Break out the haz-mat suit, Twitter just launched a grenade and the debris is flying everywhere. With the announcement of its own Image service this week at the all things D conference, Twitter effectively crushed two of its biggest and brightest third party developers – Twitpic & Yfrog.
You might be thinking ” I like my image service now” and plan on sticking with them, but if my prediction is right, Twitter will force you to change your mind.
Expect photos to be part of your profile. Thats right, just like facebook your profile will soon have photos (expect video to follow) as part of your profile. The only place they will probably be available to view is on Twitter.com
Why are they doing this?
What this means to you:
The death of third party clients?
Consider this the first real shot fired in the war to bring traffic back to Twitter.
This is one of the most important developments in the history of Twitter to bring traffic back to Twitter. In case you didn’t know only 58% of tweets come from Official twitter apps. That means Twitter has provided this great vehicle and is letting 3rd party developers know they plan on bringing you back to the Twitter website.
By making photos a part of the profile it entices users back to twitter.com which is important if Twitter ever plans on monetizing it’s own property!
I expect photos to be the first of many enhancements used to enhance Twitter and bring the traffic back.
Expect Twitter to change a lot in the next year. While I feel the acquisition of Tweetdeck was mainly a play to keep it out of the hands of Ubermedia.
Flappy Bird game is going down >> Flappy Bird is down]]>
To help make sure you hit your goals & resolutions this year – I put together some of the best resources I know of to help you achieve whatever it is you desire for 2015!
I am often asked how I stay motivated, where I draw inspiration from, how do I stay inspired, etc. (I’m actually not asked that often – but it sounded nice..lol..)
Here are a few things that over the years have led to quantum leaps in motivation and inspiration & success, better lifestyle and in general have made me a better person.
To be the best you – you can be – read on!
Books (in no particular order)…
#1 Leading an inspired life by Jim Rohn.
Plain and simple – this book is in my all time top 3 favorite books. If you want to be a better person, wife, husband, friend, entrepreneur, father, mother, sister, brother (that rhymed) – this is the book!
I have a hard time reading it because after 3 or 4 pages I become so motivated I want to get up and tackle life! Trust me – it will motivate the hell out of you!
This review on amazon sums it up nicely:
This book is a compilation of Jim Rohn’s lectures on success. Topics range from facing your fears to designing your future. This is a must read book for everyone looking to achieve success by earning it. Jim’s philosophy is not a get rich quick scheme or walking on hot coals, but rather a straightforward instruction book of life.
#2 Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins.
If you want to take control of your own destiny – this is the book! Without question this book provides clear, inspiring ideas that will lead to major success in all areas of your life.
I couldn’t agree more with this reviewer:
Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins is about success…. period. Whether it is success in your marriage, finances, professional career, relationships… everything is covered in this book.
Some people love Tony – others don’t… I have a mixed opinion – but regardless of your opinion – I stand behind this book.
I first read this book 15 years ago when I was in finance. I went on to have the 3 best months of my young career after reading this. I achieved more in those 3 months than what had collectively in the prior 12.
#3 Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
I bought this book months ago and it sat unread. On this trip I took the time to read it and I am kicking myself for not reading it the day I bought it.
This is the best book I have read on motivation. If you are curious on how to be a better motivator – this book contains the science, theory & ideas that will leave you rethinking how you lead and motivate.
I walked away from this book with so many fresh ideas on how to run my company, reward my children and a much broader understanding on what motivates people in general. To my employees – if you’re reading this – get ready to be the most productive, have the most fun and enjoy work like never before…now get back to work…
If you don’t like reading – I have you covered: Daniel Pink’s TED talk on Motivation. It covers a lot of what is in the book.
Other stuff (in a very particular order)…
#4 – Want to be more productive on a daily basis? Check out my simple to-do list method. Follow it and you will be more productive! People report back often that this method allowed them stay focused and get more done in a few hours than they typically do in an entire week.
Get more done with this to-do list method- > http://seanmalarkey.com/massive-amounts-sht
#5 – The Money Pillow podcast. Plain and simple if you own a business, have thought about starting one and want to enjoy life – that is what this podcast is all about. It features entrepreneurs who are living the dream. These smart folks have built incredible businesses that allow them total freedom. They can do what they want – when they want.
