Free Pinfluence Guide for Successful Pinterest Marketing

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  • Develop a successful Pinterest strategy, right from the start
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3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Wildly Useful Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Wildly Useful Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

Want to know the fastest, easiest way to discover the most popular content in your blogging niche? Do you want to find out exactly who is sharing that content online?

You could do research on Twitter or Facebook, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure out exactly what you’re looking for (and if the results you’re getting are actually accurate).

That’s why I recommend using BuzzSumo to do your blogging research.

BuzzSumo is an online tool that can help you with three major things:

  1. Content Research: Search for the most popular content on any particular topic.
  2. Influencer Research: Find out which influencers, popular bloggers and journalists are sharing the most content related to your topic.
  3. Research on your Competition: Discover which of your competitors’ blog posts are gaining traction online.

Here’s a tutorial on how to use BuzzSumo to conduct useful research in these three areas.

Content Research: Looking for most popular content on a topic

Start by going to Type your blog topic into the search bar across the top of the screen, the click the “Go” button.

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

I searched for the phrase “email marketing” for this example, but you can also search for a single word.

When you see your page of search results from BuzzSumo, you can also filter those results using the options on the left side of your screen.

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

I filtered out everything except Articles and Guest Posts, and got these results for my search term. What BuzzSumo is showing here is a list of the 10 most-shared articles on email marketing (click on the image to see a larger view):

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

Here’s how to use this information: You can use this information to identify subjects that have broad appeal, based on how many times they have been shared on social sites.

These topics can help you fill in your editorial calendar, pitch winning ideas for guest posts, get ideas for social media content, and keep on top of trends in your industry.

Influencer Research: Find people who have shared content on your topic.

Once you’ve done your initial search, click the “Influencers” tab to see people who have frequently shared blog post and articles about your topic.


If you want to know more about the kinds of links that influencer has shared, you can dig deeper by clicking the “View Links Shared” button next to each person’s name.

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

Here’s how to use this information: One of the best things you can do to promote your blog posts is ask influencers and popular bloggers to share your content for you.

BuzzSumo’s “Influencer” search lets you find influential people who have shared content on your topic (and even gives you the direct links to their blogs and Twitter profiles, too).

To find out more about how to conduct a successful blogger outreach campaign, read this great article on

Competitor Research: Find out which blog posts on your competitors’ sites are most popular

You can also enter a domain name into BuzzSumo’s search box, to do a little (legal) spying on your competition.

When I did a search for “,” I got these results:

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Do Blogging Research Using BuzzSumo

Here’s how to use this information: It’s important to know what your colleagues and competitors are doing (and what content is gaining traction with your target audience).

This information can help you build your editorial calendar, come up with ideas for new products and services, and gain a better understanding of what kinds of content your target audience needs.

Pay special attention to the headlines of these popular blog posts — if you mine this data regularly and intelligently, you can seriously increase your chances of picking blog post headlines that go viral!

You can also run a search on your own site, and find out which of your blog posts have been shared most often. ☺

Adding BuzzSumo to Your Online Marketing Research Toolbox

BuzzSumo is a “freemium” tool, which means you can use some of their services for free, then get access to more options and tools if you pay a monthly fee.

And just to let you know, BuzzSumo will prompt you to create a (free) login and password once you’ve done a few initial searches. When you’ve got your free account set up, you can do as many searches as you want.

BuzzSumo’s data isn’t 100% accurate all the time. When I ran searches for my site, I did notice some discrepancies between BuzzSumo’s social sharing data and the counts I’m seeing on my WordPress social sharing plugin.

What’s important is that you look for overall trends in the data. What kinds of headlines and topics are working well for your audience (and which ones aren’t gaining much traction)? Which influencers are most likely to share the kind of posts you write on your blog?

BuzzSumo can give you loads of helpful information, and it’s absolutely worth taking it for test drive. Try it today, and let me know what kind of helpful information you find for your own online marketing journey!


Please, Please Don’t Ask Me to Like Your Facebook Page.

Please Don't Ask Me to Like Your Facebook Page - Here's Why

Last week, I received four automated email invitations asking me to Like someone’s Page on Facebook. These invitations came straight into my email inbox, and I deleted all of them immediately.

The 200 invitations I got before that? They all got deleted, too.

Want to know how many Pages I have “Liked” because someone sent out an email blast from Facebook, asking me to Like it?


That’s right. I never Like a Facebook Page when someone invites me to do so via an email blast.

It’s not that I don’t use Facebook. I’m on Facebook every day – sometimes multiple times a day.

And it’s not that I don’t Like Pages on Facebook, either. Right now, I follow tons of businesses, authors, bands and public figures and I love getting their updates in my Facebook feed.

So if I’m not Liking Pages when I get invited via email, how and why do I start following them?

Usually, I either:

  • Discover a Page on someone’s blog or website, because I’m already reading their content and want to connect with them via social media
  • Start following a Page because someone else has shared that Page’s content within Facebook. I follow the update or link within Facebook, get to the Page, and Like it.

