rejection personally: In this business you have to prepare yourself for the no’s, for the naysayers, for the negative comments. The most important concept to be successful in business is to not get emotional if someone tells you no. I have learned in my own business that an initial no does not mean that you will not eventually get a YES! That goes back to being persistent and focused on your business.

So this may sound like work but I promise you that if you devote yourself to your business you can be SUCCESSFUL!

“Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.” — Walter Scott

Getting my veggies in on my veggie patch

A very important concept called the “food mile” helps us understand the importance of having your own veggie garden. A food mile is a measure of the distance a particular food item has traveled from the place of origin to your table. It is important that this number stays low because of the costs and carbon emissions associated with transporting it is harmful to the environment. When you grow you vegetables in your backyard the food miles is zero. So do your part to save the environment form pollution and make this world a better place to live.

Organic vegetable gardens were around for thousands of years. It wasn’t until recently that people started using advanced pesticides and chemicals on crops. An organic vegetable garden is one in which synthetic, manufactured pesticides and fertilizers are never used. Organic vegetables for the past 20 years have not been in great demand. It is only now that people realize the benefits of organic vegetables. As the benefits became known its demand increased significantly. Grocery stores now days offer at least some organic vegetables but most of us now days prefer to have our own organic vegetable garden in our backyards. Here are a few tips on how to start a vegetable garden.

  • Location: The first thing you would need to do is select a location for growing your vegetables. You must select a sunny location. Most plants require atleast 6 hours of sunlight to stay healthy. You should also make sure that the soil is well drained in that location as well
  • Compost: Before you start planting it is always advisable to mix compost into the planting bed about three weeks prior to planting. Compost can come from animal manures or plant material and may be made at home by getting a composting bin or a composting sack.
  • Choice of plants: You should choose the types of vegetables with a lot of care. Few vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli thrive in cold climates whereas tomatoes, peppers, corn would grow only during summers and cannot tolerate cold weather. This summer once the soil and weather gets warm enough you could go get tomato seed kits and start your own tomato farm.
  • Maintenance: Water you plants regularly and ensure that weeds are removed on a regular basis to keep your vegetables healthy and strong.
  • Crop Rotation: The rotation of crops is very important as it not only maintains the fertility of the soil but also avoids pest buildup.

Go even greener and get a solar powered light for the garden

Lastly, adopting solar energy in our every day life is necessary to make a significant difference. Not just because it is a cheap and renewable energy source, but because we owe it to our future generation to pass down a cleaner and greener environment.

Traditional energy sources rely on three types of fossil fuels. These are natural gas, oil and coal. As of now, fossil fuels are meeting approximately 95% of our worldwide energy demands. But as they are fast appearing to be near depletion stage, this has left us wondering how this will affect our life once we exhaust the fossil fuels. This has triggered the search for an alternative energy source.

The biggest advantage of using solar energy against any conventional energy is that it is renewable. Solar energy is everywhere; we may practically never run out of it. Apart from this, there are various other uses of solar energy. Let’s check out some of the practical uses of solar energy in our every day life.

Mounting a solar heating panel, more specifically a flat plate collector panel, on your roof space can meet your demand for additional hot water during winter. Solar heating panels are easy to install. Once the installation cost is over, it can drastically reduce your energy bill while cutting down the carbon footprints. Solar heating panels are available in various sizes and price ranges to meet various demands.

Apart from enhancing your landscape, a solar powered flood light could be an effective security device during a sudden power outrage. We have recently installed a motion and heat-sensing solar-powered flood light to keep our entryways well-lit and discourage intruders or thieves from taking advantage.

If you are opting for an above-ground swimming pool, you would be looking for a pool heating system sooner or later. For those who are from Texas or Florida, installing solar pool heaters could ensure best return on your investment. First, by giving you prolonged swimming season and then by reducing your energy bill and maintenance cost.

Don’t lose focus, get focussed!

Do you ever lose your focus? Those simple tasks that should only take an hour to complete end up taking all day?
You are not alone, most people who start out in their own business, be it either network marketing/MLM, online affiliate marketing or the online promotion of an offline business, struggle to make it through their first month due to the overwhelming variety of online promotional methods they have to learn and by their very nature, the myriad of distractions each platform thrusts your way. Due to this a simple task can and often does take hours to complete because of your personal demon procrastination commandeering your brain.