If the above sounds intriguing – subscribe & listen now. You will walk away from each episode smarter, inspired and full of great ideas.
Start on episode 1 with Devin & Melanie Duncan – two of the smartest people I know. This married couple has built an online clothing empire that they manage from over 2000 miles away. They work on the business about 5 hours a month and bring multiple 7 figures…. You’ll leave blown away!
If you have read this far – golf clap! I appreciate you and in whatever small way – I hope this has been beneficial!
I have been waiting to write this post for a few weeks now and the day is finally here….. So here we go…
Exactly 4 years ago to the day I had a quick sit down at a Starbucks with my then business partner. I explained to him that I was no longer going to be a part of the business and I wanted them to buy out my portion of the business.
Rewind about 4 months…. I had decided to use my 3 weeks vacation to go to Argentina to visit my wife’s family. When I told my partners my planned use of the allotted vacation time we had agreed upon, they had a problem with it. They thought with me being gone that long it would have a major impact on the business. We fought for a half hour and I ended up getting two weeks….
I left the office that day feeling like I had lost control of my life a little. I was happy as our business was doing well, I was making good money and I had a lot of freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted but ultimately I did not have the life or freedom I really wanted.
A few weeks later I was at my sister’s house for New Years Eve and everyone had passed out by the time the ball dropped. I sat there by myself and got inspired to write down goals for the year.
One of the goals I had been wanting to achieve for several years was to spend an entire winter down in Argentina. We had bought a house down there and my daughter was fast approaching her school years so I knew that time was running out to hit that goal. I went ahead and wrote that goal down all the while thinking it would never be possible in my current circumstances.
But a voice in my head was reminding me of a Tony Robbins tape I had listened to years prior about the power of actually writing a goal down – so I did just that.
A week or two later I was playing soccer and my good friend Carl and I got to talking about business, he asked me about business and then he brought up Argentina. I told him what had happened with my partners and we talked further about things when he suggested I meet with his friend who was a “business break up attorney” I declined initially but the more I thought about it – I had nothing to lose.
A week later I met with this attorney for lunch and left feeling like I could actually pull it off. We talked about my future after that the break up and what I would need to do to get prepared. Basically he answered a ton of questions I had and gave me the confidence to proceed.
So I began planning, saving and working on what I would do next.
The next part is where it gets interesting and something I haven’t really ever told publicly.
My wife had decided to go to Argentina 3 weeks ahead of me. I would use the solo time in the evening to work on my new business. The day she left my then partners called me in for a meeting.
It was at this meeting that they revealed to me that they were going to form a new business (that I was not going to be a part of) doing the exact same thing as our current business was. The only thing is – I would own 0% of that business but my pay would come from that business. My roles would be the same but my pay would be 1/3rd of what I was making prior and I would have the ability to earn up to what I was earning before with “incentives that were yet to be determined”.
It was the oddest feeling sitting there. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut, I felt relieved, I felt angry, I felt happy – It was all so odd. Here I was planning to make my departure and little did I know they had other plans for me. There are some legalities that I wont get into that their actions played into my favor – hence the happy feelings – but all in all I felt very uneasy.
So I left that meeting knowing that my future was about to get really interesting.
It really lit a fire under me and the next three weeks I worked hard into the wee hours of the morning. Then got up and went to work with my soon to be ex-partners.
Two great weeks in Argentina – good time. And then I got back. The first couple days back I made sure I would be leaving with solid systems in place. Informed my star employee of my plans and prepared her & that business for life without me.
And then the Friday rolled around – It was so hard for me to have this meeting to tell them I was no longer interested in being in business with them. I had been dreading this moment for a long time. But it was something I had to do.
So we sat there – I told one of my partners my plans – he looked at me shocked, asked a few questions and so on. He wanted to talk more, made me some offers to stay and after about 5 minutes I decided I couldn’t deal with it anymore. With great delight I handed him my attorneys card and told him “all further communications need to go through him”.
I walked away feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was about 1/1000th of percent as difficult as I had imagined that meeting being. I felt dumb for delaying it as long as I had.
