Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Maybe Traffic" Is Not a Currency

Originally I just wanted to share how I felt when I received another request today for contributing to another site. Then the article grew and now also contains info on the marketing instruments that did help me to increase the number of people following my content.

Maybe Traffic is not a Currency


Writing for Free

If you follow this blog chances are that you are a new writer/blogger/marketer.

It´s a tedious task to find the first loyal readers who appreciate your content. Everyone will tell you (or more realistically try to sell you) the secret sauce of getting lots of readers and sales in no time. One of your greatest challenges will be not to lose focus when all around you shiny objects are blinking.

There is no legit and honorable shortcut to success. You will not make 200k or even 2k in the first week. Probably not even $ 200. You will also not find 100 new coaching clients in your first week online. That said, it is possible to make a great living and even a terrific living as a writer/coach/marketer who offers their services via the internet.

Naturally, for that to happen people have to see what you are offering and you need to find a constant and growing stream of readers.

Your invited to guest blog

How exciting is that? Once your articles start to become more popular, you will start to receive messages from people who invite you to write for their site, publish or market their content, etc. No wonder you are excited and happy. Finally, the hard work is starting to pay off.

I´ll share my view on this so that you have some more brain fodder to form your own opinion.

Content is Money

I am receiving a growing number of invites (via http://blog.aurorasa-coaching.com). The first few times I was excited. And hopeful for all of the traffic that will follow. Oh, and the backlinks.

There might be a few exceptions where it makes a lot of sense to write for other sites but here are a few arguments that make me decline most of the time:
  • "Maybe traffic" is not a currency. Your time is valuable and if someone wants you to spend it they need to present an adequate value for it. 
  • A single backlink is not worth a lot. For it to impress Google, you will have to write for the site on a regular basis. 
  • Most of the time you cannot aggressively market your site but just post a link in your author´s profile. Even if your content is good, many people will not bother to look for your site. 
  • You´re not a content machine. How many good articles can you write in a given time? You have to fill your website with a constant stream of good content as well. 
My advice is that you check any offers properly and make sure that you spend your time and precious material wisely. Depending on who your client is it might be more beneficial for you to post your article on LinkedIn Pulse, Bebee.com or Facebook.

This obviously does not apply if a very influential site with hundreds of thousands of readers reaches out to you ... which is not going to happen in the beginning. 

Who´s your client?

We discussed that you will receive invites to write for other sites. There are also sites where you can self-publish articles. For instance Hub Pages and Ezine Articles. I played with both briefly, and I have to say that I received LOTS of traffic through the articles I published there. 

While Hub page only allows for a "no-follow" link, Ezine Articles can help your site to rank very well in Google. 

Depending on your business this does not have to apply to you: I am offering Coaching. My clients are not on Hub page. All of the traffic did not lead to any measurable results or leads. 

For a minute, I forgot the No. 1 rule of sales: Who is your client. Where is your client spending his time? 

If you are in the area of "online business" these sites might be highly interesting for you. 

The better you understand your client, what he needs and where he spends his time the better results you will get with even only a few visitors to your website. In the end of the day, it´s about conversion and not clicks.

Backfire

SEO, backlinks, "click for click", social selling, keyword stuffing, link farms - the strategies keep changing. So does the Google algorithm. One of your biggest challenges will be not to fall for every scam or lose your time evaluating every shiny object.

Quality content never goes out of style. Many unsuspecting new content creators learn the painful lesson that Google does not appreciate trickery. And the promise of the "expert" and his tricks turn out to be a nightmare. Sooner or later search engines catch up, and they do punish websites that used any shady practices.

You might not even know that you were using shady practices when the great sales guy had such a convincing pitch (and didn´t he say he made his first 200k in a week?).

So my first piece of advice is: If someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true answer the following questions:
  • Is it honest? 
  • Does it provide value to your clients/readers?
  • Can it be considered trickery or shady?
  • Does the guy telling me about it make his money USING his own method or does he make his money selling his method?
  • Is the system/person teaching me skill or tricks?
At the end of the day, you can rank on page one and have thousands of daily visitors - unless your content is useful or entertaining, your visitors will probably not come back.

Time is Money

So you are putting out great content and take a lot of time creating it. Still, in the beginning, the world does not seem to care. It takes a while until a new website becomes known, trusted and popular.

