Have You These 4 Essential Elements in Your Sales Page?


Have you a sales page on your website or blog?

Even if you haven’t a dedicated sale page you will still want website/blog visitors to purchase your service or product.

If you have, there are 4 things that are absolutely essential if you want it to be effective in making sales of your product or service.

Let’s take a look at what they are. Sounds good?

The 4 questions are what, who, why, and when.

1.      What is it?

The first thing to address is to answer the question, “what is it?”. This might seem obvious to you, and it probably is, but you must guard against the well-known curse of knowledge.

You are completely familiar with your product or service; in fact, you may have created it and lived with it with passion for years. We all take things for granted.

But, your website visitor may never have heard of you or your product or service.

So, you must be absolutely clear about what your product or service is, what it does, who it helps, and what problems does it solve for your reader.

2.      Who are you?

You need to address the question, “who are you?”

Why should the reader believe you? Why should she trust you?

Have you the necessary expertise and experience to help her solve her problem?

Do you know what you are talking about? Can you show this?

3.      Why is your product/service essential for the reader?

Why does the reader need what you have to sell? Why can they not do without it if they want to solve their problem?

4.      When will they see results?

If the reader buys your product or service, when will they see results?

People are impatient for solutions to problems, and nowadays especially are used to shortened time spans, shortened attention spans due to social media usage etc.


An effective sales page on your website or blog, or in print, will need many more components.

But without the four essentials above it is very unlikely to perform in the way you deserve, or is supportive of your business.

The Stupidest Article I Ever Wrote


I have to admit it-I was completely, utterly wrong.

Misinformed, misguided, wrong-headed, mistaken, idiotic.

I’m talking about Facebook ads.

I wrote a blog post entitled “The Shocking Truth About Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses”.

The sad thing is that I received a lot of good comment about the article at the time. Positive comments from people who had the same view as me. You can see them below the article.

But I was completely wrong, and advertising on Facebook is now a central part of my online marketing efforts.

I took the time to learn about Facebook advertising, and then began implementing what I learned from others, and from my own trial and error and observation.

Now, I get likes, engagement, page likes, post likes, shares, comments, video views and, most importantly of all, leads and clients. Yes-I have got clients straight off Facebook, at very small cost per lead/client.

Cost of Facebook Advertising

I primarily advertise with an objective of page post engagement with my video posts, and for page likes (not so much now because I have enough of them).

Facebook Page Likes

I can now easily obtain Facebook page likes for $.01. Take a look at the screenshot image below, and you will see that I got 6,013 page likes for my Terry Gorry & Co. Solicitors Facebook page for $51.75-a cost of $.01 per page like.


What is the value of a page like? Social proof.(You might be interested in Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool in Your Business).

When somebody comes to any of my Facebook pages some of the questions that cross their mind will be: “does this man know what he is talking about?”, “what do others think?”

When they see over 6,759 page likes they are reassured.

The same story applies to other pages of mine: Employment Rights Ireland Facebook page has 10,549 page likes today and Family Law Ireland has 4,752.

When anyone lands on any of these individual pages they are not backing away because nobody else likes the page, or because they are doubtful; they are reassured by the large number of other people who like the page.

Video Page Post Engagement

Most of my ads on Facebook are Page Post Engagement ads with a video in the post. Here’s an example about rest breaks in the workplace.

Not the sexiest topic in the world, you’ll have to admit, yet take a look at the statistics:

172 likes, 51 comments, over 40,000 views, 25,351 post engagements for $46.28

And the cost per post engagement? .002 of a $US. That’s two tenths of a cent per post engagement!

The vast majority of my ads, over 95% in fact, are video based ads. The videos are basic, just simple, useful tips for my audience/target market.


And new clients?

I have a “conveyancing/property purchase” campaign running at the moment. It comprises approximately 10 videos dealing with various aspects of buying a house.

My spend is $5 per day, and I have obtained 3 new conveyancing clients in the last 3 weeks. This is a massive return on my spend if you consider that one conveyance will generate a fee of €1,100 to €1,900 plus vat and if you are acting in the sale and purchase, which I will, I will get both the sale of the existing house and the purchase of the new one.


I haven’t even discussed probably the most powerful aspect of advertising on Facebook: the powerful targeting possibilities with all your ads.

Do yourself a favour: don’t make the mistake I made and overlook the power of Facebook advertising. Take the time, though, to learn Facebook advertising.