I follow businesses and individuals on Facebook because I appreciate the content, information and offers on those Pages – not because someone blasted out a huge invitation to thousands of their personal friends and I happened to receive it in the middle of my work day.

So those constant emails I get from people who want more Likes, who send out emails begging for Facebook attention? They get ignored.

In the last few months, I have been invited to Like Pages for sandwich shops, restaurants and bars that are thousands of miles from where I live. I’ve been invited to Like Pages for businesses and causes that are completely irrelevant to my interests. People who are hosting live, in-person events (in other countries!) have asked me to Like their event Pages when there is no possible way I can attend.

These invitations annoy me. Really annoy me.

Want me to be brutally honest?

I’m actually less likely to Like someone’s Page – even if I find it organically and I’m interested in the Page’s content — if they have invited me to Like the Page via automated Facebook email blast.

Is that mean? Maybe. But it’s the truth. And if I feel that way, I can guarantee there are a whole lot of other people who feel exactly the same way.

Facebook makes it stupidly easy to annoy the crap out of your friends and family

When you own or manage a Facebook Page, you get the option to “invite” people to Like your Page.

When you’re on your Page on Facebook, you can just click on the three dots next to the “Share” button to get a dropdown menu that looks like this:


When you click on “Invite Friends”, Facebook lets you select from a list of all your personal Facebook profile friends – the people who are connected to you as an individual – and send them an email invitation asking them to Like your Page.

It looks easy, right? It looks like it would totally work, right? And it’s SO SIMPLE.

But I’m asking you to resist the urge to do this.

You will annoy your friends, you will look desperate, and the number of new Likes you get will be negligible at best.

What You Should Do Instead of Inviting Friends to Like Your Page

If you want to gather some new Likes without bugging your Facebook friends, here are some other options for getting them:

  • Put an update on your (personal) Facebook profile that says, “I’m putting business updates and other content about [YOUR TOPIC] on my Facebook Page. If you’d like to follow me there, click here to connect with me,” and include a link to your Page.
  • Add a link to your Facebook page to the bottom of your blog posts or email broadcasts.
  • Buy Facebook ads (there are specific ad types that help you attract Likes for your Page).

Need more ideas? Read this great article from HubSpot, How to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page. NOTE: Yes, this article does tell you to send invitations to existing contacts. Ignore that, but use the rest of their advice! :)

Where to Go From Here

What if you’ve already invited all your Facebook contacts to Like your Page? That’s okay. It’s not the end of the world, and I promise you’re not going to social media marketing hell for doing it.

Just know that going forward, there are faster and more effective ways to grow your Facebook presence. There are ways of getting more Likes by using smart (organic) online marketing tactics, or by paying for Facebook advertising.

Just promise me that from this point on, you’ll keep your mitts off that “Invite Friends” button.

On Mothers, Courage, and Defeating Old Stories

On Mothers, Courage, and Defeating Old Stories

It was 1998. I was 23 years old, and I was staring at an airport gate at the Baltimore Washington International Airport. I had my carry-on bag, trashy magazines, and salty snacks. I was ready to travel.

But there was a problem.

A gigantic plane, headed to Boulder, Colorado, was boarding 15 feet from me – and I was too scared to get on it.

Let me back up a little.

How exactly did I end up at this airport, on this particular day, with a ticket to Boulder in my hot little hands?

Post-graduation blues

I graduated from Penn State in December 1997, and spent the first six months after graduation trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. I continued living in the Penn State area after graduation, and I cobbled together a weird, directionless post-graduation existence.

I started training to be a restaurant manager, and quit after a month. I did administrative work at the Materials Science department at the University, and waitressed at a 1950’s-style diner to pay the rent.

I considered graduate school, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to study or if it would actually help me decide on a career.

During this time, I suffered from massive insomnia, so I became friends with a guy who made doughnuts in the middle of the night at a local bakery. I hung out in the shop at 2 AM, trying to figure things out, while he kneaded and fried the dough.

I was wracked with paralyzing indecision, and smelled of pastries and diner grease all the time.

After a few months, I was exhausted, worn down and sick of myself.

Then an idea for a new direction came from an unexpected source.

A friend of mine (who had graduated from Penn State a few years before) called from Boulder, Colorado. He was attending the University of Colorado as a graduate student in engineering, and wanted to catch up.

I told him I felt stuck and wasn’t sure what my next move should be. I was tired of State College but didn’t want to move back to my hometown, either.

“Well,” he said. “Boulder is pretty great. If you’re not sure what you want to do next, why don’t you figure it out here?”

I hesitated. Move across the country, alone? Really?

But he urged me to think about it. A few weeks later, he even bought me a plane ticket to fly out and visit him, so I scope out his shiny city.

Falling in love with a new plan

I left the doughnut baker and the diner job for a few days, and flew to Boulder. It only took me a few days to fall in love with Colorado and decide I wanted to make the move.

It was nutty. It was impulsive. And it was just crazy enough to work.

