• Ep. 112: Interview with John Nemo, LinkedIn Expert

    In this episode, I was able to interview a long time LinkedIn favorite of mine, John Nemo.

    I first came across John three years ago and was a regular for his 'Noon with Nemo' webinar sessions.

    After buying a couple of his books on taking LinkedIn to another level and how to improve my marketing tactics, I started to see real results with my LinkedIn experience and productivity.

    When people reach out to me and hire me because of LinkedIn, I know that I'm doing something right, and I owe that to John Nemo.

    So listen in to this episode and get to know John yourself.

    You can check out his website at: www.nemomediagroup.com

    LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hirejohnnemo/

    3:00 The start of his entrepreneurial journey

    6:00 The mindset issues John started to conquer that were keys to unlocking his success

    9:45 How he tripled his revenue in one year

    13:00 How he made his first dollar online

    14:45 How he started using LinkedIn to build his business

    16:15 2 tips on how the average user can take LinkedIn to a deeper level

    22:00 The dead end of LinkedIn groups

    24:00 The benefits of having LinkedIn Pro

    26:30 What's next for his writing and possible e-Books

    28:00 Why he's so big on creating webinars for his marketing

    If you want help launching an online business: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Receive weekly emails from Tom on having a professional online business HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook online author development course from Dennis Geelen (highly recommended by Tom)

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    33m | Feb 5, 2023
  • Ep. 111: Interview With Danielle Jefferson- Small Business Consultant

    In this episode, we're going to hear from Danielle Jefferson, from Jefferson James Consulting about her transition out of her Corporate job and into having her own business.

    Listen in on her journey through the ups and downs of the transition and how she worked out a plan for success that works for her but can also work for you as well.

    8:15 The next step was to take sales training through a course

    10:45 Why she changed her business model

    11:50 The mindset stuggles from leaving her job to having her own business

    13:15 The structure of her online courses that includes personal Coaching

    15:20 How she obtained her first client

    16:30 The future of her business

    18:45 Why she didn't need to pick a niche

    20:45 Her advice to someone thinking about starting a business 

    If you want help launching an online business: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Receive weekly emails from Tom on having a professional online business HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook online author development course from Dennis Geelen (highly recommended by Tom)

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    25m | Jan 22, 2023
  • Ep. 110: Interview with Dennis Geelen-Author of, 'The Accidental Solopreneur'

    In this episode, I talk to Dennis Geelen about his journey from working in the Corporate realm to finding himself without a job and creating a new path for his life through starting his own business.

    3:00 The start of his entrepreneurial journey when he was laid off from his job

    6:00 The new mindset of ‘What if this works?’

    9:45 How he was able to get his first clients with his new business

    12:10 The need to switch the niche until he found something that was a better fit

    14:30 The transition to becoming an author and how to differentiate themselves

    16:30 How to pick that specific niche for yourself

    18:50 His thoughts on volunteering your services to test the niche

    21:00 His advice for older entrepreneurs on how to promote the business on social media

    23:50 His influencers through coaching and courses that helped him develop as a business owner/promoter

    26:35 What’s next for Dennis for his business

    If you want to talk about launching an online business: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Receive weekly emails from Tom on having a professional online business HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook online author development course from Dennis Geelen (highly recommended by Tom)

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    31m | Jan 16, 2023
  • Ep. 109: Interview with Michael J. Penney, Business Development Consultant

    Friends, today, I have with me someone that I find very interesting that I came across on my favorite platform, LinkedIn. Michael J Penney. Michael J. Penney is a proven, battle tested leader.

    Michael is a combat veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan. He served in the United States Marine Corps for 8 years through 2 wars. But then In March of 2016 he presented at TEDxRaleigh, “What’s Your IED: How to Add Value During Life's Explosive Situations”, combining military and personal experiences in an effort to bridge the lives of veterans and civilians.

    He’s also the founder of 5Paragraph.com where he uses his military training and skill sets to help small to medium sized businesses improve their workforce efficiencies through better leadership.

    You can see Michael do a multi-stream live reading of a classic book from time to time or when he’s just trying to make the world a better place and discuss a topic that he’s passionate about.

    You can go to www.5paragraph.com to see his training or coaching information there.

    ·       Michael explains his transition out of the military and going back to school in Boston MA and how Mentors and a business development program helped him with his pitch for his patent and initial product

    ·       Michael explains the development of the concept of using the 5 paragraph operations order and how he made it successful in the business environment.

    ·       He then explains why he started the live streams and his book writing ventures

    If you want to talk about launching an online business: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Receive weekly emails from Tom on having a professional online business HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook online course (highly recommended by Tom)

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    33m | Sep 5, 2022
  • Ep. 108: Interview with Marc Miller, Author of Repurpose Your Career

    Friends today I have with us Marc Miller, the best selling author of Repurpose Your Career a Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life, Podcast host of the Repurpose your Career Podcast and a huge advocate for assisting older adults to make that later in life transition into a better place for themselves.

    Marc has a long history of personal career pivots, after his long history with IBM and found that after helping people with their career changes, he found his own passion as well…to start his own business.

    You can easily find his books on Amazon, but you’ll also see him on LinkedIn as well.

    3:00 How Marc worked through his transition from having a job and being burned out to a ‘half step’ into a better place over and over again.

    5:00 Started his own business ‘Career Pivot’ and hired a team

    5:45 He created a false image of being an extrovert

    6:15 Rule #1 ‘Know Thyself’

    7:30 Knowing the balance of what you’re good at and what you’re not.

    8:20 Having that personality assessment through Birkman and the benefit of knowing how you behave and how you want to be treated.

    10:00 Making a lot of money doesn’t mean that you’ll be happy with what you’re doing

    12:00 Knowing the difference between what you really want to do and what you can do

    13:00 Getting help through hiring a Coach to reach a higher level of achievement

    15:45 Getting started by pushing the ‘publish’ button for creating content.  

    16:45 3 tips for success 1- If you’re going to fail, fail fast, 2-Always have a Plan B 3- Always learn something from it

    17:10 How to transition into something totally different

    21:00 His exit from IBM and taking risks

    22:00 How he helped assisting those transitioning out of the military

    27:00 How he helps those that are either close to retiring or already retired but want to continue to be productive

    Marc Miller's Website: https://careerpivot.com/

    If you want help launching an online business: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Receive weekly emails from Tom on having a professional online business HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook online course (highly recommended by Tom)

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    34m | Aug 7, 2022
  • Ep. 107: How mind mapping can help your business

    I came across mind mapping years ago and it’s always helped me to see an overall plan in a great visual way. Always.

    If you’re not familiar with mind mapping, what is it?

    Well, if you’ve ever drawn out a diagram on a napkin or piece of paper, that’s what I’m talking about, but now, it’s in a more modern, computer generated sort of way.

    A Mind Map is an easy way to brainstorm your thoughts and plans and allows you to visually structure your ideas so you can see from a different angle how your plan will play out.

    This is great for those that don’t retain things well from just black and white print or from reading a business plan.

    I’ve also just recently learned that mind mapping is great for those with dyslexia because it’s more of a graphical representation of a plan, then textual. The Mind Map is a diagram that visually represents tasks, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept.

    A Mind Map can turn a long list of boring information into a more colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain's natural way of doing things.

    Enter in the Main Topic, Brainstorm your idea or other topics and Create main branches to your topic. Don’t worry about the order of the topics.

    Create Sub-Topics. Elaborate on your topics by creating sub-topics. Make sure to use very short phrases or even single words.

    And when you use software to make your mind map, you don’t run out of “space”, as you tend to do with larger mind maps on paper.

    Some commercial mind mapping software tools enable you to export your mind map to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project etc. without re-entering information.

    You can even use it for better visual presentations or video recordings too. I use Loom to record my videos, and if you use mind map software, you can record the screen as you go over the different sections of the mind map and make your presentation more interesting, instead of using the same old boring PowerPoint.

    I recently watched a webinar by Ray Edwards and he did this. Just zoomed in to the different branches of his mind map in the video and it made it the webinar a lot easier to watch.

    So, how else can you use mind mapping.

    Well, for starters, I use it for pretty much the same topics in my business plan, but in a visual way.

    The central theme is my business, NET Essentials, and from there, I have all of the main branches of the business:

    ·       Website

    ·       Podcast

    ·       Coaching

    ·       Webinars

    ·       Marketing

    And then, from each one of those main topics, I’ve got branches of sub-sub topics on the overall details that relate to that topic.

    For webinars, I’ve got free and paid webinars (some of this is in the works). But it lays out the plan for the future and I get to move things around.

    I was just in one of my mind maps a little while ago and I renamed a coaching program that I have because the original one in the mind map didn’t work out so well.

    And if you’re into marketing funnels, then mind mapping is probably already part of your marketing plan.

    You can map out the customer experience and the path you want them to take. Throw in some details about how you want them to feel, through their customer journey if you want.

    But also, in the marketing realm, you can map out each marketing funnel as well with a diagram for how you’re going to move people through the ‘know/like/trust/try/buy’ process.

    Putting it in a mind map using software is a great way to quickly move the details around without the need for 50 color coded sticky notes on the wall (I’ve done that by the way).

    And hey, if you’re into the 3-4 colored sticky notes and you like the old fashioned way of how you can write on them and move them around on the wall, then that’s great. Some people like the old fashioned way. Go ahead. Have fun.

    But if you’re looking for a better way. A more modern way, then there’s more than a few software options for you to pick from.

    I’m sure that if you search for mind mapping software you’ll get a lot of results, but just to save you a little time and effort, I’ll mention some of the top rated options for you and leave the links in the Show notes as well.

    I didn’t start with Mind Meister, but that’s the one I landed on for the last couple of years. After checking out some other competitors, they’re basically all pretty much the same when it comes to functionality. The thing that stands out the most is the pricing.

    90% of them have a free option for you to start with that’ll give you 3 mind mapping ‘boards’ so to speak. After that, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version.

    That can go anywhere from $100-200/year.

    Your needs will vary, but if you really get into using mind maps and share them with your team, then you’ll need to get off of the free plan and onto a paid plan.

    So, Mind Meister’s paid plan is $100/year. You can go to www.mindmeister.com Again, I’ll leave a link in the Show notes for all the ones I mention here.

    But other than Mind Meister, you can check out Lucid Park at www.lucidpark.com. If you’re into using sticky notes for doing this stuff in the past, this is the place for you. You can put one thought on each virtual sticky note and rearrange them as you’d like. Their upgrade price for an individual is also $100/year, but when it comes to using this for a team, it’s about $10 for each team member.

    Mural is also another option for you. It has a little different look and feel than the others, but you’ll just have to check it out for yourself to see what you like or don’t like about this option. Their website is www.mural.co and beyond the free version, it’s also $10/month per team member.

    So, I’m really not going to get into the long list of options for you with online mind mapping software. There’s just too many of them out there. My intention with this episode was to just get you introduced to the topic if you weren’t and to just let you know about what you’re looking for with pricing from some of the top options you’ll have if you decide to start mind mapping for your business or future plans.

    Now, do you need this as part of your startup launch? Well, that’s up to you, of course. As you already know, you need a clear launch plan. And if doing a mind map helps you to clearly see what the plan is, then go for it.

    Some people may find that it’s a waste of time and others may think that it helps get their thoughts and plans organized better.