What you really need to do first is set your goals. I am sure you have heard this phrase before, especially if you are involved in network marketing but what does it really mean? Basically it is a plan of action written down in achievable steps to get you to where you want to be in a specific time-scale.

Your plan is split into long term goals (where you want to be in one years time), short term goals (where you want to be in one month) and daily tasks. Remember, Goals are Dreams with a Plan, so lets start setting those goals. (In case you need reminding, your Dreams are what made you join your opportunity in the first place because you saw the opportunity as a tool for achieving them. These Dreams are your WHY. They are WHY you signed up and WHY you will take action every day to achieve your Dreams. Remember your WHY).

Take the time to write out the things you need to do to achieve your long term goal, divide it down into monthly portions and prioritize to create your short term goals. Now plan your month into the daily tasks that you need to accomplish to reach your short term goals.

Top Tips for Goal setting

  1. Be realistic and make sure your daily tasks are achievable.
  2. Plan with time to spare. There is no need to put yourself under undue pressure or stress.
  3. Plan to utilize resources that you have, not with resources you plan to have.
  4. Doing a little each day over a long period is much more effective than trying to achieve the impossible in a short period.

Note: It is good practice to always write out the following days agenda (in an ordered list) as your last task before you go to bed. This will keep tasks in your mind while you sleep driving them into your unconscious mind where they will merge with a flow of inspiration. You will often wake up with new fresh ideas and ways of doing things. You will also be able to focus immediately when you wake on what needs to be done because it is written down in front of you, rather than spend half the morning wondering what to do first.

As I start to go through each of the tools at your disposal for marketing your business/opportunity online, you will see they can very quickly mount up and become overwhelming. Good planning and a good work ethic put in place from day one will help to stop you being swallowed up into the world of social media. Every Facebook PostTweetEmailArticle and Video leads you away from your daily productivity and onto other peoples agendas. They are of course designed to do so as this is the purpose of sales copy-writing and a skill you will need to learn.

Dealing with Distraction

Whenever you catch yourself straying from your own tasks, distracted by a cute kitten or compilation of fails, stop yourself, remember your WHY and focus.
However, do not return directly to your daily agenda without first making a written note outlining what it was that distracted you. For this purpose I keep an A5 notepad on my desk at all times. Write down the subject line, body text and a brief description of any photo or video that caused you to become distracted. This may seem counter-productive at first as our goal is not to stray from our own daily tasks but the reasons for doing this are twofold.

  1. The act of noting down the outline of the distracting post is something that you need to do, in other words, you are now making it part of your own agenda. This will focus your mind back onto your own business and reduce the likelihood of further distractions through the day.
  2. In doing so you will soon build up a very good series of copy-writing templates that you can later base your own eye-catching advertisements on. You will, by maintaining this practice, teach yourself great copy-writing skills subliminally.

Focusing the Mind

When you feel your mind wander it can often be due to fatigue. Your head gets hazy, you start to daydream and you lose focus. These are the times when your guard is down and procrastination takes over. There are several things you can do to help prevent fatigue wiping out your daily agenda.

Top Tips for Fighting Fatigue

  1. Sleep well (6 to 8 hours per day) but do not oversleep. Having a lie in only alters your bodys natural clock and rhythm the end result being fatigue throughout the day.
  2. Hydration. Keeping yourself well hydrated (water, not beer or wine) keeps the mind focused.
  3. Regular breaks. Working online at a computer screen will take a toll on your eyes and cause fatigue. A short 10 minute break when required is not procrastination, it is necessary to maintain your focus. If needed set an alarm clock/timer to help you maintain the discipline to return.
  4. Diet. Stay away from too much sugar and caffeine. Never overlook your breakfast.
  5. Exercise. You have heard it many times before because it is true, a healthy body really does lead to a healthy mind. Make the time to go for a walk/run or hit the gym. Think back to your WHY. In your mind, as you picture yourself achieving your dreams, picture a fitter healthier you. Implementing daily exercise into your plan will help to keep your mind focused and give you a schedule that in turn instils discipline to your daily routine.

I hope you find my thoughts useful in creating your plan and they help drive you from distractions whilst maintaining a focused and healthy mind and body. If you think my words will be of use to your friends or family then feel free to share, tweet and re-post. If you have any other good tips to keep distractions at bay then share them in the comments section below. it is always great to read your thoughts on my posts. Until then plan what you need to do and take action as even the best plans in the world will not get you anywhere if you don’t implement them.