There were a few instruments that helped me grow the most:

Effective Marketing Instruments


Press Releases

There are quite a few sites where you can even submit your press releases without charge. The benefit of press releases include:
  • Will rank very high in search engines, virtually the day after the release
  • You can be lucky, and a reporter likes your release and decides to write about you
  • Shows professionalism
  • News sites have an excellent reputation with Google
  • You might get lucky and even land in "Google Alerts."
There are tons of paid services for press release distribution. Even if you just want to invest time, there are many great sites to self-publish your release. For a start: Here is a list of about 20 good sites where you can post without any charge: PR

Once you site kicks off, you might consider paying for the service as it is very time-consuming.

Re-purposing content

You should be very careful about posting duplicate content. I did not notice any negative backlash from posting an article after a few months on LinkedIn or BeeBee, other than that I stay clear of it.

But maybe some of your potential audience does not like reading too much. Maybe they prefer podcasts, videos or presentations.

You can easily use snippets of your content to create pictures, slide shows, podcasts and videos and get in front of an audience that might never have found your articles. If you have a blog and add something new to an older article you can republish it with the current date.

Very effective.

Webinars

What was the most efficient measure for me was webinars. Not just for the sales but also for the quality of great people I could add to my list. It is nice to receive positive feedback and comments on your newsletters and start building a relationship with people.

Also, a webinar allows people to learn who you are. As well all know: You buy the person - not the product. If you provide value people will be happy to share your event.

Of the many webinar solutions I tested, I found THIS the best. You will also receive tons and tons of great marketing advice. I tested many other webinar solutions and found this to be the best by far.

The only negative thing I found about his webinar solution is the way that it integrates with MailChimp. People receive the webinar sign-up confirmation and then the 2-step opt-in message from MailChimp. Compared to the flaws of the other webinar solutions I tested it was the one I could tolerate the easiest.

Viral Promo

When I decided to offer a webinar, the challenge was to get new people to sign up. And to then also show up. I tried several ways to achieve that:
  • Paid ads. I burnt a lot of money for not much outcome. I guess if I go on the street and offer people the kind of money Google asks for their paid ads I would have greater success. 
  • Solo ads. Tons of sign-ups. Not many show ups. Quality solo ads do not come cheap. 
Then I came across UpViral. 

Do you have a useful freebie to offer to a new subscriber? If you do not have it already, you should definitely buy or produce one. 

In one sentence: UpViral is a system that allows you to offer a "reward" for successful action. For instance: Someone can get a free eBook after he shared your event in 3 FB groups. Or after five people signed up for your newsletter/event/etc.

Psychology can explain why people are engaging way more when they have to hustle for their reward than when they get it for free. 

At the cost of only $ 25, I was able to get 238 sign-ups for my webinar within a few days. As I cannot tell if the buyers came via the UpViral promo or from my existing list, I can only look at the number of sign-ups. 

That´s pretty incredible. I don´t even want to start thinking about the costs of getting this number of sign-ups via Google Adwords. 

Read more about Upviral HERE

It´s the concept that companies like DropBox, Realplayer, and others use with great success as well.

Publishing on Social Media Sites

As mentioned briefly another great way to build your brand and get people to know you is contributing articles to - depending on the kind of your business - LinkedIn, BeBee or Facebook. I do not actively use Facebook so that my experience might be different from yours. Of the three mentioned FB was the only site that was not worth my content. 

Especially BeBee, a relatively new site, can lead to thousands of views on your content even if you do not have a huge network.

Project Phoenix Emotional Intelligence Training


ADVERTISEMENT (;

Since yesterday my first product is available to the market for partners on DealGuardian. My second product: "Mindfulness and Leadership" is already in the making. If you feel that your clients can benefit from this training, or you just want to write a review: A higher EQ and more prosperous life for your clients - 40 % commission for you. Please get your link HERE (Signing up as a "broker" allows me to thank you with a 10 % share of sales if you know of other partners that want to promote my training).

Whatever method you chose to grow your online business: May your site thrive!

Love & Light,

Aurorasa


Monday, July 18, 2016

Review of UpViral Wilco de Kreij

Who is Wilco de Kreij


Wilco and I have a bit of history. I was mad at him for a few weeks. When he was testing his newest "baby", UpViral, I came across his beta-test in which he used unsuspecting Entrepreneurs as guinea pigs. He talks about this test in a video on the SITE.