    If you’re new to the concept, just take about 30 minutes to check one of these out and see for yourself if it’s right for you. Be careful, though, because it could end up taking a huge chuck of time out of your schedule, so only do it if you need to. Only get into mind mapping if it will help you to actually SAVE time or money, somehow.

    I get nothing out of this if you click on the links and get their services. I have no affiliations with any of these services.

    If you have questions about mind mapping, send me an email at tom@tomclairmont.com I’ll answer the best I can.

    Sign up for Tom's Tips each week through email HERE.

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    The Author's Playbook Course (highly recommended by Tom if you're an aspiring author).

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    13m | Jul 31, 2022
  • Ep. 106: Letting go of the past and moving forward

    We all have a past, right? Not something we can forget about or ignore, even if we try. And it’s always a mix of all the ups and downs in life. We’ve probably got more of the downs than we’d like to remember, but, that’s life. 

    Some good things. Some very good things, and some not so good things as well.

    But we can learn from the past. We can take all the good and the bad and use it all for what we want to step into for the next chapter in our lives.

    Now why would I have this as a topic under the umbrella of starting an online business? How does this topic fit in to that overall theme?

    It fits (in my opinion) because, as I’m sure you know, in order to start something new, we need to take what we’ve learned from the past and make our future better. 

    We can become better people with all that we’ve learned in the past.

    We can try things that we’ve never been able to try in previous life situations or relationships. We have choices on what to do with our past.

    Your entire past, your actions, results and feelings are all available if we choose to tap into them.

    So, what can we do with our past? We can:

    ·      Study it

    ·      Replay it

    ·      Generalize it

    ·      Release yourself from it

    ·      Reframe it

    ·      Use it

    Study it.

    Studying the past can be rather difficult for some. Especially if you’ve had a very rough past. But you’re not studying the past to relive the good or bad experiences you’ve had, you’re studying the past to build a mental file of tools and approaches that will help you make new, more informed and yes, even wiser decisions in the future.

    I did this a few years ago when thinking about how I launched my business back in 2002 and all the struggles I had. This helped me to pivot into a different direction with my business.

    Replay it.

    Now, be careful with this one. Replaying a situation is different than just reflecting on it. Try walking back through the situation like you’re reliving the situation, (only if it’s a healthy one), but now, with the knowledge and perspective that you have after the fact. This replay is going to give you a new perspective and new insight to help you think how you might do something different or better the next time a similar situation happens.

    For me, on this one, I rethink when I had spent a year as a so called ‘partner’ for someone else’s business. He was full of lies and tried to rip me off for all he could. I’ll never do that again. 

    Generalize it.

    The situation in your past might never occur in exactly the same way again. But that doesn’t change the value in looking back. By reflecting on the past, we can find common threads…maybe a pattern of behavior that we can learn to avoid for the future.

    Release yourself from it.

    There are some things in your past that you may regret or feel guilty about, or wish you would have done differently. I know I have a bunch. But the fact is, however badly you feel, however desperately you wish you could change it, it’s in the past. The page has turned. This may mean to forgive others or yourself. Let go of pain or guilt and give yourself the freedom to move forward. Living in the past will keep you stuck in the past.

    These podcast episodes are to help you to move forward with your dreams. And in order to do that, you’ll need to believe in yourself. You won’t be able to do that if you’re stuck in the past about negative things.

    Reframe it.

    Reframing the past is something we can do with the perspective that comes from replaying it and releasing ourselves from it. While we can’t change our past, we can reframe the situation to serve us better in the future. Was getting fired a failure or a great learning experience? If could be both, or either one (I can certainly attest to that). The fact is – if you were fired, you were fired. How you frame and use that experience makes all the difference. This isn’t about denial or lying to ourselves, but a conscious approach to use our past to help us move closer to our dream of having a successful business.

    Use it.

    All of the reflection, study, replay, generalization is of only intellectual (or maybe emotional) value until you do something with the lessons. In the end, the way to “productively learn” from the past is to put those lessons into practice now and in the future.

    You have a past – all of the events, feelings, emotions and results are sitting in that treasure chest of your brain.

    I used my trials of starting a business 20 years ago to revamp my current one and to offer coaching and done for you services that will make it easier and faster for others to get started in theirs.

    And you can do the same. You’re a different person than you were then. You know more. You can do more. Use what you’ve learned to help you move forward.

    The treasure is there, but you gotta look for it.

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    9m | Jul 24, 2022
  • Ep. 105: Do Something Now!

    Friends, there are times in our lives when we have to make a decision. We can think about stuff all day long and put things off, but eventually…eventually, we somehow come to the point of ‘I’ve had enough of this. Something needs to change.’ Right?

    I don’t know what it is, sometimes. I don’t have a formula for why this happens to me or anybody. But it does.

    We sit on the sidelines and watch. We listen to others succeed and we wait. We have these thoughts of how we want things to be but we don’t act.

    Why is that? Why do we act this way? Why do we think this way?

    We’re either a player in the game or a spectator.

    For me, I’d rather be in the game but a lot of times talk myself out of it. So…I end up being a spectator.

    And sometimes I just over think things. I convince myself that either I can’t do it or I shouldn’t do it. So, I don’t.

    But then looking back, there are times when I ‘pulled the switch’ so to speak. I didn’t talk myself out of everything. There are times when I took some risks.

    I reached a point in working a certain terrible job and I quit. But as you’ve probably heard in episode 1 of the Podcast, I quit without a plan. And that was a mistake.

    I should have had a plan in place, not just ‘I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want’ perspective.

    But for some, planning is part of their psyche. Planning is what they do. That’s how they think. That’s who they are. My wife and I are making vacation plans again, right now. She’s a planner. Research is part of her psyche. She enjoys it.

    She spent years doing physics research when she came to the US and had that as her identity. But then she found that after assisting in the classroom, her new love. The love of teaching. But she never would have found out if she hadn’t tried something different and left her comfort zone.

    I love doing this Podcast. But a few years ago, I never would have thought that I could do such a thing and that it would take off around the world the way it has.

    But I stepped out of my comfort zone and bought a USB low end professional grade mic and gave it a shot.

    Why was this out of my comfort zone? I didn’t like the way my voice sounded and didn’t think that it was good enough.

    But, after seeing and hearing what others thought of the Show, I kept going. And I’m glad I did.

    Did I wing it this time? No. I worked out a plan for the Show. I did some research.

    ·       Target audience

    ·       Show name

    ·       Logo

    ·       Content

    ·       Hosting

    ·       Hardware

    ·       Software

    ·       Promotion

    You get the picture.

    And I found that it was very doable on a low budget. Whatever I didn’t know, I could learn.

    So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and stepped into a new direction for my business that I didn’t anticipate when I revised my business plan 2 years ago.

    But if I had just sat on this idea and only thought about it, I wouldn’t have a thriving, growing, influential Show like I have today.

    If I had just stopped with the planning process, all I’d have was a good plan. What good is that?

    And I keep bumping into people that are really into planning. They’re really good at it. But they stop with that. And they can’t get past that.

    They don’t use the plan.

    What good is a plan if you don’t use it?

    And I was just talking to someone recently that had this problem. He was stuck in the planning stage. He knew what he wanted and he had a vision for his future and how he wanted his life to be, but he has a hard time implementing.

    I don’t know if it’s a fear of failure or a fear of success. I can’t figure it out.

    But planning feels like you’re doing something productive, right?

    Planning is actually doing something. And we feel safe planning. We don’t have to commit to anything when we plan.

    But this episode is about ‘Doing Something Now’. It’s about taking action. And I’m just going to refer to this as DSN for short.

    You see, far too many people are stuck in planning mode and they’re not implementing the plan. 

    So you have an idea. And that’s great. And you have a plan, and that’s great. But what’s the date for implementing the plan? When is it going to stop being just a plan.

    You know you want this ‘thing’ that you’re planning. Maybe it’s an online business or a Podcast. Maybe it’s something else. You know you want it. You say you want it. You think about it all the time.

    So when is the date?

    DSN is hard sometimes, isn’t it? It’s a new path. A new direction. But also possibly a new future. A better future. If you want that gift, you have to reach out and take it.

    Take control. Take control of the plan and stop letting the plan control you.

    Take a risk. And..is it really all that big of a risk after all? Are we talking up and move and quit your job sort of risk? Is it an ‘all or nothing’ sort of risk where if it fails, you have nothing?

    Probably not. When it comes to your plan and they type of risk you’re facing, I would guess that it’s not really that big of a risk. In most cases.

    So maybe it’s time to give uncertainty a chance. Maybe not knowing how things will turn out is really not that big of a deal. We never know how things are going to turn out. How many things worked out exactly like the plan said?

    In my case, never. There’s always some sort of twist on what happened and what I expected. And that’s ok. That’s just life.

    Be active in your future, not passive. Be the one in charge of the plan you have.

    You see, ideas won’t launch your business, launching will. The plan won’t grow your business, starting will.

    Feel a bit stuck? Get unstuck. It takes action. It takes forward motion. 

    Rethink failure. It’s not so bad to fail. If something doesn’t work out, you’re now wiser because of all you’ve learned and can either do a restart with a better plan or do something else that’s totally different.

    I was on LinkedIn yesterday and I read a post from someone that said he started a bunch of little ‘micro businesses’ with these ideas that he had and they all flopped.

    But he didn’t let it stop him, he moved on and tried something else and it seems to be sticking.

    And that’s the way being an entrepreneur works.

    Try something. See the results. Make a decision. Move forward or not. This is the normal process of testing your ideas.

    DSN friend. Do something now! Stop waiting for permission. It’s not coming. You decide when. You decide how. You decide who to do this plan with. Take control. Take charge. 

    Stop trying to figure out how to have zero defects in the plan. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect.

    And doesn’t all this planning and thinking about all the ‘what if’s’ driving you crazy after all? Doesn’t it just make you exhausted constantly thinking about it but not doing it?

    Isn’t it emotionally draining to have this dream that you’re not pursuing?

    If you’re still not sure what you want to do, then listen in on episode 24 of the Podcast for ‘3 Critical Steps to Gain Clarity’. In that episode, I talk about the 3 questions you need to ask yourself and how the answers can be quite revealing for the direction you should take.

    Friend, expand your resolve. Be determined to succeed. Step through fear and make a bold move.

    What your business needs is someone that isn’t afraid to fight for what they want. Your business needs you.

    DSN. Do Something Now. 

    Need some help getting started with an online business? I have a FREE e-Book jam-packed with the how-to's of launching one with confidence that you'll hit the Internet with a bang! Get it HERE.

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    13m | Jul 17, 2022
  • Ep. 104: What’s Your Unique Selling Point | How Can You Use It to get Clients?

    I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. And I think LI is fantastic.

    But I see a lot of people’s profiles that totally miss the mark on the message it sends. Too many people still have that old mindset of trying to lift themselves up and put themselves on a pedestal.

    All the things they’ve accomplished. How many degrees they have. Me, me, me. Look at me and how great I am.

    Friends, if you’re on LinkedIn or Instagram, or whatever platform you’re using, and you’re using it to try to get clients, you might want to think about how to maximize your profile so it actually works for you instead of against you. So..what does a social media profile have to do with creating a USP? I’ll get there and connect these dots. Just stay with me for a bit.

    When people have a problem they need to solve, they’re looking for a solution from someone that knows how to help solve the problem and from someone that wants to help.

