She Was Only a Grocer’s Daughter … What’s Your Excuse?

Yes, I’ll agree, it’s a slightly provocative way to start … but something occurred to me as I stood there watching the funeral procession of Baroness Thatcher that really could provide a wakeup call to those who might feel they are stuck in something of a rut…

Whatever the problems of a woman trying to get herself taken seriously in the world of politics are now, they would have been far, far greater back in the 1950’s when Margaret Thatcher first put herself forward as a Conservative candidate … and also lacking the ‘background’ we might traditionally associate with MPs of that era … I’m sure most of us in her position would have written off our chances of ever becoming an MP, let alone PM.

But by this point she had already gone from her local primary school to winning scholarships first to the area’s most prestigious girl’s school, then to Oxford, put behind her a rejection from a promising career at ICI for being “headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated” before eventually qualifying as a barrister the same year she gave birth to twins…

You’ll agree, the only thing longer than the list of obstacles she faced was the list of things she achieved to overcome them.

Which brings me back to the question, if a grocers daughter from Grantham can overcome all of that to become a Prime Minister so significant that she was honoured with a state funeral, a funeral at which her children would sit side by side with the Queen … what on earth is standing in the way of you making a few quid online?

And I don’t mean this as a ‘buck up’ email (though I am expecting a few enraged replies from readers who think I do) what I mean is … what is stopping you? Take each thing you regard as an obstacle and look at it, and decide whether it really is a problem, or simply your perception of it?

It is moving away from the thought that ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ to the simple belief that following a certain series of steps, with an extraordinary amount of focus on following through to complete those steps, that will bring the outcome and results you desire …  almost regardless of who you are or where you are starting from…

So, if you think that doing what is necessary to succeed may be beyond you … just ask yourself if the distance you need to travel between where you are now and what you really want your life to be, is any greater than the distance travelled by Maggie from a grocers shop in Grantham to the front door of No.10 … and then get on with it.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

By The Way … If you are of the Twittering persuasion (or least would like to be), Social Media whizz Clair Trebes has written a guide which has got the definite thumbs up from my Minions (and not just because they are featured in it) 😉 It distances itself from the usual saturation tactics that typifies most manuals of this type, but concentrates instead on using Twitter as a tool to build and maintain relationships with your contacts … it is literally only a few pounds and well worth a read, especially if you’d like to have a ‘go’ at using Twitter, but don’t have a clue how to do it effectively.

Click Here Now To Get Clair Trebes’ Easy Twitter Guide

Why We Must Mark The Passing Of Greatness…

This week of course started with the sad news that Baroness Thatcher had passed away. Whether she was known in your household as ‘Thatcher the Milk Snatcher’, ‘The Iron Lady’ or just as  ‘Maggie’ … the impact she had on this country and its people during her decade or so as Prime Minister is undeniable, and is almost certainly a contributing factor to why you are reading this today.

I, naturally, make absolutely no apology for being a supporter of Mrs Thatcher’s policies during her time as PM … and I don’t just mean her magnificent leadership during the Falklands War or her very thorough ‘handbagging’ of those nasty little European types in Brussels over farm subsidies … but also the fact she steered Britain through a difficult period of great change not only to the industrial and political structure of this country but also to what people living here thought about themselves.

By this I mean that many who would otherwise have been restricted to a life living in state owned council housing, working for nationalised industries constricted by the disproportionately powerful unions instead had a right to buy their own home, and for what they earned to be defined by their own actions and not agreed on, en masse, on your behalf by a union.

The ethos (one we take for granted today) of being non-reliant on the state, institutions or unions, of stepping away from the crowd and taking responsibility for your own actions and reaping the rewards of doing so … all have their roots in that period when she was Prime Minister.

Of course I know that entrepreneurs existed for many years before 1979, but the ‘Thatcher Years’ saw a change in thinking that meant it was OK to start up on your own without being a ‘traitor to your class’, thinking you were ‘something special’ or having ‘ideas above your station’

I realise she was not everybody’s cup of tea but the quite frankly despicable, disgusting, cowardly halfwits who were throwing parties to ‘celebrate’ her passing really are beneath contempt … even those who do not count themselves among her greatest fans must be careful they do not blame her for simply being the one who was at the helm when the country had to be steered away from an unsustainable path … as we all know it is common for those who will not take responsibility for their own actions to blame those in power for their ills, and Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister was very powerful indeed.

So, if you agree with the tributes being paid to her or not … you cannot deny that a figure of enormous significance is no longer with us … you cannot deny the effect she has had on the way that you, someone who doesn’t want to blend in with the crowd, someone who doesn’t want the same life that gets doled out to everyone else, can now achieve those things … and you cannot deny her part in why you think that it can even be possible in the first place.

Until Next Time,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

In Three Months Time You Could Be Kicking Yourself … If You Don’t Do This Today

Tim LoweOne of the many things I was mulling over earlier was the way some of us manage to talk ourselves out of succeeding and how, when given enough time to ponder, will carry on asking more and more intricate and convoluted questions until we finally get a negative response … or instead of planning how to succeed will sit there and work out how it is ‘impossible’ to make something work (despite the fact that others might actually already be doing it).

As we all know, at the root of this kind of behavior is the fear of failure (because never starting means that you can never fail) and the longer we persist at it, the more highly evolved that behavior becomes until we actually no longer know we are doing it, we just never seem to get started with anything because things just ‘weren’t right’ or we ‘weren’t sure’

As someone who has seen that path walked by so many, and then seen the massive results that can be achieved once that behavior has been put to rest, I know how common a stumbling block it can be … and I also know that you can sit there with all the questions and calculations you like, but it basically comes down to this … you won’t know unless you try.

All The Best,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Why The Next Three Days Could Be The Most Important of Your Year…

I read a number of years ago that it was during the Easter Holidays that the most DIY was done in Britain’s homes, which is why I’ve always found it a good idea to book a short break around now to somewhere nice and warm, therefore putting as much distance as possible between myself and anything likely to need rubbing down, nailing up or painting back at Lowe Towers…

… and when you take into account that the Easter holidays are, by no coincidence, also the time of the most DIY related accidents, you’ll understand when I suggest you might not want to spend the weekend mucking about with power tools and maybe spend it doing something that ensures you finish the weekend with all the same bits you started it with. photo TimHead-1_zpseed67078.png

You see, Easter is also a good time to look back on what has been achieved so far this year, and decide whether or not to forge on with your plans exactly as they are, or if things need a bit of a ‘tweak’ depending on what has been learned since Xmas … and if what has been achieved in 2013 falls into the bracket between ‘not much’ and ‘nothing’ then I would urge you to get started right now … or you might not start at all.

You see, after Easter there is a steady progression of things that can stall your attempts to get off the ground … a brace of bank holidays in quick succession, early summer bringing the first ‘decent’ weekends of the year, then there’s family holidays, school summer holidays and before you know it, it’s nearly October and your thoughts are turning toward Christmas again … and, if you’re not careful, that’s another year gone.

So, whatever it is you have planned, whether it be a website or two, dipping your toe into sports trading or, like so many already have this year, making your first profits from Forex trading … now is the time to get things underway…

Oh… and if you’ve already got something sat on the shelf that is sitting there gathering dust that you just haven’t ‘got round’ to starting it yet, it might be worth remembering that I did that once … and when I finally opened it and got stuck in, it enabled me to make MASSIVE improvements to my lifestyle, and at the same time, gave me the ability to generate more profits than even I thought were possible

Have a great Easter,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

I Can Almost Guarantee You Weren’t Expecting This…

 photo tim_6-1_zps884bb6bd.pngStranger things have happened … but to be fair, not many…

Picture the scene … It’s a quietish Sunday morning at the gym, and the duty manager scans the room and carefully spots his target … he walks past the line of bending and stretching Lycra clad gym bunnies and instead approaches a stout, sturdily built even, chap on the treadmill … he clears his throat and says… “erm Tim…, ahem, would you mind if we put your photo on the gym advertising… we’d like you to be our ‘Gym Buck’?”

No, I won’t blame you for laughing – after all, I did… I mean, Tim Lowe, Millionaire (that was always the idea) or Tim Lowe, Inspired Marketer …? (On a good day, certainly) … but Tim Lowe, Gymnasium poster boy…?

Apparently it’s because I’ve gone from being very, very fat and unfit to merely fat and ‘quite fit actually all things considered’… lost a considerable number of inches off my waist, and shown the right attitude to training throughout.

I’m sure another reason is that not only do I look like a ‘real’ person, but maybe one that might usually have avoided the gym for want of looking daft, or thought that there was just so much to change that it wasn’t really worth starting…

That, of course, is a common problem – and not just when it comes to shifting a few pounds … for instance just a quick glance at my Facebook newsfeed (and if you’ve got ‘make money online’ or ‘internet marketing’ among your listed interests, you’ll know exactly what I mean) there are plenty of ‘sponsored stories’ popping up of slick, shiny, meticulously coiffured chaps with their high tech videos selling all manner of highly polished systems that would leave anybody who was entertaining the idea of making money online with the firm belief that they’re so far behind everybody else that they might as well not bother…

Now, during in my decade or so as part of our online community, it’s always been this way – there is always someone richer, faster or cleverer than you – and there always will be. Despite all this, the number of people making a living (if not a fortune) online increases every year. (and yes, some of them are the ones with the slick and shiny videos)

What they did first though, and the real key to their success was to get the basics right … basics like offering value, building a good relationship with their customers and following up on their promises…

So, I’m not guaranteeing that if you decide to get started today, you’ll find massive wealth and success online, not at all … one guarantee I will make  however, is that if you always sit there putting it off, finding reasons not to start, you will never, ever make a penny online.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Honour Has Been Restored … Normal Service Has Been Resumed…

Before I start I would like to announce that… ‘She Who Must…’ declared Thursday night’s steak excellent, as was the sauce … so honour has been restored and normal service has been resumed…

…and that, really, is the way it should be … after all it’s probably no secret that I go into everything with the real and genuine expectation that things will all work out very much as I had planned … and anything that doesn’t go to plan, like that rather unfortunate episode with the steak a week or so ago, is just a temporary glitch.

I would like to point out that this belief is not based purely on blind optimism or arrogance, because there’s a massive amount of preparation, research and testing that takes place before a project ever sees the light of day (and is also the reason why some projects never do)…

That’s not to say attitude isn’t a big factor too … for instance, if you take the reverse attitude to mine and see any success you have as the anomaly, and as soon as the inevitable glitch occurs, you believe it was ‘good while it lasted’, and now that things are going wrong they are ‘back to normal’ … if you ever do end up fixing any problems, it will not be with the expectation of success, but that more problems will be along soon.

So I would urge you then to ‘share’ my point of view … that if you prepare properly, (or are following a proven system) the expectation that things will go at least quite well is a perfectly sound one, and not at all fanciful or ‘airy fairy’. That being the case, any day it doesn’t quite go to plan is just a bump in the road rather than an apocalyptic event that will bring everything crashing down in a heap.

You will know that I don’t really go in for overused quotes or reeling off clichés like the one about getting back on the horse that throws you off, because you already know them, but I will close by saying that just because it’s been reduced to a cliché – it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. A quick mention on my Facebook Page, and that was it … the last Matt Fyles’ V-System has gone and the big ‘Sorry … SOLD OUT’ sign has gone up on the website. I know this means I’ll get at least two dozen emails from people who now want one, but I did promise Matt that was ‘it’ when these last few were snapped up…

And whilst those already enrolled with the V-System will continue to benefit from Matt’s knowledge, anyone else who would like to dip their toe into the world of sports trading will have to instead start with Matt’s ‘How To Be A Sports ProTrader’ book, which Lowedown readers can download for free here: http://www.sports-trading-success.com/

AITradesafe: When It’s Perfectly ‘Ordinary’ To Make £300 Before Breakfast…

I’m sure the world has gone quite mad … in the last twenty years or so, if steak
was required at Lowe Towers, it was cooked (with, may I modestly add, no small
amount of skill) by yours truly … and not once in those twenty years has any one
of those steaks, presented as they were in any one of a host of excellent sauces,
been greeted with anything but the most favourable of reactions…

However, the other evening, when I do have to admit I was the tiniest bit off my
game on the catering front … (which I must say, would normally not have been an
issue) and coming on the back of the previously mentioned ‘She Who Must…’ special
outing to that advanced cookery course … well, it brought forth a unprecedented
response that made me fear for her sanity…

“Darling,” I was told “I’m afraid this steak is a little under cooked for me … and
this sauce has just a touch too much salt in it” all I could offer by way of reply
was a stunned silence which was deepened further by the comment two minutes later
… “The wine was an excellent choice though, and it would have matched perfectly,
if only there had been the right amount of salt in that sauce”

Rather than subject her to the same series of stares, sighs and extended silences
that usually greet any of my helpful comments at the dinner table, I instead
resolved to write it off as a fit of madness, as it seems there’s quite a bit of it
about at the moment…

Take my friend Andy Ireland for example … whereas I’ve worked hard for the last
decade or so to build up a Multi-Million Pound business and am always set my sights
on getting the absolute most out of everything I do … Andy thinks it’s perfectly
OK to do a little bit of work in the morning and go out for the rest of the day,
happy to have made more than enough to live very comfortably, with no great desire
to make a fortune … well I ask you – what is the world coming to! 😉

As you may have heard, he’s developed a stunning new Forex trading template that
takes all the ‘nonsense’ out of trading in foreign currencies, he’s tailor-made it
for the ‘the ordinary man in the street’, just like him … and for that reason he’s
insisting that I tell you about the sort of return that is REALISTIC and genuinely
achievable by ‘normal’ people!

So whereas I would normally tell you how you could turn Andy’s system into a
fantastic regular income of around £8K a month, he’s having absolutely none of it
… instead I’ve got to tell you about how you can easily pocket daily returns of
£64 … £171 … £283 or even £303.

He said – “Tim, not everyone wants to be rich … most people would be happy with an
extra £1,000 … £700 … or even £500 a week, especially if they didn’t have to
give up what they’re doing now to get it…”

Regardless of whether you agree with Andy you can’t argue with the effectiveness of
his system … In fact, here’s a video diary Andy made for the first week of
February 2013 so you can see for yourself how simple and profitable the AITradesafe
template is to use. He took the same £300 that he recommends you start with and more
than trebled this money in a single week, turning £300 into £1028.77 with just 5
days of trading…

To watch the video and see what Andy’s system can do for you … go to
http://www.upto1000percent.com/video.php now

It really is so simple … all you need to know is that four lights of the same
colour indicate it’s time to open a trade (… you’ll see what I mean when you watch
the video) and as soon as one or more of those lights changes to the opposite
colour, that means the price is starting to move in the opposite direction and it’s
time to end the trade … and ‘sell’ for a profit.

To watch the video and see Andy turn £300 into £1028.77 with just 5 days of trading
… go to http://www.upto1000percent.com/video.php now

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Remember, Andy’s NOT claiming you’re going to be rich overnight … and he’s
certainly not claiming that you’ll be retiring in 6 months on £8K a month (…
although having seen AITradesafe in action, I still maintain you could be) … And
he’s most definitely NOT saying that you’ll be a Multi-millionaire trader within the
next 2 years…

What he is saying however is this … that he can genuinely show you how to make a
long term, substantial and sustainable additional income of £64 … £171 … £183
… £303 on top of what you’re earning now.

In other words, an income that will truly relieve you from the financial stresses
and strains that go with the lives of most ‘ordinary’ people nowadays …
http://www.upto1000percent.com/video.php

‘Be Reasonable’ … Why On Earth Would You Want To Do That?

In the office the other day, I was told by one of my team that I was not a reasonable person … now I’m sure you can imagine that normally, this would have been a career limiting decision, but I know the chap in question does have, to say the least, a slightly ‘sideways’ way of looking at things, so instead of taking ‘measures’ I merely asked him to explain himself…

It was put to me that a reasonable person probably wouldn’t have left their nice cosy corporate management job because they wanted something better … or believed they could take a business on that new ‘fandangled’ thing called the internet and generate the first £1M of sales in around 18 months.

Well, I have to admit, he did have a point – and it got me thinking…

I mean, we meet them all the time don’t we – those ‘reasonable’ people – they might be at work, a family member or friend, but we all know somebody who is aware that our ambitions go beyond what is ordinary, and they will go out of their way and do their level best to make sure we don’t get too ‘carried away’ with ourselves.

The trick of course, is to make sure that ‘reasonableness’ isn’t catching … you see, a reasonable person when told ‘nobody makes any money doing that’ might say ‘erm… yes, you’re right’ and in doing so subconsciously plot their path to eventual failure…

I’ve also know people be so ‘reasonable’ that they’ve spent time sitting down working out how something can’t possibly work, (ironically taking more time and effort than it would have taken to make it work in the first place) and talk themselves out of the kind of success that could have changed their lives for the better.

However … by telling you to be unreasonable, I don’t mean ‘be impossible’ … you cannot expect to make any money unless you have a structure in place that can generate cash, or are following a proven system that can make that happen … but once you have your hands on one (or better still, both) of those two things the biggest and often deciding factor is what you believe you can do with it.

Chances are, everything you’ve got so far, you’ve got by being reasonable … and if you’re not happy with what you’ve got, if it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough … then may I suggest you give being unreasonable a bit of a go instead…

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Success Online: How You Can Sell MORE By ‘Selling’ Less…

As you can imagine, when it comes to getting things done, I’m not exactly one for half measures. Over my time in business, however, and this business in particular – I’ve found that whist enthusiasm and commitment are essential parts of any success I’ve had … trying too hard has never worked out well at all…

It was something that was brought home to me this week as I lay on the Physio’s couch having various parts of my body manipulated so I sit, walk and stand without too much complaint – a condition I was told, that was the result of (wait for it) trying too hard in the gym.

Apparently I had ‘overdone it’ and put too much stress and strain on my back … so I left the Physio with a telling off, instructions to do ‘cardio only’ should I step into the gym  – and some interesting exercises to do every half hour…

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem (back at HQ I’d just sack anybody who laughed at me – only joking ;-)) but I was currently in the middle of London, with a couple of hours to kill before I was to meet up with ‘She Who Must…’ for Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall.

Bearing in mind my ‘new’ health regime I opted to spend the afternoon entirely surrounded by cheese at La Fromagerie 😉 before having to get up from my seat every thirty minutes at Cirque du Soleil to do my prescribed bending and stretching at the back of our box … though I’m sure you can imagine my own contortions weren’t quite as spectacular as those happening on the stage…

Of course trying too hard in your online endeavours can have more dire results than getting a few funny looks at the Albert Hall…

Imagine the situation … you’ve built a list, and have a good relationship with that list. You come across a great product that you think will be of great benefit to your subscribers – so you tell them about … and it sells like hotcakes.

The people who bought the product are, by and large, happy with it (or at least see the value of it, even if they haven’t followed through and completed the system) and as a result, you’ve seen some real financial benefit as well.

The temptation now, is to try too hard and do the same thing again the next week, only you don’t have another ‘great’ product lined up – so you pick one that’s just ‘OK’ … and because of your relationship with the list, this one will probably sell well too … but the reaction this time is very different … and this is when the trouble starts.

By trying too hard to squeeze some more money out of the list you have almost certainly damaged your relationship with your subscribers, something that will affect how they judge your recommendations in future, and ultimately how successful you will be online.

I know a lot of people will tell you that the way to make money online is to keep feeding your list every single affiliate offer that comes along, regardless of quality, in the hope that they will buy something before they get fed up with you and go somewhere else … but this is really, really, NOT the way to do it all.

Instead, I’m sure you will share my belief that the only real way to long term success online is not to treat people like a load of battery hens but to build long term lasting relationships based on mutual benefit…

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. If you have a WordPress site this could be the best $7 (or even $47) you ever spend … click here now.

Are You Overlooking The Most Vital Piece Of The Puzzle..?

Millionaire MindsetThere’s always something that escapes our attention or is overlooked.

Not because we don’t see it, but because something else has caught our eye instead, and quite frankly … we’d rather be doing that. 

It’s the unfashionable, unglamourous bit of every process … but it’s usually the bit that actually makes it all tick.

Developing the right mindset is never really looked as being as important as the next whizzy cash generating system … but for all that – it is one of the most essential pieces of the puzzle.

And, if you’ve tried a multitude of systems and you’re still not happy with your results … then would you consider that the right mindset might be exactly the one piece you are missing ?

That’s why, some years ago, I developed my ‘Super You’ programme.

It’s not new or revolutionary, just some well ordered common sense ideas you may not have come across yet…

It’s all explained without any hype or psychobabble and comes in the shape of a short manual for you to read … and there’s even a few bits to fill in (yes, I’m afraid minimal ‘homework’ is required) 😉 plus some stuff to watch which goes into detail about how it all works.

And That’s It.

I should also mention that it’s what I’ve used when I’ve got my best ever results … and almost without exception is used by my most successful students…

It’s a pound to give it a try … just a pound, which is probably less than it will cost me to send it to you.

If you don’t think it’s for you – just let me know, you can keep what I’ve sent you … and I’ll even give you your pound back.

If you see the value of it, just stay subscribed and I’ll pop the next part in the post every month for as long as you need it.

To get the simple strategies that increased my income, gave me more free time and dramatically reduced my stress levels working for you … click here now

To Your Success,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. If you find the links aren’t taking you where you think they should – please copy and paste the following link into the address bar of your broswer: http://www.2in100.com/

Making Money Online is DEAD … and Everything You Know is WRONG

I’m sure, just like me, you get emails from others in our Making Money Online community, including some of the ‘big names’ with the same sort of title as the one you’ve just opened decrying the state of things in the face of the current economy and greeting each Google slap or algorithm change as if it is the apocalypse itself … and I hope that, when you get these emails, just like me, you think they might be over-egging the situation a bit…

As damaging as these thing have been to the online industry, they have only, in the majority (but certainly not exclusively) affected those who have tried to repeatedly replace one quick fix with another, and then have to start from scratch again as one loophole after another closes around them.

The truth is, over the decade I’ve been in this business, I’ve tended to notice that those with a solid business model have weathered the inevitable changes and prospered much more than those with any amount of techie knowledge and no idea how to structure that into something that makes money.

So, if you haven’t taken the plunge into starting your online endeavours just yet because you think you lack the necessary  techie knowledge, or that you feel that the whole thing is moving a bit too fast for you to want to get on … I would ask you to take a moment to just consider the basics…

For instance … If you want to make money from a website, you need to ensure there are some means to actually make that happen, like a related product that can be sold to enough people who visit your site, or that your website niche attracts enough advertising revenue to make it pay…

I know that might sound obvious, but there are endless amounts of websites out there which look amazing, function perfectly, but are of interest to so few people (or are of interest to people with no money to spend) that it will never pay its way, let alone make the owner a fortune.

It’s the same with lists … they don’t have to be big, but they do need to have people on them who have money to spend. For example, one of my Minions (as my in-house team have christened themselves) could sit down and with twenty minutes of fiddling about, set something in motion that would  present you 24 hours later with a list of nearly 1000 names and email addresses  – all interested in making money on the internet, and only spend about £30 doing it.

Now this all sounds quite impressive … and the vast majority of people on that list will very receptive and appreciative of the information you give them, and therefore very worthy members of your list … but it is worth remembering that purely from a ‘Making Money Online’ point of view that these people would be somewhere where the relative standards of living are so different that they would almost certainly not be in a position to buy anything from you.

Remember, you can always get other people to do the techie stuff for you, and you’ll be constantly learning new ways and means of getting people to your site anyway … so rather than worrying about whether or not you can do either of those things, you need to make sure you know that, if you want to make money from your endeavours, how at a very basic level that will happen.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. NEW ADDITION TO THE APPROVED LIST … A natty little gadget that allows you to add sales pages and opt in (squeeze) pages to your WordPress site. It’s got some templates already installed which should help you create effective looking pages a lot quicker than you would otherwise.

The ‘Minions’ have already bought a copy which they are using on a couple of websites they are creating, and also to change some pages on their own site.

Of course there’s a website which outlines exactly with this can do for you, and you can see it all for yourself when you click here now.

Help!

The below freezing temperatures we are getting at the moment might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I prefer them, and the snow that comes with them, over the endless gloomy damp days we’ve had recently … though it must be said that earlier this week I might have been tempted to swap…

That morning, as I pulled up outside HQ and went to open my car door, I found that due to the weather the locking mechanism had frozen solid, and I couldn’t get out. The door was well and truly stuck, despite the attentions of all those summoned from their nice warm offices to come to my aid … however their efforts did manage to free the passenger door.

So, rather than be faced with the slightly ridiculous prospect of spending the day running my own business whilst stuck in a car parked outside it, I took the option of this alternative exit…

Now, this may seem like quite a simple task to many … but due to the large amount of bits and pieces there are to fiddle around with on a Range Rover, the console between the front seats is really quite substantial and provides the kind of obstacle that would give Jessica Ennis a few issues, so just imagine the challenge it presented for me…

Anyone at HQ looking out of their window at that moment would have seen me adopting a series of uncomfortable and unflattering positions as I attempted to clamber over to the passenger seat without impaling myself on any gadgetry, and treated to the rather unappetising sight of various bits of me squashed up against the windscreen in a most unflattering manner…

I think the only thing that could have been more undignified was if my back had seized up halfway through the whole sorry affair and left me stuck there with only the option of the emergency services cutting me out to look forward to.

Despite all this, I was actually in quite a receptive mood when two of my in-house team came to me with this idea…

Regular readers will know that my in-house team, in true tongue in cheek fashion, have christened themselves ‘Tim’s Minions’, and over the last year they have been filling their website (http://www.timsminions.com) full of tips, tricks ‘how to’ videos and other resources about blogging, internet marketing and making money online.

It receives thousands of visitors every month, and that number, along with the site itself is growing quite literally on a daily basis, and so it was decided that we should increase the number of advertising spaces available on the site and make them available to everybody.

Before this happens, however, what we’d like to do is give ‘Lowedown’ readers who have a website or service to advertise, first choice of the advertising spots … and at a fraction of the price anyone else would pay.

If this sounds like something you’d like to take advantage of, drop the Minions an email at timsminionstutorials@gmail.com for more details, preferably containing a proof of the ad you’d like to use.

To be fair to everybody, we can do this for anyone who gets in contact before the end of the month, but then as February starts we’ll open any remaining spaces to everybody else … so if you wanted to take advantage of this, I would suggest you do it sooner rather than later.

All The Best,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Online Success, Vulcan Salutes and The Ability To Clench One Buttock…

So, what is it that the Vulcan Salute (you know, that funny thing they do in Star Trek with their fingers) and the ability to clench one buttock at a time (I’ll have to go into more detail about how I discovered this another time) have in common…?

Well, for a start I can’t do either of them…

Rest assured, my inadequacies are not limited to just these two things. I’m sure regular readers will recall my tales of the list that is kept at ‘Lowe Towers’ of things I’m not very good at … it is updated on an almost daily basis by ‘She Who Must…’ and it must now run into several volumes…

Now I come to think of it, it’s the things I’m NOT very good at that have actually helped to define the level of success I have enjoyed…

Let me explain … when it comes to getting online success, you can’t do everything … which is actually quite good news … because, like me, the chances are you won’t be any good at quite a lot of it…

Which is fair enough, really … after all, if you were doing major work on your house you’d get a plasterer to do the plastering, an electrician to do the electrics and so on, instead of just diving in yourself with no knowledge or experience … because if you did you’d stand a very good chance that your online business will resemble one of those houses you see on those ‘DIY Disaster’ type TV programs…

Since the advent of fiverr.com it hasn’t been that expensive to get things done for you either (if you recall a couple of months ago I mentioned you could get a website set up and ready for less than £25 with no more than the merest inkling of techie knowledge) so there really shouldn’t be any reason for you NOT to be online…

You don’t have to be expert at everything to get started online, you just need to be clear about what you want to acheive … play to your strengths and get the bits you’re not very good at done for you by people who know what they’re doing…

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Discover the Missing Link Between You And Your Success

Let me start by wishing you a very happy 2013 … I hope you have had a great start to the year so far, and that unlike some here at ‘HQ’ … at least one or two of your New Year’s resolutions still remain unbroken…

I’m sure you’ll agree with the suggestion that so many resolutions aren’t kept, not because we pick the wrong changes to make (in fact they are usually exactly the right things to change) but that we go about making those changes in entirely the wrong way…

The same can be true of what we do online … we see other people getting better results doing what we perceive to be exactly the same thing as we are, and often attribute this difference to ‘luck’ or some divine force beyond our control … and as a result are not entirely welcoming to suggestions we make some changes to the way we go about it all…

Like everybody else I had the same problem, in fact for me it wasn’t that I was getting poor results, (in fact by many standards I was getting good results) and because I was doing quite well I wasn’t willing to believe there was another way of doing it that meant I might improve that success … which turned out to be a very costly decision indeed.

In fact, if I had started implementing this new programme when I first came across it instead of leaving it on the shelf for many months … I would be several million pounds better off.

You see, when I finally blew the dust off of this and started putting into practice what I read … my business skyrocketed to a level even I was not sure I could achieve.

Let me explain … even if we ignore the other benefits like considerably decreased stress levels and more time to do the things I want, and reduce it down to just numbers … in the five years before I used these techniques I managed to bank £5m … and in the five years since then I have made over £13m

I must stress that this is not a cash creating system or online business in itself … but a programme that allows you, just like me,  to get the absolute most out of anything and everything you are doing … and that even includes re-visiting things you might have previously abandoned – only this time get entirely different results altogether…

You could find this, just like I did, to be the ‘missing link’ between your current level of success (even if you think it’s none at all) and the kind of life you originally pictured for yourself and your family when you first decided to start your online endeavours.

Remember, this is the specific formula I have used to transform my life and to read the whole story of how I discovered this formula, and how you can reap the same benefits yourself can be found here… click here now

To Your Success,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t want price to be a barrier to you unlocking your potential … so, if you are truly willing to take action, I can let you get started today for just one poundclick here now

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Just a bit of fun put together by my team here at HQ … hope it raises a smile or two…

Twas the night before Christmas, and there in his house
Still some chap sat working, just clicking his mouse.
Then from above came a terrible din,
and he looked at the roof, just in case it fell in.
He found not a sleigh but a super charged car
And a pink-shirted man who had come from afar

Quite round and jolly, with glasses and beard
But no, not in a red suit, (‘cos that would be weird)
He said “Bloody Sat-Nav … this isn’t Lowe Towers…
Now I won’t be back home for another four hours”
As regular readers I think we all know,
That this wasn’t Santa … but some chap called Tim Lowe

The man recognised Tim and said with a cough
(As if he was thinking he would get told off)
“I should be sat downstairs enjoying a beer
But I’m hiding upstairs ‘cos the in-laws are here…
They keep on complaining I’m wasting my time
That I’m useless and won’t make a penny online”

So Tim turned and said “well then, show me your site
Get it fixed up in no time – and working just right….
So Tim sighed and prodded the small laptop screen
And said “Right – move that up to there, and then that in between…”
The man pressed ‘upload’ and then true to Tim’s word
The laptop went ‘bing’ as the first sale occurred…

The man stood and stared as the orders came in,
and then turned around as Tim said with a grin…
“I have to rush now or I’ll be far too late
Or else She Who Must… might end up in a state
I’ll be for the high-jump and that’s never good
I’ll get no Red Wine or any Roast Spuds !!”

So Tim leapt to his car (it’s those trips to the gym)
and waved to the man as he strapped himself in
“It will all work out fine so be of good cheer…
And wait ’til you see what is coming next year”
Then with a flash of Range Rover headlights
shouted “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year from myself, the Minons and everyone else at HQ and Lowe Towers…

Until 2013,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

However You Dress It Up … There Is Just No Substitute For Planning

Last Saturday saw the ‘office’ Christmas Party in full swing, hosted as usual, somewhere ‘stately’ a few miles south of HQ. I really enjoy it as it’s a chance to celebrate with everybody that works for me, or closely with me and is especially popular, particularly in the last couple of years when we have dispensed with dickie bows and ball gowns in favour of Fancy Dress … this year’s theme being ‘Shakespeare’

Mentions in dispatches must of course be made of the  chap who turned up in a dress … the rationale (he said anyway) 😉 being of course that in Shakespearean times the parts, both male and female  – were played by men … but any awards would have been won by the chap who turned up as ‘Yorick’ and who had used stage make-up to create a very special effect indeed.

I like to think I made a quite convincing Shylock thanks in no small part to the quite magnificent costume from Haslemere wardrobe (in fact great minds think alike as many of the guests had gone there seeking Shakespearean garb) and I am always very impressed by the effort put in by everybody who had both the time and talent to put together something themselves.

The rather excellent meal was followed by what could be broadly classed as dancing, also referred to by myself as ‘cavorting’ … but, given the evidence, most accurately described as ‘movements inspired by alcohol’ … I myself took full advantage of almost everything the DJ chose to play … though had he included ‘Gangham Style’ I fear my Monday morning mercy dash to the physio for emergency back repairs would have been even worse…

It was agreed by everybody (including those who don’t usually agree with me) that the whole thing was an unqualified success … so I shall start planning next year’s Xmas Party as I started planning this years … in May.

Now, before you start putting me in the same bracket as those who will buy next year’s Christmas presents in the January sales, please remember that it takes time to ensure you’ve covered all the small details like picking the correct wines to go with each course …  but still allowing enough flexibility to accomodate anything as magnificently spontaneous as an award winning soprano and a man with a bad cold duetting on ‘Baby it’s cold outside’…

I always aim to build the same components into everything I do in business and particularly online. I already know what projects I will be undertaking next year, when and where they will be available, because they were planned well in advance and have in some cases have already been under development for a couple of months.

