What’s the best way to advertise a live event on LinkedIn?

 Melonie Dodaro is Canada's #1 LinkedIn Expert & Social Media Strategist


Melonie Dodaro is Canada’s #1 LinkedIn Expert & Social Media Strategist

Melonie Dodaro, Canada’s #1 LinkedIn Expert and social media strategist and International #1 Bestselling Author of The LinkedIn Code, answered the question this way yesterday… and I paraphrase…

It depends on your budget. If you have a budget of $10,000 or more (over a three month period of time) then get connected with an account rep. (I can introduce you to mine.) They will help you get better placement and there’s a lot more flexibility with what you can do.

If your budget is smaller, you can use targeted sponsored posts through your company page.

Thank you Melonie for answering my question!

You can connect with Melonie online through her website Top Dog Social Media or on her LinkedIn profile.

Posted in Advertising, Event Marketing, Lead Generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Target Marketing | Leave a comment

How the Pros Post on Facebook

How to post on Facebook like a Professional

Hiya :) It’s Bevan Bird.

Would you like to spark massive engagement and get higher visibility? Do you want to build your own media empire? Want to enjoy the benefits of guerrilla publicity?

Today I want to show you how the professionals post on Facebook and share some lessons we can infer from their examples. Are you in?

Ellen DeGeneres Bradley Cooper Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt Selfie Oscars Twitter Crash

Ok, good. Let’s go!

[pic coming...]

Everyone has their own way of posting to Facebook. Some mix a variety of post types, while others, like Seth Godin, post the same way every time. I’m going to focus more on how social media experts post on Facebook, but I’ll also show examples from some favourite and highly influencial online marketers, and well known leaders in personal development.

It’s widely known that inspiration is the most shared type of content on social media sites. The more you engage people into interactions with you, the more attention you will get on your message and the more your content will spread. Click here to hear Amy Porterfield say it :). If you want go scalable, check this post out.

You have to care about people and be interested in them. But you already know that… Let’s jump right into the examples, shall we?

Here’s a nice place to start. Jon Loomer, for Advanced Facebook Marketers, (#1 Social Media Blog 2014 Winner!) is sharing the creative work of one of his fans, which features him.

Jon Loomer Facebook Post

Lesson #1: Social media is not all about YOU! It’s about your customers, clients and content consumers.

Another great social media influencer (#1 on THE Authoritative list, pics here) Sean Gardner, is sharing the spotlight with a co-presenter.

Sean Gardner Facebook Post

Lesson #2: Use your influence and attention to bring influence and attention to those who deserve it by the virtue of what they have done or the value of what they bring to the world.

It’s telling how the top #1s on each of those lists (Forbes, Social Media Examiner) recently shared the spotlight with someone else with whom they are associated professionally or in some way related to what they do.

(And although Neil Patel (#1 on this list) didn’t share the spotlight directly with Like.com in his post on Facebook, he did talk about talking about them in his blog post on how to post to your blog and generate the right leads which you’ll see in a moment… and although Gary Vaynerchuk (#1 on this other list) didn’t share the spotlight directly with others in his Facebook post inviting viewers to Episode 15 of the #AskGaryVee Show, he does make the show about them and prominently features questions from his fans throughout… and when he posted about his interview with Dena Blizzard at ABC Miss America, he does feature her socially in the post text itself; he “explains to @OneFunnyMother”.)

Neil Patel Facebook Post

Click the image to get to that post and you can also read his post about Like.com.

Why should you care? In Neil’s words… “I remember when I wrote that post on Like.com, the founder called me within a few hours and offered a contracting job for a year. Considering that they raised $47 million, it’s not hard to generate a few hundred grand from a blog post like that.”

I was surprised how short the post was. That’s inspiring!

Lesson #3: Share the spotlight! Focus on the needs or wants or fears or hopes or dreams of other people.

@garyvee’s latest show… his post asks Facebook fans what they think of it.

Gary Vaynerchuk Facebook Post

Lesson #4: Ask questions to engage your audience. Answer their questions to show them you care.

Lesson #5: Share what you are most passionate about! (The world needs more people who have come alive!)

And now, as promised, his interview with the delightful Dena Blizzard (her photo goes to her Twitter, go ahead and say hello :) )…

Dena Blizzard Twitter Photo Melons

 

You can click this post to watch the video… and Like Gary’s Facebook page if you haven’t already.

Gary Vaynerchuk Facebook Post

Lesson #6: Entertain them!

In all seriousness, let’s get our focus back to social media marketing. Don’t make me make you take the NOBNOM challenge. Don’t ask. (Sex is allowed, though; read the article for the many compelling benefits to abstaining from ______ it.)

Tim Ferriss NOBNOM Funny Facebook Post

Genius naming, there. (If you don’t get it, say it with me, in two words; you know how women say nom nom sometimes right?)

Tim Ferriss (#4 on this Influencers list at Entrepreneur.com) shows an even more enlightened side of himself when he shared this video. May this video bring you Great Peace in your heart. (Wanna see it? You know the drill. Sometimes I make the photos clickable, sometimes not… only one way to find out.)

Tim Ferriss Facebook Post

Lesson #7: Let them see the real you. Open your heart.

Lesson #8: Share something that will enable people to EXPERIENCE something you want them to FEEL.

One of the commentators wrote, “The tranquility and peace that come out of this video are amazing.”

Mission accomplished.

Which is what the most recent post by Mission: Impossible says. Wow, I’m good! (I jumped to their Facebook page to maybe grab a post, thinking I’d have to look around to find a good one to go with those two words, but it was right there on top.)

Mission Impossible Facebook Post

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is getting all kinds of press these days.

Forbes (lots of times !), Mashable, National Post, NBC News, The Guardian, Financial Post, Daily Mail, TIME (LOL, Kim! See below…), Global News BC, Northern Life, Win News, Bo Stern (her post got 824,000 Facebook Likes, so I’m including her as media in this case), The Verge (a Page Rank 7 site, the 530th most trafficked website in the world), & The Daily Currant to name some media sites.

That’s just a sampling of the exposure that silly challenge got.

You might be interested in:

Four Lessons Brands Can Learn From the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The Science Behind The Success Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

And here’s another Ice Bucket Challenge.

Kim Kardashian Ellen DeGeneres The Ellen Show ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Oh, Kim and her selfies. ;) And while we’re on the topic of selfies, what about that selfie Ellen “orchestrated” at the Oscars that broke Twitter?

Ellen DeGeneres Bradley Cooper Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt Selfie Oscars Twitter Crash

Apparently, since Bradley Cooper (ALS Ice Bucket Challenge here) was the one to click the button, he owns the copyright and bragging rights for the most famous selfie in the world (so far). Click the photo to see the actual tweet and responses.

Lesson #9: On another note, in Online Marketing, and actually in marketing in general, it pays to be first. The page with Bradley Cooper’s voice (managed by family members), where he’s providing REAL VALUE has only 19,435 likes today and it was started on March 12, 2013. The page that “joined Facebook on August 15, 2011″ has 5,509,187 likes and provides no value, aside from having a link to whosay.com. By being first (almost two year head start on the smaller more real page), they gained critical mass and were the largest page, so people gravitated to them when they wanted to show that they were his fan. They’re piggy-backing off his success! How could they? Well, you can too, now that you know this “secret”. And let this be a lesson to all you Famous and wanna-be famous people… Claim your pages on the social media sites before someone else beats you to the punch!

