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Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, and Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Jan 18, 2016

Jessica Rhodes is the founder and CEO of Interview Connections, the premier source for booking outstanding podcast guests. The Interview Connections team of Booking Agents works with podcasters to find and book guests for their shows. They also represent dozens of highly qualified guest experts to connect them with podcast hosts for interviews. Jessica is the host of the hit weekly web TV show, Interview Connections TV, she’s the host of the Rhodes to Success podcast and she is the co-host of The Podcast Producers, a ten episode audio series selected by Apple as a “How to Podcast” show in iTunes. Jessica is a regular speaker at Dream Business Academy and has shared the stage with dozens of top podcasters at Podcast Movement.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jessica blocks and schedules her time -- focusing on specific tasks at certain times increases productivity. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Pay attention to your health -- Jessica has made exercising and eating healthily very important in her life.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Jessica had to let employees go after not being clear with them on expectations -- and Jessica tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Know how to hire, fire, and manage people."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Stay committed to your marketing."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had used the CRM called Highrise -- and Jessica shared the reason why this CRM is so cool.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Focus on how to keep clients longer instead of trying to bring in new clients.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would underpromise and overdeliver -- they go above and beyond.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Follow the money initially -- focus on what you're passionate about later
  2. Get yourself a coach, mentor, or mastermind group -- you need someone to keep you on track
  3. Go to live events -- build relationships with people like you -- you're not going through it alone

How best to connect with Jessica:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 15, 2016

Shane Stott is CEO of Walker Tape Co, and the co founder of Zen Float Co. He's an inventor at heart and has revolutionized both of his industries. His inventions have been featured on The New York Times, ABC, MSN, and Yahoo. He is a very active industry expert in both fields producing webinars, interviews, and how-to videos that can be found at ZenFloatCo.com and WalkerTapeCo.com.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Shane wakes up at 6:00 AM and works out to motivational videos -- trade in an hour of sleep for exercise and meditation (and read "The Miracle Morning"). ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

Hire an assistant -- and have them fill out your schedule completely.

How do you define success?

Success is results -- don't get fooled by what success isn't.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Shane believes you need to spend time out of your comfort zone -- and Shane tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" fills these four qualifiers: 1.) they manage themselves better than you could, 2.) they bring new ideas and direction continuously, 3.) they are an active study themselves, and 4.) they don't take things personal.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Set the example
  2. Stay connected with those that you are mentoring

How can we build an audience?

  1. Get someone to network every single day -- it's realistically probably not going to be you

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Get around people that are like you -- these people need to be further along than you
  2. Network -- with thresholds -- find the right group for you

How best to connect with Shane:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 14, 2016

Gerard Adams is the co-founder of Elite Daily, the No.1 news platform for Generation Y, is an experienced angel investor, millennial thought leader and social entrepreneur who overcame early adversity to become a self-made millionaire by the age of 24. Now 30, he has built, backed, or invested in nine businesses and trades across multiple industries that have all delivered over seven-figure profits. While he continues his role as an investor and influencer, his mission in life is to mentor and inspire young entrepreneurs on what it takes to be successful and how to turn dreams into reality.

Secret – timesaving technique

Gerard takes down notes every night of what he learned that day and what he wants to accomplish tomorrow -- hold yourself accountable, be self aware, and have a good mindset. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have a regular process -- Gerard firmly believes in using quarterly reports.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Gerard was a month away from not making payroll -- and Gerard tells the whole story here.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"I'm no expert of any one thing -- I'm an expert of experts."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had realized how important how important it is to have a process -- you can't just wing it.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Consistency, consistency, consistency -- you and your team need to be consistent as possible in every area.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be proactive, not reactive -- don't wait for something to happen

How best to connect with Gerard:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 13, 2016

John Addison is the newly appointed Leadership Editor of Success Magazine and CEO of Addison Leadership Group. John is renowned for his insight and wisdom on leadership, personal development and success. A sought-after, world-class speaker and motivator, John is sharing his business know-how and leadership insights in his upcoming book, “Real Leadership”, which shares his straightforward practices for successful leadership through his personal and professional journey, helping leaders at any level understand and emulate the nine principles that fostered enduring results on his path to success. He is also the former co-chief executive officer of Primerica. Following the financial crisis of 2008, he spearheaded the process of separating from Citigroup. These efforts culminated with a successful IPO in 2010 that was 22 times oversubscribed. 

Secret – timesaving technique

John works to make -- and finish -- daily goals -- spend your time focusing on being the best you that you can be. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Show up early every day and go throughout your day with a positive attitude -- John believes the greatest ability is likability.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Everybody has their walk in life -- you need to love everybody."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Spend time on team-building -- if your team works together -- truly together -- you can accomplish anything.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Turn your fears into fuel -- you'll never conquer them -- but you can turn them into what drives you

How best to connect with John:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 12, 2016

Ira Chaleff is the author of a very unusual book called Intelligent Disobedience; Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong. It was named the best leadership book of 2015 by the University of San Diego and has been featured in many publications including Fast Company and Forbes, as well as in the New York Times Educational Supplement. Ira is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter on Courageous Followership and transforming hierarchical relationships into powerful partnerships. Ira is also the founder and president of “Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates” and an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University.

What does a small business owner need to understand?

You need to hope your employees say what is needed -- don't create an environment where they would be afraid to give you valuable insight.

What are some strategies small business owners can use to launch a new product?

Don't put out your new ideas too enthusiastically -- ask for feedback first and invite discussion.

Are there other skills business owners need to master to reap the benefits of a 'culture of candor'?

You have to master your body language -- learn to master how to get feedback and not seem defensive.

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Slow the motion down and understand the situation."

What should the leader/follower dynamic look like?

Being a "follower" isn't a personality trait -- it's a role -- not everyone needs to be a leader all the time -- be able to pay both roles.

How does 'intelligent disobedience' fit into being a parent?

We put too much weight on obedience in childhood development -- we inadvertently contribute to a mindset where we believe he must do what authority says.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Focus on missions and values -- what are we here to do?

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would come to understand their mission, value, and role -- and no longer needed orders.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Pay attention to cashflow -- don't take your eye off the ball
  2. Have exceptional customer service -- your customers won't let you know if they leave because of bad customer service
  3. Build a culture

How best to connect with Ira:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 11, 2016

Paul Akers is founder and president of FastCap, based in Bellingham, WA. FastCap is an international product development company founded in 1997 with over 2,000 distributors worldwide. A prolific inventor, Paul holds US and international patents. His company launches approximately 20 new innovative products per year and won business of the year in 1999 and 2010. Paul and his wife, Leanne, have built FastCap from their garage into a multi-million dollar company in 13 years.