There is so much more to the actual buy out of my third of that business – actually an amazing story filled with ups and downs – but I’ll save that for another date.
So fast forward a few months. I am then working on my new business with my good friend Darren who suggested we look at a co-working office space that had just opened. We did and we loved it.
We started working from there and that is where I met Lewis Howes (my business partner now)!
After a couple months of plugging away Darren and I decided the project we had been working on was not gonna work and parted ways. Ironically my experimenting with this new site called Twitter was starting to really take off. I was blogging daily about Twitter and had written an ebook that was selling well when I met this Linkedin guy who was doing very similar things with Linkedin.
Someone actually cc:d us together in a tweet – I clicked through to see who this guy was and was shocked when I realized he was that guy that sat in the corner of the office!
We met – had lunch, and hit it off.
A week later someone asked me to do a webinar about Twitter. I invited Lewis to come on and talk about Linkedin. A couple weeks later Lewis and I did a webinar just the two of us. We decided to sell something on that webinar and ended up doing really well. Our business was born in that moment!
Looking back on all of it it amazes me how life works out. What If I had not written down that goal? What if I missed that soccer game where I talked with Carl? What If i did not decide to go ahead and meet the atty for lunch? What if Twitter was never invented? What if we didn’t take that office space?
I am now living the life I wanted all along. I do what I want when I want. I now live in California in a great house in a great city with great friends. My wife & kids are as happy as they have ever been. And I get to go surfing almost every day!
Had I not had the courage to take some chances I have no clue where I would be right now. And yes – there were some dark moments. That first year in my new business was extremely trying on my relationship with my wife. I obviously felt a huge pressure to provide for her and the kids and achieve the kind of success I knew I was capable of. That pressure resulted in a lot of fights. It was pretty ugly that first year.
I am grateful she believed in me and supported me through all of it, even when I was acting like a stressed out a***ole. Honey – if you’re reading this – Thank you for being you, I love you!
Huge thanks to those of you who work for / with me. You know who you are. Many of you have been there since day 1 and supported and helped me. I am grateful for you guys and every contribution you have made along the way.
I am not really sure how to sum this all up – but I wanted to share this in the hopes that if you are in a similar situation it might inspire you to take some action or take control of your life. I swear – it is all worth it!
And if you have read this far – thank you. Most likely you have supported me along the way and without you none of this would be possible!]]>
Facebook is unveiling a new mobile phone product today – and you can watch the event LIVE here.]]>
Before you watch the interview below – read this.
Meet Melanie & Devin Duncan…
Mel & Dapper Dev are friends of mine. We do a lot of work together in the online business world. They were invited to one of our private masterminds in late 2012. It was at this mastermind I learned about one of their businesses which is the focus of the interview below.
They have a online clothing business called Custom Greek Threads.
I knew they had this business and I knew it was going VERY well for them. What I learned in that quick conversation prior to starting our mastermind blew me away.
Devin revealed to me how well the business was doing, and how little involvement he and his wife have in the day to day operations. My jaw dropped when he told me he spent literally just a few hours a month working on this business. My jaw dropped further when he told me he had not been into his office in over a year.
Can you imagine having a business that does multiple 7 figures in sales, with a staff of over 25 that requires only a few hours of your time a month? Can you imagine building a business that allows you to be completely location independent and still flourishes? Can you imagine building systems that allow this kind of freedom?
If you answered yes to the above – you will love this interview.
This is one of the most inspiring stories of “living the dream” from a business perspective I have ever heard!
I hope you enjoy it!]]>
Sometimes lyrics from a song can stop you in your tracks and make you think.
A couple weeks ago while driving a 35′ RV through the Redwoods of California I was listening to a little hip hop.
I was listening to a Drake song (HYFR) where he talked about being interviewed. He cleverly rapped about the questions he is asked repeatedly and the answers he gives.
One of the questions and answers that stood out to me was the following…
Q: “What have you learned since getting richer?”
A: I’ve learned that working with the negatives to make better pictures”
One of my favorite things about hip hop is how creative lyricists like Drake can be. I can listen to the same song 100 times and almost each time catch a different string of lyrics that really stops me in my tracks and makes me think.
As was the case with this set of lyrics mentioned above.