That said, the test was successful. It worked on me and when I looked at the concept from the viewpoint of human psychology and what I know about the brain it made sense. To gain access to a little tool, I recruited five sign-ups for Wilco. 

Wilco calls himself a "wiz kid." He started selling sunglasses online at the age of 16. From his personality structure, he would and could sell sunglasses to people who live in a dark cave so that I am always a bit careful. In his defense: He is not one of the sleazy untrustworthy salespeople. He IS a hustler. But what convinces you is his energy and his authentic enthusiasm for his projects. 

Even the beta release of UpViral has worked on me so that it was clear that I had to take a closer look. Particularly since Wilco has a history of very successful product launches. 

UpViral Review and Test

What is UpViral?


In one sentence: It is a lead generation machine in the form of software and methodology with which you can acquire an army of people who will promote your product, generate sign-ups and even sales for you. In no time and at nearly zero cost. 

It is the methodology that companies like Dropbox have used to become major players in a short time without marketing effort. 

In times where solo ads often bring questionable results or are just too expensive and the "long tail keyword" times with google ad words and such are over, it is great to have a cost effective alternative. 

The principle is very simple. You create goodies. People have to share your post/link/etc. a certain amount of times to qualify for the goodies. Or they get access to a reward once a number of their friends have signed up to your list/event. And you? After the initial setup that took me 6 minutes, you sit back and watch your list grow and your profit rise. 

What convinces buyers are referrals and recommendations from people they know and trust. 

Who needs UpViral?


Anyone who wants to promote a product, build a list, market an event or even affiliate product. 

How does it work?


UpViral offers integrations, templates, and a tracking system. You set up a promotion (for instance: "get 5 of your friends to sign up to receive this free eBook"), and the system tracks the number of clicks/sign-ups and grants access to the "reward" as soon as the goal is reached. 

Do I need technical knowledge?


On their website, they state that you can get ready to roll in 5 minutes. It took me 6. No technical expertise is required other than knowing how to operate a computer. You can integrate it with your existing solution or use it stand-alone. It´s compatible with any of the large email systems, lead pages, and new apps are being added constantly. 


Pro
  • Very low cost for the product
  • Safes you all the money you spend on paid ads
  • Eliminates dependencies on SEO experts, Google Ranking and such
  • No time or effort necessary for setting up or learning - it´s out of the box and ready to go 
  • Team of 10 people supports the product, but Wilco replies to every message personally if you reach out to him 
  • Extreme compatibility (supports all popular email systems, sales funnel systems and lead page builder)

Con
  • Only available in English 
  • It takes a few days until a promo starts to get viral and hundreds of sign-ups come in each day

Pricing


UpViral is a monthly/annual subscription, starting at $ 25 per month. It is realistic that, depending on your niche, you can get up to 15k subscribers in a month. Given the quality of and price for solo ads and paid ads that are extremely inexpensive. 

30-day money back guarantee allows you to test for yourself for two weeks. The differences between the "basic" and "premium" variant: 

UpViral Review Wilco de Kreij


Final Verdict


In my opinion, this is a 9-star solution. With my last solo ads, I had severe problems with the quality while FB ads or Google AdWords burn a lot of money. My personal experience is that people were more interested in getting an eBook I used to give out for free once they had to work for it and present me with five other subscribers before they could get it. 

UpViral is a simple, practical concept that has been transformed into an intelligent, easy to use product. 

If you have not already you should give it a try HERE 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Google Play Music vs. Prime Music

Comparison of Google Play and Amazon

I am an Amazon Prime member so that I have free access to their "Prime Music". Prime music is a full-scale music subscription. 

Google Play Music vs Amazon Prime MusicOne would think that because of that I have a strong bias towards Amazon. And I had. Amazon used to be my favorite company for many years.  A while ago, I still decided to try out Google Music. 

Here is a comparison of both services:

Available artists

Both companies offer an extremely broad spectrum of mainstream and less popular artists. From my experience (and I am listening to some rather uncommon artists) and in the tests that I did for this comparison, they basically scored even. Of one artist one has a few titles more, of the next one the other service wins. 

But, what I loved from Apple, Google has podcasts. Therefore: 

Google wins. 

Storage

Amazon offers free storage for all music you purchased from them. They do not count towards your allowance. That applies to Google Play Music as well. 