At this point it was July 1998, and I knew I needed to:

  • Find a job in Boulder
  • Give away or sell most of my belongings from my State College apartment
  • Buy a plane ticket to Boulder
  • Get on the plane and start my new life

In the meantime, though, I had some family obligations. My older sister was getting married in Pennsylvania in September, and I was the maid of honor. So I had to build my moving itinerary around the wedding date, too.

The plan – unbelievably – actually came together that August. I landed a job at a school in Boulder, sold or gave away most of my stuff, got fitted for my bridesmaid dress, and geared up for the big move.

So on the night of September 12th, the night of my sister’s wedding, everything was ready to go. I would celebrate with my family, then fly to Boulder the next morning.

I smiled for photos and supported my sister that night, and tried not to think about how I was turning my life upside down by moving across the country. I danced and bonded with extended family and pushed aside my uncertainty.

After the wedding, I went home and packed up my last minute stuff. I stayed up all night getting ready to go, and tried to mentally prepare myself to take the biggest leap of my young life.

The gate is open – but I’m paralyzed by cold feet

By 10 AM the next morning, my parents are I were standing at the gate at the airport, and I was a mess.

The gate agent made the announcement for me to board the plane, and mom and dad looked at me expectantly.

And instead of bravely skipping down the hallway to my seat, I stood there in tears, my feet rooted firmly in place. I was freaking out and completely falling apart.

“I can’t do it, Mom.” I choked out. “I’m too scared.”

Thank God for my mom, who has always had an outstanding ability to read people’s emotions and come up with the perfect thing to say or do to help. She recognized my meltdown for what it really was – a symptom of total exhaustion and overwhelm.

And she didn’t give me a way out.

She didn’t say, “No problem, kiddo – let’s just get in the car and drive home, and you can just live with us.”

She didn’t give me permission to give up on my dream and let the fear win.

She simply handed me a tissue, said, “You want to do this, remember?” and reminded me WHY I wanted to get on the plane and go to Boulder. Then she steered me over to the gate, hugged me, took me by the shoulders and pointed me toward the entrance to the walkway.

Her confidence buoyed my spirits and gave me some much-needed perspective. If Mom believed I could do it – and that I was doing the right thing – then I could believe it too.

I took a deep breath, handed my ticket to the gate agent and walked down the bridge to my new life.

So why am I telling you this story?

I’m telling you because this little vignette is a core part of my personal narrative. And it also held me back in my business for a long, long time.

Here’s what I made up about this story:

For many years, I believed that my courage was limited. I believed I could be brave when I was in the planning stages of doing something big, but my bravery was always going to fail me at the last minute.

When the time came to pull the trigger, I thought I would always chicken out.

Because of that conclusion, I avoided taking chances. I said no a lot, and declined opportunities to do high-profile speeches, because I was afraid I would back out at the last minute when my courage inevitably failed.

It took me YEARS to realize that this little airport story – the tale of one exhausted morning in Baltimore when I got cold feet before taking a HUGE step in my life –doesn’t mean I was a coward.

It doesn’t mean I’m not strong or brave. It means that I’m human. And it means I need support and encouragement – just like everyone else.

Because the fact is – I did get on the plane that day. I did move to Boulder. And I’ve been living here quite happily for 16 years.

I’ve been brave and tough at other times over the years, too. Being a single mom takes courage. So does negotiating a huge contract with a big client. So does quitting my corporate job to write a book.

Now when I look over the entire arc of my personal narrative, I can see that I can be brave — even when it’s hard, and even when I’m scared. My conclusion was wrong, and it was interfering with my business decisions.

Here’s why that’s important for you as a business owner –

You probably have a story like this from your past that means something BIG to you. You might have come to a conclusion about what that story means for you as a person, and as a business owner.

And it’s possible your conclusion is completely wrong. Or it was right at the time, but it’s not right anymore.

We all make up interpretations about our past stories. We believe our stories dictate how confident, strong, charming, organized, or financially responsible we are.

And all that stuff we make up can seriously get in our way when we’re trying to run our businesses.

When you think back over your past, are there stories you believe are really, totally, 100% true about who you are and what your skills are? Journal about one of those stories, then write down your old interpretation about what happened (and what it means about who you are).

Then ask yourself – is it possible that interpretation isn’t 100% true? Is it possible that the story doesn’t mean what you think?

Is it possible you’ve changed since then? Do you have more current stories from your life that actually contradict those old conclusions?

Perhaps you’ve actually been charming, financially responsible and intuitive for years, and you haven’t been willing or able to acknowledge it. Or even if the story has been true so far, maybe you’re ready to move past that conclusion and get rid of some bad habits from your past. You might be ready to make that big change.

Journal about those thoughts, and keep pondering these questions over the next few days or weeks.

Our past doesn’t own us

Here’s what you need to remember — your past doesn’t have to continue to dictate who you are and what you can do in this world. Your old stories don’t have to limit what you do and how big you dream.

It may be time to let go of those old legends, or at least shift the stories you tell yourself about those legends.