I began to think about those lyrics and how they applied to business.
And it hit me how true those words were…
Earlier this year I sent the following email to an email list of over 800 people who refunded one of our products last year. We already have a low refund rate (around 5%) but I thought – maybe just maybe there was something we could learn that would help improve things for the the 95% who did not refund and future customers…. boy was I in for a big surprise…
Here is the exact email I sent:
The responses that came back were shocking….and they were numerous.
If memory serves me correct the email generated over 500 responses. I sat there at my computer after sending the email and watched the responses pour in. Within minutes of sending the email the responses started pouring in.
I was expecting answers like:
“Your product sucked”
“I didn’t learn anything”
“It was too technical for me”
Take a wild guess what the #1 reason people asked for a refund was.
“Hey Sean – I really enjoyed “X- product”. The only reason I asked for a refund is because I bought it twice on accident.”
The first few emails that came in with this response I somewhat dismissed. I thought they were somehow mistaken or had our product confused with another – the reason being is that our shopping cart does not allow you to add additional items or purchase the same product twice or more.
A few minutes later when I literally had around 10 emails come in saying the same thing – I began to investigate further. The results shocked me – they were 100% correct and to my dismay many people had bought our products multiple times. I searched the customer records and saw the same people purchasing the same product multiple times. They were orders for “John Doe” of FBInfluence at 10:06 pm and then another at 10:11pm and so on…
Many had bought more than twice – one person purchased one of our products as many as 8 times….
I looked into the issue and discovered we had server issues. We were getting slammed at peak times and our servers couldn’t handle the traffic. Our customers were landing on our merchant provider’s check out pages – purchasing and then instead of being re-directed to a registration page (on our server) – they were served a blank page because our servers were getting hammered with traffic at that moment in time.
Immediately I had some changes made to beefier servers that could handle more traffic than we could throw at it – and boom in a matter of minutes a huge negative had been worked with to create a better picture.
There were also several other great responses that lead to some major changes. We made some design changes to help make our member’s area more easy to navigate, and some customer service changes were made to address issues we discovered in that arena.
As I drove that day thinking about what Drake had said – I thought he was absolutely right. I worked with the negatives and made a better picture.
No longer do people deal with the server issues, our member’s areas are better than ever. Our customer support is stronger than ever…..
Too often we ignore the negatives in life and business and dismiss them or choose to focus on the positives – but as Drake said – if you work with the negatives you can create a better picture…..]]>
A while back ago my business partner Lewis Howes and I co-hosted an event in San Diego. The emcee of the event asked the audience “Who here has purchased any of Sean & Lewis’ products?” The majority of the crowd had purchased at least one of our products. He asked several people for feedback on their experience with our products…. There were lots of compliments coming out and good feedback, etc. and then the gentleman pictured below stood up and told the story of the $1,000 brownie.
EMCEE: So you have purchased one of Sean and Lewis’ products – what did you think of it?
ATTENDEE: I think it is a great product – but can I talk for a minute about the real reason I even went through the product in the first place?
EMCEE: Sure – please do
ATTENDEE: Ok – So I originally attended a webinar with Sean & Lewis. I thought the webinar was great and ultimately decided to buy their $1,000 Social Media Training “500 Million Strong” at the end of the webinar. A few days after I purchased it my mailman delivered a small package. Inside that package was a nice card from Sean & Lewis and 3 gourmet brownies! It was totally unexpected and I thought it was a nice gesture.
I proceeded to devour the brownies that day. And then about 60 days passed and I had yet to spend 5 minutes looking at the course I had paid so much money for. I was gonna ask for a refund and thought to myself – “These guys were kind enough to send brownies, I should spend at least 5-10 minutes reviewing the content to make sure this is something I dont want.” So that’s what I did – and several hours later I decided this was one of the best investments I had made for my business. So I did NOT ask for a refund!
I was quite simply blown away. To think that a $10 gift was the catalyst to save a $1,000 refund simply blew me away. Even better at the next break another person approached Lewis and said he had the exact same experience. He too was going to refund but because of the brownies he decided to dive into the product first.