Amazon allows you to upload up to 250 songs without charge. Google lets you upload 50,000 songs. Yes, 50,000. A "music subscription" for $ 25 (annually) enables you to upload up to 250,000 songs to Amazon. 

If you chose to cancel your subscription Amazon will not send you a warning. On the day your subscription ends you will lose access to your uploaded songs. They keep them for a year and if you re-subscribe during this time you will regain access. Or you can delete your imported songs and start fresh with up to 250. 

$ 25 is a great price but I still do not like the fact that without any warning you lose access to your uploads. We all prefer being invited to hard-selling, right? And please see "Security of your music" below.

Google is the clear winner. 

Music Subscription

Google offers a few songs and albums for free - so does Amazon. Again, both companies offer extremely large amounts of songs and there will not be many artists who ever came out with an album you will not find. 

The monthly fee for the Google Play Music service is 9.99. You get access to 35 million (!) songs. There had been rumours that Amazon is going to offer a "Music only" subscription. I have not heard from that in a while and a google search also did not lead to results so that I think they dropped the idea. After all, they use the free services to push their main service, Prime. 

Amazon Prime music offers access to over 1 million songs for free. 

I am not sure how to score a winner. Obviously, 35 million songs are better than 1 million and free is better than $ 120 per year. I´ll put it like this: If for some reason you are not a Prime Member and do not want to become one google is the crystal clear winner. 

But if you are a Prime Member anyway and use other peaks of the Prime Membership, unless you are a music freak it´s probably not necessary to pay for another subscription so that in that scenario Amazon is the clear winner.


Compatibility

Both companies offer apps for PC, phones, tablets. It comes as no surprise that the Google front end is conveniently integrated into your browser while you have to download and install the Amazon music app. 

You can go to your library via a web browser with Amazon too but you cannot upload your songs via Chrome. I did not bother to install another browser to try. It´s 2016 and 34.7 % of people use Google Chrome. Just work around their special flash player! It´s not rocket science. 

Both do not have an app for the Apple watch ):

Google wins this one. 


Security of your music

Before I relocated from Germany, I copied my CD´s. My own CD´s -  purchased in a store. When I tried to upload them to Amazon, they would only play a loud sound. Amazon was of the opinion I did not legally own them. 

I do not appreciate a storage service to play police; especially when it makes mistakes. Two other things happened at the same time: The USB stick I stored the music on broke and Amazon changed their storage rules. I do not remember how many songs you were allowed to have back then ... they lowered it to 250 and did not like today have the option of restoring it. 

They just deleted my music. UN-BE-LIEVABLE!

That happened 3 years ago, and they probably changed this. That might be an emotional way to look at it, but basically, Amazon stole my music. At least that is how it felt - and you do not forget who steals from you. 

I am pretty sure if Google would lower the allowance of songs you can store they would give you not one but probably three warnings and not delete your music. When my Google drive subscription ran out I could still download all of my content. 

You guess it. Google wins. 

Import

Both compare songs you upload to their libraries. For some reason, Amazon until this day has an annoyingly high error rate. 

Often albums that ARE in their library get detected correctly but the songs are being called 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. I have 12 songs called each number. Obviously, you cannot search for the song titles. They also very, very often mess up songs you even purchased from them. 

For instance: 7 albums I purchased from them as well as many imported (including popular albums like Caribou, Franz Ferdinand, and Bear in Heaven)  end up as separate albums. So you would have more than one album with the same name and one would contain most songs, the other only one song or a few. 

I also purchased an album from Amazon that consists of only two songs. The songs have the same name, only one has the addition "day" and the other one "night". I see both songs in my Amazon library. But on any other device, I can only see and therefore play one of the songs. 

Maybe it would work to manually on your computer create playlists for all songs from an album and then it works on all devices - I found another solution you will see in the conclusion. 

While Google is able to figure the artist from the file name (or however ...), Amazon has severe problems with recognizing any song that is not in their catalog. And as discussed with many songs from their own store. 

In all neutrality (hahaha) and fairness I cannot say: Google is the winner. I will have to say: Amazon is the loser. 

Radio

Both services offer a radio function. There is not much to say about this: Amazon has a very limited amount of "radio stations" that are 100 % mainstream only. 

Google has a service like iHeart radio and others. They have ready-made stations but you can also choose the artist of your liking and the system creates a station for you. 