By the way, Whosay could drive way more free traffic if they start posting celeb photos and news on the celebrity pages they’ve created. Hello! :)

The photo surpassed the record set by U.S. President Barack Obama’s “Four More Years” re-election victory shot. The picture of Obama hugging first lady Michelle Obama on election night in 2012 has been retweeted more than 780,000 times. This photo was retweeted over 3 million times. What’s next? Really, I want to know!

Did you see this? Obama teased Ellen for her ‘cheap shot’ selfie

I’ll admit, I got a little bit distracted after the Tim Ferris post. But that was some interesting stuff and I hope you learned something valuable from the diversion!

Social Media Examiner (the world’s largest online social media magazine) let us know today that there’s now a Buy button on Twitter. So Twitter has followed Facebook’s suit in adding call to action buttons.

Social Media Examiner Facebook Post Twitter Buy Button News

Lesson #10: Be informed on what’s happening in your industry (you can make a Twitter list of the influencers and your peers) and keep your followers informed, looking out for their best interested. This is also a form of curation. Focus on quality of information that you share, over quantity.

Now, let’s move on to Amy Porterfield (Social Media Strategy Consultant), who really knows how to get massive authentic engagement for brands. In her own post, in a pleasant, outgoing, conversational way, almost the way she would talk with her best friend, she’s letting her fans know what she’s been up to, gets them curious and excited, anticipating what’s to come… and shows that she’s interested in them!

Amy Porterfield Facebook Post

You can watch an interview with Amy on the Adventures in Visibility Hangout with Denise Wakeman: Navigating Facebook to get Better Engagement Without Buying an Ad.

Lesson #11: People will be interested in us if, first, we are genuinely interested in then. (How to Win Friends and Influence People.)

Lesson #12: Be real, be yourself and speak and write conversationally for optimum engagement!

Lesson #13: Make people feel important. They have a deep need to be heard and to feel important.

I’ll illustrate this. On two levels at once.

I was talking with a transformational coach about how I can help him. He had told me he puts out amazing content but doesn’t get much engagement.

We were looking at the posts on his Facebook page. Here’s what I suggested to him…

[I'll leave out the photo I'm referring to until I have permission.]

One thing you could do on that last post with the butterfly is tell a short personal transformation story about someone experiencing their own richness within … or a story of when you first felt this YOURSELF!

Just a short paragraph is enough, a few sentences.

If it’s engaging, people will want more, and they’ll comment. You want them to ask you questions.

Once you create a public dialogue and more people are chiming in with their experiences or OPINIONS… your reach will increase further and further.

People want to tell their own stories… if you provide a platform for them to express themselves and be heard, they will love you!

And they will be very interested in your story (or stories) of transformation too. Tell it often, in different ways, different perspectives, different contexts…

I hope that helps.

He called me right away once I demonstrated value to him. This is like Neil Patel’s post about Like.com on a smaller scale.

Lesson #14: Help people solve problems and you will invited into their lives with open arms!

Now, here’s something I love it when people do. Create content collaboratively with their audience. Involve fans in the creation of the product. Ask for input. It’s part of Jeff Walker’s (he’s known for Product Launch Formula) “Seed Launch” for when you have no list and no product but you want to get into business.

Check this out. Sean Gardner making his live presentations even more inspiring and relevant by asking for stories from his friends. This is the gold right here.

He’s the #1 most powerfully influential person in social media according to Forbes and he’s super humble. He’s always looking for a better way to serve and give more value.

Sean Gardner Facebook Post

Lesson #15: Ask for input to improve what you do EVEN more… even if you’re the best!

But it doesn’t stop with the question. You must engage and interact. Listen and love. (Thanks Warren Whitlock!) And… Here he is now. Another of The Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers and host of Profitable Social Media Show. Here he is curating content and adding unique value that can only come from his experience…

Warren Whitlock Facebook Post

Lesson #16: Listen and Love.

Lesson #17: Help people connect and tell stories… you’ll prosper… and have a lot more fun!

And so on…

Posted in Facebook Tips, Facebook Tricks, Lead Generation, Marketing, Networking, Social Media Marketing, Target Marketing, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Special Coaching Offer

Are you sick and tired of lackluster engagement on your social media profiles?

Never fear… Bevan’s here!

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise Hi. I’m Bevan Bird. The Online Marketing Coach.

<—– That’s me climbing some limestone at Tulum, barefoot. Tulum’s an archaeological site in the Yucatan. In Mexico.

The site was a port city and the buildings are built from stones. (Scroll down to see one.)

Tulum is a place that means a lot to me because it’s where I learned to write the alphabet on the white sand with a stick – while I was skipping out on Kindergarten ;)

But you don’t care about my last vacation… right?

You care about what I can do FOR YOU.

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

So, how can I help you?

You might ask, “Well, what do you do?”

I’m a Twitter and Facebook expert that helps people get their message out there in a practical and authentic manner.

An important thing to realize is that to reach people these days, we’ve got to market to them the way they want to be marketed to.

PSST.. Wanna see which of the top online marketers in the world I connected with last week? Scroll down!

I mean… think about it…

Do you like to be sold? NO WAY, right?

But do you like to buy?

I see you nodding…

I’ve been doing this since 2010, while working my surveying job. (In surveying we do some cool #%&$ with laser beams, but sadly I can’t show you the pictures… :( )

But let’s get back to why you’re here.

Your social profiles aren’t helping you generate as many leads as you would like, are they?

I can help.

But I’m not going to boast about myself because it’s silly. I could say whatever I want. So I’ll let others speak for me. You can see what some other people say about me here on the testimonials page if you want.

I believe in helping people by spending some time with them one on one on Skype.

I don’t believe in selling people information that won’t help them, or that will bog them down in information overload. We’ve all experienced that, and it sucks!

However, when my social media coaching business had a rough start in 2011, I had to move back in with my dad. He lives off the grid. Way off the grid.

He’s got solar panels on his yurt.

While I was there, I created my first information product as an attempt to provide more value to the marketplace and scale up my business.

I sold it online with a sales page I wrote myself and drove traffic with Facebook ads. When I first put up the page, more than 100 people clicked the Facebook Like button on it (thus sharing it with their friends) and it was a straight-up sales page! Only 25 of those people were my friends.

The product was a course on social media. Helping small business owners get started with social media in a simple and successful way. It was a 400 page PDF.

Because of the way I wrote it, it became obsolete when Facebook changed some things.

Then I didn’t feel right about promoting it anymore.

I only promote or sell things that benefit people.

It has to make their lives better.

Lesson learned: don’t launch your product or service alone. As one of my first mentors, Warren Whitlock, the author of Profitable Social Media, told me… Collaborate to win!

If I’d done a larger launch with affiliates and JVs, we could have sold way more copies and helped way more people solve their problems.

But information is cheap. Real help from someone that knows what they’re doing and can quickly show you how to boost up your level of engagement… and increase your reach… is priceless.

It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Coaching you is what I love to do.

Here are my gifts… what I was born to do!

1) Creating a space for conversations that bring out practical ideas and grow them larger and larger. (A combination of the sacred gifts of wisdom, knowledge and encouragement – by the way, “Sacred Gifts” are a concept promoted by Monique Ledet MacDonald – she has a personal development course that helps people live with passion!)

2) Showing baby boomers how social media can be done very powerfully with true engagement and connection.  (The sacred gifts of wisdom, knowledge and teaching.)

I’m always investing in my education and keeping in the loop with what’s working best online right now.

I just spent a four amazing days in Orlando, Florida at Marketing Mayhem Live 2014, the #1 Internet Marketing Event of The Year!

It’s sponsored by JVZoo, the HOTTEST marketplace for internet marketers and affiliates. And created by E. Brian Rose, Bryan Zimmerman & Chad Casselman. The event ran from August 28-31.