    My whole sales approach comes from the ‘I can help you with that’ perspective. The people that get their business are those that have a very different perspective. They give. They serve. They have a natural ability to focus on the needs of others. Not to just put the spotlight on themselves.

    And I’m speaking from the perspective of being a client here as well. I give my money to those that have proven themselves worthy of my money.

    They pour out content that helps solve problems. I contact them because they’ve already given me some great advice (for free) and I want to take it further.

    They get my money because they’ve been able to communicate what they do, the problem they solve and how I need them.

    This is the foundation of a great USP. The unique selling point.  

    What is a USP?

    It’s the distinct and appealing idea that sets you and your business, favorably apart from every other generic competitor.

    Now, I think a great USP answers the following questions:

    1.    What’s in it for me?

    2.    Why do I need you?

    3.    What makes you unique?

    4.    Why should I pay you?


    And in order to answer those questions, you’ll want to:

    ·      Keep it Simple (because attention spans are short)

    ·      Keep it Short (because attention spans are short)

    ·      Show the benefit (how it solves a problem)

    ·      Address an emotion (because even though we’d like to think we look at things from different angles and use our intellect to make decision, we really buy on emotion)

    ·      Make it memorable (say something that stands out..how I end each Podcast episode)

    Now, in your USP, Is your product or service:

    ·      Easier

    ·      Faster

    ·      More widely available

    ·      Simpler

    ·      Cheaper

    ·      Have a better guarantee

    ·      Prettier

    ·      More efficient

    ·      Smaller

    ·      A better value

    ·      A better design

    ·      Of higher quality

    ·      Cutting-edge

    ·      More time-tested?

    What’s your message? Have you figured this out yet? Can you sift in a little story in your pitch? Do you have a pitch? If you need help with a pitch, look up Martin Barnes on LinkedIn. He started Pitch Club and he’s been helping people with their pitches for many years now.

    To answer the question: Why do I need you? This is where you’ll be addressing how you solve a specific problem in the pitch.

    To answer the question: Why should I pay you? There are a lot of people doing the same thing that you’re doing, but if you’ve proven that you can provide real value for doing that ‘thing you do’, AND if they like you (because personality has a lot to do with getting new business), then they’ll pay you..and gladly pay you.

    When my business coach sent email offers for products and services he was selling, I gladly pulled out my credit card and bought e-products as well as 6 months of coaching on a specific topic. Why? Because I liked him.

    And that can be you as well. Be helpful. Be likeable. Be a servant leader.

    Another way of looking at a what a good USP consists of hinges around: ‘what you have that competitors don't.’ Now, that can be a little tricky because as I said before, there’s a lot of people out there doing what you do and offering the same thing you’re offering. But this is where your uniqueness comes in. This is where your personality shines through.

    Why do we pick one professional athlete as ‘the best’ when there’s always someone else out there that’s just as good? Because we like them.

    And that needs to be you. You need to shine through with who you are, even in your USP.

    What’s my USP?

     I help people get their personal brand business launched faster, so they can be more profitable quicker. Why? Because when I started my business 20 years ago, I could have used someone to help me launch in a more efficient way instead of just ‘winging it’.

    So, I created ‘The 7 Basic Building Blocks to a Successful Online Business’ course that I coach people through. What are the 7 basic building blocks? 

    1. Vision- where you want to go and how you want to get there

    2. Website- Open for business. Who you are and what you offer.

    3. Product/Service- How you can help people solve their problem

    4. Marketing- Opening the relationship with your target audience

    5. Email list- Building the relationship further

    6. Branding- Your verbal, visual and values identity

    7. Copywriting- The words you use to sell stuff

    Now, all this is great information to know, but I can make your launch easier and faster by tying all the initial tech together for you. I can either coach you through it, or do it for you. That way, you can just move on to doing ‘that thing you do’ and not have to worry about the foundation of your online business and all the frustrating techie stuff that goes along with it.

    That’s my USP.

    But how can someone take this and figure out if I’m their guy? By my content that I post in social media and in over 100 episodes of my Podcast.

    By being on my email list and getting those emails where I build the relationship a little more each time.

    And by walking people through that ‘Know/Like/Trust/Try/Buy’ process I keep talking about.

    So my USP just states the facts of what I do and how. My online content helps people to see who I really am and for them to either like me or not. That’s their decision.

    So I hope this helps, friends. I hope I could help you think through this topic of what is a USP and how can I use it to my advantage?

    It’s real important for you to get this figured out. I can tell you this, that your competitors are figuring this out. But as we all know, it’s a big internet world out there. Find out what your edge is and run with it.

    So, getting back to the social media profile you’re using, put the key point of your USP in your SM profile, or banner image so people just glancing at you will know what you’re about.

    Friends, if you’d like to talk about this further, I’m here for you at tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    12m | Jul 10, 2022
  • Ep. 103: The Solopreneur Challenge: What should I focus on?

    You’re Not Alone

    If you’re in the planning stages of starting a solopreneur type business, or maybe you already launched one, you’ll more than likely be having the same thoughts and questions that all the other solopreneurs have.

    Questions like:

    ·      How do I start?

    ·      What should I focus on?

    ·      How can I possibly get all this stuff done?

    ·      What about all that techie stuff that I’m supposed to know and do?

    Well, first of all, I’d just like to say, ‘You’re not alone.’ This is the kind of stuff we all think about and dwell on, every day.

    But I’ve found that having the right mindset of an entrepreneur, or solopreneur will go a long way for you and will help you to focus on the right things at the right time, so that you can manage your time better and increase your chances of success. 

    And this is why I created several mindset e-books that talk about how we should transform our thinking and actions and how to push through challenging circumstances.

    My mindset E-books cover a wide variety of topics, like:

    ·      How to Turn Failure into Success

    ·      How to Overcome Trying Situations by Changing Your Mindset

    ·      Developing a Present Moment Mindset

    ·      How to Overcome Challenges

    ·      Developing Your Strengths

    ·      Developing the Confidence to Go After Your Dreams

    And, friends, I’ve been through a lot in my day. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and let me tell you, my low points have been pretty low. So when I talk or write about how to overcome challenges and turning failure into success, it’s from personal experience, the hard way. The ‘mindset reset’ way.

    So I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about the proper perspective we all should have when running and building a business.

    First, we need to take control. We really need to know how to say yes to certain tasks and how we spend our time and no to the mountain of distractions and how we shouldn’t spend our time. There are a lot of distractions, every day and we’re not going to get much done if we give into them.

    Another part of the mindset makeover is being able to push past the things that we assume will limit us. We can accomplish so much more if you have a bigger view of what’s possible.

    You can have a worldwide business. You can have worldwide influence and impact all around the world. You can be a very successful business person. If you have a book you’d like to write, you can write that book. Or, maybe it’s creating a course to sell. You can create a course that will make you a lot of money. You can learn the things you need to learn. Push past the limiting beliefs and expand your comfort zone. Learn how to have reachable goals and then reach them.

    How? By just having steady improvement and not expecting huge, immediate results. Now do I want results? Yes I do! And I expect results. I expect to make good money from my business. But at the same time, I can reduce a lot of frustration and discouragement by having realistic expectations for those results. It’s sort of like winning a baseball game with singles and doubles.

    Now, some, and I know 2 people just recently, said they’d rather try to win the game by hitting home runs and not messing around with singles and doubles. So if that’s the way you want to play ball, then go right ahead.

    If you have a $500 product or service and a $5,000 product or service, what would you rather sell? The $5,000 product or service, right? I get it. Some may choose to try to ramp up their business by selling a handful of the $500 product and build up a client base, but others may say that they’d rather have one or tow clients a month on the $5,000 product.

    Either way, just make sure that whatever course of action you’re taking, you have reasonable goals and reasonable results. This will help with your mindset of having success more often instead of always being disappointed and discouraged.

    Turn your goals into daily habits (what do I have to do every day to make my goals a reality? The short to-do list). Routine = momentum (routine doesn’t have to be boring) The more you can routine-ize your processes, the more momentum you can pick up. Ex: drip email marketing will work for you on auto-pilot once you have the initial work put in, in advance.

    Another solopreneur mindset reset challenge is to embrace obstacles, instead of trying to find a way around the obstacles. I’ve found that usually the best way to deal with the obstacle is through them (book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday) In the book, Ryan says “It’s not just: How can I think this is not so bad? No, it is how to will yourself to see that this must be good-an opportunity to gain a new foothold, move forward, or go in a better direction. Not ‘be positive’ but learn to be ceaselessly creative end opportunistic. Not: ‘This is not so bad. But: I can make this good.”

    The next challenge of the solopreneur, is how to achieve more with less. You see, when you have a job, you have people around you that can do things. You have a structure in place for how to get stuff done. But when you’re alone, you have to have what Ray Edwards calls, a ‘low cost essentialism’ sort of mentality where you can focus on just the essentials of what you need. Typically, you need less than you think you do. You don’t need to buy a lot of software/hardware. You don’t need a team of people, typically, when you’re just starting out. Now getting a virtual assistant, might be a good idea, and maybe start this person part time at first to see how it goes and if there’s enough tasks for this person to do.

    But I don’t normally recommend building a team of people around you and build up your overhead. 

    The last thing I’d like to touch on in this episode of the challenges of being a solopreneur, is self discipline. Now, when you’re working a job, with someone over you telling you what you need to do and how to do it, and when it needs to be done, you can get a lot of work done during the course of any day.

    But when it’s just you and you’re the one with the dream of having your own business, and you’re the only one that’s pushing you, how much are you really getting done? You’re now ‘working’ for yourself. It’s not that you don’t know what to do, but you’re not doing what you know.

    You know you need to be motivated. You know you have this to-do list of your top priority tasks. You know you need to turn off the TV and to not go to the refrigerator every hour on the hour.

    But because you’re probably working from home, you’re finding that without that external push from others to get things done, that things aren’t getting done as fast as you were expecting.

    So, in times like this, let your dream be your motivator. How soon do you want that dream life, or the thought of quitting your job, how soon do you want those things to happen?

    You need to go back to ‘What is your WHY?’ When you lose your ‘why’ you lose your motivation.  

    So, the challenges of being a solopreneur are many. Did I even scratch the surface with what I was just covering here? No. I had a very long list of things that I originally planned on talking about, but it would take all day.

    Is it easy being a solopreneur? No. Is there a certain freedom you now have because you’re your own boss? Yes. Absolutely. But in this freedom, comes a certain aspect of self discipline and self motivation that you’ll need to have.

    If you’re in constant learning mode, and if you can focus on the small wins you have each day and not get caught up in all the negative thinking that comes so easily to us humans, then you’ll be able to press through the challenges and push through the obstacles you’ll be facing.

    Because they’ll be many. There’s a never ending supply of obstacles. So check out Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’. It’s available on Amazon. It helped me and I’m sure it’ll help you as well. 

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    16m | Jul 3, 2022
  • Ep.102: Webinars part 2- Are they effective?

    In the last episode, I covered the topic of ‘should you create a webinar for your business’. I did an overview of the process and how much is involved in making a webinar so that you can decide on your own if you have enough time or money to have one done and if you think it’s right for you.

    But what I didn’t cover was the topic of effectiveness, so I have some stats on webinars today that I think will help you as well so that you can make an informed decision.

    Now, I know that stats can be boring at times, but I think these are necessary in how they function and the people that they reach, but also when to promote it and when they’re viewed the most so you’ll know when to launch one, if it’s being run live in real time.

