Nov 1 2011| How to market yourself starting from scratch!

by admin

This is a partial transcript from an interview with Neil Long and Nicola Cairncross all about how she helped her Jazz singer sister market herself online from scratch, with virtually no budget.

The info here is a must for those on a shoestring budget.

To hear the complete episode on Blog Talk Radio CLICK HERE

To explore the myriad of useful resources and gifts, visit out main site on

This is Neil and welcome to your Online Profits Radio Show. 

Now I do believe that we are going to be talking to the lovely Nicola Cairncross today. 

Nicola Cairncross is an author, a mentor and she is running the Money Gym, she is an entrepreneur. 

She has left corporate world is now a  complete success as a public speaker… entepreneur and author.

 We are going to be talking to her on the show today on the subject ‘how to market yourself basically from scratch with nothing’.

 Loads of us have heard about internet marketing.  Loads of us have probably seen the sales letters, they promise you people have this $47 product, press a couple of buttons and money will flood into your bank account like a tsunami.  Well, I haven’t seen that many tsunamis to be honest with you but I have seen lots of people complaining on the forums about the lack of cash coming into their accounts.

   So we are going to be talking about talking some of those problems, all about information overload, I mean how can we solve that, what do you study first of all and then how do you schedule your time – what strategies can you do to make the most of your time?  Otherwise, you’ll find yourself overloaded, sitting in front of the computer screen, failing like you are banging your head against the brick wall and perhaps it’s just a nightmare if you don’t do it right

Now we have Nicola on the phone – hello.

Nicola:     Hello Neil, how are you doing?

Neil:         It’s working.  It’s working – marvelous.  The technology is working and we are live to the world.  I have been telling a bit about the information overload.  Once you’ve got the information how do you know it was good information and then how do you know which bit of information to use and then this technical understanding – I was once in an internet marketing seminar and they showed this kind of a spider map called mind-map, I wonder what that was, but all the things you had to do with their business, it was absolutely overwhelming.  We like to try to run like an international corporation all by yourself.  People don’t realize there’s an awful lot to it and just because it’s online it isn’t something make you any different from the task you have to do when you run an offline business and some people learn that, including me, the hard way.

 So we are here to really help solve people’s common problems, recommend stuff – products and services that are going to help you out, save you time and hopefully make you more money.  That’s why it’s called your Online Profits Radio Show.

   We’ve got about 25 minutes and I want to get as much content in as I possibly can to give as much value as I can.  So I want to throw this over to you Nicola – the woman that does everything – entrepreneur, public speaker – ans a mum, mentor, I mean you’ve been in this game for a very, very long time.  You escaped the corporate world, broke out on your own, we know fantastic success and you know, looking at the way you’ve done it, it’s all pretty impressive I have to say.

 So I am going to shut up now and just really get you to spill…how to use internet marketing to launch anything from scratch.  So using that as the premise, as our starting point, go for it.

Okay, well first of all I called in on Skype and I think that Skype button if anyone wants to join us and it was really easy.  I just pressed the Skype button and it did the rest for me.  So that was really good.

So yes, welcome questions on this one and I’d like to step out starting to use internet marketing for any…because I came from a marketing record label background on the internet marketing.  I didn’t come from the background of building a list, selling your list stuff through an affiliate link.  I used the internet marketing techniques to market our record label first and then my coaching business.  So I am used to marketing real businesses online from scratch.

Recently I was having a bit of a challenge because I got a singer sister, who I know you talked to Neil, I heard a bit of, and she is a classical opera and contemporary singer.  She sings, travels the world singing in, in the best places really with people like Steve Reich who is just celebrating his 75th birthday this year.

So she has got up to the level of soloist Steve Reich and people like that, and she has found with Pat Metheney and Dizzy Gillespie and all sorts of really cool people, but she still is subject to the vagaries of the classical singing world. …..

…..In that there are three or four fixes who fix all the big sessions, they fix all the big TV sessions, they fix all the big film sessions and film and adverts really have classical singers make their living because they certainly don’t earn enough from the classical performances to pay a good living, that’s for sure.

So she was saying, “I am really worried about next year.  I am getting older and kept a low voice, so I am in bond with the Sopranos and there’s more of them.  So I am in a bit better position, but still big gaps in my diary that connects these”, so I said, “Well what would you like to be doing”, and she started turning out what all things she could do to make money in between. 