Wanna see some pics?

The Florida Hotel & Conference Center

The Florida Hotel & Conference Center [credit: marketingmayhemlive.com]

Snuggling up with the Press

Snuggling up with the Press

 

Marketing Mayhem VIP Mastermind Underway

Marketing Mayhem VIP Mastermind Underway [credit: ? - not my photo]

What was I doing there?

Connecting with the top minds in online marketing and learning directly from them in person… as well as meeting and connecting with 50-100 amazing online marketers and business people. The calibre of people at this event was very high.

If you flung a brick in any direction you couldn’t help but hit a few multi-millionaire Internet entrepreneurs. ;) Like these stellar fellers…

Mike Filsaime & Captain Lou Edwards, creators of the Marketers Cruise!

Mike Filsaime & Captain Lou Edwards, creators of the Marketers Cruise!

And we got to party with Vanilla Ice!

There’s an interesting story there about how we, the attendees, were USED.

I’ll tell you about that in a moment and how you can apply the concept to marketing your business online…

The speakers included Todd Gross, who’s amazing at live action videos, promoting his own products or the products of others as an affiliate or JV partner…

Mike Filsaime, who is a video sales letter, webinar and traffic-getting expert… that nearly everyone in the profession of online marketing knows…

Mike Filsaime

The man that needs no introduction!

 

Joel Comm

Joel Comm, the King of Photobombs

Joel Comm, who is an expert at using real physical books to increase credibility and is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author…

Tom Beal, who inspires people to step out of their comfort zone and achieve their dreams…

Armand Morin

Armand Morin moves fast!

Armand Morin, who’s exceptional at selling high ticket products from webinars and automated webinars… (such a high energy, dynamic speaker, I couldn’t capture a single photo where his hands weren’t blurred!)

Omar Martin, who has a complete training system that walks brand new marketers through to be highly advanced ninja marketers… and currently sells a $32,000 product at the top end…

Ford Saeks, who is a business growth strategist…

Daven Michaels

Daven Michaels demonstrating outsourcing

Daven Michaels, who has created a system by which we can outsource the parts of our work that aren’t our specialty, our gift… and have more free time for what matters most to us….

Kris Dehnert, who is a serial entrepreneur who believes in creating successful systems of which he is not a component… he creates a great idea and then when he finds a trustworthy highly competent individual, he puts them in charge of it…

E. Brian Rose who is an expert on creating EXPERT FAME…

David L. Hancock (Entrepreneurial Publisher) & Joel Comm with his Patented Photo Bomb (kidding!)

David L. Hancock (Entrepreneurial Publisher) & Joel Comm with his Patented Photo Bomb (kidding!)

Bryan Zimmerman, who’s an expert on Goal Achievement…

Robert Mercado, who creates products to help marketers and home based business owners and spoke about Retargeting Ads on Facebook…

Brad Gosse, who spoke about things to avoid doing on Facebook so that you don’t look like an Internet carnie (carnival worker.)

Aidan Booth, who knows how to structure and execute 7 figure launches…

And more!

Here we are with Brian G. Johnson, author of Trust Funnels.

Brian G. Johnson & Aidan Booth

Brian G. Johnson & Aidan Booth at the 70s Party

I connected with many others who attended (not as official speakers), including Ankur Shukla, co-creator of a Backup Beast, a cloud backup software that’s sitting at the #3 spot on the list of top selling products on JVZoo as of September 4, 2014, after launching on August 8, 2014…

Ankur Shukla's product is currently the #3 top seller on JVZoo

Ankur Shukla’s product is currently the #3 top seller on JVZoo

Ankur Shukla - product Great times were had by all…

I'm on stage with Vanilla Ice

I’m on stage with Vanilla Ice

The generous Captian Lou, co-creator (with Mike Filsaime) of the Marketers Cruise, now known as the JVZoo Cruise

The generous Captian Lou, co-creator (with Mike Filsaime) of the Marketers Cruise, now known as the JVZoo Cruise

Me interviewing Captian Lou about the JVZoo Cruise (formerly the Marketers Cruise)

Me interviewing Captian Lou about the JVZoo Cruise (formerly the Marketers Cruise)

Now, about that story about how we the attendees were USED to promote the JVZoo brand and future Marketing Mayhem events… I’ll tell you about that later. I want to explain it properly and am busy right now. Check back to this page soon. You can bug me on Facebook or Twitter and tell me to get this page done already!

The Speakers at Marketing Mayhem Live 2014

The Speakers at Marketing Mayhem Live 2014 [credit: Robert Mercado]

As you can probably guess, I’m full of great ideas that I can adapt to your marketing.

I’ve had people call me, ask a question and then I’ve shown them how to do what they wanted to do in a way that is many times faster than they thought they could before. I helped them save time with something they do often.

Let me ask you a question –

What is your time worth to you?

I can help you get the results you’re looking for faster than if you try to do it alone.

I’ll help make social media easy, practical and effective for you if you’d like.

I’m making ten spots available (currently 9 spots remain) today to new coaching clients.

I will work with you individually and give you my full attention. That’s why there’s only so many people I can coach at one time.

There are two options I have for you today. Here is my special offer… You’re lucky that you’ve found out about this before I’ve raised my fees!

Choose your plan… Do you prefer Gold or Platinum?

Gold

One hour per month (to be used as you wish, eg. 4 X 15 min. sessions per month)

First month ONLY $197. (No commitment to continue after the first month required)

Months 2-6 ONLY $297 per month.

If you’re not in one of the ten spots before they’re gone, and you want my help later, it’s going to cost $444 per month.

Platinum (best value)

Two hours per month (to be used as you wish)

First month ONLY $367.

Months 2-6 ONLY $547 per month.

If you’re not in one of the ten spots before they’re gone, and you want my help later, it’s going to cost $777 per month.

The Terms

1. Time doesn’t rollover month-to-month. You must use the time during the month or else it expires.

2. There’s no contract. You can cancel at any time.

100% Money Back Guarantee

3. If you don’t think it was worth talking with me, I’ll return your money because I am interested in your success and only want happy clients.

I don’t work with everyone.

If you’re interested, get in touch with me and let me know so I can hold your spot and evaluate whether we’d be a good fit. Email me at birdify [at] gmail [dot] com.

You can ask me for a demo.

If you’re not ready to make a decision yet, you can apply for a complimentary 15 min. demo session by sending me an email at birdify [at] gmail [dot] com and just asking for it. If you qualify, I’ll get back to you and we’ll schedule the demo when it works for you.

In the demo, I will ask you some questions to get to know you and your business and your goals… and then take a quick look at your social media profiles and give you some practical and beneficial recommendations to help you achieve your goals.

If you’re enjoying the demo and getting value at the 10 min. mark, I’ll extend it to 20 min. for you because as I said before: I love doing this!

For example, I did a demo with a man that’s a transformative coach… and he charges $1,000 per hour… I told him how he can increase engagement on his Facebook fanpage. And showed him how to remove inactive friends from his profile in a quicker way. He said the time we spent was valuable to him and called me a genius.

I’m EXCITED! Are you?

Let’s work collaboratively together. You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain!

Are you ready to see your social media landscape from a bird’s eye view?

Get started today.

If you don’t do anything different, things are going to stay the same… and they might even get worse. I can help you. Ask me how.

Either choose the Gold or Platinum Plan before they’re all gone or request a complimentary demo session… and let’s get started!

