Using Tiny Habits to Change Your Life

Every once in a while I come across something on the Internet that is actually useful. The website that I’m going to talk about today is TinyHabits.com. But let me start by telling you about the journey that brought me to this site.

My Wife and the Weight I Lost

It all started with my wife, Josephine Mazonde, who is a nurse. We both started exploring different diets a few years ago. As I have mentioned to some people I lost about 35 lbs in 2017 using a version of the keto diet. For me, this was a rewarding adventure - one of the top 10 achievements in my life.

One of the results of our research was that Josie started a business offering consulting and coaching to clients who wanted to lose weight. One target group that she focused on was men who wanted to reduce the size of their pot bellies. As part of her effort to work with this group, she developed and hosted a workshop called Lose 30 Pounds and Gain an Inch. It was a wonderful success.

22 Pushups

Tony is a friend of mine and he attended the workshop. During the course of Josie’s presentation (which I attended for maintenance reasons), Tony mentioned that he had been doing 22 pushups every day for the past year. I was impressed and I was curious about why the number 22. Why not 10 or 25 or 55 - why 22? Tony explained that this was a social trend in support of US military veterans with whom there was an average rate of 22 suicides per day. To be honest, I was shocked. In 100 days that is 2000 suicides. In a year that is 6500 people who have died from taking their own lives. All military personnel who had survived the battlefield. I wasn’t aware of the social campaign - this was the first I heard of it.

In response to Tony’s leadership, I made a commitment to try and do 22 pushups per day. I started but I failed. My commitment was low. My motivation was low. I just plumb forgot.

1000 Pushups (in one day)

However, a couple of months ago, I came across an article on Medium called How Completing 1000 Pushups Made Me a More Productive Writer by Kori D. Miller. The word “pushups” caught my eye and reminded me of my failed commitment. The number “1000” caught my attention especially when I figured out that this was 1000 pushups in one day. And then the name “Kori” nailed my interest because I suspected that the writer, and the person who had done 1000 pushups, was a woman - a very determined woman. Impressed - I read more.

It is true, Kori did 1000 pushups in one day! She started in August 2018. She calculated that if she added 25 pushups every day that she would reach her goal by mid-December. It wasn’t easy but she did it.

Tiny Habits

Then I read a sentence in her article that has had a profound effect on me: “Why I didn’t think to apply the TinyHabitsMethod developed by BJ Fogg to my writing, I have no idea.”

My mind asked the obvious question, “What is a tiny habit?” Well, I’ll tell you. Tiny Habits was developed by BJ Fogg. He is a behavioral scientist from Stanford University. In a nutshell, it’s a method to develop and maintain a habit within 5 days. Seriously!

Don’t start by thinking about what habits you want to change. Start by joining the program - it FREE - (https://www.tinyhabits.com/join) and it will all become clear. It’s brilliant. It’s easy. It’s rewarding.

I selected 3 habits to start:

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I’m now doing at least 22 pushups every day (many days I do more but I haven't committed to do 1000 in one day, yet).
I’m now flossing my teeth every morning.
Every day, I write down at least one thing that I’m grateful for.
In addition to these habits, I feel stronger and more confident. It’s great.

I encourage you to try it.

Online Marketing: Cost vs Effort Diagram

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I have been doing online marketing for our company and for our clients for a long time - I don’t care to say how long, but long. The other day it dawned on me that some tactics that we use are easy to do and other tasks take a lot of work. Similarly, some marketing activities are very inexpensive, while other campaigns require a significant investment. 

Based on this premise, I developed a 2-by-2 diagram to illustrate both continuums and marketing tactics that are associated with different points on the axes. After I created the diagram, I realized that there was a natural progression through the different tactics.  I'll start by explaining the 2 axes, then I'll describe each quadrant, and finally outline one way of progressing through the different quadrants and related tactics. 

Cost Axis
It should be no news to anyone that some marketing tactics are cheap and require very little investment, whereas other campaigns can be dauntingly expensive. Of course, your comfort level with how much you are willing to invest usually depends on your expected rate of return. 