Here’s to a productive day, cheers Rick

Get motivated

How do you think about your business? Are you motivated to take action everyday or do you put off what you really should be doing in favor of something that is easier?

I know full well what it is like having been in business for many years but the hardest part of anything is taking that initial action. And it doesn’t get any easier for the experienced marketer either when starting a new project, there are always going to be new skills you have to learn to get the results that you desire in this fast moving market.

If you truly want to be successful then you have to take a look inwards to find what drives and motivates you. Not everything you do will be a success but overcoming every small failure and keep moving forwards is the path to your ultimate goal.

There are those who can do this naturally, they are the entrepreneurs, the visionary’s who have the gift of tenacity and are self motivated all the time. For the most part we can all be like this at times, but keeping a laser focus on your goals whilst learning new skills, driving forward and overcoming obstacles can be very draining.

Motivation and inspiration is the fuel you need to keep moving.

If your reason why is big enough then you will find that drive inside you to do what needs to be done. If you need help along the way then refuel with motivational books and videos.

My top tips to keep yourself inspired and motivated.

  • Post your favorite motivational quotes daily into social media. This will keep you searching for more quotes to post and by default you will be taking in a shot of motivation every day.
  • Write your own quotes (See example above). Speak from the heart as though you are trying to motivate and inspire your best friend. What would you say to them? Keep a journal and write these down each day, the act of pushing someone else into action will also have an effect on your own unconscious mind creating more determination and resolve in yourself. Of course your own quotes can also be posted onto your social media to inspire your own friends and followers, this will set you apart from the crowd as someone people look to as a visionary and a leader.
  • Watch videos on Youtube. There are a gazillion motivational videos out on the web, use these as a top up to boost your drive.
  • Read daily. Buy books written by leaders in your industry. You may have heard the recommendation 10 pages a day, well that’s just fine, use that as a minimum guide but dont let it hold you back, if you want to take in more then read more. Te more you read the more you will learn, the more you know, the more success you will have.
  • Follow blogs of leaders in your industry. This is a great source of information and for the most part it will be current and relevant to your needs.
  • Get up early. If you are a late riser then you need to break the habit. The sooner you can rise in the morning the more you will have accomplished before most people have woken up. Taking early morning action is extremely productive and something I will go into more in future posts but for now just think how motivated you will feel if you have got half your daily tasks done before 9am? wont that just make you feel you own the day? You bet it does!
  • Have a mentor. Befriend a leader in your industry and work with them to set out your goals, create a realistic action plan to achieve them. Every small goal you hit along the way will inspire and motivate you to reach the next. The fact that you worked with your mentor on your goals will drive you to achieve them. just having someone else knowing what you are driving for will push you harder as our self conscious and ego come into play in not wanting to look like a failure.

There are many more ways in which you can stay focused and motivated but my list ends here, you will find many more when you take action and begin you search for motivation. To help you out here are a couple of my favorite videos.

  1. How incredibly successful people think Brendon Burchard

    Brendon really inspires, me in this video especially. Its a no excuses type talk about doing what you need to do to get where you want to be. Following the I can do anything if I put my mind to mentality, which of course is true You can!
  2. A waste of life Rocky (1976)

    This has to be the most powerful line in any movie I have ever watched. Ask yourself, are you in that situation? Are you just getting by making a living or are you wasting your life? Could you be so much more?

    I know I can be which is why i have the motivation i need to drive everyday forwards. Should I feel my motivation begin to ebb, you know know what i do to get back on track and firing on all cylinders again.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on the two videos I have chosen. What two videos or quotes would you have chosen? Please add in the comments below your favorite motivational quotes or movies it would be great to read them.

Taking a definitive action every day creates a habit, creating a habit that you can earn from is oh so much better and is a massive boost to your motivation.

Blogging is an ideal way to tie together all you social media strategies and adds to your web presence, check it out and let me know what you think.

Cheers, Rick

Stop cold calling and start selling

Are you nervous, worried, suffer from fear of rejection and even feel physically sick every time you reach for the phone? Then you must be a network marketer. How do i know this? Because I have been there and it sucks.

