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Category Archives for "Online Marketing"

Creating Passive Income Sharing What You Know With Susan Bratton

I had the pleasure of sitting down and doing a podcast with ultra-famous, fabulous, podcaster and new media mogul Susan Bratton at the last Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. If you have never heard of Susan and DishyMix, shame on you! You need to be subscribed to her blog and the podcast and everything she does. Because not only does she have the best guests on her show, she is also a big-time player in the Internet marketing space.

We talked about my upcoming book. We talked about my second upcoming book, and we talked about as well. Plus a litany of other things. Great interview, and I was truly honored to be on her podcast in the company of so many other big names in the business.

Tim (her husband) takes a great picture eh?

Here’s some more about Susan (below). And be sure to listen to her interview with keynote speaker Dr. Robert Cialdini here.

Susan Bratton is the co-founder and CEO of Personal Life Media, Inc., a multimedia lifestyle brand providing entertaining and authentic personal content to socially conscious adults. (click here for The Story) Personal Life Media produces 40 weekly audio shows (podcasts) and companion blogs and is a publisher of direct-to-consumer online information products. The company provides automated platforms for podcast and information product publishing to serve experts who deliver motivational programs, talk shows, virtual workshops, downloadable training systems and support programs via blogs, web audio, video and ebooks.

Renowned for her impressive breadth of business relationships in the media, marketing and Web 2.0 world, she treasures talented individuals with unique perspectives about digital marketing, which she ably showcases in her weekly podcast and blog, “DishyMix: Success Secrets from Famous Media and Internet Executives.” She is the creator of “Talk Show Tips: 72 Secret ‘Master Host’ Techniques,” a system to teach anyone who conducts interviews (podcasters, radio and TV hosts and info product marketers) how to prepare, produce and promote their work.

What’s The Value Of Your Website?

One of the biggest issues facing website owners today is that they do not know the value of their website. Some may ask, why? Who cares if I don’t know the value? All I care about is that it is making money now and I love what I do.

Sure, that is fine for now, but do you have an exit strategy? What if there are extenuating circumstances that stop you from being able to run your site the way you are right now?

Every website or business needs an exit strategy and it helps to be prepared from the start.

One of the problems that profitable site owners face is that they are disorganized when it comes to keeping track of historical data. They may have traffic statistics and some basic merchant account revenue details, but they do not have the complete picture.

So, my advice to all you website owners: Be prepared from the start as there are many potential investors out there who are willing to pay good money for a profitable web based business! There is a market to sell your site, and depending on the niche, your site can be worth up to 3 times your profit!

So how do you make sure that you can be prepared when a potential buyer comes knocking on your door? What metrics need to be tallied and what records need to be in order to ensure buyers can have a complete picture of your web business and make a realistic offer for purchase?

Here are the keys to be well prepared for any potential buyer:

1) Financial Records
Dollars spent versus dollars earned is probably the most important type of records one can keep in any business, not just online businesses. If you have already started your e-business and do not have these records in order or do not know how to, speak to your accountant and get that sorted out right away. If not just to position your website to sell, but to keep the tax man happy too. Investors need to see profit and loss statements from the past couple of years and they are really interested to see if there has been significant growth over those years.  Your website is only worth what it has done lately. For instance, if you made $35K each of the last 2 years, your income is fairly steady and your site may sell for $60-70K. Now, if you made $100K in 2008, but only made $35K in 2009, the value of your site drops drastically. Not only will an investor see a reduction in revenue, but he will offer less for your business than the first scenario. It is all about how you position your site!

2) Traffic Information
This one is fairly easy and MOST website owners do a pretty good job with this. Make sure you have your traffic in order. Use Google Analytics if you do not already do so and you will be able to provide historical traffic data at a click of a button.

3) Growth Opportunities
Constantly be searching for key growth areas on your site. Do this from the start. If you identify them, but never actually get to them, you at least give potential buyers some ideas as to how to increase the value of the website.