Most business owners that I talk to say that they are willing to invest in marketing if there is a reasonable return at a reasonable cost per customer acquisition. But when I ask them to invest a few thousand dollars each month, quite a few people get cold feet. Usually, they have had one too many experiences where they invested in marketing and nothing happened, or they got very little return. This experience of little or even negative return creates anxiety and rightly so. My thinking is that if you have been burnt in the past, then most likely, you invested too much too quickly. 

My suggestion is to cut back on your marketing investments and focus on tactics that are cheaper but require more effort. At least, lost effort is not lost money. 

Effort Axis
Of course, there is a trade-off. If you reduce your investment in marketing too much you won't acquire any new customers and some of your existing customers will drift away to your competitors. If you don't want a drop in revenue and you don't want to invest money in marketing they the only alternative is to put in more effort - often lots of effort. 

As you can see from the diagram, some tactics are easy to do and take very little effort. Other tactics require a high level of commitment, time and energy. 

I should note before I get too deep into the tactics for each quadrant that my assumption is that you have registered a domain name and that you have a responsive website that looks great, works well, and portrays your company accurately. Not all companies require a website, but most do and if your company is bigger than a solepreneur then you need a well-functioning website. 

Quadrant A - Low Cost / Low Effort
This is where you should start. The dollar investment is low and the time invested is relatively low. Let’s look at each tactic in this quadrant.

1) Google My Business
Google has already done a lot of the work for you. More than likely if you go to Google Maps and search for your company, it will be listed. The listing will have the company name, the address and a phone number. All you have to do is claim it, check the details, and add some photos. There can be more to do later like optimizing the listing and getting reviews, but this is a good place to start. 

2) Customer Reviews
What can be easier than getting your customers to write reviews for you? Simple and cheap. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but getting customers to work on your behalf by writing reviews is a great way to build your online reputation and draw in new customers. To speed up the process and get a higher number of reviews, we encourage our clients to do the following:

  • Create a card about the size of a postcard with the addresses of the sites that you want customers to review

  • Hand the card out to anyone who you think will give you a good review

  • Add an incentive like a coffee card to encourage more customers to do the review

  • Send out an email to your customer list asking for a review

Here is a link to an example of a review request card developed by one of our clients and how to deal with negative reviews: https://www.anduro.com/blog/online-reviews-so-important
Here is a link to a case study that I wrote a few years ago: https://www.anduro.com/blog/managing-online-reviews 

3) Posting on Social Media Platforms
For companies whose customers are consumers, post to the following platforms:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Pinterest

  • YouTube

If your clients are other business, then you may want to do one or all of those platforms in addition to LinkedIn. 

Of course, there is more to it that selecting a couple platforms and posting. You need topics that are relevant to your audience, stories that are interesting, images that are eye-catching, and videos that are engaging. That’s where the effort comes in. 

Note: If you can take a short cut from A (easy and cheap) to D (easy and expensive) and many companies do but be very careful, you can spend a lot of money very quickly with a very poor return. 

Quadrant B: Low Cost / High Effort
If you have mastered the tactics in the first quadrant then you can move on to tactics that at still require very little investment in money but take more time and effort. 

4) Blogging and eNewsletter
Blogging is cheap. Pick a topic, write a bunch of paragraphs, add a picture and publish. Done. Okay, I hear you. It’s not quite that simple. This blog post and enewsletter is taking me upwards of 6 hours. I started the diagram on paper, then I created a version on Google Slides, next I sent it to a few friends for review, which led to some revisions, and now I’m writing the text. But you get the idea: cheap but brutal when it comes to time.

5) Handheld Videos
Again creating handheld videos is cheap. Grab your iPhone or Droid, pick a subject, take the shot, and publish to YouTube. If you want to get fancy, you can embed the video back to your blog post. Here’s an example that I did recently: Longview Lull: Longview Jerky Shop 
Here is video interview by Mario Toneguzzi with his Calgary news site, CalgarysBusiness.ca: Five questions with Tony Spoletini of Spolumbos

6) Search Engine Optimization
The beauty of SEO, if you optimize your pages correctly, is that you get a bump in visitors for free, AND you get a credibility boost. However, SEO takes time and skill. You can learn to do this yourself, you can take a course or you can hire -- us. We would be happy to help you out.