And be sceptical about commonly accepted wisdom as to what works and doesn’t work with Facebook advertising.

Experiment and test yourself. Think about who your ideal audience is, your perfect customer, start small, scale up.

And don’t be afraid to change your mind and put the power of Facebook to work for your business.

Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool for Your Business


Holy s**t!

That was my son’s reaction when I showed him the Facebook page.

Do you know the way young people know everything?

The way they are all full of piss and vinegar?

My son’s 19, so anything that would impress him in relation to social media is worth a second look.

And if you are a business owner, or thinking about starting up a business, or you need to sell a product or service this piece about what I showed Paddy will be useful.

Sounds good? Let’s take a look.

Firstly, we need to understand and recognise social proof.

Social Proof

Wikipedia defines social proof as

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.

If you have teenage kids you will know that when they tell you all their friends are going to the concert, or all their friends have a particular brand of runners, or football boots, or other brand you will have to start reaching for your purse or wallet.

Because your kids won’t want to be left out. They won’t want to be seen as socially gauche, or nerdy, or geeky, or “uncool”.

And you won’t want that either.

Social proof was described as one of the 7 principles of persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his seminal work, “Influence-The Psychology of Persuasion”. At its most basic Cialdini recognised that we are hugely influenced by what others have bought and approved of.

Another example of social proof at work is when you are invited to a party. There are two sure things:

  1. You don’t want to go if nobody else is going, and
  2. You don’t want to be first.

So, what’s this got to do with the Facebook page I showed Paddy?

Let me explain.

I have this Facebook page about employment law in Ireland. There is quite a lot of useful information, links to articles, videos, employment related stories in the news etc.

When someone lands on the page, and they are researching an employment related problem, one of the first things they will consider is whether I, as the man in the videos and owner of the page, actually knows what I am talking about.

Am I spoofing, or am I an authority, someone who knows their stuff?

On Facebook they will invariably check how many fans the page has.

This is social proof. This is what I showed Paddy.

The number of fans is over 10,000.

This is what prompted the “holy s**t” remark.

Ireland is a small country; employment law is not the sexiest topic in the world. We are not talking about a fan page for Justin Timberlake or Miley Cyrus.

So, 10,000 fans is pretty good; it’s pretty impressive social proof.

Social proof is incredibly powerful. You need it in your business, no matter what you are selling.

Because nobody wants to be first, nobody wants to be the guinea pig, nobody wants to discover that you are completely untested.

You may not have a Facebook page with 10,000+ fans. But you should make it your business not to overlook the power of social proof.

Perhaps start with a testimonials page on your website or blog?

Or on your YouTube channel?

Or on Facebook?

The 3 Most Important Questions for Consultants and Coaches to Ask Clients


Are you a coach or consultant?

Or maybe you are involved in another role which requires you to spend time helping colleagues or clients.

The easy thing to do, and a common mistake, is to jump in and try to help immediately by giving advice.

Or posing questions which are really pieces of advice masquerading as questions eg have you considered x, y, z?

The bottom line, though, is that in order to help them you need to figure out, and let them recognise, what their problem or issue is.

To do this you need to ask questions.

Not just any old questions.

The questions you ask are absolutely critical.

Have you given much thought to the most effective, useful, powerful questions to ask?

In this piece I am going to share what I consider to be the most effective questions-there are only 3.

The rest is window dressing.

These are the questions I use myself in my law practice when I meet clients or prospects.

I didn’t learn them in law school, though.

I use the exact same questions when I am consulting with small business owners and start ups and entrepreneurs.

You could waste a lot of time asking the wrong questions.

And there is a multitude of questions you could ask.

Questions beginning with who, what, why, how, when, which etc.

The three most important questions begin with the same word.

Let me explain.


1st Question is on Facebook

There are three questions you need to ask.

The first you will find on Facebook.

This question has been an integral part of Facebook’s growth into a worldwide phenomenon.

Take a look at the box at the top of your Facebook page, the one that invites you to comment or share something or update your status.

There’s a question in that box to encourage you to do that. It’s the question that Facebook has used, save for one short period, from the early days.

It still uses it today.

The question is: What’s on your mind?

This gives your client the opportunity to open up and tell you what the issue(s) is.

But it’s almost certain that what they tell you will not be the real problem, or if it is a real problem it will not be the only one.

Or the most important.

It’s almost certainly something that concerns them, but may not be the real crux of the matter.