Sincerely,

 

blank

Bevan Bird
The Online Marketing Coach from Vancouver, Canada

Contact info below photo…

Me interviewing Captian Lou about the JVZoo Cruise (formerly the Marketers Cruise)

 

Phone

 

 

778-888-9067

 

 

 

Envelope

 

Bevan Bird
2609 – 1529 Pender St. West
Vancouver, BC
Canada     V6G 3J3

Posted in Lead Generation, Marketing, Mindset, Social Media Marketing, Target Marketing | 1 Comment

Conversion Optimization – 10 Must Read Articles!

 Bevan Bird (4) up a palm tree

Bevan Bird (4) up a palm tree

Conversion rate optimization is an extremely powerful lever for websites that have significant traffic. A small increase in the conversion rate can equal a large increase in profits in your business. In some cases, a small change to your website can significantly increase the conversion rate. But testing is necessary, because without it, all we have is a hypothesis.

Here are 10 Must Read articles on Conversion Optimization, each followed by an excerpt.

If you’re feeling greedy, scroll down to the bottom of the post for a bonus video: Learn from a Master!

16 Web Conversion Rate Optimization Tips From The Experts

“Use relevant, personalized copy to point users in the direction you want them to go.”

10 Conversion Killers and the Hacks to Fix Them

“You’re using image sliders.”

What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently

The highest converting websites make their Unique Value Proposition(s) clear. Click to tweet

Mailchimp Easy Email Newsletters

Mailchimp’s USP is clear

“Companies that take on a structured approach towards conversion optimization are twice as likely to see a large increase in sales… You have 0-8 seconds to make a compelling headline and landing page. After 8 seconds, the majority of visitors leave. Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy. The more landing pages you have, the more leads you are likely to get. A 1 second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.”

One way to shorten your site loading time is to shrink the images to the size that they are displayed on the screen, instead of using the height and width attributes in the img tag. This allows for smaller JPEG files and faster page loads.

Keep image files as small as possible to speed up page loads and improve #UX and #SEO. Click to tweet

What Every Marketer Needs to Know about Conversion Optimization

“Friction could be your worst conversion enemy.” Friction can be categorized as Complexity, Information, Style, Time and Visual… and two other valuable lessons including “what you remove is just as important as what you add.”

9 Uncommon Conversion Rate Optimization Tips You Can Use Today

“Test multiple step forms.”

Data-Driven Digital Marketing Triples Conversion Rates (Study)

“Top online marketers achieve more than three times the conversion rates of the bottom third, according to a new digital marketing optimization study from Adobe. And the reason is because they invest in a culture of data, testing, optimization, and analytics.”

9 Content Marketing Growth Hacks to Drive Traffic and Conversions

“Two of the most popular trends in marketing right now are growth hacking and content marketing… What if there was a way to apply growth hacking principles to your content to achieve fast-paced traffic growth?”

Adding Personality and Trust to Your Landing Pages Can Maximize Conversion RatesTop Brands 2014 Top 10 Brandirectory

Use the colours that resonate most deeply with your target market.

Blue appears to be the colour of trust. I find it quite revealing that 7 of the top 10 valued brands in the world have the colour blue in them.

Microcopy: The Tiny Phrases With An Explosive Impact On Conversions

“Microcopy are those little words and phrases that enhance the experience, add personality and most importantly have the ability to reduce friction and get people taking action… Veeam tested changing the phrase from “request a quote” to “request pricing” and saw a massive 161.66% increase in clicks to their lead gen form.”

Microcopy can enhance the experience and reduce friction to get people to take action! Click to tweet

5 Landing Page Conversion Killers

“Multiple calls-to-action… when your landing page has a couple different “asks” on the same page. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pushing a final conversion at every step of your sales funnel. After all, it’s the real-world sell that actually puts food on your table, not the lead… But while this may generate a few real-world conversions every once in a while, it will also increase that page’s bounce rate.”

When your goal is an increased conversion rate, stick to one call to action. Click to tweet

Bonus articles:

9 Chances for Website Conversion Optimization You Don’t Want to Miss

“Leverage Social Proof… This third-party validation can be a very powerful motivator for your site visitors’ and prospects’ actions.”

Since, as you know, I’ve been a lover and practitioner of social media marketing since 2009, I’m throwing in an article at the intersection of the disciplines…

3 Important Ways to Use Social Proof in Conversion Optimization

“Display Social Counts on the Landing Page Above the Fold.”

Smart marketers leverage social proof in their conversion optimization efforts. Click to tweet

InsideSales Testimonial Video and Well Known Customers

InsideSales Testimonial Video and Well Known Customers

Now, let’s put all this in perspective and take it further…

We are only measuring one layer. A lot more is happening than what we can track online.

What Conversion Rate Optimization Experts Often Forget About: The Customer Lifecycle

“You could be using every tactic known and have awesome top-of-funnel conversion rates to show for it, but that won’t necessarily get you happy, recurring customers.” Shall we refocus on giving an exceptional experience and maximizing Lifetime Client Value?

Well, Hubspot, the world-famous Inbound Marketing Software, uses their internal “Customer Happiness Index” to maximize their customers’ engagement and success with their solution. “CHI is a measure of the degree to which one of our customers is practicing inbound marketing in a way that is likely to lead to long-term success. Our customers with the highest CHI scores get the biggest lift in traffic and leads every month.”

Here is an interview with Jonah Lopin, the VP of Customer Success at Hubspot, on how they raise their Customer Happiness Index.

And by talking about it in this way, they are effectively showing how effective their software platform really is, if it is used. They have the data to prove it.

Bonus video:

On May 15, I got to see Markus Frind, CEO of Plentyoffish Media Inc., speak live about how he tweaked and tested his baby (the online dating site Plenty of Fish) from its infancy into the global behemoth it is today… with 80 million users and 80 employees. You can now watch the recording here.

Are there any other Conversion Optimization articles that you consider MUST READS? Please do share.

Posted in Conversion Optimization, Growth Hacking, Lead Generation, Marketing, Target Marketing | 1 Comment

A Few Resources For Truly Visionary Entrepreneurs

Bobbie Long,  Style Coach for Men in Vancouver

Bobbie Long, Style Coach for Men in Vancouver

Earlier today I talked with an ambitious young lady who helps men dress like gentlemen. She is the best at what she does here in Vancouver. She is planning to launch her own personal brand, put herself out there and achieve the ever-larger goals she imagines for herself.

She told me about one of her challenges. She would talk about what she’s doing with such passion and then people would act kind of lame to her. I told her that if she’s the smartest one in her group, she needs a new group. She wanted to be around more passionate ambitious entrepreneurs who ‘get it’ like she does and I do. So I thought of some people to introduce her to.

You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. That’s why I’m attending some of the top Marketing and Internet Marketing conferences in the world this year. I can help anyone generate greater results with their website. I know that’s a bold claim, but I am a bold guy.

We also talked about personal development and shared some resources with each other. Here are some of the ones I’m sharing with her, that I thought were relevant to her current situation. You might benefit from these training videos as well.

We both tend to listen to audio books or programs because there’s no time for reading, but there’s time for listening while travelling around the city, and also during exercise, in my case.

I’ve been listening to this every day, and it’s the reason Bobbie wanted to meet with me today. The content I was posting on Facebook (examples here) about Greatness intrigued her to the point where she had to meet me for coffee to learn more about what I do…
Les Brown – Step Into Your Greatness (Live Seminar)
http://youtu.be/kQz33N162VE

Robin Sharma is one of the world’s most trusted
leadership advisors.