She only does a bit property investing and teaching but she said, “What I really want and like to be doing is promoting and singing my own stuff and touring with my own staff”, and so I said to her, “Why can’t you do that”, and she said, I don’t have an album”, and I said, “Why, but you’ve got an album”, she said, “I don’t have any money to put an album together”, because you always get signs Neil, as you know, buy a big record live, then they take about 3x a year, each of them, and oh, you have to self-fund everything and Heather just wasn’t in a position to do that.

    So I said, “Well okay, so why don’t we just act as if…why don’t we just start mind mapping what it would take to put together a debut solo album?”  And she tells the story actually of how it all came about on her blog at

 Because that was one of the first things I said to her is I said, “Even if you had an album Heather, you’ve got nobody to sell it to.  You’ve got hardly any friends, you know, you’ve got your friends on Facebook but you haven’t got a big following on Facebook.  You haven’t got mailing list”, she told me, “Yes I have”. 

  I said, “Well what was your mailing list”, and she told about 159 of people who’ve come to gigs, the jazz gigs, and I said, “Well that isn’t really a mailing list, is it?”  I said, “You haven’t really got … your website’s okay but it’s not doing anything useful like collecting names and emails or selling anything”.  I said, “If we could just get an album made and you could just sell one or two albums a week, or four albums a week, that would be a really nice supplementary income, and the best thing about that part of income is it’s steady.  It’s not subject to the vagaries of a fix.

  So I thought okay, search into this to get let’s swap you your website which was a static html website over on to WordPress because that in part is more search engine friendly, and I said I know the people…she tells such fabulous stories – .  She told me three or four of Susan Boyle sessions and I am sure that people want to know about that.  She has sung in a major film- Harry Potter film.  She has done only glue-to-the-rings films.  She does poems.  She wrote three poems this year and they tell great stories about what happens in the poems and I always said, “I am sure if you blogged a diary of your life of as you travel around the world, doing this stuff, people would want to read it and that would bring traffic to your website and having it on a WordPress platform would make it very search engine friendly”.

  So instead of moaning about an empty diary and going out for the coffees and doing the gardening, which is what she used to do, bit of painting, desk writing, she started creating a WordPress website and she started blogging about the stories.  She don’t know again what to read and what not to, and she was always so terrified about what her peers would say because in the creative industries, when you are an artist or singer or musician or whatever, it’s not done to be too self-promotive ……

Nicola:     Well, because they feel that if you put yourself forward in a marketing and promotions way you are implicitly saying ‘you are better than everyone else’.

Neil:         But then we got to promote ourselves.

Nicola:     Well you and I know that obviously and I think radio stars are a bit better at it because they become celebrities too, don’t they?  But…

Neil:         It sounds like a real sort of pseudo humility – do you know what I mean?

Nicola:     Yeah, but it’s real.  It’s not pseudo.  They will feel humble about their skills because they are surrounded by brilliant people all the time so they don’t…I mean Heather sings with the best singers in the world.  So to say that she…she started promoted herself heavily, it’s almost saying, “Well I am better than you guys”, or “I deserve more attention than you guys”.  It’s interesting, isn’t that?

 So I talked a lot of that in about five minutes.!

Neil:         And I was just laughing. 

Nicola:     No, it’s taken a lot longer I am sure.  I have had to use quite a few coaching skills on that one but the thing is I said to her, “Okay, you can either care what everyone thinks and worry about whether your peers are thinking you are thinking above them or you can get on and make a living.  You could get on and create something that would be a legacy of your film.  You could get in those wonderful stories off your head and then on to a blog and perhaps even into a book one day”.

  So she liked the idea and so she started blogging and we we did about three weeks – the Susan Boyle Fan Club had picked up on one of her blogs about singing to Susan Boyle and she got probably about 900 visitors to her blog overnight because they posted all this stuff in the forum and she got emails, abusive emails and nice emails and she got phone calls from radio stations around the world wanting to interview her about being on the new Susan Boyle session.

Now this terrified Heather because one of the emails said, “We don’t believe that you’ll sing on the Susan Boyle session.  We don’t like what you said about Susan and we are going to ring Sony Music and get Simon Cowell to take you off the session”.  So she didn’t even know when she turned up at Abbey Road the next day whether she was going to be allowed in the building.  But any attention is better than no attention in my opinion.  So we ploughed on and she only have nice things about people but she does write honestly and so there is quite a room for debate and discussion.