Unless you have a paid membership, sadly, you only have a limited amount of  "skips". Songs you give "thumbs up" get added to a playlist. 

If only Google had an apple watch function ... I am always happy for every app I need less and this could replace my iHeart and potentially Tunein radio. 

Google is WAY better (which is easy when you have all the data in the world to analyze) than any other service I tried (Spotify, Last FM (when they still existed), iHeart, TuneIn...) in adding "similar artists" that I really enjoy. 

Again, they do have an unfair advantage by being in possession of unimaginable amounts of our personal data - but it´s not about market fairness for me when I want to listen to good music. 

Google wins.

Advertisements

Google shows advertisements. At least to me as a free user. Amazon only advertises their own services and products. 

Amazon´s ads are less intrusive and less annoying. 

Amazon wins. 

Conclusion

If you are a Prime Member with a "regular" taste in music there is no need for you to pay for a music subscription other than the $ 25 per year "music subscription" if you want to upload more than 250 of your own songs. 

While I am writing this article my songs are uploading to Google Play Music even though I am a Prime Member. Some music is a tad cheaper on Amazon.

My first thought was: But when I buy songs from Amazon I would have to upload them manually if I switch to google. That was another annoying thing about Amazon. It can add your songs to iTunes. But my iTunes is not on the same machine as my music. I sync to iTunes from a removable hard disk. 

There is an effortless workaround, though: In the Amazon Music App you can choose to auto-download your purchases while in the Google Play Music App you can select which folders on your computer you want google to auto-synch.  

Google is better in many aspects that are important to me personally: 
  • Integrated, state-of-the-art radio function
  • Free upload of 50000 songs
  • Nearly no mistakes with tagging or missing files, no matter if recorded from youtube, purchased from Amazon or recorded via some other app
  • Better frontend
  • Podcasts!!! Without podcasts you (or at least I) still need iTunes
PS: You can find my podcast there too!

PSPS: Should you not be a Prime member yet: In addition to the free music service the membership includes a "Netflix" (video offer), free 2-day shipping on many items, a free book rental per month and many other perks.

Free trial HERE


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Everwebinar + WebinarJam Review

One of the best Webinar Systems

I loved Everwebinar a lot. Sadly, I had to leave after a few weeks for a reason that probably does to you: I was not able to add javascript to my sign-up page. My affiliate tracking worked with javascript so that in consequence I was not able to track the sales of affiliates.

Most affiliate tracking systems work differently so that this probably does not apply to you. In that case, you should give Everwebinar / WebinarJam a close look.

WebinarJam is the Live Webinar System of the same company that produces Everwebinar. Therefore, the integration is seamless. More about WebinarJam later.


Everwebinar Review


Everwebinar is the best Evergreen option I have tried. I did not try Infusionsoft, which  I guess (at the price for a month what the expensive alternatives cost per year) could be even better.

I will not focus on standard features lists - first of all, you can see them on their site anyway and second of all it´s boring. I will mention if I disliked any standard features or if they were missing.

Things like: accessible with tablets, mobiles, different browsers, customizable template, etc. in my opinion, do not have to be mentioned.

The functionality is comparable to stealth seminar. The system comes at a way lower price and with way better support.

While the limit with stealth seminar is 100 webinars per month (that might sound a lot, but it´s not if you use "webinar on demand" or replays. The customer service at stealth service was horrific, after asking three times (twice per email and once per chat), the owner - who sent useless replies personally but never answered my simple question -  I gave up. They did not tell me what happens after the 100th webinar .... can you pay for more? Is it over for the month? Will clients see a "sorry this broadcaster has reached his limit, come back next month"?


Back to Everwebinar. The good and the ugly:

