How To Defend Yourself When Someone Plagiarizes Your Website Text

Posted by on Apr 22 2015

I knew one day it would happen. Someone stole the text from my website and used it on their own website. Dirty rotten scoundrels!

So what do you do? First, understand that most hosting companies and domain name registrars will take down a site that is fraudulent or that plagiarizes someone else’s site, as long as you can show them proof. Even Google has a process to help you. They’re on your side.

Next, gather as much information about the offending site as you can. Print out all pages from their site where the plagiarized text resides. Go to WhoIs at Internic and get all their registration information. Also, try Alexa and find whatever contact information you can there.

Finally, write to the offending site owner and tell them that you found plagiarized text on their site. List the URLs of the offending pages along with the copyrighted URLs of your own pages. Give them two or three days to either delete the pages, or re-write them so that they no longer include your text. This is not the time to play nice guy! Tell the offending site owner that you are copying their hosting company and domain registrar on the letter, and do so.

Make sure when you write this email or letter, you don’t use any passive language, and do not say “please.” Demand your rights. It is illegal and unethical for them to do what they did and they need to stop doing it immediately.

Always put a copyright statement on your site. If it took you a long time to write your text, you should be the only one benefiting from it, not some unethical person who is looking for a shortcut. Even better, copyright your site with your national government (in the USA, visit the Copyright Office website for instructions on how to copyright your website).

I have written to the four sites that stole my text. Two of them are in Australia. Did they really think because they were on the other side of the world that I couldn’t find them by doing a simple Google search?

And you want to know a real hoot? One of these people actually called me, asking about becoming one of my clients! I’m sorry, but how dumb is that? I went out to her site and saw my text on it!

I will be posting their websites here in this blog if they do not fix the problem immediately. I’m not afraid of a little publicity, but I bet they are!

   

12 comments for now

Category: Website Planning

5 Smart Tips to Re-engage Inactive Customers

Posted by on Apr 09 2015

Do you have people on your mailing list who don’t open your emails? Do you have connections on social media who don’t respond to your posts?

Consider creating a re-engagement campaign to reconnect with them. First, if you can, segment your list and target your re-engagement campaign only to those who are inactive. That will help you to focus your efforts. Then, create ways to reconnect with them and put the ideas into a campaign.

Here’s some tips:

  1. Ask them a question, especially the most straight-forward one: “Are you still interested in receiving my newsletters/tips?”
  2. Offer them a special discount.
  3. Send out a survey to find out what they’re up to and where they could use some help.
  4. Create a contest and invite them to play along.
  5. Write to them individually with a personalized email, or better yet, a real letter. (I still get excited when I get a letter in the mail with real handwriting!)

The extra effort you make to re-engage with your audience will reap huge rewards. And if they choose to unsubscribe from your list or disconnect from you on social media, be diplomatic and thankful. They might not be a prospective customer any more, but their friends and colleagues might.

Find out why they’re disengaged

Part of this process is to find out why they aren’t connecting with you. There’s two scenarios:

  1. They no longer need your service or product.
  2. They do need your service or product, but there’s something holding them back from connecting with you.

It could be that they’re too busy or distracted to read your marketing materials, or it could be that your marketing materials (including your content marketing) don’t interest them. Maybe they feel you’re emailing them too often (or not often enough!). By opening a dialogue with them, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your audience, which can trigger a smarter marketing plan.

 

   

2 comments for now

Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing, Marketing

Are You Cut Out To Be Your Own Boss?

Posted by on Mar 16 2015

I had an interesting discussion with one of my clients recently. She’s been in business for six months and is ready to quit. (I have permission to share her story.)

She writes,

“I give up. Starting a business is so much harder than I thought it would be, so much more time-consuming. I was hoping to be making a profit by now! There are so many things to do and I’m totally overwhelmed. People don’t seem to want to buy my products and I feel totally rejected. I don’t think I have the personality to be self-employed.”

Hmmmm…interesting. Are there really personality traits that separate born-entrepreneurs from people who can’t hack it?

I’d say yes, some personality traits do matter.

I’ve been self-employed in one way or another since 1981. I’ve known many self-employed people, and have been coaching and mentoring them for years. And over the past years, I see a pattern in successful entrepreneurs versus those who pack up and exit their business.

Here’s my must-have list of personality traits for the successfully self-employed (in no particular order):

  1. Tenacity.
  2. Self-worth.
  3. A sense of humor about yourself.
  4. Willingness to do the dirty work (the tasks that you hate to do).
  5. Willingness to learn new skills.
  6. A deep desire to be independent.
  7. Willingness to take acceptable and calculated risk.
  8. An ability to deal well with people.
  9. A passion for what you do or sell.
  10. Resourceful and creative.
  11. Willingness to ask for help.
  12. Self-disciplined.
  13. Self-motivating.
  14. Willing to do the personality “foundational work” to help yourself and your business.