Sometimes a story is really just that – a story. And you control whether you want to believe that story or not.

It’s completely up to you.

How to Add Pinterest Descriptions to Your Images

Are you using Pinterest to try to drive traffic back to your website or blog?

Then you definitely want your content comes up in the Pinterest search results when pinners are looking for new stuff to pin.

One of the best ways to get found in the Pinterest search results is to include keyword-rich descriptions for all of your Pinterest pins. The description is just the little caption area underneath each pin, where you can add some text about what’s in the picture.

Here’s an example of a pin on Pinterest. The pin description is indicated by the red arrow.

Pinterest Pin with Description Highlighted

Let’s take a look at an example.

If I want to pin an image from Brian Clark’s new blog,, I’ll use my trusty PinIt bookmarklet for my browser.

I’ll choose an image from Brian’s most recent post, How to Transform Yourself (Without Disrupting Your Life). Then, from within the bookmarklet pop-up box, I’ll choose a board on which to pin the image.

Then, I’ll see a box like the one below. I can edit or change the pin description in the area indicated by the red arrow.


Here’s what’s interesting, though – it your visitors use the PinIt bookmarklet to pin images from your site, they are probably not going to bother to edit the description that auto-populates in that area. They’re just going to pick a board, click “Pin It” and move on to the next shiny object they see online.

Here’s why that is important for you -

If you want to get traffic for Pinterest, you must optimize your images for Pinterest, and add pre-populated pin descriptions that are search engine friendly. Since most pinners don’t usually change or add pin descriptions when they pin your images, it’s highly likely the original description will stay with that pin as it gets re-pinned to various boards all over Pinterest. So you want to get it right — right from the start.

And as it turns out, there’s a quick and easy way for you to optimize every image on your site for Pinterest by pre-populating that “description” field.

Here’s a quick little video that describes the process of how to add descriptions to your images when you’re using The process will be really similar on other blogging platforms.

If you want to see a larger version of this video, click here.

This is one of those quick little tips for Pinterest that might come in handy in you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic back to your blog.

I’d love to hear how YOU use Pinterest (personally or professionally)! Tell me in the comments below what you like to do with Pinterest, and feel free to share a link to one of your favorite boards. It can be one of your boards, or someone else’s!

The Top 5 Reasons You’re Probably Terrified of Hosting Your Own Webinars

The Top 5 Reasons You're Probably Terrified of Hosting Your Own Webinars

Note: This post is part of my 4-part series answering the biggest questions people have about webinars. You can read the first three posts here:

What the Heck is a Webinar?
Why Webinars Might Be the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do for Your Business
41 Ways to Build Your List, Bond with Your Readers and Make More Money Using Webinars

And get information on my upcoming program, Mighty Webinars, which can help you create, promote and run your own profitable, ethical webinars.

You look at other experts in your industry, hosting wildly successful webinars that bring in hundreds of participants and thousands in sales.

And you know that hosting webinars could help you build your list, increase your online authority and make more money for your business.

But when you think about hosting our own webinar, are you actually….terrified?

If so, you’re not alone.

Lots of people find webinars intimidating.

It’s no wonder, really. Webinars seem really technical and they’re highly visible. And as with all live events, sometimes things go wrong on webinars.

But in many ways, webinars are actually simpler than you think.

So let’s get all those fears right out in the open. Let’s talk about the main reasons people are scared about webinars, and then we’ll get a little dose of reality.

By the time we’re done, we’ll blast right through your fears and get you ready to host your own profitable, ethical webinars.

Fear #1: You think you actually have to be on camera during a webinar.

A lot of folks believe that when you run a webinar, you actually need to be in front of the camera, presenting your material. And that can feel really scary!

Fear of being in front of the camera is one of the biggest concerns that keeps people from creating their own YouTube videos, as well.

REALITY CHECK: You don’t actually need to be in front of the camera to host a webinar.

I’ve hosted lots and lots of webinars over to the last few years, and not once did I appear on camera in front of my live audience.

To be honest, just the thought of having to do that gives the willies, too.

During my webinars, I usually show slides, use live examples from the web, or do a combination of both. The webinar software I use does have webcam capability, so if I wanted to appear in front of the camera, I could. I’ve seen other webinar host do that very successfully.

But that’s not really the way I want to do my webinars, so I choose not to. Haven’t heard any complaints yet, either.

Fear #2: Webinars have a lot of moving pieces.

When you’re running a webinar, you’re presenting an audio component (your voice, presenting the topic) and a visual component (your slides, or a demo of whatever you’re doing on your desktop).

That can feel like a lot of moving parts to manage.

REALITY CHECK: The software you’ll use to run webinars is a little tricky at first – but a lot of things are tricky when you’re a beginner.

But with just a little bit of practice, using your webinar platform gets easier and more fun.

And because webinar software is sophisticated, there are ton of things you can do with it. You can show a demonstration, create a discussion, take a survey, or do something completely original – and the webinar software will support it.