However … if something new comes along next year that I feel can really make a difference to the way we all make money online, there is enough flexibility built into the plan that things can be moved around to accomodate it.

So the message then, is to take advantage of the time you have now to plan what you are doing in the first few months of next year … to plan in enough detail so that something small doesn’t catch you out … but to make your plan flexible enough that you can put some or all of it back a week or two in case you need to transfer your time and energies make the absolute most of anything that goes really well.

All The Best,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Some Good News … And Something That Shouldn’t Be News At All…

Last week of course we had the news that Will and Kate were expecting their first child… and whist congratulations are undoubtedly due to the proud parents to be … and yes it is really good to see good news in the papers … the actual reporting of the event had very little to comend it…

Although the statement regarding the happy event actually contained very few words … the acres of newsprint generated by it in the newspapers was really quite breathtaking. This would have been fine if any of it had actually contained anything of substance but instead, what facts existed were stretched gossamer thin over the first six pages of most of the tabloids.

In fact while passing a newstand I noticed that one of the bullet points beneath the headline on a particular newspaper stated that ‘baby will be monarch’ a fact that I hoped would have been blindingly obvious even to the target readership of the newspaper in question…

Unfortunately this kind of behavior of taking the tiniest bit of new information and then squeezing out reams of shallow content is not restricted to the media … for instance how soon after a new website is deemed to be the latest internet sensation will you get an email from somebody in our industry telling you that very website is the answer to everybody’s problems…

Of course, you can then set the stopwatch running to see how long it takes for the next email to arrive … this one of course offering you a product based on making money using that same website or trend…

I’m most certainly not suggesting that this kind of tactic is any sort of ‘scam’ (a word that these days seems to get used in place of ‘not what I thought it was’) but the repetitive, machine like way these products are rolled out would suggest that there can only be a limited amount of original content going into them…

What is probably the case with most (though not all) of the things that fall into this bracket, is that the ‘meat’ or the product is a repeat of the usual ‘make money online’ principles that we all know (or at least should know) with a bit tagged on the beginning about using whatever the latest phenomenon is as a traffic source.

In that respect, at least, they are certainly correct … because although the ways of getting people to your ‘place’ on the internet (website, Facebook page or whatever) may vary greatly over time … the actual basics of what happens when they get there (ie, email capture and subsquent offers, presenting content surrounded by relavent advertising – or both) is really quite unchanged no matter what has come along as the latest craze, popular website or internet sensation…

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

My ‘Approved’ List…

It’s ‘Nurse Tim’ time again … not content with being bed-bound (or more accurately sofa-bound) earlier this year … ‘She Who Must…’ has spent the last week with her foot in plaster after having an accident at the gym.

Now, before there is a massive outpouring of sympathy, I would like to point out that the injury occurred whilst in the gym’s coffee shop, waving to a friend, and at no point did Mrs Lowe come within a dozen yards of any equipment liable to involve breaking a sweat.

After the swelling had gone down a little, the hospital replaced the temporary plaster with one of those inflatable boot thingies you see footballers wearing when something untoward happens to a metatarsal … it seems you can take it off for showering and suchlike, and also check how the healing process is going by leaving it off and putting a little weight on the foot.

This was quite a shame really, because had it been a ‘proper’ plaster cast, I was looking forward to writing something ‘appropriate’ on it, somewhere ‘She Who Must…’ could neither read it or reach it to rub it out 😉

As long-time readers of the Lowedown will know I have for many years been a wearer of, and advocate for, Church’s Brogues … a choice that has always not met with universal approval back at Lowe Towers … so when the doctor announced that as part of the ‘She Who Must…’  long term recuperation process, some sturdy footwear would be required – naturally I put forward my recommendation…

The doctor, being a sound chap, of course agreed with me and so I immediately (and, to be fair, once or twice since) ;-), had the pleasure of informing my wife that my choice of footwear was not only my own … it was actually medically approved 😉

I’m always keen to share my good experiences … and although I’m sure you would also find Church’s footwear to be an excellent choice … this is an online newsletter so I thought it would be best to compile a list to good things I have found online … (so, if you want to find out which brand of sausage I prefer, you will have to email me) 😉

‘The Approved List’ is NOT a list of ‘Make Money’ systems … instead it is a list of resources, websites & useful tools I have either used in building my own business or at least wished were around when I first started … it’s completely free for you to access, and will, of course, be updated as and when I find something I think is good enough to add.

You can find the list here: http://timloweblog.com/tim-lowes-approved-list/ and I would urge you to take a look, as you may well find the solution to the very thing that is holding you back could be just a few clicks away…

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Why ‘Black Friday’ And ‘Cyber Monday’ Are Not Just For Christmas…

I read the other day that people in general have a tendency to overestimate the chances of very unlikely things happening, like a lottery win, plane crash or being hit by a meteorite but in comparison massively underestimate the chances of more everyday occurrences such as being involved in a car accident.

This is because we tend to downplay the risks involved in things we are familiar with – just because we do them everyday … whereas, when something that is perceived as new and different comes along, we will quite happily believe almost any old nonsense about it because we lack that same familiarity.

For instance, if you went back ten years and asked about buying Xmas presents online, you would probably be greeted with sharp intakes of breath, mutterings about scams and credit card fraud whilst they battled the crush at the shops, then sat in traffic for half an hour just to get out of the car park (provided they could find a space in the first place).

Jump forward to this year and early indicators are that, so far at least, as many people have bought online as have physically been to the shops for their presents (and this includes the millions spent on ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’) which I’m sure you’ll agree is a massive change in peoples shopping habits, brought about mainly by a gradual change in attitude that online shopping is now safe to do.

Why is this? well, as more people, either through choice or necessity found that when they bought something online it usually arrived with a minimum of fuss, and their bank account details did not magically appear in the public domain for all to exploit … meaning that the tales of getting a really good bargain online eventually outnumbered the horror stories, until online shopping has become a normal, everyday thing it is to do.

I’m sure you encountered similar waves of negativity when you first decided to start making money online, that everybody you encountered had a horror story to tell you, and that “you’ll never make any money doing that” … but the fact of the matter is that a larger and larger part of the population are now making a either a full or part time income working from home and using the internet.

Of course there’s the ‘Direct Marketing’ aspect to making money online … the current problem is that those who will try and talk you out of your online ambitions (for your own good, naturally) think that is all there is…

Not counting the people who trade online whether it be stocks, Forex or sports trading, there are also those that make a healthy income from the advertising on their website or blog – not actually selling anything at all – just reaping the benefits of providing something that others what to view … something that many TV channels have been doing for half a century.

It might be worth keeping in the back of your mind then, that while we are currently very much in the minority, those who are making a living online are on the increase, and in just a few years from now opening the laptop and starting work will probably be just as common as getting in the car and going to the office, (only much, much more desirable).

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. There’s another way people are making money online that I hadn’t mentioned – I think mostly because my Minion covered it so well on this piece here: http://www.timsminions.com/931/buy-and-sell-website/# 

Don’t Use A Dozen Different Ways To Say Nothing At All…

Tim Lowe Blog

This week saw me taking a trip to Glasgow, for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with business and everything to do with attending a very good friend’s party. Those of you familiar with Glasgow will know that architecturally it is quite like Bath in places … and rather like Beirut in others – and it was the desire not to drive through these more ‘colourful’ parts of the city coupled with the fact I was travelling on a Friday afternoon and didn’t want to be late … that I decided to fly.

Given my track record with airlines recently, I really should have known better, so it was with very little surprise that on arrival at the airport, I discovered the flight was delayed due to fog and spent several hours with nothing to distract me except a decidedly sub-standard burger and watching some poor devil being tutored (or was it tortured?) 😉 by his offspring on the finer points of that ghastly ‘Gangham Style’ dance…

There was, of course, an ironically named ‘information desk’, the staff behind which could do little but point me in direction of a board which read ‘next information at 7.30’ … then at the appointed time announced nothing but instead simply changed to ‘next information at 8.00’…

Now, I know we are all a lot happier when regularly updated with information, and investing in the provision of various channels and mediums to communicate that information is actually a very laudable use of time and money … but it all goes to waste if you do not have also a structure in place that can actually provide the information in the first place.

We would have swapped all the shiny electronic boards, designer desks, iPhone apps Facebook updates and all the other hi-tech ways we were being told nothing for just one of the people on the information desk to have phoned upstairs and asked “Is it still too foggy? – OK. When will you be reviewing the situation again?” … and then let us know.

It’s the same when you do things online … you will be advised to have a dozen or so ways to communicate with your contacts … and yes, I would even say the same … with the one caveat that before you go to all that time and effort you first ensure you have something useful to tell them…

By this I don’t mean communicating every time you buy a coffee, (we are all bombarded with enough of the tedious minutiae of other peoples’ lives as it is), or asking them every five minutes to look at your product without giving them an extra reason to do so … but instead only send them the type of information they actually asked you for when they joined your newsletter or bought one of your products.

It must be very tempting when you see other people online, some of whom you might consider your competitors, updating, tweeting and posting an innumerable amount of times each day to feel you have to try and keep up with them, but if you are just making noise for the sake of it, it will be spotted a mile off.

Better then, to wait until you actually have something worth saying … your message will have extra weight and gravity and stand out among the ‘background noise’ of those going on incessantly about  not very much at all…

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Your Passport To Building The Perfect Google Friendly Site?

Another flight, another encounter with perfectly coiffeured, perma-tanned ‘rules are rules’ daftness … and whilst I’m sure not everybody’s flights turn out like mine … the question is – why do they seem to save them up for me…?

This time though, I was for the most part a concerned observer, with the real person at the receiving end of this particular piece of corporate stupidity being an older lady who wanted to do nothing more disruptive than buy some hand cream.

After processing her card details, the flight attendant wanted to see her passport before letting her have the cream, as an anti-fraud measure. The lady asked why she had to prove who she was yet again, as they checked her passport on the way in, was sitting in the seat that the passenger manifest said was for her, and used a credit card with her name on it, which by the way, payment had already been taken from…

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Even in the face of this overwhelming amount of common sense, the flight attendant was adamant – it was the ‘rules’ … so the lady had no choice but to get the passport out of her bag. Now, due to some inconsiderate halfwit filling up the overhead storage, her bag (as well as being quite heavy) was about three rows further down (I knew this because I put it up there for her, a chivalrous act that immediately took its toll on my back)

It also turned out due to health and safety ‘rules’ it was perfectly OK for a rather diminutive pensioner to struggle to even reach her heavy bag,  but the taller, younger, fitter flight attendant could only watch her … but eventually with the aid of a fellow passenger the bag was retreived, the passport shown, and content that he had made world a safer and more secure place, the flight attendant finally presented the lady with her cream.

It was only the fact that I had promised ‘She Who Must…’ to beon my very best behaviour that I  did not take the now very smug looking flight attendant to one side and ‘explain’ to that rules were there for a reason and not their own sake and if the reason evidently did not apply, then neither should the rule …

The exact same kind of inappropriate or blanket application of unnecessary rules is something of a specialist subject for the world’s largest search engine, and they appear to have excelled themselves with their latest algorithm change, one that could see a major impact on the online fortunes of many people reading this…

This latest moving of the goalposts was instigated to trump affiliate marketers who deliberately create sites which have the domain name matching a certain product, which, as you would imagine, would help the site to appear on the first page of Google for anyone searching for that product.

An ‘exact match’ site like would have been a very Google Friendly Site and would include affiliate links to the product on Amazon, Clickbank or wherever that particular product was being sold … and would earn a commission for every time someone visited the site, clicked through the link and bought the item.

Many of these sites offer no ‘real’ content (usually just a ‘mock’ review) is based around only one item and was constructed for the sole purpose of appearing on the first page of Google and cashing in on free traffic and affiliate commissions.

As you can imagine, this does not sit well with Google as they want to (they say at least) offer the best and relevant content for their users … so they have done what looks like a ‘blanket’ cull on the first page ranking of a huge amount of sites with matching domain names…

What will this do to stop affiliates manipulating the way Google rank sites to their own ends? In truth, not a lot … in fact what Google have actually done, just like that small minded flight attendant demanding to see the passport, is invented another way of making a simple thing much harder…

You see, the people with a vested interest in bucking the Google system are already putting time and effort into working out what the absolute minimum ‘acceptable’ new standard will be, and building Google friendly affiliate sites accordingly, so in a few months the results page will be just as full of affiliate sites as it was a few weeks before Google wielded the axe…

The ones that actually will suffer will be those who offered their visitors good quality relevant content – albeit in small amounts (bigger sites with lots of content should be largely unaffected) … and because they sensibly decided to use the most relevant domain name for their website … they now stand a good chance of being penalised by Google’s latest masterstroke…

The Logical Answer To All Of Those Annoying Little Problems (And a Couple Of The Big Ones Too)

As part of my new (mostly) healthy Stoutness Reduction Programme I have, in addition to my sessions with my personal trainer – a splendid chap who, after putting me through my paces allows me to punch him repeatedly (don’t worry he’s all padded up and it’s all part of the workout) 😉 I have, at the recommendation of my office manager, booked myself a series of Pilates sessions…

Luckily, (or unluckily) my first lesson did not place me in a room full of lycra-clad ‘Yummy Mummys’ trying to fold themselves in half but instead was a one-on-one with my instructor who had me lie on the ground and think about movements I was about to perform (exactly my kind of exercise)

The reason for this, I was told, was that my turbulent back is not being helped by using some of the wrong muscles for just everyday moving about (and even just standing still) – apparently we all do it to some extent and it’s just that my slightly fuller figure has exacerbated the situation … and I was lying there focussing on, and then exercising to strengthen, the muscles I really should be using … which ought to help the problem.

This was all explained for the rather logical reason that by telling me how the problem occurred, it would also explain why the solution that was proposed was going to work. Now I really like that kind of logic … but it doesn’t seem to apply everywhere…

When things aren’t working out online, but you don’t know what the problem is, you can spend a lot of time (and money) you haven’t got trying find the root cause or end up spending a fortune on a solution that may not be right for your site, or just wasn’t designed to solve the exact problem you’ve got.

This is why I should remind you that, as Lowedown readers you have access to my own in-house team (who as you probably know have, in true tongue in cheek style, christened themselves ‘Tim’s Minions’) who can look at your site and let you know what the problem is, and also provide a helpful solution or two.

If you could have a list of your keywords to hand and some traffic figures from your hosting, Google analytics (or whatever plug-in you are using on your blog) that will probably speed up the process … and you can get hold of them, not by emailing me  – but direct at their own website: http://www.timsminions.com/contact-us/ or by email at email here timsminionstutorials@gmail.com

Also, if you did want to start your own cash generating website, but did not have the first clue where to begin … please feel free to pick their brains on how to get the ball rolling. Remember, this is a free service for Lowedown readers (and you could probably do worse than signing up for the Minions free newsletter as well) so the advice won’t cost you a penny…

All The Best,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

What To Do When Your Life Is Made Up Of More Than 140 Characters

I have just returned from a particularly fine break with ‘She Who Must…’ pottering around on the Queen Mary. All the things I look for in a cruise were quite literally well catered for, and it also allowed me to engage in my favourite hobby of observing and marvelling at the eccentricities of others…

These included an especially posh lady who had her own special way with members of the crew “I’d like a sandwich … A SANDWICH – do you understand?” or “I asked for Mint Sauce … THIS is just vinegar with green stuff in it” and my personal favourite “My hair is getting messed up … tell the Captain he is going TOO FAST”

Her fellow guests were not excused either … most particularly when she got up from her seat, descended on two chaps on the next table with a very loud ‘Do I KNOW you’ and when faced with nervous headshakes and stuttered denials, simply muttered ‘Oh’ and returned to her meal without a single word of explanation.

Of course I simply adore this kind of behaviour, and if I was a ‘tweeting’ person perhaps I would have kept a running commentary on what was going on … ‘tweeting’ regular updates for things like ‘Just seen one of the country’s top bankers stand up, and it seems his back is every bit as turbulent as mine’ may be fine for some – it isn’t really ‘me’ at all…

Although I may come back and write about it afterwards, I am very conscious of the fact that my lifestyle gives me the opportunity to experience things that many others would love to experience … and I don’t think I would be doing that opportunity justice by repeatedly reporting on my own life in real time instead of soaking up everything that experience has to offer.

Not only that, given some recent very high profile incidents of how much can go wrong with an ill advised tweet, and given my track record with upsetting people who are a) needlessly aloof, b) terminally half witted and c) American (three categories which seem to make up a good deal of the people on Twitter) I have for a long time decided only to tweet when I am updating my blog…

You see, whilst the 140 character limit may be about right for getting your point across it does not allow you to put that point in any kind of context … which can lead to the kind of misinterpretations that can be extremely damaging both financially and in the long term relationship with your customers.

However, even if like me, Twitter is not a perfect fit for you personally … for some business projects it can be considerably more useful. I know I am sometimes accused of underestimating the power of Twitter, but the reality is that I believe in using it only where it is the most appropriate way to communicate.

To illustrate this point further, my ‘Minions’ have put together a short video showing you the benefits of a great little tool we’ve been using for quite a while to build up a Twitter following on some other projects … it works mostly on autopilot, doing all the following and un-following for you, leaving you free to just do the tweets – and you can even schedule those in advance if you want … click here to watch the video

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

The World According To Neville…

During a lunchtime ‘Stoutness Reduction’ stroll around the grounds of the Abbey ruin adjacent to HQ, I had the type of encounter that will came as no surprise to long time Lowedown readers who recall my uncanny knack of being able to attract the only ‘nutter’ for miles around…

I just happened to stop for a moment, and up popped this chap who, after we exchanged some initial pleasantries, I managed to establish was called Neville …  and as the conversation proceeded, I couldn’t help but challenge him on the rather conspicuous nature of his ‘roll-up’

Luckily, the aforementioned ‘roll-up’ turned to be of inexpert rather than illegal construction, but I’d obviously touched some kind of nerve, as during the next five minutes I was treated to ‘the World according to Neville’…

He informed me (and this is just the highlights) that smoking wasn’t bad for you at all, tar and nicotine only stayed in the body for three weeks and that all the ‘bad press’ attached to smoking was something merely made up by the government to keep us all subjugated … and by smoking he was actually standing up for his rights and rebelling.

Now of course this is utter rubbish and I wouldn’t normally give space to such utterances except it occurred to me on the way back to the office … what if Neville had got it in his head to go and build a website to spread his word to others … surely nobody would give it the time of day – would they ?

Well … the ‘Anti Alien Abduction Helmet’ site we discovered last year is proof that any idea, as far-fetched as it may seem, will at some point across the massive reach of the internet encounter others on the same wavelength who will back up their theories…

You see, it has always amazed me that whereas what you, I and all the other people in our industry say on the internet is constantly under the strictest scrutiny from those in authority … it seems it can often be completely fine to build a website spouting any load of nonsense you like.

The level of anonymity that it is possible to achieve on the internet, coupled with the fact that many people seem to put the normal level of common sense they exercise in normal life to one side when searching on the internet … means that the amount of ‘total bobbins’ that gets viewed is utterly breathtaking.

It is for this reason that a disproportionate amount of credibility is given to some of the ‘Nevilles’ of this world on the basis that ‘they wouldn’t have gone to the effort of putting it on a website if it wasn’t true’ … when instead what we could (or maybe should) be asking is this …  is the internet, with the anonymity it offers – the only place they dare say it…?

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Its Making Money Online … But Not As We Know It…

As a result of the inevitable domestic ‘errands’ that seem to pile up from spending even just a couple of days away from Lowe Towers, and an attempt to get the Stoutness Reduction Programme back on track after a particularly fine meal while I was away … I know I cannot be alone in thinking my weekend seems to be over far too quickly…

Now, The Stoutness Reduction Programme may surprise many long-time ‘Lowedown’ readers …  but what may offer an even greater surprise is the fact that I’ve also engaged the services of a personal trainer.

He is not there merely as some at ‘HQ’ have said ‘to take me for a walk’ (ironically, if you had seen who had come up with this ‘quip’ you might think they would benefit from a good few laps around the grounds themselves) but to make sure I get the absolute maximum from my time in the gym, and without whom I would probably waste a fair amount of time scratching my head over what to many can look like medieval torture devices…

Of course, getting people to help you achieve the results you could not on your own is not a new idea to the Online Industry by any means (nor is it a new subject to the ‘Lowedown’) but during my couple of days away I met a chap who effectively uses a ‘twist’ on the usual ‘gun for hire’ method that we are more familiar with.

Via such portals as Elance, ODesk and the wonderfully cheap and cheerful Fiverr.com, we would usually just get a single job done, like an article or graphic (or that handy list of jobs I covered a couple of weeks ago)  but what this chap has done he has used those same portals to find himself a potential candidate, then trained from scratch the person to do a particular task for him, and builds a relationship with them so they know exactly what they are expected to do, as and when they are required to do it.

Now, confidentiality forbids me from telling you what this particular thing is, but think for a moment how this principle can be applied to what you are doing online … the reason I say this is that with that level of relationship in place you could not only get little things done, but also outsource the bigger things like niche research ?

Picking the right niche is at the absolute root of building an income online, but researching that niche is usually not completed to anything like its proper extent because it is admittedly quite boring and is seen to get in the way of the more ‘fun’ stuff like designing a website…

So imagine this instead … you could create for yourself a system whereby before bed you email a chap or chapess on the other side of the world with your niche ideas, and by the time you sit down in front of your computer with your second cup of coffee the following morning, your little helper has emailed you back with whether or not your niche idea is a viable one – along with a possible list of keywords and available domains for you to get started with…

Now, like everything, that particular example wouldn’t be a good fit for absolutely everybody reading this … but think how you could apply it to what you are doing – if there is a task you find particularly onerous and you are finding that avoiding it is holding you back – but you can’t find it listed on the various outsourcing websites … why not contact people on those websites with a view to training them to do it for you…?

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Set Your Website Up For Less Than £25 … No Techie Stuff or ‘Faffing Around’ Required…

Faffing around … like it or not, it’s what most of us in the online industry seem to spend a lot of time doing. We didn’t plan it that way, after all computers and the internet do, on the whole, make things considerably easier, but I find it also means we can often write off an entire day bumping into one little online niggle after another…

Of course the ‘approved’ way to get round this was to get somebody else to do those bits for you … but as good an investment as this can be, I realise that the cost (or at least the perceived cost) of getting a website off the ground can be very off-putting.

Put that thought to one side for a moment, and allow me to point you in the direction of (or in some cases remind you about) a resource that for many could become the new ‘approved’ method … though let me warn in advance that the resource in question works in dollars so you’ll have to convert that to ‘real money’ in your head…

Fiverr.com has been around for a while and like one or two other sites before it that went on to much bigger things (most notably eBay) it has taken a while to be ‘trusted’ and taken seriously. Even if your own encounters with the site in the early days were, like mine, less than favourable I think you’ll find that given a second chance you’ll be able to find much there that you would quite happily pay a whole $5 to have done for you.

It must be said however, that even now on arriving at the homepage you are confronted with offers from people willing to do things like write the name of your website on their stomach in lipstick or belch the theme to your favourite TV programme for $5 … but dig deeper than the halfwits and imbeciles and you’ll find it a very useful and under rated resource.

At HQ, we mainly use it for are those niggley little jobs that we would otherwise be waiting (or paying considerably more) for like the design of an eBook cover, or some simple website tweaks that our resident techie does not currently have time to do … but if we wanted we could get so many more things done – and so could you…

I’ve just spent less than 5 minutes on the site and in that time I have found people who would install WordPress on my hosting and add essential and useful plugins ($5) design a professional header or logo ($5) Install a plug-in with a ‘fill in the blanks’ squeeze page ($5) and somebody who will set up my Aweber auto responder for me ($5) … so once I’d bought my domain ($9.95ish) and hosting ($7.96/month from somewhere like Hostgator or GoDaddy) and joined Aweber ($1 for the first month) I could get all the niggley techie bits done for a whole $20!

This means I could have a working website, ready to receive traffic and take names without any ‘faffing around’ or doing anything techie, for a grand total of less than $40 (that’s £25) in just a couple of days … and I could even use some of the gaps in between assigning these chaps their little jobs for maybe writing some bits to put on the site and a couple of follow-up emails for the people who will join my list.

But then of course you could even get someone to write that for you as well for … you guessed it $5! … so if you thought getting going was a bit beyond your reach, either technically or financially, the only question now is – what are you waiting for ?

All The Best,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

What Can A Danish Restroom Teach Us About Effective Pricing…?

I must say, I am quite glad to be back on dry land … you see, I had been convinced (possibly against my better judgement) to undertake a short cruise around the Baltic – and while I was very pleasantly surprised by nearly all of the  countries I visited, overall it pretty much confirmed my opinions about the whole ‘cruise’ thing…

There were several occasions on which I had to give many of the senior crew members (usually individually, but on one occasion collectively) the benefit of my opinion – but more on that at some point in the future. What I wanted to recount today was an event which occurred in a very clean Copenhagen, in a very clean public washroom…

You see, I was followed in there by an extremely metro sexual looking man who appeared to have been vacuum packed into his shirt and was wearing a pair of tight jeans probably better suited to someone a few years his junior … and not only did he trail behind me into the restroom – he also seemed to be pretty keen to get into the actual cubicle I was about to use as well…

There ensued a short game, during which I used a series of noises and hand signals to try and explain in the nicest way possible that what was about to take place was very much a personal and singular task … to which he responded by repeating something in Danish and trying to edge his way further into the cubicle.

By now, anyone would be convinced this chap was up to no good, so I was about to resort to the not so nice way of removing him when this chap finally twigged that I wasn’t a local, and explained in English that the facilities I was intent on using were in fact blocked and he had been sent to fix them. (And I was awfully glad that he explained himself, as his next move was to produce some sort of plunger type device!!)

Now this one all ended with smiles, but it is the same kind of simple misreading of a situation in the online world that can make you jump to some very expensive conclusions. You see, a lot of our first reactions, whether it be online or elsewhere, when something isn’t selling as much as we’d hope, is to immediately reduce the price … but that is often the very last thing we should be doing.

For instance, if there is something wrong with the way you are presenting the product, or the sales copy and only a few people are getting as far as hitting the ‘order now’ button then you will only sell the same amount regardless of the price (and in fact if you have reduced the price you will make even less profit on each one sold)

You need to root out the real cause, which is not always what you might assume to be the problem … so before you consider reducing the price you must ensure that everything else in your process is perfect, to check it is not one of those other factors that is affecting your sales more than the final figure they see on the order page…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

 

Don’t Turn Yourself Into a ‘Failure Magnet’

Now, before we go any further, I would like to make it plain that ‘She Who Must…’ is a very good driver. If you were expecting a typically ‘Tim-esque’ follow up to that last statement – I’m afraid there isn’t one. In fact I mention it only to illustrate that the unfortunate can occur even to the best of us…

You see, pure circumstance will have her queuing at the roundabout in front of the chap who is about to spill coffee into his lap, causing him to stab his foot down on the accelerator, or park in the exact place at the supermarket at which the new trolley boy finds out he can’t guide that many trolleys safely.

There really isn’t any explanation for it … (and even my reminding her that it ‘never happens to me’ doesn’t seem to help ;-)). And it would appear ‘She Who Must…’ is not alone either, and is what my insurance chap tells me is referred to within the trade as an ‘accident magnet.’

It can also feel like that with some things we do online, when something can go horribly wrong due to an almost unbelievable set of coincidental circumstances that leave you scratching your head, wondering if your efforts are somehow destined to failure  due to being cursed from on-high…

Well, despite what certain cheesy films may tell you, you cannot ‘expect the unexpected’ (though you can of course plan for as many eventualities as you are able) and sometimes things do not go to plan and you can end up with egg on your face, a hefty financial loss, some very unhappy customers, or if it’s a particularly special day … all three.

However when this happens (and it happens to almost everybody) … what happens is considerably less important than how you react to it.

If you give yourself permission to let a setback, regardless of size or severity to take control of your future outlook and feelings and ruin your chances of long term success, you will be turning a real chance to change your life for the better into a ‘long defeat’ where you can only see yourself doing the best you can against overwhelming odds on the road to eventual failure.

It should go without saying that this attitude will do you no good at all, as many (including myself) believe the secret to success, fortune and ultimately happiness is we become what we think about the most. If we highlight and internally focus on the negative, complain endlessly to whoever will listen and hone our misery further by hours spent dwelling in it we will become a more negative person … and attract more of the same.

Now, this may all sound like something from ‘The Secret’ … but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not true. As you know, I frequently rub shoulders with people who would be considered by many as ‘successful’ and, almost without exception, they all display the same trait – not only that they consider it a key factor in that ‘success’.

Some seem to have more of a knack for it than others … and the rest of us have to discipline ourselves to do it – but we must learn to dismiss the negative as soon as the lessons are learned and focus on the positive in the situation to, in turn, become a more positive person.

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Did You Hear The One About…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – If it ain’t fun … I ain’t doing it – usually followed by a brief sideways glance to enjoy the sight of ‘She who must…’ visibly cringing at my deliberate use of the word ‘ain’t’…

And the great British art of ‘Banter’, effectively smothered elsewhere by the clipboard waving PC brigade is alive and well at ‘HQ’ where it is dished out and received in equal but not excessive quantities by all. (Proving again how a little common sense applied by people with a responsible attitude can effortlessly replace any number of volumes of tedious HR legislation)

However, it’s not as though we all caper around like a bunch of rudderless buffoons all day … my business is, by most measures, very successful, especially so given things as they are in the wider world, and all indications are that my business will continue to be successful … which means there must be a considerable amount of other things going on alongside all the ‘fun’.

That’s because humour is a brilliant tool, and I will frequently use it to get my point across, either here in the ‘Lowedown’ or in a face to face ‘workshop’ situation, and I’m sure my good friend Ali Campbell could probably go into detail about why this works, using terms like ‘anchors’ and suchlike – but I just know that it does work, and that there’s also another side to it too…

The fact is, I know that you didn’t subscribe to the ‘Lowedown’ merely because you wanted to hear tales of ‘She Who Must…’ the Minions, or accounts of my own notable exploits … you joined the other tens of thousands of readers because I have made upward of £18 Million in the same industry you yourself wish to prosper in, and that makes the words of advice wrapped up in those tales of value to you.

This is the kind of balance between having fun and at the same time achieving great results I would urge you to try and reach with your own endeavours. On one hand you have the ‘fun’ part where you can fulfil your creative urges deciding what you website should look like, or creating your product or free report.

All of that has to be coupled with the 100% serious matter of providing exactly what you said you would for your customer or subscriber … if they signed up to be shown how to start a WordPress blog, that’s what they must get – not deliver something that looks great and is entertaining, but ultimately doesn’t tell them what they wanted to know.

Remember, hard work can be fun, if done in the right environment, with like minded people all working toward the same thing. Rising to a challenge can be fun, with the satisfaction of achieving something you’ve never done before, with the full support and encouragement of others.

But the most fun of all is … celebrating success. I go out of my way to ensure we celebrate every ‘result’ or big effort in a new and original manner – a night of ‘Scalectrix’ racing accompanied by a curry, a barbeque at my beach hut or an evening at Lowe Towers where all are treated to one of my own culinary creations (each course served with matching wines, naturally 😉

So, if your online endeavours are not quite going as planned, it might be worth you taking a look to see if you’ve got the balance right … you need to be offering what your customer expects, and doing so in a manner that will allow them to engage with you and build a long term relationship that is extremely advantageous to both parties…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down 

 

Would You Like To Get ‘Fifty Shades’ Of Viral Traffic…?

You will obviously, by now, have heard of a literary work by the name of ’50 Shades of Grey’ a volume which causes raised eyebrows and sniggers at it’s very mention, has already spawned a multitude of copycats trying to cash in on its popularity, and projected it’s author into the realms of the wealthy and influential…

The series has sold 31 million copies worldwide, and now holds the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, even surpassing good old Harry Potter in the process … before this of course it was a bestseller in various digital formats and was read on a million bus and train journeys on a multitude of Kindles and iThingies.

I won’t go into the fact that’s it’s not considered to be a particularly well written piece, even among its genre (it did after all, it seems, start life as a piece of fan fiction for the equally awful Twilight) but I want to concentrate instead on its avalanche like progress to world dominance as almost the perfect example of something that has ‘gone viral’

Of course, things ‘go viral’ all the time … we’ve all seen that video of a woman throwing the cat in a wheelie bin … or some halfwit skateboarding along railings with the inevitable painful conclusion, but where the ’50 Shades’ phenomenon is of particular interest to us is the fact that it is an actual product rather than just something that provides a moments amusement as an alternative to work.

Having your website, video or article ‘go viral’ is, as you would expect, the ‘jackpot’ when it comes to our industry … all that traffic for what is basically free can do nothing but help sign-ups, sales and ultimately the bank balance … unfortunately the chances of getting a viral hit ourselves, especially one of the magnitude of ’50 Shades…’ are slim, bordering on the impossible.

So what can we do to make the most of the principles involved to get our own slice of viral ‘exposure’? What we need to do is create something that will either through the quality, content, uniqueness or the benefit it brings, not only improve the lot of  the recipient, it will increase their kudos to tell others about it as well.

It doesn’t have to necessarily be a website or a product … or even a lead magnet (or free report) it can be any part of your interaction with the online world – it can even be something as small as providing a really helpful answer on a forum that can get people talking about you.