    Are you wondering whether to include Q&As at the end of your webinar? The answer is a resounding yes. So stay with me for just a little bit as I go over some winning statistics you should consider if you want to host a successful webinar.

    Webinar Statistics

    Most marketers see webinars as a vital part of the business plan. Webinars are a treat for marketers, with a total of 95% of respondents seeing them as important for their marketing efforts. On a scale of one to five, marketers rate webinars at 3 points in relation to how important webinars are to their digital communications.

    Customers rank on-demand viewing as the most valuable addition to webinars. When it comes to making the decisions for configuring the webinar on the back end before it goes live, this is an important one.

    When I created my webinar, I made sure that the ‘just in time’ scheduling was enabled. This will allow the person that registered for the webinar to see it in the next 15 minutes from whatever time zone they’re in, but it also gives multiple time options as well. Great feature.

    More than half of marketers rely on webinars for promotion. Research shows that 58% of marketers use webinars as a promotion tool. Studies show that between 2% and 5% of webinar attendees eventually make a purchase at the end of the webinar. Is that a fantastic number, not really, but if you’re doing a pre-recorded webinar that just sits there and runs on its own, then all you need to do is drive traffic to it and let the process run on auto-pilot. 

    89% of marketers believe webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified leads.

    Entire industries use webinars for generating leads. The pharmaceutical industry leads the way but education and consulting are in 2nd and 3rd place.

    93% of webinar participants prefer desktops with only 7% favoring mobiles or tablets.

    The average cost of webinars ranges from $3,500 to $5,000.

    There are several key factors impacting the budgeting of webinars, including software, cost of equipment, promotions, and the labor involved. I know from personal experience that it can be a labor intensive experience because there’s a never ending list of things to tweak. In any case, if you are on a tight budget, the least you could do is invest in good webinar software if you’re going to do the DIY method. As I said in the last episode, I compared the top vendors and chose WebinarKit

    When is the best day for registrations? 24% of all webinar registrations happen on a Tuesday. It’s not a tremendously high number, so do with this stat what you wish. Lure them in on a Tuesday but don’t even think about bothering them with registration emails on weekends. Saturdays and Sundays, as you can imagine, rank poorly.

    What’s the best way to promote the webinar? Well, email is rated as the most effective webinar promotion tool. And why wouldn’t it be? Emails are free and are a great way to promote any event, including webinars. Recent surveys show that solicitations through email account for 73% of webinar signups. Webinar attendance stats also show that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media could get you up to 15% of webinar registrations.

    But what about same day registrations? 33% of registrations occur on the day of the webinar. If you want to increase attendance, you should definitely send a reminder email on the day of the event. Sounds like a no-brainer, but planning reminder emails on the day of the event can be overlooked.

    On that note, webinar stats suggest that the best time of the day to send your promotional emails would be between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. If your goal is to score, aim for 9 a.m. which is the “happy hour” of webinar registrations with a 14% success rate. This is where drip email marketing would be a great resource so you can plan a specific time of day to release the promotional email.

    Just under half of attendees sign up more than a week before the webinar.

    The best time for webinars to be announced is two weeks before the official date or even earlier. The greater the promotional cycle, the better the results. Webinar effectiveness statistics show that 47% of attendees register at least eight days before the webinar date, while about a quarter (24%) sign up more than two weeks earlier.

    Thursdays are the best days for webinars. Mondays are generally busy days at work, so that’s probably not the greatest day of the week to host an event. Thursdays are ranked as the most popular days of the week for organizing webinars with 19%. Wednesdays are a good choice since they are ranked lower than Thursdays by only 1%. Basically, webinar attendance statistics suggest that any day between Tuesday and Thursday will potentially get you the traffic you need for your webinar.

     2, 3, and 4 p.m. are the prime times for hosting a webinar.

    What makes webinars amazing is that you can connect to people from coast to coast and even participants from across the globe. Setting the best time to host a webinar, can be tricky, especially if you have participants from different time zones. Afternoons are considered to be the prime time to accommodate viewers from various time zones, webinar stats show. But as I said in the last episode, the ‘just in time’ viewing setting is a no brainer because it’ll let them see it on their terms when it’s most convenient for them.

    What’s the best length for the webinar? Well, 60-minute webinars attract more attendees than 30-minute webinars. While the general belief points to an hour as the optimal length of the webinar, some reports suggest that the longer the webinar, the bigger the crowd. In essence, 90-minute webinars are more suitable for sharing presentations with attendees who want to broaden their knowledge. That’s going to be more of a training style of webinar.

    Webinars with videos rated at 7.8 out of 10. Integrating videos in your webinar will make it more compelling and more engaging which will ultimately scale your viewing time. Good, right? Unfortunately, 32% of hosts that don’t use videos in their webinars say they lack the skills to integrate them into their presentation and 27% see this undertaking as too expensive.

    So how are you supposed to drive webinar attendance the best way? There’s several things that you can do to boost your webinar attendance rate. Webinar statistics show that promoting a live webinar early enough (around two weeks prior to the event) could boost signups, and so does opting for an email to announce the event and sending out timely reminders.

    Now, let’s get right down to it. Are webinars really effective?

    Well, the marketers sure seem to think so, with as many as 95% seeing them as important for their marketing efforts. Stats further suggest that more than half of viewers are likely to engage with the company after, by watching extra content, downloading attachments, or even requesting a demo from the sales department.

    So friends, I think I’ve just about covered all that I need to on this topic. If you were on the fence about whether or not you’re going to do a webinar, then maybe this episode will help you to finally make the decision either way.

    Again, they’re a lot of work, but if you’re doing a pre-recorded one where people can view them on their terms, then it’ll just sit there working 24/7 for you because it doesn’t matter what time zone they’ll be in. That, I think was one of the top reasons I went with WebinarKit. The price was good, and it was a one time payment, but not all software options have that ‘just in time’ viewing setting.

    If you’ve got some questions on this topic of webinars and the pros and cons of it all and you’d like to talk about it further, just book a free 30 minute initial coaching call through my website at www.tomclairmont.com

    1:1 or group coaching at www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    12m | Jun 26, 2022
  • Ep.101: Should you create a Webinar for your business?

    Webinars seem to be the new rage lately, right? More and more, we’re seeing them pop up all over as a source of providing information by video for a wide spectrum of industries and businesses.

    And for good reason, I think. If they’re created with great, informative and compelling content that meets a real need, and done with professionalism…and then add in the on-demand option so you can watch it anytime, and you have yourself a winning webinar.

    But there are certain aspects of webinars that turn people off as well. Is there a strong sales pitch at either the beginning or the ending?

    Is the content weak, leaving you scratching your head as to why you just spent the last hour watching this video?

    Was there an issue with the video or audio quality so that the webinar lacked professionalism?

    Unfortunately, after we’ve been constantly exposed to high quality webinars, we can now spot a lower quality webinar immediately.

    But let’s take a little time to think about the purpose of the webinar and the overall goal of putting in all the time and expense in having one created.

    I just created a free webinar on the topic of ‘Starting a Podcast’, so let me break that down for you on the steps I took to get it done. 

    Someone once said, “Don’t start something before it’s already finished.”

    Well, what on earth could that mean? Because it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it.

    You see, when you do a Webinar, and when you think of the purpose of the webinar (to help people, yes, but ultimately to generate sales), then you have to take care of a number of things that will work in the background for you, when the webinar visitor finishes it and sees your CTA..your call to action.

    So if, in your CTA, you have something like my offer.

    “Click on this link and download this product for free when you enter in this code. “ or “Go to this website page for more information on what I just talked about.” There are a number of different CTA’s that you could have, but in order to make the best use of the webinar, you’ll have to have all the background structure in place, in advance so that you can maximize the webinars effectiveness.

    Ok.. let’s break that down a bit. So what I had to do first, was:

    ·       Create a product or service (I have both)

    ·       Price the product and service

    ·       Pick a platform to sell the product or service

    ·       Enter that product into that platform with an image and a compelling description (that’s where my copywriting courses kick in)

    ·       Create a discount code for that product (special gift for watching the whole webinar to the end)

    ·       Create a landing page for the webinar registration

    ·       Configure all the background settings for the webinar platform that you’re using (I use WebinarKit with most of the upgrades offered and friends, there are a lot of available settings that you can turn on or off in WebinarKit) but now is not the time to go over those things

    ·       Link the buyer’s email to an email marketing account that I created in advance

    ·       Create a drip email campaign for anyone that gets put into that specific email marketing account and have it automatically configured to have those emails sent to them over time that will lead them through the ‘Know/Like/Trust/Try/Buy Process’

    And friends…that’s just the things that I needed to do in advance for just the CTA.

    Ok..so when I considered doing a webinar, I worked the process backwards. I took care of all the background tasks and functionality first, that way, when it’s time to create the copy text and the video itself, all the structure is in place in advance.

    So that’s what I mean by the saying “Don’t start something before it’s already finished.” I had the background structure in place before I started the video and created the content.

    Is it a lot of work? Yes, absolutely. But in my opinion, it’s the best way to have an effective webinar.

    Things to consider:

    ·       Purpose of the Webinar

    ·       Desired outcome

    ·       Webinar content

    ·       Marketing funnel

    ·       Video creation

    o  Loom

    o  Zoom

    o  Personal computer

    Webinar style

    ·       You on video

    ·       You in window of screenshare

    ·       Just screenshare

    ·       Video editing

    o  Loom

    o  Power Director

    ·       Audio editing

    ·       Text added to video

    ·       Webinar software

    ·       Creating a marketing funnel

    ·       Special offer at the end of the webinar?

    If yes,

    ·       What will you offer?

    ·       How will you offer it?

    ·       Settings and links to offers

    ·       Call to action

    ·       Time limit to special offer?

    ·       Email drip marketing structure in place, in advance?

    As you can see, there’s a lot of things to consider for what you want to have and how you want to have it.

    So..What does a good webinar look like?

    Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer. Your success will depend on a few factors:

    ● What does ‘good’ mean to you? And are you shooting for good, or do you want to have a great webinar?

    Rather than focusing on creating a ‘good webinar’, make your primary goal to create an effective

    webinar campaign for your audience.

    Creating content to generate leads

    One of the primary goals of webinars is to generate more leads. There’s two types of content that you should create as part of your webinar campaign to attract more leads.

    1. Content that raises awareness

    2. Content that convinces

    Content that raises awareness should introduce your company through storytelling that reflects your company’s values. Focus on educational content that draws attention to the issues or opportunities your audience is facing, and how your product or service can benefit them. Content that convinces focuses on building trust with your audience. Let your audience know that you understand their needs and clearly state how your business offers a solution. Video, infographics, imagery they’re all a great way to grab people’s attention and explain complex concepts in digestible ways.

    Targeting your audience

    Next, a few words on the marketing funnel. The best way to illustrate how webinars can help you

    educate and convert leads is by looking at it from a sales and marketing perspective using a

    Marketing Funnel.

    The Marketing Funnel consists of three main categories:

    ● Lead Generation

    ● Lead Nurturing

    ● Sales

    Webinars tend to take place during the Lead Nurturing stage, but can be effective at all stages.

    The marketing funnel you create should have the webinar helping people through the ‘Know/Like/Trust/Try/Buy’ process. I keep saying this a lot, but only because it’s so important.