Secret – timesaving technique

Paul works to make today better than yesterday -- deliberately improve every day. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Read or listen to audiobooks consistently -- Paul has read at least one book a week every week since college.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Paul spent too much money way too fast -- and Paul tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Uncover the greatness in every human being -- harness their greatest asset -- awaken the genius in human beings."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Become fearless about innovation."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had popped out of the womb and been told to "lean" -- eliminate waste and solve all your problems.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Learn the eight wastes -- and Paul shares the eight wastes here.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be humble -- and they must want to learn.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. You need a mentor that you regularly consult with

How best to connect with Paul:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 8, 2016

Dave Mammano is the founder and CEO of the Next Step Education Group. His mission in life is to help people realize their highest potential through education. Next Step is a multi-media enterprise that has grown to become a nationwide resource with prestigious awards and honors, including being named a three time consecutive Inc. Magazine 5000 growth company and Top 100 growth company in Rochester, New York. David has spoken at hundreds of high school, college, business and EO events, including TEDx, and is the author of the new book, “Make Love in the Workplace”. 

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

David reads immediately upon waking up at 5:30 in the morning, meditates, and exercises -- don't leave your morning up to chance. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

How do you define success?

Success is all about balance -- it comes down to faith, family, finances, food, fitness, fun -- the 6 Fs of success.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

David believes you have to put your focus on the goal -- not the negatives -- and David tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" is an "A player" on their own -- and it's up to you to nurture them.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be cognisant of what you're doing -- your mentees are watching your every step
  2. Walk the talk -- don't just say what your mentees should do -- do it yourself

How can we build an audience?

  1. Create a lot of free content that people want in an easily digestible format -- blogs, podcasts, webinars, speeches
  2. Turn the things that help you into content that can help others
  3. Get a coach

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Admit that you're vulnerable and need help
  2. Join groups and programs to learn and grow

How best to connect with David:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 7, 2016

Dr. Marcie Beigel has been redesigning behavior for professionals, families, schools, and businesses for over 15 years. Her specialty is engaging with behaviors directly and giving clear and insightful directives to clients ­­ who are oftentimes ­­ business owners looking for balance at home to help create balance at work or new approaches to become better leaders. Her approach is heartfelt, but filled with tough love. You can get her weekly behavior newsletter at BehaviorAndBeyond.net. Dr. Marcie is also featured on NBC's Parenting Toolkit.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Dr. Marcie starts her morning by waking up to a real alarm clock (not her cell phone), lies in bed and plans her day, and does yoga -- stay away from technology for as long as you can. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." – A.A. Milne

How do you define success?

Success is happiness -- it's the fullness and richness of life that defines success.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Dr. Marcie believes you need to embrace your fear -- and Dr. Marcie tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" does exactly what they love -- hire those that are kids in the candy stores you need populated.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. You need to walk your talk -- be the example
  2. Be clear with your words on how your mentee can do it better -- but you must be encouraging

How can we build an audience?

  1. Do what you do with consistency -- let people rely on you
  2. Figure out what platform you want to work with
  3. Remember that every email address is a person

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Get clear on what the next level is -- how will you know when you're there?
  2. Walk through your fear -- make a plan and just do it
  3. Find a mentor -- we learn best from the people who have been there

How best to connect with Dr. Marcie:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 6, 2016

Marty Wolff is an entrepreneur, business coach and business journalist. He's the President of Marty Wolff Business Solutions.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Marty starts every morning out with prayer/Bible study, exercise, healthy eating, and then goes into email and social media -- clear your slate of necessary communication to have the time to do the important things. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Make a mistake of aggression, not of omission."

How do you define success?

Success is making a difference -- in an individual's life, in a group that you're working with, in someone you're coaching, or in your family's life.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Marty believes you have to feel worthy of success -- and Marty tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" is a good team member -- the most unique skill set is caring.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Model the behavior you expect of others -- be of high integrity all the time
  2. Always look for an opportunity to help someone
  3. Help other people see all their possibilities

How can we build an audience?

  1. Be excellent -- do good work
  2. Have a system -- regularly schedule things

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Stay aggressive -- and continue to learn
  2. Make a difference -- everyday

How best to connect with Marty:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 5, 2016

Jennifer Maffei is the Founder and President of VEA Services; a coaching and consulting firm specializing in helping CEOs get the most out of their Executive Assistants. Jennifer developed her A-Z approach after working for more than 20 years as both a Business Owner and as an Executive Assistant - from Fortune 500 companies to small firms. Jennifer is also a Vistage Resource Speaker - presenting How to Maximize the Executive and Assistant Relationship, to CEO peer groups across the country.

Secret – timesaving technique

Jennifer calendars absolutely everything -- schedule time for yourself to sit and think. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Review your priorities every single day -- Jennifer reviews her to-do list immediately before bed and again when waking up.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Jennifer was severely injured while working in San Francisco -- and Jennifer tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Focus, focus, focus -- close you door."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Never give up, keep getting up when you get knocked down, and provided that you have done your due diligence and properly researched your idea, never let anyone steal your dream because if you believe in it and work hard enough, it will happen."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wouldn't do anything differently -- everything in life is a learning opportunity.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Communicate -- communicate -- and communicate some more. Have regular meetings with your teams.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would identify the issues -- and fix them themselves.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be bold -- not brash
  2. Guard your time -- be accessible yet not available at any minute
  3. Be coachable -- and only hire coachable people

How best to connect with Jennifer:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Jan 4, 2016

Virginia "Ginny" Roth is president of PPO&S in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based marketing and advertising firm serving clients in 14 states. Her 30-year career launched in the arena of media research and has evolved as she now owns the firm offering integrated marketing communications counsel to clients in insurance, finance, the environment, higher education and issues management. PPO&S was recently selected as the 2015 Small Business of the Year by the Harrisburg Chamber.

Secret – timesaving technique

Virginia starts her day by making her plans for the day, week, month, quarter and figuring out her schedule -- have a set morning ritual to keep your day on track. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Make yourself as available as you can -- Virginia keeps herself free by making lists and staying focused during vital priorities.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Virginia's mentor and business partner was given a terminal diagnosis -- and Virginia tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"You have to meet people where they are."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Own up when you make a mistake."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had know myself better -- know what motivates you, what deflates you, what re-energizes you, what flips your switch.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Hold yourself -- and your team -- accountable.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have unrequited confidence and be a super communicator.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Do something that you love -- and stick yourself into a positive environment
  2. Make sure your schedule accommodates your sleep schedule

How best to connect with Virginia:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 29, 2015

David Long is a Speaker, Author, Successful CEO and Student of the Game of Business. Founder/CEO of MyEmployees, a 26 year-old firm in the Top 1% Worldwide in the Employee Engagement and Recognition industry.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

David wakes up between 5:45 and 6 AM -- with no alarm. He also reads -- both The Bible and other books -- you have to constantly seek out learning. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Is the highest and best use of my time right now?"