Note: Again you can take a short cut from Quadrant B to Quadrant C but the level of risk increases. For example, if you don’t have an adequate lead nurturing campaign in place that is automated, you can spend a lot of money driving people to your website and you lose them all to a competitor that has an offer and drip marketing campaign that results in prospects learning more about the company and what they are offering. 

Quadrant C: High Cost / High Effort
This is the worst quadrant because you get pressure from both cost and effort. Not all is doom and gloom. Marketing automation should lead to less time, eventually, and better conversion rates, Higher quality videos should lead to a wider reach and more prospects.

7) Lead Nurturing 
The idea with marketing automation software is to set up a landing page, with a compelling offer, collect the email addresses of those who respond, and then using automated emails you nurture these prospects toward a sale. Let me tell you, this is easier than you would ever hope. You have to have every component just right including:

  • Target audience

  • Interrupt message

  • Landing page

  • Compelling offer

  • Email messages

  • Open rates

  • Click through rates

  • Conversion rates

  • And what technology to use for each step in the process

It can get overwhelming quite quickly and quite easily. And for most entrepreneurs and small business owners, this is a long way from their forte. The end result is that they end up wasting time, effort and money. It is better to hire a professional, either or in-house as a consultant. BTW, we do marketing automation and lead nurturing for our clients - hire us. 

8) Professional Videos
If done right, these can go viral. Let me give you 2 examples:
WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving - 48,461,746 views, Wow!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU_unQxKrLUhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU_unQxKrLU - 2,893,120 views, Impressive for a local camera store

Again, not easy to do but not ridiculously expensive either. In both cases, the companies used employees, their own equipment and a cheap location. Admittedly, Westjet did a bit of PR to “prime-the-pump” but still this is incredible exposure for them at a very low cost per view - much cheaper than a paid ad during the Super Bowl. Likewise, The Camera Store, has leveraged the audience for this video into views for the product reviews that they do, more visits to their website and store, and a solid reputation here in Calgary. 

Quadrant D: High Cost / Low Effort
Oddly, this is where many companies start. We often get contacted by companies that want to do Google Search ads, Google Display ads, or Facebook ads long before they have done all the background work to build a reputation and manage the acquired leads. They seem to be stuck in marketing tactics of the 00’s - before social media and marketing automation. They think they can get customers with minimal effort. On a rare occasion, this “branding” approach will work but often with smaller companies they can drop $10,000 on a pay-per-click campaign and get nothing. And telling these managers ahead of time can be futile - they just want to spend money and get easy wins. 

Like I said, sometimes it works to spend a bunch of money but often it doesn’t. You can’t boost-a-post and expect results if the post is crappy. You can’t expect a positive ROI if your website is ugly and sloppy. You can’t expect everyone to buy on impulse - prospects have to be educated and nurtured. Your products won’t sell if your reputation is in the toilet. 

9) Online Advertising
There are 2 reasons why you might want to invest in advertising. The first is to have a prospect click on the ad and go to a landing page or your website. This should lead to a sale right away, or if you have a lead nurturing system in place, then a sale at some point in the future.

The second reason for advertising is for branding. By this, I’m referring to an increase in the probability that someone will associate your company with a specific product (Apple and iPhone), type of product (GoDaddy and website hosting), or a solution to a specific problem (a realtor and selling - or buying - a home). 

As I implied earlier, don’t spend money on advertising until you have your ducks all in a row:

  • A website that is compelling, responsive, accurate and working

  • Google My Business listing that you have claimed and optimized

  • Customers writing reviews on your company 

  • Social platforms with interesting posts

  • A blog and enewsletter with a significant audience

  • Web pages that have been optimized for search engines

  • Videos that are interesting

  • A lead nurturing system that has been tested and works

Once you have all these things in place, then go ahead and invest in higher levels of advertising. Sure, you can skip quadrants and some of the tactics that take a considerable amount of effort but be careful, you could end up wasting a lot of money on ads that don’t help you reach your targets. 