 So then summing up, she was saying, “Well let’s not do that an album, I’ll make some franchise for the album cover”.  So again, she just said to one of her friends Wayne, who is starting out as a photographer, Wayne McConnell who is a local Jazzer at Brighton, he said, “I want to take some pictures of people, fill out for photo”, she said, “Okay, well I am thinking of doing an album so I’ll make the pictures”.

 So we went out down the street from the studio in front of a bunch of beach huts and got some pictures done, and then literally, I think it must have been the following week, she was singing at standing Jazz club and one of her biggest fans Tom Chapman, came up to her and he said, “Did you realize that in that gig you said that the drummer had an album available to sell it back”, the pi anist h

ad an album available to sell at the back, only a bass player had a drummer a CD available at the back, where is yours Heather?  And she said, “Well probably you should say that  because all I have been thinking about doing one but it’s cost, you know, you have to go to a recording studio, you have to pa they musician”, and he says, “Well, if that’s all it is then I’ll help you”.

So it was almost like the Kevin Costner film, ‘If you build it they will come’, and she said, “As soon as I decided that I wanted to do an album, everything started clicking into place”, and so now Tom is putting up the money and he is saying ‘whatever you need to do it’, and she knew already.  She wanted to work with one of two pianists.

So she went to David Newton who is her other preferred choice and whom she has worked with many times before and he not only was available but he found two days in an amazing house in I don’t know, outside London somewhere and it’s owned by a chap called Ronnie Smith. 

Now Ronnie Smith who is a very Jazz pianist and he has got the most amazing piano.  I can’t remember the name Neil, just my head, but they went up there and over two days on this vintage piano owned by this amazing Jazz pianist who used to work at the Dorchester.

 They recorded 18 songs – just David and Heather, and she had taken up 23 films.  They recorded 18.  They did about five takes of each one and she came back, I am not joking, with some absolute gold and it was just awesome to sit and listen to it all.

But one of the conditions that Tom lending Heather the money to do the album was that I get involved in the marketing because he knew that she wasn’t really A, didn’t have time and B, out to the job.  So I took it on as a product launch and I was working literally from scratch because 150 emails, a website that wasn’t getting any traffic until the Susan Boyle incident, and nothing.  She had hardly any video recordings of herself.  It was pretty tragic.

So I was working from scratch.  So I started going to a Jazz jam where she is singing, recording stuff with my I-Phone.She started blogging.  Westarted getting some attention.  I  set…I set a Twitter account for her, hooked that out to the blog and used a tool called ‘Tweet Adder’.  Now I know that you don’t know about Tweet Adder, do you Neil?  So this is something I am sharing that’s a secret.

Neil:         Please tell.

Nicole:     Yeah, it’s a really nice bit of software that runs on your computer and you can actually set it to go and find people and follow them who’ve got certain key phrases in their profile.  So I set Heather’s up to go and look for and follow anyone who had the word ‘Jazz’ in their profile, or ‘Jazz Singer’ or ‘Jazz Music’ or anything like that.

So Tweet Adder runs in the background while you are working away and it goes and follows these people and after five days if those people haven’t followed you back it unfollows them, and that’s important because you’ve almost got to keep the ratio of people that you are following ideally within a 1:2 ratio of people who are following you.

So every ten people following you, you will have to be following 12 people and the idea is eventually that you get it down so that you are always following less people than following you.  But what it started to do is build up a pool of people who have the word ‘Jazz’ in their profile that Heather could interact with and this swiftly grew and it swiftly grew and every time she wrote any blog post about singing, say for example the London Symphony Orchestra, they would retweet her tweets because her blog post was hooked up to her Twitter.  So every time, you know we talked about this for your website Neil, every time she wrote a blog post it got tweeted and then other people would retweet it. 

She went to singing Cork in Ireland and the Cork Opera House retweeted her tweets and all of this had this cumulative effect of bringing more traffic to her website, and then just recently she sent me an email saying, “Look, Michael Buble’s Christmas album is out.  Look what he is doing on YouTube”, and what we found was he created a sub-audio track with 5 or 6 songs in his new Christmas album and as you were looking at the video on YouTube you were able to click different parts of the picture and it would take you to different songs, and she said, “Could we do that?”  I said, “Well, I don’t know how to do it but I’ll find someone who does”.