To help things along, always have a link to one (or several) of your websites on all your pieces of work on the internet, or the bottom of any communication, be it email or posted on some form of interactive site, so that if somebody is given you work via recommendation, they can easily find you to join or better still … buy.

Remember, any viral traffic you get is not only completely free traffic, it is very targeted and has also been ‘pre-sold’ because the person has arrived here on a recommendation … so quiyte simply the more of it you can encourage by providing people with something they are more than happy to tell others about … the better.

Until Next Time,

 

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Matt Fyles V System – A Missed Opportunity ?

You will have to forgive this email being slightly earlier than usual, as I am trying to get this sent and squeeze in a 'respectable' breakfast before we get things rolling on what will be the penultimate day of a very, very successful run of workshops…

Matt Fyles V System is, of course, now completely sold out and by the time you read this I'll be welcoming the very last of the attendees before they are shoe horned in to a conference suite somewhere in leafy Surrey (actually I do jest slightly, as everybody does have plenty of room to work in – but it is definitely at the upper limit of people I would usually work with)

This situation would suggest there is something to be said for booking early … but I also realise that not everybody can get everything they need together to attend something like the V system with a just click of their fingers … so if we had to turn you away I'm really sorry – but I'm also really keen to do what I can to make sure you don't miss out altogether.

As this system works pretty much no matter how many people are doing it (I believe once Matt has put you 'in the know', you will be part of a very elite 4% of the whole market) the number events we could put together was limited purely by the amount of time Matt was available before he swanned off to his next exotic location (or possibly Nottingham)

This being the case, I will be spending time bringing what pressure I can to bear on Mr Fyles to agree at least one more event next time he is here, a little later in the year. (I've already tried to make him stay longer this time, but as it's done nothing but rain since he's been over here I can fully understand his desire to hop off somewhere sunny at the first opportunity)

I have to say, I'm not entirely confident of pulling that one off, but if I can, I would like to give you as much notice as possible, so, if you would like to be involved in any further V System workshops, you can register your interest NOW by simply clicking here

…or if you did want to book a place but there was something, anything at all, that stopped you – you can also let me know by putting that in the 'comments' box (So, if we can put together some more dates for you, we can try and solve that problem for you at the same time)

Let me be clear – you are not committing to anything … you are just letting me know that if more access to the V-System becomes available at a later date … you'd like to be the first to know.

I'm off now for my fruit and yoghurt (bet that surprised some people) and to start work on Matt…;-)

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

 

For Heaven’s Sake Man, Buck Up!

On reflection, I think there are a couple of things that I might not necessarily excel at … one could easily point at any number of things happening in the Olympic Stadium in the near future that would not be my forte, but above all those I would still probably put 'Life Coach'…

It's not that I wouldn't get results … but I think the ratio of upstanding individuals created verses the ones left gibbering incoherently under their desks would probably not win me too many awards….

Which is why, when I recently received a 'name check' in the 'Huffington Post' column written by my very good friend Ali Campbell (One of the UK's top Life Coaches, 'TVs Mr Fix-it' and eater of Cumberland Sausages) for my use of the very phrase that is the title of this week's Lowedown, I was very surprised…

I'll give the link so you can read it yourself in just a moment, and I think it was quoted because even in the touchy feely world inhabited by some life coaches, a lack of 'robustness' in the populace has been noted, and the rather excessive rise in unnecessary Health and Safety and 'PC' values has turned many of us a bit soft and stupid.

For instance, I recently attended an event which had an evening Barbeque, and it being Britain there were contingencies for the inevitable onset of drizzle. Now, the erecting of a couple of awning type affairs to keep the rain out of our drinks and off the barbeque is only common sense and a good move by the venue…

However, the fact that we (a group of grown people, with no lack of brains between us) weren't trusted to stand on terra firma but instead on some specially installed non slip matting illustrates my point exactly, further underlined by an abundance of slippery surface signs, which ironically, as pointed out by one of my Minions … were positioned perfectly to 'have someone's eye out'

It's exactly this kind of thing that stops people thinking for themselves, which in the course of your online endeavours would be a very bad thing … because as soon as you encounter a problem or things don't go as planned, that inability to 'think your way out of it' will leave you ready to give up, or equally disastrously doing nothing and waiting for somebody to turn up unbidden, and tell you what to do.

Some things, especially on a personal level, will of course quite rightly stop you dead in your tracks but I often see people avoiding doing some of the things they would have to apply a bit of common sense to, because it's 'too hard' to think for themselves.

Not everybody in the world will achieve the things that we in this industry aspire to, because as I've said so many times before, if you want things you've never had before, you need to do things you've never done before … and at the very top of that list is taking responsibility and thinking for yourself.

Right, now that we're all thoroughly 'bucked up', as promised, I'd like to point you in the direction of Ali's column in the 'Huffington Post' … it is a particularly good read and I would suggest you could do much worse that keep an eye out for Ali's future columns…

Read Ali's Article HERE

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

I Turn My Back For Five Minutes…

There was plenty of positive reaction to the giveaway with last week's Lowedown … so much so that I think it may have gone to some Minion heads…

As you probably know, I've spent most of the past week or so at various venues playing ringmaster to the Matt Fyles V System events – so have been away from HQ and unable to keep an eye  on what's going on … and in my absence my Minions have decided to try and be clever all over again.

This time my Minions have put together a collection of little ideas you can use to make some money using the internet, starting today if you want … and, as per standard Minion rules, you should be able to do much of it as cheaply as is humanly possible, preferably using only what is already on your computer … or can be downloaded for free.

This latest offering is laden with money-making gems you may not have considered (or even heard of before), but this little prod in the right direction may be exactly what you need to kick-start your online endeavours, especially if you feel you are struggling with some of what are believed to be the more 'traditional' methods.

You can read or download it on the Minions site (I'll pop the link at the bottom) but if you do wish to access it, you will have to become a member of the site (don't worry it's free) which you can do by filling in the little invitation that will pop up just after you arrive.

'Normal service' (such as it ever is) will be resumed shortly, as you can imagine all of these 'giveaways' (without, may I add, having to watch a twenty minute video trying to sell you something for £500 before you can download your 'free' item) is doing my reputation as heartless and aloof internet marketing 'guru' absolutely no good at all 😉

Anyway, I shall take my tongue out of my cheek for just long enough to say that I hope you, (despite the weather which promises to be appalling) have a fantastic weekend … and that, as promised earlier, you can access your latest giveaway by clicking the link below: http://www.timsminions.com/666/10-real-make-money-online-ideas-ebook/#

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

 

How To Create Your Own Cash and Lead Generating eBook

My 'Minions', it seems, have been very busy … obviously I expect them to be busy, (in the same way they, 'one day' hope to see some wages) 😉 but to be honest – It isn't always obvious what they are trying to achieve…

You see, when I venture down to the lower reaches of HQ, I will often find them looking at websites for such diverse things as the actor Jason Statham or UFO Abductions, purely (or so  they tell me) for the purposes of research … then, just as I am about to invite them up for what is euphemistically called 'an interview without coffee' … they show me websites they have created that are on the first page of Google without spending a penny on SEO or advertising (or anything else for that matter)

Then a few weeks back, they started downloading all the 'free reports' they could get their hands on (readers who have partaken of my 'Listbuilder' course will also know this as a 'lead magnet', something that is given away in exchange for a person's details on a squeeze page or 'hub') I knew the Minion 'Little Grey Cells' were on the go again.

So, what I have for you today is the latest creation from below stairs … after looking at the best of what is out there, My Minions have settled on what they believe is the optimum template for creating your own eBook, (or at the very least jazzing up a PLR eBook you have bought for pennies or something you've had written elsewhere.)

Remember, your 'lead magnet' will probably be the first real chance you have to build your relationship with somebody new to your list, so you need to give the best impression you possibly can, and it is important not only to fulfil the promises you made on your squeeze page but also to present them in an ordered, coherent, and (if you can manage it) stylish manner…  

Now originally I wanted to send this to you as an attachment to the LoweDown to make this a 'no effort' freebie for you but I believe this would cause some kind of havoc with various spam filters so I would instead urge you to visit this page on the Minions website:

http://www.timsminions.com/628/how-to-create-and-format-an-ebook/#

And follow the instructions there to download it. (If you've never been to the site, or haven't been there for a while, you will also receive an invitation to join the site as a member – which I would also urge you to do as there is some very good 'members only' material on there that can only improve the success of your online endeavours.)

A few of the Minions members have already had a chance to give this the once over … one of whom said:  

"This is one of the great all-time biz-op blog posts … It doesn't get better than this"

…something which meant I had a very smug Minion on my hands…

Remember, this is absolutely FREE and could provide you with a real head start in giving exactly the right impression to people who are interacting with you for the first time….

Here's that web address again … http://www.timsminions.com/628/how-to-create-and-format-an-ebook/#

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

Only Read This If You Want To Know Why…

It's funny, isn't it – how you can be standing there all fired up and ready to really get started, then those same old doubts start creeping in and before you know it you've done absolutely nothing and another golden opportunity has passed you by.

You're not alone in this … we've all (and I do mean 'all') done it at one time or another, and it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of what is presented to us … and everything to do with how we look at it…

I was reminded of it, last week while I was half way up the CN tower in Canada, travelling up in a lift … with obligatory glass walls and floor of course, so we can enjoy the view (and those select few of us not so well disposed to heights can stare fixedly at the only panel of wood on the whole contraption for the entire journey) 😉

I'm sure many of you will know that you can also venture beyond the saucer like viewing platform to the very top, where you can stare through the glass floor … which despite being a good deal thinner than you'd expect and secured in place with a selection of girders and beams you'd think weren't nearly sturdy enough … can actually withstand the weight of fourteen hippos tap dancing on it simultaneously or some such nonsense…

For the truly insane however there is also the added attraction of being connected up to a harness and dangled out over the side of the tower to 'appreciate' the view to an even greater extent, and whilst it was all clearly completely safe I didn't fancy it one bit.

Strangely enough, I felt none of these anxieties whizzing round Niagara Falls in a helicopter a day or so earlier, which on the face of it is sitting in a plastic bubble under a spinning blade flying over one of the planets greatest forces of nature (which has claimed many more lives than those who have fallen off the CN tower).

The difference, of course, was what I personally thought about the two activities rather than their actual attributes … and it is for this reason I was perfectly happy sat in the helicopter, but extremely vulnerable in the much safer environment of the tower (albeit stood on a glass floor)

It can be very similar when it comes to trying things online, where despite all the safety measures like money back guarantees and the massive personal and financial freedom it can bring, is still regarded very much the same way as I eyed the see-through floor on the CN tower so out of those who do try, many never really get started or seem to get very far…

Whereas getting up at what is referred by my Minions as 'stupid o'clock' in the morning and driving a car while wearing clothes you only had to buy because of your job in the first place, to go and put in 8-10 hours to pay for what amounts to somebody else's flash car, house in the country or luxury holiday … is considered perfectly sane and normal just because you've always done it…

The difference between those who will manage to change their lives beyond measure and those who will be sitting in the 8.30 traffic jam for many years to come are those who recognise this, see things for what they are, and step out of their comfort zone to reap the massive rewards on offer.

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

How To Beat The Fear That Is Causing You To Fail

Regular readers of the Lowedown, especially those who followed the tales of my exploits 'down under' last year, will know I can be a little less than brave when confronted by a spider. Not the little 'money spider' types, but the rather larger ones that lurk in the corner of cupboards and bathrooms and make themselves apparent when you are least expecting it and usually holding something both valuable and fragile.

It is not the fear of our eight legged friends however, that is likely to stifle your online endeavors (unless of course there is a particularly large one lurking in the corner above your computer);-) it will instead be the fear of 'failing' and the embarrassment, humiliation and criticism we think will follow.

It is no coincidence, I think, that nearly everybody I am aware of that you and I would consider 'successful' are largely unaffected (at least in business terms) by what others think of them, and have developed a 'shatterproof' confidence that shuts the fear of criticism away.

Successful people recognize that opportunity and risk are inseparable, and that failure is an inherent part of the process. In fact I would go as far as to say that I have made more mistakes in this business than many people who have proclaimed themselves to be complete failures and thrown the towel in.

Remember, it is the fear of what might happen that stops us from taking action or seizing that opportunity, and it is typical that many of us can clearly visualize in graphic detail the 'fallout' of it all going 'pear shaped' considerably more easily than we can  the rewards of things going exactly to plan.

In my experience, most of what we fear could go wrong never actually does (though I would also like point out that words 'preparation' and 'planning' are a major factor in this and we should trust to optimism alone) and what actually does go wrong, usually at least, isn't quite as bad as we might have feared.

I would encourage you then, while considering the possibilities of your next project or venture, that you picture yourself actually succeeding rather than reeling off a list of reasons of why it would never work (and if you're honest with yourself it's probably the same list that you've applied to almost any and all situations over the last few years) you may well find it was all that was missing…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

Optimist Prime…

As we start a rather splendid four-day weekend that will be a fantastic celebration of all things British (including it seems, the unpredictability of the weather) coming as it does on the back of a mini heat wave, it seems to me that people are rather more 'up' than usual – in fact one of the Minions came in yesterday with some far-fetched tale about people actually smiling on the train…;-)

I've always been an 'up' sort of chap myself … this actually has very little to do with the success I've had over the last few years … my outlook was generally very positive even back in the days when things weren't going nearly half as well … and I've always believed that things turning out just how I want them is the 'normal' way things should be…

Over the years, many things seemed to have worked simply because I have believed they would … and this is not, as I have said so many times before got some kind of special power, it's just that sometimes it simply does not occur to me that it could happen any other way…

You see, if you truly believe something will work, any of the problems that you happen to encounter along the way are just bumps in the road (and yes, during my decade online I have become fully aware of how large some bumps can be) to inevitable success…

Whereas, if when we look at a project and just 'give it a try' but ultimately believe, deep down 'things like that don't work for me' it will almost certainly come to nothing, because as soon as a decent sized problem is encountered … it can all stop there, because 'something like this' was 'bound to happen with my luck'.

Now there is a famous quote from Henry Ford about thinking you can and thinking you can't, and being right either way, but I'm sure you know all about that already … what I would like to bring to your attention is a far less well known quote of his … which I think sums up more accurately what we are trying to achieve with our online endeavours…

"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."

Have A Fantastic Bank Holiday,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

Help Yourself My Latest FREE Resource…

 

As you probably know, I refer to the various excellent chaps and chapesses that work for me here at HQ (with my tongue very firmly in my cheek, may I add) as my 'Minions' … and they have been very productive indeed…

You see, just after Xmas I asked them to put together a Facebook page where people could ask questions and my Minions would help them regarding their various online endeavours … and it soon became apparent that what we really needed was a 'proper' website…

Tim's Minions (www.timsminions.com) has been online for a couple of months now and is updated almost daily with training materials, information on hot niches, techniques for getting traffic to your site, in fact anything and everything to do with making money online … and is already used as a source of information by thousands of people every single month.

Whilst this resource is currently free, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, what it means is any Tom, Dick or Harry can (and does) drop in and get all the benefits of a site originally designed with the purpose of helping 'Lowedown' readers.

So I came up with a plan…

Tim's Minions (www.timsminions.com) now has a FREE membership option. There is still loads of help there for those who just drop in of course, but the really 'good stuff' will from now on be password protected and viewable by members only, as will any future increased access to the Minions themselves (watch this space).

To take advantage of this, simply go to www.timsminions.com and soon after arriving at the site you will be invited to become a member. Just enter your name and email and you'll be emailed your password, as well as a very, very occasional newsletter.

Once you have your 'members' access you will be able to take advantage of the hours of material on the site, as well as requesting help with any problems you may currently be experiencing with online matters.

I suspect I shall have to limit membership to we don't end up with too many exhausted Minions passed out and making the place look untidy… so common sense would suggest that becoming a member sooner rather than later would be a rather good idea.

Here's that link again: www.timsminions.com

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

How To Get People To Do The Things You Don’t Want To Do…

Funny chaps, techies … and as you would expect, over the last decade I have crossed paths (and occasionally swords) with my fair share of techies, from those that won't say boo to a goose to those who like to spend their weekends running through the woods naked except for some strategically placed camouflage paint…

You might be of the opinion however, that techies in general are quite normal, and point instead to my frequent admission that I often attract the more 'windswept and interesting' individual … and looking at the current staff roster here at 'HQ' I have to admit that may also be true…;-)

Whatever your opinion, you have to concede that most of us will be requiring the services of a techie type at one time or another over the course of our online endeavours…

Now, if somebody you knew said they wanted to be a plumber, but didn't want to have to know anything about pipes or water, you might think them a little naive, and the same could be said for those who want to get into the online industry but not want to know anything about the more technical side of what goes on.

Not by any means do you have to have a great depth of knowledge, just arm yourself with the same level of information you would before getting a tradesman to do some work on your house, so that you know whether what you're asking to be done is more likely to cost five pounds or five grand…

And before there are too many guffaws about the presence of the humble fiver in that last paragraph, please remember that jobs of any size can be outsourced … and wouldn't silly little jobs like the header graphic you've been struggling with for a fortnight be better given to somebody else to do … especially when it can be very cheap to get it done?

Below I've got one of the Minions to put together a list of more 'budget' service providers for the smaller tasks (though to be fair you probably won't have to look much further than fiverr.com)

Fiverr.com
agentanything.com
mTurk.com

And for the bigger jobs here is another Minion complied list – but again there is little need to go too far:

Elance.com

ODesk.com

Freelance.com

Guru.com

GetaCoder.com

iFreelance.com

PeoplePerHour.com

Scriptlance.com

vWorker.com

You'll agree that there are more than enough solutions there to get almost any project moving … and probably cost effective once you take into account the 'unmade' money mounting up every day while your project lies dormant.

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim's Business Lowe Down

Little Rubber Feet and Finding The Perfect Position

One opportunity the rather disappointing but predictable Bank Holiday weather presented for me was to set up my new cinema surround sound system, an event delayed until now because, as you can imagine with it being a top of the range system … there was a good dozen or so pages of mucking about before I would be able to sit down and enjoy anything…

The new system was picked up at my most recent visit to the approved place for ‘Tim’s Toys’, (strangely enough an electrical retailer for whom I used to service the burglar alarm much earlier on in my working life), where I expressed a desire, not uncommon in cinema sound owners, to be able to hear the dialogue clearly without being completely deafened the next time any music started…

It was a problem, it turned out, that could be solved easily by the simple application of a chequebook 😉

So I left with my several boxes of gubbins and what was a kind of sound meter, which, last weekend had me occupying all of the favourite reclining and relaxing positions in the lounge at Lowe Towers, taking readings and adjusted my cinema sound accordingly … and in considerably less time than I feared, we were able to settle down to an evening’s viewing without everybody for a two mile radius knowing what we were watching…

Of course, it doesn’t stop there … as a ‘hangover’ from my previous venture into cinema sound I have, as you would expect, all the gold plated cables and connections, but in addition I also have some small conical rubber stands to place under each corner of my speakers to cut down on vibration…

As a result of this ‘essential’ purchase the manufacturers send me what ‘She Who Must…’ calls my ‘Rubber Feet Catalogue’ a couple of times a year packed with extortionately priced gadgets and gizmos designed to improve my viewing and listening experience that extra 0.1%…

It is that same kind of expensive tweaking, testing and honing that will bring you the highest levels of success with your online projects, but one simple and vital thing you can do, probably for free, is to decide who your perfect customer or website member would be, who they are and what they are looking for, and just like me with the sound meter for my cinema system, adjust what you have specifically to their tastes …

For instance, if you had a weightloss product aimed at the younger and more fashionable lady, you might want to take a look at some of the top fashion house sites and ape their colour schemes and fonts, or go for a similar layout so it looks like the kind of site a person like them would want to visit…

Getting ‘inside the head’ of the type of person you want to attract to your online project is key to success in our industry, with those who have managed it standing tall, and those who fail to give their ideal customer something to relate to often falling by the wayside…

All The Best,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Why A Good Headline Means Everything And More…

If you ask any halfway decent copywriter, they will tell you that a good, powerful emotive headline is the most important part of the process. So much so, that they tend to disappear off for a fortnight to go and meditate on the beach or complete some sort of ritual under a full moon before they seem to be able to continue with the rest of the copy…

Now, I won’t pretend I can teach you how to become an expert headline writer either in this email or in any size volume you could think of, but I must impress on you that the value of a well written headline on your squeeze page, sales page, or even as an opening line for your video will usually outweigh the cost of getting it written…

Rather than recount endless examples from long deceased websites, I would like to instead point you in the direction of this very powerful video, which I’m sure you’ll agree illustrates perfectly the difference that a good, emotive headline can make, and how it makes what you’ve done stand out from the crowd…

Just click on the picture of the video below to watch:

Share and Enjoy,

 

 

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Is This The WORST Website You Will EVER See ?

‘The Development of Men’s Swimsuits and It’s Really Ample Assortments’ … That is, you’ll agree, one hell of a title … it is certainly designed to make you look twice (certainly caused me something of a double take when it was brought to my attention by a Minion) … and to make you investigate further, if only to find out what is going on … (in that respect, you could say it was actually quite good) so you click though and … it absolutely falls flat on its face.

First of all you are greeted with everything in a shade of pink I was actually unaware even existed, and has, for some otherworldly reason a picture of a kitten at the top … but it doesn’t stop there…

The written content is utter rubbish, and by that I don’t mean it’s not well written or the content is poor – it actually is utter rubbish … it’s a piece of text that has been force fed to an ‘article spinner’ (a not so clever piece of software that will take a piece of text and change a significant word here and there to give you a ‘new’ piece of writing) so many times any semblance to coherence has been long lost…

True, there are some randomly dumped keywords in an SEO graveyard of a right hand column, and links to a couple of products that (thankfully) have nothing to do with men’s swim wear, or heaven forbid, kittens. What you’re actually left with is some non relevant drivel of the type that provides Google with the excuse to change their rules every five minutes and make life difficult for the rest of us.

Sites like these were originally created to be content poor, but keyword friendly to get loads of traffic and then make a few pennies for the creators from the advertising as people clicked on anything to get away – but here, even the two spots for banner ads are left empty, so I can see no purpose at all for this website at all, other than to stand as a glaring example of exactly how not to do it…

To see the website in question for yourself, you’ll find it here:

http://www.thinkingspace.info/the-development-of-mens-swimsuits-and-its-really-ample-assortments/

Of course, the first thing I would say is don’t ever build a website like that, and the second … once you have gone to the effort to try and get people to your site … give them something worth their time – or you are not going to make the type of impression that will make people want to trust you with their details, then build the type relationship that will turn them into customers … in fact you’re more likely to have them clicking away, never to return…

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

So, Where Will Your Traffic Come From…?

Things are very busy here at HQ … the sound of many odd shaped fingers tapping away at keyboards and clicking mouse buttons is broken only by the yelp of various ‘minions’ as they are prodded with the pointy stick and given extra jobs to do…

You see, as well as all the other things we currently have on the go … I am also working on an updated, more comprehensive version of my ‘Listbuilder’ manual…

Don’t worry, the current version you have is still completely useful … it’s just that the world has turned a bit since it was written, so a couple of bits will have changed, and I’ve decided  that there is so much more we can squeeze in to make it the most complete guide you can get … certainly for free.

One of the things I’ve tasked my minions with, is to put together a toolbox of completely free (or at least of a free version) of some tools you should find indispensible in your online endeavours, even if you’ve been online a while.

The updated version will be available in about a month’s time, rolled out to existing Lowedown readers first of course, but in the meantime I wanted to alert you to a much overlooked little program that will make up part of that toolbox, but I would strongly recommend, (especially as Google changed the way they do things AGAIN this week) that you might want to start using it right away…

Traffic Travis (http://www.traffictravis.com/) has been around quite a while, But I don’t remember being especially impressed  by what it had to offer, but since then it has upgraded to a fourth version and definitely seems like it’s got its act together.

Equally useful for those with websites and those without, Traffic Travis can tell you, for instance, where your site sits in the search engine rankings for any given keyword, who your rivals are for that coveted number one spot, and analyses how you can beat them.

If you haven’t got to the website stage yet,  you can use the information Traffic Travis gives you about the competition for any given keyword to augment the information you get from Google (using their keyword tool) when making a decision on niche and keyword selection.

But I’m really just giving you the highlights …Traffic Travis can do considerably more than just this, and each function comes with its own training video so you can make the most of it.

Remember, this is free to use – (there is a paid version ,  but unless you have a host of websites and are just looking for that extra 1% to get them to the top of the rankings – you really shouldn’t need it) you just go to the Traffic Travis website (http://www.traffictravis.com/) register to get an activation code and download the program.

Of course there will be many more tools just like Traffic Travis unveiled in the new version of the Listbuilder manual, which, as I mentioned should be ready on a few weeks, provided of course I can get it finished in time … now where did that pointy stick go …? 😉

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Hey Buddy, can I get a Coifeee..?

Before we start, I would like to make it clear that there is no need to send for the Grammar Police … I am fully aware that is not a civilised way to treat the word ‘coffee’ (nor, I should also point out, have I ever called anyone ‘Buddy’) … I was merely presenting the word so that it hinted at American origin, a place where, along with manners, they are yet to invent spelling.

Our American friend recently presented some fine examples of what I wanted to go into today … which is that, as much as it is essential to build a good relationship with your customers, there is also a certain wisdom in, as a customer, going out of your way to build a good relationship with those who you do business with…

Now, as  you can imagine, I am well known at our approved getaway spot as something of a character, so somebody with a slightly Machiavellian turn of mind (to be precise the girl in charge of the breakfast restaurant who goes shopping with ‘She Who Must…’ occasionally) suggested that rather than continue commenting daily on my sub standard omelettes  … why don’t I wander in to the kitchen and ‘teach’ chef how it’s done…?

So I am encouraged to take the Executive Chef by the paw and demonstrate the approved omelette making method…..an entertaining ten minutes ensues with several of the waiting staff (those who have experience in the hotel or restaurant trade will know that waiters and cooks are usually sworn enemies) videoing me in the kitchen teaching a Greek chef to cook…

To be fair, he plays along with it and explains, that whilst I might be a great gourmand, most of my fellow guests are rather basic and don’t appreciate the subtleties of omelette making and would whinge if there were ‘uncooked bits’ (but in my view, who likes fried eggs with hard yolks, so why cook an omelette till it’s like rubber?)…

Anyway, every morning for the rest of my stay, despite my new little friend encouraging me to ask for ever more complex fillings, I had a perfect omelette delivered to my table by ‘Exec Cookie’ in person … most of the girls who work there and one or two of the boys kiss now me every morning as well (it’s a foreign thing, and don’t worry, it’s under control) amidst stares from every other person present who wonders what exactly I’ve done to qualify for such special treatment….

Most notably among these is an American guest who looks, quite frankly, like he has a body in the boot of his car (or should that be trunk?)  I have dubbed him ‘Joey’ since he could easily star in ‘The Sopranos’, saying things, in strong nasal New Yoik/Brooklyn accent like “hey buddy, can I get a coifeee, make it decaf, capishe?”

He has also endeared himself to the locals by warning his children (equally rotund and socially inept by the way) about the tame cats that wander around Cyprus waiting for food scraps “loik, little Joey, dese tings are like WILD animals, so stay away…”

There are, of course, no prizes for guessing which of us would get the last remaining dinner reservation or the benefit of any complimentary extras that may have been on offer … and this is all due to the relationship I have built up with everybody there over time.

As much as I would love to think that some of the extremely good rates and prices I am able to negotiate are down solely to my killer haggling skills, I am more certain that any business done on the platform of a good relationship is far, far better than any done with some faceless contact and based purely on price, and over time will bring far greater benefits…

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

How To Turn The Contents of Your Recycle Bin Into Money

Don’t worry, you haven’t been transported back to 2004 … this really is an email from me on a Sunday evening, just like it used to be, back in the ‘good old days’…

Like so many others, I decided to escape for a while to my usual ‘approved’ destination over Easter, and by the time I arrived back, supervised the unpacking and got settled down to writing this, the evening seems to be upon me, and by the time I finally hit the ‘send’ button, it will, entirely coincidentally, be about the same time the original ‘Tim’s Business Tips’ would have winged it’s way to you…

There is much to tell about my brief getaway, but (unconnected) tales about ‘She Who Must…’ and I and an airplane toilet (though NOT in the way you think), soggy omelettes and upsetting one of the world’s richest families will have to wait until later in the week when I am more able to do them justice … Instead I want to share with you how you can turn the contents of your computers recycle bin into methods of generating traffic, lead magnets and even turn them into money…

First let me say though, that if something you have written, such as an email or article is sat in your recycle bin because it is truly awful … it needs to stay there (unless you can resurrect it with a quick re-write of course) What we are after are your slightly older pieces, things you have sent out to your list that you may think are of no further use, and just shoved in the bin…

Well, each of those emails, (or series of congruent emails if, unlike me, you like to keep them short) can be easily converted into an article and placed on each of the article directories to help generate traffic – they can be turned into PDFs and put on the PDF sharing sites (get in touch with the Minions if you want more details on how this works) again for free traffic generation.

The more ambitious can also turn that same work into a series of PowerPoint slides (I believe free Open Office equivalent is available) and using the free 30 day trial of Camtasia to create videos and upload them to YouTube and similar sites for more even free traffic generation.

A larger combined package of these emails or articles – about 2000-3000 words or as little as 1000 if it is really good quality stuff, will easily serve as new lead magnet or free report for your existing or future hub/squeeze pages.

Of course, you can also convert one or more of these collections of combined wisdom into a cheap(ish) eBook to generate some operating funds or release them via Amazon on the Kindle platform – (again, for further guidance on the whole ‘Kindle’ thing please feel free to bother a Minion)

Not everybody finds writing website content or emails easy, so it is important you get as much out of it as you possibly can, and by re-using that same content and converting it across several formats to reach people who would not normally have seen it you are getting the absolute most for your efforts and generating traffic, leads and revenue into the bargain.

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Pumping Some Common Sense Back Into The Situation

Well … it seems if you can keep a calm head while all those about you are losing theirs, you are almost certainly not queuing up to buy petrol…

The reports presented to us in all forms of the media over the last week have been at best laughable and, at their worst, as we have seen, tragic. The time lost and inconvenience experienced by many people just repeatedly topping up their tank when they didn’t really need to, was probably much greater than if they had actually run out of petrol.

One of my Minions, not exactly renowned for keeping up with current affairs, pulled into his local petrol station to fill up as usual last Thursday morning only to find 40 other motorists in front of him, when normally the only company he has at that ungodly hour is the occasional discarded Mars Bar wrapper.

Obviously he mentioned this when he arrived at HQ, along with the news that one of the motorists in front of him filled up with just £8.62 of petrol – and in the days when it would seemingly be cheaper to post your car to any given destination than drive it there, you have to really wonder about the thought processes behind that kind of decision.

At the root of it all lies the often huge gap between the perceived size of the problem and the real size of the problem. I’m sure news reports liberally seeded with words like ‘standstill’ and ‘stranded’ did as much damage to peoples common sense as any ‘advice’ from more official sources (After all, we always do what MPs tell us to do the rest of the time don’t we?)

This kind of sensationalist clap-trap is something we’re very fond of in this industry too – if you’ve been online for any more than a few days you will have seen a headline about something or other ‘changing the face of the internet forever’. Now, whilst it is true that the internet is evolving on an almost daily basis, the amount of things that have changed it overnight have been minimal.

Changes to Facebook are only important to you if you actually use it to generate leads or revenue, as are changes to Google Ads and the like.

As for the emails you get declaring that you need to be part of this amazing new ‘something’ or get left behind forever may be perfectly valid … but I always would advise due diligence on your part to see if it is actually of use to you, rather than jumping in with both feet based on how much something is in the news rather than its business value.

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Build A Relationship By Talking Out Of Your Hat…

It will be perfectly clear to any Lowedown reader that has met me, (or seen the photo at the top of the email for that matter) that when the sun is shining, some bits of yours truly will go bright red a lot faster than others … and it for this reason I have allowed myself a modest collection of hats.

Once you have excluded the one ‘acquired’ by amusing but unrepeatable means from an Eastern Bloc policeman and the Kangaroo skin one, used primarily ‘Down Under’ for keeping the sun off and waving ineffectually at spiders … you will find the remainder are mostly supplied by ‘Tilly Endurables’ of Toronto, Canada.

These hats were selected not because they were ‘the best hats in the world’, in fact I found a dozen other manufacturers proclaiming exactly the same the thing … but I was attracted by the way it was made plain that what you were doing was so much more than merely buying a hat…

It seems Tilly hats are usually favoured by the more ‘outdoorsy’ types among us who go about both home and abroad and wander around exploring and prodding the local wildlife with sticks. This being the case, the website is packed full of the adventures that the folks have had with their hats, especially those from the more ‘windswept and interesting’ members of their clientele…

Whether it be the story of how a hat became an improvised ice bucket or inherited from the Grandfather that had worn it all round the world, a whole kind of mini folklore has been nurtured and allowed to grow around these hats, most centred, very cleverly, around their virtual indestructibility, (one most famously emerging unscathed after passing through the digestive system of a Elephant)

My favourite story though (I remember seeing it when I made my first purchase 6 or 7 years ago but can’t seem to locate it on the website at the moment) concerns a couple of Tilly hat owners, who were far away and slightly off the beaten track when they spotted some figures approaching them in the distance …  they were of course increasingly nervous as to what fate had in store for them, until they saw that the approaching group were also wearing Tilley hats and therefore had to be the ‘right sort’ 😉

In fact, now that it’s ‘gone public’ that I’m the owner of a brace of Tilly hats, I will almost certainly get emails from Lowedown readers who are also Tilley hat owners detailing their own experiences – it’s just that kind of thing…

I mention this, not because I think everybody should be buying a Tilly hat but because it is a perfect example of how you can inject some personality into products to make them more attractive to the potential buyer, and how introducing a story around them will create that ‘extra dimension’ and make them stand out from a mass of very similar products.