4) Prospectus
Put it all together! This is almost like creating a business plan. Firstly, you need to do a full SWOT analysis on your web business. For those who do not know, a SWOT analysis identifies any business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Once that is complete, compile your profit and loss statements for the past couple of years and work them into the document. Then, add traffic details from Google Analytics or any other program you may use. You also want to provide a brief background on the business that explains how exactly your website makes money, how traffic is acquired and what the history of the site is. By putting this document together, you will not only be in a great position to sell your site, but you will have a much better understanding of the value of your business.

So, these are the basics. If every site owner that approaches me has this information at their fingertips, it will certainly speed up the process of selling the site and it will also add value. Simply by being organized you can add intrinsic value to the business.

About the author: If you are a site owner and need help putting any of this information together, or are curious about selling your website, simply contact me and I would be happy to help you! As well, if you know anyone that may be able to benefit from a website broker, you can reach me at or simply visit

I Just Wrote A Book

The book is called Attention, This Book Will Make You Money. It will be in bookstores in July 2010.

As of right now, it’s broken into three parts.

Part 1: An introduction to why attention marketing works, and then some online marketing 101

Part 2: How to make money on the Web

Part 3: Stories and tactics used by real businesses and brands to get attention and generate revenue

I believe this book will educate, inspire and motivate people. This is not a book you take a week to read. It’s something you can flow through on a flight from NYC to Vegas, walking away with a pallet full of ideas and concepts and energy. It’s a quick, fun read.

Thank you to all of the people who contributed to the book, and who line the pages. Also, huge thanks to my beautiful wife for her kindness and belief and tolerance for me over the past few months as I slaved away in front of my keyboard.

Now the fun part, promotion. Keep an eye out here for the new blog coming soon, and other fun ideas I have in store for you all.

Their Pitch DOES Suck! A Challenge to All Marketers

Guest post by Dina Riccobono.

We’re in an industry that pushes ads for a living, yet we will fast forward through commercials. We create content we wouldn’t watch ourselves. We sell products we don’t use. This is terrible. The same people who want others to click for cash won’t click for cancer research. Commercials are outdated, banner ad blindness set in long ago, we’re talking, and no one is listening.

So why don’t we set a higher standard? Freshen up your brand. Change your images. Take a second look at your best practices. This should be common sense to marketers- online, offline, in shopping lines. Yet we stay in our safety zones, we can’t break the mold. Why not? We’re in one of the most groundbreaking industries that exists today. Some of the most successful businesses today didn’t exist ten, twelve, fifteen years ago. Let’s change the outlook!

What would really happen if you stepped outside your comfort zone? Take a look at some very successful examples:

Love them or hate them, do you know the following brands:


Fifty plus years ago, meals were cooked at home. Eating out was a special occasion, and you had to use the library to do business research. If you wanted to buy a shirt, groceries, and a television, you went to three different stores. If you wanted to chat with a friend, you walked/drove to/called their house.

Now? We pick up our laptops and cell phones to do everything. The superstore is the only store. We eat dinner while we’re working, driving, reading the paper, and talking- usually at the same time. If we want to find a new restaurant, we don’t explore the city, we explore the newest app. Why?

Because our Macs, PCs, social media platforms, super centers, and yes, even fast food chain CEOs had vision. They took risks. They broke the mold. I’m certainly not saying there are no fantastic examples out there. Affiliate marketing is one of the most amazing opportunities out there. Kids who are still in high school are making more in a month than their retired parents did in their prime 20 years on the same job. With a few clicks and some technical knowledge, million dollar ideas are launched. It’s great…but it’s got to keep changing…we HAVE TO evolve. So try new things, and take a risk. Hell…take five. But please…

Don’t be the next Steve Jobs. Be the current you- but better.

About the Author: Dina is the founder of TheFreelancerNetwork, a national agency connecting clients with top online media consultants. She specializes in marketing, event planning and social media as part of TFN. Dina also works with MarketLeverage Interactive Advertising as their Marketing and Social Media Manager. Dina on Twitter. Dina on Linkedin.

Attention! Get Featured In My Upcoming Book

I’m writing a book right now for Wiley called “Attention: This Book Will Make You Money”. The book will be in bookstores by July 2010. The idea is that while anyone can get attention, only a few businesses and brands know how to turn that attention into revenue (sales, leads or publicity).