With a bit of help (in the form of a good teacher or smart tutorials from your software company) you can master the moving parts of hosting webinars, and learn to run fabulous, professional online events.

You can also run practice webinars with family and friends (I did, at the beginning) so you can learn in a low-pressure environment.

Fear #3: You think you have to run webinars on your own, and you’re going to get overwhelmed.

You might be scared that you’re going to have to troubleshoot participants’ audio or video problems while you’re trying to present your webinar material.

No one likes to feel like they’re flying without a net, so this fear makes perfect sense. But you don’t need to run your webinar as a solo act.

REALITY CHECK: You can manage small webinars completely on your own. Then as you gain traction and bring in additional participants, you can call for back up.

It is 100% fine (even recommended) to bring in an extra person to help you with your webinar. You can ask a friend to sit in on the session and help you field questions and issues, or hire a virtual assistant to help you host the session.

You may even want to hire a professional webinar moderator at some point (yes, there are people who do this for a living – Roger Courville is an kick-butt webinar moderator).

Fear #4: You are afraid something is going to go wrong.

There are a myriad of ways things can go wrong on a webinar. Here are things I have experienced personally on my webinars:

  1. Audio problems prevented my audience from hearing my co-presenter, who played a major role in presenting the information during the event.
  2. Something went wrong with the webinar software and prevented people from logging in at the beginning of the event.
  3. I neglected to upgrade my webinar software (so I could include more participants in the event) so 20 people couldn’t log in to the webinar and got an error saying they were locked out.
  4. I messed up the link to my sales page, so people couldn’t buy the product I was selling on my webinar.
  5. I lost my voice right before a big webinar.
  6. A half-crazed puppy barked, cried, whined and nibbled on my hands during my presentation (yes, this actually happened).

REALITY CHECK: Things go wrong during webinars.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever run a perfect webinar.

The good news is that as you get more experienced, you get better at recovering from problems as they crop up. I recovered from every single one of the problems I experienced above.

As you get more experienced, you also develop your own personal pre-webinar checklist to run through before your event that nips many problems in the bud (including psychotic puppies – I figured that one out).

Also, most webinars problems are considerably more noticeable to you than they will be to your audience. Problems seem huge to you, but your audience might not event notice (or care).

So take a deep breath. If a problem comes up, you can figure it out — and it’s not going to be as disastrous as you think.

Fear #5: You don’t know where to start.

The main reason people think webinars are scary is that they just don’t know where to begin.

They see their friends, colleagues and competitors using webinars to grow their relationships, establish authority, grow their lists, and make money, but they think to themselves, “Where do I even START?”

REALITY CHECK: You can totally just pick a webinar software platform (I have used GotoWebinar for years, and I love them) and learn as you go.

All you really need to run your first webinar is a healthy dose of courage and a webinar platform.

But if you’d like a little help, I’ve got a class happening in March that might be a good fit for you. It’s called Mighty Webinars, and it’s a step-by-step program that will walk you through the exact steps you need to take to run successful webinars. Click here to get more information.

How to Get Past Your Biggest Webinar Fears and Go for Broke

Thinking about doing your own webinar? I highly encourage you to try it. Not only has doing webinars made me a better presenter over the years, but it’s also made me more fearless in general.

Once you’ve had a live audience witness your 3-month-old puppy having a epic meltdown while you’re trying to flip slides and explain Pinterest, everything else feels a little easier. It’s pretty hard to rattle me now.

The nice thing about webinars is that you can start small – just sign up for an account with a webinar tool like GotoWebinar (or use Google Hangouts) and create an event for you and a couple of friends. You can play around with the interface and get more comfortable with presenting using a webinar format.

The most important thing to remember is that your webinars don’t need to be perfect. Webinars and live presentations can be a little messy sometimes, and that’s okay – they’re supposed to be. The “messy” is part of the fun.

If you embrace the imperfection and jump in with both feet, you’ll be running webinars in front of hundreds of rabid fans before you know it – and you’ll see major benefits in your business, too.

A whole world of possibilities is open to you when you master the world of webinars.

So give ‘em a shot today. What’s stopping you?

Mighty Webinars is Here!

The Mighty Webinars program is now open for registration! In this new program, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create, promote and run successful webinars.

Get more information on this exciting new program right here.

41 Ways to Build Your List, Bond with Your Readers and Make More Money Using Webinars

This post is part of my 4-part series answering the biggest questions people have about webinars. You can read the first two posts here:
What the Heck is a Webinar?
Why Webinars Might Be the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do for Your Business

Webinars are hot stuff these days. Everywhere you turn, you’re probably seeing invitations for free webinars, Google Hangouts, and live online summits.

But you’re having trouble picturing how webinars could actually help your business.

If you’re a coach, consultant, author, therapist, blogger, or other small business owner, you need practical, real ways to use webinars to:

  • Grow your list
  • Get your message out to the world
  • Increase your authority in your niche
  • Connect with your audience members
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Sell products and services

If you’re getting stuck when you sit down to brainstorm ways to use webinars, today’s post is going to be a HUGE kick-start for you.