What’s funny is that this idea was that of a new person we had hired last year. She proposed we do it and I thought it was completely unnecessary but it seemed to make her happy so I decided to go along with it. I am so glad I did. At that conference there might have been 20 people who had purchased our $1,000 course and if 2 of them were motivated to keep the product from the brownie – how many others out there had the same experience?
Thanking the people who buy your products and showing them some appreciation can go a long way. This lesson will for sure stick with me as our business grows and now I am looking for creative ways to show some appreciation to folks who pick up our lower priced products. What are you doing to show your customers some love?]]>
In June this year while visiting Lewis Howes in New York City, Lewis introduced me to author Michael Ellsberg.
We met at a Cuban night club and spent several hours drinking and dancing to the sounds of one of Cuba’s top bands.
As the evening progressed we made our way to Washington Square Park to wind down the night.
We spent hours talking about life and the mysteries of the universe. At one point the topic of Higher Education came up. This was a natural lead in to Michael’s new book “The Education of Millionaires“.
As both a parent concerned about my children’s education and an entrepreneur who did not graduate from college, it is an interesting topic. I have many friends who are very successful, and the ones who are most successful did not graduate from College. So, naturally, this topic has always fascinated me.
We had a long discussion where Michael shared with me fascinating details of interviews with millionaires and billionaires like the Founder of Napster Sean Parker, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, fashion designer Marc Ecko.
So when Michael launched his new book “The Education of Millionaires”, Lewis lined up a webinar for our audience to hear some of the core principles outlined in the book.
Win a copy of Michaels new book “The Education of Millionaires”:
To win all you have to do is leave a comment below. It’s that simple.
I will pick a winner by Sunday Night and yes the quality of your comment will help!]]>
I do many coaching calls for our 500millionstrong clients. Many of them are Realtors and I get a lot of the same questions about Real Estate & Social Media.
So I thought it might be helpful to the Realtor community to give this advice on how to use Social Media.
Here are some of the best ways to use Social Media as a Realtor.
#1 Facebook – Facebook is great for Realtors. Most Realtors get a ton of referral business from friends and family – and primarily this is exactly who your connected to on Facebook. This is also who you clients are connected to The trick is to not be selling your services all the time.
No one goes on Facebook to be sold, so updates like “I am taking new clients” never work.
How do I use Facebook then? Simple, Take the “Top of mind/awareness” approach.
Post updates like “I am grateful to be blessed with so many great clients.” Or post photos of your listings with comments like “Super excited for this new listing – Could you live here?”
Then get ninja and tag your sellers in those photos. This is a great way to get in front of their network ALWAYS add your clients on Facebook. Communicating with them on “their wall” is a great idea as well. Just keep it classy and don’t sell using this approach – ever”
Be sure to leave an update on their wall once you close. Example – “I just wanted to say thanks for your business. You guys were a treat to work with” or something along those lines.
#2 YouTube – This is often times the most overlooked of all the networks. Hands down YouTube is one of the best things you can do to get more business as a realtor online.
How? Simple – start filming all of your listings and throw them up on Youtube today. I did this, I kept it real simple (as you can see here) and just turned on my camera and then proceeded to walk and talk. My buyers loved it – My agents loved it as the buyers they showed homes to who had seen the videos were 5x as likely to sign. Biggest benefit of youtube – if the videos are done right (proper keywords, call to action etc.) they will send you daily leads forever as your potential clients will find them via google for years to come. Look at just one of my videos and click the statistics button (next to the view count) and you will see the power of YouTube. Google serves up the video when people search for the keywords many times daily.
1 quick tip when it comes to YouTube:
Make your title “Keyword rich” – Example: If your listing is in Santa Barbara – Make your title “Santa Barbara Real Estate – 1234 hight st” Most of my videos ended up on Google as the first result. This in turn drove a ton of targeted traffic to our website.
If you want the blueprint on how to get your videos to show up on the first page of Google for popular terms like ” Denver Real Estate” or “Foreclosure listings Columbus” go get www.VideoTrafficAcademy.com – I guarantee if you get it – your videos will be all over Google for the best keywords. The course is that good.
#3 Twitter – I honestly think Twitter might be one of the least useful ways ( Update – I changed my mind, see the update below) to use Social Media for a Realtor. Actually I take that back. It can be useful, but is very time consuming. BUT – if you enjoy Twitter and use it currently – make sure you are focusing on building a local following. If you live in Miami Florida, a follower in Denver probably will never lead to new business.