    Now, earlier, I mentioned that there’s a lot of configuration that’s needed for the Webinar and that you need to make a lot of decisions in how it’ll be viewed, when it’ll be viewed and how it’ll function overall:

    ·       Watch times

    ·       Registration page content and settings

    ·       Thank you page content and settings

    ·       Replay page content and settings

    ·       Will you have a poll at the end?

    ·       Will you have any handouts?

    ·       Confirmation email content and settings

    ·       Reminder email content and settings

    ·       Merging with email integration

    These are just the highlights of how to configure the webinar.

    But, if I don’t talk about how to promote the webinar, I’d be seriously neglecting a very important topic.

    So..after all the work you put into just the creation of it, how will you promote it? Typically, there are 3 main ways that people promote webinars.

    ·       Website

    ·       Email list

    ·       Social media

    Now, for 2 of the three options here, you’ll need traffic. You put it on the website? Great. Will anyone see it? That’s up to you and how you generate traffic to the webinar page.

    Post it on SM? Fantastic. Are your SM posts getting views and producing results? All the work you put into the webinar could be for nothing if you don’t get traffic or results.

    And from what I’ve seen, the average cost of having a webinar created ranges between $3,000 and $5,000.

    Now, you probably know by now, that I have an IT background and all the techie stuff comes easy for me, so I created and edited the video, I came up with the copy content, I added the video effects to the webinar and other supporting videos, I created the entire background structure to the CTA and the website landing page, I even purchased a dedicated domain name and created a two page website to have a landing page as well. www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Initially, it’s just about getting the free, jam packed 50+ page e-book that I created, but then, after you put in your email address to get the e-book (and get added to my email list) it automatically redirects to another page where you can download the e-book but shows that I have the webinar on the same topic as well, if they’re interested.

    So…should you have a webinar created for your business? Well, that’s for you to decide, but this episode was just all about taking a ‘peak behind the curtain’ so to speak and to help you get a better understanding of all that’s involved in doing a webinar.

    Do you have a great, compelling topic?

    Do you have the time to do it? Or..

    Do you have the money to hire someone else to do it?

    This is not for the faint of heart friends. Creating a webinar is not like playing softball. It’s definitely a hardball game.

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and view the webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    16m | Jun 19, 2022
  • Ep. 100: Book Report: Pivot, by Adam Merkel | MUST READ

    I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life when I think I need to make a serious course correction. 

    Sometimes it’s about personal things. Sometimes it’s about my business and whether or not to keep going in the same direction or to make some course corrections along the way. 

    And when life happens to us…things that we can’t avoid or control, and we need to make these serious changes, it’s good to have a great book in your hands to read that will help you to sort through the mental part of what to do and how to do it. 

    Because making a serious life pivot first starts with our mindset and the decisions we make that are based on the emotions we have. 

    So I’m doing this book report for you on Adam Markel’s book Pivot because when I read it, I was going through this time of ‘life version 2.0’ as I like to call it. And I’m finding that, more and more, I’m coming across people that have gone through either the same sort of situations as I went through, or something very similar. 

    And that’s when life throws you a curve ball. Or, more like a knuckle ball, if you know anything about baseball in the US. In other words, it’s a very hard to hit moving target.

    And sometimes, this curve ball is voluntary, like me quitting my job 20 years ago because the management after the 4th buyout was terrible, or it’s that the job quit you with staffing cuts for one reason or another. 

    Or maybe you find yourself needing to make a serious shift in your life for other reasons. There are plenty of other reasons, so I’m not even going to try to figure that all out. 

    So are you ready for a serious change in your life? Then you need to get and read this book. This book shows you how to get in touch with your real self and helps you to decide who you are and what you really want. 

    During a time when most people are focused on reality at best or survival at the very worst, Pivot is a game changer with stories of people just like us that changed their lives by making those different choices. 

    So, let’s dive into this book a little bit and I’ll go over some of the highlights that stood out for me. 

    The Introduction

    In the intro, we hear about someone that has those nagging thoughts about wanting a better life, but can’t seem to shake them. Those thoughts go away for a while and they come and go, but there’s that reoccurring theme of ‘something’s not right’. And if you ignore those thoughts, they’ll ‘eventually drown you. You’re tolerating your own, slow, agonizing death.’

    For Adam, he was forced to reinvent his life because as an Attorney, he found the stress unbearable and almost had a heart attack. But for you, ‘The goal is still the same. To reinvent the parts of your life that aren’t working, so that you can live a life that brings you fulfillment.’

    Every pivot requires two things:

    1. Clarity- changing what you believe (or how you view yourself)

    2. Momentum- forward motion without quitting

     Gaining clarity is the internal change that we need. Momentum is the external change that we need. And in chapter one, he outlines the 6 steps to take to gain clarity:

    1. Unbelieve the myths we hold on to that holds us back

    2. Release the past and the pain that keeps us in the past so that we can focus on the present and aim for the future

    3. Face your fear and get out of your comfort zone

    4. Being comfortable with changing your identity

    5. Envision your new future and get comfortable with how you want your new life to be

    6. The Big D-making that decision to change your life to the point of no return

    So, getting back to number one, he covers a handful of myths that people have a tendency to hold on to. 

    Myth 1 Pivoting is for other people. 

    ‘Those who pivot aren’t extraordinary, they become extraordinary when they decide they will not tolerate the circumstances of their lives for one moment longer.’

    Myth 2 It’s too risky

    If you’re telling yourself that it’s too risky to pivot your life, be aware of the real risk. Watching your dream life drift away until it’s so far gone that you can no longer see it. ‘The real risk of change isn’t that you might try and fail, it’s that you might not try and you’ll regret it.’

    Myth 3 You have to burn the ships

    Pivoting isn’t about sudden, radical change, it’s about:

    • Envisioning a realistic way to change your life

    • Preserving parts of your life that serve you

    • Creating a clear plan and making a sustainable change. Creating a plan B and working on shifting your life to move toward plan B where eventually, plan B becomes plan A. 

    Myth 4 I have to wait for…

    This is the thought process that keeps you holding back from doing anything. If you want to have your own business someday, do you have to quit your job today and start a business tomorrow? No. ‘Pivoting is a process and you get to control the process. You can pivot in the smallest baby steps over whatever time period you want. But you cannot just wait.’

    Now, that was just some highlights of chapter one, but I think one of my favorite chapters was number 9, Pivot People that addresses the questions ‘Where am I going and who is coming with me?’ Because no one pivots alone. Change is a team sport. ‘To pivot successfully means to involve others.’ 

    Whether it’s through mentors or peers, chapter 9 helps you to get the help you need so that you’re not trying to do it alone. 

    Friends, you hear me talking a lot about making changes in our lives and getting out of our comfort zone. Taking risks and the fear of failure as well as the fear of success. But there’s something about getting a good book to help you methodically work through the thought process part of making a serious change in your life. 

    And a large part of having a successful personal brand business isn’t in the how-to’s of running the business, it’s in the mindset of the business owner. 

    You can’t reach for the stars if you’re never looking up. And you can’t move your life forward if you’re still living in the past.  

    These are all mindset issues. And that’s a huge part of small business success. That’s why I have so many E-books on mindset issues beyond the how-to’s of launching a business. 

    So check out the book Pivot by Adam Merkel and let me know what you think. 

    I’m positive you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my favorite books and I think it’ll be one of yours as well. 

    I’d really like to get your feedback on this type of episode…doing a book report. I’m thinking about doing more of these and hearing if this was helpful to you or not would let me know if I should do more of them. 

    So, feel free to shoot me an email at: tom@tomclairmont.com with your thoughts. 

    I’ll put in a link to the Pivot book in the show notes.  

    And when you shoot me an email, let me know what some of your favorite books are. I’d like to know. 

    So..as always…stay encouraged, follow your dream and don’t give up!

    Book: Pivot by Adam Merkel

    1:1 or group coaching at www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book and webinar I have for you www.diypodcastlaunch.com

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Personal brand business or Podcast launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    11m | Jun 12, 2022
  • Ep. 99: How to Avoid Chaos in Starting a Personal Brand Business

    We live in a time where information and influence comes as easy as breathing. Whatever we want to know or learn about, we can pursue it and either read or watch videos on it. No topic seems to be untapped.

    But because we have all of this information at our fingertips, we can easily get information overload. And with all this information, get lost in the process of what to do with it.

    Now, I’m a process and procedure sort of guy. I like to have things done in a certain order so that I don’t waste time going backward and fixing things that should have been done the right way the first time.

    I just recently launched two new Podcasts and find that having the structure of good checklists and supporting tools that I use, really helps to make my time more efficient.

    But I came up with these tools..these checklists.. because I worked out the processes and procedures in advance. That way, when it comes time to launch a Podcast, I have a certain order of events that I need to work through, not only with what I need to do, but the Podcast owner as well.

    You see, I worked out a strategy. A plan. A process. And I was able to do this because I’ve launched other Podcasts before. I knew what I was in for.  

    But when it come to launching an online business, some people, because they’ve never done it before, try to go through the business building process with:

    ·      Little to no strategy

    ·      Little to no planning

    ·      No accountability

    ·      And little to no support


    And when they go through the process this way, it’s easy for them to be either misled or misdirected.

    The results:

    ·      Feeling overwhelmed

    ·      Feeling over worked

    ·      Poor decision making

    ·      Poor output

    ·      Wasting money

    ·      Wasting time

    And just for the record, in my early days, I successfully did all those things that I’m telling you not to do. That’s why my first Podcast episode after the trailer episode is about learning from my mistakes. It was originally called ‘Don’t Do What I Did’, but I changed it to have a more positive tone to it instead of the ‘do as I do and not what I say’ sort of tone.

    I felt overwhelmed. I felt overworked. I made poor decisions. I wasted money…and time..a lot of time. Why?

    Because I didn’t have the right plan for me. I didn’t have the right support that I needed, like a business coach.

    Now, granted, I was able to have a decent business and I certainly made good money, and quite a lot of passive income as well, which I still have, but I made those mistakes because even though I had some information (and a lot of great contacts), I didn’t know what to do with the information that I had.

    So, I still made money, but I could have made a lot more, if I had a better plan in place, I’m sure.

    So, I ‘winged it’ as we say in the US. And, because I have a growing listener base outside of the US, if you’re not familiar with this phrase, it just means that I went forward without a plan, even though I had a business plan.

    You see, it doesn’t do much good to have a business plan if you ignore the business plan. Right?

    Are you sort of getting a better picture of what ‘winging it’ means now?

    But I guess, it’s easy to ignore a business plan that was created out of almost 100% speculation anyway.

    Why take the business plan seriously when it’s just some fantasy plan anyway with a pretend income stream and a made up strategy based on wishful thinking?

    But I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned a few things in the past 20 years that I think now, can help a lot of people. And that’s what I intend to do. Help a lot of people.

    That’s what this Podcast is all about.

    In March of 2021, I did a Podcast episode (number 26) called “Starting a Business From Zero- 7 Core Building Blocks You'll Need to Have.” And that particular episode is one of the more popular ones, usually leading the list each month for downloads. And in that episode (I’ll leave a link in the Show notes) I went over, just as an outline, the framework that I created ‘7 Basic Building Blocks for a Personal Brand Business’.

    Now, this framework does not focus on ‘how to brand yourself’, but provides the platform…the foundation, if you will, for the business.

    What are the 7 building blocks?