How do you define success?

Success is finding the will of God for your life -- and doing it. David learned powerful lessons on success from his father.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

David believes you can't wait for all the answers before you start -- and David tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" has to be all in.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Be the mentor you'd want to mentor you
  2. Groom the people in your business that you want to take over from you
  3. Hold your mentees responsible -- the relationship goes two ways

How can we build an audience?

  1. Do more than you're paid for -- make people remember you
  2. Be remarkable -- you can't afford to be normal boring

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. What got you here won't get you to the next level -- you need to adapt
  2. Hire people that want to achieve so much that they'll die if they don't

How best to connect with David:

  • Email: davidlong@top10manager.com
  • Company website: myemployees.com/
  • If you buy David's Book "Built to Lead" on Amazon, email David and he will send you a free copy of the Kindle version as well as a workbook that he created so you can maximze what he teaches in the book

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 28, 2015

Becky McKinnell is an entrepreneur who loves design and believes that building a company should be fun. She started her first company, iBec Creative in 2006 the day after graduating from the University of Southern Maine. She taught herself web development, design, and digital marketing and was able to grow to over $1 million in revenue in 6 years by bootstrapping. She currently has 14 amazing, kind, and talented full time employees, and 200 happy clients around the country who are growing their businesses. Becky has been featured Business Week's Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under, awarded the Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and a recipient of the Stevie Women in Business Award.

Secret – timesaving technique

Becky brings her paper and pencil to-do list to bed -- plan tomorrow today -- and know what you're going to do right when you wake up. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Be timely in your communication -- Becky returns emails immediately -- even if she doesn't have an immediate answer.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Becky had two employees leave her business right after the birth of her daughter -- and Becky tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Be able to write your own vision -- and -- plan the vision for your own company."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Once you start measuring things you automatically improve."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had spent more time on training -- you can't assume that an employee knows something.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Start off your day with your team -- have a morning meeting that everyone attends and shares what they're doing today.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would have high emotional intelligence.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do
  2. Just start something -- and fail often -- and improve
  3. Work on getting things to DONE -- complete one thing then move to the next thing

How best to connect with Becky:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 23, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.

Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner.

Before we jump into the topic of today’s solocast -- I wanted to take a moment to wish you, your family, and your friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

My hope for you is that you will be able to take some time away from your business to celebrate all of the wonderful blessings in your life -- and to take this opportunity to plan for 2016 and to gain even more clarity on your most vital priorities for the coming year.

How will you make 2016 your best year ever?

I can tell you for certain -- that becoming your best and achieving more -- will not be the result of you working harder -- or even as a result of you working smarter as we often hear.

Nope.

You need to add more scale and leverage into your business -- to make your business more systematic, more predictable, repeatable, and measurable.

All of which are key ingredients we talk about with today’s top business owners here at Onward Nation.

With that -- again -- I wish you, and all those in your life, a very Merry Christmas and Happy 2016.

Our Onward Nation and Predictive ROI families are taking a break as well. We will not be airing new episodes tomorrow or Friday so our team can spend time away from the business on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We will follow the same schedule next week by not airing new episodes on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

Have a wonderful holiday week -- and take some time to practice Habit #7 -- or “Sharpen the Saw” from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Everything you need to make 2016 your best yet -- the year of your dreams -- is already in your midst.

So let’s keep this momentum of 2016 going by focusing on a key ingredient that can propel your business onward to that next level.

Hiring “A Players” -- but -- I don’t mean adding several high salaried or highly commissioned positions to your team. Instead, I am referring to the opportunity of hiring “A Players” who also happen to be unpaid interns.

Yes, I did say unpaid interns.

On the Predictive ROI side of our business, we have built an outstanding internship program and have provided over 20 unpaid internships over the last several years to students in their senior year of study at Purdue, Duke, Ohio State, University of South Florida, University of Northern Iowa, and several other universities throughout the country. I decided to focus today’s solocast on how to recruit rock star interns because last week, I was on-site with a client leading a 2-day intensive on SMART Search Engine Optimization and Lead Gen.

And like in many companies, the marketing manager was responsible for everything -- new content development, generating qualified leads, optimizing content, email campaigns, print collaterals materials, trade show analysis, trade show displays, PPC campaigns, coordinating all of the in-house experts for any technical writing, the blog, video production, and the dizzying list goes on and on. My word.

Toward the end of our first day -- I asked him if he had access to any interns who could provide some additional production capacity and support so he could focus more of his time toward his most vital priorities.

He quickly said no -- but then went on to share some insights about their corporate culture, its view of interns, and actually needing permission to hire a full-time employee even if he only wanted to hire an intern -- because they wouldn’t hire an intern unless there was a pathway to employment.

And since budget was tight -- no funds were available for recruiting and then paying interns.

So I asked… “What about unpaid interns?”

And I received the reaction that I am very used to seeing or hearing when I mention unpaid internships.

The typical objections are that you will only be able to recruit the unmotivated...the people who are just looking to check the box off the list...they are there to do the bare minimum...and nothing more.

And I suspect that has been the experience for most companies.

But not at Predictive ROI...our sister company to Onward Nation.

In fact...our recipe for recruiting rock star interns is so good...I am going to share all of the ingredients during this episode. I am going to give you the exact recipe so you can take it and apply it into your business right away.

But before I do...I want to take this opportunity to pull back the green curtain and take you behind the scenes at Onward Nation for a minute so you can meet some of the rock star members of our Predictive ROI team who pull all the levers regarding the day-to-day production behind Onward Nation as well as the other podcasts we produce for clients.

I should also point out that not everyone on our Predictive ROI team is part of the Onward Nation team. For example, Alex Krupski, Whitney Puent, and Hagan Whiteleather are interns and assigned to other teams. I will be sure to introduce you to them during a future solocast where we focus on search engine optimization and content development. Because all three of them are absolutely rock stars -- and their expertise is deep!

So for Onward Nation...let me introduce you first to Katherine Bartlett -- yay, Katherine! Katherine is our full-time multi-media producer and the wizard behind all of our episodes -- how they sound -- and how they look out on social media. Anything audio and visual related is all orchestrated by Katherine.

Katherine began her career at Predictive ROI as an unpaid intern. She was one of those people who raised her hand and said -- “Um, I know that I am only required to do 10 hours per week for this internship. But, could I do more?” And our response was...oh my...yes, please.