Instructions for Optimizing Web Pages for Search Engines (SEO)

1. Keyword Research

  • Log into Google Keyword Planner

  • Select appropriated keywords and download list

  • The next step is to rank the keyword phrases by priority.

  • Add a column and gave each phrase a ranking of A, B, C, D or X.

A= combination of "sable" "island" "wild" "horses" and "photograph or book or print or poster"

B= missing one of those critera

C= missing more criteria

D= too broad

X= delete, not worth even thinking about

2. Add Number of Competing Pages

  • Start with the A's. 

  • Don't go any further. We can do the others later.

  • Copy the keyword phrase

  • Search on Google.ca

  • Copy the number of "results"

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  • Now add quotes around the phrase and copy that number to the spreadsheet

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  • You see! This is not a bad keyword phrase to go after.

  • And notice that the competitors are right at the top.

  • Ideally, you want to be #1 for this phrase but that is going to take effort, skill, and time.

  • Add both numbers to the spreadsheet.

3. Select "high-performance keyword phrases"

  • Now you have to look at the data.

  • You need to re-prioritize based on the following criteria:

a) Very relevant to what Debra is selling (photographs of wild horses on Sable Island)

b) A low number of competing pages (using the quotes)

c) A high number of searches

d) Will generate sales

4. Group Phrases

  • Using your list of A priority keyword phrases, sort them into groups of 3.

  • The phrases should be relevant to each other.

  • You should have about 5-7 groups (15 to 21 keyword phrases)

5. Align Phrases with Pages

  • Now try to match each group of phrases to a page on the website

  • Start on the Home Page and use the best keyword phrases based on the sorting in step #3

6. Optimization Plan

  • Next plan how you are going to optimize the page

  • Start with one page and the 3 keyword phrases you have selected for that page

  • The most important page is the home page. You can start there but realize that we can't change the URL of the home page.

  • At this stage, you have to write out the exact words that you are going to use for each part of the page that you are going to optimize:

Title

URL

Meta Keywords

Meta Description

Heading

Content

  • Log into the website page and use your plan to optimize the page

  • Review those pages with an SEO professional and then make appropriate changes

7. Internal Links

  • Now find other pages on the website where you can add a link back to the target page.

  • You are going to add a link on that page with the keyword phrase in the "anchor text" (visible text) and a link back to the target page.

  • The target page is the page that has been optimized with the keywords and the page that you want to rank high on Google.

  • But plan first. Send that to me and I'll give you feedback.

  • It is very possible that you will group 3 phrases together on a specific topic and find out that there is not a page on the website that fits.

  • This is common and is actually good. This means that you have to create a page that fits the criteria. 

  • But ignore this for now. You can do this later after you have optimized all the pages that you can. 

Revenue Catalyst: Giving Us Access to Various Accounts

Google Analytics

Summary: You have to add us to your account

Step 1: Log into your Google Analytics account
Step 2: Click on Admin in the lower left

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Step 3: Click on User Management

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Step 4: Add damon.james@anduro.com (not damon@anduro.com)
Step 5: Select Edit
Step 6: Be sure to check Notify this user by email
Step 7: Click Add

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Google Ads

Summary: We have to add you to our Master account

Step 1: Login to Google AdWords
Step 2: Look at the top left by your name

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Step 3: Copy the Client number and send to Damon: damon@anduro.com (not damon.james@anduro.com)
Step 4: Damon will add your Client number to our account
Step 5: You will get a notification for approval

Google My Business

Step 1: Visit this URL and log in to the Google Account associated with your listing: https://www.google.com/business/.

Step 2: Select your website.

Step 3: Click Users from the menu on the left sidebar.

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Step 4: Click the icon at the top right to add a User

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Step 5: Add damon.james@anduro.com as a User and Click Done

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Facebook

Summary: You need to add Jeff Nelson from our company

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Step 1: Log into your account on Facebook
Step 2: Click on the down arrow, top right, to access your company page
Step 3: Click on Settings, top right

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Step 4: Click on Page Roles, left menu

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Step 5: Add JeffxNelson (jeffxnelson@gmail.com). Give Jeff Editor status.