2nd Question-3 Short Words

The second question is designed to deal with this.

The question is: and what else?

This is only a short one, but it’s essential and critical.

Because it will almost certainly get you to the real concern, especially if What’s on your mind has not elicited the real meat of the problem.

The third question is a natural follow on from the other two, because now you know exactly what the real issues are.

Let’s recap.

Question 1: What’s on your mind?

Question 2: And what else?

The third question is what do you want me to do?


Resist the temptation to immediately jump in with advice.

Lean back.

Listen actively.

Ask these 3 questions.

Then you both know exactly what the issues are, and what each of you have to do.


Do you need a small business consultant who has actually walked the walk?

Who has built businesses in Ireland since 1986 in a variety of industries?

Who understands and leverages digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing to continue to build businesses?

If you do, feel free to contact me.

Assignment and Sub-Letting Your Commercial Premises-What You Should Know


Do you hold a lease on a commercial premises?

Do you want to sub-let it? Or assign (transfer) it to someone else?

You may run into difficulties with your landlord, though.

Let’s take a look at the issues.

Most leases will have a restriction on alienation-assignment or sub-letting- contained in the lease. This is to allow the landlord to protect his investment by ensuring that the quality of his tenant is high.

Because any tenant can ultimately obtain security of tenure in the premises. And if he is a poor tenant and the landlord is forced to enforce the covenants in the lease it is going to cost time, money, inconvenience, and possible diminish the value of the landlord’s property.

However, the landlord will also need to consider how restrictive the alienation clause is, because if it is unduly restrictive it will have an adverse effect on the rent he can achieve. Quite frankly, less tenants will be prepared to take it on if they think that they cannot assign or sub-let it in the future, if necessary.

The tenant will need to consider his business, how restrictive the covenant is, and the premises itself.

Restrictions on Alienation

All commercial leases will contain a restriction on the assignment or sub-letting of the premises without the landlord’s consent, and an absolute prohibition on letting part of the premises.

Put simply, the landlord is entitled to ensure the property is not handed over to an undesirable who will devalue the landlord’s property.

However, the landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold his consent to alienation. The question of what is “reasonable” is a thorny one, though.

There is no statutory definition of a reasonable refusal, therefore it is a question of fact and circumstances in each particular case. If a tenant is not happy with the landlord’s decision, he can go to Court to seek a declaration that the consent is being withheld unreasonably and allowing the assignment/sub-letting to go ahead without the consent.

The case of International Drilling Fluids Ltd v Louisville Investments (Uxbridge) Ltd [1986] provides a good summary of the principles to apply in determining whether the landlord’s consent has been unreasonably withheld or not.

Many leases will also contain a pre-emption clause. This gives the landlord first refusal on any assignment.

He may also have the right to match any 3rd party offer.

Break Clauses

Tenants will look for a break clause in the lease. This will allow for circumstances changing in the future.

Generally, the breaks clause would be exercisable at the time of the 1st rent review, but this is entirely a matter for negotiation between the parties at the outset.

Most break clauses will only be exercisable when the tenant has complied with all provisions in the lease.

Assignment of Lease

The existing tenant must ensure appropriate references-trade and bank-are obtained and submitted to the landlord, along with the request for consent to assign.

The existing tenant will also have to be released from his personal guarantee, if he has given one.

The new tenant’s solicitor must make the usual conveyancing enquires about title, planning permission, mortgage on the property, and the usual pre-lease enquiries.

Service charges, and any other annual charges, will have to be apportioned between new and existing tenant.

The landlord, and his solicitor, will be anxious to ensure that the new assignee is as satisfactory as the existing one.


The existing tenant will be the landlord for the sub-tenant and he will be granting a sub-lease to the sub-tenant. He will need to get references from the sub-tenant to give to the head landlord, and apply for the head landlord’s consent to the sub-letting.

The sub-tenant, in addition to ensuring the proposed sub-lease is satisfactory, will need to ensure that the head landlord’s consent is given for the sub-letting.

The head landlord’s position is not affected from a legal perspective as he will still have his original tenant on the hook as that tenant will remain contractually liable to the landlord.

Partial Assignment or Sub-Letting

Most modern commercial leases will prohibit partial assignment or sub-letting.


Hopefully, you will see from the above that entering into a lease can be a complex matter which should not be undertaken without professional advice.

Quite frankly, it is easy to sign on the dotted line of a commercial agreement. Especially when you are starting a new business about which you are understandably excited.