    1.    Vision- where you want to go and how you’ll get there

    2.    Website-you’re open for business. Who you are and what you offer.

    3.    Products and Services-how you can help people solve their problem

    4.    Marketing plan-opening a relationship with your target audience

    5.    Copy-the words you’ll use to sell stuff

    6.    Email list-building the relationship further

    7.    Branding-your verbal, visual and values identity

    Now, there’s no right or wrong to the order of the list, although I would say that the first one, vision, should stay first. And it’s not meant to be a timeline for the way they’re numbered either. It’s not like website should be the second thing you work on because it’s number two.

    These building blocks are all intertwined. They work together.

    You’ll need good copy for everything you create. The website copy, the promotional material for the product or service, the email list, course material, even the branding. And there is a right and a wrong way for writing copy, as I found out. So that needs to be solid. 

    But having these 7 core building blocks will help you to lay a solid foundation for the business so that you can build up and out from something that’s stable.

    And I get into more detail with episodes 30-36 later on as I briefly touch on the 7 building blocks, so I recommend downloading those episodes when you can.

    And these 7 building blocks to your online business are what my 1:1 or group coaching is all about.

    Now, for some listeners, they haven’t even started yet and they’re just still in the ‘I’m thinking about what I’m going to do’ phase. And for some others, that may have launched a business already but they’re still trying to work out how to make some decent money, they may be missing one or more of these building blocks, as I like to call them, but that can be fixed.

    It’s not an all or nothing game here. And keep in mind that these 7 building blocks is my specific framework that I developed over the years and you’re probably not going to hear it put this way from anyone else, as far as I can tell.

    And that’s ok. There’s plenty of other very smart people out there that have their take on what core elements you should have, and I deliberately don’t get into the finances of what you should do, because that should be between you and an Accountant as far as I’m concerned and that’s a completely different topic.

    But as far as dealing with the chaos of starting a personal brand business, I think that by having these 7 building blocks as soon as possible in your launch, (vision, website, copy, marketing, products and services, email list and branding), it’ll help to keep you focused and on a better trajectory toward a profitable business.

    It’s worked for me. I’m sure it’ll work for you as well.

    So, how to avoid chaos in starting a personal brand business? Lay a good foundation. Have a solid plan in place. Have a timeline.

    This way, you’re not just reacting to whatever the problem is for that day. You’ll be more focused. You’ll have more purpose in the things you’re working on.

    It worked for me. I’m sure it’ll work for you as well. 

    Book: Pivot by Adam Merkel

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Small business launch coaching: www.tomclairmont.com/coaching

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasclairmont/

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    12m | Jun 5, 2022
  • Ep. 98: What is a personal brand business?

    What Is a Personal Brand?

    Well friends, I’m sure that there are a lot of people that already have this personal brand stuff figured out, but there may be some of you listening that need a bit more clarification to what all this ‘personal brand’ stuff is and how they should think of it.

    Because for me, when I started out, the meaning has sort of shifted a bit over the past 20 years and to be honest, I really like the way the definition evolved over time.

    And just to be clear, when I started my IT business in 2002, I didn’t start out with a personal brand. I thought it was a good idea to have sort of a corporate identity and had this more corporate name and logo to make it seem like I’m more professional and maybe bigger than I really was.

    I started out as Net Essentials Inc. and had the domain name and website to match and I really didn’t know too much about the personal brand image and what I should even do with that sort of identity.

    And when you Google the term now, you’ll get a lot of different perspectives on this but really it all comes down to your personal identity and how you present it.

    Since it’s a personal brand, it’s all about you. Your:

    ·       Ideas

    ·       Expertise

    ·       Reputation

    ·       Personality

    But when I say it’s all about you, what I don’t mean is that the messaging for your personal brand needs to be all about you, because that would turn a lot of people…probably everybody off and they’d run away from you as fast as they could.

    There needs to be a perspective in place with your messaging that takes your ideas and expertise and your reputation and personality but you’re presenting yourself in such a way that you’re showing people how you can help them with the problem they have..through your ideas and expertise and your reputation and personality.

    Your personal brand is both all about you, but all about them as well. ‘Them’ being your target audience. How you can help them.

    So let’s talk a little about your personal brand identity and how it can be both all about you and all about them at the same time.

    There are 3 V’s that I like to use when explaining this ‘identity’ part of the definition. Your:

    1.     Visual identity

    2.     Verbal identity

    3.     Values identity

    So let’s talk about this for a bit.

    Your visual identity

    This goes along with how your presenting yourself on your website and social media. How are you being perceived? And I always recommend that you think this through when you’re putting content on the Internet because sometimes some questionable content could come back to haunt you.

    And the spectrum is very wide for this visual identity. I’m not advocating that every bit of content needs to always be professional and that people shouldn’t see your personal side, and then on the flip side, it you’re too personal and not professional enough that sort of content won’t help to grow your business either.

    But there needs to be a balance of both personal and professional content that you put on your website and social media accounts.

    When people first land on your website or social media account, what’s the first impression that they have of you? What’s your visual identity and does it invite more people in to see more?

    Or is it turning some people off? 

    Verbal Identity

    Next comes the verbal identity. Now, when I use the word ‘verbal’ it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘what you say’ exactly, but more about ‘what your message is to the world’.

    What’s your message and how are you presenting this message? What’s your content and how is it helping people solve a problem? Because remember, a little bit ago, I was saying that there needs to be a ‘I can solve your problem’ perspective in the personal brand image.

    So when it comes down to your content, you can develop better content by always having your target audience in mind and by presenting your message in a way that makes them feel like you’re talking to one person. Just them.

    You’re being personal to someone that you don’t even know yet. And that can be a little tricky at times, but if you’re sincerely trying to help people solve a problem, just present it in a way that makes them feel like they’re sitting across the table from you.

    This will be your verbal identity.

    Now last in the 3 V’s is ‘Values’.

    What do you believe and how you weave that into the content. Now, I’m not talking about religious beliefs per se, but if that’s what your personal brand is all about, then yes, go for it. Tim Tebow is a great example of that. His personal brand is all about his faith and how he helps people to make their lives better.

    But for the most part, your values identity will shine through as you present who you are and how you do business.

    For example, I posted something on LinkedIn this morning that referred to how I can help someone that wants to have copy written for their website, landing page, lead magnet or email marketing. But when I referred to writing the copy, I put in parenthesis ‘ethical’ copy. Because the copy that some people use, crosses the line of good ethics and either misrepresents or lays a huge guilt trip on you that you don’t need to try to make you buy their ‘thing’ that they’re selling.

    So when you’re putting content out there in your website or landing page or email marketing…or whatever…you’re always giving people a glimpse of who you are as a person and the values that you have both personally and professionally as well.

    So those are the 3 V’s. Visual, verbal and values. 

    Do You Need a Personal Brand?

    But what if you’re still trying to decide if you actually need a personal brand? Am I saying that everyone needs to have one? No.

    You may be in a situation with your business where you don’t actually need to have that personal brand image.

    There are plenty of examples where someone started an online business but used a more corporate model. Prudential Insurance, for example. Since it has ‘insurance’ in the name, we know what it’s about and what they offer.

    ‘The Family Foundation’ is a non profit organization, but you can tell by the name, that they’re into solving problems that have to do with the family unit.

    So if you’re not going to have a personal brand image, then I would recommend that you include the purpose or type of business in the name.

    ·       Richmond Real Estate

    ·       Advanced Auto Repair

    You get the picture.

    What to name your personal brand business?

    But if you’re thinking about a personal brand, then I usually recommend that you call it after yourself. That’s what makes it personal. Because, really, when I was Net Essentials Inc, I didn’t want people to think of me as ‘the president of Net Essentials Inc.’, but I wanted people to say ‘hey, call Tom’, or ‘we need to get Tom Clairmont over here to help us with this.’ That’s what I wanted. I wanted them to think of me, or to refer me, not ‘you should call Net Essentials Inc. They’ll help you with that.’ Because there was no ‘they’. It was just me anyway.

    So, if it’s just you in this picture, then use your name. But be aware that the Internet has a memory. A long one. So if you’re using your name, you’re putting yourself out there for everybody to see. Friends, family, potential clients, potential employers…it’s all visible.

    Now, just as a side note, so you can see a little bit more of where I’m coming from, I, of course, registered the domain name www.tomclairmont.com, but I also bought the domain name www.thomasclairmont.com. Why? Because if there was a Thomas Clairmont out there in the world that wanted to have a website and give the world a totally different message and image as to what I was presenting, then it would totally confuse my target audience. So for a few dollars a year, I own both domain names so that I can control my personal brand image better and protect that image better. 

    OK? So I hope that this helps to clear up some misconceptions that are out there on this topic and that this episode will help you to form your own personal brand…or not. But either way, if you do pick a personal brand or you want to have a more corporate name, you’ll have at least thought it through a little better.

    Does all this sound good? I recommend you spend some time thinking this through because if you decide to start a personal brand business or if you think it’s time to switch, like I did, you’ll need to make some changes to the business plan and how you’re going to market and promote yourself.

    Because when you do make the switch, from a corporate brand to a personal brand, you’re now claiming a new identity in a way. Yes, your clients and prospects probably already knew that your business was just yourself, but now, after making the switch official, you have to turn off the corporate image and promotion and turn on the new personal brand you in all your documentation, social media and email marketing. It can be a big deal, depending on how many marketing and promotional tools you already have in place.

    So think this through. You’ll be glad you did.

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    14m | May 29, 2022
  • Ep. 97: When is the right time to start a business?

    Is there a ‘right’ time to start a business?

    Hello again friends, I have a topic here today that is a very popular one for sure. When should you start a business?

    Is there a right time, a right opportunity, a right situation, a right…answer?

    And if you go to Google trends and type in ‘the right time to start a business’, you’ll see that over the past 5 years, the results, in the US, and around the world, shows that this topic has been gaining steam since around May of 2020.

    Why? Well, starting a business has a lot of advantages. And when people need other options for income because of internal or external forces around them are either failing or just not meeting the need, or if they just want more opportunity in general, then starting a business is a good idea.

    But there are a lot of details that we need to go through when we start a business, right? There’s a lot to think about. And that’s part of the big picture for me here in this Podcast as a whole, is to help people think through the mountain of topics that there are around having your own full or part time personal brand business.

    So for today, in this episode, we’ll be talking about the right time and the wrong time to start a business. But keep in mind that this is my perspective on this and my advice for you and that you’ll be getting a lot of different advice from probably everyone you talk to on this issue of ‘when’.

    So, let’s start off with flipping the coin here and talk about not necessarily the right time, but the wrong time. Because the signals for the ‘right’ time are harder to see than the signals for the ‘wrong’ time.    

    When is the wrong time to start a business?

    So, when is the wrong time to start a business? My first answer is…


    Well, for starters, tomorrow was the first thing that came to mind. Now, am I literally talking about ‘tomorrow’? No. I’m talking about the ability to put things off…for tomorrow. And then the next day. And the next.

    You know how it goes, right? I’ll work on it someday. And then someday never comes. Because ‘someday’ (you might have heard me say this) someday is just code for ‘never’.

    So if you’re saying to yourself that you’ll get to it soon, ask yourself the next question. How long have I been saying ‘soon’?

    When you can’t get your message straight

    Getting your message straight is huge. What do you do? What problem do you solve? Why should anyone pay you? Why are you better than someone else?

    If you don’t have your message straight, then you’ll be wasting a lot of time. Maybe years. So spend time on your message in advance.