So, without further ado, here’s the definitive list of 41 specific and practical ways you can use webinars to grow your list, connect with your audience, and make money:

How to Webinars to Market Your Business and Grow Your Email List

1. Make your webinar slides into visual badges for Pinterest and Facebook. Visual marketing is HUGE right now, so if you’ve got great slides, make them into cool, shareable graphics you can use on social media.

2. Pull quotes from you and your webinar co-presenters and make them into attractive quote badges. People LOVE quotes, so make sure you take inspiring and interesting quotes from your webinars and make them into promotional materials for social media.

3. Offer free, open, pitch-free Q&A sessions as a promotional tool for your business. Once a month, hold an open Q&A webinar where you just show up and answer as many questions as you can in an hour. People need to sign up (via email) to get the webinar login details, so this is a great list-building strategy.

4. Use webinars (either live or automated) as a way to entice people to sign up when you’re running Facebook or other online advertisements. Studies have shown that Facebook Ads will be considerably more effective if you drive your advertising traffic toward a free incentive (like a free report or webinar).

5. Create online summits or virtual conferences using webinars. You can attract tons of subscribers by hosting an online summit (which is really just an extended webinar where you invite special guests to come in and speak to your audience). Your special guests will often help you promote the event, so you can potentially reach thousands of additional potential subscribers.

6. Turn webinar presentations into slide decks to publish on SlideShare. SlideShare is one of the world’s most underutilized sources of traffic. You can easily turn your webinar slides into slide decks to share on SlideShare.

7. Approach experts in your niche (or other influencers with similar communities to yours) to do webinars for their audiences. You’ll get in front of their audiences when they send out promotional emails for the webinars. Depending on the arrangement you have with your co-presenter, you can often add the your webinar participants to your email list. Make sure you’re clear on the arrangement with your co-presenter before you do your webinar.

8. Ask another expert to do a live webinar for YOUR audience. Having new and interesting guests on your webinars will often draw significantly more webinar participants.

9. Upload some of your webinars to YouTube and include links back to your site and your email opt-in page. You can give away some of your content on YouTube or Vimeo – just make sure you always include strong calls to action, to prompt people to sign up for your list.

10. Create a pinboard on Pinterest that features all of your recorded webinars (or invitations to join your live ones). Video content is allowed on Pinterest boards, but hardly anyone uses it – so be one of the unique pinners who includes video, and pin the webinars you upload to YouTube on your Pinterest boards.

11. Turn your webinar content into free videos to give away during launches. You can record any webinar, no matter what platform you’re using, and use it as a free giveaway next time you run a launch.

How to Use Webinars to Connect with Your Readers, Prospects and Customers

12. Build authority by doing regular webinars (either promotional or pitch-free). The more high-quality content you give away, the more authority and respect you’ll build.

13. Listen to your participants’ feedback and questions during your webinars – the feedback you get will probably be more candid and honest than what you could gather during a formal survey of your audience.

14. Get ideas for new blog posts, podcast episodes, products and services. Take your audience questions and feedback and turn them into ideas for new content for your business. If you see particular questions come up over and over again, you might consider creating a special product or service to address that need.

15. See who your true fans are. I have two people who show up for every single webinar I host. If they’re not on a webinar, it probably means they are bleeding from the head. These people also happen to be two of my very best clients. If people shows up for your live training webinars over and over again, that means they are VERY warm leads for you, and it’s probably a good idea to touch base with them to find out how you can help them.

16. Ask questions during webinar sign-up. You can often customize the sign-up forms for your webinars, so you can ask specific questions in those fields. Is there something about your audience you really want to know? Create a question on your sign-up form and ask them. One tried-and-true question that works in all situations is, “What is your biggest problem with [YOUR TOPIC]?”

17. Create unstoppable sales copy by discovering your potential customer’s objections. When you’re selling products, one of your main jobs is to get people over the objections that come up for them during your sales process. You’re probably going to see certain objections or issues coming up over and over again during your webinars, and you can use those exact phrases to create powerfully compelling, persuasive sales copy.

18. Utilize the “Meet and Greet”. Before the webinar officially starts, you can chat with your audience, ask them questions, and warm them up a bit before you start your presentation. I like to ask people where they’re calling from, and what they’re looking to learn on the webinar. It’s also a great way to show people how use the chat or question box on your webinar software.

19. Create a bond by telling stories. Webinars are an intimate form of communication, whether you’re using them as a promotional tool or to deliver paid content. You can intensify that bond (and keep people engaged) by telling stories on your webinars. At the beginning of promotional webinars, it’s always a good idea to tell people a little bit about who you are and what your story is, to help them understand you and trust you. You can also use case studies, testimonials or example stories during your regular presentation to keep people interested and engaged.

20. Host customer-only webinars to provide new information about current products, or give special sneak peeks of upcoming additions to your product line. Offering special programs like this builds customer confidence and helps your clients learn to use your products better, which increases their chances of becoming repeat customers (or staying with your continuity or membership program).