But it is foolish to do so when you run the risk of running into costly difficulties later on, and find that you cannot assign or sub-let or you are staring at an eye watering rent increase through the rent review.

Rent Review Clauses in Commercial Leases-What You Should Know


Do you occupy a retail, industrial, or office premises?

If you do you will probably have you a commercial lease?

If you have, it will almost certainly provide for a rent review.

And you could be in for a very nasty shock.

Let me explain.

Over the last few years, since the property crash at the end of the Celtic Tiger years, quite a few commercial property owners were just happy to get their commercial premises let.

Any rent is better than an empty commercial unit or office.

Many of the leases granted then were on initially favourable terms for tenants, simply to get them let.

However, many of these leases are coming up to their first rent review, typically 5 years after commencement. The big problem for small business owners is that these rent reviews provide for “market rental value” which is causing a nasty shock, and in some cases unaffordable rents, for small business owners.

Because in some cases they are seeing their rents double, or more.

What is the legal position?

Is there anything you can do about it?

How does a rent review work?

Let’s take a look.

The purpose of a rent review clause is

  1. to protect the value of the landlord’s property
  2. to reflect the changing value of the property during the term of the lease.

What will normally happen is the landlord will serve a notice on the tenant seeking a significnatloy higher rent. Generally, time is not of the essence in relation to the service of notices by either landlord or tenant.

The tenant should then write back indicating his disagreement and asking what is the basis for the figure sought, and how was it arrived at.

Landlord and tenant will then instruct representatives such as valuers/surveyors/auctioneers to engage with the other side and attempt to agree the new rent.

Reviewing the Rent

The rent review clause will normally provide for the rent to be reviewed by an independent expert if the landlord and tenant cannot agree on the new rent. This independent expert will either act as an arbitrator or expert; in practice, the difference is not hugely significant.

Generally, the appointment of the expert will be the prerogative of the landlord if the landlord and tenant cannot agree on who to appoint.

If the landlord fails to make the nomination the tenant may be able to nominate, or the rent review clause may provide for appointment by the President of a professional body such as the Law Society or the professional bodies for Chartered Surveyors or Auctioneers/Valuers.

If there is a delay in agreeing the rent the tenant will be liable for the back-dated rent, plus interest at a “base rate” provided for in the lease.

The basis for reviewing the rent will almost certainly be to “current market rent” or “market rent”.

Up to the passing of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act, 2009 rent review clauses provided for “upward only” rent changes.

However section 132 outlawed “upward only” rent reviews in leases created after 28th February, 2010.

Therefore, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the rent can be decreased to reflect market value. This was never the case with leases before the passing of the 2009 Act.

The critical date is 28th February, 2010; leases before this date can have “upward only” rent review clauses. After this date such clauses are of no effect.

Assumptions and Disregards

The basis on which the new rent will be determined will be on the basis of certain assumptions and disregards:

  1. that the premises will be let as a whole
  2. what it would fetch on a free and open market
  3. with vacant possession, that is, as if the premises was being let with full vacant possession as it was at the granting of the lease
  4. for a term of the greater of 15 years or the residue of the lease
  5. on the same terms and conditions as the present lease, including with a rent review clause
  6. that the tenant has fulfilled all his repairing and decorating obligations as provided in the lease, and has fulfilled all covenants in the lease
  7. no work has been carried out on the premises that diminishes its rental value.

Also, the following will be disregarded:

  1. any effect on the rent of the fact that the tenant has been in occupation and disregarding any goodwill he has built up and is attaching to the premises
  2. any effect of improvements or works carried out on the premises by the tenant.

In summary, the lease to be valued at rent review time is a hypothetical lease identical to the existing lease so that the rent will be calculated on the same basis as the existing lease.


Leases can be confusing, technical documents which require careful drafting and interpretation. Mistakes and oversights can be made in drafting them, including in relation to the rent review clause.

If you are facing an eye-watering increase in your rent on foot of a rent review it would probably make sense to have your solicitor take a close look at the lease.

6 Steps to Achieve Extreme Productivity and Overcome the Limitations of Your To Do List

increase productivity



It happens all of us, at one time or another.

You have so much to do that you don’t know where to start, or what to do next.

Do you use a “to do” list in an effort to organise yourself and ensure some productivity?

A “to do” list is a help, but isn’t enough.