Okay, first lets define who i am talking to specifically in this post. I’m talking to all the people who have joined a network marketing opportunity and have been told by their sponsor to make a list of all the people they know and call them up. Now most people when told to do this don’t do it and for good reason, cold calling sucks.

Have I got your attention now? Good because I’m just getting started

The following post has a certified rant warning, you have been warned

No one joined an opportunity to sign up their grandma (I don’t know your grandma, maybe she is a natural born leader who will take your business to the next level  and you will become a millionaire almost over night, however for the most cases she is probably a nice old lady who gives you candy when you call round to visit). The same thing goes for you friends too. Just because you bought into something does not mean it is right for everyone else.

We all have different beliefs created by the different experiences we have in our lives and the sooner you realize this the sooner all I am about to say will make sense.
You see the traditional network marketing company will tell you to make a list of everyone you know and call them up. They tell you its a numbers game, some will some wont but you have to ask everyone. As i said before most people will not want to do this. In fact the statistics are that 97% of all new starters in a network marketing business give up in their first month because they are not willing to cold call their friends and family. But there is 3% that will. So the traditional network marketing model is built around a 3% hit rate. Ill come back to this in a moment but first lets look what happens to the ones who do make the list and call everyone.

So you are super motivated, you kinda know the statistics in the back of your mind but you push them out and drive on forwards with the encouragement of your sponsor and lets say you manage to write down a list of say 200 people. If you are a great communicator and have learnt your script word for word so that it sounds natural, if you are the best you can be at talking to people about you business then the best results you can expect is 3 people in every 100 you call saying yes to your opportunity. Not great right? But here’s the real rub, when you have called everyone you know what do you do next?

You will probably do what most people will do and ask you sponsor that question and the reply is Go and make new friends. Pretty soon you will be wandering around the supermarkets talking to complete strangers and looking kinda strange and creepy. By this point your friends and family will be avoiding you and from the crazed look in your eye so will most people you meet in the street. You probably even have an upside down badge on your lapel that says Ask me what i do.

These antiquated methods are just dumb, stupid and just don’t work, well very inefficiently to say the least. So lets go back to the 3% that it did work on (I did say i would get back to this). You will then find that 97% of those people will also quit in their first month because they are not willing to do what you did to find them, they don’t want to cold call because no one does.
I’m not making this up, these are just the statistics of cold market prospecting.

Lets just go back to the phrase cold calling for a second here. The reason it is called cold calling is because the market you are targeting is a cold market, meaning they have not shown any interest into buying what you are selling. An example of this would be a guy walks into a department store and is looking in the tools section. The sales assistant walks up with a pair of shoes and begins to try and sell him a pair of shoes. How do you think that sale is going to go? That’s stupid I hear you say, the guy wants to by tools not shoes, and you are right. The sales assistant is selling to a cold prospect, trying to sell something that the customer has not shown any interest in buying. That is exactly the same a calling up everyone you know kinda dumb way to run a business. So lets say the sales assistant walks up to the guy and begins to sell him the very tool that the guy is looking at. You can probably see that this sale is going to go a lot better for the sales assistant and the guy is not going to feel uncomfortable, in fact he is most likely going to buy. This is the difference in selling to a warm market instead of a cold market. Am I making sense? I mean this is a pretty simple concept to grasp right?

Let me tell you a story; back when I was doing network marketing in one of those traditional company’s, I knew exactly what i was doing and I knew that it wasn’t working. I began to look for ways to target a warm market. I wanted to find the people who were standing in a line cash in hand, wanting to buy what i was selling. I knew that this would not be possible to achieve out there in the world without promoting an event and getting people who showed an interest in the event to show up, so that’s exactly what I did and as you can imagine my success way way better than 97% in fact I got to a stage where it was a bad event if I didn’t close at least half the people that showed up. The down side to this is the promoting of events was time consuming and they were also reasonably costly to host.

I found it was much better to promote my events online to reach a bigger audience and drive them to a website that I had created to showcase the products where those that wanted to buy would and I made my sales. However in more recent times, as the online world is a very dynamic and fast paced environment, website popularity have declined dramatically. You see by itself, a website is a cold environment. There is no connection between the seller and the buyer. To sell now you need to build a rapport with your customer. Relationships build the trust to enable the sale to go ahead. The best way to do this is to have a constant regular contact with your customer and this can all be achieve by blogging and incorporating automated systems to build on that relationship.