Notice that I didn’t list any business skills here. You can always learn the business skills you need, or hire someone to do the work for you who does have the business skills you lack.

This list is about who you are and what habits you have. Changing your basic personality style will take effort. That’s why #14 is so important: are you willing to do the groundwork, the personality foundational work, to set the stage for your success?

Naturally, there are some personality traits that are business killers, but that’s another blog entry! :)

For you, what’s the most important personality trait you have, that helps when you own your own business?

   

31 comments for now

Category: Managing Projects, Tasks & Time, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
Tags: ,

Self Sabotaged by Research

Posted by on Feb 24 2015

A woman in one of my mastermind groups posed a question recently: Why did she spend all her time doing research and never actually get on with doing the thing she was researching?

She loved looking up information, finding resources, interviewing people, gathering facts. But taking these facts and applying them to her business seemed to always be put on the back burner.

It’s called “analysis paralysis.” The idea is this: if I could just gather this information, if I could just find that fact, if I could make this checklist a bit longer — you get the drift. As a small business coach, I see this my clients get caught in this trap all the time.

The cause is simple: It’s easier for many people to research than to do the action work because gathering research is often a successful task, while acting on the research is fraught with the possibility of failure, stress, or pressure. We stay in the research mode because it’s safe and we get a lot of positive feelings about having uncovered the information we need.

Don’t get me wrong, research is vital. I’ve seen many businesses fail to thrive because they haven’t done the marketing research necessary to see if people want to buy the service or product they want to sell.

The key, as always, is balance. When you find yourself doing more and more research, then you can bet you’re procrastinating on the “doing” side of things. You have two choices:

  1. Try to figure out why you’re not doing the work, or
  2. Just do the work.

Either choice is valid, but guess what? Choice 1 is still “research!” :)

   

16 comments for now

Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
Tags: , ,

Demystifying the Art of Action Planning

Posted by on Feb 06 2015

Do you have an area in your business where you want to grow, change, be more successful? Sometimes it feels like you can’t get there fast enough.

Setting goals can seem intimidating until you realize goals are simply stated outcomes: be more profitable, finish a big project, launch a new service, or help more clients. It’s more than a mere wish list; it’s stating what you want from life.

The trick is to get from goal setting to goal attainment. That’s where we hit potholes and brick walls. Being a planner rather than a jumper will get you results quicker.

Start with Big Picture Goals

Before you jump into details, start with big outcomes you want for your business this year. People often confused goals with projects, and the easiest way to split them apart is to ask yourself the question, “Why do you want to do this? What outcome are you hoping to get?”

For instance, you might say that one of your goals is to launch a new class for your audience. But there’s a reason you’re launching this new class, right? Maybe it’s a free class to build your mailing list. Maybe it’s a paid class to show your expert status and build income. By asking yourself why you want to achieve something, you get to your core goals.

ACTION STEP: Step back for a moment and write down three big picture goals you have for this year.

Brainstorm Your Projects

Now that you have your goals in mind, let’s talk about how to achieve them. There are many paths that will lead you to the same goal, and choosing your projects wisely will help you get where you’re going.

Start by brainstorming all the projects that can help you achieve the same goal (don’t worry at this point about committing to a project, just write down as many as possible to limber up your creative juices).

For instance, say that one of your goals is to build your expert platform. You could boost your blog audience, write a book, teach a class, do more speaking engagements, start a column in a national magazine or website, hire a PR firm, or create a podcast. All of these things will show you’re an authority in your field.

How do you know which projects are the best ones to tackle? Here’s a checklist to help you decide:

  • Which ones inspire and excite you?
  • Which ones align with your personality and skill set?
  • Which ones match the way your audience likes to connect with you?
  • Which ones fit your budget?
  • Which ones are likely to get you to your goals the fastest?

ACTION STEP: Pick one or two projects to work on this year.

You can always add more later, but choosing too many projects will overwhelm you and cause you to lose focus.

Start the year right: don’t overburden yourself.

Tap Your Task List

ACTION STEP: Take one of your projects and begin writing a To Do list of tasks needed to accomplish that project.

Next to each task indicate whether it’s a task you will do or whether you’ll need to outsource it to someone else. Also note whether a task will require a specific resource, like hiring someone to update your website, or taking a class to learn a new skill.

Say that your project is to create a new class. Tasks might include writing a lesson plan, creating worksheets or a student guide, selecting a teaching method, picking dates for the class, setting a price for the class, creating a marketing plan for the class, etc.

ACTION STEP: Organize the tasks into a logical order.