I really would encourage you to spend some time looking around the site to see for yourself the way the whole experience of obtaining a Tilly hat is built up so that you are not so much making a purchase as joining the club of other Tilly hat owners…

When you are building a relationship with your customers, it is important to use similar methods to add depth and substance to what you are telling them … though you must always be genuine … let people know the ‘story’ behind what is going on – it will create a lasting impression which can put you head and shoulders above those who are churning out the same generic nonsense…

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

How To Pick Your Perfect Opportunity

As I have gone to great pains to point out previously, I am nothing special … I’ll admit I do have a bit of a flair for some parts of this business we are all in, which I can assure you is more than balanced out by being, at best, average in most of the others … just like everybody else.

I can provide a host of witnesses to my ‘mere mortal’ status, foremost amongst them ‘She Who Must…’, who will go into great detail as to my shortcomings at the drop of a hat, freely quoting a certain passage in Felix Dennis’ ‘How To Get Rich’ to anybody and everybody who might want an insight into what makes Tim ‘tick’ 😉

Moving on from that however, one thing I did do early on that made a big difference, and I would encourage you to do also, was to teach myself to recognise an opportunity when I saw it … and by that I don’t just mean to dive in recklessly at the first thing I saw, I mean working out what was the right opportunity for me…

Usually the decision on whether to pursue an opportunity is based round the old favourites of ‘time’ and ‘money’  … however basing you decision purely around these two factors can be flawed as there are other, possibly more important factors which can affect your chances of success…

You see, the most common reason why people get no results at all is that they will order something and then never, ever do anything with it … which is why you need to be sure that before you commit that what you are looking at is the right type of opportunity for you

For instance, are you the type of person who needs to know how it all works so will be better suited to either create or oversee the creation of websites and building of lists…? Or would you rather not get involved in all that kind of thing but instead want something more immediate which would involve watching a few training videos before you flip open the laptop and get on with it…?

I have found that another important factor in defining success is momentum … does the opportunity have the chance of an ‘easy win’ early on?

Not only is there the obvious benefit of a ‘few quid in the bank’, the enthusiasm and momentum created by an early success, can carry you over some of the inevitable hurdles you will encounter as you progress, and install a real belief that you can progress and really make the thing a success.

So, when deciding on an opportunity, don’t be guided by the same old ‘time and money’ criteria … as there are other factors that can make them almost irrelevant … for instance, if there is the chance to recoup most or all of your outlay quite quickly, the finance needn’t be an issue … and quite frankly, if you were going to make £50 or even £100 for ten minutes worth of effort … of course you’ll find time to do it…

All the Best,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

The Quick And Easy Way To Double The Effectiveness of Your Ads…

I’m sure you’ll agree that in years gone by, the Yellow Pages was a far more substantial beast than the poor thing that gets left on our doorstops these days. Despite it’s now diminished stature; we can still learn many things from it (and not just who has stock of a certain book on fly-fishing) 😉

Say for instance that we were to open it on a page listing the vast array of plumbers available. Clearly the majority of them are getting some custom from their ad, so you, I and the rest of the Great British public are obviously not all ringing the same one.

Therefore, you must agree, there must be something about a certain ‘ad’ that makes it more appealing to some people than of any of the others … and the fact that not everybody chooses the same ‘ad’ means that what appeals to some people definitely does not appeal to others.

From this, you could draw the conclusion that any one of these plumbers could attract either a different or greater clientele simply by changing the look of their ‘ad’ … and of course this principle also works online too … let me recount an example from here at ‘HQ’…

One of the grand Minion experiments from last year involved creating an unofficial Facebook fan page for some chap called Jon Bon Jovi, who, as you may know started out his musical career in a rather loud and hairy manner, but these days is a touch more sensibly coiffured  and very much the housewife’s choice.

They originally ran an ‘ad’ for people to join this fan page with a recent photo of him, which worked really well until, as with all these things, all the people who were likely to respond had responded, and everybody else got used to seeing it, and started ‘filtering’ it out.

So, they ran the ‘ad’ again, keeping the text exactly the same as before, targeting exactly the same people as before (who, remember, had now stopped responding to the advert) … in fact the only thing they did change was to replace the picture of Mr Jovi with one from his wild and hairy days … and it again attracted a huge response, every bit as big as when we ran the ‘ad’ the first time.

Now, you can get those kind of results from simply changing a picture, but you can also achieve something similar by changing the way the ‘ad’ looks … either by altering the formatting, or the layout … in fact anything that changes the overall ‘feel’ of it.

I’m sure you will agree that the longest and most difficult part of any project is usually the writing of the ‘copy’ … whether it be for ‘ads’ or for full-blown sales sites, so I know you would certainly welcome any idea that means you can get at least twice as much longevity out of that advert it may have taken you forever to write, or paid somebody a fortune to write for you..

Until Next Time,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

First, Just Decide EXACTLY How Much Money You Want To Make…

When people ask me how they can make money online, I will occasionally, rather mischievously, ask exactly how much they want to make, because I know that, almost exclusively, I am about to be given a blank look and the slightly hesitant reply …’well, erm … lots’

Now, I know it’s a few months since I’ve used the ‘planning’ word but it’s time it reared its ugly head again, and this time on the very practical grounds that if you don’t know how much money you want to make, at least initially, how can you work backwards (or ‘reverse engineering’ as it is known these days) and plan what you need to do each day to achieve it?

I’m not going to ask you to start totting up how much your ideal house would cost, and the car, and the holidays and everything else to find out exactly how much money you want to live your ‘perfect’ lifestyle (this is partly because you will almost certainly end up a huge number you could not relate to, and partly because I know from experience that once you a achieve a certain amount of things, you are introduced to a whole new level of expense that you previously didn’t know existed) 😉

Instead I’ve always looked at it more in stages …  how much money do I need to pay off my credit cards … how much money do I need to get my hands on that supercharged Jaguar, or to answer the question I’m asking today … if you wanted to give up your day job, exactly how much would you have to earn ?

Let’s say you’re Assistant Administration Manager for International Consumer Widgets plc, earning £30,000 a year … but you’ve grown tired of widgets and instead yearn to earn a living from your laptop…

Less than 10 seconds of calculator work will tell you that £30,000 over a year works out at £82 a day – not, you’ll agree, the unfeasibly large amount of money you were perhaps thinking of.

Now, if you went to Clickbank and found the best converting offer at the moment … (I’ve just dispatched a Minion to find out what it is)  … apparently it’s something ghastly called Commission Breakthrough and it pays $47.00 (about £30 in grown up money) to affiliates…

Or if, quite wisely, you decided Commission Breakthrough wasn’t your thing and instead you were to promote my Unitrader product or something similar, you would earn about the same, which means in real terms, getting involved in the sale of less than 3 of these items each day would make you enough to replace that £82

Now, I don’t know what the Commission Breakthrough or any other similar website converts at, (the conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who place an order) but if it’s anything like Unitrader, you could generate those 3 sales by sending just 52 people each day to the site.

So, in principle, and put in very basic terms, if you could direct 52 people to a website you don’t even own (and does all the ‘selling’ for you), and do it again tomorrow and each day after that … you won’t have to get up and got to work anymore.

Obviously in practice I would suggest you make sure you know what you’re doing, promote several different products to cover more bases, and be able to replace your income for around 6 months before giving the boss the heave-ho, but does it really, really sound that difficult compared to that amount of effort you put into your day job?

By breaking down what you want to achieve online into more manageable chunks, and what you need to do to do each day to make it happen, that turns the possible rewards offered by your online endeavours from something that’s ‘pie in the sky’ into something you can almost touch…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Are You Paying Enough Attention To Environmental Change…?

The entire spectrum of Lowedown readers has everyone from experienced, multi-millionaire marketers right around to those who only got the idea about making money online last week … but regardless of your level of ability and experience, you could easily be forgiven for reading the title of this edition with a slightly raised eyebrow…

After all, I am known for owning a series of vast ‘gas guzzling’ supercharged cars and from there it doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to imagine that I would leave all the worrying about things like where Polar Bears are going to live to those you might have heard me refer to previously as the ‘knitted yoghurt’ brigade.

However, in the online world, an environmental change is something entirely external to anything on your website, which significantly alters the focus or amount of free flowing traffic  …  and these can be very important indeed, even when you only get, (just like I used to) around a hundred sales every week…

You see, back when I advertised in the Sunday newspapers, I mostly used the same ad in the same papers almost every week which should have meant I nearly always got the same results, but in practice this was never the case … so what I used to do was examine all of the events around when each and every sale or enquiry that came in, the number of visits to the website and how they all fluctuated…

After a short while, due to this obsession with examining the exact minutiae of every order, I could tell from the pattern of the very first sales, not only how many I would sell from that particular batch of adverts … but also when they would be coming in…

For instance if it was a particularly sunny Sunday (especially the first one of the year) I knew I would get orders … but not until the evening when people were coming back home from their days out. Of course, those without that knowledge would spend their first sunny Sunday morning looking at an order screen emptier than a hermit’s diary and wondering what on earth they had done wrong…

The same is also true of school holidays as well as bank holidays and even the least observant among us could probably guess that Christmas is not exactly the high point for a lot of online niches.

However, if Sunday was one of the many varying grades of grey and damp that we enjoy in this country, the orders would come flying in almost straight away, as would the requests for more information, and the eventual sales would always be much higher.

On days like this, if it wasn’t for the lure of ‘She Who Must’s…’ particularly fine roast potatoes heaped high on my Sunday Lunch … I probably wouldn’t have left the ‘office’ at all (you can probably guess at the ‘approved’ portion size, the creation of which sometimes entailed the use of multiple roasting dishes and a second oven 😉

Unless your online endeavours are concentrated to just one country of course, there are other factors that will trigger an environmental change. Global media events, such as the Royal Wedding, or the passing of Michael Jackson would mean a lot of your usual visitors would be otherwise occupied. This would also be true for major sporting events like the Superbowl, World Cup final and the Olympics.

If you don’t take factors like this into account, and things don’t exactly go to plan, you’ll know that it didn’t work … you just won’t know why, and as a result, you may be reluctant to try again…

However, if you examine how various environmental factors affect your sales … for instance is there usually an upturn in sales around the end of the month when a lot of us get paid (often true for an online business that sells physical goods like books or video games), or did you get a lot of extra subscribers to your ‘Make Money From Home’ newsletter the day after some disastrous piece of news about the economy?

Armed with this knowledge, not only can you avoid needless stress and panic when one of these things affects your business negatively, you could also prepare yourself to take full advantage when you suspect a repeat of something that affected your business positively…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

How To Put Some ‘Lead’ In Your Magnet…

One of the more interesting birthday presents I have ever received was a pair of tickets to attend a sausage making evening at a rather fine establishment in London which also ran special butchery classes (well, you would expect me to go abseiling or flower arranging now would you?) 😉

I was accompanied on this little adventure by my good friend Ali, whom the casual observer may think a poor choice of companion as he very much looks like he normally exists on two lettuce leaves a day … but after the infamous ‘Cumberland sausage’ incident and the Pizza eating competition I can assure you this is definitely not the case…;-)

We were first given a demonstration on how ‘proper’ sausages are made and then allowed free reign to have a go at making some ourselves … and although I was extremely pleased with my own efforts, I don’t think the current ‘Sausage maker of the Year’ needs to be quaking in his boots just yet (however I was told, with my sleeves rolled up and getting ‘stuck in’ I certainly looked the part!)

Now, that very enjoyable evening was not the first time I’ve ever seen sausages made … and it will come as no surprise to you that even the finest sausages are basically intestine stuffed with bits of meat from places the animal itself didn’t know it had … and yet contrary to that evidence, sausages sell in absolute millions every week…

The reason being sausages, whilst certainly not made from the best cuts the butcher has to offer (nor should they be the bits that are normally thrown away), are instead combined with other ingredients and presented in such a way that they become both desirable and satisfying…

It is worth bearing in mind the humble sausage when putting together your ‘lead magnet’ or free report you are giving away on your squeeze page. You do not give away your ‘best’ stuff at this stage (nor is anybody expecting you to) but what you are offering must be presented to be every bit as desirable as the smell of cooking sausages can be to an empty stomach…

So, go into massive detail the benefits that the free report would give your potential ‘lead’ … a short descriptive paragraph followed by four or five bullet points has been known to work quite well. (If you can’t think of 4 or 5 bullet point benefits for your report … you might want to revise or increase the content to provide a bit more value)

Tell them exactly what they will learn by opting to receive your free report, that they will for instance discover where to find the cheapest hosting on the web, source a free auto responder or maybe if your niche is weightloss, that they will learn exactly how many glasses of water a day they should be drinking…

If you can, also provide a desirable image to represent the report (everybody knows what they will be getting is a downloadable eBook, but people really do judge a book by its cover) and whilst you may be tempted to make it look like a thick volume (giving the impression of offering plenty for free) experience has shown that the image of quite a slim volume (and therefore not as much hard work to read) is much more successful.

But, and I cannot stress this enough, you absolutely must provide everything you have promised … whether it be the cheapest hosting on the web, the free auto responder or the correct number of glasses of water (which, last time I looked was nine) … so that people know you will follow through on what you have said you will do.

Your free report is one of the foundations of your relationship building process and when this is done correctly, you will soon be in a position to present your ‘finer cuts’ to the customer which will provide even greater benefits to them, and much larger financial rewards for yourself…

To Your Success,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

15 Easy Ways To Make Your Website Even Better…

Just like last week, I was flying to a European destination … just like last week; it did not go well at all … however, in sharp contrast to last week, apparently this time it was all my own fault…

You see, it was regarded by those near and dear to me that it was I who ‘broke’ the aeroplane … in reality it was actually nothing to do with me but was a hinge on one of the cargo doors that actually gave way, causing the flight to be cancelled … but there was enough chaos caused back at Lowe Towers by having to collect me from a later, replacement flight (It seems that plans were made, changed, and changed once again) … that any pleas as to my innocence in the matter fell entirely on deaf ears…

And whilst I could easily fill another three Lowedowns with the acts of airline buffoonery I witnessed on that trip out, (and an experience involving tulips and Amsterdam you won’t hear about in any song) … what I really wanted to do this week was highlight a few discoveries made back at HQ during my absence that may be to your distinct advantage…

I know from your emails that many ‘Lowedown’ readers will have their own websites, usually built, like a lot of mine  – using WordPress … and this, these days, seems to be the preferred way of doing things … And I would whole-heartedly recommend anybody who is still without a website to take this particular route as well…

WordPress, is, as I’m sure you know, (by comparison at least) quite basic to get to grips with … but can give you some professional looking results reasonably quickly … all based around a template to which you add your own theme and content to, then you can increase yours sites functionality and take care of any tedious bits like SEO by adding gadgety little things called plugins.

Well, WordPress has existed for a few years now and plugins have existed for just as long, so obviously that’s not the discovery … however, if you are building or re-vamping your website right now, wouldn’t you be really keen to discover which of these plugins give you the absolute optimum return on your efforts…?

The reason being, the list of available plugins is exceeded only by the amount of time you can spend searching through them to find the best ones … so what I’ve done is tasked my ‘WordPress Minion’ to bypass all of that for you and pick out the most useful and profitable plugins offering the greatest benefits to all those who want to make money online…

He did very well. Not only did he ‘scrootle’ out 15 that he found to be very beneficial indeed (we use them here) … they are also completely free – and for extra brownie points (or should that be Minion points…? 😉 you will also see that he found you 5 more that will help you squeeze a few extra pennies from your website as well…

You can now access the full list of these plugins and find out how you could easily improve almost every single aspect of the way your website works in just a few clicks of the mouse … just click here now to get started.

Remember the plugins listed are completely free and we already use them on some, if not all of my WordPress based websites to get higher rankings in Google, get more traffic (and finding out where it’s coming from), and making it easier to post content (or even take away the need to find your own content at all…) click here now

To top it all, I have instructed my WordPress minion to answer any questions you may have about getting on with this, which you can ask either on the Minions Facebook Page or the ‘Award Winning’ Minions website

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. If you are a bit new to all this, have never made a website this way before, but would like to learn more, ensure you ‘like’  the Minions Facebook Page and subscribe to the Minions website newsfeed as they are putting together something you will find particularly useful…

Is your business ‘First Class BA’ or ‘Cattle Class EasyChav’?

Normally in the Lowedown, I will usually recount what I hope is a mildly entertaining event from my own experience to illustrate whatever particular idea I’m trying to get across … but last week when I flew to Italy, I had the misfortune to witness first hand the near perfect example of exactly how NOT to do just about EVERYTHING … and, put simply … if you run your own business like this bunch of clowns it’s only going to go one way…

Now, obviously something went a bit wrong right from the the start, as you would expect when flying this particular airline. Now, I know the chaps with briefcases like me to change the name so I don’t upset anybody … so with this in mind let’s call the airline … EasyChav

So… after we, the unwilling herd, had been assembled at the starting blocks (don’t forget that EasyChav don’t bother allocating seats, so you have to run and push people aside, somewhat like a bus, or more like those Indian trains with people on the roof) they announced a short delay …  Much to the dismay of the kind and generous souls who had elbowed and kicked the lame, old and infirm aside to get to the front of the queue … and who now cannot give up their pole position by sitting back down.

The delay lasted an hour…the reason being, they had nobody to fly the plane. Evidently through some quirk of cretinous planning, they actually have more planes than flight crews (why would you do that?  …  think about it, its daft given how much it costs just to park a plane at an airport) … Anyway, there is our plane, sat on the runway with the crew sprinting from the other side of the airport where their last flight has just touched down….

When I eventually got on board a steward told me, whilst finding me a fat belt (bright orange, for two reasons naturally) that they had to change planes again at Verona and fly another one somewhere else. Airports must be just littered with abandoned orange planes waiting for somebody to come and fly them.

Which bodes the question … how can this outfit, who it seems can’t consistently manage to have the crew in the same country as the plane … actually manage to get access to the plane – are there keys? … Or could any perma-tanned halfwit in a uniform just waltz in and nick it?

And why no allocated seats? … They still have to check you in and print boarding cards so there is no cost saving…it’s just a Stelios ploy to make it feel cheap, which, as it turns out, it’s not even that…

You see, BA were actually cheaper but full because of half term, and there would have been none of the abject buffoonery I’ve had to recount here. It’s only the third time in 15 years I’ve flown with ‘EasyChav’ and it will be at least another 5 years before I forget and give it another go … rudderless shower.

Anyway, whilst I would encourage you to steer clear of all things orange, I would instead suggest it would be very much in your interest for you to spend some time with a couple of small yellow things…

This week, my Minions have been instructed to teach as many people as possible (and certainly everybody who reads the Lowedown) something new and useful about making money online, and to that end they are gathering together a load of free training videos and free resources for you to take advantage of…

To get this 100% free, 100% useful resource working for you today …
Visit the ‘Tim’s Minions’ Facebook Page Now
and remember, any questions you have about the world of making money online, just ask these chaps (remember, they do all this stuff, for real, every day)

 

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

So, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?

Who remembers what they wanted to be when they grew up?

When the teacher went around the class, asking what we all wanted to be when we grew up – my answer wasn’t, as some of you might expect ‘In Charge’ …  but what I actually wanted to be was an engineer and design motor car engines…

Instead of course I ended up doing many other things, which too be fair, has all turned out OK so far … but if you told me back then what I’d be doing now … well, I’m sure you can imagine what I have said…

The point is, half the jobs people do today, didn’t really exist 20 years ago (along with the internet itself) … and this industry that we are part of is less than one generation old … so very few people who use the internet today would have had much in the way of formal teaching, and just like me are pretty much self taught…

It is also worth mentioning that we have also ‘self taught’ ourselves despite the fact that, especially under the influence of Google and Facebook, the internet has evolved almost constantly over those years.

Thomas Edison famously said that ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ and so many people see a new opportunity, and because there is ‘work’ involved in learning something new … decide they can’t do it without even trying, and so that opportunity passes them by … and when this happens I think we do ourselves a massive disservice…

Why? Because the fact of the matter is, if you think about the host of new things you must have learned just to be reading this email (even if it was typed using just two fingers) 😉 along with the fact that now most of us will quite happily take those ‘new’ skills for granted … then you should never be daunted by the prospect of learning a few more things … especially if those things could bring you in many thousands extra every month…

So, when it comes to trying new things or new techniques online – don’t sell yourself short – just because you haven’t done something before it doesn’t mean you can’t do it at all…

Even though it might look new and complicated, it doesn’t mean it’s any more difficult than all the other things you may have previously found daunting but have now learned, mastered, and take for granted … and remember with your online endeavours, they have the potential to be infinitely more profitable…

To Your Success,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Got Problems With Your Website? – Just Sleep On It…

I’m afraid I must announce I’m not sleeping well … not anything to do with my business (the New Year has seen an avalanche of orders – but more on that in a moment) it just seems my mattress is very much on the way out. Buying a new one would seem to be the simple and obvious solution … but when I recount what happened last time, you’ll see it’s not as easy as it sounds…

I’d already exhausted what little patience I have for such tasks by the time I’d finished buying a duvet made from the down of the Siberian Snow Goose or some other mythical creature … and as you would have no doubt guessed, ‘She who must…’ and I have considerably different ideas as what constitutes the correct firmness of mattress … it seemed the only answer was to have something bespoke made that was ‘half-and-half’

‘Man with Clipboard’ arrived,  and after much measuring, sketching and jotting down copious notes about sleeping positions, left with our order and a very large cheque. As it transpired either the various hammerers and stuffers in the workshop or the chap with the clipboard had had some kind of episode because the delivered mattress was, without putting too fine a point on it – wrong.

I could feel springs, stuffing was protruding in the most inconvenient places and after I gave them the benefit of my opinion on the matter the offending article was removed and another was made and rushed to Lowe Towers … but because this replacement was made based on the same wrong information, it had all the same things wrong with it.

This sorry process was repeated two further times before mattress company’s regional sales manager arrived at my door, on bended knee and offering me a full refund, if they were allowed to take away the mattress and we never spoke of it again. He left a truly unhappy man and you could see why … not only had they lost what was quite a substantial order but they also wasted time and money making four very unsatisfactory mattresses.

If they had diagnosed the problem accurately the replacement would have been correct and that would have been the end of it, and it is this lesson that we need to take onboard.

When something goes wrong, the temptation is often to get straight back up and have another go … to try, try again in true Robert the Bruce fashion. However, unless you know what went wrong last time, doing exactly the same thing over again … will get you exactly the same result.

So, when things don’t go as planned, you need to take a moment to put your finger on what you think went wrong, and take a little time to solve that issue before diving back into your online endeavours…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

OK, So This Is How You Make Money Online….

The #1 question I always get asked… which, I’m sure you can guess is … ‘How do I make Money Online…?’

Well, the majority of Lowedown readers should be interested in something I have put together with my good friend Nick James, which provides a perfectly paced step by step guide to starting and building on your internet endeavours, all delivered in ‘doable’ chunks, so you will always have access to what you need to know, but you’ll never be bombarded with too much too soon, and suffer from information overload …

If you want to make money online, this program shows the way I do it, it’s  also the way Nick does it, as well as being the way almost everyone else does it (though they may try and wrap it up differently) … and it’s the way you’ll do it too if you follow the instructions and tutorial videos (and of course willing to put the effort in and stick with it when you hit the occasional snag.)

To unlock the secret of earning £1,000 a day, and get started today without risking a penny, click here now or click on the 10 Minute Marketer button on the right…

For those of you already underway with you online endeavours, but are hitting various obstacles along the way, I should remind you that I have put a couple of my in-house team (the very ‘tongue in cheek’ named ‘Tim’s Minions’) at your disposal to help out with any queries you may have with keeping things going (or even getting off the ground) 😉

I should mention also that they have already been given a minor accolade of some kind by another Facebook page for the website building video they posted last week, so they now insist (again with tongue in cheek) on being referred to as the ‘award winning’ Tim’s Minions.

They’ve just posted some interesting stuff about making money buying and selling websites which may be of interest to you, and are of course on hand to answer any questions you may have about anything to do with making money online … you can visit their Facebook page and post a question by clicking on the ‘ask a Minion’ button on the right…

As a final note, I know many of you already use this; in fact it’s what brought many of the newer readers of the Lowedown here in the first place … but if my completely free ListBuilder course has somehow escaped your notice so far, you may wish to take advantage of it right now.

It provides the perfect blueprint for setting up your online business, and you can get your copy right now by using the rather obvious button at the end of this email…

So with a free downloadable blueprint, access to a step by step guide full of video tutorials … and a couple of my team on hand to ease you over those inevitable bumps, you’ll agree there should be very little standing in the way of you getting started right now…

To Your Success,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

The Easy Way to Build A Great Looking Website … Fast

Over the last few months, you may have heard me refer to my-in-house chaps as my ‘Minions’ … I can assure you that it is all done with my tongue very firmly in my cheek, and it is a running joke that is happily embraced by everyone here at HQ. I’m actually proud to say that every one of them is excellent at what they do … as well as being, (just so they fit in with the rest of us) … ever so slightly odd… 😉

Well, shortly after Christmas, I came up with the plan that as well as helping me, it would be really quite useful if my ‘Minions’ could help you with your online endeavours as well…

To get the ball rolling, what they have put together is a ‘Tim’s Minions’ Facebook page (with a plan to add a full-blown website when the need arises) full of little tricks and tips from the ‘sharp end’ about things like keyword research, making simple sites and other useful stuff from chaps that are actually doing it, every single day…

The first thing they’ve done for you on this Facebook page is put together a step by step video tutorial on how to create a quick and easy website … and, as neither of them came up to the office, cap in hand for some funds … I’m almost certain it cost them nothing to set up either.

However, if you already know how to do that, but might be having problems with other aspects of your online endeavours, you can still go along to the page and post any questions you may have instead, which will be answered by one of the chaps, so others can see and benefit from it as well.

Please be aware though, that this is meant to be a simple Q&A service and most definitely not a forum so I have instructed them to take an especially dim view with rants, rhetoric and spamming, all of which will be deleted immediately…

You can visit the FB page now, and watch the video tutorial by clicking the link below … though I believe you need to ‘like’ the page before you can watch the video or post a quick question for my ‘minions’ to answer …

Visit the ‘Tim’s Minions’ Facebook Page Now
 

Please be gentle with them … as this is the first time I’ve mentioned this in the Lowedown, they are bound to have quite a few visitors over the next day or so, which means it may take a while for them to answer all your questions … but if that is the case, I’m sure you’ll find the information they give you worth the wait…;-)

All The Best,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Responsibility Is In The Eye Of The Beholder…

If you have even the smallest amount of exposure to the news, you can’t fail to have noticed the recent events surrounding the capsized Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, and you will also probably have seen the widely reported, and virally distributed, image of the Belfast Telegraph’s front page with the wholly inappropriate ‘Win a Dream Holiday’ advertising banner sat above the headline that was relaying the tragic news…

Like me, you’re probably asking yourself – why didn’t anybody look at that page and apply a bit of common sense…? Well, in this age when technology seems to have replaced common sense entirely, I’m willing to wager that every last detail like spelling, layout and print quality were checked to the ‘nth’ degree by computer before publication … and by the time the first pair of human eyes saw what had occurred – it was already too late.

It was probably the same lack of human touch that meant one of the pay TV channels unintentionally ended up advertising their new ‘zombie’ series ‘The Walking Dead’ on (amongst other places) … the side of a funeral parlour…

Just two examples of abject buffoonery that those of us striving to earn a few pennies on the internet would do well to take note of, as the following example illustrates…

I was recently asked to cast an eye over the endeavours of one of my students who had taken my advice and outsourced the building of their website, but was a little concerned that, despite all their efforts, it was not really getting the desired results…

And, whilst the website was resplendent with all the bells and whistles you could possibly imagine … the first thing that jumped out at me and indeed anybody else who visited the site, was not the brilliance of all the technical jiggery-pokery but the incorrect spelling in the headline.

Further investigations also pulled up several more examples of what could be considered ‘schoolboy errors’ in some of the content as well, all of which could have damaged a potential customers confidence in what was being offered, and all of which could have been eradicated by a simple read-through of what their tame techie had put together for them…

These errors have now been corrected, but we will never know how many possible new readers and customers had they ‘put off’ with the one simple oversight of ‘assuming’ because they had paid somebody else to do it, that they didn’t have to check it over themselves.

So, you would do well to remember that regardless of who built or who has written it … it’s still your website, and you will stand or fall on how well it is received. You can, of course, give yourself the best chance possible if you just use two things a computer will never replace … the human eye and a bit of common sense.

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

At Last! A New Year’s Resolution You Can Stick To…

Today’s email was going to be my usual friendly start of year reminder (did someone say ‘nag’ ?) about the absolute necessity of planning the year ahead, about how writing your targets down makes them that much more real …  I was even thinking of dropping in that famous statistic about the Yale class of 1953, when the 3% of the class who actually documented their targets had, after 20 years, accumulated more wealth than the other 97% combined…

But, let’s be perfectly frank, you’ve no doubt heard all this before … and just like the diet, or the yearly attempt to give up this or that, the super organised and efficient ‘New You’ that seemed ever so possible at 9am on January 1st, is beginning to run out of steam … and you’re already starting to slip back into your old ways…

But don’t panic … this doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it only underlines the fact you are human, and instead of being guilty of slacking off and lacking moral fibre, substance and willpower, your only crime has actually been trying too hard…

Wouldn’t it be a better plan then, instead of trying to change nearly everything about your life in one fell swoop … to choose just one absolutely vital thing you want to change this year and focus your efforts on sticking to that … in short – commit to one change that will simply make your life so much better.

Now, I’d like to take all the credit for this stunningly useful piece of advice, but I’m afraid it’s not all my own work. You see I had help, but not, you understand, from just any old Tom Dick or Harry … but instead from Ali Campbell, one of the world’s most highly regarded life coaches … who’s regular clients include ‘A list’ celebrities and in some cases royalty…

Ali has a wealth of experience and expertise that has equipped him to provide you with what you REALLY NEED to help you get ahead … and on a more personal level he is a close friend who has been known to tweak the occasional masterplan here at ‘Lowe Towers’ over the last couple of years…

Obviously, Ali is already in great demand, and there is only so much Ali to go round, so, as you would imagine he has a website full of resources and a bestselling book ‘Just Get On With It!: A Caring, Compassionate Kick Up the Ass!’ to his name … and, just like all of the very best people, he also publishes a weekly tip for all of his subscribers…;-)

You’ll find Ali’s website at http://www.alicampbell.com/ he also has a separate blog here – http://motivationbyalicampbell.wordpress.com/ … you even can ‘Like’ him on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/alicampbellcoaching … and last but not least you can get hold of Ali’s book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Get-Caring-Compassionate-Kick/dp/1848501617/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

So if you really committed to making positive changes in your life, you could do an awful lot worse than take a look at what Ali can offer you through his website, his book or even his coaching programme … It could be all that is separating you from everything you want to achieve.

Until Next Time,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Here are those links again…

Ali’s Website: http://www.alicampbell.com/
Ali’s Blog: http://motivationbyalicampbell.wordpress.com/
Ali’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/alicampbellcoaching

… and for Ali’s book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Get-Caring-Compassionate-Kick/dp/1848501617/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!

Here at HQ, the ‘minions’ have been shuffling paper ever more loudly and staring more pointedly at the clock, hinting strongly that I should do the decent thing and let them be on their way a little early (I think you can probably guess my thoughts on this, but at the risk of being visited by three ghosts this evening I shall keep them private) 😉

Before I release them to go forth and start their Christmas break, (Then of course depart myself and go and offer a few words of advice and encouragement to ‘She who must…’ regarding the festive arrangements back a Lowe Towers) … I just wanted to drop you a quick e-mail just to wish you a fantastic Christmas…

I hope you have a brilliant day and that ‘Father Christmas’ brings you everything that you wish for on Christmas morning … though he is yet to provide what I usually desire most of all … which is a bit of a lie-in 🙂

I’ll be back in touch soon…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Have You Got Your Anti-Alien Abduction Helmet Yet…?

Last Thursday I was roused from my office here at HQ by sounds of merriment from downstairs…

Suspecting this frivolity could very well be a sign that my ‘minions’ had removed their noses from the grindstone and were in fact slacking off … I prepared myself to take ‘measures’ and went to investigate further…

It seems that, whilst in the course of their normal duties (or so they tell me) 😉 my R&D guys had literally stumbled across a website which offered advice on, and instructions how to build (wait for it) … special helmets that stop you being brainwashed and abducted by aliens…

The website, as you can imagine, was truly astounding, full of stories of those taken by UFOs and the amazing turnaround in their lives since they had started wearing the aforementioned helmet 😉

The helmet itself seemed to consist of a flying helmet lined with some sort of hi-tech bacofoil to stop your brainwaves being fiddled with, and the website was resplendent with several photos of different people proudly wearing one. (One teenage girl however, slightly self conscious, had decided to wear a baseball cap over the top)… 😉

Further reading on this incredible website will reveal that, when it is not being worn, you must keep your helmet in a locked box to avoid having it stolen by aliens, as apparently despite possessing technology sufficient to take them millions of miles across space they appear to have something of a problem with locks.