    I’ve said this before in episode 57 of my Podcast that you need to have 3 critical stories for your personal brand business.

    ·       Personal story

    ·       Professional story

    ·       Client story

    Get your 3 stories down to as short as it needs to be and at the same time, as long as it needs to be. So listen in on this episode to hear how I explain in more detail how to use those three critical stories to build your business.

    When you don’t know who your target audience is

    If you don’t know who you’re selling to then how will you sell anything? You may have heard it before, but if you’re trying to sell to everybody, then you’re selling to nobody.

    Work on who your target audience is in advance so you know how to shape all your content around that audience.

    You can look at your target audience in two different ways.

    1.     Demographics-the stats about a particular type of person and what the data shows about their particular situation and buying habits so you can sell a product or service to them easier

    2.     Psychographics- who they are as a person and the knowing the struggles they have so you can meet their needs through a product or service

    I can think of my target audience from the demographics angle by saying ‘Joe is an upper middle class married man, age 48, that is looking to get out of the corporate rat race and start an online business using his current investment or retirement savings as seed money.

    Or, I can look at my target audience from the psychographics angle like this: Lily is a stressed out teacher that has had enough of all the politics and political correctness of teaching, wants a better work/life balance and would like to gradually supplement her income with online courses and eventually have a full time business through tutoring and online learning so she can be home with her family more and not be stressed out grading papers until 1 am in the morning.    

    When you’re not doing well emotionally

    Starting a business requires a certain amount of mental strength and clarity. You’re playing for the long game, not short term results. You need to be in a good place emotionally and mentally as well. Trust me, I sort of know what I’m talking about. I’ve been doing this for awhile.

    If you’re not in a good place emotionally, then wait until you are. Otherwise, you’ll be burning yourself out real fast.

    If you can’t commit to some time each day

    Think about the structure of your day right now. Are you exhausted just thinking about it? Are you trying to be that ‘super mom’ or ‘jack of all trades’ guy?

    Are you really doing this for the right reasons or just trying to impress someone?

    Hey, I want people to reach after their dream, but I don’t want to see people start something and then fizzle out after a few months because they really didn’t have the time to commit to this venture.

    You need time each day to focus and get specific things done.

    You need structure.

    You’ll need a plan.

    How much time? That really depends. I can’t answer that. Just know that you can’t get a lot accomplished in an hour a day. It takes time just to wind down and to stop thinking about everything else that’s on your mind.

    If you can commit a block of time each day, then great. Otherwise, wait until you can stop doing something that’ll open up some extra time for you to focus on this dream of yours.

    If you’re getting resistance from a close relationship

    This is important because I don’t recommend that you start something that will cause a lot of friction in the relationship. Starting a business isn’t worth a divorce or losing someone important to you. There’s usually a different approach you can have.

    If you don’t have strong support, you’ll not only be struggling with the normal aspects of starting and growing a business from external forces, but you’ll be struggling with all the internal resistance as well.

    It’s not worth it. Enjoy what you do. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    The right time to start a business

    So.. when is the ‘right’ time? How do you know how to interpret all the signals of the economy and society?

    Well, I recently read something that showed how major, profitable businesses were formed out of the US great depression of the 1930’s BECAUSE of the bad economic times. Business leaders that didn’t know what the future held, just made the best decisions for the present time and were able to reap great financial benefits even though most of the country was struggling financially.

    And it’s not like people got rich because the poor became poorer, businesses created new products and industries that were in demand.

    So friends, if you’re waiting for the right time, you’ll be waiting for a long time. The right time is now. Why? Because you’re motivated now. You’ve got the energy now. You’ve got the skill and the will now.

    So get started now. Create something new now.

    There’s a lot of people that need your product or service. They just don’t know you yet. So get yourself out there and get started today.

    You’ll be glad you did. 

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    14m | May 22, 2022
  • Ep. 96: My Favorite Tools Part 2

    If you’ve been listening for awhile, you may have heard in episode 58 titled ‘the tools we use’, I briefly went over some of the software tools I use to run my business and why I use them.

    I even created a free download of a pdf on this very same topic with the links to click on to get them in order for you to save some time. And that’s what this is all about for me here in doing these types of things…saving you time and money and helping you along the way by learning what works for me so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of trying to figure this stuff out.

    Now, I get it, we all have our personal favorites when it comes to software tools and my favorite tool might not be yours and that’s just fine. But if you’re looking to skip the research part of the process because you’re more interested in launching your business sooner, rather than later, these types of episodes are for you.

    So, in episode 58, I went over the following tools: 

    • SiteGround

    • WordPress

    • Elementor Pro

    • MailerLite

    • RedCircle

    • Fiverr

    • Audacity

    • Canva

    • Headliner

    • SmartMockups

    • Zoom

    • Loom

    • Gumroad

     And I think I covered the basics pretty well on these tools, but now, I’d like to get into some other tools…and just assume that when I use the word ‘tools’ I’m talking software tools.

    So, in this episode of ‘The Tools We Use’ part 2, I’d like to say a few words about these tools (and I’ll have links in the show notes for you as well, if you want to get right to it faster):

    ·      Easyprompter

    ·      Google Trends

    ·      Calendly

    ·      Unsplash

    ·      Udemy

    ·      Mindmeister.com

    ·      Google Drive

    ·      Premiumbeat.com



    So, for the first one, EasyPrompter, I picked this tool because I needed a better way to do longer videos and be hands free as well. This tool came recommended to me from another business pro that does a lot of longer videos.

    With Easyprompter, you can just enter in the text you’ll be using for the video, adjust the font size and speed you want the text to scroll up on your screen and press play.

    Why do I think I need this? Well, without using this, I have to look at the screen and keep one hand on the keyboard down arrow or mouse and keep scrolling down as needed to the pace I’m going at.

    With this tool, I can know, in advance, how long it will take to read the script (EasyPrompter tells you) and be totally hands free when I’m doing the video.

    Why do I need to be totally hands free? Well, when doing videos, part of the way we process information on the receiving side is to look at the hand motions of the people giving the information.

    And you’ll see this from a lot of other people as well when you’re watching videos. They use both their hands during they’re message. We don’t normally think of this, but subconsciously, we need and expect hand motions when we take in information.

    And, some people have done research on this topic. I won’t get into the details of all of that, but when it came to people doing TED talks, this is what I found.

    The least popular TED Talkers used an average of 272 hand gestures during the 18-minute talk.The most popular TED Talkers used an average of 465 hand gestures—that’s almost double!

    Using your hands when talking helps to increase the effectiveness of the non-verbal form of communicating. 

    So, when I’m making videos and my hands might be in view, I try to use both of them as much as I can. You see, we’re born to talk with our hands. And we learn from a young age to use our hands when talking, so why stop when it comes to presenting important information through our videos.

    Since I want my videos to be the most effective use of my time, I want people to remember what I’m saying and to be able to process it better as well.

    Thus, the use of EasyPrompter. There’s a free version that works just fine, or an $8/month version that gives you more options, but I think the free version will work for most of you just fine.

    Google Trends

    Next, is Google Trends. Now I know that a lot of you may already know about this tool, but I’d still like to cover it for those listeners that may not be as familiar with it and why they should use it.

    Google Trends helps me in a couple of ways. With the use of Google Trends, I can do some quick research, in advance for what topics people are searching for and how important (or trendy) it is in both the US an around the world.

    In other words, I use it for content ideas. Here are 4 ways you can use Google Trends to create better content as well:

    ·      You can find relevant topics that are trending

    ·      Do better keyword research

    ·      Use it to create a meaningful content calendar

    ·      Improve your branding efforts

    But there are other reasons to use Google Trends for your business as well:

    ·      Understanding Keyword Search Volume

    ·      Identifying Seasonal Trends

    ·      Avoiding Temporarily Popular Keywords

    ·      Optimize Your SEO Strategy.

    ·      Enhancing Your Video SEO Strategy

    Overall, plenty of reasons to use Google Trends. And when I created the ‘Starting a Podcast’ E-book, I included screenshots of how I used it when I created this Podcast.


    So now, the next tool I’d like to talk about, is Calendly. This is a great tool for anyone who has a website and needs a professional-looking booking tool to take appointments. No surprise that there’s a free version and a paid one that, of course offers more options, but for the most part, you’ll probably be ok with the free version.

    I’ve been using it for awhile and I love it. Plus, when you book on someone else’s Calandly feature, it automatically takes that time slot out of yours so that you don’t get a double booking of your time.

    You can customize your availability as you choose in advance for a couple of months and you can add the link to a button on your website so that the whole world will see when they can book a time with you.

    Using this tool helps to avoid the hassles and delay of going back and forth through email on what times work for both parties involved. Check it out. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as I do. 


    Now for the next one, Unsplash, I’ve seen first hand the huge problems a website owner can have when they (or the people that build them) don’t take the extra effort to use royalty free images. Legal issue can happen, and I’ve seen it first hand. You could potentially lose thousands of dollars because you just right clicked on an image that you Googled.

    You see, sometimes people place markers in the images that can be traced. And why would they trace them? For situations just like this. To get easy money.

    Unsplash has quite a variety of images to use, but keep in mind that others know about Unsplash as well and you just might come across some images that you use on someone else’s website or promotional material. You’re going to have to be ok with that. You can set some search parameters in advance to help you get what you’re looking for quicker, like orientation and topic. 

    Check out Unsplash if you haven’t seen them yet. You’ll be glad you did.


    Now, this next one, is a little different. It’s not really a particular tool but a resource. I go to Udemy to learn stuff a lot faster. They have a huge list of topics and you can get full blown courses for not a lot of money. I took a copywriting course with over 11 hours of instruction that was on sale for about $45. A lot of courses go on sale for only $10-15.

    Now, there are other websites you can go to that’ll offer the same thing as Udemy but this site is my favorite. And I have no affiliation with them. I get nothing out of promoting them, but my goal here is to just let you know what I use so that you can just jump right into launching your business faster. That’s it. So, I hope you get a lot out of Udemy.  


    Now for this next one, Mindmeister.com, I use this to map out a plan that will give me a visual scope of a particular topic. If you want to map out a website plan or a marketing funnel plan, this website is for you.

    Take your big idea and create a ‘mind map’ as they’re called and put it in a visual format. I like to see a bit plan this way. Some people are more visually oriented than others and like to see the plan all laid out in one of these mind maps.

    Yes, there is a free and paid version, so you can start using it and save a few maps to get the feel of it.

    Google Drive

    Now for the next one, I’m sure that most of the listeners are already familiar with this one, and I won’t spend much time on it, but just in case, I use Google Drive to upload large files and share them with others.

    And in my ‘Done For You’ podcast launch program, I help others launch their Podcast and actually edit and prep the first bunch of episodes for them, but I need them to record those episodes first and get them to me. Google drive is the way to go.  


    Now, the last one on the list, is PremiumBeat.com. This is the resource that I use and recommend for quality Podcast background music. If you have a Podcast, or are looking to start one, check out this site for a great selection of audio tracks that you can purchase for $50. You get the rights to use this audio track on one site only but you can slice up the full version of the audio track any way you want for your intros and outros, or if you have a midroll clip in your Podcast as well.

    For season one, I used a different audio track than season two. Did I have to? No. But I just thought it would be a good way to separate the seasons that way. 

    Well, friends, I hope that this additional list of tools will be helpful to you so that you won’t have to spend so much time figuring all this stuff out. That’s the goal here in the Podcast to help you launch quicker, with a plan, so that you’ll be more profitable quicker.