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Step 6: Check to be sure you have the right person. Jeff’s profile is https://www.facebook.com/JeffxNelson

Twitter

You have a few options:
a) You can give is the ID and password to your account.
b) You can give Damon admin access:
https://business.twitter.com/en/help/troubleshooting/multi-user-login-faq.html
His handle is @DamonLebrun
c) Alternatively, you can send the number of Impressions or send us a screenshot.
Log in and click on Analytics under your account profile

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Scroll down to each month and give us the number of Impressions for each month

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LinkedIn Company Page

You can give us your login information or send us a report.

The reports are a bit tricky but if you want you can send us your Impressions this way:
Step 1: Log into your personal profile account
Step 2: Go to your profile and click on your company page

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Step 3: A new tab will open up. Click on Analytics, then on Updates.

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Step 4: Be sure you have selected Impressions, then click on Last 3 months.

Step 5: Roll your cursor over the month that you want and grab the number of Impressions

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LinkedIn Personal Profile

To give us access to the measures, there are a couple of options:

a) Give us access by sending us your login ID and PW.

b) Send us the number of Profile Views. Use these steps:

Step 1: Click on Home

Step 2: Click on your name on the left side

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Step 3: Scroll down to Your Dashboard and click on “Who viewed your profile”

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Step 4: At the beginning of the month, send us the number of people who viewed your profile in the last 90 days.

2019-03-09 - LinkedIn - Who Viewed.png

Tips and Tricks for Using LinkedIn

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I use my LinkedIn profile all the time. It is a great way to connect with people - worldwide - and stay in touch.

Below are some of the things that I do when I’m using LinkedIn. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will be helpful for you.

1. Mobile vs Desktop

I like using that mobile app. It is quick and easy to use. Many tasks are easier to do on the mobile app when compared to the desktop version. If you haven’t downloaded the mobile app, you should try it - it’s worth the effort.

2. Kudos

This is a little-known way to compliment one of your connections. Start by finding the profile of the person that you want to send a kudo. BTW, a kudo is a compliment and there is no plural - just kudo. Click on More and then Give Kudos.

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Select the image that is suitable for the occasion and the message that you want. Then post. It’s easy and fun. And your connection will love the attention.

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This is what your kudo will look like once you have posted it.

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NOTE: I suspect that not everyone can post a kudo on LinkedIn. I was reviewing this with a friend and he said this option was not available on his profile. It is possible that you have to be a LinkedIn All Star to access this option. (Somehow, I have this status; maybe due to the number of connections that I have.)

3. QR Codes

Yes, QR codes are still a thing, and on LinkedIn they are quite useful. Start by going to your home screen and clicking the 4 squares to the right of search.

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Then choose either Scan to scan someone else’s QR code or My Code to generate your QR code for someone else to use. Obviously, this is something that you do with another person, phone to phone. I suppose you could do a screenshot of your own QR code and use that somehow, but I haven’t tried that.

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5. Connections

I like connecting with people. I don’t care who you are or what you do, I’ll check the connection. Sure, I get “spammers” sending me messages. I don’t mind. I like to know what others are doing and every once in a while, I connect with someone who is interesting.

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6. Messages

Most of the messages that I get are thank you’s. I often click on the 3 lines at the top right and then on Unread, so that I can quickly read and sometimes reply to all the messages that I haven’t read.

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7. Notifications

The number of notifications can be overwhelming. I have LinkedIn set-up to notify me of everything. I don’t get notifications on my phone, just to the app. It is too distracting to get notifications on my phone. Typically, I log in once a day - sometimes twice.

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Below is an example of a notification related to a post that I made recently.

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8. Congrats and Celebrations

These reminders for Congratulations and Birthdays come up under notifications. I respond to all of them. Again, this is a good way of staying in touch.

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9. Searches This Week

One of the notifications you should receive is the number of Search Appearances in the most recent week. This is the number of times your profile appeared in search results. I receive these notifications on Monday mornings. Each week the number is different. Higher numbers of search appearances are based on how active you are on LinkedIn and the quality of your posts.

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10. Posts vs Articles

Posts get more views by far when compared to Articles. I hardly publish Articles any more - they are not worth the effort. 

Here's to happy posting. I hope these tips and tricks are helpful.