It’s a blunt instrument because it doesn’t take into account two vital factors:

  1. the importance or priority of a specific task on your list, and
  2. the timing or urgency of the task.

I have recently begun to use a method of productivity which reduces stress and procrastination, helps me prioritize the tasks to be executed, and ensures that I am extracting the maximum return from my time.

I will explain exactly how I do it.

Sounds good?

How to Become Seriously Productive

  1. List everything you do

The first thing you need is a piece of paper or a spreadsheet. then, list everything you do in your job or business on a  regular basis. This is a list of all the tasks you need to carry out routinely on a daily or weekly basis.

This list should also all the things you would like to do, if you were not in a regular state of firefighting.

    2. Time frames

Secondly, you need to divide this list into 3 time periods:

  1. career/business aims (5+ years)
  2. objectives (3-24 months)
  3. targets (<1 week); Targets are “action steps”, things you will do routinely on a weekly basis.

Then, check that each of your objectives has one or two associated targets, that is, a step to advance that objective.

If you have an objective that does not have a target you need to think about the next step you can take to advance your objective, and add this to your list of targets.

Next, you need to put aside your career goals and turn your attention on your objectives and targets.

    3.  Rank your objectives

The third step in this process is to rank your objectives in terms of importance. But before you do that you need to think about your objectives being in three categories:

  • what you want to do (supply)
  • what you are good at (supply)
  • what the world needs from you (demand).

Broadly, you should rank your objectives in accordance with the list above, by giving a higher ranking to those things you want to do and are good at-the supply side-but you will need to be mindful of your obligations to your employer or business (the demand side).

You, therefore, need to exercise smart judgment in how high or low you rank your objectives. This is a tough exercise requiring qualitative judgment, but an exercise that is well worth doing if you want to be more productive and stress less about your massive to do list.

Because it will ensure you have great clarity in relation to your objectives and you will be matching your time spent on tasks in proportion to the importance of the objective it advances, rather than reacting to less important things.

Once you have thought about your objectives rank this list in order of importance from 10 to 1, with 10 being the most important one.

These objectives can be reviewed on an annual basis.

      4. Rank your targets

The fourth step is to rank your targets, that is, the action steps you will take on a daily/weekly basis. First, though, you need to recognise that there are two categories of targets:

  1. enabling targets-these advance your objectives
  2. assigned targets-these must be done, for example filing tax returns or putting out the bin.

Then list your enabling targets and rank them in order of importance with 10 being the most important down to 1, the least important.

This ranking will be based on how important the associated objective is and how well the target advances the objective.

Assigned targets are generally low priority, and you should not be expending too much time on them, and delegate where you can.

      5. See how you actually spend your time

The fifth step is to see how you actually spend your time at the moment.

Questions you should be looking at are what are the 3 things you mostly spend your time on and how many hours each week do you spend filling out reports, responding to emails etc.

Now compare the time you spend with your ranked list of targets and objectives.

    6. Allocate your time based on your priorities

The sixth and final step is to allocate your time based on your priorities, and to fix the mismatch identified when you look at the time your are currently spending on tasks.

Essentially you are going to spend your time in proportion to the importance of the task and objective.

The McKinsey consulting firm has found that the vast majority of professionals only spend 50% of their time on the most important priorities. The mismatch between time spent on the most important priority items and other stuff arises because of the failure to allocate time properly after properly identifying objectives and targets.

What they spend a lot of time doing is reacting to crises.

You won’t have that problem, though, if you follow the steps we have discussed above.

To assist with your time allocation you need to make a list of your objectives and tasks in order of priority. This should be a dynamic list, though, which you review every week to allow for new objectives, projects, and tasks.

You may also drop less important tasks or delegate them, if that is possible.

In a nutshell this method of extreme productivity focuses on prioritising your tasks and objectives and allocating the time you spend at work in order of priority of those tasks and objectives.

Remember a task is what you do on a daily or weekly basis, and it should advance an objective. If it does not, then you should consider why you are doing it or get someone else to do it (delegate).

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-Kindle and Paperback

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-ex amazon

Have you a service based business?

Do you want to increase your client base?

Are you confused about what actually works to grow your business on the internet?

Yes, it’s easy to be confused. Because there is lots of conflicting advice.

About blogging, websites, social media marketing, video, audio, YouTube, podcasting, search engine optimisation, guest posting, etc.

Some of this advice is well intentioned, some is plain wrong, and some is simply theory as to what might work.

