The Best Online-Writing Advice I Ever Received

October 15th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Copywriting

Here’s the best online-writing advice I ever received: “Be brief. Be brilliant.”

The advice’s genius is that it works for all online platforms: websites, landing pages, e-newsletters, landing pages, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The advice also works for older formats: advertising, printed books, newspapers, brochures, and even billboards.

Ultimately, the formula for success in every form of communication is: identify your audience, determine your objectives, be brief, be brilliant.

So who said, “Be brief. Be brilliant.”? It was a Russian-history professor at St. Olaf College, Robert Nichols, in the 1980s.



Amazon Associates Program is Back for Minnesota Businesses

October 13th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Sales, Web Site

If you’re a Minnesota resident and you operate an online business, this is big news: beginning October 1, Amazon started collecting Minnesota sales tax from Minnesota customers.

This means the Amazon Associates program is up and running again in Minnesota.

When Amazon shut down the program in Minnesota in 2013 (in response to a new state law) it hurt online businesses that received revenue from the Associates program. For me, it killed revenue for a really nice golf website that I had developed. I ended up selling the site to a buyer in New York.



The Enormous Business Opportunity That I Missed

September 18th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Starting Out

On a wet, windy Tuesday night in September 1983, eight college students and two professors gathered in a lounge at the student center at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

One of the students, John, had persuaded us to come together and conduct an organizational meeting for something he called “fantasy football.” John had briefly described fantasy football to me, and I thought it sounded lame. But it involved football and my friends were going to give it a try, so I went.

The meeting included a draft of NFL players, so we brought pens, pencils, notebook paper, the sports page from Monday’s Minneapolis newspaper, and our limited knowledge of the National Football League.



The Best Marketing Tool For Your Solopreneur Business

September 12th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing

If there was an inexpensive marketing tool that would increase your business’s customer acquisition, conversion, and retention, would you use it? How about if the tool gave you heightened knowledge customers’ wants and needs while also creating a tangible, valuable asset?

If such a thing existed, of course you’d use it. And that thing does exist — it’s e-mail marketing.

E-mail marketing isn’t new and it isn’t sexy, but it’s a must-have for small businesses.

Consider Gigaom’s June 2014 study of 300 U.S. digital marketers. The study revealed e-mail marketing is “the digital workhorse, deemed the most effective for building awareness, acquisition, retention, and conversion.”



Should You Autopost Social-Media Posts to Multiple Platforms?

September 6th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing, Social Media

In the name of efficiency, some people say you should autopost your social-media posts to multiple platforms. I disagree. These are “social” platforms, after all, and automation is rarely effective for building long-term relationships.

Shona Mackin, a consultant based in Melbourne, Australia says:

“You must…understand that pushing bland, recycled content on your Facebook page and bombarding your Twitter followers with auto-post links and retweets is much worse than bad etiquette. It shows your true lack of understanding the psychology of engagement. And an unengaged audience, no matter what social media channel and ecosystem they reside in, can quickly turn your social network into a ghost town.”



How I Made My First $10,000: Sebastian Schweyen

September 2nd, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Starting Out

This is “How I Made My First $10,000,” a feature that gives all of us a glimpse at how other solopreneurs hit the $10k milestone. Click here to read the other “How I Made My First $10,000″ articles. If you would like to be the “How I Made My First $10,000,” please send me an email.

Sebastian Schweyen (Photo ©Helen S. Nicolai)

Sebastian Schweyen (Photo ©Helen S. Nicolai)

Name of solopreneur:
Sebastian Schweyen

Name of business and city:
Berlin, Germany

Website addresses:
Website: www.waescherei-suche.de
News: www.waescherei-suche.de/aktuelles.html
Business Directory: www.waescherei-suche.de/s/berlin.html



The Immortal Claude C. Hopkins and His 13 Don’ts of Advertising

August 21st, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Sales

If there was a Mount Rushmore of advertising, Claude C. Hopkins would be its George Washington.

Test marketing, coupon sampling, and copy research are standards today in advertising, and Hopkins invented them all.

Claude C. Hopkins

Claude C. Hopkins

Many ad experts believe present-day advertising research doesn’t come close to reaching the standards that Hopkins (1866-1932) established. (For example, he would be appalled by the return-on-investment of Super Bowl advertising.)

Hopkins wrote two books on advertising — “Scientific Advertising” and “My Life In Advertising.” Both volumes continue to be essential guideposts for top advertising, sales, and marketing professionals.



4 Solopreneur Truths Gleaned From the 2014 Golf Season

July 27th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Encouragement, Productivity

Golfers are among my favorite solopreneurs to study, because there’s no ambiguity about how well they’re doing. Golfers’ business results are as plain to see as numbers on a spreadsheet: earnings, top-ten finishes, greens in regulation, number of putts per round, and dozens of other statistics.

With the 2014 golf year entering its final chapters, here are four takeaways from the season that help explain the solopreneur life.

Martin Kaymer, 29, Germany. In 2010 Kaymer was atop the world rankings after winning the PGA Championship. In the ensuing months he overhauled his golf swing in an attempt to improve his game. The results were disastrous. He was missing cuts and his confidence appeared to be shot. He was considered a very weak link on Europe’s 2012 Ryder Cup team.



Random Thoughts After a 10-Day Family Vacation

July 21st, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Uncategorized

Late last night my wife, two daughters, and I arrived home in Minnesota after spending 10 days in Estes Park, Colorado. We’ve made the trip every year to EP since 2001, and we drive. Here are random thoughts from the vacation.

My wife (she's in the bottom-right corner) admires the majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park.

My wife (she’s in the bottom-right corner) admires the majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park.

• I didn’t see evidence of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, except for a head shop on Pearl Street in Boulder. But I suspect the shop has been there for decades, and with the new law the owners can stop the charade that they’re selling pipes and rolling papers to connoisseurs of tobacco.

• The driving range at the Estes Park Golf Course has the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen on a range.



How to Take the First Step Toward Building New Business Relationships

June 27th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing

Below is an excerpt from the book Relationship Marketing for Solopreneurs: How to Build Rewarding Connections in Work and Life, written by Jim Sheard, Ph.D., and Larry Keltto.

Relationships are the foundation for marketing your solo business. And taking the initiative is the first step toward building relationships.

To take the initiative, you must be alert, open, and alive to possibilities for making connections.

The way in which you connect is the first impression you make on another person. A warm smile, a friendly greeting, and an upbeat conversation will open doors to relationships. The same is true when the first connection is online or on the phone.