The good

  • Unlimited Webinars
  • Unlimited participants (one person said over 900 people the resolution goes down but I guess over 900 members is a problem most of us would love to have)
  • The number of attendees can be suppressed or ... faked. If you ever wondered how that one vendor gets hundreds of people in each of his webinars - many of the larger vendors are clients of Everwebinar - there were probably fewer people in the room. That feature is very handy if you are brand new and have two people at your first webinar. 
  • Chat ... You can add you own chat, and you can add the chat of each webinar to your next webinar. Over time, you get an impressive chat roll. 
  • You can choose the following options: Chat (live or your texts or both), "Ask a question" (that is sent to your email) or you can suppress both options. 
  • Webinarbot can show your offer at the time of your choosing. Or announcements, texts ... 
  • Live / Hybrid / Automated Webinars. Meaning: You can broadcast live, you can broadcast a recording but still be there and handle the chat or you can go to the beach and have yourself a nice day
  • Good support. The support is way over average. 
  • Extensive training material. 
  • Active community on Facebook 
  • The BEST statistic function I had with any of the 12 solutions I tried. I miss that. You can export every bit of information conveniently for follow-up and analysis
  • You do not have to record a live webinar to be able to automate it - you can start with a movie from the beginning on (many solutions like for instance "Run a Webinar" do not offer this).  Run A Webinar Review
You might tell from my tone: I was morose I had to leave. Such a great team of people and as you can see above: Great list of features. 

The ugly

  • Sign-up page can be customized, but you cannot use your own and therefore
  • Javascript cannot be added. You can integrate Google Analytics and HTML - but not javascript
  • Download your chat before you switch to "ask a question". You can upload your chat (commata separate CSV), but if you do not download your chat before you change the option, for instance because you cannot be there on that day, you will lose it. So: download it and upload it later when you switch back to chat. 
Well, that was it. I cannot think of anything else negative. They immediately refunded my money and even agreed to keep me online for another few days, until my last scheduled webinar. Also, they did not kick me out of the Facebook group. 

I will keep an eye out for news and potentially go back there. Oh, and here is one piece of advice that seems so logical one should not even mention it. But I learned it the hard and painful way. Do not ... I repeat ... do NOT set your youtube video to "private"...(it still hurts). 

My current solution is not as good as Everwebinar - but tracking the sales of joint venture partners has to have the highest priority. 

Conclusion

Besides the unlikely case that you require javascript on your sign-up page you should DEFINITELY give this a try. They are serious about the money back guarantee (no hassle), and it is by far the best out of 12 webinar solutions I tested. 

Currently, there is a special promotion where they offer Everwebinar for just $ 297 for a whole year (I paid $ 497 and still thought that was an incredible price for the worth I got). 

Get it HERE

Make sure you use my "customer tells customer" link to get your discount (currently on both, WebinarJam and Everwebinar!)

Only if you have no intention of showing your face during the webinar and are planning to work with slides, you should have a look at the inexpensive "Meeting Burner".
MeetingBurner Review


WebinarJam Review


WebinarJam is a terrific live webinar solution that is built on google hangouts. They offer a free 90-day version. That makes it a no-brainer to try it. My guess is: You will stay.

If you are looking for the optimal solution to offer live events - you found it.

We can make this short: I did not find a single thing I was missing, or I disliked. Some people say that Google hangouts and youtube have a delay - I did not notice any delay worth mentioning. I would not know of a single function another vendor is offering that is not included in WebinarJam.

The training "Marketing Genesis" that comes with it is ingenious. I will go through it in the next month before my trial ends. Even if you are not in the market for a webinar solution right now: Get your 90-day trial, the (general) marketing training is worth it!

On their website, they have the full list of features that speaks for itself.

The support replies within hours - I was very happy with the quality of answers.

Check Webinar Jam out HERE

Getting Serious About Social Media

Why Killem FTW is my favorite crazy kid

I´ll admit it openly. I am not good when it comes to social media ... you are just better at things you love.
KillemFTW Gummybear Challenge


Someone who rocks social media and loves it is British Killem FTW. I am not sure if you would call it a subculture or zeitgeist - there is a new profession no headhunter is recruiting.

Not with the same and quick level of success like Killem FTW (that stands for "Kill´em for the win"), but many people meanwhile make their living on YouTube.  A few, like the famous Markiplier, have success with more "serious" films like game reviews and walkthroughs, but a growing number of people make their living from what can be called exhibitionistic fun-masochism.

I just made this word up, but it hits the nail in my opinion.

It might not seem that harsh when you look at the first picture that shows the kid attempting to eat the largest gummy bear in the world in under a minute.

KillemFTW was able to generate a following of about 120K on his main channel on youtube. 46K followers on Twitter, he is also active on Snapchat, etc. The level of genuine engagement with his posts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is ginormous. Meanwhile, he sells his merchandise and can monetize on adds and such.