When her internship was complete...we transitioned Katherine to what we call “Super Intern” during her final semester at the University of Northern Iowa. She received a very small stipend of compensation while she focused on her remaining education. And when she graduated, she became a full time salaried employee. Katherine is a rock star.

And then there is Louie Schuth...who is in-charge of all our show notes, email campaigns, blog posts, our Twitter strategy, and LNKD articles.

Louie is an amazing writer and a graduate of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Louie finished his unpaid internship today and will begin his super internship on Monday, January 4th.

We are thrilled to have Louie as a member of our team…because he and Katherine are cut from the exact same cloth of -- “Yes, please -- I can do more.”

We started Louie off with a variety of writing projects and he quickly excelled. And then he asked if he could allocate a portion of his time to WordPress and managing some of our websites.

Uh, yes please!

And he excelled there, too.

And Louie is the one who stays up late with me Tuesday nights before my solocasts air to make sure the show notes and audio file are set correctly.

We are excited for Louie to complete his super internship and then become a full time member of our Onward Nation and Predictive ROI teams.

Then there is the trailblazer...Christian McCauley. Christian was a critical part in the launch of Onward Nation. It was Christian who created the framework of our Show Notes -- and our daily ONE email system was his invention.

Christian also took over the editing of our daily episodes from me so I could focus on other vital priorities.

He built a system -- a process -- a recipe -- that later, Louie picked up and ran with.

Christian provided scale to Onward Nation and we provided him with an opportunity to sharpen and refine his marketing education that he received from Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.

Following his internship with us, Christian went on to work full-time at Waggoner’s Chocolates and is building a career in the confection industry and using what he learned at Predictive ROI every day.

We are thrilled to watch his success. You’re a rock star, Christian -- thank you!

And last but not least...I’d like to introduce you to Erik Jensen, our vice president of client services for Predictive ROI and he also oversees our entire production team for Predictive and Onward Nation.

I first met Erik while I was a part of the academic staff at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I served at the Small Business Development Center on campus. One day, the chair of our marketing department suggested to Erik that he come see me regarding a business plan that Erik and his business partner were developing for a competition at Duke University. We met and I was blown away by his professionalism and grasp of so much detail. Later that night -- I said to my wife, wow...this guy is amazing -- I hope some day there is an opportunity to work together on something.

Years later...Erik became our first intern at Predictive ROI...he then became full time employee #3 as an associate...we then promoted him to engagement manager...then the leadership team...then vice president of client services...and within the next several months...Erik will become an equity partner in Predictive ROI. Erik is a rock star in the truest sense of the word.

Erik helped set the standard by which we evaluate and measure all interns.

He invested a full-time schedule toward his internship even though it wasn’t required. And that is the type of heart you are looking for, Onward Nation, in your interns.

You need to treat your unpaid interns exactly as full-time members of your team and you will get a higher level of production and proactivity.

So with that...I am going to share the complete recipe for how we recruit rock star candidates to our unpaid internship program.

Please note:

We only take students in their senior year of school. We have had positive experiences with juniors (but that is often not the case) and we have had positive experiences with interns post graduation (but that is often not the case as well).

So we decided to focus on seniors and have found them to be the most motivated, eager to learn, and hungry to gain experience because graduation is looming and so is their job search.

Ingredient #1: Define your culture with your leadership team, employees, and post a page on your website for candidates to study.

On our culture page for Predictive ROI, we define with the following phrases (and more):

"We promise to provide our clients with the very best, most outstanding consulting and training services available.

"We are so committed to being outstanding that we deliver a minimum of 200 percent financial return on investment to clients. We take it further by guaranteeing each client’s ROI.

"And refund our fee if we do not deliver what we promise.

"We demand a standard of excellence of ourselves and are committed to delivering that standard to clients 100 percent of the time. No excuses or exceptions.

"We are a team. We work hard. We rise together – because as our clients succeed – we succeed."

You can find our full culture description here: http://predictiveroi.com/culture/

Ingredient #2: write a position description that is in-line with your culture and post on your website.

We clearly define who and what we're looking for in our position descriptions. Here's how we begin our description of what we do -- and -- who exactly we are looking for:

"Predictive ROI is a growing digital marketing consulting agency that works with an array of visionary businesses in many industries. We work with our clients to help them achieve explosive growth by reaching their digital goals. This includes increasing their ROI and enhancing their brand across many platforms/mediums. We are looking for candidates who embody our standard of excellence, our culture of teamwork, and who are enthusiastic about learning while delivering their best work. We offer the flexibility of working remotely, a robust on-boarding program, training through our Predictive ROI Institute, a team of like-minded high achievers and opportunities for advancement.

"If you are a member of the Predictive team, or a client, you are family. We work together to achieve our goals, we care and we go all in to get it done."

You can find full position descriptions here: http://predictiveroi.com/digital-marketing-careers/

Ingredient #3: post testimonials / social proof on your website because “A Players” want to work with other “A Players” -- or -- where other “A Players” have worked.

“The team at Predictive ROI is incredible. They are so talented and passionate about this industry, and that really makes such a difference. I feel like I have learned much more through this internship than I ever expected. With every step of the way, I felt involved in the process and that my thoughts and ideas mattered. Through the help of some pretty great mentors, I was able to not only learn more about this industry, but was able to apply what I was learning first-hand.” — Whitney Puent

“There's one word that comes to mind when looking to describe the Predictive ROI internship: special. Predictive ROI gives you the opportunity to do great work that has an impact. But, more importantly, at Predictive ROI you work with the greatest team you could ever ask for, a team that will have your back and guide you so that you're better prepared for the working world, and better prepared for life. If you're willing to put in the hard work, don't think twice about applying for an internship with Predictive ROI. You won't regret it.” — Louie Schuth

“Applying for an internship with Predictive ROI was the best decision I've made in a long time. Going into my final semester of college, I knew I wanted an internship that would allow me to hone and develop my professional skills by making impactful contributions within an organization. An internship with Predictive ROI gives you exactly that. At Predictive ROI, you are given the opportunity to work with an unbelievable team that will teach you the the tools and skills needed to be successful in your career.” — Alex Krupski

Ingredient #4: weed out B and C players by sending a pre-qualifying email with challenging thought provoking questions to each candidate.

We send the following email immediately after receiving someone's application / resume:

[Candidate's First Name]...thank you for your interest in our internship!

As the first step in our process...please review the following questions and email us back your thoughts for each.

Your answers to each question will give our team an opportunity to: 1) understand how we can create the right internship experience for you and ensure you learn everything you want to learn, 2) evaluate your written communication skills, and 3) assess your depth of interest in joining our team.