21. Pull back the curtain and offer your webinar participants a glimpse at what happens behind-the-scenes in your business or industry. Giving people a look at what goes on behind closed doors lets people know your story and makes them feel like they’re part of a special, insider community.

22. Offer the content from your webinars as a regular audio or video podcast. Podcasts are hot right now, and they can be fantastic marketing tools. You can take your webinar content and offer it as a regular podcast.

23. Use webinars during your onboarding process. You can host a live monthly webinar for new clients, where you can tell people what they can expect from working with you and let them ask questions.

24. Offer webinars as content upgrades. Need free giveaways and incentives for your website? Live and recorded webinars make great free “bribes” on your blog. At the end of a blog post, you can include a button your readers can click to sign up for a targeted webinar that is relevant to the content they just finished reading.

How to Use Webinars to Make Money in Your Business

25. Host free promotional webinars that include a pitch for your product or service. We talked about this in yesterday’s post, Why Webinars Might Be the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do For Your Business. Promotional webinars are a phenomenally effective marketing tool, when used correctly. Just make sure not to make the entire webinar a giant sales pitch – respect your audience, and give away top-quality content, then offer a relevant and targeted sales pitch at the end.

26. Include webinar Q&A sessions or other discussions as part of a membership site. If you’ve got a continuity program or ongoing membership site, you can include live weekly or monthly Q&A webinars with you or other experts as part of the paid program. Copyblogger Media’s Authority membership program features weekly Q&A sessions with a rotating cast of influential experts, and it’s a huge selling point for this (paid) online community.

27. Use a webinar to create digital products to sell (like ebooks, recorded workshops, and video series). Package up a webinar (or series of webinars) as a product. If you’re not sure how to create a product for your business, this is a quick and easy way to get started.

28. Run a short or long-term mastermind or coaching group from a webinar platform. You can gather your mastermind together in a regular webinar discussion group. Two of my business coaches, Pam Slim and Tommi Wolfe, both use GotoWebinar to gather their mastermind members together in one virtual place, even when those members are scattered all over the world!

29. Get sponsors for your regular webinars, especially when you start attracting large audiences. Once you reach a certain attendance level, you can actively recruit sponsors for your webinar and make money directly from sponsored ads or announcements during your event.

30. Market affiliate products on your webinars. I recently attended a outstanding webinar, hosted by Anne Samoilov, where she invited an expert from LeadPages to talk about optimizing your website for maximum subscriber sign-ups. During the webinar, the presenter gave tons of ideas for turning your visitors into subscribers (with LeadPages or without) and at the end of the webinar there was a sales pitch for LeadPages. Anne received an affiliate commission for all the sales they made during the webinar.

31. Need bonuses for your online products? You’ve seen all those online programs that have a big list of “bonus” content you can get for buying the product. You can easily use recorded or live webinars as those bonuses when you’re launching your paid products or programs. Bonus note – you can use some webinars as bonuses for multiple products, as long as they are a good fit for that content!

32. Use an automated webinar service (like Stealth Seminars and Evergreen Business Systems) to sell products during automated webinars. Amy Porterfield and Michael Hyatt both run very high quality  automated, pre-recorded webinars that feature great content and include a pitch at the end. Automated webinars can turn into a source of ongoing, passive income if they’re done well and you promote them regularly. You simply record your webinar once, upload it, and make sales on an ongoing basis.

33. Become a webinar moderator or manager. If you love running webinars, help other people do it! Hire yourself out as a regular webinar community manager or moderator.

34. Host a live webinar during a product launch, offering some sort of special deal on your product or program. When you’re doing a product launch, you need to do everything you can to draw attention to your launch. Launch-week webinars can be a great way to give people an introduction to your teaching style, give them free content, and sell products or programs.

35. Remember those online summits we mentioned during #3, above? You can give away your seminar content for free if people attend live, and also offer them a package of all the recordings of the presentations for a reasonable fre. Photographer Catherine Just ran a popular summit for several years called The SoulFull Summit, and sold recordings using this model.

36. Use your webcam to teach a paid class in which you need to demonstrate something live – like cooking, flower arrangement, bike repair or archery. You can keep the camera on you during the webinar, and teach anything you want!

37. Use webinars to conduct live makeovers or critiques of things like wardrobes (if you’re a personal stylist), websites (if you’re a designer) or rooms in houses (if you’re a professional organizer).

38. Use webinars to help you promote your live events and conferences. If you’ve got an in-person event or conference coming up, you can host webinars with your conference speakers to increase buzz and make more ticket sales.

39. Make money with your co-presented webinars. Remember those joint ventures we mentioned in #7 and #8, above? You can also sell products on those webinars, and split the profits with your co-presenter.

40. Launch your book with a webinar. Offer a special webinar during your book launch week, and do a virtual reading. Offer giveaways and prizes to build buzz and encourage people to attend and invite their friends.