Also, it transpires, once the aliens see you have outwitted them with your helmet, they will instead brainwash those around you into trying to convince you that it looks a bit daft and insisting that you take it off …:-)

When I curbed my merriment long enough to actually ask how this website was found in the first place … it turns out it came up in a Google search for the long tail keyword ‘alien abduction stories’ – which, with over 8,000 searches a month, is not too far away from being a good little niche…

The moral of this story is not, as you would suspect, that some people will believe any load of old nonsense … but that never in a million years would it have occurred to me that such a large amount of people would be searching for such a thing as ‘alien abduction stories’ every month, and the massive un-tapped potential of similar niches you may have thought were too bizarre to have existed.

So next time you’re sitting there thinking all of the niches are flooded, just remember that a little left field thinking (one of my R&D guys affirms looking at the titles in old second hand bookshops can provide much inspiration in this area) can open up entirely new swathes of possible niches for you….

Now, I wasn’t going to tell you the address of the website in question, as it was really only mentioned to illustrate a point, but human nature being what it is, I suspect if I don’t … not only will I be deluged with requests for the url, but many precious hours will be lost among Lowedown readers firstly looking for the site, and then pointing and laughing (and no doubt constructing an anti alien abduction helmet of your own) … so the website can be found at http://www.stopabductions.com/ … Enjoy! 😉

Until Next Time,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Don’t Miss Out … My ‘Honourable Mentions‘ page is your second chance to get hold of that programme or system that may have been perfect for you but you missed it completely because of school holidays, email failure, work pressures or even if the dog ate your computer! … All joking aside, perhaps

When ‘Completely Wrong’ Can Still Be 99% Right…

It is not easy to talk about things like finding the
‘missing 1%’ without beginning to sound like an advert for training shoes or
some new fandangled energy drink … two subjects on which, you can imagine, I
claim to be no great authority…

I could, however, recount any one of a hundred occasions from my life as an
employee, (and one or two from domestic situations as well) 😉 when a
perceived missing element was the entire focus of the feedback I received,
rather than the other 99% of effort that went in … I’m sure, regardless of
what you do, you would have similar tales of your own…

And, just like real life – with our online endeavours, if you’ve got it 99%
right, it doesn’t mean you get 99% of the results you would get if you’d got it
entirely correct, and, having just one thing that is not quite ‘there’ could
mean your results are halved or even absolutely zero … but don’t worry – I’m
actually going to tell you why all of this is a good thing…

You see, being a positive sort of chap I know that even if you are getting
nothing in the way of results, it may indeed be because you’ve made a complete
and utter hash of it, but far more likely is the fact that you haven’t got it
all wrong, you really have followed the plan and done the things you were
instructed to do, it’s just some small omission or oversight which has left it just
one thing
away from being perfect…

For example, over the last couple of weeks I have had a few instances of
students who have not quite got the results they were expecting … and some
cases yes, there is some way to go before they have something serviceable …
but for the majority of them the thing separating them from what they were
hoping to achieve was just one little tweak, in a couple of cases it was as
small as the unknowing addition of a hash tag (you know, one of those ‘#’
things so popular with twittering types)

So, how can you spot the ‘one thing’ that may need changing…? now obviously I
can’t personally critique every Lowedown reader’s website or project, that
would take more time than anybody would have, but did you know that your family
and friends could be just as well placed to give you information you need as
any internet ‘guru’…?

Remember, chances are, the vast majority of people you know use the internet
regularly (even if it’s just to let their virtual friends know what they think
about the ‘X’ factor) so they have an idea of what looks ‘right’ online, may
well have more in common with the people your website is trying to reach …
and it could really be the case that their passing comment of ‘don’t like that
background much’ might be exactly what’s putting others off too.

Then, if you wanted, you could go a bit deeper still … You see, you know what
the purpose of your website is, so simply ask your ‘tame critic’ if they would
join, or buy or whatever it is you intended them to do, and if not … ask why.
The feedback you get could provide you with the missing pieces to your
puzzle…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Beware The Evil Empires…

They’ve done it again … Google have just thrown a spanner in the works by deciding,
without warning, something was ‘wrong’ with one of my websites – ironically the
thing that was wrong was exactly the same thing that made the website so
‘right’ for them back in April…

To be fair though, Google do not exactly have a reputation for consistency
among our online community so I really should have expected it … but this got
me thinking about companies like Google and how they want to be perceived
publicly as the ‘good guy’ and what you actually get when you work with them,
which is usually completely different…

Google have always placed themselves as being ‘outside’ (or even above) the
idea of making money online, yet they were the people behind Google Adwords, on
which many internet marketing fortunes are based … and now they have decided
to distance themselves from all of that even further, they appear to have
become everybody’s affiliate so I’ve noticed of late that the ‘Google Shopping’
results turn up conveniently high when searching for, say, a new TV…

Pretending not to be the evil empire is certainly not a new trick, after all
Apple built their entire business on the fact that they were ‘saving’ us all
from the evil Microsoft empire even when they themselves became far bigger …
and a lot of future technology will have to dance to their tune (or should that
be iTune?) in pretty much the same manner they previously credited to
Microsoft…

Of course we see this in all parts of our lives … take for instance banks
(certainly an emotive subject in most people’s book) … on one hand you have
the helpful and well intentioned people we see all the time at the local branch
who are tasked to look after our money … and on the other we have the those
several levels above them who took the decision to actively sell mortgages to
people they knew couldn’t keep up the payments after whatever ‘special rates’
had expired…

Add to that the huge pharmaceutical companies who seem to, whilst tirelessly
doing all that research for the ‘benefit of humanity’ have the uncanny knack of
only managing to discover a drug that will keep a disease at bay (so you have
to keep buying it) rather than finding one that actually cures that disease
altogether.

It seems that the newer big companies in the public eye are keen on playing
this game as well…

You see, over recent weeks I’ve also been dealing with another very large
internet empire, whom despite being quite new to all this, and seem to the
outside world to appear efficient and have their act very much together … in
reality have proved to be entirely rudderless and inconsistent … and when
challenged on their behaviour vaguely wave you in the direction of their
various policies … which in summary read: ‘because we said so’.

Quite frankly, we’re not going to change any of this … so I suggest you waste
no effort doing so … and instead, however reluctantly, accept that you might
be on the receiving end of this kind of high level faceless nonsense at some
point in the future.

What you must do, however, is exactly what those of an entrepreneurial bent have always
done … which is ‘think around’ the situation, planning accordingly and have
contingencies in place so that should you fall victim to the wholesale daftness
of others, it is no more than a mere ‘bump’ in the road…

Rant over. Now composing oneself, ‘bucking up’ and getting back on with it…
😉

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

When pizza on a mountainside can be just as good as dinner at the Ritz…

If I was to ask you to hazard a guess at what would be the perfect dining experience for
yours truly … I expect you might conjure up images of a Michelin starred
restaurant with an extensive menu, carefully matched wines for every course,
all cooked by some shouty chap you’d normally expect to see on television.

And that, certainly, was right up there … until about a week ago … But I
now have to declare that, whilst on a recent short break somewhere nice and
warm, I had one of the best – if not the best – dining experiences of my life
… eating a pizza halfway up a mountain…

We’d been invited by a friend to accompany him on a visit to a former colleague
of his, a restaurant owner who had now opted for a quieter life up in the hills
running his own small pizza delivery business … so we armed ourselves with a
few carefully selected bottles of red wine….and set out to sample this more
‘rustic’ fare.

Admittedly it wasn’t just pizza … there were mushrooms in a amazing cheese,
tomato and garlic sauce, the most perfect bruschetta with fresh tomatoes garlic
and chilli … and of course I ‘may’ have augmented my own pizza with just a
little extra cheese (well, there were too many different varieties to choose
from to pick just one or two) And this, eaten in the open air on a gorgeous
evening surrounded by good company … well, it really couldn’t have been any
better…;-)

Proof then, you’ll agree, that something doesn’t have to be all polished five
starred excellence, as long as it all fits together and each of the elements
involved compliments all the others perfectly…

We can, of course, implement this principle into our online endeavours,
something that may prove invaluable for those who are wondering how they could
ever possibly compete with others who might have ‘big shiny’ websites and ‘big
shiny’ products to offer.

Rustic and honest is just as good as
posh and shiny and way better than shiny and smarmy!!!!

A product made of quite simple, congruent parts that will work perfectly
together and give the user exactly (or even exceed) what they were expecting
will win you more long term customers than something that looks ‘the business’
but ultimately doesn’t deliver.

Even if you don’t have any products of your own, you can ensure whatever
processes you do have (whether it be adding people to your list or directing
them toward somebody else’s offer) flows congruently…

For instance, you could have the same header, fonts or imagery on your thank
you page as you do on your squeeze page … so that your visitor knows where
they are and what is going on right through the process.

The last thing you want is for your visitor’s confidence to be ‘jarred’ by
something inconsistent that makes them have second thoughts about joining your
list or taking up an offer, but instead try and make all parts of your buying
or ‘signing up’ process just like a ‘well greased chute’ delivering them either
to your list or making them a customer…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

How to ‘tweak’ your way to better results at no extra cost…

Now, I know you can probably feel your eyelids getting
heavy at the mere mention of the word statistics, and I agree it wouldn’t be
top of my list of ‘fun’ things to do either … but if I told you that by
taking a passing interest in your stats you could increase the size of your
list (and consequently your sales) without any extra work generating traffic or
spending any more on advertising than you already do … I think you’d probably
agree that would be worth staying awake for…

Firstly of course, you need to know where you are starting from, and if you
don’t have access to any stats already, the easiest way is to get Google to do
it for you. Pay a visit to Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics/
and they will give you a bit of code to pop on your site to monitor the
visiting traffic. It’s free, and after a couple of days (or even better a week)
you should have something you can work from.

Before we go any further, please be aware you won’t be studying anything in the
minutest detail to start off with … the main things you need to know at this
stage are how many visitors your site is getting, and how many of them are
joining your list.

Of course Google Analytics will give you lots more information than this, but
there is absolutely no need to bother yourself with such things as ‘bounce
rates’ at this point. (And if I was to go into more detail about what that,
along with some of the more tedious aspects of on-site stats was all about, you
definitely would start nodding off…) 😉

So, once you’ve got your starting point, you are then in a position to ‘tweak’
different things (only one at a time though) and monitor the results to see if
it increases the amount of people joining your list. The most obvious things to
dabble with initially are of course to try different variations of your
headline, or maybe adding (or even taking away) from your list of the benefits
offered by your free report (or lead magnet) … even things like changing the
background colour has been known to affect results.

And don’t think anything is too small to test and try … a year or so ago two
of my students changed the size of the image of the free report they were
giving away (making it look like it had fewer pages so it would not be
perceived as too much ‘hard work’ to read it) and changing just this one thing
increased their conversion rate from 25% to 33%…;-)

So rather than throwing more money at your Google ads campaign or spending
hours trying to increase the amount of visitors to your site using SEO
techniques (probably the only thing more tedious that looking at stats) you
could possibly look at getting the absolute most out of the traffic you are
already getting…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Why Is Right Now Is The Best Time To Do It….?

I am asked all the time how some people can start online and make thousands in their first month, and yet others have been plugging away for years but still seem to be approximately where there started … well, you’ll have to forgive my frankness, but I think the main reason some people never get anywhere is the fact they never really actually get going… This was brought into sharp focus in the wake of the recent invitations I sent out to work with me on my new project … and while I can understand how it (or anything else I mention in the Lowedown) wouldn’t be for absolutely everybody … I must admit some of the replies did leave me scratching my head… Of course, I had the usual emails from people explaining that they were either too old, young, fat, thin, short, or tall for it to be possible to succeed (before they even knew anything about it) or how having the wrong family, house, surname or accent would somehow exclude them from earning £12,000 to £57,000 each month… But what I found slightly flattering and mildly amusing (but at the same time a bit worrying) were the emails suggesting that this kind of thing (or in fact pretty much anything) ‘only’ works for me because I am in some way ‘special’… Well, this is something I can assure you ‘She Who Must…’ would find very amusing indeed … and would take great joy (and several hours) producing her huge portfolio of evidence to prove that the opposite was in fact true) 😉 Obviously I’m nothing special … I’m certainly not stupid, but I’m no rocket scientist either, I had no starting advantage in either wealth or family connections … in short, I started out pretty much where you are now … and, relatively speaking, had about the same amount of resources. That said however, what I did that so many others never do was … I actually took action and got started… Now although the economy was not quite as it now, when I got started a decade ago there was more than enough going on in the world for me to find a reason to put it off ‘until the time was right’ if I had wanted to, and the same would have been true every year since … and I easily could still be sitting there now, waiting for the perfect set of circumstances to occur… The fact of the matter is that ‘right now’ is the time to start whatever venture you happen to have in mind … and it’s also true to say that ‘right now’, (regardless of when you may be reading this) is, and has always been, the best time to start. So many people hang around waiting for the perfect conditions to get going, which of course will never come, and they just don’t ever start. It really doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, if you really want to succeed you will always find a way to overcome the circumstances. Of course, different situations can often call for the occasional bit of lateral thinking and ingenuity but I’ve found with a little effort you can turn almost any situation to your advantage. Every single year is the same in that there will inevitably be ups and downs and the ideal is to work through the ‘downs’ preparing and planning to take advantage of the ‘ups’. I used to quote a phrase to sum this all up which I will now ‘dust off’ for your consideration … If your sail is always up … then when the wind blows – your ship will sail! Until Next Time, Tim Lowe Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Want To Do Some ‘Blue Sky’ Thinking…? Then Just Look Up…

A couple of days ago, the lady that books my flights,
makes sure my shoes get repaired and does a million other wonderful things,
wandered into my office, bearing my afternoon cuppa and a ‘purely medicinal’
Kit Kat … then suddenly thought she might have something of a crisis on her
hands…

You see, there I was, laying on my back on the floor of my office … staring
up and out of the skylight window mouthing words silently looking for all the
world like I had had some kind of ‘episode’ and was still tethered to my sanity
by only the most delicate of threads…

Rest assured, I was not suffering from any sudden affliction and had not taken
leave of my senses (well not any more than is considered usual) 😉 I was
merely in a creative mood, and for it to work best on this occasion I needed to
see blue skies, and this floor and skylight arrangement offered the best – if
not the most dignified – way of achieving this..

Lying on the floor staring out of the window for inspiration may seem odd to
many … and even a bit ‘divaesque’ to some, but I have found that often you
just have to do whatever
works
, regardless how strange it seems because sometimes you have
to look at things, quite literally, from another point of view…

Now I’m not suggesting you spend your days barefoot or dangling upside down
from the ceiling (unless you want to of course) but I am suggesting you give
yourself permission to go against the grain and start thinking about things in
a way you may not have done before…

You see, formerly the Internet Marketing world attracted mainly those who, to
use a cliché – ‘wanted a better life’ or wanted to escape a job they truly
hated, but over the last couple of years, and this year more than ever …
there is a dawning realisation that it is no longer enough to rely merely on a
job … either to still be there at all – or even keep up with the rising cost
of living.

So, what we have instead are those who have decided it can’t be up to the whim
of faceless shareholders or some corporate halfwit with a clipboard (often in
another country altogether) … to decide whether or not we can pay our
mortgage, if we have a holiday this year or what exactly our children will be
opening this Christmas … and that doing something additional to either
supplement or replace a job is no longer just an option but a necessity.

Luckily, this realisation can often become more of a release than a burden and
the prospect of taking your future in your own hands and doing something you
never thought possible … can be not so much frightening as exciting and truly
liberating.

The world at the moment is portrayed as one of hardship and austerity … and
for those that believe this is true – it will become the reality. But for those
willing to grab opportunity with both hands it can be a different story
altogether … more millionaires are created at times like this than at any
other – proof that anything is possible and the playing field is far leveller
than you would imagine… (even if you happen to be lying on your back looking
at the sky…) 😉

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Why The Secret Of Grandma’s Roasting Tin Could Hold The Key To Your Success

This week something occurred that reminded me of an old story which perfectly sums
up what can easily happen if we just keep doing things the way we’ve ‘always’
done them and is equally true for life in general as it is for any of your
online endeavours…

There are plenty of versions of this tale, but the one I prefer goes like
this…

A newly married man sees his wife trimming off the last few inches of a large
joint of meat before she puts it in a baking tray for their Sunday Roast.

Having never seen this before, he assumes that it is some sort of secret technique
for ensuring the meat is done to perfection, however after a few weeks,
curiosity gets the better of him and he asks his wife why she does this.

She explains that this is how her mother always roasted meat, hadn’t got a clue
why she did it but there ‘had’ to be a good reason for doing it…

A few weeks later the couple are having Sunday lunch with the wife’s parents
and he asks his mother-in-law why she always cut the end off of the meat before
putting it in the roasting tin. She tells him that she does it because she
remembers seeing her
mother do it, although she didn’t know why … but knew there ‘had’ to be a
reason for it.

It is not until the family meet up at Christmas that he finally gets the chance
to ask his wife’s Grandmother why she cut the end off of the joint, and why was
that the secret to making the perfect roast..?

His wife’s grandmother simply replied that, her husband always seemed to bring
home a piece of meat that was too big for her roasting dish so she always had
to cut the end off so it would fit in the oven…;-)

Urban myth or not, it brings home the fact that so often we do things just
because we have ‘always done it that way’ and there ‘had’ to be a good reason
for doing it … even if we can’t quite put our finger on what that is…

We often don’t stop to think about why we do things and ask ourselves if this
is the best way. Often we find it used
to be the best way … but things have moved on a bit and it has never occurred
to question what we are doing.

I constantly review and re-jig what goes on here (you’d certainly agree if I
was still using the same tools and methods I did when I started a decade ago
I’d be in what is referred to by some as ‘all sorts of bother’) and find,
almost without exception, that the ‘new’ way not only works better but more is
more adaptable and able to accommodate further change…

We should always regularly question everything that you do and ask if this is
the best way in the current circumstances and with the resources you have at
your disposal. If you are unsure which way to go experiment with different
ideas and see if what you are doing is still the best answer … and if it
isn’t – don’t be afraid to change it….

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

How to ‘swipe’ your way to writing the perfect email…

One of the things I seem to be asked more frequently
for these days (rather than just tips on how to get started) are various tips
on how to communicate with your new list of contacts … and how those first
attempts at building a relationship or making that first offer – can lead to a
severe case of writers block…

I can’t remember ever having this problem to any great extent myself … in
fact, the exact opposite seems to apply, as I’ve been conscious of the fact
that recent ‘Lowedowns’ seem to have been getting longer and longer… (so this
week I shall do my best to be brief…);-)

However, if you are finding the business of writing a little problematic,
please be assured you are not alone. In my years as a marketer I have seen
people who can communicate brilliantly on a face to face level, come across
magnificently on video but when faced with the prospect of putting it all into
words … they just seem to be at a complete loss…

The thing is, they know what they want to say … but when the medium changes
or the interaction is not there, they just don’t know how to say it … or at
least don’t know how to get started.

Now, you don’t stand a chance of building a relationship with people if you
can’t communicate with them … so a little technique I started using in the
early days to help with my own brief episodes of ‘writers block’ may well be of
use to you… (I actually started to use it when I first received flyers and
sales pages in the post, but quickly applied the same principle to emails as well)

Within your Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail or whatever it is you have for your emails,
you should make two new folders … one to keep all the communication that
makes you want to see more, know more or better still click on the ‘order now’
button – in short, anything that ‘hits the right buttons’ for you … and
you’ll also need anoither one to keep the emails that do the complete opposite.

By doing this you are creating what are known as ‘swipe files’ (the name should
be self explanatory…) So when the time comes to communicate with your
contacts, and are desperately short of inspiration for the right words to get
your message across … use the material in these ‘swipe files’ … one to
guide you toward the ‘right’ things to do, and the other to remind you what to
steer well clear of.

Remember, what you will gather together over time in these ‘swipe files’ will
be communication that has been sent by some of the most successful marketers on
the planet, (either written by them or by professional copywriters paid many
thousands of pounds) and it is all there at your disposal – for you to just go
along and cherry pick out the bits that ‘work’ for you – whenever you want…

Please don’t think for one minute that I am suggesting that you blatantly copy
other people’s work – it still has to be your message … but you may find a
flow, a structure or even isolated phrases themselves that match exactly what
you planned to say…

So next time you are staring blankly at an equally blank screen and the cursor
hasn’t moved in half an hour … please remember the cliché about not
re-inventing the wheel, and look to what you have on file for inspiration…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Whatever You Do … Don’t Do A ‘Barry’

The latest addition to my team here at HQ, a fine
bunch whom I fondly refer to (with, may I add, my tongue very firmly in
my cheek) as my ‘minions’ … is a chap who spent his formative years learning
his trade in a joiners’ workshop, and one of his more repeatable tales was
about his former bosses’ rather sudden fall from grace … as a result of doing
something that seems to happen a lot in business, but is very foolish and also
very harmful to your relationship with your customers…

Well, this chap in charge of the joiners’ workshop … we’ll call him …
‘Barry’ (don’t worry … I’ve changed the name to protect the half-witted…)
;-), and, as well as being responsible for deliveries and collections he also
had the all-important task of liaising with the firm’s many clients (who would
typically be fitting out or re-fitting large well know supermarkets and high
street shops…)

Now, the incident occurred when one of these clients rang ‘Barry’ and asked if
the special bespoke large wooden ‘widget’ they had ordered was ready to be
delivered … and ‘Barry’, knowing that this ‘widget’ was supposed to have been
completed a week ago – but was actually still sat in pieces in the workshop …
decided to try and avoid the inevitable ‘ear bashing’ that would accompany him
delivering bad news … and instead tried to pull a ‘fast one’ by telling this
client that their widget was in fact ready, but unfortunately the delivery
truck was out on site and would be unavailable for a couple of days… (hoping
this ‘ruse’ would give Barry the extra couple of extra days he needed to
complete the job)

I suppose you could argue it ‘sort of’ sounded plausible … (you may have even
heard something similar yourself…) and some may ask what is wrong with a
slight bending of the truth…?

Well, in this case, quite a lot … you see, what never occurred to ‘Barry’ was
that his client would decide to send their own truck to collect the ‘widget’ –
after all … this client had men stood around doing nothing, and they
desperately needed to get the item fitted and finish the job off and in turn
keep their own client happy…

So when a truck unexpectedly pulled up outside the workshop, ready to collect
the widget,  ‘Barry’ had a lot of explaining to do… not only the client
he had lied to … but also his own boss  – the workshop owner – who now
had egg all over his face, having been made to look a complete fool in front of
a major client…

All of this … just because ‘Barry’ wanted to avoid the temporary discomfort
of a few minutes of awkward conversation with the client … but had he been
honest and truthful ‘up front’ he would have avoided what would amount to
considerable embarrassment and grief… not only for himself but for the
workshop owner, who as a result of this subterfuge relieved him of his position
of workshop manager and relegated him to ‘odd job man’…

As short as this tale is, the moral should be obvious … it is always best to
be open, up front and be honest with your customers … because regardless of
how well thought out your plan, how meticulous your preparation … things will
from time to time will go wrong, and it is at this point communication with
your client or customers will be both at its most difficult and its most
crucial…

It may involve an uncomfortable few minutes on the phone, (as well as a certain
amount of humble pie being eaten), but by simply being honest about the
situation you not only gain the respect of your customers (who are usually
perfectly willing to accept your explanation anyway) … you are also
demonstrating to your customer you are more than capable of identifying and
resolving any problems … and of course you will avoid any of the inevitable
unpleasantness and embarrassment that would almost certainly occur if you had
chosen to ‘do a Barry’…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Be Yourself … Everyone Else Is Taken


I don’t usually like using famous quotes in my posts;
especially as the title … however you will have to forgive this one
particular Oscar Wilde gem, given today’s subject matter…

You see, we now live in a world where various public figures are constantly
reminded by some clipboard waving flunkey to act a certain way or use certain
phases to appeal to a certain ‘target demographic’ … and whilst we in the
online world are arguably the polar opposite of public figures we still have to
be very conscious of never, ever trying to pass ourselves off as something
we’re not…

How would you feel if for instance, instead of your normal copy of the
Lowedown, an email from me arrived in your inbox with a title that read
something like … “OMG – We’re Crushing It … Epic Win!” … or
some such nonsense?

Well, for a start I expect you would have your doubts as to whether such an
email would have originated from Lowe Towers in the first place … (as you
would have correctly guessed I have absolutely no idea what ‘crushing it’ would
actually entail, and even less intention of finding out) … or otherwise just
assume it was some form of temporary madness on my part and would simply stop
reading until it had all passed and I’d decided to start being sensible again…

Either way, the email would evidently not be what you had come to expect from
me, and most likely not what you would want from me either, so it would
probably be in your ‘Trash’ or ‘Spam’ folder before you got to the end of the
second line…

The thing is, when you are based online you will have, at best, very little of
the face to face contact you would usually have to build a relationship with
your contacts and customers – so they are going to closely examine all the
communication you do have with them … and will be easily able to spot any
sort of ‘act’ a country mile away.

To build those all important long term relationships with your customers and
contacts, they have to believe you are not only knowledgeable, but credible and
trustworthy as well. Quite frankly the only way of doing this is to actually be
all of those things, and you can’t do that unless you are being yourself.

There would be no point, for example, if you lived in the leafier parts of the
home counties and had an accent that would put a 1950s BBC announcer to shame
… completely blowing any credibility you may have garnered in some misguided
clumsy attempt to ‘fake it’ like so many are doing at the moment … by trying
to come across on video and email like one of those ‘Rapper’ types who swear
like troopers and dress like Jimmy Saville…

If you want to succeed you really have no alternative but to be yourself … by
all means make an impression – but make it an honest one. If you choose instead
to put on some kind of act, and you were lucky enough not to be caught out, do
you think you would be able to keep the act up for the next six months? a year?
even ten years?

In short, it is better to be who you are right from the start … that way you can
dedicate all the time you spend on your online business … actually on your business and
not waste any of it trying to maintain a facade that your customers will almost
certainly see through in the end…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

A Missed Opportunity Doesn’t Have To Be A Lost Opportunity…

Regardless of how ‘gung-ho’ you are about your online
endeavors, from time to time, you are likely to become distracted by one thing or
another. I may have ‘occasionally’ been guilty of becoming distracted … as
anyone who has witnessed one of my frequent ‘asides’ (often straying in to the
the topics of fine restaurants, even finer wine and fast cars) will certainly
testify 😉

Of course, many distractions are not always quite as pleasant, but instead take
the shape of such things as full time jobs and the very important parts of our
individual ‘daily routine’ around which we all have to fit our online
endeavors…

It can so often be the case that, once you’ve ferried the kids around, had your
dinner, walked the dog and then done a million and one other jobs that seem to
appear out of nowhere on a daily basis … by the time you sit down to read
your emails it can be quite late, and your pillow and duvet are more at the
forefront of your mind rather than the prospect of online riches…

It’s only natural that we’re not always in the right frame of mind to take the
time to read the email fully – or instead we’ll earmark it ready to come back
to later for full investigation … and then various events conspire to ensure
we never do… (Don’t worry, I’ve done exactly the same thing … I left
something sitting idle for nearly two years before I started using it … and I
honestly believe that decision cost me over £2m in profits that I could have
made…) 🙁

Anyway, the net result of all these ‘distractions’ is that every week I receive
requests for the link to a system I may have mentioned either two, six or even
twelve months previously from folks who may have decided that it wasn’t right
for them at the time – but is absolutely perfect for them now … and they
can’t locate the email … (and these requests are accompanied in some cases
with rather cryptic clues as to which one it was referring  … for
instance ‘that one that was something to do with forex and moving your rabbit
hutch’…);-)

So, I thought it was time I came up with a solution…

To that end, I’ve arranged to have a website set-up, completely separate to my
blog which will contain links back to a great many of the  projects,
sytems and other things designed to make you a profit that I’ve already
mentioned in the Lowedown this year, along with what I said about them at the
time… Obviously any that have long expired, are no longer relevent because
the internet has ‘moved on’, or were number restricted will not be included,
and I’ve detailed one of my chaps to regularly check all the offers are still
valid along with promises of extreme discomfort on their part should any
Lowedown reader ever encounter an expired link…

To see exactly what you might have missed that may be perfect way for you to
make money online visit my new website – click
here now

Another reason for this is that newer readers of the Lowedown may have missed
an email which held the perfect system for them … for instance, if you joined
the Lowedown in May but the tailor made system for you was featured back in
March … well, here’s your chance to catch the ‘one that got away’

The link will take you a section of the website called ‘honourable mentions’
where you’ll have the chance to go and have a rummage around in the treasure
trove of my previous offerings…

Do Take A Look…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

P.S. Here’s your second chance to get hold of that programme or system that may
have been perfect for you but you missed it completely because of school
holidays, email failure, work pressures or even if the dog ate your computer!
… All joking aside, perhaps the tailor made solution for you was mentioned in
the Lowedown two weeks before you started reading it … all is not lost …
you can still access it when you click
here now

If for any reason, the above links are being problematic, simply copy and paste
the following into your browser to see what you may have missed … and catch
the ‘one that got away’…

http://www.timloweofficial.com/

Don’t Let Your Plans Get Eclipsed By The ‘Next Big Thing’

Whether it’s in the world of politics, entertainment
and especially in the online world, not a day seems to go past without
something or somebody being the ‘next big thing’ that will revolutionise this
or that, or change the face of whatever it is you happen to be doing …
‘forever’. Over the decade or so I’ve been in this business I’ve seen hundreds
of ‘next big things’ come and go (and only a few have become longer term
stayers that we all know and love…)  and I’d have to check, but go back
a few years and I think I might even have actually been the ‘next big thing’
myself once or twice…;-)

And you, just like me, have no doubt thought … they can’t all be the next big
thing (can they?)… and just in case one is (…because let’s face it big
things do
come along)… how do I tell..?

Whilst I have always tried to keep myself informed of new developments, I have
also chosen to keep a clear head, not get caught up in the hysteria and use my
experience (and on some occasions a large amount of prodding of my R&D
chaps) to see though the headlines to see if the ‘new big thing’ is, on a basic
level something brand new … or just a rehashed version of what we already
have in a prettier wrapper…?

For instance, it took a long period for me to change my initial stance on
Facebook and Twitter, (which could most politely be put as being solely for
people who can’t even keep quiet when they’re on their own) … and this is not because as ‘She
Who Must…’ may have rather cheekily suggested, that I lack the ability to say
anything in less than 140 or even the 480 characters required … but simply
because I need to see the real business value of something rather than merely
it’s novelty value before I invest time and funds into it…

Of course now I do lots of things both with, and on Facebook which are not the
things that made me despair of it when I first encountered it … (and for the
record I’ve never played ‘Farmville’, or felt the need to update people every
time I’m stuck in traffic!) . So I do use it – just not always in the way you
might think … So there’ll be no banal updates about every time I buy a
coffee… and instead I’ll only be letting you know things you will probably
find useful and profitable – sorry 😉

(You can join me now on Facebook … click here
now
to go to my page and click ‘Like’ … I’ve also got a couple of extra
bits and pieces there for you that you may not have seen before…)

In the same way that you have to ensure anything you offer your customer is
congruent with their needs, you must look at whatever the ‘next big thing’
happens to be this week and do a quick ‘sanity check’ to see if it’s congruent
with your needs,
or whether it will only serve to be another distraction or wild goose chase…

Not everything that has been dubbed the next big thing actually goes on to be
anything at all, and I’m sure you’ll agree just because ‘everybody’ is talking
about it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good, or may be of any particular
use in helping you achieve what you want online, (take Google plus for example…)
… and if it isn’t you need only to be ‘aware’ of it until it possibly evolves
into something that can be put to good use…

Until Next Time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

How Sweeping Up The ‘Crumbs Off The Table’ Made Me £25,000 a Month…

What do you know about me…? My enthusiasm for
powerful cars … probably … My love of fine wine and restaurants and my
ability to muddle together a ‘few quid’ on the internet … I certainly hope
so. But I’ll admit I’m not renowned for being sympathetic … and I’m sure, by
now you’re aware that my definition of somebody that genuinely needs help and
someone who genuinely needs a boot up the backside does not always match
everybody elses…

So, you might be surprised to learn that, if you’re reading this lamenting that
the fact you only have an extra 100 or so people on your list this month, that
online the ‘big boys’ get everything and as a result it was a toss up whether
you’d be reading your emails or phoning the Samaritans … you may find what
I’m about to say something of a surprise, and, I promise, does not contain the
words ‘buck up and get on with it…’ 😉

You see, even though it’s about a decade since I started out (which, when
you’re talking about the internet, I know, equates to what seems like
forever…) for good reasons and bad, that early era really sticks in my memory
… Back then, a hundred new people a month to my list was about where I
started…

Even then, there were other marketers on the scene, maybe not as many as there
are now (but then again the internet was just a fraction of the size it is
today) and there were certainly those who were more experienced, better
resourced and, to put it bluntly – faster and richer than I was at the time.
The question was the same though on day 1, if these other chaps always seemed
to ‘get in’ first … how on earth was I ever going to get even one customer
let alone the thousands I wanted…?

So I decided, if these faster and richer marketers were going to charge in in and grab all the tasty morsels first … I would simply sweep up the ‘crumbs off the table’… just to get started.