Throw paid advertising and expensive “consultants” into the mix and it’s easy to just sit tight and do nothing.

I understand your situation, because I was there too, not so long ago.

I am a lawyer and my book “The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online:How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy” sets out exactly the steps I have taken, and take every day even now, to grow my client base.

And my income and profits.

What’s in this book is the exact strategy I have followed since 2011 to build my law practice by getting new clients through smart, cost-effective online marketing.

So if you want theory or a bird’s eye view of online/digital marketing this book is not for you.

But if your business provides a service, and you want to increase the number of your clients by exploiting the power of the internet, this book will help.

Because it sets out the proven, simple 5 step strategy I use on a daily basis since 2011.

With my strategy you will have a clear action plan to exploit the power of the internet to increase your client numbers.

This clarity will allow you to clear away the fog of confusion surrounding your efforts, and help overcome any procrastination about what you should be doing.

The strategy I set out in this book can work for you too, provided you take action and follow the steps, and adapt it for your particular business.

It’s not a silver bullet. There are none, I’m afraid.

It is a cost effective strategy that will, as sure as day follows night, drive new clients to your business.

It doesn’t require a huge investment of capital.

All it requires is consistent work by you on the 5 pillars of the strategy.

They are easy to follow, provided you are committed to serving your market, and want to grow your business by tapping into the power of the internet.

This strategy has worked for me, and allowed me to build a successful law practice with practically no money investment.

No advertising.

No virtual assistants.

No unethical practices.

Take the steps in this strategy and you will truly serve your market.

And grow your business by steadily acquiring new clients who will see you as trusted authority, a “go to person” in your industry.

Are you ready to grow your business online?

Order on Amazon now.

Also available in paperback-click here.


The Simple Truth About Blogging to Grow Your Business Online


Let me guess..

You’re completely confused.


You’ve read the hype about online marketing, especially social media marketing.

Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube.

The whole world and his mother has heard about “having a conversation with a brand”.

You’re probably frustrated too.

Because it seems you can’t get any traction.

Social media is noisy, and your voice is drowned out and ignored.

Does it ever feel that you have walked into a big rowdy party, stone cold sober, and know nobody?

Imagine having a plan to grow your business online, a systematic plan that you know works. With simple, easy to do steps, which only requires some smart focus and consistent effort.

By the time you get to the end of this piece, that’s exactly what you’ll have.

The problem with relying solely on social media marketing

The big problem with social media marketing is the sheer volume of noise. Just take a look at your Twitter stream and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s practically impossible to get noticed.

And there’s another big problem.

Social media properties are not your properties-you’re a cybersquatter.

Staking a claim on somebody else’s property. If you’re Irish, you will know all about being a tenant.

And you are completely at the mercy of the whims of Facebook, Twitter, and the other powerhouses of social media who, understandably, have to satisfy their shareholders on Wall Street.

What happens is that the rules change, completely out of the blue most times, and there’s not a single thing you can do about it.

Just take a look at Facebook now and you’ll see that since they changed the rules about who sees what you share in January, 2015 about 10% of your fans see your stuff.

If you want the other 90% to see, you have to pay.

Imagine spending all that time building up fans on Facebook, year after year, and now you can only reach between 10-15% of them, unless you break out the credit card.

Twitter is heading the same way, and if you think about it, it makes sense. These platforms are not charities, and they have to make a profit.

Why blogging works

Blogging works because to grow your business online, you need to become an authority in your field. A blog with good content allows you to demonstrate that authority.

To sell online, you also need to build a “know, like, and trust factor” with your potential clients/customers.

And to do that you need to start a conversation with them.

Makes sense, right?

A blog is a great conversation starter and allows you to develop a relationship with your readers.

And this relationship can be further developed through email marketing.

Building your list, a list of subscribers to your blog, is probably the best reason of all for starting and running your own web property.

Your blog, of course, can, and should, be your own property too-you decide on the content you create and you make the rules.

No more worrying about Facebook changing the rules again.

What you can learn from the world’s leading social media gurus about blogging

The leading social media experts in the world-Chris Brogan, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt, Michael Stelzner, Ann Handley, Peg Fitzpatrick, Jay Baer, Laura Fitton- are all agreed on one thing.

The best asset you can build online is an email list-a list of subscribers.

And the best way to build this list is on your own blog.

So, these social media “gurus” have, as their primary goal, getting you onto their email list.

Ignore the irony here for a minute.