Have you done that? Know someone else who’s done that? Got some ideas to share or stories to tell?

Submit them here and you might be featured in my book! Please don’t submit them in the comments below. Use the form here.

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Change Gears?

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that you can’t “see” things until you’re ready to see them. Many people who follow the paranormal agree with this attitude saying that once they decided that they were ready to see ghosts, then they started to show up. The same seems to be true for everything else in our lives.

So are you ready to “see” a change in your career?

You might not be, and that’s fine, you’re just not ready, and you may never be.

I’ve seen this theme many times in my life. Currently as I have begun to get in shape. I was finally ready to do it. Previously when I wanted to quit smoking… I was ready to do it.

This is why most people’s resolutions fail miserably. You can’t force something you don’t want to do in your heart. It will always fail.

Instead, decide that you’re ready to do it, then do it. Doers get what they want…

Need some motivation? Try my free

3 Ways to Suck the Life Out of Your Brand

This is a guest post from David Brier. His information is below. If you’d like to submit a guest post, click here.

jfk_bradThere’s a problem in the world of business today, a problem that impacts every brand, every day. It’s something businesses notice without really understanding what it is. Or how to overcome it.

The Source of Your Troubles
So much money is wastefully spent generating little if any awareness with messages that blend in rather than stand out. Simply put, it’s getting harder to be heard in a world that’s just too busy to listen.

You deserve a brand and a message that connects with your audience, catapulting your brand from commodity status to a must-have.

Is the answer to cut back? Yes and no.

Cutting back on the stupid useless missteps, yes. This includes confusing content with channels of communication (in other words, social media is not a strategy anymore than having a TV commercial is. More on that in another article.)

But cutting back on a well conceived branding and marketing plan with spunk that goes for the gold? A resounding no. Like the business guru Peter Drucker stated, “You can’t shrink your way to greatness.”

Brand Intervention
The first place to start is by recognizing the “signs” that will lead one down the road to branding hell—the ideas and fool-hardy notions that literally will suck the life out of your brand.

In no particular order, here they are.

1. When in Doubt, Do What the “Big Boys” Are Doing
2. Be Professional, Not Magical (In Other Words, Don’t Shoot for Moon When You’ve Got Swiss Cheese in the Frig)
3. Doing Something Original Will Backfire

When in Doubt, Do What the “Big Boys” Are Doing
Creating a brand is about creating something that will stand out and be recognized for its differences. To copy what the leaders in your industry are doing will only serve to remind prospective customers about them, not you and your unique attributes.

What to do? List out what the leaders are doing and then isolate what you can offer that they aren’t offering. Something that may be more of a niche, or a better way to deliver a similar product, or a better designed user experience.

Be Professional, Not Magical
This is the ultimate trap: focusing on being professional, proper and corporate. In some schools of thought, those words “proper” and “corporate” are dirty words and liabilities. Take a page from Sir Richard Branson of Virgin: Be bold and dare to do something magical. Or like Seth Godin would put it: Be remarkable.

What to do? Establish what is the average, usual and acceptable. Then figure out how to raise the bar. You can even ask yourself what Seth Godin, Richard Branson or Steve Jobs might say or do in your particular industry.

Doing Something Original Will Backfire
Whoever said this was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Did you ever realize that what we take for granted today as ordinary and usual started out as an original idea?

  • The Eiffel Tower was laughed at and criticized when construction was complete, yet is now one of France’s most revered landmarks.
  • The Beatles were rejected by the Decca record label (since guitar music was “on its way out”) before changing the world of music (and music sales) forever.
  • Apple broke all the rules with their unique gallery-like retail stores to become the most profitable destination in the retail world.
  • This list can be expanded to everything from fire, to toilet paper to the invention of electricity and the phone.

What to do? Brainstorm with some friends who bring new viewpoints to what you want to solve, and very likely some originality will surely surface. Initially some of it may sound crazy, but so did the idea of transporting one’s voice over a distance as touted by Alexander Graham Bell.