You see, I didn’t try and compete head-on in a game I wasn’t, at that time at
least, going to win. I also knew that most people wanted to deal with the
‘biggest and best’, but if I could offer something a little different, or with
something unique that wasn’t offered elsewhere, people would still be
interested in dealing with me… So I made the most of the the ‘nooks and
crannys’ of the industry, and built my business up solidly over time… (Now of
course I tend to go for whole loaves rather than crumbs, but crumbs were where
I started on day 1!)

So there I was, adding just 30 or so people a week, building a relationship
with them, and at around every three months I would make contact offering a
different  ‘back end’ deal, often increasing what was offered, in terms of
the offer and
the price … (I won’t go over the whole ‘funnel’ principle again right now,
you probably know how it works already…) and after a year I’d created myself
a dependable £25,000 a month income…

Would I have got to that stage any quicker by not ‘sweeping the crumbs’? I’ll
never know for sure, but it certainly got me going…

Of course back then I used newspaper advertising as my ‘nooks and crannys’ way
of finding people, but you could do the same using the lesser known Pay Per
Click search engines, writing articles, contributing to forums or by
orgainising ad swaps … all of which can bring you far better results than my
‘quarter inch’ ad in the Sunday Times…

You see, when I placed my ad in the newspaper, it was seen for a week, and then
all the papers got thown away and I had to do it all over again the following
week. Using these other methods (with the exception of PPC of course) once they
are in place on the internet they remain working for you, plus you can add to
them so you just add in further streams of customers and income, multiplying
your business over time.

Obviously the larger your list size the greater number you can grow it by if
you chose to ad swap too. So the bigger you get the better advantages you have
too … A small list of 100, means you can only do an exchange for somebody
elses 100. But what about when you have 1000, or 10,000, 100,000, 1 million…
(you get the idea…)?

And when writing an article and adding it to one or all of the articles sites
every week, you are creating traffic sources that will send people to your list
for years to come…

Like you, I would rather have had half a million people to market to every week
from the word go, but as it turned out I got about 30 … What I did though,
was made the most of what I was getting … and some of those people are still
loyal followers 10 years later 😉 So, if you are despairing at your rate of
progress, you could always try gathering together the ‘crumbs off the table’
and just as importantly, remembering exactly what can be done with them…

To Your Success,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Have you had a ‘dignity bypass’ operation…?

If you could have seen me on this day 25 years ago, it
is almost certain that hay fever would have me red of face, puffy of eye, and
completely unable to ask for a second class return to Nottingham (readers who
remember a 1970’s advert for a certain menthol based cough sweet will fondly
remember what I’m on about)…

Luckily (or otherwise…) about 20 years ago, almost overnight and completely
out of the blue, my hay fever progressed into an allergy to cats and horses too
(both unfortunate and mystifying, as we actually had a cat at the time and I
spent time around horses whilst growing up … mainly as my sister rode quite a
bit through her childhood … and I never once had any problems with the
creatures at all). And slightly annoyingly in more recent times this has
escalated, and also become a full blown dust allergy, which I have now decided
to tackle in a slightly unusual way…

Like every other allergy sufferer on the planet, I have tried many solutions
over the years (including at some peoples’ insistence just ‘bucking up’). But
what I’ve now discovered is a slightly unorthodox ‘treatment’ and, despite it
being early days it seems to be quite effective. However, its application has
definitely involved something of a ‘dignity bypass’ operation…

‘Timmy’s New Toy’ (to quote ‘She Who Must…’) is an ingenious little widget
which consists of a box no bigger than my hand containing an array of
electrical gubbins, complete with protruding wires leading to two infra red
probes … which, when inserted into my nostrils do something impressive (I
can’t remember exactly what) … probably it zaps all the resident dust, pollen
and other such airbourne nasties likely to trigger my various allergies, or
trigger the natural anti-histamines or something like that. Of course, these
probes are quite substantial and have to, to put it as delicately as possible,
go ‘right up there’ …  and applying this little device can sometimes be
every bit as eye watering as hay fever itself…!!

Now, I’ve found the best time to plug myself in to this contraption is whilst
driving (chosen because it is my ‘captive time’, when I know I’ll stay sitting
down for a chunk of time, undisturbed…) however, while this does leave me
sniffle free … it does involve me travelling around looking as if, at best,
I’ve seriously misread the instructions for my iPod! … and has meant various
friends and colleagues opting to risk public transport rather than be in the
car with me…;-)

Now, you might be forgiven for wondering what serious business point am I
currently trying to highlight by describing the glowing infra-red probes that
I’m regularly inserting in to each nostril, causing my nose to glow in very
much the manner associated with a certain reindeer…

Well, let me explain…

Just like me with my nasal contraption, you must not be afraid to try something
new to get improved results, even if there is the potential risk of it taking
you into an area where you might feel slightly uncomfortable…

For instance, if you suspect (correctly, as it turns out) that your squeeze
page will convert at a higher rate if you add a video of yourself (helping
connect you with your potential customer) but haven’t done so due to feeling
awkward in front of the camera you’ll know exactly what I am referring too..

(However, with this particular example of course you could break yourself in
gently by recording a video of you narrating your video script as a series of
PowerPoint slides as a precursor to your full screen debut…) 😉

Or perhaps you’re putting together a series of JV’s that will provide some much
needed traffic for a brilliant offer of yours but are holding off because this
means getting in contact with some complete strangers with a possibility of
rejection … Well why not just pick up the phone? (Once again if that sounds
too daunting, break it down and test the water by putting together smaller
deals with contacts you do have, perhaps in your own niche, or on forum
sites… and then still pick up the phone!)

In a nutshell, if you want things you’ve never had before, you must be prepared to do things you have
never done before, which will often mean stepping out of your comfort zone, and
that may result in you feeling a little bit awkward at first, (I know I
certainly did) 😉 … But once you’ve dipped your toe in gently and persist
you will almost certainly see changes …  the financial and personal
rewards of which are, truly, nothing to be sneezed at… (sorry couldn’t resist
that one…) 😉

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Before Rushing Forward … First Check You’re Facing The Right Way….

For most of my life I’ve seen the world through a pair
of glasses … in fact I was first introduced to the joys of the opticians
chart whilst I was still at school … yet somehow all through my schooldays I
managed to escape most of the ‘kind’ comments and special attentions that are
usually reserved especially for pupils with ‘four eyes’… (I suppose after
some early exchanges, even the most half witted bully worked out very quickly
that it would be wise to seek their sport elsewhere).

In more recent years I’ve been a customer at Vision Express where I was looked after by a fine chap who was very much considered to be the ‘Gok Wan’ of the store … During each of my visits he would express horror or dismay at what I had chosen for myself, then wander off around the various displays in a very ‘characteristic’ fashion and come back with frames that I would never have chosen in a million years … but to be fair, usually suited me considerably more than my own selections…

However, having discovered my little friend had moved on to pastures new,
coupled with the fact that earlier this year an ex-optician friend suggested
that I really ought to seek a more bespoke solution next time I renewed my
specs, I went in search of a ‘new establishment’ to get my glasses. (…and I
would agree the level of service and quality did increase – though not as
dramatically as the price!) … and, as a result I have this week become the
proud but slightly hesitant owner of a fine pair of varifocals (for the
uninitiated these are the ones with the distance, mid range and close-up vision
all combined in the same lens) which should allow me to see, drive and read
clearly just with a slight incline of the head….

As I could tell straight away these were an entirely different beast to anything
that had been perched on the end of my nose for the last thirty years, I
embarked enthusiastically on a trip around the shops in the local town to try
them out … and it really was something of an adventure … I was tilting my
head at various unusual angles just to read the shop names whilst nearly
colliding with dozens of innocent bystanders … even steps and level kerbs
were a distinct challenge to my new focal length … and for some of the
trickier bits I began to utilise and appreciate handrails a good number of
decades earlier than I originally planned…;-)

Still, I’m a lot more comfortable with them now and can make it upstairs
without looking like I’ve spent the previous 10 hours in the pub … but to be
brutally honest if I wasn’t already slightly familiar with the town in question
on that first ‘glasses trial’ outing I would not have had the foggiest idea
about where I was going or what I was doing … a situation that reminded me of
when I first started my own business…

Perhaps you’re the same as I was … you’re keen, motivated and ready to take
‘massive action’ but everything still seems a bit blurry, you don’t know quite
what you’re doing (or even in some cases why you’re doing it) and you don’t
know if what you’re doing is even the right thing to do at all…

In this situation it can be all too easy to rush blindly forward to get to what
you think is some progress or momentum … but in reality we all need a little
time at least to get our bearings by doing a few of the more basic things
first, as it is absolutely essential to clear the fog from our vision before we
decide which direction to go shooting off in on our online endeavours…

Of course, you want to get to the bit you’ve pictured in your mind where you
send the email out and the money comes in … or the bit where your site is
working on autopilot and is making sales regardless of whether you’re working
or having a few drinks with friends … it is, after all, exactly why we all
decided to have a go at running our own businesses, and use the internet in the
way that we do in the first place … but I speak from experience when I say
… you have to ensure you do the basics first…

If you decide to miss out what might seem like the boring bits … like
building a relationship with your customer or taking the time to ensure you
only offer compelling, solid offers for your potential customers, it is almost
certain that your projects will not go quite as well as you planned … the
upshot of which can be to believe that your idea doesn’t work at all, when in
fact you were just on the brink of it all coming together and making a real
success.

So before you are tempted to rush blindly forward into one course of action or
another, please take a moment to get your bearings and make sure you are going
in the right direction…

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Call Me Frauline Schmidt…

Persistence … if your online endeavours are to
succeed, you will need heaps of it … and I’ve always thought my complete
inability to take no for an answer (especially when seeking another helping of
tuck from She Who Must’s… kitchen) has been absolutely key in everything I’ve
achieved, both online and offline.

I believe persistence is a trait that everybody would do well to develop, not
least because it was that very trait that recently ensured I did not have to
attend a crucial meeting potentially clad only in lederhosen…

It should have been an uneventful trip ‘Oop north’ … but on arriving at
Manchester Airport I found that rather than being presented with my own luggage,
my overnight bag had been erroneously collected by somebody else, and in its
place was the red case of someone who turned out to be a ‘Miss Schmidt’…

Now I was able to deduce this because Miss Schmidt had written her name, in
large black marker pen, all over her case. I do accept that she and I had near
identical red Samsonite cases (not my choice you understand, I would buy grey
ones) but one would imagine that Miss Schmidt had previously had some Wally
pick up her bag by mistake so she had gone to some lengths to ensure that
nobody did it again…

…sadly the woman was clearly too stupid to remember this …I mean, how daft
must you be to worry about losing your bag enough to write your name in 6 inch
high letters all over it and then pick somebody else’s up anyway?

So, I was about to attend a two day meeting, drawing only on the resources
provided by what I was currently standing up in … and a bag that contained
various items of clothing for a small German woman with an even smaller brain
(I make no apologies for being rude about her, as you’ll see in a moment I have
good reason!)

Initially the staff at the lost luggage desk were every bit as helpful as you
would expect i.e. not at all. I suggested calling Miss Schmidt, the old favourite
of ‘Data Protection’ was wheeled out. Surely BA can call their own customers to
try and reunite them with their own luggage? Not according to a simpleton at
Manchester Airport who I quickly lost patience with …his boss was marginally
less simple and did eventually call Miss Schmidt, who predictably, had turned
off her phone.

By now it was lunchtime so I left the Schmidt luggage with the poor misguided
soul behind the desk and set off for my meeting in Blackburn with a sort of
vague half promise that BA would ‘try’ to get hold of Halfwit Schmidt and swap
her bag for mine – later.

By about 6pm things had not changed and I had to get ready for entertaining my
colleagues at a restaurant in some posh Manor House that specialises in 7
course tasting menus prepared by some cook off the telly – normally I love this
kind of thing but not when I have no clothes or toothpaste!

BA reluctantly agreed that if there was anything I needed immediately, I could
buy it and I would be reimbursed…

As you would expect, some items of my luggage were more easily replaced than
others … toiletries and suchlike were acquired quickly, however … ‘Bruce
the cloth’ (the approved provider of the Lowe apparel) was many hundreds of
miles away and it was now past the hour when similar types of establishment
would be open … so various inquiries as to the whereabouts of a shop which
catered to the needs of the fuller figure and was open late led me to become
acquainted with an establishment called ‘Matalan’…

They were all out of dinner suits in my size, or indeed anybody’s size so I had
to go to dinner in the clothes I’d travelled in…at exactly 9pm, during the 3rd
course I think, a text informed me that, lucky me, Miss Schmidt had been
reunited with her case and mine had been picked up.

I called them for news of my case’s arrival only to be told that it was ‘too
late’ to bring it ‘all the way’ to my hotel and that it would arrive the next
day…so the second day of my trip saw me sat in my meeting sporting a rather
fetching ‘Matalan’ polo shirt…

…which whilst being one of the few things in the shop suitable for the more
adequately proportioned gentleman, was a little bereft in the length
department, which meant that it could become a midriff bearing affair at a moment’s
notice (not something for the feint hearted I can assure you)… and I was
beginning to wonder if I’d have been better off keeping the Schmidt wardrobe
after all…

Still, with dignity vaguely intact and mission accomplished (from a business
point of view anyway) I awaited my bag. It was getting towards mid afternoon
and still nothing so I called…hmmm…it seems that my bag was ‘on the van’
and ‘out for delivery’ at 5pm. That would be 30 minutes after I take off…

Talk of flying it back to London and delivering the next day, or possibly day
after caused much teeth gnashing and then they suggested that I might like to
collect it from their van which was about 50 miles from me at the time.

A small tantrum ensued.

Obviously I explained to them very politely exactly what they could do … and
exactly how soon they would be doing it … (and into the bargain promised to
do something to each and every member of the board of BA, the couriers and
anybody else I could think of who might be responsible, that would involve
several household utensils and a very long run-up 😉 ) … my bag was
‘miraculously’ delivered to my door 40 minutes later…

The man who delivered it was very nice and apologetic and was in fact the
fellow who had picked it up from Miss Schmidt the previous evening, about 5
miles from where I was. I got chatting…he wasn’t allowed to bring it to me
when he picked it up as it would mean him working after 9pm so my bag went on
another little trip back to the depot and so on…and he had nothing but bad
words to say about Miss Schmidt.

Apparently she was very rude to him and could not believe that anybody had been
so careless as to walk off with her bag…imagine that, it’s all Tim’s fault
(just like being at home)…I had only walked as far as the left luggage
counter with her bag but apparently that somehow exonerates her from all
responsibility and evidently she was very cross that it had taken BA a whole a
hour and a half after she called to deliver her bag!!!

My name for her that day is unprintable 😉

Now, If I’d just allowed myself to become a ‘victim of circumstance’ (as it
sometimes can be very easy to do) … I think I’d still be waiting for my bag
to turn up today – however due to some persistence and a clear idea of what I
wanted to happen, not only did I get what I wanted, but it happened a lot
faster than it would have done otherwise…

So if you’re not getting the results you wanted … make small changes and keep
at it, and repeat this process … or if you are getting excuses instead of the
service you require from a provider that is key to your online future,
challenge them, politely and persistently until the situation is more to your
liking, or (more preferably) exactly the way you want things to be…

All The Best,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

P.S.
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What makes a really good product…? – Well that rather depends on your point of view…

You know, if I had to sum up what it is that I’m good at, it would probably be with the phrase ‘predicting what others will think…’ Well, that’s all very good, I hear you say … but what exactly do I mean by that (and more importantly how can I do it too…?)

I’m sure you’ll agree, it would be great if you could know ahead of time exactly how someone will feel, think or precisely what questions they would ask before being presented with your offer, proposal or idea? How much easier would it all be if you knew exactly what your customer wanted, and what their needs and objections were likely to be…?

OK, what I’m about to cover is not exactly reading other people’s minds (almost the complete opposite, in fact…) but what it will do is to help you (and the other party involved) to get that all important mutually advantageous outcome very quickly, and also far more easily, than you thought was possible…

So, here’s how you can do it too – and to start with … all you have to do is just think about it…

Let’s just look at it on a basic level first of all … Imagine we have come across two sites with very different ‘looks’ … one is a luxurious and professional site, whereas the other is full of broken links and ‘Word 97 clipart’ era graphics … ask yourself – which one would you look at more closely (and possibly make a purchase from) and which one would you click away from almost immediately…?

OK, maybe that example was pretty obvious, (and we should know better than to have a site that falls into that second category) 😉 but now if you go further past the obvious things such as the appearance of a site, and into the real ‘nitty-gritty’ … this is where you’ll start seeing the real opportunities to make all the difference for your visitors…

Examine what you are putting together, and ensure it is obvious what you want your visitor to do … everything should be completely self explanatory, so that there are no questions left unanswered (except the ones that draw the reader further into any sales text of course) … If visitors to your site need to enter their details or to click in a certain place, make sure it’s clearly marked out for them (I’ve even used a couple of well placed arrows myself in the past);-) because when doubts and uncertainties creep in, your visitor is more likely to do nothing at all rather than go to the trouble of starting to ask questions…

So get this right … and you will see a massive improvement – in sales, sign-up rates, and in short you’ll see an improvement in whatever it was that you designed your website to do … and once you ‘get it’ you’ll see these opportunities all over the place in your business…

The crux of the matter is to imagine yourself as your own customer … if you were in their shoes exactly what would you want, how would you feel if you were given your own offer…? What would be your concerns? – Expand your offer to include answers to those concerns… What would be your desired outcome? Paint the picture of what your visitor needs to do to get that outcome – simply and clearly…

So ask yourself now … what could you do to make your offers better, and could you offer that? What about ‘outrageously better’ – could you do that too? … Just see how you can be a better provider for your customers by putting yourself in the place of your customer and see what makes you want to buy … or what could be done differently to change your view on something…

To sum it all up, let me give you one final example … you may be aware I’m currently locked away working on a new project with my copywriter … during this process we go over whatever it is we have put together time and time again … going over every single nook and cranny, to make sure all the phenomenal aspects of what is offered are conveyed (it’s far easier for a customer to choose to buy when they’re informed about what it is that they’re going to buy, and know how it will benefit them, rather than having it hidden away, leaving the customer guessing…) … and in short, that requires a bit of revising and re-revising what we have until we turn around to each other and say … ‘Actually I wouldn’t mind buying this myself’…;-)

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Don’t Judge the 900 Year Old Book By It’s Cover….

I would like to, in advance, urge caution to any
Americans reading this … especially if you are easily offended … and though
I can guarantee the following account 100% truthful … I’m afraid it does not
paint some of your fellow countrymen in a positive light…

I think it must be me … because I don’t seem to have an awful lot of luck
when it comes to colonials (I am referring of course to members of the former
Empire, and not that ghastly practice involving a hosepipe which seems to be
all the rage at health spas) I’m sure 99% of the citizens of these nations are
both articulate and intelligent … It’s just that I am at a complete loss as
to why I always seem to encounter the other 1%…

The latest encounter happened after I had dropped off ‘She Who Must…’ at the
airport to depart for a ‘girlies’ weekend somewhere hot, and then I met up with
an old friend for a spot of lunch at ‘Foxtrot Oscar’ and then did some catching
up while we went for a leisurely stroll around the Tower of London (well, you
wouldn’t expect me to sit in the park feeding the ducks now would you…?)

It was during this tour we encountered a chamber which housed a rather
impressive book, a volume a good 8-10 inches thick (which was not, as many have
suspected ‘She Who Musts…’ book of ‘Tim’s Greatest Faults’…) 😉 in fact
the sign indicated it was a 900 page volume detailing the towers ordinance …
to which one of friends from across the pond stated ‘it must be a typo –
any book that thick must be more like 9000 pages’ and I had to do the decent
thing and explain that the pages were thicker because they were made of animal
skin (and followed shortly afterward with a less patient explanation of why it
had not been written on paper).

The tour later led to the ‘bloody tower’, (which is where Raleigh was
imprisoned, and refers only to one tower, and not the whole building as some
believe) and it was in this area that, without reading any of the very
interesting information provided, another ‘touristy type’ was explaining to his
companions at a thoroughly uncivilised volume about where the cell walls must
have been … and I felt another polite explanation was in order…

After I had explained there were no cells and that Raleigh was here with his
wife, family and most of his household I was greeted with a looks of
incredulity, repeated mutterings of the word ‘cells’, and the parting comment
that our English prisons were far too luxurious … (It was probably for the
best that I chose not to tell him that Raleigh’s youngest son was both
conceived and born during his imprisonment … I think the poor chaps head may
well have exploded…)

You see, like these historically challenged individuals from across the pond,
we all have some pre-conceived ideas about how things are (or at least how they
should be) which can affect, not only the way we look at our own online
endeavours but also how people respond to any offer we put in front of them…

Many people do seem to think that the same ‘common sense’ rules they apply to
their decision making processes in their normal lives will not apply with
anything they do on the internet because it was ‘online’ … well,  I can
assure you that it is usually that assumption that is the precursor to a very
embarrassing fall…

While I was downstairs earlier one of my team was experimenting with some bits
and pieces that created about £8-9 ($12) in the 5 minutes I was there…
however that does not mean I can extrapolate the figures out and start claiming
that whatever it was he did ‘made £100 an hour’ or ‘£192,000 a year’ just on
the basis of that one single event…

If the claims within your offer or your ‘lead magnet’ are at the outer limits
of peoples credulity, of course they are going to be sceptical, and of course
they would ask questions … if you are providing people with the means to make
£10,000 a month, you need to credit them with the common sense to know that
this is not easily done in the offline world, so you need to provide both proof
that it is possible, and an explanation of how it is possible (without giving
the whole game away upfront of course…) 😉

This is why at the start of all of my workshops I show people my actual
bank statements (not PowerPoint slides of bank statements) as proof that I’ve
genuinely made millions of pounds online, so that people know what they will
be learning is the result of a whole decades experience … and not some flash
in the pan ‘one off’ occasion…

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Don’t believe the Omens…

When it comes to music, I’m more of a ‘greatest hits’
type of listener … however I must admit a fondness to grand, dramatic pieces
… especially whilst cooking (though you would never catch me standing in the
kitchen, resplendent in striped pinny, conducting an imaginary orchestra with
my spoon) 😉

A real favourite is ‘Oh Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana (better known to most of
us as the music from the ‘Omen’ or the ‘Old Spice’ adverts from the 70’s…)
though I usually enjoy listening to that particular piece whilst driving
(mostly because I prefer it played at a volume that would not be approved of
back at ‘Lowe Towers’…)

This, however, can sometimes be an ‘interesting’ experience for my fellow
motorists … Imagine being a small child, safely ensconced in the back of a
Fiat 500 looking up at the  large black Range Rover that’s just pulled up
beside you at the traffic lights with this foreboding music blaring out,
expecting to see some kind of monster staring out … but instead seeing me
grinning amiably back at you … (strangely enough, being a larger than life
character means I normally don’t scare children … though I have been known to
regularly put the wind up my Bank Manger and the occasional unwelcome Tax
Inspector) 😉

Like that small child though, I think many of us at the moment have heard the
menacing music, seen the dark shape looming up behind us and have been almost
paralysed with fear at the thought of financial apocalypse that we are missing
out on the current wealth of opportunities that are currently out there…

Now, though it would be delusional to suggest the world was not in something of
a financial pickle the reason I say this is because I only believe that things are only as bad as they actually are … not as bad as the headlines would have us believe.

You see, when we are being repeatedly told that it is, financially at least,
the ‘end of days’  it can be very easy to be ‘hypnotised’ into thinking
things are actually worse than they are … and that the ‘current financial
climate’ is the single reason for things not going as well as we would have
liked…

And you should not let the ‘current financial climate’ stop you from
pursuing your online ambitions at all … but, as you would expect – it does
mean more than ever that you have to get it right…

When circumstances dictate we have to think long and hard about whether we are
going to invest time or money in anything, we would all be more likely to make
that investment with somebody we trust …  so, at the moment, it is
essential that you not only put into practice everything you have learned, but
also what is absolutely key is the need to ensure your relationship with
everyone is really strong, and you deliver exactly what you promise…

So, if your sales page is not converting how you want it to, or the last offer
you sent to your list ‘bombed’ …  before you shrug your shoulders and
resignedly put it down to ‘the ways things are’, check, check and double check
that there is nothing you could have done differently to have gained better
results…

All The Best,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

When It Pays To Be Your Own Best Customer

I’m afraid I’m not a big fan of shopping … (traditionally,
I used to get roped in to act as ‘pack horse’ but now I have managed to perfect
the art of dropping ‘She Who Must…’ off and then retiring to a safe distance
until the whole sorry business has run its course …) 😉 but on the other hand,
I’ve always considered myself to be a really good customer …

Let me explain further…

You see, I really can’t recall a shopping trip with ‘She Who Must…’ which has
involved us both being interested in buying the same thing at the same time …
even when we are both somewhere which harbours a common interest, such as a
bookshop, (or possibly wine merchants) 😉 we will often be found perusing
entirely different shelves … and when confined (for hours it seems) in one
emporium or another, whilst ‘She Who Must…’ tries on what appears to be a
million dresses or endless pairs of shoes, I’m afraid I very quickly lose the
will to live…

Of course, this feeling is not just restricted to the male of the species. It
was for that reason that one of my suggestions to ‘Bruce the Cloth’ (‘approved’
adjuster of the Lowe apparel and all round top bloke …) was for him to invest
in a lounge area at his gentleman’s outfitters so the ladies could have
somewhere to relax and relieve the boredom while their other halves were being
measured up for one of Bruce’s creations…

You’ll agree then that I’m obviously no fan of shopping … so what on earth do
I know about being a good customer?

Well, as you no doubt know, I originally started my online career as a customer,
when I attended an Andrew Reynolds workshop a decade ago. He subsequently
became friend and mentor of course, but to start with I was his customer …
and what’s more, if you ask any successful marketer, they will all have
a similar story … about how ‘it all started’ or that ‘it all really took off’
or ‘it all really changed’ after they bought ‘so and so’s’ stuff…

The reason for this is, like most things in life, the business of making money
online is also a process of constant learning. Things change all the time in
any business, and this is doubly true in the case of the internet (for example
… if you were still adopting some of the methods being taught perfectly
legitimately by some ‘gurus’ in 2007, you would not only be getting zero results,
you’d also be on the receiving end of a very firm ‘slapping’ from Google).

This is why I am usually reading, watching or participating in something that
will further my education (even if some of it’s sometimes been a bit
‘leftfield’ ) and increase my knowledge … (then I had a good example to
follow … my mentor Andrew always spends at least an hour every single day
improving his business education…)

Now, I’m not suggesting that you immediately go out and sell everything you own
and spend it on internet training (not even from me) 😉 I am suggesting that
you could do a lot worse than investing as much time and money as you are able
to afford into improving your knowledge….

Why…?

Successful marketers know that improving their knowledge, and keeping current
with new areas will increase both their chances and their level of success
online, (and of course all of the personal and financial reward associated with
it).

This is why it is no coincidence that the world’s most successful marketers are also this industry’s very best customers…

Until next time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

How ‘Wing Commander Boris’ shows it pays to be different…

I have just
returned from a little break away in the sun for a few days … the approved
destination for which is usually a small, out of the way place – somewhere
sunny (but without spending too much time on a plane), which for one reason or
another, seems to attract the more ‘interesting’ type of guest…

Now, through what I considered ‘perfectly normal behaviour’, I had already
garnered myself a reputation with the locals as something of an eccentric … a
reputation that meant ‘She Who Must…’ had disowned me completely to go horse
riding or kayaking or whatever took her fancy while I was left in the hotel
grounds with just my book for company…

So, imagine if you will … there I was, covered from head to toe in factor
50+, wearing a long dressing gown, and a hat … sitting under one of those
impressively large sun umbrellas erected under a tree and wondering why people
where smirking at me… (They had obviously never seen a ‘proper Brit’
holidaying in a hot country before…) 😉

Despite all this, I thought the heat may have ‘got’ to me when along came one
of my fellow hotel guests, Boris (a Russian) wearing a genuine flying helmet
and goggles … convinced this was the bizarrest of mirages and I looked around
me to find I was not the only one staring … However despite being the centre
of attention, ‘Wing Commander’ Boris was completely oblivious to it all and
carried on about his business, apparently wandering around like that was the
perfectly normal thing to do…

And so it went on through the week … so much in fact that the popular
lunchtime pastime (among the gentleman guests at least) of ‘observing’ the
remarkable pool aerobics instructor go through her paces had been abandoned in
favour of sitting and just waiting to see what ‘Boris’ would be wearing next
… and I have to say he did not disappoint … Over the next few days I saw
him sporting a variety of splendid military ‘hats’ which frankly put my own
General’s hat to shame. (A rather fetching effort gained by ‘inventive methods’
during a ‘fact finding’ trip overseas a couple of years back…;-) !)

Boris’ full repertoire also included a particularly fine collection of ‘Tank
Commander’ hats with masses of gold braid and built in full face goggles as
well as the ‘piece de resistance’ in the shape of a submarine hat … they were
all different colours and shapes and carried on, right up to the day of my
departure (when the sun was particularly strong) … and I almost delayed my
journey home just to see what Boris would be wearing that day…!

What Boris has proved, of course, is that the way to get noticed is to stand
out from the crowd and make yourself truly memorable … to provide an
association that makes people feel that the ice is already broken, and they
already know you … (what those NLP folks would call an ‘anchor’).

Of course I’m not suggesting you go around dressed as Field Marshall Rommel to
make an impression, but go out of your way make your interactions with people
you meet (whether it’s ‘face-to-face’ or on-line via a video or email) truly
memorable…

… Be a little different, and always try and emphasise something about
yourself that will help people remember you…

You will know that I have a rather unique appearance which instantly makes me a
bit more recognizable which helps 🙂 and there’s even a picture of me at the
top of this e-mail, which helps to differentiate me from the ‘Try This – it
sells like gangbusters’ six line emails you may get in your inbox once in a
while from others having a go at communicating with their customers.

Think about what you can do to remind your customers of who you are… (as you
are almost certainly not the only person they receive emails from). What are
you doing to make your communication different from theirs? If the answer is
‘not much’ then I would strongly suggest it’s something you give some serious
thought to.

Think carefully when you’re putting together anything from a simple email to a
full on project, how you can inject your own brand or style. And please note
… you don’t need to take a quick trip down to you local Army surplus store
and start sporting the ‘Boris’ look, instead develop something that is part of
you already, and turn it in to something truly memorable…

Until next time,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business
Lowe Down

Onslow’s Self Assembling Money Pump…

I came across this quote the other day…

Having the world’s best idea will do you no good unless you act on it. People who want milk shouldn’t sit on a stool in the middle of a field in hopes that a cow will back up to them.” — Curtis Grant 

And whilst I will admit to being a bit hazy on the precise technicalities of the milking process, the principle of it all did strike me as completely true … and set my mind wandering on a trail that ended up with me coming up with the rather curiously titled email you are currently reading…

The character of ‘Onslow’ of course, will need no introduction to those of us who remember the early 90’s sitcom ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ (or even the repeats that seem always to be one channel or another) … but for those who maybe had better things to do on Sunday evenings (although back then it was certainly ‘approved’ viewing in the Lowe household), I shall give a rough outline…

Onslow was the brother in law of the show’s social climbing, snobbish but ultimately lovable main character Mrs Bucket (“My name is Bouquet, B-U-C-K-E-T. Oh no it’s not Bucket, it’s Bouquet…” ;-).Onslow was forever installed in his armchair, can of beer in one hand, watching horse-racing on TV whilst bemoaning his luck and waiting not only for the world to come to him but expect it all to happen for him as well … and all this to occur without him (to quote the man himself) “pondering the inconvenience of working.”

Now, I think one of the many reasons why we found this programme so funny is that we all recognise a bit of ourselves in some of the characters – I know there are often ‘Mrs Bouquet’ moments at Lowe Towers, although I won’t mention names to protect the innocent…;-) and I think we can all admit to (at some point in our lives at least) being guilty of channelling our ‘Inner Onslow’…

I often mention Onslow at workshops and joke about how much he would love a device called the ‘self assembling money pump’ … well you wouldn’t have expected Onslow to ever get round to putting it together himself…;-) that is operated by inserting a single, used, bus ticket … while Onslow sits back (can of beer still in hand), as the pump whirrs in to action and an endless stream of £50 notes starts to flood out…

Obviously this device is as fictional as Onslow himself but occasionally we all can find ourselves looking at the prospect of making money online from very much an ‘Onslow’ point of view… 

So, when approaching a project you need to be level headed … (and I’m not talking about your expected results … there’s definitely another tip in the psychology of all that for another day…)

… what you need to be clear about is the amount of commitment that it will take to achieve those results.

Are you looking at your project through the eyes of your ‘inner Onslow’, expecting to sit back and for it all to work like the self installing money pump?… If this is the case then unfortunately your project is more likely to backfire as often and dramatically as Onslow’s ancient Ford…

Until next time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Are You Using The ‘Neverlost’ Approach To Internet Marketing…?

 

I’ll start this week with a confession … I have to admit I’m not necessarily all that ‘brilliant’ at following directions…

There, I said it.