This video shares some very powerful information
that I believe will help you achieve your largest
goals in a spectacular way…

The 6 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans
http://bit.ly/6rituals

I explained to Bobbie the importance of setting Mastery goals instead of Ego goals. This is the first tip Robin shares… and he does so while walking on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in the Seychelles.

Sunset from Coal Harbour This Evening

Sunset from Coal Harbour This Evening

Vancouver Visionaries

If you want to be around the brightest business minds in Vancouver, this is the place to be!

The first business luncheon was a sold out success at the prestigious Vancouver Club on May 15.

We were excited to present Markus Frind, CEO of Plentyoffish Media, with our first Vancouver Visionaries award. Markus delivered a fantastic Q&A style keynote and our guests, including my new friend Bobbie Long, were thrilled with the event.

The next luncheon is on July 24th, when we will honour the CEOs of Payfirma and Unbounce. If you’d like a special offer on your ticket to the event, send me a message through my contact page.

Visit our website for more information and to learn about our upcoming world-class Marketing Visionaries event.
http://www.meetlab.ca/events.html

Jeff Walker is the authority on Launches of
Products and Businesses. He is famous for creating
the Product Launch Formula. His students have done
over $500M in sales. His last launch did $1M in sales in
the first hour. He has now written the book “Launch,”
which I will devour as soon as it is delivered. He has just
completed the launch of Product Launch Formula 4.0.
You’re going to want to listen to him talk about the
“Seed Launch,” at a minimum.

The first video takes you deep inside the Sideways
Sales Letter, which is the core strategy behind
my Product Launch Formula. And this might be
hard to believe, but this one strategy has
generated hundreds of millions of dollars in
launch sales.

http://productlaunchformula.com/sideways-video.php

The really cool thing about the Sideways Sales
Letter is that you can deliver huge value in your
launch and still sell like crazy – and do it all
without resorting to slimy tactics.

The second training video covers a lot of ground,
including the “Seed Launch” (which is perfect if
you don’t have a list or a product).

http://productlaunchformula.com/seed-video.html

I also cover the super-powerful (but often missed)
“Launch Stacking” strategy (which is how I went from
being a stay-at-home dad with zero income to
having my own multi-million dollar business).

And don’t miss two of the most powerful types of
launches – the Internal Launch and the JV Launch.

I have released the Product Launch Blueprint for
you… go get it here now:

http://productlaunchformula.com/blueprint.html

This 22-page PDF + full-length training video
basically lays out the ENTIRE launch strategy for
you and it’s full of meaty content.

No fluff here, it’s pure content. And it’s got all kinds
of cool secret stuff…

Be sure to watch the training video while you’re
going through the Blueprint.

Jeff’s videos will not be online for long. Watch them
while you can.

How to Sell High Ticket Products

Armand Morin Webcamp

Armand Morin Webcamp

Would you like to learn how to sell high ticket products (like our Marketing Visionaries events) on the Internet?

Armand Morin, a mighty successful Business Coach is holding a FREE TRAINING WebCamp  on June 21st, 22nd & 23rd to show us how.

In his laziness, he learned to do one thing really well, and that is sell on the first impression!

What if you could shoot a 15 minute video and make 5-10 sales of a $1000 product? Can you imagine what your life will be like when you can easily generate that kind of income at will?

Register Now: http://webcamp.cc

It’s absolutely free to attend some or all of the 3 Day Event. Watch from your own PC, laptop or handheld. Join us!

Register Here: http://webcamp.cc

Here’s the full program:

Day One
Sell More Product Work Less
Hidden Sales Psychology
The First Hit Wonder
Finding a High End Product
Creating a High End Product
Package Examples
Bundling For Profits

Day Two
Your Killer Presentation
Real Presentation Analysis
Behind The Scenes
The SECRET Close
8 High End Closes
The Symphony Method
Closing Strategy

Day Three
Video Marketing Strategy
Marketing Outline
Secret Followup Method
Free Traffic Technique
The Helping Hand Strategy
$100k Selling System
Sell Without Selling

Register Here Now: http://webcamp.cc

Make the most of it – register free today! Let’s learn together.

If you found this post valuable, share this thing!

Posted in Facebook Tips, Greatness, Launches, Lead Generation, Marketing, Mindset, Networking, Social Media Marketing, Success Rituals | Leave a comment

Even Masters of Public Speaking Will Benefit From Karen McGregor’s Rock The Stage

Karen McGregor Rocks The Stage

Karen McGregor Rocks The Stage

This evening I went to Karen McGregor’s presentation Triple Your Income Through Speaking. I had heard great things about her Rock The Stage workshops.

Why did I go?

I wanted to learn to become a better public speaker.

The time was extremely valuable and I did learn many useful tips (golden nuggets) that I will be applying to my networking as well as my upcoming presentations. It was great to finally meet Karen. I’d been looking forward to this for a while. I also met some other amazing people.

Every day do something that makes you feel alive. We need more people to say, "I choose life, I choose to live." ~ Karen McGregor

Every day do something that makes you feel alive. We need more people to say, “I choose life, I choose to live.” ~ Karen McGregor

Speaking, as a marketing method, has the highest ROI. It also has the highest level of referrals. Often times we as entrepreneurs spend our time in ways that do not give us much return on investment (Facebook! *shakes fist*). According to Karen, and I agree with her, spending the several hours that you spend on Facebook each week, creating your signature talk instead will give you huge returns, comparatively. And once you have a successful talk, you can duplicate it as a webinar.

Think about it… do you go to many networking events? I know I do. Wouldn’t you like to be the speaker at the event, rather than in the crowd? You’ll make a much larger impact and you’ll free yourself to a whole new level of life.

I’m going to share some of the golden nuggets I received today.

I learned about selling from the heart. Think about your offering as an invitation. Invite the people who want the change that you offer. You will help them transform their life.

Randi Winter and Bevan Bird

Randi Winter and Bevan Bird. Randi is an awesome individual and a specialist in Inspired Pursuits. Check out her website Passionate Travel.

Speaking is actually a one-to-one experience. Each person in the group is having a personal experience with you.

Are you winging your presentations and talks? If so, are you ecstatic about your results? If not, you will benefit from putting systems and a structure in place. You will be more relaxed and free to be yourself. You’ll be relaxed because you know what’s coming next and you can be present and give your all in the moment, without having to plan what’ll happen next. You already have the whole talk outlined. And you know the system works because it has been proven by countless others before you.

One key point is that the audience only cares about the story of THEIR OWN TRANSFORMATION. And how they will have a better life. Tell them a personal story about your struggle and what you achieved… that is, about your transformation… and they will feel you and identify with you. But your story is not just about you. Tell stories about the people who worked with you and talk about their transformations.

Karen gave examples of three powerful types of testimonials you should include in your talks to win even more people over and invite more people to take the journey with you.

Before I tell you what those three types are, I have to ask you: Do you know why your client hesitates?

People will only take the risk and pay to work with you if you show them the risks you have taken to get to where you are. They want to know what you’re made of! Why should they risk their time and their cash to work with you? Because you can help them transform. And because you believed in yourself, invested in yourself and took risks yourself to get here!

If you have taken the leap of faith, they will do it too. How much of a risk have you taken to get to where you are? How deeply have you felt despair?

One type of testimonial comes from a person who is the opposite of you. Her example was that people in her audience might look at her and think that she’s an energetic, social extrovert and then think, “I’m not like that. I can’t do what she’s doing.” Then they would not accept her invitation to go to her workshop because they think her system wouldn’t work for them. Well, Karen assured us that her system works for all kinds of people. But it’s more important to show people rather than tell them. It reaches the subconscious mind that way and that is much more powerfully persuasive. Here’s the example she shared: A testimonial from a man who was very shy and soft spoken, the opposite of her. Then people who are more like that man can think, “I’m like him. He did it. She helped him do it. I can do it too. She can help me too!”