When Golden Rules Should Be Traded in for Cash
So anytime anyone suggests you follow some of the above “golden rules,” doing the opposite might be your best strategy yet.

About the author: David Brier is Chief Gravity Defyer of DBD International and the author of branding bible for those sick and tired of average results: Defying Gravity and Rising Above the Noise. You can follow David on twitter here.


The other day I posted about how to do a successful Webinar. One of the things we didn’t have time to cover in that podcast was passion, and how important it is for you to show it in your voice.

I do an enormous amount of online teaching as well as teleseminars, podcasts, Webinars, videos and online teaching for the University of San Francisco Online. If there’s one thing I pride myself on is my passion for the topic at hand, and specifically how I convey it through my voice when I’m speaking. On stage in person too.

When I’m talking to someone on a class who’s all the way on the other side of the world, I have to make sure they can feel my passion through my voice. Believe me, it resonates if done right. Students and prospective clients can literally feel it in the tone of my voice, and because of that, I come off as someone they’re more likely to listen to closely, and someone who isn’t just trying to sell them something.

You’re passionate about something. I know you are. What is it? Why aren’t you taking that passion and communicating it to your audience in a way that they can literally feel it oozing out of you? You can’t do that in text. Why not try podcasting, or Webinars, or teleseminars or video?

Here’s a good example of a Webinar I did this week. It’s about a half hour long. See if you can feel the passion in my voice.

Prfessor Jim Demo from Josh Walsh on Vimeo.

If done right, passion resonates as more than a sales pitch, it’s a belief. It starts with you, and ends with your new customer. Get it, and get it now.

What’s Your Unique Value Proposition? (UVP)

I often talk to my students and clients about developing a UVP. A unique value proposition. Some people called it a USP or a unique sales proposition. Same thing to me. The bottom line is you HAVE to have it. It’s the reason that someone chooses you over someone else.

Example: You have restaurant A and restaurant B. Someone says to you, “we have two choices, A or B, which one should we choose?” That’s a buying decision. Now, whichever restaurant has the better crafted, more appealing, problem-solving UVP is going to win.

So obviously your first step is to know your customer. If you know their pain point, then you can deliver them the solution, therefore making them choose you. But you have to know how to deliver that UVP to them that makes sense. How?

Made to Stick: Selling Your Innovation : Innovation :: American Express OPEN Forum

I was just watching an interesting video by Dan Heath, the guy who wrote Made To Stick over on the Openforum. Here’s the link to go watch since they don’t allow me to embed the video (lame).

He’s essentially talking about the same thing. It’s how you explain what you are/do. You must be able to relate to a person in a way that they understand.

Do you have a UVP? If not, you better get one. If not, how in the heck do you expect a customer to be able to choose you over someone else? You can’t.

Social Media Is About More Than “Friends”

I once wrote that “Nobody’s a blogger anymore, we’re all publishers“. The point is that at some point in the last few years of blogging growing up, and social media grabbing hold of us, that the reasons we started blogging became different. It wasn’t only about expressing our thoughts… it became more.

jfk_sbIt became a business. Ok, you know what I mean. You start a blog today because you’re looking for something. Either to build your brand, or generate revenue, or to get publicity, or get a new job, etc… Therefore, since your intentions have changed, you no longer are a blogger… you’re a publisher.

A publisher is someone who’s looking to get something by producing content. A blog is just a tool you can use to do that. Same with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc…

Now, what’s interesting to me is that we’re seeing the same shift happening in social media now that just happened with blogs. Albeit, we’re several years early for mass adoption of this meme, but I feel the trend happening. More and more people are getting into social media with a goal in mind.

The goal could be figuring out how to make money, or build their brand, or find a new job… whatever. But it’s more than just “socializing” as the intent is my point.

Why is this happening? Well, it could be that people have finally realized that it’s possible to “do something more” than chat with friends. People are now beginning to see that these tools can be used to help them accomplish something, and frankly, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Why shouldn’t we have goals?

How long will it be before more and more people begin to become aware that social media is more than a glorified chat room and friend finder? Time will tell. But in my opinion, that trend is moving faster than you think.