To build a local following I would look at the followers of News Celebrities, Radio DJ’s, Local Restaurants, Rotary Clubs Etc. These kind of profiles will almost always have a local following. I would then go and follow all of their followers as many will follow you back. Using this tactic – it works as a virtual handshake. Most people you follow will wonder who you are and why you followed them – they in turn will look and your profile and many will click on your website link.
If you don’t want to do this following – you can use a tool like Tweetadder to do it on auto pilot. Tweetadder can be your best friend if you value your time. It’s not cheap – but it’s worth it.
UPDATE – Gary Vaynerchuck just published an article for Linkedin on ways Realtor can use Twitter that has created one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments for me….. You can see it here: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130829164107-10486099-13-tweets-a-real-estate-agent-should-have-answered-not-me
#4 Linkedin – This is the diamond in the rough of Social Networks. Take full advantage of LInkedin I promise you will thank me later. The best thing you can do first is to optimize your profile. My business parter Lewis Howes has a great post here explaining exactly how to do that. The second thing I would do is get active in groups. I would start my own group, and also get active in others that are local.
Start a group – this is a great way to get more referrals. We have a Realtor student in who started a “Young Professionals” group on linkedin. He then invited all of his local friends and the group took off. After 2 months He held a happy hour mixer/get together for the group. The first time he did it – 25 people showed up – not bad! The second mixer he hosted had over 100 in attendance. As you can imagine – as the head of the group, and the host of these events – he got & gets a ton of referrals! Literally over 2 million dollars in business came from this one tip for him. Get leads daily with linkedin in 20 minutes a week or less with this training- Linkedinfluence (not free but worth every penny)
#5 Ads – Linkedin & Facebook – As a Realtor, personal branding is everything. Ads can be an amazing way to build your personal brand. There is probably no better tool than Facebook ads to build your personal brand. The targeting options on Facebook are ridiculous. Do you know your customer? If you do you can laser target them on Facebook. Categories for targeting include – Sex, Education levels, Zip Code, City, Marital status, Interests etc.
TIP: With Facebook ads you can use the CPC (cost per click) model. The goal with this model is to be seen. Your ad does not have to generate any clicks and will be working for you at little or no cost. You should purposely design an add that does not generate many clicks with this model. THink of it as a billboard! I know realtors who are using this and targeting there desired market down to age & location and paying as little as $10 for it to be shown 1000 times.
#6 Blog / Website – While a blog is not a necessity, you should definitely have one. This can be the hub of all your online marketing efforts. A great place to drive Social Traffic to turn it into leads. WordPress is the only platform I would recommend. There a million great themes specifically for Real Estate. I used a WordPress site for my listings. WordPress is super easy to use.
#7 Email Marketing – While not necessarily social – A good email marketing campaign should be your #1 priority. If you set up a decent site with a good email capture in place – you can expect to convert 5-15% of your traffic to your email list. This was vital to my success in Real Estate. Every time I sent an email – my phone immediately rang off the hook. in 1 year my list quickly grew to over 10,000 people. People loved getting my listings by email.
Hopefully this will spark some ideas on ways you can use the internet and Social Media to drive more traffic to your listings. Do me a favor and share this with your Realtor friends – they will thank you!
On Wednesday March 30th Lewis Howes and I had the honor of hosting Peter Guber on a webinar to discuss the topic of story telling. Peter just came out with a new book called Tell to win – Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story.
This webinar was one of top 3 favorites of all time. It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to talk to someone as accomplished as Peter.
To give you an idea of peters success – he is the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment. Films he personally produced or executive produced, including Rain Man, Batman, The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Gorillas in the Mist: and many more. He is a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, has been the CEO of Columbia Pictures, etc. The list goes on and on – if you care to see more check out Peter Guber’s Wikipedia.
The book is fascinating and really explains the power of story to win (for lack of a better word :). After reading the book and talking with Peter On the webinar I had a personal revelation that confirmed the true power of story. For now watch this replay and let me know in the comments if you want to hear about my personal experience with story telling to sell.