Inclusive "So Much More" Testimonial Example

Inclusive “So Much More” Testimonial Example

Another type is the inclusive “so much more” testimonial. Here you show that people get more than they thought they were going to get. You tell the story about what that person experienced. You’re not pushing a product. You’re just sharing your passion about what she felt.

For all testimonials, specific is best! You can go back and ask your (past or present) clients, “What, specifically, is better in your life since working with me?” Take notes. This is the gold!

 Another type is the “Doubtful to Dynamite” testimonial. This is one where the people was initially doubtful about the value of your offer… they thought they knew what they were doing and didn’t need your help. But after they received your help, their results improved significantly and they were surprised. You see, 10% of people will be doubtful of your offering all the way through your talk. This way you can help them get over that doubt by showing them that others who doubted you also benefited greatly from your services or products.

Daniel Chen and Bevan Bird

Daniel Chen and Bevan Bird. Daniel is a branding expert and he was very kind and insightful with me. Check out his website StuckApart.com

I have shared some of what I learned this evening and I hope this has been valuable to you. I’m also going to share a summary of Karen’s own story, as an example. Remember, people connect deeply with us when we tell them our story.

The turning point in her life that led her to her current life’s work was this… She spoke in front of 3,000 people and afterwards sold a few boxes of books from her table at the back. After, she realized she had programs that those people who bought her books would have benefited from… but she hadn’t sold a single program. Her income was also very low and life was a bit of a struggle, as a single mom of two boys. The missing piece for Karen was selling. She had always thought it had to be uncomfortable! She would either rush through the “sales” part at the end of the talk or omit it entirely and “wilt” on stage, as she called it. That’s when she decided to figure it out. She discovered a different way to sell without a five-minute uncomfortable (for both her and the audience) section at the end of the talk. After this, her family’s life changed in a big way, very quickly, forever! She discovered how to sell from the heart. When you are who you are, up on stage, it’s the ultimate freedom and your audience will feel it too and love you for it!

I have heard that selling is simply uncovering the value of what you have to offer so well that people want to exchange the cash in their pocket to get it!

How to sell from the heart

#1 Focus on the feeling of knowing how your client’s life will be better as a result of your services and products. Think back to one client you have helped in a major way. Close your eyes and FEEL it.

That feeling is why people do what they do, why they do business with you. The best thing you can do is help people feel hopeful, excited and passionate. You have the power to inspire people.

#2 Expand their vision of what is possible for them. Invite them to imagine how their life would be better once they have achieved the transformation you’re inviting them to live.

#3 Invite them constantly. All the way through the talk. Not just at the end. Keep on inviting them from the heart, and sharing value. You’ll attract your ideal client.

#4 Deliver the solution to the problem… twice! During the talk, give them the solution to the problem they came to you with. Now, what is the remaining problem that could not be addressed in 60-90 minutes? Your program is the solution to that. The gold is in finding out what to offer, what to invite them to come and do with you. To discover it, talk with your clients and ask about other problems. Dig deep and you will find the easiest way to serve and prosper.

Don’t make this mistake

A mistake speakers make is sharing too little. You cannot share too much. Do it and do it freely. Don’t hold back. They will feel if you’re holding back and they won’t like it. They want to hear your story and learn from you. They want to know about you and how you can help them. Don’t worry about giving away your information – thinking that people won’t work with you because you’ve already given them your best stuff. It’s not true. Give your all.

Even if you tell people what to do and how to do it, there will be people who want you to help them do it or do it for them. And by showing them what you know, you earn their trust and respect and they are more likely to hire you to help them because they see that you really can help them!

Here’s an analogy from online marketing. Eben Pagan said that to make a sales page very effective, you give away your best information on it for free! (He created Double Your Dating and was very successful with it. If you go to that site, you’ll see how he tells a personal story that touches a nerve with men who want better dating success. He has since build multiple multi-million dollar businesses.) You push the free line. There’s a saying that if you give away 90% of what you know, people will pay you for that last 10%!

Show up as who you are. Tell your story and share your message that matters. This is the most freeing thing for your audience to feel! And only 1% of speakers do this. This is a HUGE opportunity for you.

Once you have mastered deeply connecting with your audience, your fears about public speaking will disappear! Can you imagine how you’ll feel then?

If you’re a great speaker and you sell from the heart, you can make a real difference… raise funds… literally save people’s lives by helping them get life-saving treatments they could not afford otherwise.

Speaking can deliver amazing results if you do it well.

If you want to increase your income, I recommend you get on Karen’s newsletter (Click on the video series on the right side, then enter your info), Like her page on Facebook and ask her how she can help you.

One of the people who attended her Rock the Stage workshops was a man who had given over 5,000 talks already. He was a master already, wasn’t he? “Why was he coming to my workshop?” Karen wondered, “What am I going to be able to teach HIM?” The answer is that he was winging it. He was missing a piece, just as she was when she didn’t know how to sell. His results increased after participating in her public speaking workshop.

Here’s the foundation to a successful talk: Educate, Inspire and Sell. You must do all three. Help your audience understand their need to transform their lives. Tell them what you are passionate about and how you help transform people’s lives. Invite them to work / play with you.

If you feel called to, please leave a comment so that you can network and connect with the others in my tribe. Here is my question for you…

What is your story that you can tell that will really make people feel you? (Really briefly.) I’ll share mine first..

“I used to be scared to talk to girls. I wasn’t confident in myself. It affected my social life and I felt isolated, weak and alone. I decided to figure out how to talk to people and build better relationships. Through my experiments and studies, I learned how to connect with people and move forward in relationships in life and in business. This lead me to do what I do now, which is B2B social media, mainly on Twitter. I help businesses of all sizes expand their reach and connect deeply by using Twitter and other tools. Now I attract new connections every day wherever I go. I don’t chase people anymore. People come to me. People get referred to me too, which is really awesome.”

Here’s how to come up with your little story. What has happened to you in your life that has been a challenge… that lead you to do what you’re doing now? How did you go through your struggle and achieve a better life?

Please leave a comment if you feel called to, and let’s do some heart-centred networking, right here, right now…

Posted in Lead Generation, Marketing, Mindset, Networking, Public Speaking, Target Marketing | Leave a comment

B2B Social Media Lead Generation Can Be Very Easy On Twitter

If you have an amazing product or service, tell people about it!

For the past month leading up to May 15, I was telling people about our Vancouver Visionaries Luncheon which featured Markus Frind, the CEO and President of Plenty of Fish Media, valued at $500,000,000.00. The event was a success, the room was full and we got some great feedback. Attendees told us they want to be at future events.

Today I just want to show you a quick example of how you can generate leads with very simple tweeting.

One of the places we find people to invite to our events is from articles like this:

Introducing Vancouver’s most promising young entrepreneurs (The Globe and Mail)

One of those people was Crystal Jiang, a social media strategist, who helps organizations build a social media presence to reach out to their Chinese audiences.

On May 13, I went to her Twitter profile, followed her and checked out some recent tweets. I retweeted something relevant and valuable to our audience on @604visionaries. Then I congratulated her on her success.

Initial Lead Generation Tweet #1 to Crystal Jiang

Initial Lead Generation Tweet #1 to Crystal Jiang

 

Initial Lead Generation Tweet #2 to Crystal Jiang

Initial Lead Generation Tweet #2 to Crystal Jiang

With Crystal Jiang, I didn’t tweet anything about our event since she was located in Singapore, rather than the Vancouver area. I planned to invite her to a luncheon or one of our larger bi-yearly events after she had responded back and we had had a conversation.