They know this gives them the opportunity to build a real relationship with you, and not have to worry about trying to communicate with you in a noisy environment like a Twitter stream of Facebook feed.

This is the power of email marketing-your subscriber has opted in to receiving your messages into their email inbox. Then you don’t have to compete with all the other distractions in people’s Twitter or Facebook feeds.

How to get started

You can actually start a blog for free. WordPress.com, Typepad.com, and Blogger.com all offer free blogging platforms.

But they are probably not the best option for you, because you may still have the problem of building your web property on someone else’s platform.

The sharecropper syndrome.

The best option is to get your own hosting account and set up your own blog on this account. LetsHost.ie is who I use and can recommend them highly. A hosting plan starts at 7.95 euros per months so there is no excuse for not taking and maintaining control of your own web property-your blog.

What to write about

What questions are your potential clients asking? How can you serve your market? How can you provide value and demonstrate your expertise and authority?

What frequently asked questions arise repeatedly in your market?

What can you or your business do to make life easier for your potential clients?

What have you done in the past for your clients?

Have you case studies you can share?

What new developments have occurred in your market in the last 12 months? What’s expected to occur in the future?

There are 3 types of posts which people love and which are incredibly, consistently popular:

  • short list type posts
  • long list type posts
  • how to type posts.

So, let’s assume you are an accountant or tax advisor. You could write

  • 3 Costly Mistakes All Small Businesses Make in their Tax Returns
  • 21 Critical Considerations When Choosing an Accountant
  • How to Register a New Employee With the Revenue Commissioners

The art of blogging

I’ve written before about how blogging has been a monumental part of my growing my solicitor’s practice.

Quite frankly, it couldn’t have happened without blogging. And, funnily enough, it all started by accident.

I actually only started my first blog to have an easy to reference place to store my Law Society lecture notes, and as a study aid.

But the traffic that naturally began to come to the blog soon startled me awake to the potential if I really dug into it, studied what other leading bloggers were doing, and leveraged it.

You can too.

It’s not too late.

Not by a long shot.

Arguably, as social media channels become busier, more crowded, and noisy as a Moroccan street market, there is an even stronger argument for using blogging at the centre of your online activity.

So, what’s holding you back?

Write your first blog.

And most of all? Have fun.


I’d love to hear why you haven’t started, or if you have, what problems you’re having.

The Biggest Obstacle to Selling Anything Online


The biggest obstacle to selling your goods or services online is not price, not technology, not lack of traffic, not paucity of Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

There is one fundamental element necessary to persuade your visitors, followers, fans, random surfers to reach for their credit card and buy what you are selling.

And that one element is trust..or lack of it.

Trust can be defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

On the internet especially this vital element is the one big barrier between your business and a sale or new client/customer or even a new subscriber to your website content.

Overcoming a lack of trust

Trust online, just like in the real world, must be earned. In the context of marketing your business online gaining your visitors trust must be one of your principle goals for your website.

Gaining your visitors trust firstly involves demonstrating your expertise or authority in your marketplace.

This is not a short term thing though-it involves a commitment to providing great value content on a consistent basis for your website visitors-publishing really useful information or tips addressing the very real problems that your visitors are seeking to solve or ameliorate.

It involves building a relationship with your visitors through various incredibly effective and ethical means. The two most important and effective methods of building trust and demonstrating authority are:-

1. Publishing great content consistently on your site
2. Email marketing-building and maintaining a relationship with your subscribers by firstly giving them something of value for free for becoming subscribers and just when you think you have done enough..give even more value.

You will know that you have succeeded when someone emails or calls you and asks you this question:

“what would you recommend?”

Aside: a number of years ago in the United States a tv company carried out an experiment outside a small town bank. They, with the consent of the bank, put a sign in the window saying “Bank closed for training- please give your deposits to the security guard”.

Outside the bank the security guard, resplendent in a new security guard’s uniform, accepted deposits for the duration of the experiment. This “security guard” was an employee of the tv company..

Over 90% of bank customers willingly gave their hard earned cash to the security guard. When asked afterwards why they, to a man and woman, pointed to the uniform and the sign.

“He looked official”.

This experiment demonstrates the power of trust and being the authority and is why police, army, judges, barristers and so many other figures of authority wear a uniform of sorts.

Fortunately you don’t/can’t wear a uniform online..

..but you can become the authority and overcome the single biggest impediment to sales online-trust.