  1. Please introduce yourself (beyond what we can learn by reading your resume) and why our internship is of interest to you.
  2. Please describe the top three things you would like to learn during this internship. And we encourage you to be as specific as possible.
  3. Tell us about your digital marketing experience up to this point (and if it is zero...that is okay).
  4. Things we cannot teach are work ethic, commitment to teammates, integrity, and excellence. Please share an example of when you consistently demonstrated excellence in your work.
  5. Please share an example of when you demonstrated integrity.
  6. What are the attributes or qualities you look for in teammates?
  7. How can we help support your growth and development during this internship?

This is my direct email address -- please feel free to reply here.

We look forward to talking with you.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely Yours,

Stephen Woessner Host of The Onward Nation Podcast CEO of Predictive ROI

Ingredient #5: conduct initial call to assess cultural fit and subject matter expertise deep dive

If the answers provided back are at our standard of excellence -- I will schedule a subject matter expertise-focused phone call in order to assess:

  1. cultural fit
  2. depth of current knowledge.

Their current knowledge is not a deal breaker because we train and teach all we do -- but it is good to have a baseline. I also make a decision -- along with the candidate -- on whether or not there is a good enough of a fit to move on to Step 3.

Ingredient #6: conduct team interview with the candidate.

Team interview with the candidate, Katherine (former intern, now our multi-media producer), Erik (former intern, now our vp of client services and co-owner), and me. Our focus during this interview is to answer any questions from the candidate about Predictive, the internship, and where the company is headed. And we ask a lot of questions about teamwork, proactivity, independent working / thinking, etc.

Ingredient #7: make a go or no go decision -- then send “Congratulations” email

Good Morning [Candidate's First Name]...thank you again for your time yesterday afternoon!

I am excited to give you a very warm welcome to the Predictive ROI team.

Katherine, Erik, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with you yesterday and look forward to having your contribution to the work we are all doing.

I am preparing a formal acceptance letter that will detail initial responsibilities, internship duration, etc. I will email it to you on Friday for your review and approval.

But at this point...would Monday be a good start date for you?

And would you be able to attend our 8:45 am kick-start meeting via Zoom?

Onward with gusto!

Ingredient #8: kick-off the semester long internship.

After they've accepted the internship, we bring them into our daily kickstart meetings at 8:45 am where we all answer four questions:

  1. My three most vital priorities for the day are…
  2. What I didn’t get done yesterday but should have (not a judgement question -- but an ask for teamwork)
  3. This is where I need some help…
  4. I do / don’t have available time today

Take vital projects off your plate and give them to your interns -- not filing projects -- put them on the front lines with meaningful work. They will love you for it if you do.

You will recruit "A Players" -- rock star unpaid interns -- just like Predictive ROI and Onward Nation has if you apply these 8 ingredients.

So with that said...

I want to say again, thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

Merry Christmas and we will be back on Monday with an incredible interview with Becky McKinnell -- she is off the charts amazing. Don’t miss it.

Until then, onward with gusto!

You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 22, 2015

Scott McKain’s keynote presentations benefit from three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful ideas. McKain has spoken before and consulted for the world’s best companies.

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Scott begins his day with stretching -- your body and mind both need warm ups in the morning. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"That which is easy to do is also easy not do -- which is why most people won't do it." - Jim Rohn

How do you define success?

It's the progressive realization of a worthy goal -- Scott learned this lesson from the late Earl Nightingale.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Scott looks at every decision as a trade -- and Scott tells the reasons why here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" has to be willing to do the work, is open to change, and has a sense of purpose.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success” 

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Walk the talk -- people know whether or not you can do it

How can we build an audience?

  1. Clarity is the beginning -- where is your flag in the ground?
  2. Be creative -- you need to find a way to make people interested

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Define what makes you truly unique -- why would the customer choose you?
  2. Define what it feels like to do business with you -- what is so compelling about your experience that you'll get referrals?

How best to connect with Scott:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 21, 2015

Nancy Marshall is known as The PR Maven(R), after having worked in public relations for 30 years. She recently published her first book called PR Works!

What do you do in the first 60 minutes of your day?

Nancy begins each day with a swim -- exercise, meditation, and time to think about the day ahead are building blocks of a successful day. ONWARD!

Favorite quote or lesson?

"Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it." - Maya Angelou

How do you define success?

It's all about the relationships -- Nancy gets such a feeling of accomplishment from being able to keep up with the people in her life.

What strategy do you use to combat fear?

Nancy sought out a hypnotherapist to overcome her fear of public speaking -- and Nancy tells the whole story here.

What makes as "A player" an "A player"?

An "A player" has to have a deep rooted desire to be a continuous learner, a leader, and a follower.  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

How can we become better mentors?

  1. Spend time with your employees -- both in and out of the office -- this is how they'll learn
  2. Take an employee with you as much as possible -- you need them to be your ears

How can we build an audience?

  1. I put out two monthly e-newsletters
  2. I'm really active on social media -- it's important to maintain relationship
  3. Write a book -- it'll open up doors for you

How can business owners reach that elusive next level?

  1. Let people talk about themselves -- listen to them -- they'll think you're super smart

How best to connect with Nancy:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 18, 2015

Marc Mawhinney has a passion for entrepreneurship, having started a number of businesses in his life and growing one to 100 employees. Marc is now on a mission to help coaches build stronger businesses! After becoming a coach, he saw the struggles that coaches face while trying to build a successful business, and decided to do something about it! He launched “Natural Born Coaches”, a daily podcast where he interviews successful coaches to share their advice with listeners, and he has created a number of innovative programs to help coaches get more clients and less stress, including his 6-week “Seize Your Niche” program!  

Secret – timesaving technique

Marc time batches -- schedule certain tasks at certain times so you're at your best and most efficient. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Journal and read on a daily basis -- Marc ends every day by reading and journaling in a moleskine notebook.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Marc's real estate business had to shut down in 2009 -- and Marc tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"You have to have persistence and grit."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Keep moving forward."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had sat down each week and planned out how my ideal would look like.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Delegate -- get everything off your plate that you can.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would know and understand our mission.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Be prepared -- but just jump in and do it
  2. Stick with it -- lightning doesn't strike in a bottle

How best to connect with Marc:

Marc Mawhinney:

Natural Born Coaches:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 17, 2015

Monica Wofford has been seen on CNN and Fox News. They have quoted her in Forbes, Bloomberg, and Investor’s Business Daily. She has spoken in all 50 states, 27 different countries, and began her speaking career 25-years ago. Monica is a former corporate training executive, author of six books on leadership topics, and CEO of the training firm, Contagious Companies. Monica has trained and coached thousands of managers on how to become better leaders, even if they are faced with difficult barriers, employees, bosses, or people. In fact, she wrote the book “Make Difficult People DISAPPEAR.”