You see if you have a blog about what it is you are passionate about, the people who show up have searched on the web to read what you have written, you can pretty much take for granted that they have an interest in what you do. They are your warm market. Isn’t it a better way to have your customers come to you rather than to try and persuade people who don’t want what you are selling to buy? Of course it is. Much better than the telemarketer who we have all begun to hate with a passion, cold calling everyone. It is a dying system and the sooner it dies completely the better for all of us. So once again I will say it STOP COLD CALLING.

Do things right

There are much better ways to do things and when you learn how to do it right you can even automate the whole process so that you can sell, sponsor and build your teams on autopilot while you sleep or are out living your life and enjoy the time freedom and cash these systems will enable you to enjoy.

I hope this little rant of mine made sense and has also opened your eyes to a better way of promoting. It took me a long time to figure out what I should be doing and I hope by sharing this with you you will not have to go through the struggles and disappointment I went through before falling upon this much better solution. Whatever business you are in, you can apply this tactic to boost your sales and team building dramatically and I for one really hope you do.
As always I am very keen to read your comments so please do leave them in the comment box below this post. No doubt this will be start a lively debate that I look forward to. Also please feel free to share this post with others you think will benefit from my thoughts.

To your success, kind regards Rick

How to promote your business effectively on Twitter

There are lots of social media platforms out there and each one has its own pros and cons. Most people tend to work with the platforms that are more user friendly such as Facebook, (nothing hard about using Facebook right?) however, I often hear people saying the same thing to me about Twitter and that is, I just dont get it. If you are one of these people then this post is just for you. Im going to walk you through the basics and why you need to have Twitter in your online marketing strategy.

What is Twitter?
It is easy to see why people just don’t get Twitter as it has had a problem finding its own identity throughout its early development. It started out back in March 2006 as an idea from Jack Dorsey brought it to the table in a brainstorming session held at the pod casting company Odeo. The idea was to build an online SMS platform and in its early days that is exactly what it was. The SMS of the internet which began to get lost in the sea of status updates from other platforms. They tried to define it as a social network but it clearly wasn’t in the same class as others on the market so it took the title of a micro blogging platform for a while. Micro due to its 140 character maximum message length. As it has developed it has become more of an information network than a social network and as such it is much more attractive to the business user.

Why should I use Twitter?
The simple answer is its another string to your marketing bow that should not be ignored. There is a different kind of user on Twitter than on other networking platforms and as previously mentioned they are much more geared towards business. You will come across the the breakfast updates as you do on all social platforms but you can target who sees your posts and which posts you see in your feed by the simple way the platform operates and that is the beauty of using it for marketing purposes.

How it works, the basics.
By default all the tweets you post are publicly visible, though you can change that so that only your followers can see your tweets in settings should you want to. Every tweet you post offers the options of like or retweet (RT) this essentially forwards on the message to your subscribers. Twitter allows you to quickly build a list of subscribers or as they call them Followers by the simple act of reciprocation. In other words, it has become the norm to follow back someone who follows you and visa-versa. This is the reason why building a huge list of followers is a quick and painless process. However, there are road blocks to overcome that have been put in place to stop people from just Spam Following every account they see. You are limited in the number of people you are allowed to follow on a daily basis and you also have to have the right ratio of follow/followers to be allowed to follow more than 5000 people. This ratio is not disclosed by Twitter but it does ensure that people do post quality content to engage their followers or they cannot progress in building a following. The internal search can be utilized to find specific members by name and also allows the #hashtag keyword search to find people tweeting on a relevant topic across the platform. This enables the user to find and connect with the people most interested in their niche market. Twitter lists are a  feature that was added to the platform in 2009 so that users can organize their followers into categories and then tweet specifically to that list of followers, a feature that is extremely beneficial when you are looking to find a targeted a group of people to follow.

Getting started on Twitter, a walk through.
Once you have signed up for your account the first thing you will want to do is follow some people in your niche market with the hope that they will reciprocate and follow you back (dont worry as over 40% of active users will). Use the search box and search with hashtags for key words in your niche for example #cycling #fitness or #doggrooming (note there are no spaces in hashtag key chains). In the news-feed you will then see people who are in your niche posting about the keyword you have chosen. Follow them if their post is relevant and click on their image to view their profile. From the users profile you can click to see their followers and follow those users too if you like. (these are people following someone who is positioning themselves as a leader in your niche, they are your target market).
Remember you can follow around 400 people per day on Twitter without fear of a ban/block so go for it with the following if you want to build your followers list fast.