    I’m just trying to help you launch whatever it is you’re trying to launch. A personal brand business, a website, a Podcast. Whatever it is, I’m here for you.

    So check out the show notes for the links because it’ll get you to these tools a lot faster. 

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    Products: www.tomclairmont.com/store

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasclairmont/

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    16m | May 15, 2022
  • Ep. 95: Getting past imposter syndrome

    Imposter syndrome. It can be very real. And it keeps coming up in conversations that I have with people. Feeling like a phony. Feeling like you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. Feeling like you’re not the person that you say you are.

    You see, when you’re just getting started, and you don’t have clients or customers yet, and you’re just spending time tweaking your website and poking around on social media, it can feel like you’re just going through the motions.

    You’re telling people you’re an expert in ‘that thing you do’, but you’re looking for others to verify your claims. You’re looking to others to provide your own confidence in yourself.

    For some, it can be hard to believe in yourself and to take what you already know and make money from that through your own business. There can be a lot of self doubt or negative thinking…

    ‘I don’t have enough degrees.’ Or ‘Who am I to get paid for this, when others know so much more?’

    Or you may be in the beginning stages of reinventing yourself. I’ve talked about that from time to time. And that’s a valid concern. You’ve been doing something else for a couple of decades and you’re taking a new path with a new dream.

    This is the new you. You’re not being dishonest. You’re not deceiving anyone. It’s just that you’re starting something totally different.

    And you’re having a hard time convincing yourself that this is the new you.

    Really, the negative thoughts can go on and on. We’re wired, for some reason to think negatively first, not positively.

    Why is that?

    Why is it so easy to think negative thoughts about ourselves first and to put ourselves down?

    Is anyone LITERALLY calling you an imposter, or a phony, or in any way putting you down?

    Is anyone LITTERALLY stopping you from doing what you want to do, or saying that you CAN’T do what you want?

    I’ll bet all day long, that the answer is no. because I’ve never seen that happen yet. Now, will everyone understand what you want to do? Will everyone support you in what you want to do? No.

    There will be some that don’t support you, but will they stop you? Probably not.

    But the fear of imposter syndrome can stop you in your tracks. The fear of ‘what will others think’ could prevent you from a brand new future that’s just waiting for you out there.

    Now, there are some that struggle with not having credibility, because they don’t have credibility. They haven’t proven themselves yet to anyone.

    They may be just making stuff up about who they are and what they claim they can do. Not everyone is honest out there in the land of the Internet.

    Some people may not be who they say they are. But I’m not going to address that in this episode, I’m going to focus more on those that are who they say they are, but they’re just in the very beginning stages of their business.

    They’re a great speaker, or trainer, or teacher, or author, but they’re trying to figure out how to make money doing what they love to do.

    They’re trying to get past their own insecurities. But friends, if, or when we feel insecure, people can pick up on that. It will be noticeable in one way or another. And it’ll be those little insecurities that will hold you back. It’ll be those insecurities that keep you thinking you’re an imposter.

    But we both know that that’s not true, right? We both know that you’re great at what you do, but you’re just trying to get your business off the ground.

    We all have to start somewhere. We all have to start sometime.  

    Should I care about how others see me or what they think of me?

    Will my friends and family ever really understand what I do and why I do it? Some may, but the rest, probably not. I don’t need them to understand and give me their approval.

    I’m going to do what God has put in my heart and go with that. That’s the approval I need.

    What will the future bring? Who really knows? You can plan it all out if you want, but the goal is not to reach the end. The journey is the goal.

    Learning. Growing. Forming new relationships.

    Helping people solve their problems.

    This is the journey. This is the goal.  

    So the first step in getting past imposter syndrome is believing in yourself. Really believe that this new path you’re taking is valid and true.

    This new you that you’re telling the world about will accept you for who you are as long as you can prove that you can do what you’re telling people you can do.

    You can solve a problem they have.

    You can offer a product or service that they need to make their lives easier or to help them make money somehow.

    Really, only you and some others around you know you’re on a new journey. 99.9% of the world will not know that this is something new for you. So believe in yourself. Believe that you can make an impact and have influence in people’s lives.

    If you can’t believe in yourself, don’t expect others to believe in you either.

    You are who you say you are. Now move on. Move forward. Do what you need to do to get the word out. Put the effort in to having a product or service that people are looking for and the clients will come. 

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasclairmont/

    We'd love to hear from you about this episode! Click on this link to rate the episode or leave a comment and get a free gift: Episode Rating

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    7m | May 8, 2022
  • Ep. 94: Are you stuck in learning mode?

    So, you want to finally go forward with starting a business. This is something you’re sure about and you’ve got the confidence and determination to work through the problems and find a way to succeed. 

    But you’re finding that there’s a lot more to learn than you originally thought. A lot. And it seems that with every step forward, you’re getting the impression that you’re taking two learning steps back. 

    You have all these ideas but you’re not sure how to put them into action and piece this puzzle together. 

    So you hit YouTube. And Google search. And Udemy. And maybe you pay for a few courses thinking that it’ll help you to launch sooner. 

    But weeks and maybe months are going by and guess what? You’re still no further along now then where you were awhile ago. Did you launch? No.

    Are you getting clients? No. 

    And it’s a double edged sword having all this access to information, isn’t it? We can get addicted to learning, right? 

    Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be learning all these things that people tell you to learn. We should all be in learning mode for the rest of our lives. But we need to have a balance here with both learning and actually doing those things that we say we really want to do. 

    And it’s never been easier to learn things with all the information that’s on the Internet. You can get it anytime and anywhere. Whatever you want. There’s no limitations anymore. 

    Not too long ago, you had to have a desktop computer in order to do most of the things you wanted to do. Now, you can do a lot of things on your phone or tablet as well. 

    And getting stuck in learning mode can be a sign of fear as well. We use learning something as an excuse to not actually do something. 

    It’s not a bad thing to want to learn about how to launch and grow your business. But in order to do those things, you’ve got to launch. Then, you’ve got to get clients. 

    Friends, this episode is going to be more direct with my perspective today. I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers here, but sometimes, people need to hear the truth about something and sugarcoating the issue isn’t going to get anyone to take action and accomplish the harder things. 

    Every once in a while, I need someone to give it to me straight and get me to really think about what I’m doing. That’s the kind of coaching I get for my business and that’s what I’m going to do for you as well. 

    Because we all want to have profitable businesses, don’t we? We all want to make some serious money, right? Well, having a hobby, an expensive hobby that keeps us busy and keeps us looking like we have a business, but really don’t, all this time and effort, is just for nothing. 

    Hey, it’s easy to live in fantasy land and talk about having a business. It’s easy to just sit there watching videos or buying courses giving the impression that you’re actually doing something. 

    But at some point, you have to just stop. At some point, you have to take a step back and look at what’s really happening. What have you really accomplished in the past month? 

    Put the things you’ve already learned into action. Catch up with your actions to the things you’ve learned before you go searching for more videos on the subject. 

    Take a deep breath and just let it out. Now take a step in the right direction. Commit. Commit to something. Launch a website. Start a Podcast. Create a course. Write a book. Start a consulting business. Whatever your dream is…do it. 

    But have a plan for success. Because friends, this is what I’ve always been saying. Launch, but with a plan. Step out and start something, but with a plan. Because success has to be part of the plan. It’s not just you that wants to see you succeed, it’s the rest of us as well. 

    We all want to see you start and grow your dream. You’ve got a fan club out there that you haven’t met yet. Because when you do succeed, the people will respond. The world will respond. And you can take your plan A and build on it. 

    I see people taking their businesses into new areas that they never thought of two years ago. Authors are becoming speakers. Speakers are becoming investors. One on one Coaches are excelling in starting Mastermind groups. 

    Friends, you don’t know yet what the future holds, but you have to be in the game to win it. You can’t win by being on the sidelines.  

    You have more control of your future that you think. You don’t have to be limited to one path. My path has changed over the years as well. Because part of the plan is to let the plan change and flow. Part of success is to take what you’ve learned and make something better. 

    So prove to the world that you’re an expert in something. Prove it to those that don’t believe in you. 

    Pick a date. Start with something. Because starting with something is better than nothing, isn’t it? 

    Learn but launch. Try, test and measure. Then tweak it. Make it better. 

    But you need clients. You need sales. You need some measure of success to build upon. You can’t just keep tweaking something to make you feel busy. You need to confirm that you’ve got something that people want to buy. 

    So, are you stuck in learning mode? Be a lifetime learner. I’m all for it. I’m doing it myself. But commit to starting something. 

    Get help. It’s ok to get help. It’s better to get help. I get help from time to time from people that know what they’re talking about. I get help from people that have already done what I want to do and learn from their mistakes. 

    That’s why I write the E-books. That’s why I have the mini course on how to start a Podcast. So you can take what I’ve learned in a year and compress it down to a couple of weeks. 

    So if you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re feeling like you don’t know which direction to go in. Or, if you’re just looking to bounce some ideas off of someone else, find that person you can trust. Find someone that knows what they’re talking about. 

    Find someone that will encourage you to go for it. There’s plenty of people out there that are willing to help you, including me. 

    You’re not alone. We can do this together. I need some of you to succeed, and some of you need me as well. 

    So, are you feeling stuck? Let’s talk. Let’s work out a plan for you to move forward. You’ll never know if you don’t try. 

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasclairmont/

    We'd love to hear from you about this episode! Click on this link to rate the episode or leave a comment and get a free gift: Episode Rating

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    10m | May 3, 2022
  • Ep. 92: Interview with UK entrepreneur Alexis Kingsbury

    In this episode we hear about how Alexis started his entrepreneurial journey and how he initially started as a consultant in a large firm, but becoming more aware of the needs of both big and small businesses.

    He saw others around him that were considered successful, but weren’t able to spend time with their family and friends.

    He created his first company called Spidergap, which creates and runs 360° Feedback assessments that help your employees to take action on personal development. But he found that the products and services weren’t meeting the needs of the market as much as he expected and the company was not able to scale up and grow.

    Taking what he learned thus far, he created another company called AirManual which helps companies to document processes and procedures to make management more effective and easier.

    He was determined to figure out a way to have more personal time for his family by having a business that runs more effectively.

    Alexis then explains how he built a team and the problems he had initially because he didn’t have the onboarding processes and procedures in place to help train new employees and make them feel supported.

    After the onboading process was created, he was able to have great retention for the new hires. 

    Next, we learn about how he was told that he would never be a good manager by someone before he became an entrepreneur, and how he proved them wrong by developing his staff to become great managers themselves.

    We end the conversation hearing about how the startup business changed since he launched his first company.

    Do you want to start your own Podcast? Download the FREE E-book I have for you 'Starting a Podcast Mini-Course'.

    FREE Podcast Launch Webinar https://www.tomclairmont.com/podcast-launch-webinar/

    Need help getting your online business or Podcast started? Book a call with Tom's Online Calendar

    Check out my FREE, E-book of the Month Club that deals with a lot of the core issues that small business startups can have.

    Website: www.tomclairmont.com

    Free Resources: www.tomclairmont.com/resources

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasclairmont/

    We'd love to hear from you about this episode! Click on this link to rate the episode or leave a comment and get a free gift: Episode Rating

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/small-biz-essentials/exclusive-content
    35m | Apr 17, 2022
Small Business Startup Essentials