For example, you’ll need to write a lesson plan so you know how long the class is, and what you’ll cover, before you can set the price. You’ll need to write the sales copy before the sales page can be put up on your website.

ACTION STEP: Take an educated guess as to how long each task will take.

Tally up those tasks and the timing for each one, and calculate when the project is likely to be finished. Allow for some “stretch time” in your action planning; you never know when you’ll hit a bump in the road that might delay your project.

Get Moving, It’s Easy

You have an action plan for your project. That’s great!

Now it’s time to start implementing that plan. This can be the place where people freeze. You look at your To Do list and it feels like climbing Mount Everest.

The problem is we look at the whole action plan and automatically think we have to do every single action all at the same time. Our intellectual brain knows that’s not possible, but our emotional brain sees it that way.

ACTION STEP: Look for one action you can take right now. Just one action, no more.

If your task is to write your sales page, your one action might be to write the headline. If your task is to set your price, your one action could be to calculate your costs so you know your class will be profitable.

By breaking project and tasks into smaller and smaller increments, we achieve everything – on time, on budget, and with grace and satisfaction.

   

5 comments for now

Category: Business Strategy & Planning

Where Have All Your Students Gone?

Posted by on Jan 26 2015

Learning StylesDo you wonder why attendance for your teleseminars and webinars has decreased? Here’s the reason and this will help you fix the problem.

What I have seen in the past few years, and what my colleagues tell me they’ve seen as well, is that a large proportion of people won’t attend the live teleseminar or webinar, but will choose instead to pick up the recording and listen to it when they have time.

This “I want what I want, when I want it” culture is becoming the norm, with TIVO, Netflix, Hulu, Kindle, etc. giving people complete control over access to what they want, on their own terms.

How This Affects Free Preview Classes

Say that you offer a special discount or deal during your free preview teleseminar or webinar. Your participants might not take you up on it…not because your special deal isn’t wonderful, but because people don’t listen to the recordings for a week or more. They don’t hear about your special deal until after the deadline has passed.

I’ve found that I need to send a second “Reminder to Pickup and Consume Your Recording” email to the registrants about 10 days after the class, to remind them that they need to listen to the recording that they downloaded. If there is a discount or special offer, I remind them about it in the email as well. (And if there is a deadline for them to take advantage of the special offer, I send that in the reminder email, too.)

Recently I held a free webinar on a Thursday afternoon. I sent an email to participants on Thursday evening, letting them know the recording was available. Within the next week, about 35% of the participants went out to the recording page and downloaded/viewed the recording. Ten days later, I sent a reminder email to the registrations (with a reminder about when the special discount would end), and the other 65% of the participants went out and downloaded/viewed the recording.

The Psychology of Missed Discounts

If you give them a deadline for a discount or some special bonuses for registering early, they often won’t hear about it until much later because they haven’t listened to the recording yet. Then, psychologically, they feel they’ve missed out on the lower price or special deal, and why should they now pay the higher price?

I know it’s not logical, but psychological studies show that if people knew there was a discount they missed, they resist buying, even if they want the item.

The deadline does not motivate them if they don’t know about it. You might consider extending the discount to include the time period after you send the second reminder.

Live, No Recording Options, and Evergreen Options

Don’t get me wrong, I think selling-via-free-classes is still a viable and strong marketing technique. We just have to modify our marketing to take into effect the new culture of on-demand education. That’s why I think we’re seeing so many “live, with no recording available” events…if the student doesn’t attend live, they miss out on the event entirely, as there is no recording. In this type of attend live only event, offering a discount with a deadline date makes sense.

Others are going to a evergreen marketing model where their free education videos/audios are always on a marketing website and people can start and go through the marketing process whenever they want (versus doing a free class on a specific date). This is great if you’re selling a self-study program, audio program or ebook.

How This Affects Live Paid Class Attendance

My colleagues report (and I’m seeing this as well) that attendance in paid teleseminars and webinars is changing, too. Students take the classes when they want, not always during the live event times. This means you could have 100 people sign up for a paid webinar series, and only 45 will show up live. The other 55 will take the class by watching or listening to the recording, according to their own needs and schedule.

I’m constantly reminding students to take the next lesson, listen to the next recording. Some students still access the private student website weeks after a live class has ended.

So you have to think how you will serve this subset of your students who can’t (or won’t) attend live, but still want to learn from you. Make sure the recordings are available for each class session, and send reminder emails to tell them to pick up the recordings by a certain deadline.

I hope these ideas and thoughts are helpful to you as you plan your class calendar for the coming year. The culture of the learner is changing and it’s important that you keep up with their demands.

Have you seen these changes happening with your own classes? I’ve love to hear your thoughts and comments about how your students (and YOU!) prefer to learn.

designlaunchdeliver-checkout-trilogy

   

30 comments for now

Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes
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