This of course is not exactly news to ‘She Who Must…’ who has ‘enjoyed’ the experience of travelling with me for many years, and taken part in many a mid-journey ‘full and frank exchange of opinion’ … One such episode resulted in left and right being renamed ‘left’ and ‘the other left’… 😉 Now, I wouldn’t call it luck, or anything like that, but somehow things have a habit of coming together, and working out … and I approximately end up where I need to be…

The ‘cure’ for such a situation of course for many is the trusty ‘Sat Nav’ … The offer of a nice calm voice providing guidance to a chosen destination, without the need for continual map rotating, or stops to ‘stretch the legs’ is rather attractive…

However, on my recent trip to the Emerald Isle I needed to find my way to a small village in the middle of nowhere … and without a Sat Nav I was wondering if I’d need to rely on good old fashioned directions … Although this may have lead to me speaking to a local ‘boy’ leaning on a wall giving me directions and saying ‘Well, if I was going there I wouldn’t have started from here…’ 😉 

Shortly after landing in Ireland, the prospect of a ‘misguided tour’ of the area actually seemed even greater as I found myself at the Hertz car rental desk being offered guidance in the form of a Sat Nav system I was soon to rechristen ‘Foreverlost’ (If you’ve ever used the device in question, you’ll know it’s actually called a ‘Neverlost’ and you’ll also know, possibly from bitter experience, exactly why I chose to rename it…).

Now, I’m used to a Sat Nav system directing me based on the destination postcode – But no … my hotel didn’t have anything as new fangled as that … just, oddly, a grid reference, (so ideal for all the ramblers armed with Kendal Mint Cake needing to use it then, but hardly brilliant for the regular car user!!)

The next best plan it seemed was to head for the town in question instead (it’s only small), and then ‘wing it’ from there … but according to my ‘Foreverlost’ – the town didn’t exist either…

As it turned out, on further interrogation, the town in question did actually exist, but didn’t match what I had on my correspondence due to the fact that the locals thought the town name was much better the way they decided to spell it – with a few carefully replaced vowels (and to be honest they did have a point) rather than the stuffy, official way used by those ‘fussy’ types that make maps and road signs and such…

Despite all these hitches, I’m pleased to announce that I still somehow managed to arrive safe and sound at my hotel … though, I will admit, very much in need of ‘refreshment’ … but the Irish are well known for their ability to assist in this department 😉

Anyway, all these ‘shenanigans’ got me thinking…

Wouldn’t it be a truly fantastic idea to have a online business ‘Sat Nav’ that provided calm and clear instruction, so you never needed to take a wrong turning … and whenever you accidentally did make a poor choice it would tell you, and either get you to do a quick U-turn or quickly redirect you back on track…?

Although you can’t buy a widget off the shelf to do just this, you can map out your own destination, and tap in to your inner Sat Nav.

When you’ve formulated a plan for your online endeavours that suits you – stick to it. Unless there is the prospect of oncoming apocalyptic failure, or you’ve been tinkering away so long what you were doing is now out of date, you’re probably better off finishing what you started rather than taking a ‘detour’ every five minutes and chasing after the next shiny object that comes along.

This way you get to see what works (or doesn’t!), and what works fantastically well, and do more of it. If you have lots of half finished things there’s no way of telling what worked well…

I agree, there may be the potential to make more money by dropping everything and starting again along a path other than the one you’ve already chosen … but progress is tricky if you spend all your time jumping from one idea to another and never, ever getting anything off the ground … Although of course there’s nothing to stop you adding strings to your bow and creating additional income streams after you’ve got your first project working successfully…

Until next time,
TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

You Can’t Bank Sweat…

Time waits for no-one … as anyone rushing to the theatre, train station or airport will know (perhaps from bitter experience…).

Although, strangely I have an uncanny knack of being able to be late (often too late, but over come any difficulties with a smile, a confidence that it’ll all work out just fine, and these opening lines to somebody nearby … “I wonder if you can help me…”)

But, without going all scientific …  time cannot be reversed, or drastically slowed down so we can fit more in … can it?

I will often hear people say that they simply do not have time to put in the amount of effort they need to really get their online endeavours off of the ground.

So why is it then that some people can? … What I want to share with you today is a little process that could help you to get more done, a LOT more done…

Before we go any further, I’m not going to suggest you cancel your family holiday, ‘try harder’ or chop the plug off the television to prevent re-runs of soaps, quiz shows and gardening programmes… (What the fascination is with Alan Titchmarsh I’ll never know, but anyway I’m digressing…)

We all have 24 hours in the day, so what can you do to turn that same amount of time you already have, in to something that provides you with ‘results’…

You see, making money online can be very much a ‘results’ business. Ultimately your efforts will stand or fall on what you’ve got done, not on how busy you’ve been, or to put it more bluntly, as my old boss Mr Peacock used to say … “You Can’t Bank Sweat…”

(And I’m sure we can all think of a number of other ‘organisations’ that would benefits from this reminder too).

But don’t worry … I’m not going go all ‘corporate’ on you and start talking about the ’80/20′ rule or ‘picking the low hanging fruit’ – I’ll quite happily leave that kind of nonsense to the various ‘apprentices’ that try Lord Sugar’s patience on a weekly basis. However, you do need to have some idea of how long you are spending over the various elements of your online dealings…

Now, “She Who Must…” will tell you I used to find it very easy to get ‘into’ one task or another, and not always achieve exactly what I planned to do – apparently it’s ‘Fault #723’ on her ‘scroll’ of my shortcomings…;-) but, if like me – you can then identify which particular one of your online endeavours are taking up a disproportionate amount of your time, you could maybe ‘run’ it against the following checklist…

Do you need to do this task at all – is it essential to your progress?  – for instance … doing research into your niche or keywords, is absolutely key when setting up a campaign perhaps, and time should be invested in this … however, if your website is completely ready to go but not yet online because you spent 2 weeks looking for the ‘perfect’ background image, then that is “lost time” … your website you can’t claw back that time that it wasn’t online. (Likewise it is important to ensure your site are professional, and of a high quality. But completing, finishing and getting each of your projects working and earning money for you, is critical…

If the task is essential, is there another, easier, way of doing it? – If you want to build your own website but are still struggling with HTML, php or with getting to grips with Dreamweaver – perhaps it’d be easier to install something like WordPress instead? (It’s free and quite basic but also pretty user-friendly, even to someone like me, with the most sparse of techie skills!). And if you’re still sending emails to your ‘list’ from your own mail account, maybe you could think about using autoresponder software instead…?

If you’re still struggling – can you get somebody else to do it? – Yes, I know I go on about this a lot 😉 – but it’s for a very good reason … My own efforts really compounded when I started getting other people to do the things I found boring, or was particularly useless at… (Once again I refer you to “She Who Must’s Scroll” which has the up-to-date list of my short comings.. 😉

… And before going down what is perhaps the ‘well trodden’ route of ‘I can’t afford to outsource anything’, it may benefit you to actually tot up the real cost to you  – it may well be far more reasonable than you thought ;-), remember the alternative needs to factor in your time and the potential loss of online earnings whilst waiting too…

And you’ll find that once you adopt these approaches the resulting momentum and confidence you gain will really do wonders for your productivity … and will spur you on … and on … and on…

Of course, it’s up to you what you choose to discard, what you can change, what you will outsource and what you choose to spend time on (and enjoy) yourself … but remember all the extra time you create for yourself by making these decisions can be spent moving your business forward … or doing something completely different … maybe involving a good book, a hammock and a glass of red wine… 😉

So next time you feel like you’ve got far too much on your plate … take a step back and assess whether you need to be doing it at all.  With a bit of research maybe you can find an easier way of doing it, or maybe get somebody else to do it entirely…

Until next time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Do you know someone who would benefit from getting a ‘bit of Tim’ in their inbox a couple of times a week? All they need to do to start receiving the Lowedown themselves is to visit http://www.timloweblog.com and leave their details … or you could just forward them this email and tell them to click here

How Did A Duchess, Orchids and a Handbag Nearly Earn Me a Trip To The Tower..?

Well, here it is… as promised a week or so ago, the tale of my visit to the palace, a while ago now, which I thought at one point might turn out to be a very long stay in the ‘Tower’…

It all started normally enough… I received the invite as a guest of my long time friend Andrew, who had just become a patron of the Prince’s Trust… and I have to admit to being rather excited at the time – however ‘She Who Must..’ was slightly nervous (as she often is when accompanying me anywhere in ‘public’… though for the life of my I can’t imagine why 😉

Apparently, she is a little concerned that I might embarrass her… such as the time recently that I earned an instant ‘hard glare’ by deciding to stand and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the lady on the next table in the middle of a rather posh, very crowded restaurant… (I really can’t see the problem, it WAS her birthday after all…;-)

Anyway, on arrival at the palace (there is another tale to tell here, but that one is so personal it is for ‘workshops only’ I’m afraid…) we were ushered to wait along with all the other guests in the palace’s rather extensive art gallery, and, as Charles and Camilla were running a ‘little’ late, we were allowed to appreciate the fabulous pieces on display (I was rather taken with a Canaletto…) for the next hour while we were plied with endless amounts of champagne (essential to clean the palate before a meal you understand 😉

At some point the champagne got the better of Andrew and I and the day got a lot stranger… well, who else could say that when walking into a gent’s toilet in the Queen’s house that the first thing they see is an elderly Duchess, possibly a little ‘worse for wear’, wrestling with the hand washing facilities..?  ‘Don’t worry,’ she said – ‘I shan’t be long… the soap has ejaculated all over me…’ now, it takes quite a lot to render me speechless… but that just about did the trick…

Now, as a lover of fine food, you may be expecting me to ‘wax lyrical’ about what was on the menu or the different wines on offer (and I must say, HRH does indeed do a fine spot of dinner… 😉 ) – but I’m afraid eating in the throne room at Buckingham Palace, even with entertainment provided by Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, was not nearly as noteworthy as what happened as the the evening drew to a close and people started to disperse…

You see, at the centre-piece of each table was a truly beautiful orchid arrangement that She Who Must had taken a distinct shine to, and she inquired of one of the palace staff as to their fate  … I, on the other hand, had different concerns entirely, and was enquiring instead about the direction of the nearest toilets…

It was then on emerging from the toilet that I was given She Who Must’s ludicrously large handbag to hold and then thrust into my other hand was the exquisite orchid creation that had held pride of place on the table… “Well, they were just going to throw them away..” was all I heard as ‘Her She Who Mustness’ disappeared into the door the Duchess should have picked…

So, picture if you will, a slightly bemused Tim, standing in Buckingham Palace, holding a ludicrously large handbag and what to the casual observer looked like a bunch of  ‘stolen’ flowers …. ‘hanging around’ outside the toilets, looking (possibly for the first time ever) more than a little sheepish and desperately hoping nobody I knew would see me…

As fate would have it, it was at that precise moment that Lord Young, (who was at some previous point in time Secretary of State for Trade and Industry) wandered past and decided to say hello… I wanted to shake his hand, but obviously I was loaded down, and instead via a process made up of mumbles, head gestures and alternate wavings of flowers and the handbag managed to communicate my predicament …

Luckily, Lord Young took pity on the bumbling buffoon in front of him, smiled and explained that he understood and wished his wife had had the presence of mind to ‘snaffle’ some of the free flowers….

And why am I telling you all of this? (other than to raise a smile of course…;-) Well, just like my trip to the palace, your online endeavors will rarely go exactly as planned, there are always little hiccups … but more often than not, they turn out to be nowhere near as bad as you thought they might be…so, in the words of that famous WWII poster… Keep Calm And Carry On…

Have A Great Weekend,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Google and Winnie The Pooh Do, And So Should You…

It’s probably not a massive surprise to you that I really, really love to read, and can quite happily spend all day ‘lost’ in a really good book, with nothing more than a simple sandwich to sustain me every couple of hours… 😉 In fact, many a day on holiday has been spent reading (my current ‘approved position’ is reclining under a tree, in ‘dappled’ sunlight), while all about me are engaging in entirely unnecessary holiday activity such as riding bikes, horses or splashing around in swimming pools…

What may surprise you though, is that amongst my favorite literary treats are the Winnie the Pooh stories, and I must admit to being quite a fan … an enthusiasm, ‘She Who Must…’ would suggest, has helped to shape my philosophy on both mealtimes and exercise… 😉

You see, the main reason I think Winnie the Pooh is an example to us all, is because he is simple … ‘Simple’ is certainly not, as Winnie the Pooh is often portrayed, the same as ‘stupid’ (Disney do have quite a lot to answer for sometimes…) but he is simple as in ‘uncomplicated’. He is plain, simple and as a result, it is easy for us to have a certain affection for him..

What does this have to do with making money online?  Or more specifically ‘Hubs’ or ‘Squeeze Pages’? Well, a lot of the enquires I’ve received over recent weeks have been about how to create the ‘perfect’ squeeze page – or where to get them done for you (hopefully I covered that second part last week) but really, there is no real ‘right’ answer to the question of the perfect ‘Squeeze Page’, but what I will say is … keep it simple.

Remember that your ‘Hub’ or ‘Squeeze Page’ is simply a place where people can leave their contact details in exchange for free information … and nothing more … trials have indicated it’s not a good idea to have too many other things going on bombarding the senses … It appears that distraction can ‘dilute’ a response. Upon arriving at a site it needs to be crystal clear as to what is expected … and what the benefit is to the person on the page, otherwise why would they stay?

So, what does that mean for a Squeeze page? … You simply need the free information you are to give away (also known to readers of my free ‘ListBuilder‘ course as a ‘lead magnet’), somewhere for people to put in their details and, of course some text or a video explaining the benefits of your ‘lead magnet’ once details have been typed in…

It really isn’t rocket science…

The benefit to the reader needs to clear and blatant… (and of course relevant too…). There also needs to be an obvious call to do something (such as type in name and email address details). Don’t ponce around and allude to it … Just tell people what they need to do!!! … (and what they’ll get in return for doing so). 

Of course many an hour has been spent playing with sites to improve them (that’s all part of the ‘fun’ isn’t it?! But it goes without saying that nothing will kill off a response any quicker than a site that looks shoddy, with dysfunctional links. Everything needs to be congruent, factual, and supportable, detailing current information … But that’s only what you’d expect if you arrived at a site yourself isn’t it?

You don’t necessarily have to have a big red headline or a massive arrow pointing at the ‘sign-up box’ – Many marketers do have them, and I’ve used a fair sprinkling in my time too! But there’s no reason that you have to, but it does have to be clear for any visitor to know what they need to do…

As further proof of why simple is best, I should quickly refer you the world’s biggest search engine – Google. This particular world conquering website is primarily just a page with a logo and a search box. There’s certainly no ambiguity over what you have to do on the page is there? In fact Google used to have a strict policy of never having more than 28 words on their homepage, to keep it uncomplicated and uncluttered…

There’s no definitive list of do’s or don’t do’s for ‘Hub’ or ‘Squeeze Pages’ (I’ve got quite a few Squeeze Pages and they all look different…) However, the one golden rule is to  make it absolutely clear what every visitor has to do once they’ve arrived at your site (are you purely providing information, or do you want people to do something whilst there?)…

Keep it clear, and keep it simple, a rule we can learn from a certain ‘Bear of very little brain’…

Until Next Time,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Don’t forget … You can also join me on Facebook by visiting my My Facebook Page and clicking the ‘Like’ button … and you can follow me on Twitter by visiting my My Twitter Page and clicking ‘Follow Me’…

The Only Stupid Question Is The One You Don’t Ask….

Apparently, there are a wide range of things that I’m absolutely useless at doing  …  though for full details I will have to refer you to ‘She who Must…’ who will of course be able to list them for you in either alphabetical or chronological order, whichever you prefer… (in fact I believe we’ve actually gone beyond a list now and she has more of a ‘scroll’ of my ‘areas for improvement!’ – I might add this comes from somebody who set fire to her head (need I say more – see last week’s tip if you want to know more about this!)… ;-))

Luckily though, there are also some things that I turned out to be quite good at too …  and I think it’s really useful if you can you identify quite early on in your online endeavours …  both what you are great at – so you can play to your strengths – and also what you are perhaps not so great at, and need some help to get right (or can get somebody else to do on your behalf – particularly if they enjoy and are great at it)…

You will of course know I’m no ‘techie’, in fact I fondly remember the day I was able to type with two fingers instead of one… 😉 Over the years, I’ve managed to get a large amount of websites online by quite simply knowing what I wanted those websites to do, and asking someone else to do it for me…

And I’m not just talking about building websites, there’s writing articles, and creating complete products too. This can all be handled by outsourced people who love doing this type of thing… and these days it’s easier than ever to get it done for you.  Since the launch of websites such as www.elance.com and www.freelancer.com,  it is like having a whole team ‘on tap’ with a ready supply of people ready to write that manual, build that website or design those graphics for you…

These websites provide a formalized, structured environment where different ‘providers’ can bid against each other for your work (a bit like eBay in reverse) and you can see their previous work, see feedback from previous jobs (again just like eBay) ‘interview’ them online and usually there is also an escrow service so your ‘provider’ won’t get paid until you’re happy with what they’ve done…

Please also note the newer ‘providers’ will often charge ridiculously low rates for their work when starting out, just to build credibility and feedback, so even if you’re on a restricted budget there could still be plenty of options here for you too..

Now, that’s all well and good, I hear you say, but what if you don’t even know what to ask for in the first place…?

Well, the first thing is to decide what you want … if you are currently undecided, have a look around at what others are offering in your niche, see what takes your fancy … ask yourself which sites make you want to join their list,  or buy their product ? Remember, don’t directly copy … but by all means be inspired by what you see, and read and jot down all of the good stuff you come across…

When you are dealing with your chosen ‘provider’ it is important that you are not afraid to ask for exactly what you want. Remember, things that may appear extremely complicated to you or I could be easily achievable for a ‘techie’ wizard with  just  a few informed clicks of a mouse … you’ll never know unless you ask…

… and, please don’t think for one minute you’ll have to make your requests  in ‘techie’ speak either …  One of my JV partners had his first ‘hub’ website built from the initial brief of giving his ‘provider’  two website addresses and telling them “I want it to look like site ‘a’ but function like site ‘b'” … 😉

So, don’t let the fact you don’t know exactly how to do something get in the way of getting it done … you just need to be clear about what you want, and don’t be afraid to ask…

All The Best…


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down P.S. Don’t forget … You can also join me on Facebook by visiting my My Facebook Page and clicking the ‘Like’ button … and you can follow me on Twitter by visiting my My Twitter Page and clicking ‘Follow Me’…

Why ‘She Who Must…’ Set Fire To Her Head…Literally !!

 

OK, now I know you’re thinking this is some sort of attention seeking headline … and well … if it caught your attention, then I guess it is! 😉 The difference here is … that my dear darling wife did literally set fire to herself yesterday… :-/ Don’t worry, she’s OK, although she is currently sporting a somewhat singed fringe…

When she rang to tell me I have to admit that I did envisage a Tom and Jerry type cartoon image with her staggering about charred, with smoke whisping unwards from her head… But I’ve been filled in on the details and its not quite that bad….

But let’s just say I shan’t be letting ‘She Who Must…’ down to our pillar box red and white stripey beach hut to ‘sort out’ the cooking arrangements again any time soon. God knows quite how the ‘incident’ happened, but anyway … I think a bag of chips on the beach, or outside caterers are going to be the new way forward to prevent more fringe loss!

Now before I get started in this issue of the Lowedown, I’d like to quickly cover a small ‘housekeeping’ matter…

You see, because the Lowedown newsletter is sent to thousands of subscribers, it can sometimes (but not always) be intercepted by an over-zealous spam filter, and when it does, you might unexpectedly find you’re not getting your newsletter…

To ensure your copy of the ‘Lowedown’ gets to you inbox every time, and you’re filled in with updates of fringe singeing type tales, the latest internet marketing techniques as well as recommendations of products/services or ideas that I believe will help you develop your business just add me to your contacts – it only takes a few moments…

I’m not sure which email provider you use but each handles filtering slightly differently. But somewhere near the top of the page of whatever you are using to read this email (hotmail, ymail, gmail etc.)  look for an ‘add to contacts’ option (On Yahoo it should be near the title of the email at the top, or in Hotmail it’s in the pink shaded area) If you haven’t done so already, click that option and every issue of the Lowedown should arrive without any, erm…issues 😉

Right, now we’ve got that out of the way, what I actually wanted to look at was something completely different…

‘Spring’ is certainly in the air, and it’s easy to see why this is often seen as a great time of year for change, and new beginnings … there’s something encouraging about bluebells popping up, a bit of sunshine, and renewed enthusiasm all round…

So why not initiate something new in your business too?… (I’ve introduced a number of different ‘start-up’ type ideas in recent Lowedowns too). If there’s something (however small) that you can add to your current burst of activity to keep your online endeavours on course, and enthusiasm levels topped up… go for it!

You see, what will take things on to a whole new level for you is consistency of action.  I’ve probably told you this before, but it illustrates my point perfectly, when I first started out (you know my the story: I started off in a spare room at home, desk made from an old fire door and bashed away 2-fingered at an old Pentium PC 😉 )…by finding just 30 new people to my ‘list’ each week and having a consistent action plan, I managed to jump my earnings up considerably.. and by the end of the year I was banking £20k/month…

Of course this success doesn’t come without great products and a willingness to understand and support your customers too, but what I consistently did, no matter what, was every time I attracted  new people, I’d contact them (not necessarily trying to sell to them either)… plus I stayed in contact with my existing customers too…

Without realising it I’d adopted consistent action…

And I’m not known for liking big long stints at doing the same thing (other than reading or eating of course!!)…

I’m more well known for my 10 minute bursts of activity, and getting far, far better results.  (I’d go as far as saying I hate doing the same thing for hours and hours and hours on end … don’t even get me on the the topic of swimming lengths and lengths and lengths as a child…)

The thing is even if we do tend to do things with a massive flurry of activity, it’s important to make sure that these efforts don’t then just trail off, have one flurry, take a break, then another, then another…

So, while you’re full of enthusiasm, and possibly Easter Eggs ;-), create your own habit, and consistency of action, whether it’s writing that article very Tuesday night, or making sure you email your subscribers every week, and always, always be consistent in following through with what you have promised your customers…

Now I’m off to get the ‘special’ Easter Egg that I bought for ‘She Who Must…’ that’s been hidden away until now… But looking at that fringe perhaps I ought to go in search of an Easter Bonnet too…;-) !!!

Hope you have a lovely Easter

Best Wishes,

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Don’t forget … You can also join me on Facebook by visiting my My Facebook Page and clicking the ‘Like’ button … and you can follow me on Twitter by visiting my My Twitter Page and clicking ‘Follow Me’…

Why You Don’t Need To Actually Sell Anything To Make Money Online…

In this issue of the Lowedown I’m going to cover another one of the most popular queries from when I ‘opened the floor’ to questions a couple of weeks back…

 “What should I do if I don’t have any products to sell?

There is this old idea that for money to be handed over you need a product to sell ;-)… well actually that’s not true… That may have been the case years ago, but that certainly isn’t the case now.

And of course, for somebody to part with their money willingly there needs to be a motive for doing so, and that’s usually that the person will hand over money in exchange for a ‘thing’ (a product, service, experience or benefit).

 “But Tim!!! I don’t have a product and I’m an internet newbie so what can I offer to customers make money online?”

I cover a lot of this in the free downloads from my new Listbuilder site. In these downloads I’ll explain how to build a list of willing buyers, and also the one key thing you absolutely must do before they will buy anything…- if you haven’t already taken advantage of this free offer yet… Click Here Now.

Next, if you haven’t already guessed, the thing to do if you haven’t got any of your own products is to quite simply … sell somebody else’s … OK, you don’t get to keep all of the profits … but then again half of something is much better than all of nothing…! 😉

Plus even if you have your own product there’s nothing stopping you selling somebody else’s stuff too … then your range of ‘things’ to offer suddenly becomes almost limitless!

First, let me cover what is probably one of the most widely used and profitable ways of selling other people’s products online, and that is by using Clickbank.

Clickbank have a massive range of downloadable digital products on almost any subject you care to mention.

Once you sign up with Clickbank (which is free by the way) they will issue you with a simple link you can put on your website or in your emails and for every sale made you earn a commission (usually around 50%) which they collect for you and just post you a cheque once in a while…

That’s it… simple!

Of course this works particularly well for downloadable products, but what if you want to promote a physical product?

Ah, well this is when becoming an  Amazon Associate is perhaps best (which is also free to join..;-))

Again, they provide you with links, work out your commissions and send out the items to customers. Although commission rates do vary between 3-15%, it all depends on how much you sell. But, if you’ve seen the range of products that are on Amazon you’ll realize you have an almost limitless variety and supply of saleable items at your fingertips…

Next we come to the part where you can get paid even when nobody actually buys anything…

This is called ‘Cost per Action’ or CPA for short, where  you get paid a fee when somebody you refer completes a task such as filling out a form for a free credit check or a house insurance quote. These are just two examples, but there are an ever changing (and increasing) array of these types of things cropping up all over the place.

This type of offer can be found at places such as Commission Junction and once you’ve signed up (again it’s free … they have a selection criteria you have to satisfy, but nothing major) and they can provide you with links and work out your commissions for you…

Are you getting the idea…? No Product. No Problem!!

There are plenty of other methods to earn money on line where you don’t even need a product…

The final method that I’ll mention today, is a very passive way of earning money, by adding an ‘Google Adsense‘ panel to your website or blog (OK you will need to have a website or blog, but hey …  if you’re keen, there’s nothing stopping you creating one, with this specifically in mind, if you don’t have one already).

What you end up doing is ‘renting’ a part of your website to Google, where you get paid everytime someone clicks on the ads displayed there. What you earn from it won’t finance too many world cruises but, it’s completely free to join and once in place you don’t need to do a thing… 😉

I hope that’s given you a few pointers in the right direction if you were stuck for ideas or have a lack of products to sell. But you must understand, what I’ve covered here is really just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ …  have a look at each of these sites and you’ll be amazed at the amount of things available to offer people, and the amount of tools they have to help you along the way..

Here are those links again:

Clickbank
Amazon Associate
Commission Junction
Google Adsense

Good Luck, and let me know how you get on…

Until Next Time…
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

P.S. Is there any particular ‘knotty’ issue or topic you’d like me to cover in the Lowedown…? Please send your request to timlowe@markiteer.com using ‘Tip Topic’ as the subject line…

 And don’t forget … You can also join me on Facebook by visiting my My Facebook Page and clicking the ‘Like’ button … and you can follow me on Twitter by visiting my My Twitter Page and clicking ‘Follow Me’…

The Simple Steps To Reveal Your Perfect Money Making Niche…

 

First of all, thank you for all the kind comments regarding my recent run in with the local ‘oiks’ and, despite my requests, all the suggestions for what I would be called if I were to become a superhero … well, some of the more complimentary ones at least 😉

Today though, I wanted to cover one of the most requested tip topics from the many that flooded in over the last couple of weeks, and that’s the vitally important task of selecting an appropriate niche.

( I do cover this – and lots more besides – in the free downloads and ‘blueprint’ available from my new Listbuilder site – if you haven’t already taken advantage of this free offer yet, Click Here Now to get access straight away…)

Picking the right or the wrong niche can make (or break) your business right from the start.

Even with the best marketing and advertising in the world the ‘crocheted bodywarmers for camels’ niche isn’t likely to ever be a goer financially…

…maybe I’ve overlooked something, but I’d be surprised if the sales started flooding in in their millions!

Picking the right niche for you is at the foundation of your online endeavors, but so many pieces of training deal with it in just a throwaway line…

“Once you’ve selected your niche…” (sounds so simple … and it can be if you know what to look for…)

It’s been the first stumbling block for so many people wanting to make money online and sometimes that’s as far as some would be marketers have ever got…

So today I’m going to show you how to to turn what many would see as an obstacle into a springboard to really get things going…

If you’re intending to make money online, it is absolutely essential that you ensure that there is money in the market you plan to sell to … and you know exactly who you’ll be targeting … Get this right and you have made the first, and arguably the biggest step in creating a highly monetising list!

It is absolutely key to identify exactly who you are targeting. If you already have a ‘hungry’ market in mind, you will need to check that it can be as profitable as you think it is, or if you’re starting from scratch, then I’ll take you briefly through the basic process you need to follow to select the correct market…

First of all, if you haven’t got a market in mind, you may well want to select something that you already have an interest in, or if your mind is still a blank you can always take a trip to WH Smith’s…

Why?

Well, an accepted rule of thumb is that if there’s a magazine about a given subject, it stands to reason that there ought to be a reasonably large volume of people interested in that subject…

But a bit of commonsense should always prevail too! (We’ve all occasionally seen those really odd magazines with titles such as … ‘rarebreed chameloeons’ or ‘cottonreel collecting’ and wondered who the heck reads them…

So a quick scan of the shelves should give you a few ideas… (If you haven’t got the time to pop to the shops, you can always look on http://www.magazines.com or http://www.amazon.com/magazines for a list of titles, and get the ball rolling…)

Then consider the three ‘magic’ criteria:

Demand  – Are there enough people interested in this market…?

Profitability – Are these people willing to spend money on that interest…?

Competition – How many other people have got exactly the same idea as you..?  

And there are a couple of free tools that I can think of off the top of my head that will help pin point the ‘winners’ (and the ones to steer clear of)… Just type in details of your chosen market (e.g. crochet, dog food recipes, car accessories or whatever else you can think of…) and see how popular it is, and how often it is searched for and so on…

So here we go…

See if your niche idea is viable, using this free tool http://www.google.com/trends  – remember what you’re looking for are high search volumes (if you ‘flatline’… the market’s dead, and it’s time to look elsewhere).

Once you can see that there’s activity and interest in your niche it’s then handy to find out exactly what people are searching for (which will also give you additional ideas of  what they might buy), and find out if these people are in fact buying anything at all – and if so what they’re buying…

To identify the exact words (keywords) people are searching for in your niche, type your niche into the tool at… http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com and you will be presented with a list of the searches in your niche, with the highest volume first (note: wordtracker will limit the amout of searches you will be able to do for free, so choose carefully).

The next stage is to type those keywords into Google and see what you are presented with.

There will obviously be millions of results, but what you’re looking for are the paid advertising entries in the shaded box at the top, and in the right hand column of the search results. (If companies are paying to advertise, the chances are they’re selling something…).

If there are no paid results at all, then it indicates that nobody is selling anything to anybody in that niche (well certainly not online anyway)…

In contrast a right hand column filled to the brim with ads will usually mean there’s plenty of people in that niche (which of course means its a niche with activity, and great place to target, assuming there’s plenty of potential customers to go around). However an ideal outcome to find would be just a couple of paid ads indicating that there is a market, but without too much competition…

Just a quick word on competition… There’s nothing wrong with competition – it indicates money is being made in that particular market, in exactly the same way you are intending to … Although of course it is easier if potential subscribers and buyers search online, and only find just a few choices… YOURS!

Remember, it’s possible you may have to consign a few of your first ideas to the bin…

It’s not always a quick process and this is only to be expected, but I can’t stress enough the importance of doing this part correctly.

It’s far better to eliminate a duff niche right at the start … Then when you do start to spend time and effort on the next stages of the process, you’re definitely barking up the right tree… and set to succeed in your chosen niche.

Crickey, that was a bit of a lengthy one today…! 😉

TimLoweBluePenSig.jpg
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down
 

And don’t forget … You can also join me on Facebook by visiting my My Facebook Page and clicking the ‘Like’ button … and you can follow me on Twitter by visiting my My Twitter Page and clicking ‘Follow Me’…

Practice makes ‘Perfecto’…

If you could have seen me at the weekend you would have witnessed me, clad in a rather fetching pinny (don’t worry, it was a rather manly striped blue one…;-)), wooden spoon in hand having a ‘dry run’ for a bit of an informal gathering at ‘Lowe Towers’ in a couple of weeks time for which I decided that I would do the cooking…

‘She who must…’ was looking on with what – I can only assume – must have been admiration J … as I took over the kitchen and painstakingly worked my way through various recipes for Gnocchi (which is a little way from perfection yet…) and Lasagne, which its rather good if I do say so myself! (well the man painting the house reckoned it was the best he’d ever eaten but then again he probably hoped for more leftovers the next day too)…

Now, you are possibly thinking that this is maybe a bit too much effort to be going to for an evening with friends, but for things like this I like to imagine myself in my guest’s shoes, and try to not only meet, but exceed their expectations and quite simply give them… an evening they will not forget…

Before somebody reminds me that this is the ‘Business Lowedown’ and not ‘Masterchef’ I must in fact point out that it’s that same level of preparation and attention to detail that you need to put not only into your products and projects, but all of your dealings with your existing and potential customers…

I really can’t stress enough that you need to test and check that everything works before unveiling it to your customers. (And yes, that does include things you choose to give away for free as well). Nothing will dent your credibility like a broken link or website that doesn’t display properly…after all, if you are unable to get that bit right…what does it say about the quality of the product you are trying to sell..?

And it’s not just your credibility that could take a ‘hit’ – imagine this…you’ve done all the work, and your ‘customer’ loves what you have to offer so much that they click on the ‘order now’ button…and expect to be presented with an order page … but instead are faced with an error message instead… We’ve all seen it.

Of course, it’s not just the ‘big’ errors that will be exposed by a thorough ‘walk through’ of your entire process – by trying out each and every part from the point of view of the customer it will also expose all the ‘other’ (but still very significant) wrinkles that need to be sorted out like spelling or obvious punctuation errors, and ensuring there is congruency through all of the process (like having the same photo in your emails as on your sales and order page, so that the buyer knows they’ve definitely clicked through to the right place).

Like a West End play or Broadway musical, you need to rehearse again and again to ensure you have everything running smoothly – not just throw it out there, and hope it will all be ‘alright on the night’.