Real Entertainers

On the first look, one might think that it does not need a lot of skills to torture oneself with ghost peppers, cinnamon, etc.

The number of interaction, loyal followers, and subscribers proves this thesis wrong. Most people never generate a lot of views and even less loyal followers. Naturally, funny videos will always have more views than sales presentations.

The job is real entertainment. Some of these guys are skilled and could probably be successful in conventional entertainment roles as well.

The job is not as easy as it might seem.

KillemFTW Challenge


YouTube is getting more and more competitive and to stand out you have to have great ideas and ... even better pain-management.

Some of the challenges I could imagine one has in this job include
  • controlling expectations of viewers for continuously going farther and resisting the own urge of consistently showing even extremer challenges
  • competition from other YouTubers
  • coming up with innovative ideas that are both: fresh and unique enough to keep it interesting but at the same time hit the zeitgeist and trending "challenges."
  • finding the right settings and sometimes rare items
I mean .. I am not the target group. I am disgusted by any form of vulgarity, violence and one would think I am too old to enjoy silly senseless pranks and stunts. Personally, I could not watch half of the videos because they are too vulgar or extreme for my taste.

The age thing... on a side note: I never understood why people put an age on things. Why does society expect us to listen to uncool music as soon as the bell rings 40? Or why does the butcher think we do not enjoy the free slice of sausage as soon as we are 15. Stupid!

I do watch some KillemFTW clips from time to time, and he never fails to entertain and make me laugh.

Some of my favorite work:

He created a "3 Guinness World Record" Challenge. He attempts to beat three silly world records, and there is a (bitter) forfeit if he loses. So far he lost all challenges.

Most challenges are plain dangerous, gross and stupid - but some are a lot of fun.

My personal favorites are often the "easier" challenges like for instance one of his less successful videos -  his one-year anniversary video in which he does his first four challenges in one:
  • eating a ghost pepper
  • eating a whole onion
  • eating a teabag full of tea
  • eating cinnamon

Perseverance, determination

It is easier once you have the first 10K or 100K followers and receive tons of feedbacks. KillemFTW had a hard way to where he is now. He did a few things right:
  • Authenticity and vulnerability make him very likable and people quickly feel connected
  • He kept delivering content regularly - even when nobody seemed to appreciate his movies for the longest time. He did it right: Delivering a bit of content consistently and keeping in touch with his ... whatever you call them. I guess "client" does not hit it. In their faces all the time but not that much that it´s annoying
  • Collaborations - he teamed up with other crazy people or involved some of his family and his girlfriend
Whatever you sell: Whether you spray ghost pepper on your eyeballs and jump out of your window in a container full of balloons or whether you are responsible for M&A: Perseverance, authenticity and the ability to create instant connection are the traits of winners. It helps if you love what you do.

As we all know, there is no such thing as something you always love doing. And that´s the last indispensable trait of a winner: Discipline.

And that one sentence is probably better advice than most of the "social media hacks" and sh.... I keep reading.

Where to find out more

If you are in for the laugh and the entertainment or if you want to see how someone created numbers of followers and genuine interaction most of us can only dream of ... check him out here, there and

https://twitter.com/killemftw
https://www.facebook.com/killemftw/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmgFmujG7IRrz4zeDfi-YQ
And his store: http://killemftw.com/

As you know ... this is my side blog that has no other purpose than sharing things I have learned while growing my coaching business and allowing myself to reflect on whatever crosses my mind. For some reason, this side blog has quite a lot of visitors and if some of you discover KillemFTW - I will be happy for him.

This article is just my observation as a 46-year old. There is no real point to this article, no morale or teaching.

Beside maybe: If you are serious about social media you better get serious.

Until next time, people.

Oh, and, hey: Have a look at my new training - shares and attendance will be much appreciated (;

http://phoenix.aurorasa-coaching.com

Thursday, May 19, 2016

List Building Opportunity - Personal Development

The List Building Event of the Year!

The best reward is helping as many people as possible to a better life. To be able to help people we must reach them first. 


Aurorasa Sima Project Phoenix

I don´t have an event picture so I will just add one of myself as I am joining this event to promote my Emotional Intelligence Training (;

If you are in the personal development sector or offer a service related to it you cannot miss this list boosting event: 

15,000+ Targeted Subscribers Viewing YOUR Offer? JV With Me NOW...