Secret – timesaving technique

Monica keeps a list with four quadrants -- continuously get the information out of your head. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Connect regularly with people you want to do business with -- Monica makes phone calls to five people at least three times a week.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Monica got stabbed in the back by an employee -- and Monica tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"The ability to lead yourself as well -- if not better -- than you lead other people."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Keep trying -- even in the face of the failure -- success sometimes requires failure."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had set up a system for calling five people, three days a week sooner -- the human touch is so important.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Clearly and quickly understand the people that surround you in your workplace.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would show self-leadership, self-acceptance, and understanding of others.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Make three different lists -- What don't you want? -- What do you want? -- What would occur when what we want happens?
  2. Keep trying -- even if you hit a brick wall
  3. Take note of how far you've come

How best to connect with Monica:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 16, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.   Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner.

Since the advent of the commercial Internet, I have collected tens of thousands of data points that have given me the ability to identify what I call the 8 Money Draining Mistakes. These are the things -- the simple mistakes -- that can cause of business to leak serious money every single day. Cash being sucked right out of the company. I devoted last week’s solocast...episode 127...to taking you on a deep dive into the 8 Money Draining Mistakes.

But say you studied last week’s solocast -- and have taken corrective action and you have plugged all of the holes in the bottom of the boat. All of the leaks -- the money draining mistakes have been solved. Awesome!

The next step is to master and apply what I call the 8 Money Making Opportunities. These 8 opportunities are like a big outboard motor that you put onto the backend of the boat you just fixed -- and then you can zoom across the lake. These 8 opportunities are where ROI in your online marketing gets turbocharged.

So in today’s solocast, I am going to take you on a deep dive into the 8 Money Making Opportunities. But why take you on that journey?

On the Predictive ROI side of our business, I see it all the time: many business leaders feel overwhelmed by digital marketing or the strategies being applied by the people within their company. Business owners have told me that they often worry they’re not keeping up with the latest advances but fear looking foolish if they ask for help. After 20-years of academic research and private sector experience at Predictive ROI, we’ve developed proven and reliable ways to increase website traffic, leads, and sales. I am going to share the best of what we have with you right now.

And if you go to predictiveroi.com/3download you can get access to a private VIP video training series that I created -- it walks alongside of this solocast and provides and even deeper step-by-step process to follow. Each video is 100 percent free training -- I am standing at the whiteboard -- sketching out the recipes so you can put that into practice in your business straightaway.

So let’s dig into 8 Money Making Opportunities.

Money Making Opportunity #1: HARMONIZE OFFER WITH NEED.

The first money maker is adapted from what SUCCESS Magazine publisher Darren Hardy calls “the white knight strategy”.

Essentially, you take your X-Y-Z statement (for more on the X-Y-Z exercise, see Money Draining Mistake #2 in last week’s solocast) and then blend it with what you know about your client avatar (again, see Money Draining Mistake #5 for more on the client avatar strategy), and create a statement that shows prospects you have the solution to all their pain points.

That makes an empathetic connection with your clients and prospects.

Serve up your offer in a way that will inspire an emotional response from your client. For example, many of our clients have been burned by so-called experts, so we include a money back guarantee in our statement.

This gives people a sense of relief at the low risk involved in their decision to engage our team.

Use your new white knight statement in presentations, articles, proposals, books, training videos, or wherever you make an introduction to your company’s value.

Money Making Opportunity #2: BUILD YOUR LIST.

The most valuable asset of any business is the client list.

To build your list you’ve got to develop a screaming cool offer, such as a free pdf, video series, or exclusive audio insights podcast. The value you create must be massive.

Don’t hold back.

Share your expertise and keep it focused in the area of your XYZ statement. Then, feature this offer throughout your site for maximum distribution. One of the best tools for maximizing distribution is WP Popup Magic. It's very simple to use.

If your value exchange is truly valuable enough, 6 to 13 percent of the visitors to your site will give you their email address just to access what you’re offering.

Money Making Opportunity #3: NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS AND INCREASE SALES.

Once you have someone’s email, you can guide them into what John Jantsch, in his book "Duct Tape Marketing," calls “the know, like, and trust funnel.”

Email marketing is the most effective way to build trust relationships with prospects. By giving, giving, giving to your list through content distribution, you create well-prepared prospects.

Then when you offer something really awesome, like a discounted training program for a very limited time, you get immediate and intense conversions for huge revenue.

Make your list members feel like they’re in on an exclusive conversation, like they’re sitting around a campfire among only a select few.

When you send these Campfire Effect Emails™, you’ll be amazed at the response. Be sure to base your content on your client avatar’s pain points and your white knight statement.

campfire effect

Money Making Opportunity #4: NO-FRICTION LEAD GENERATION.

The form that visitors use to enter their email addresses needs to be in an environment that encourages trust.

What is your form next to on your homepage? Ads? Your blog roll?

Put that lead generating form next to a value exchange, such as an offer for a free download or video. You can even put your credentials adjacent to the form to help instill a sense of security in your qualifications as prospects hand over their contact information.

Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, my guest for episode 41 of Onward Nation, taught me a very valuable lesson about friction and lead generation. Flint is the director of MECLABS and Marketing Experiments -- the leading researchers in online marketing for the past 15 years. During our interview...he explained that in your optin forms -- every field you include beyond just email -- will reduce your conversion rate by 50 percent. Every field, Onward Nation.

Money Making Opportunity #5: CREATE ANTICIPATION.

You need to continuously seed and open loops to your sales message within your email funnel, blog posts, webinars, and presentations.

Within value based emails, be sure you’re not trying to sell anything. Just offer a tip—for example, one of 47 tips you have for increasing the value of your home. Deliver awesomeness one small piece at a time while mentioning that there are 47 tips total.

That opens a loop in their minds, and they’ll be more inclined to read your email next time to learn the next tip. You can also tease your upcoming events, planting a seed that you’ll expand on in a later email dedicated to promoting the event.

Money Making Opportunity #6: SOCIAL MEDIA DONE RIGHT.

When visitors come to your website from Facebook, Twitter, or other social network, your conversion rate increases dramatically.

In fact, social media visitors are 780 percent more likely to buy from you because they’re already social followers. This remarkable finding was part of my thesis at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I later took the data set, methodology, and result outcomes and had them published in the Journal of E-business...a peer reviewed academic journal. And then I included it in my second book, "Increase Online Sales through Viral Social Networking."