TIP: It is easier to follow people using the twitter app on your smartphone instead of on your PC/laptop as it is much faster to tap than click.

More ways to find people to follow are search for leaders and authors in your field by name. NOTE: even leaders who have passed on still have tribute twitter accounts and a big following. If you want to find more leaders names search for authors on amazon in your niche. You can also search for book titles directly in twitter as most books also have their cult followings. Again here it is worth following the initial twitter account you find in your search as well as its followers because other people using this same method will then add you when trying to grow their following. Remember to always lookout for the Lists tab on users profiles. When users create their lists the tab will become visible next to their followers tab. This is perfect for you when looking for good people to follow because it means the work is already done for you. Click on list, click on the list name, then follow some laser targeted leads. Im sure you can come up with other ideas to search for people to follow but these will get you started.

TIP: Some users will have lists of followers who follow back and lists of most active/responsive Tweeps. Look out for these lists as they are goldmines for you.

Managing your followers.
Twitter allows the integration of third party apps which will enhance the features lacking in the basic platform. Key to growing your following is knowing who follows you, unfollows you and those who do not follow you back there are several apps you can use. The best one I have found is called Tweet Sponge. The free version does not allow you to see who does not follow you back but the paid version (£6.99 in the UK approx $10 for lifetime access) does.

TIP: You want to be ruthless when managing your followers as you are only looking for active users, so follow for a max of 3 days, if they have not followed you back then unfollow them, no need to fill your account with unresponsive Tweeps (people who tweet), you have a ratio to work towards.

Other apps you can use.
There are many other apps you can use on your smartphone to manage your twitter accounts followers. I recommend doing a search and reading through the reviews though I don’t advise any of the apps that build your following for you or even worse using services to buy followers, you want to find quality responsive followers in your niche not fill your followers list up with dead accounts.

What should I tweet?
If you are looking to engage your followers and have them retweet your tweets then you have to offer quality content or pretty soon they will stop following you. Everything that you put out as your own needs to be of value to your followers. Of course creating a lot of good quality content is time consuming so pass on good information or interesting articles that you come across. Sharing a useful blog post that you get value from is a good thing to pass on to your followers and they will stay engaged with you if they receive good content. Most websites and blogs have a social media sharing button now that will let you tweet out the content in a simple click of a button. There is one at the top of this page, try it now.
As a general rule of thumb you want to aim for a ratio of 20% your own content and 80% other peoples content that you tweet out to your followers. This shared content can be articles of interest, Images you like on Pinterest and Instagram, quotes and motivational posts are always popular, and of course entertaining funnies that make you smile will no doubt brighten your followers day too. Social media is a very transparent world so don’t try to be something you are not, you will quickly be found out. Just be yourself and let people see who you are and what you like, the right people will be drawn to you from what you post so enjoy it and don’t get hung up on the ones who move on.

Automating your posting schedule.
To keep your audience of followers engaged you want to be tweeting around 10 to 20 tweets a day. this can be time consuming but is worth it if you want to build a quality following. There are many third party applications you can use to schedule your posts such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and SocialOomph. Each have similar features though some allow scheduled posts on other platforms as well a Twitter. Some will also enable you to send an automatic reply to new followers using the direct message (DM) integrated system though there are a few apps that specialize in the automated message such as Crowdfire and Unfollows.

Direct Messaging.
You can send a tweet to a users news feed using the @username tag in your tweet but if you want a private chat then there is a direct message system built in. This can get filled up with the bot replies from users you follow that have set up an automated reply in their third party apps, but it is worth checking through your direct messages on a regular basis to find the genuine messages from potential clients.

Well that’s about it for the basics. You should know enough now to finally get it and start using Twitter successfully. If you are using a blog to promote your business (and you really should be if you are serious in having an online presence) then Twitter is the perfect tool for getting your posts into the hands of your target audience.

I hope you gained a lot of value from this post. As always please leave your comments below and why not follow me on Twitter too (click the button below) for more social media success tips.

Kind regards,


My favourite cookware

Out of the 4 different cookware materials, my personal favorite is the cast iron cookware. Besides being durable and economical, cast iron cookware are  safe for my family and for the environment. And that’s the most important deciding factor for me.