Dr. Joe Rubino and Carolyn Hansen just unleashed the flood gate on their Healthy,
Wealthy and Wise Gifts 6 list-building launch. For anyone who is serious about growing their lists and helping lots of people this is the must-be event. 

The event is free and you can post your freebie without charge. Upgrade options allow you to post up to 3 gifts and gain better visibility. IF you want. 

Last year free members averaged 500 - 600 new subscribers. 

The people who used the upgrade options were able to add thousands of subscribers to lists. How many depends also on the quality of your gift. 

Yes - 1000s!!!

You can join FREE Here: JV

The site opens to members on June 3rd at 10 AM EST, but hundreds of vendors are going to see your offer right now. 

I have already grabbed a few gifts for myself. 

Over $10,000 in Sales Contests, Prizes and Incentives make this a no-brainer!

Check the details HERE

To me the most important thing is to reach more people that I can help to a better life. But if you are interested in the monetary side: The prizes are more than attractive - check them out on the site. 

Imagine this like a free solo-ad to potentially over 15K people. Of if you upgrade imagine it as 3 solo adds for 70 Dollar to thousands and thousands of people!

I have already signed-up - you might see my offers as soon as you click the link. 


Here's To Your Summer of Success! Make sure you tell your friends - who doesn´t want more people on their lists without spending a fortune or going through the hassle of finding a reliable solo-ad partner?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

RIP Amazon - I once loved you

Amazon is going down

For many years, Amazon was my favorite company. Best customer service, best assortment, best prices, fastest shipping - best everything.

They seemed to take the growth step from a medium to a huge company effortlessly.

Not anymore.

Amazon now sucks like a Microsoft, Comcast or any giant company who has been seduced by its monopolistic market power.

Not learning from history they repeat the mistakes other huge companies made. For a company that size, it can take years until it becomes visible on the market that karma bit back.

Just look at Microsoft. "MicroWHO?" would any millennial say. While the mobile age arrived and Microsoft was busy trying to force their desktop products on us and celebrated bad customer service like it was its 100 anniversary they overlooked who really has the power.

They are irrelevant to the millennials, the mobile generation. Good luck with the bing users. Those  few who lack the technical knowledge to replace bing with a decent search engine. Giving (and forcing) away the newest milk cow for free might secure some market shares in the desktop market. And companies take longer to replace, test and implement new software.

Now Amazon is doing it too.

They outsourced customer service to the far-away land where nobody gives a damn. It´s about cutting and pasting something not even faintly related to the customer inquiry - not customer satisfaction or solving a problem.

Sadly, companies never seem to realize how expensive bad customer service is. Returning clients are the cheapest acquisitions. New clients are more expensive ... but clients who left because a company sucked? Very expensive.

A while back one of the competent Amazon customer service agents could solve a problem with one call. Now you have weeklong forth- and back with several agents. Some even speak some form of English ... or Indlish. Is that really cheaper???

The number of forced unwanted crappy apps on their hardware seems to be growing by the minute. Alexa can´t even see Siri´s face from down there where she is standing with her limited voice recognition capabilities.

They made their fire phone and the newest tablet generation jailbreak-safe (for now). Every day I delete "The New Yorker" and every day amazon forces it on my device again. What do you think, Amazon? I reward that with buying a subscription to the New Yorker??? More than half of the first page of the current Kindle fire generation is full of unwanted applications.

When I have the choice between bad customer service and bad customer service with more applications and faster updates .... I´ll be back, google. Just waiting for "Kindi 4" to break.

I found someone on Craiglist who missed the sign of times and gave me 120 for my Fire phone. I felt officially like a gangster.

For the longest time, Amazon managed what most giants failed to do: Managing growth, keeping innovative and customer friendly.

Goodbye, Amazon, I will miss you for what you once were.

New players will enter the market. They will be more customer friendly, more innovative and flexible. And there´s life in the old dogs yet. But not in you.

While Apple has the intelligence to form strategic relationships (SAP, IBM); MS is the excellence of OEM; so that they can afford p.... clients off - who´s your strategic alliance, Amazon?

Taking them on all at once, aren´t you? The clients, the google, the apple - and the laws of the market. You can be proud on what you achieved until you became common, Amazon.

I loved you, Amazon. Goodbye. I won´t throw a stone when I see one of your drones deliver a 12-hour parcel sometime soon.