She must have seen some of my recent tweets or seen what others said about our first luncheon, because in her response she said she looked forward to attending one of our events when she’s in Vancouver. Here are a few of the tweets I had sent that same day:

B2B Social Media Lead Generation Tweets Invites

Here is one of the tweets of feedback about the May 15 event, which Crystal may have seen:

B2B Social Media Tweets Feedback

Christopher Aitken’s Feedback on Vancouver Visionaries First Event

Crystal responded to my initial retweet and mention tweet with these two tweets:

B2B Social Media Lead Generation Tweets Crystal Jiang 3

Crystal Jiang Responds

There were some other (and much better) examples (such as my initial Twitter conversation with  @eSAXnetworking and @rorybeaupre) I wanted to show you today, but sadly this is all I have time for today.

B2B Social Media Lead Generation Tweets Pink Pearl PR

Initial Conversation With Pink Pearl PR

If you also want to attend our future events and you’d like to know about them early enough to get tickets before the events sell out, subscribe to our newsletter. Enter your email address on the MeetLab events page. (Our new Vancouver Visionaries website is coming soon.)

We will also send you special offers, so not only will you know about an upcoming event early enough to get a ticket, you can enjoy a nice early bird discount too!

Until next time, Be Bold and prosper!

Bevan

Posted in Lead Generation, Networking, Social Media Marketing, Twitter Tips | Leave a comment

How to Extract Numbered Lists out of Documents to Summarize

Excel Extract Numbered List From a Document - Social Media Manager

Excel Extract Numbered List From a Document

Excel Example: Extract Numbered List From a Document

I was looking at this post and wanted to extract the list to make a summary. I didn’t want all the explanation of each point, just a list of the numbered points.

I figured I would show you one way I do this with Excel. This would be more of a time-saver when you’ve got a bigger list.

I use Windows, by the way.

1. Copy the entire text of the article and paste into Notepad. Now Select-all (CTRL+A) and copy (CTRL+C). This is to get rid of formatting so we have plain text.

2. Open Excel. Paste in cell A1.

 

 

 

3. In Cell B1 enter: =IF(ISNUMBER(VALUE(LEFT(A1,1))),A1,””)

4. Drag the small black square in the lower right corner of that cell down to the bottom of the article, so that all the text lines in A1 will be parsed.

5. Right-click on the B column header, and click Copy.

6. Right-click on the C column header, and press V. This pastes Values only,

7. Left-click on the C column header to select the column.

8. Click Sort and Filter, Custom Sort, Continue with the current selection, Sort. Sort by: Column C, Sort on: Values, Order: A-Z

Good to go! Result:

12 Duties of a Social Media Manager
1. Implements a social media strategy
2. Manages social media sites
3. Engages in dialogue and monitors customer issues
4. Monitors trends and encourages adoption of social media tools
5. Searches for news/articles to post
6. Implements social media campaigns
7. Manages social media campaigns
8. Write blog articles
9. Uses social networking analysis tools
10. Monitors internet for brand related topics of conversation
11. Provides feedback to higher ups
12. Promotes social media within the organization

Posted in Excel | Leave a comment

How to Choose World-Class Images – 5 Tips from a Content Ninja

The Iguanas are the kings now

The Iguanas are the kings now

This is an iguana I saw at the Tulum ruins in January… And this is a view from my apartment in Coal Harbour, looking west, out into Vancouver’s harbour, shot just now…

View from Apartment in Coal Harbour Ocean

You can see ships from China and part of Stanley Park. What do you think of the view? (Interesting fact: this is the same building that Markus Frind, the creator of PlentyofFish, lived in when he created it.)

Would you agree that it’s important to choose a great image for your blog posts so that you capture the attention of people on social networks and they click and check them out?

Growth hacker Nate Desmond thinks it’s interesting that people spend so much time writing content and headlines, but often resort to simple stock photos for the post image… so he wrote a great post outlining 5 aspects of great images for your blog post, to go along with your great content and captivating headline. They are…

#1 Relevant
#2 Authentic
#3 Colourful
#4 Emotional
#5 Curiosity-Raising

Read his post to learn more and let me know what you think!

Posted in Social Media Marketing | Leave a comment

Vacations are Good for the Body and Soul

Enjoying the VIP section of the beach

Enjoying the VIP section of the beach (Jan 10)

Vacations are good for the body and good for the soul.  If you do a vacation right, you come back feeling refreshed and eager to return to work. (Quoted from The Little Book of Stress Relief by David Posen.)

I just returned from a one-week vacation with my sweetie. We stayed at the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico… and had an excellent time. This was my first all-inclusive experience. I loved it and so did Vera!

Welcome to Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All-Inclusive Resort!

Welcome to Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All-Inclusive Resort!

 

The lobby is quite welcoming and relaxing

The lobby is quite welcoming and relaxing

 

The Pool [photo credit: bluebayresorts.com]

The Pool [photo credit: bluebayresorts.com]

Not taking vacations can decrease your overall productivity, increase stress and other health risks, and increase the likelihood you’ll burnout at work. But taking a vacation helps revive the heart, rejuvenate your body, recharge your mind, and soothe your soul. Studies have found that people who engaged in more leisure activities reported more life satisfaction, fewer negative emotions, tended to be more spiritually connected, and reported having a lot of support from family and friends, making them feel more content.(Quoted from Psychology Today.)

Well then, sign me up for more vacations! (The last tropical vacation I took was in January 2011, to the Puerto Vallarta area. The rock I’m climbing in the photo below is quite interesting in that the lower layers are made of sandstone embedded with black volcanic rock. The sandstone is prone to crumble and the volcanic rock falls out, if you’re not careful to put as little weight on the footholds as possible. Once above the sandstone, there are layers of more solid and safe grey-coloured rock to climb more securely.)

Climbing at a secret spot near Playa Chacala, which is near Puerto Vallarta

Climbing at a secret spot near Playa Chacala, which is near Puerto Vallarta

Last Monday, Vera shot me doing a little barefoot climbing on the beach accessible from the Tulum archaeological site…

We only had a few minutes here this time! I'm going back again! (Jan 13)

We only had a few minutes here this time! I’m going back again! (Jan 13)

That rock is beautiful limestone, formed from coral and shells. You can see more photos that we took at Tulum below…

Not taking time off regularly can lead to serious health problems. The results are comparable to chronic stress, when there is no reprieve not just from one’s workload but also from repetitive routines. (Quoted from Huffington Post.)

Last night Vera told me she hadn’t realized how much stress she was under before the vacation, because she was so used to it. She was carrying a lot of tension in her body. But once we were away from the people with whom we normally spend time… and away from our usual environments and routines… she was able to really relax and that’s when she realized how high-strung she’d been before. Now I know that the vacation did us both a world of good.

I’m so glad I decided to join a vacation club and get back into taking vacations regularly. 

Get away — often.  It’s a fact: People who take vacations have lower stress and a less risk of heart disease — not to mention a better outlook on life and more motivation to achieve goals. (Quoted from WebMD.)

Vacations and breaks are just what the doctor ordered!

If you’d like to see some photos and hear some stories from our vacation, read on…

On our second day there (January 10), a professional photographer guided us through a photo shoot.

Enjoying the warm sunshine and the breeze

Enjoying the warm sunshine and the breeze

By the way, we took this vacation to celebrate our successes. Vera, graduating at UBC, and myself, getting a great job in 2013 and surpassing my income goal for that year.