We know that regular healthy diet is essential for a fit and healthy lifestyle. We usually take care of that by having nutrient-rich food. But do we show the same care while buying cookware? Our intention to buy cookware is often guided by our desire to create a sleek kitchen interior or its price factor. While both are important, but doing so we often overlook the most important matter – “How safe is our cookware to cook and store our food?” While there are a plenty of options available, opting for non-toxic and safe cookware gives us the best chance to stay healthy and safe.

To stay healthy, our buying decision has to be based on informed selection rather than on the spur-of-the-moment thoughts. Consideration has to be given to the materials the cookware is constructed from and matching it with our particular cooking need.

Cast iron cookware: For those who are looking for healthy, sturdy and long-lasting cookware, cast iron cookware items make wonderful choice. Being an excellent conductor of heat, cooking on a cast iron grill pan is a cinch. As the heat is evenly and consistently spread, you can enjoy tender and juicy grilled chicken or a succulent tuna steak. But try to avoid cooking acidic food, such as tomatoes, on your cast iron grill pan as this could alter the taste of your food after reaction with tomatoes. Enamel-coated cast iron pan could be a better choice.
Glass cookware: Being made of inert material, glass cookware is considered as the safest and healthiest option. However, since glass is easily breakable and needs careful handling, as a cookware it is not a popular choice. But if you prefer glass cookware, a more durable and dependable cooking aid could be pyrex cookware. As it comes with unique heat-resistant glass, the versatile pyrex cookware can be safely used for baking and organized storing of food.
Stainless steel cookware:  Provided that the cooking surfaces remain intact, your stainless steel pots and pans can give you many years of service. While selecting stainless steel pots, consider opting for those which come with an inner core of copper or aluminum. Being efficient conductors of heat, such cookware with copper or aluminum layer sandwiched between steel layers can promote uniform spreading of heat. This can also ensure mouth-watering taste of your food. However, to prevent the inner copper or aluminum core to come in direct contact with your food, avoid scrubbing the surface too hard.
Non-stick cookware: Though come with sleek and contemporary design and easy to maintain facility, non-stick cookware is not considered safe for our health. Once reaching high cooking temperature, the Teflon content in non-stick cookware starts releasing toxic gases which are suggested to be carcinogenic and deadly to humans (in small amounts), besides being global pollutants.

Get on your bike for bike month

So hop on your bike and join the biking revolution!


Grab your helmet, roll up your pant leg and put your car keys/bus pass away, because May is National Bike to Work month. This is your chance to go green and get healthy by biking to work. Like the name implies, Bike to Work month is recognized throughout the month of May. Most cities and states also observe Bike to Work Day or Bike to Work week. The bike month was started by the bike industry ages ago and the League of American Bicyclists took it over in 1956. It was started with the sole idea of celebrating the experience of cycling and encouraging people to do something fun and different.Biking to work can just be for anyone. But if you are like me and haven’t biked in a long time, here are some tips to help you ride safe:

  1. With biking becoming increasingly popular, most major cities have separate bike lanes for bikers. Stay on the bike line and follow the rules of the road at all times. Obey all the traffic signals and signs and if possible keep to the right lane.
  2. Like any other activity, it is important to be equipped with the necessary gear for a comfortable ride. Make sure you have your helmet, water bottle, bike messenger bags and gloves. A good helmet reduces the risk of fatal injuries.
  3. Wear bright colored clothes or reflective gear especially at night, so you are visible to other drivers on the road.
  4. Always follow a straight and predictable path and never weave in and out of parked cars.
  5. Finally plan your bike route well in advance so there’s no added pressure.

If you still feel biking is not your cup of tea, here’s what a couple of my co-workers have to say about biking to work everyday:

Mandy: “Riding my bike to work is a great adventure every day. I am outside and enjoy the route I take. I hear the birds and it is lovely to see how nature changes through the seasons. I feel in the car you don’t see that. But on my bike I am more aware of my environment. I love the sun shining in the morning and waking me up on my commute to work.”

Linda: “Riding a bicycle to work is fun and a good daily exercise. You start the day being active which makes you feel good. It is wonderful to cycle in the warm morning sun and get some fresh air before starting to work. You arrive awake and happy at work. On the way back home riding your bike helps you to leave all the work behind and be ready to enjoy the evening.”