Kind Regards,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Would you choose the ‘Stretchy Glue’ or Matt Black Box Experience…?

It’s just the way they do it… credit cards are usually sent in the post in a standard ‘DL’ envelope containing an unsigned credit card stuck to a letter with that awful super-stretchy glue… you know the stuff! And it’s rare not to find a pamphlet or two in there too… almost certainly destined for the recycling bin.

Well I received my new credit card this morning, but there wasn’t a hint of super-stretchy glue in sight… far from it. What was the difference…? Quite simply, the presentation…

For a start it arrived in a matt black package by special delivery… and I was surprised how heavy it felt for something the size and shape of a regular paperback book. The package was made from 3-layer, matt black, really dense card that reeked of ‘quality and cost’… and had that look of robustness reserved for ‘important items’…

Inside were two visually ‘identical’ folders, both in the same matt black packaging with the name of my bank discretely displayed in silver (…the one famed for having a particular client who never carries any cash)… and in the same way you would prise open a oyster to reveal a precious pearl … opening one of these folders revealed a small leather sleeve containing my new credit card…and in the other folder, another for ‘She Who Must…’

Did the card have any additional value as a result, I’ll let you be the judge of that… after all you could argue that what I received was just another method of delivering 2 plastic cards…But, in terms of increasing the perceived value of the product and creating an experience of exclusivity, and a great ‘out of box’ experience (a phrase I learned from my old mentor and that I’ve used many times before) it certainly worked…

But think about what it says when your ‘goods’ arrive in this way. It says, ‘this is important, it’s ‘valuable’’… This may or may not be the case, and there’s certainly no substitute for great quality of whatever you’re offering. However I do believe that you can make a very good thing exceptional by presenting it slightly differently.

Why am I telling you this? …because your business could seriously benefit from adopting a similar approach. Of course poor products and poor services cannot be disguised by fancy packaging or ‘unveiling’ strategies, customers know when real quality is present (or not) and your refund rates will remind you of this too. But get the product right and present it appropriately and you have a winning combination…(by the way, people will always pay more for beautiful presentation too – think about how top restaurants present the food on the plate and how desirable some people find the shopping bags from Gucci or Versace).

So what you are ‘presenting’ to your customers at the moment? An exclusive ‘matt black box, and leather wallet’ approach or a hum-drum everydayness of the ‘standard envelope, letter, and stretchy-glue’ method…?

Simple tweaks across all areas of your business can make all the difference. Say your product includes a CD, how would it look if it was just a supermarket branded CD-Rom with the title handwritten on with a marker pen? It may well offer a practical format to deliver the information… but it just looks amateurish, it’s not going to ooze quality.

Little things such as password controlling access to your websites allows you to ensure that offers you say are ‘exclusive’ are indeed exclusive for example…
Every single element has to demonstrate quality: the content, the presentation, and the after sales support… Nobody likes to shell out decent money for some half-baked attempt at something that doesn’t deliver… So ensure what you’re offering lives up to its promises.

Of course, this principal is not just reserved for physical products, but everything you sell, be it digital products or even the things you give away, free of charge…
After all when you tell your customers that what you’re offering is special, make sure it is!!

Best wishes,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Honesty is not just the best policy – it’s also the only policy…

I’ve now arrived back safe and sound in the UK after my travels, and whilst I enjoyed them tremendously, I can honestly say I’m absolutely delighted to be back home. ‘She Who Must…’ may have slightly different views of course… (I even got used to the creepy crawlies eventually whilst out there… helped by sleeping with my trusty can of RAID – industrial strength insect and arachnid killer!)

And although I’ve spent the last three weeks over-indulging in virtually everything (especially the wine tasting…) I’ve still somehow managed to come back looking tanned and half a stone lighter, I swear my trousers are slipping down when I walk around!

And on the whole my travels were very enjoyable indeed, although that degree of fondness dropped off when I reminisce about the encounters I had at NZ customs, (which was particularly interesting as the ‘limit’ is six bottles of wine and I was the proud owner of fifteen…) especially when there was talk of x-rays and prison for those caught ‘smuggling’ (a bit harsh I felt as we’d already paid duty on everything in Australia).

As you might expect I decided to take the bull by the horns and address the situation up-front rather than take the chance of being ‘apprehended’.

It transpired that my friend and I were the only pair of fine ‘upstanding citizens’ who made this choice and as we made our way into the ‘special declaration’ room, our fellow travellers looked at us as if we were not only ‘mad’ for being honest…. but also looked on with a fair degree of sympathy at the ‘fate’ they imagined awaited us…

However, all was well as I explained our ‘professional’ interest in wine and the very nice man went off and talked to someone ‘higher up’ who said we were very good boys for ‘fessing up’ and we need not pay the duty either…;-)

As we toddled off we observed some other ‘touristy types’ who thought they were being clever  but were instead being carted off to explain (no doubt at great length) why their forms said ‘nothing to declare’ but x-rays had revealed their bags to be full of forbidden booty….

Just like those ‘touristy types’, you’ll never build a lasting business by ‘trying to pull a fast one’ and being dishonest… Yes, some people have made a ‘fast buck’ with flashy websites and some empty promises, but ultimately they have been ‘found out’ in the end and are left with their business and their reputation in tatters…

I had a student a year or two ago who did brilliantly, made a bundle of money and was moments away from being a proper bona-fide millionaire (I mean a real millionaire with actual 7 figures of cash in the bank, not somebody who tells you their house is now worth a million!)…then, the idiot decides to launch a scheme that was doomed to fail because it promised things he just couldn’t deliver.

Today he is no longer in the business and goodness knows what he will do for a living next…had he of just been a bit more conservative with his promises and delivered what in fact would have been easy for him then he would now be a cash millionaire.

Put simply – it is much, much, more important to gain a customer than it is to just merely make a one-off ‘sale’. You may have to wait a bit longer for the biggest rewards but at least you’ll get to keep them!!

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Would your business pass the ‘Octogenarian Australian Tawny Port’ test…?

I’m slightly over the two week mark on my travels and I regret to announce that I have ‘broken’ my co-conspirator… (of course, not in a ‘bad’ way, it just seems he can’t keep up with the casual task of sipping a couple of bottles of wine each day and has had to have a ‘little rest’…in this case for the last 36 hours…)

I had naively assumed that as a professional sommelier, he would be up to the task of moderately sampling a few wines everyday but, sadly, he’s not proved to be quite as ‘robust’ as I thought…

And robustness is certainly something the locals appear to have in bucket loads (perhaps enhanced by having regular run-ins with the ‘eight legged fraternity’ that seem to be in abundance around here)…

Only yesterday I was at a local winery shop, (perusing the delights on offer) when a distinctly octogenarian couple wandered in…They were obviously regulars as the man behind the counter enquired “The usual?…10 litres ?” and passed over a container (like a petrol can only much larger) of Australian Tawny Port…

And it transpires this was not for use at a party, or for stocking a drinking hole for locals, but was in fact for ‘two or three weeks of personal consumption!’ and the only reason it was supplied in the ‘petrol can’ type container was so it could be poured into wooden barrels at home and topped up a bit with Brandy…

After witnessing this it left me thinking  …the term ‘robust’ to one person may mean something completely different to another. My co-conspirator (currently sleeping off his over-indulgences) thought I was robust, so what would he make of the ‘tawny port Aussie octogenarians’…?!

For instance, if you launched a new campaign and it took off, you could find yourself twice as busy, 4 times, 8 times, 16 times.  Could you cope? Could you fulfil all your orders within the agreed delivery timescale? Could you keep things in stock? Could you provide support to all of these customers…?  Or, would you be compromising something along the way and putting your sales (and possibly your reputation) in jeopardy…?

In short would it have the same affect on your business as 10 litres of Tawny Port would have on my constitution… more used to a couple of glasses of wine a day…?

After all, extra sales are exactly what a business needs to thrive and grow, yet I’ve spoken to people who are fearful of ‘too many’ sales coming in at once… and being ill-prepared and rushed…

But there is a way around this, by building in the expectation of growth in to every element of your business however small, or new (or currently non-existent!) your business is at the moment.

For instance, could you satisfy a number of your daily email enquiries by having a FAQ page on your website, or by automating elements of your business so that each delivery (whether digitally or physically) is not so reliant on your personal intervention…? Could you concentrate on higher profit lower volume initiatives? Could you out source aspects of what you do?

If you use software or ‘tools’ to help you at the moment, are there some ‘undiscovered’ aspects that are available to you that you’re not currently utilising?

Not only will tweaks like this make your business far more efficient on a day to day basis, but ensures your business is far more ‘robust’ whenever you’re faced with changes, allowing you to simply step up a gear immediately to meet demand…

Speak again at the weekend,

Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

So exactly how did I end up 16ft underground, surrounded by 10,000 spiders and $40m of wine…?

It’s 2.30pm on the tenth day of my trip to Australia… It’s wonderfully hot (my eternal thanks to the inventor of ‘Empire Shorts’) and instead of following my co-conspirators’ example of having an afternoon nap (to sleep off the effects of yesterdays ‘consumption’) I thought I’d take the opportunity to relay my recent  ‘experience’ with some of the local ‘wildlife’ and I’m afraid to report it wasn’t entirely favourable…

You see, despite my insistence on large modern hi-rise concrete hotels that are fumigated daily, ‘She Who Must’… saw fit to book me into a sort of rural lodge effort for this particular leg of the tour (OK, the nearest hotel of my spec is 100 miles away and I do want to visit the wineries…;-)

Last time I was here in Australia I didn’t see any large spiders, save for one spindly legged critter (about 8 inches across) and that was about 1000 miles distant of where I am staying on this trip… So you can understand my surprise when, shortly after unpacking I noticed (with the aid of my trusty ‘spider spotter’ torch) a substantial amount of spider’s webs under the bed and sofa.

I asked, in a rather direct fashion, that somebody from housekeeping do a spot of hoovering and maybe get some insecticide squirted about…  After several cans of ‘Raid’ (the industrial strength antipodean arachnid killer) I was finally able to sleep without feeling the need to stay up and ‘man the battlements’ against any eight legged invaders…

On the ‘tasting’ agenda the very next day was one of Australia’s finest wineries (a full barrel of their finest vintage would set you back around $200K) and it was this I was very keen to experience… I was even more enthusiastic (if that was at all possible) when I was invited by the owner (who singled me out as a fellow lover of great wine) to join him, to sample some of this amazing wine straight from the barrel….

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a wine sampling implement, but I can only describe it as a slightly banana-shaped metal tube…which Dan would place in to the barrel, place his thumb over the end to make a seal, draw out the sample and let it pour gently in to our glasses…

And despite risking splinters in the bum perching on wine filled barrels, I would still say that it was the match of some of the best dining experiences I’ve had sitting in some of the best restaurants around the world at crisp linen-clad tables.

And strangely it was an easy decision to make…even though for this incredible experience to happen I had to descend 16ft into a cellar, past some of the biggest cobwebs I’ve ever seen…. (and their unseen but undoubtedly numerous spindly legged occupants)… in order to experience it.

… at times we all have to pass the ‘cobwebs and spiders’ to reach the ‘wine’, but it can be easy for people to overly focus on negative aspects (be it starting a business, embarking upon an opportunity, or trying something new).

In a nutshell, you need to have a big enough reason to overcome whatever it is that scares you or is in the way. If your motive is strong enough you’ll overcome any obstacle.

Remember if you want to sample the wine from the cellar, don’t let the spiders and the possibility of splinters in the bum!) put you off…!!! J

Have a great week,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

The only time of year I’d consider doing something (just for a moment) a little bit dull…

It’s strange isn’t it… at the start of a new year it’s customary to look back over the last year, and look forward to the new…

Have you?

Well, although I’m particularly useless at many things (‘She Who Must…’ would say most things), I already have a whole load of very exciting things planned for this year that I’m absolutely convinced will be even bigger and better than last year (and last year was pretty good, although I’m trying to convince those around me that austerity measures need to be firmly in place…to prevent unnecessary over-indulgence in double-sided post-it notes and gold plated staples or whatever it is that people get excited about in times of plenty…)

As always, complacency simply will just not do…So I’m planning to ensure this year is better still… my best yet… (and I hope you choose this for yourself too).

Yes, I’ve looked back at the successes from last year (I’ve seen what worked brilliantly and what was only ‘ok’…) and most importantly learnt from these results and planned for 2011 to be my best year yet.
 
Yes, I know… I’m using the ‘p’ word … planning.

At school I remember drifting off in to my own dream world when the ‘p’ word was mentioned, usually coupled with teachers with concerned faces talking about revision time tables and study plans… …well that’s what I imagine they said, after a while all I could hear was … ‘blah, blah, blah’…  Planning can be awfully dull.

But surely planning for an outcome of your choosing is completely different and far more exciting… Maybe you are planning to be £100,000 wealthier by the end of the year (or £10 million, even £100 million…).

With the steps in place, why not?!!

But there’s one thing for sure, if you’re waiting for somebody to come knocking at your door to deliver £100,000 to you in crisp bank notes, you’ll be waiting a long time.

You need to plan for this to happen.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to ski… So, do it!! However, you must plan your actions carefully – simply strapping on some polished planks, clambering to the top of a mountain and pushing yourself off is hardly likely to result in a beautiful decent…

…As my panicked calls of “Brace yourself Theresa” are testament, whilst hurtling down a snowy Bulgarian mountainside a few years back…
And that was with a few hours of beginners ski school under the belt!  (I seem to recall colliding with her as ‘She Who Must…’ looked on disapprovingly and ending up in a heap at the bottom of the mountain, skis to the skies, lodged in some type of spruce. No broken bones though … fortunately.

So whatever it is that you want in your life this year, be it financial success, learning a new skill, or the pursuit of something completely different that you’ve always dreamed of doing. Plan to make it a reality starting now… (please don’t find yourself on New Year’s Day 2012 setting yourself the same goals as previous years… You really can make this year what you want it to be…!)

So , here’s to a super 2011 … now, just plan to make it a reality   (I’ll be sending out some useful opportunities and ideas along the way…)

By the way… Last year I got the notion that I’d like to go on a month long wine tasting tour all around Australia… so guess where I’m off to this weekend?… (again, it just took a little planning 😉 … So be prepared for a few wine related tips throughout the whole of January, in between my vineyard visits!

Tim Sig
Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

So what makes a great testimonial, and how can you get more of them?

I have thousands upon thousands of them… I really I do, file upon file of testimonials. ‘She Who Must…’ jokes that I should sit down and read (and watch  – many are on video) them all some time in one go… but I fear my head wouldn’t fit through the doorway afterwards, with all that ego massaging!! (One day maybe…)

But still, the first time you receive an unprompted testimonial will stand out for you … in a similar way to the day you make your first sale after setting up your own business…

Why?

It confirms (in black and white, or on film) that you have a happy customer. You have proven evidence that you must be doing something – probably many things –  right.

And once you start to gather a good number of testimonials together it also demonstrates that you consistently have happy customers providing you with a positive track record … (you could think of this as a slightly more flowery version of the eBay seller history or Amazon Seller review ranking!!)

 So what makes a great testimonial, and how can you get more of them?

Only Use Genuine, 100% Genuine: There’s nothing worse than a faked, or fabricated testimonial… I’m sure you’ve seen sites, particularly sales pages, littered with testimonials before. Used correctly, high quality testimonials can certainly help establish your credibility, or that of the product or service that you’re offering. Over do it, with poor quality, phoney-looking statements and you’ll get the reverse effect.

And yes it is OK to ask for testimonials from your customers (try it, see what they come back with – you may be surprised – in a good way!). However don’t even think about making up your own, or getting somebody to write them for you… After all your potential buyer needs to know that they (and you) are believable.

Who Said That?: I’ve seen dozens of sales letters recently with testimonials allegedly from ‘satisfied customers’ … identified only by a couple of initials. Call me cynical … but these just don’t seem to hold any weight.

Surely if somebody is willing to support what they’ve said they should be willing to put their full name to their comment, and perhaps even their location, or business name underneath if relevant (perhaps even provide a link or a photograph if you’re wanting to go the whole hog). And of course ensure that the person providing the testimonial is happy with this…

Ideally, even video testimonials should include a reference to who the person is and what business/location they are from … even though they’re clearly willing to show their face!

Be specific: A specific comment addressing a specific issue is far better than a generic compliment.

 For instance the first of these testimonials has more impact than the second because although they they’re both genuine the first is far more specific…

 “My target for November was to increase my bank from 2.2k to 5k and last night my bank closed at 7.1k I have now set my target for end of December to the magical 10k a good month ahead of my original target. Setting a daily target has really work for me and the pleasure of seeing the bank rise is fantastic!”

“Tim, you over deliver everytime I deal with you.”

Interweave: Although it’s tempting to pop all your testimonials in one area of your site, even on a separate page behind one tab … you then run the risk of potentially having visitors go to your site and overlook them. How do you overcome this? Try interweaving them throughout your site, or perhaps having a side panel that has them available to see, wherever the person is on the site (you can get fancy and have them rotating around in random, or prioritising the best ones if you fancy it, and have a techie who can do such things for you…)

Read-on-ability: If you’re anything like me when you see a whole load of testimonials you look at the first few, then skim down a bit and then read a few more… and I rarely get much further than that… If you want your testimonials to be read you have to make them readable, or watchable.

Keep them short (a few minutes maximum if on film, or 3-4 lines maximum if in written form). Don’t forget if somebody delivers a stonking testimonial with a number of key benefits mentioned there’s no harm in breaking them up into a number of different testimonials…

The upshot is, there are few marketing approaches more powerful than a solid, genuine and uplifting testimonial (especially on film, you are conveying far more than just words .. there’s excitement, energy, the appearance of the person, the setting … Good sound quality, a quality venue, and a well dressed person goes a long way before they’ve even opened their mouth!) Plus it costs you absolutely nothing to get testimonials, so you really should be using them. If you have happy customers, show people that you do!!)

In the same way it’s great to grow a list of potential buyers, the next stage is to collect a list of satisfied customers (or more likely DELIGHTED customers!!!) After all a satisfied customer is far more likely to buy again from you… as for a DELIGHTED customer, you’re almost sure to have that person’s custom for years to come (and in turn more testimonials to boot!).

Best wishes,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Do you have the ‘X factor’?

Almost by default ‘the X factor’ is something you can’t quite put your finger on… And no, I’m not talking about the TV programme… (although the ‘X factor’ that Simon Cowell and his cronies are searching for is perhaps a similar elusive thing we’re all in search of once in a while

…but that still doesn’t mean that I regularly sit through hours of excruciating versions of 1990’s power ballads to try and spot it in the music industry!).

As an aside I much prefer the way the French describe the ‘elusive quality’ … they use the far nicer term … the … ‘je ne sais quoi’ … who my multi-talented, multi-lingual best man regularly defines as ‘a quality or attribute that is difficult to describe’… (hinting at something to do with himself, no doubt…).

But isn’t that definition correct…?

And if that is the case… the big question is have you ever seen a hint of the ‘je ne sais quoi’ (or X factor) in what you do?… Perhaps you bathe in it regularly in all you do… let’s hope so!!!

One thing is for certain, you definitely know when you have it, or have done something that has a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it…

Recently I sent a student of mine across to an old website of mine containing a really old bit of sales copy – just to demonstrate a technique that I used to use. (I’ve not used the site though for years…).

And lo and behold that student ended up plugging in their full credit card details and wanted to place an order… in the full knowledge that the site was no longer operational and the product no longer available!!!

What makes people want to do that…?!

It’s a little bit like when we see a good film at the cinema … we know that what we’re watching isn’t really true, however sometimes you just can’t help but get engrossed in the storyline. And feel empathy for the main characters; experience their highs, their lows, their hopes and excitement… We laugh at the right things at the right places, on occasions we’re even induced in to extreme sadness which can have some members of the audience in tears…

So why is it that some people can write sales pages that engage readers and lead to shed-loads (or more realistically barn-loads) of people eager to buy, but others can write a sales page that doesn’t attract a single sale…?

It’s the same reason that differentiates the Hollywood blockbuster movie from one of those low ranking ‘Made for TV’ Sky Channels…

Each could portray a virtually identical scene yet one looks cheap, produced on a budget, even a little bit amateurish, yet the other demonstrates quality, greater depth and realism?

Is it really all down to the differences in lighting, camera lens quality and the jaunty angles of Brad Pitt’s jaw line?

It’s certainly not always to do with which is most star studded or has the biggest budget thrown at it… More often than not budget, student produced films can have that special something too… and that will be the one with the X factor.

So try reading one of your own sales letters … Does it make you eager to get your credit card out??! Great! If not, perhaps it needs a little bit of that elusive ‘je ne sais quoi’, or X Factor … that we’re all (even Simon Cowell) trying to put our finger on…

My acid test has always been to read my own sales letter from beginning to end… and I am only happy if I want to get my credit card out and buy my own product!

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Do you have a decision-making blind spot?

As I watched the first of the Chilean miners being winched to safety on the news last night it struck me that history has been created today…

I have to confess I’m not a big fan of any kind of confined space and I can’t imagine what it has been like for those guys… the idea of caving or pot holing makes me feel quite uncomfortable… particularly since ‘She Who Must regularly reminds me that I’m ‘…no racing snake’ for such activities – usually whilst I’m tucking into a substantial Sunday roast…

So once the paparazzi frenzy has died down a little, and these miners have been able to spend time with their families they’re apparently going to be medically checked out, (by ‘above ground’ psychologists, and behavioural scientists)…

Why? The unique (and unfortunate) situation that these people have had to endure have created a perfect environment to provide better understanding on… how teams function under life-threatening situations, how people deal with isolation, uncertainty, problem solving and choices under pressure…

Now of course not all of those things they’re going to study are relevant in what we do in our on-line selling, but some aspects are, particularly the decision making process. After all, there’s usually a ‘right’ choice that we’d prefer visitors, or readers to make and we’ll do much better if we know what will cause them to choose as we want them to.

One specific example that comes to mind was in an article that I read in an in-flight magazine recently on the way back from Scotland.

Psychologists have known for some time that human beings appear to have ‘blind spots’ in decision making. When faced with uncertainty the vast majority of us tend to fall back to mental short cuts that don’t provide us with ‘rational’ choices.

Most people chose to ignore information if it contradicts their beliefs … and many of us stubbornly cling on to facts even after they’ve been disproved…

It seems that we all can have a tendency to be over confident in our ability to make predictions, or can be swayed by a recent bit of news…

We can play with this idea a little and maybe find a way to increase our sales…

Let’s use a real-life retail example… by adding a second bread making machine to a retailer’s line that was almost 50% more expensive than the £180 model already offered, do you know what happened..?

Although the company didn’t end up selling very many of the higher priced machines, sales of the less expensive product almost doubled!!

The thing is that the original bread maker was no different; it just suddenly APPEARED to be better value because the consumer had a comparison product.

So, if we have a product for sale it can drastically increase sales if there is another similar option that costs much more than the item we originally wanted to sell. And oddly, if we introduce another similar product that is ridiculously cheap, sales of the ‘reasonably priced’ item soar even more as people shun the cheap option on the unproven basis that ‘you only get what you pay for’.

I say unproven simply because many of us believe it about all markets because we are certain we have seen evidence of it. For example, we buy cheap washing up liquid and it lasts no time at all whereas when we buy, say, Fairy Liquid, we can see it lasting many times longer – based on that we assume it is similarly true for clothes where price is actually determined by who designed it and where you buy it and bears no relation to how long an item may last or how well it will survive the washing machine…

(Please notice my ‘new man’ credentials – I know all about washing up and washing machines J ).

In fact in many markets price is totally about controlling demand – oil and credit being the best known examples (remember interest rates are used by the Bank of England to control how much people can afford to borrow).

However…beware the choices syndrome!! If you offer a basic, mid-range and deluxe version of essentially the same product all will be well and you sell mostly the mid-range version BUT if you offer 3 completely different products with wildly different features and no obvious way of comparing, many people will not want to think that hard about which they want and will actually buy nothing whilst they go away and ‘think about it’!!!!

So don’t be frightened of introducing a few high priced ‘breadmakers’ to your range too, so long as you have an easy way of people comparing the differences… and see what happens??! (I’d love to know how you get on…)

To your success,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

2 minutes and £24k in the bank account…

I’m not sure whose idea it was, but the green saris and straw hats are almost perfect camouflage for the staff at the Mauritius hotel I’ve been staying at for nearly 2 weeks…

These green-clad ladies ‘emerge’ from the undergrowth, softly saying ‘Mr. Lowe how can I help you?’  only to then bow and ‘melt’ back in to the foliage (… and at times,  yes, even though they were extremely polite they did catch me out, and did make me jump!)…

So what made the magically appearing and disappearing staff, early morning tropical bird song and the sound of the waves on the coral reef even better? Knowing that…

I saved over £24k before I set foot on the outbound flight… How?

Let’s face it, most people, myself included, don’t like paying more than they have to.  So when I was quoted a figure for the air fares for my family and I to fly out to Mauritius (beautiful but a very, very long flight…) I decided a bit of ‘negotiation’/haggling/discussion’ was required…

Call it what you like, but the end result is the same! A better outcome

I DO make a habit of it, almost always it makes sense. ‘She Who Must…’ hates it though … Especially when I do it in shops!!!

Now I’m not talking about haggling over the price of a loaf of bread from the supermarket, or a CD on Amazon…

But think about this … from a quick conversation I had a few weeks ago and shuffling times and dates around slightly I was able to reduce the overall cost of my family’s flights by £24k. Was it worth 2 minutes of amicable discussion? Absolutely.

By the way, you might wonder what the final price was if I saved £24k???? Er, that would be under £6k for all of us, First Class, to a place that is more than halfway to Australia!!!!

The same is true when you do business…

A few minutes of discussion can make the difference between making good profit and superb profit (or even being out of pocket if you really mess things up!) …

What do I mean? Well a recent example comes to mind…

…A chap approached me to do a joint venture deal with him in a sports equipment repair business niche. It should have worked out quite well.

The business idea was sound, and he’d set everything up, ready-to-go…I liked it and wanted to promote it…but did I go with it? NO. Because the guy hadn’t stacked the deal up properly…

The costs for his writer, web designer, other techie fees, stock of the repair equipment, and the warehousing, almost exceeded what he was charging for this business opportunity leaving him with… well … less than the minimum wage for each sale (and having to work for that too)… Not an attractive proposition, so everyone lost out (the others were on a percentage of the sales… so no sales, no further money made).

He’d forgotten the important point… to negotiate himself (and me, or any other partner) in to a profitable position.

If your deals don’t stack up profitably you need to question why you’d want to progress, and this all occurs at the very beginning.

Even if you’re offering a free physical product, people are usually quite willing to pay the P&P costs so you’re not out of pocket for your ‘freebie’.

Just because there’s a price shown, or a set way of doing things don’t assume that’s the ONLY way…

You’d never dream of buying a house or a car for the list price would you? So consider price tags as ‘suggested prices’ and see what a little bit of negotiation can do for your business…(oh, there is just one notable exception – not when buying anything from me of course J )

Until next time,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

We did it using 4 pairs of hands!

I think our rabbits have been trying to make a break for the big wide world… They have been systematically gnawing their way through their hutch… so before they tunnelled out completely, it became apparent we needed to order them a new ‘secure’ home…

As you may expect, the final choice of bunny home wasn’t some small inadequate ‘box’ with wire on the front… Oh no, the chosen one was something far more palatial, resembling more a penthouse suite, over 3 storeys, complete with a Jacuzzi and a glass elevator (OK… I joke, but I am talking about a ‘custom built deluxe bunny home’ commissioned by a chap in Northumberland…). It was weeks back that ‘She Who Must…’ did the final measure up and placed an order for the ‘creation!’

Anyway, last weekend came ‘the day’ to take delivery… ‘Northumberland bloke’ and his Dad brought the hutch down personally … however after unloading the hutch on to the side of the road… they prepared to drive off!!…

‘She Who Must…’ is a good egg and willing to give most things a go, but fortunately she used one of her special ‘looks’ to ensure ‘Northumberland bloke’ stayed on to help move the hutch in to the final resting place… the back garden…

Following grumbles from him saying…

‘Me father can’t lift it tho’, he’s just had ‘art attack…’

…I suddenly got roped in to lifting a 200lb rabbit hutch with ‘Northumberland bloke’.

And unfortunately it quickly became apparent it wasn’t going to fit through either of our 2 gates… (our fences are the ‘built in situ’ type (so the panels can’t be easily removed)…

‘She Who Must…’ insisted she’d pre-measured everything to fit, (however she’d stated what the base measurement should be not accounting for the roof overhang… oh dear!)

Plus since my gates have a top to them, the hutch couldn’t even be easily lifted up and over either…

So we went round to the neighbours, where fence panels were removed…

Then ‘Northumberland Bloke’, my neighbour, ‘She Who Must…’ and I then carried the bunny palace through …

Fairly easy, until the point that ‘She Who Must…’ got trapped in between the conservatory and the bamboo plant and dropped her end, followed by the neighbour tripping over a stump and letting go of his corner too … I felt like I was the only one carrying it!!

(‘She Who Must…’ did suggest rolling the thing along on drain pipes … the same approach used to build Stone Henge!!! But fortunately we didn’t have to resort to that and we eventually got it positioned…). And a fine creation it is too.

So are there lessons that can be learned from this?

Well there’s certainly plenty … but 3 obvious ones spring to mind…

1. Assumption can create a ‘problem’ unnecessarily … state things clearly, without assuming anything (A friend of mine from the corporate world once said ‘Assume, makes an ass out of you and me’ …and although that sounds like a lot of corporate nonsense there’s actually an element of truth to it…

Especially in our industry where a lot of our communication is undertaken by e-mail or phoene, its crotical to get details nailed down before starting.

2. Collaboration can make difficult things possible … (however be prepared to carry the can for a little bit if people stumble!)

3. The quality of service you provide will directly impact you future sales (or not)… Even with a fantastic product you need to consider the other elements that your customers need so they have an ‘excellent customer experience’, and are happy to recommend you, or make repeat purchases.

Oh, and one extra thought…

Don’t let your ‘significant other’ order really important things…! (Good job it was just a ‘deluxe bunny hutch’ …!) … I’m being beastly, but you know what I mean…

The problem now, is that the ungrateful rodents have started chewing through their new home… So I’m off to look for a ‘chew-proofing’ solution!

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

What the burger in New York told me!

When I was over in the US last year for Thanks Giving, everybody, everywhere was eating turkey. Unlike ‘She Who Must…’ I’m not really a big a fan of turkey on Christmas Day, let alone some foreign holiday! Frankly I’m more of a Proper British Beef sort of chap. So on that day I went in search of something other than turkey for my evening meal…

I was staying at the Waldorf so I popped in to the Bull and Bear (their own Steak House) … and was dismayed to find turkey everywhere so, in a small paddy, I roamed the streets of New York looking for some beef…I happened across some dilapidated looking American ‘Pub’ which was heaving with punters eating burgers and not a gobbling fowl in site…so I ordered a ‘premium’ cheese burger with french fries etc.

What amazed me was that only a minute or two later my burger had arrived… Surely cookie hadn’t had time to ‘create’ and cook my burger in that short time?

And my mind started considering… ‘what happened?’…

Had I accidentally received somebody else’s order? (Was the waiter about to whip it away and give it to somebody else on the neighbouring table?)…

Was it somebody else’s returned dish? If so what was wrong with it?

Were they making them flat out because they had beef that was ‘on the turn’…?

Had it just been cooked in a microwave?…

…although it tasted wonderful… it just arrived far too quickly!

So having headed out preparing for an enjoyable evening meal (for most of the evening), I found myself done and dusted after about 20 minutes… Not much of an event really! So what could I do for the rest of the evening … watch American T.V. …? Oh Goody… :-/ !

But joking aside there’s a lesson in this in how we conduct ourselves in business. There’s often the assumption that quicker is always better…? And usually it is but…

Imagine split testing the following wording after providing a free report…

“…you can get started in just 17 minutes”,

or

“…you can get started in just 3 minutes”.

Maybe you’d expect people to be more excited, and get a better response, from the get started as quick as possible approach…

Hmmm, think again.

If you think about what the time indicates it can convey an awful lot … especially the quality and the size of the free report.

3 minutes indicates a free report that can be read in just 3 minutes … which conjures up the idea of a mere ‘leaflet’ perhaps. Whereas 17 minutes indicates that people’ll be getting something that takes longer to read … with more information, therefore is better value, of higher perceived quality and provides more ‘help’…

Realistically if a person is prepared to spend 3 minutes reading something on a subject they are really interested in they’re likely to spare an additional 14 minutes to get the ‘better’ version, especially when it’s free!…

Just keep these easily overlooked items (such as time, size, even cost) in mind and remember that they can be really key in how the quality/service you are offering is perceived… even before anybody has clapped eyes on it!

Until next time,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Welcome to the Tim Lowe Blog…

Hi, Tim here!

Welcome to the  Tim Lowe Blog … as the name suggests you’ve arrived at the exactly the right place for insights in to my world, my ramblings, latest offers, thoughts, advice … in fact anything that springs to mind when I sit down to write!

Over the last decade or so I went from being a typical corporate guy with a ‘job’ to a multi-millionaire, all from harnessing the power of internet marketing…

People have been trying to convince me to write a blog for years, but I’ve put the idea on hold … until now! I’ve decided to bite the bullet, and here it is… hope you enjoy it 😉

All the best,


Tim Lowe

P.S. If you’ve got any questions, you can of course email me at timlowe@markiteer.com