Almost every day we saw groups of these cute little critters…

A group of Coatimundi

A group of Coatimundi

 Here’s one of them close-up, sticking out his tongue…

Coatimundi - a Mexican relative of the raccoon family

Coatimundi – a Mexican relative of the raccoon family

We ate in the Mexican restaurant that night and thus began our descent into alcoholism… (Just kidding.)

My sweetie

My sweetie

 

Mango Daiquiri time

Mango Daiquiri time

The next day (Saturday) we spent some time in the lovely pool at Blue Bay, where you can lie on lounge chairs right in the pool.

Welcome to the pool and beach!

Welcome to the pool and beach!

It was so relaxing here.

I love it here!

I love it here!

Wow.

Vera getting some sun

Vera getting some sun

It’s truly a place of beauty. Before this, Vera was used to spending much of her time in a place of mind (UBC).

View from our table at lunch

View from our table at lunch

We ate so much delicious food! And back to the pool after lunch…

My view of paradise

My view of paradise

Then we moved so we’d be close to the fountain in the pool, as well as the beach…

Hello!

Hello!

As we were leaving the pool, we noticed a beautiful light effect in the sky…

I was fortunate enough to catch this beautiful shot

I was fortunate enough to catch this beautiful shot

Wow. I believe we ate in the Italian restaurant that night. It was the best one.

On Sunday, we lounged on the beach, explored the resort and did some levitating. And Vera managed to make me look great in a photo. She wants me to get into modelling. I want her to get into photography.

Vera enjoying the shade of a little palapa

Vera enjoying the shade of a little palapa

 

Some much-needed relaxation

Some much-needed relaxation

 

I think I look a little tipsy here but Vera really likes this photo, so...

I think I look a little tipsy here but Vera really likes this photo, so…

 

Vera tells me this is how I look, to her

Vera tells me this is how I look, to her

 

My special lady, the photographer, looking out to sea

My special lady, the photographer, looking out to sea

 

The view while booking our Xel-ha and Tulum excursion for the next day with Lomas Travel

The view while booking our Xel-ha and Tulum excursion for the next day with Lomas Travel

 

Isn't she cute?

Isn’t she cute?

 

... I just had to join her

… I just had to join her

 

The fountain of youth

The fountain of youth

 

Lift off!

Lift off!

 

Floating up...

Floating up…

 

Looking pretty in front of the restaurants

Looking pretty in front of the restaurants

 

Amazing smile!

Amazing smile!

Vera was so happy because I caught her properly in the air shot. The timing was a bit of a challenge. She did a happy dance… anyway that’s why she’s beaming in that shot.

Super excited to go back to Tulum tomorrow!

Super excited to go back to Tulum tomorrow!

The first time I went to Tulum was at age four. My dad took me. At age five, I returned with both my parents.

This one was good enough to change my Facebook profile picture to, while I was there

This one was good enough to change my Facebook profile picture to, while I was there

I was stoked to be going back to Tulum!

I even got that far-away look in my eye...

I even got that far-away look in my eye…

The next day (January 13) we went to Tulum to see the ruins and the beautiful white sand beach.. and then to Xel-ha in the afternoon for some sightseeing, eats, drinks and siesta…

We're almost at Tulum!

We’re almost at Tulum!

 Here we are at the entrance to the ancient city of Tulum, which was a port…

This rock wall is the original barrier around the ancient city of Tulum

This rock wall is the original barrier around the ancient city of Tulum

It is amazing how long these stone buildings last.

One of the buildings close to the shore

One of the buildings close to the shore

 

Tulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum is a magical place

 

Many Mayan ruins in the area are still covered with vegetation, but these are uncovered for us to see

Many Mayan ruins in the area are still covered with vegetation, but these are uncovered for us to see

 

The thatch part has been added recently to show what it would have looked like originally

The thatch part has been added recently to show what it would have looked like originally

 

The Iguanas roam free here

The Iguanas roam free here

 

Did you notice the lower one before?

Did you notice the lower one before?

 

The Iguanas are the kings now

The Iguanas are the kings now

 

Do you see the face on the building corner?

Do you see the face on the building corner?

Tulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum Ruins Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

This is paradise!

This is paradise!

There is a coral reef (I think) about 300 metres off shore. It breaks the surf so it’s much gentler at the shore. You can see the surf breaking on the reef in the photo above.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

You see why I want to go back and climb this place more, right? Super interesting rock.

You see why I want to go back and climb this place more, right? Super interesting rock.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseHappy Couple Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Iguana Fight!

Iguana Fight!

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseTulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Vera cooling her feet

Vera cooling her feet

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I decided to try a little climbing...

I decided to try a little climbing…

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseRock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I cut the fingertip of the middle finger on my left hand on the second or third little climb. But I still went for it again. Next time, I’ll bring finger tape so I can protect my fingers and climb more adventurously without getting hurt. I’ll bring my climbing shoes too for the same reason.

Tulum White Sand Blue Water Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

The combination of white sand and blue water is so beautiful!

 

Here I go!

Here I go!

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Rock Climbing Bouldering on Beach Limestone White Sand Beach Tulum Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I love climbing limestone above sandy beaches or over water, partly because it’s beautiful and partly because I can jump down to a soft landing whenever I like.

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

I would have loved to have spent more time on the beach at Tulum (and I will another time) but we had to get back and catch our bus to Xel-ha. So we climbed back up the stairs and did a little more sight-seeing on the way back…

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Fishing Boat Blue Water Agua Azul Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Tulum Ruin Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Beautiful Young Woman Tulum Ruin Lush Vegetation Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

That was it for Tulum. Just a very short visit this time.

At Xel-ha, we saw dolphins jumping over people, relaxed in hammocks while listening to marimba music, had some drinks, ate a delicious Mexican lunch with mole, went sight seeing and rode bikes. The place is super cool. There are parrots flying free and you can get within a few feet of them.

Lagoon Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Dolphins are cute

Dolphins are cute

Hammock Relaxation Relaxing Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Pelican Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

A Cenote

A Cenote

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Cenote Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful ParadiseElevated Walkway Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Clouds Sunlight Effect Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Coral Walkway Xel-ha Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Dead coral from the reef. When it’s alive, it’s coloured. These are like apartment buildings for the little coral animals. They build them. Each species builds its own distinct shape.

Xel-ha White Sand Beach Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Xel-ha Moon Riviera Maya Mexico Vacation Beautiful Paradise

Interesting local plants

Interesting local plants

… That was quite a wonderful Monday! The last day we spent relaxing at the resort.

One last visit to the pool (this time!)

One last visit to the pool (this time!)

 

Poolside accommodations. We actually stayed in a different building nearby. But they all look alike.

Poolside accommodations. We actually stayed in a different building nearby. But they all look alike.

On our last night at Blue Bay, we ate in the Italian restaurant again because it was our favourite.

We were so blessed that the weather was sunny all week. The weather report was for rain most of the week, but after we landed in Cancun, it stopped raining as we were in the shuttle bus to the resort! And the sunny weather held all week until the last night, when there was a torrential downpour before dinner. We used an umbrella from the room and it was like another little adventure. We actually danced in the rain! After we left the Italian restaurant, there was a private wedding going on, on the patio… and Vera loved the music so we danced under the umbrella in the rain. It wasn’t coming down so hard by then. A young lady from the wedding party actually ran out into the rain barefoot with no cover and asked to take our photo because she said we looked so cute!

Wow. It was a truly wonderful trip!

Cheers! To your next vacation!

Cheers! To your next vacation!

 We wish you all the best in life… and that you get everything that you want.

Bevan & Vera

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