But why 780%? Because your connections -- your social media followers -- are further along in the know, like, and trust funnel than someone who finds you through a Google search.

We’ve found that if you post twice a day, morning and afternoon, you’ll get and retain the most followers.

Use our six to one ratio for posts: six professional or life posts for every one product or sales post. So create six posts related to events you’ve attended, awards you’ve received, blogs you’ve written, or vacations you’ve taken with your family. Let people get to know you.

Then write one post that invites followers to buy now, download an offer, or attend a webinar. Our studies show that this strategy will increase site traffic by 23 percent.

Money Making Opportunity #7: MULTIPLY CONVERSION RATE BY 200 TO 800%.

We strongly encourage our clients to use Adroll.com, the leaders in ad retargeting, or re-marketing as it’s oftentimes called. Retargeting your site visitors means that after someone has visited your site but not converted, they’ll see your ads as they click around to other sites.

These retargeted ads increase your conversion rates by 600 to 800 percent because they build on the familiarity prospects already have with your website.

But here is the most often made mistake when marketers create a retargeting campaign. Don’t use retargeting to sell. Instead, use retargeting to give! Promote the screaming cool value exchange that leads to an optin. You will experience a much higher conversion rate and your list will grow so you can develop a relationship over time.

Money Making Opportunity #8: AND FINALLY…CONDUCT A/B TESTING TO FURTHER INCREASE CONVERSION RATE.

Before you make any major change to your site code, conduct A/B testing to see which changes produce positive results in your conversion rate. Online programs like?

Visual Website Optimizer help you create a test in a few minutes. We have increased conversion rate by 200 percent through one A/B test. Remember to make one improvement at a time and see how your results change.

By incorporating the 8 Money Making Opportunities, you’ll increase leads, conversions, and revenue. A consistent, test-as-you-go method will allow you to see the power of various strategies and start seeing results right away.

None of these strategies require specific expertise—you can do this.

So with that...

I want to say again, thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

I will be back tomorrow with my interview with Monica Wofford -- another one of today’s top business owners.

Until then, onward with gusto!

You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 15, 2015

Bill Jelen is the host of MrExcel.com and the author of 49 books about Microsoft Excel including “Excel Gurus Gone Wild”, “Pivot Table Data Crunching”, and “Power Pivot Alchemy”. He has made over 80 guest appearances on TVs “Call for Help with Leo Laporte” and was voted guest of the year on the Computer America radio show. He writes the Excel column for Strategic Finance magazine and has produced over 1,900 episodes of his daily video podcast “Learn Excel from MrExcel.” Before founding MrExcel.com in 1998, Jelen spent twelve years "in the trenches", as a financial analyst for the accounting, finance, marketing, and operations departments of a publicly held company. Since then, his company automates Excel reports for hundreds of clients around the world. The website answers over 30,000 questions a year for free for readers all over the world.

Secret – timesaving technique

Bill gets his one or two most vital priorities before he ever opens his email -- email is a huge time-waster. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Write a book in pieces -- Bill writes a book in 120 pieces so that he can write a book in just four months.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Bill had to go broke printing extra copies of his fast-selling books -- and Bill tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"You need a $20 item."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"You have to simplify."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had realized that I didn't need to convert everyone into a customer -- you just need 1 out of every 100 or 1000.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Build content that answers someone's problem -- it's the beacon that allows them to find you.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be passionate -- they need to create a following for themselves.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Don't be afraid to conduct an informal survey -- your customers know what they want -- listen to them

How best to connect with Bill:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 14, 2015

With more than 25-years of experience in the marketing field, Lori Jones brings top retail, consumer product, business-to-business and non-profit organizations knowledge and experience in all aspects of integrated marketing. Her experience with Fortune 500 brands and entrepreneurial start-ups, enable her to contribute a keen understanding of the intricacies today's businesses. She has presented at numerous industry sales and marketing meetings and small business forums on topics such as "Selling on the Trade Show Floor, “Tips on Growing a Small Business in a Down Economy”, "Brand Differentiation", and more.   

Secret – timesaving technique

Lori gets up every morning at 4 AM -- schedule yourself alone time to think and strategize. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Have a synchronized approach to everything you do -- Lori has specific daily team meetings that help each team member do their work.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Lori had to fire her gorilla client -- and Lori tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Be a leader -- not a boss."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"I learn each and every day -- I never want you to stop learning."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had not lost sight in the value I bring in selling our business -- no one has my passion for this.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Integrate marketing solutions -- you can't put your eggs in one basket.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be innovative and gutsy -- they have to think outside of the box -- and the box is huge today.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Define what the end game is
  2. Make sure you are budgeting for marketing
  3. Surround yourself with loyalty

How best to connect with Lori:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 11, 2015

Randy Long grew up in a family of 6 kids. His dad was a pastor and his mom took care of the kids. His father pastored small churches and so Randy’s family had very little. That encouraged all of the family to work from early ages to buy what they needed, help out the household, and give back to the Lord. Randy worked for many self-employed people and this gave him a great respect for business owners and made him also want to become self-employed. So Randy went into business to provide services to business owners and their families. Randy has also practiced law but his primary focus today is running a business consulting company called Long Business Advisors, where Randy and his team coach business owners, provide BraveHeart Planning, and manage the sale of businesses for those who do not desire to transition their company to the next generation.

Secret – timesaving technique

Randy makes a list of the top three or four things he needs to do each day -- prioritize and do these things first. ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Don't leave out the important parts of your life -- Randy spends quality time with his wife and kids every day.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Randy had to split in a business and it drove away a huge portion of their clients -- and Randy tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Business owners need to be continuous learners -- and the need to encourage continuous learning."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"Specialists make more money than generalists."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had invested in systems that I could plug other professionals into so that they could see things the way I saw them.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Understand and discover the unique abilities of yourself and your team -- and exploit those abilities.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be self-managed, self-motivated, want to make the entire team successful, and think like an owner.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Work in a business that utilizes your own unique ability
  2. Build a team that utilizes that uses the team's unique abilities
  3. Realize that you and your team continuously need education

How best to connect with Randy:

  You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 10, 2015

Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius Inc., a presentation design agency with over 500 clients around the world. He is also a marketing and technology serial entrepreneur, having founded companies like Twenty6 Red, Jubaloo, RamAir International, SlideSuite, ShopStir, HF USA, and Juice Media.

Secret – timesaving technique

Rick optimizes his time by having his assistant handle the scheduling of his phone calls -- utilize what Rick calls "telephone efficiency." ONWARD!

Daily habit that contributes to success

Stop during the day and focus on your breathing -- Rick does this in five minute segments during the day as well during morning meditation.

Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Rick was heavily leveraged with his own personal capital in his company when the market collapsed -- and Rick tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

"Learn to pause -- business owners say 'yes' too often."

Most influential lesson learned from a mentor

"It's all about the people -- behind every CEO is tens or hundreds of thousands of good people."  

Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”

 

What systems would you go back and put into place sooner?

I wish I had pursued my business full time -- don't wait to put full energy into your business.

What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

Create an environment where employees can be themselves and have fun -- in a fear-based environment you'll never win.

How to exceed expectations and add the most value?

An individual would be persistent and hyper-focused on attention to detail.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Carve out a specific niche -- don't try to be everything to everybody
  2. Know your ideal your customer -- be equipped for them
  3. Focus on marketing first -- scale sales second

How best to connect with Rick:

You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

Dec 9, 2015

Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.

Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner.

In today’s solocast I am going to take you on an even deeper dive of the 8 Money Draining Mistakes than we have ever taken before. In previous solocasts I have singled out a mistake or two -- and gone pretty deep with the recipe on how to fix the mistake -- but today I am going to address all 8 mistakes.

On the Predictive ROI side of our business I see it all the time: Businesses that miss opportunities and waste money online.

Over the past 20 years of conducting academic research and working with clients in the private sector, we have collected tens of thousands of data points that show there are 8 areas where most companies misunderstand online consumer behavior.

These money draining mistakes cost you visitors, leads, conversions, and massive return on your online investment -- but rest assured, Onward Nation -- they are fixable.

So let’s dive into what I mean by the 8 Money Draining Mistakes -- and why they are fixable for any business.

I also created a free 3-part video training series that walks alongside of today’s episode that you can download at predictiveroi.com/3download.

Mistake #1. NO BASELINES OR S.M.A.R.T. GOALS.

Do you use Google analytics? If not, start now. It’s a dashboard that’s easy to understand, and best of all, it’s free. You’ll discover how many visitors are finding your site, how they’re finding it, and what they’re doing once they get there. From those

statistics, create a baseline for metrics like unique visitors and lead generation. Next, establish S.M.A.R.T. predictives. In Living Your Best Year Ever, Darren Hardy recommends setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T.— specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. Apply these qualifiers to your goals for measurements like lead generation and site traffic.

Mistake #2. LACK OF DISTINCTION.

What are you uniquely qualified to provide, and who are you providing it for? We walk all of our clients through an “XYZ exercise” to help them flesh out their value to potential clients. If you can’t clearly articulate why someone should visit your site and buy from you, how can you expect them to take any action?

Fill in the blanks of this XYZ statement: We do ____(x)_____ for _______(y)______ so they can ______(z)_____. Here’s a simple example for a bakery: “We bake quality, gluten-free treats for cookie lovers in University Park so they can enjoy sweets without getting sick.”

Now, post this statement on the left side of your homepage above the fold. (Only about 10 percent of visitors will scroll below that fold on any content page.) Visitors to your site will self-select, saying, “Yes, that’s me, and you have just what I’m looking for!”

Mistake #3. HIGH BOUNCE RATE.

When a visitor arrives at your site and immediately leaves without making a single click, that’s a bounce. The typical business website has a bounce rate between 50 and 60 percent. Your goal should be 30 percent or less.

A high bounce rate is the most expensive money drainer. Why? Let’s say you have the standard conversion rate of 2 to 4 percent, and your bounce rate is 50 to 60 percent. If you lowered your bounce rate to 30 percent and still converted 2 to 4 percent of your now 70 percent of visitors, you’d increase your revenue by 42 percent!

Getting your XYZ statement right will help reduce bounce rate. So will reducing visual clutter on your homepage to only three main elements. The Harvard Business Review recently published a story that said more choice results in less action by consumers.

So when you want them to act, be sure you have a clear call to action. Whether the next step is to sign up for a newsletter, register for a webinar, or buy now, make it easy to take. Think of the opt-in or buying process like leading someone down a garden path in the dark. You’ve got to point out each stepping stone as you go.

One of the free videos I prepared for you focuses specifically on bounce rate and the recipe for reducing it. You can access the video series at: predictiveroi.com/3download.

Mistake #4. SEO DONE POORLY.

Good SEO requires expanding your site’s meaningful content with these principles in mind:

Select predictive keywords that relate to your site’s themes and have proven performance on search engines. You can create a free account on SEObook.com and use their Keyword Selector Tool for keyword guidance. Look for a variety of niche keywords with 1 million or fewer competitors.

Then include keywords in your page titles, which are the links to your site in Google search results, in your meta keywords, and in your 23-words or less meta description (that sentence or two that runs under your page title on a Google results list).

Limit each page’s content to a single, meaningful topic and keep it between 500 to 1,000 words. Fewer than 500 words will prevent you from including enough keyword mentions, and more than 1,000 will lose visitors’ attention.

Mistake #5. NOT KNOWING YOUR CUSTOMER.

We’ve created two client avatars we call Sally and Harry. They’re ambitious business owners who are active learners. However, sometimes they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing — especially in the area of digital marketing. They’ve been burned in the past by self-proclaimed experts, and they yearn to trust someone who will deliver on promises.

Knowing this professional and emotional information about my clients has helped me serve them better and tailor my site content to meet their needs. To create your own client avatar, think of your best clients and then imagine their fears, worries, and needs.

Mistake #6. POOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

Use your new client avatar to evaluate your website. Is it easy to navigate for someone unfamiliar with your product, service, or industry? What is your visitor hoping to do the first time they visit? What about returning visitors? Insert easy-to-follow instructions, buttons, and other cues to guide visitors.

Mistake #7. TOO MUCH INSTITUTION SPEAK.

People want to do business with people. Avoid institutional language or industry jargon. Rather than impress your visitors, you’ll alienate them. Aim to make an emotional connection with your prospects, and let them know you’re human.

Mistake #8. AMBIGUOUS CALLS TO ACTION.

Have you been to a website and wanted to buy something but you can’t figure out how to give them money? It’s ridiculous. Customers shouldn’t have to wonder what the next step is or have to spend time searching for how to take it.

We’ve found time and again that by eliminating these 8 Money Drainers from your site, you’ll see improved analytics data and significant increases in revenue.

So with that...

I want to say again, thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here -- thank you for tuning in -- your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.

However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine -- I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.

And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is stephen@onwardnation.com -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.

So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

I will be back tomorrow with my interview with Rick Enrico -- another one of today’s top business owners.

The discussion with Rick is amazing -- and how they have built their company -- SlideGenius to 65 employees serving over 700 clients.

Until then, onward with gusto!

You can also find us here: ----- OnwardNation.com -----

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