So we did find someone who knew how to do it and we had it up by the end of the day and as of this morning she has had 1500 views on that in about six days.  So you can see words really spreading.  She is on Facebook, I am on Facebook.  We are on Twitter.  We are on YouTube.  The YouTube video is getting most abused and it’s really starting to spread now, and we are also using social media to get to people in media stations.

Now we are going to talk about that more in just a moment actually.  It just shows what is possible on this grassroots level and…literally from a standing start, I mean I think the famous story of ‘Arctic monkeys’, isn’t it, because they are pounding so they can get the big guest signing but the big signing, but they didn’t.  All they did all from grassroots.  They did offer to social media.  The MySpace, yeah the YouTube, the Twitter and obviously it’s a very common strategy now.  It must be, because only a very, very few like you said at the beginning of this, you know, get in the big signing.

To hear the complete episode on Blog Talk Radio CLICK HERE

Mar 13 2011 | Podcasting How To | Jack Humphrey Part 1

by admin

In this episode I interview Jack Humphrey of Blog Success. It is in several short, bitesize parts for you. Enjoy!

Listen or read, and if you like it, please leave a comment below.

Neil:         Thanks so much for agreeing to do this.  What I want to talk to you about Jack was you have a very successful – if busy internet business, and radio show , and a blogging master-what I wanted to really focus on was how you get your audio and market it on the blog and with Web 2.0 (Social media), and how to make a successful business model out of that.


 Well, I did it kind of backwards in a way, I mean I did the was a blog that was mostly text-based original content and what I call foundation contents.  In every market you need to have content on your site that people expect to see.  So if you have a site about dog training there are pieces of content that everybody needs to have on the site.  It shouldn’t be all the same.  It should be original content but it should be, if you are on a dog training site you are going to want to see that they have all the different aspects – puppy training, leash training, paper training – all these different kinds of things which make up the foundation content.  Every dog training site should have that foundation.

That foundation content gets you rankings to start and gets you the respect that you need when people land at your site that you are an authority in that niche at market, and that’s basically what I did for a couple of years on Friday Traffic Report.  I just blogged.

If I was to start over with the idea of having a podcast right from the very beginning I would do the same thing.

  I would blog as much as possible.  If you really are honest about your niche and you have chosen a good one, that’s really good version and topic range and all the different things that you can do then you will have a lot of things to write about or have written, outsource it – however you want to do it.  But that’s not just doing keyword research and saying ‘this is what I need’; it’s also doing competitive research with people who are already out there doing this stuff who probably have the popularity that you want at some point and looking at their best pieces, the ones that get the most traffic, using and your Google Tools and things like that to analyze.

 There’s a really good tool actually for analysis.  It’s at, that’s Aaron Wall and he has got a really cool SEO toolbar that can tell you a lot about every individual page that you land on with your competition and go ‘wow, this content really got a lot of lengths’, you can see the comments without having a toolbar, got a lot of comments interaction. 

You can also analyze how many times that was ‘retweeted’ and ‘liked’ on Facebook.  Typically that will be writing your phase-2, that’s widget’s report back on that and then those…

Neil:         Can you just explain ‘retweet’ quickly for the benefit of those that wouldn’t understand that, what does ‘retweeting’ mean?

Jack:        Basically it’s when someone grabs a piece of content on the web and tweets about it and usually your blog should be set up with a plug in and there’s many plug ins that do this but when you are working with WordPress you just go into the ‘plug ins’ database and do a search on Twitter and you will find every plug in that does anything with Twitter.  Most of them do something to connect your blog to Twitter and so you are the one who is actually putting your content on Twitter all the time.  Every time you post it goes up on Twitter.

And ‘retweets’ are when somebody goes ‘I like this enough; I am going to retweet it’, that means they pass it on to their followers by retweeting and it goes on and on and on like that.  Their followers can do the same thing and it can get viral sometimes.  So that’s retweeting.

‘Liking’ is Facebook and that’s when people click the ‘like’ button.  Everybody is familiar with the ‘like’ button now and what happens there is same thing.

More in  part 2.

podcasting how to

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