41. Offer a weekly webinar to sell membership or continuity programs. Podcasting expert John Lee Dumas offers a free webinar-based workshop every week for anyone interested in started a podcast, and makes sales of his Podcaster’s Paradise program every time he does it.

Webinars are a highly effective (and fun!) content marketing tool

Businesses in all kinds of industries and niches (including B2B and B2C businesses) are discovering that webinars are an effective way to build relationships with their prospects and market their products and services.

I’ve just showed you over 40 creative and fun ideas to integrate webinars into your business model.

Want to know what to do now? Block out 30 minutes, set a timer, and sit down with a blank sheet of paper. Then make a list of all the ways you can use webinars to build your list and make YOUR business more profitable in 2015. If you get stuck, return to this post and look for more inspiration.

Once you’ve got a list of webinar ideas for your business, pick one. Choose an idea that you’re excited about. You don’t have to start at the top, with the most ambitious webinar idea on the list, either. Start simple.

After you’ve chosen an idea, run with it. Get it scheduled some time in the next two weeks. Set a date and start promoting your new webinar. You can use tools like GotoWebinar or Google Hangouts to run your first webinar event.

And above all – have fun with it! Webinars are a great way to talk with your audience, so enjoy your first event, even if you only get one participant.

I started with one attendee at my first webinar, and now I regularly get over 400 participants every time I do a webinar event.

Your job with webinars is to start small, and grow!

Your readers, clients and customers will thank you for it – and so will your bottom line.

Want to make sure you don’t miss any of my webinar content? Make sure to sign up right here, and you’ll get all this week’s content right in your inbox.
Get More Great Webinar Tips!

41 Ways to Use Webinars to Market Your Business

Why Webinars Might Be the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do for Your Business

Why Webinars Might Be the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do for Your BusinessWe’re already talked about what webinars are, what they’re not, and what makes webinars different from other types of training events.

But you may still be thinking, “Why would I want to use webinars in my business?

Webinars are a highly flexible method for teaching all kinds of information, and they also can also be a powerful sales tool. Whether you do free or paid webinars, there’s no doubt that the benefits are HUGE.

Here are 8 reasons webinars might do AMAZING things for your business:

1. Webinars are a great tool for email list building.

Webinar are delivered online, which means your participants will need login information to access the training. You’ll need to email that login information to all your attendees.

That means your participants need to give you their email addresses in order to sign up for your webinar.

Because you collect email addresses every time you host a webinar event, webinars can be a fast, effective and FUN way to build your list (or start building a list, if you’re not already doing so).

The great part about gaining new subscribers with webinars is that you’ve also got the opportunity to make a great first impression on your new community members. If a new subscriber’s first experience with you is attending your generous, top-quality webinar, you can turn that subscriber into a huge fan — fast.

2. When people attend a webinar with you, it helps you build relationships with them.

Online marketing is all about getting people to know, like and trust you, and giving away free content via webinars is a great way to start doing that. There’s something about people being able to hear your voice and get to know you via live online events that really speeds up the “getting to know you” process.

Using webinars, you can connect with your audience in unique ways that sometimes aren’t possible with text or recorded video content.

3. Webinars convert better than almost any other sales medium.

There are lots of people who sell products and services on free webinars. It’s one of the reasons people host webinar trainings. Webinars convert like crazy, and you can make tons of sales if you know how the deliver an effective sales pitch during a live free training.

Don’t get me wrong, though — I have no tolerance for online experts who waste my time by giving me an hour-long sales pitch and calling it a webinar. I think there should be a special place reserved in online marketing hell for people who deliver overly-salesy, poor-quality webinars.

But if someone deliver a content-rich webinar that happens to have a sales pitch at the end? I’m fine with that – and most other audience members are, too.

I think webinar presenters need to earn their pitch time, though. Webinar content matters more than anything else.

When you’ve got the right system, you can earn lots of money by hosting free webinars and incorporating a sales pitch for a relevant product or service. It’s a model that consistently works well for all kinds of businesses.

4. Webinar presentations help you establish yourself as an authority.

When you get in front of a webinar audience to present information about your topic (and answer questions from the audience), it helps cement your reputation as an authority in your field.

Just like with live speaking events, people trust the person at the front of the room.

Doing high-quality webinars makes people say, “Wow! She really knows her stuff!” which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to establish yourself in your field.

5. Webinars allow you to get valuable feedback from your audience.

One of the best things about doing webinars is getting feedback and questions from your participants.

So make sure to pay attention during your webinars — are there particular questions that come up again and again? Where are people getting stuck? Where do they need more information?

The data you can glean from webinar questions can be invaluable to you — not just as ideas for future blog posts and podcast episodes, but also when you’re evaluating ideas for products and services.

The listening part of webinars is just as important as the talking part.

6. You can add webinar training programs to your products and services.

Webinars are a great tool for delivering your training, teaching or coaching services.

You can offer paid online classes that you run from a webinar platform, then record your live sessions and package them up as products to sell on your site. If you’ve been dragging your feet about creating online products (or you’re not sure where to start with online product creation) this is an easy way to get started.

You can also host live Q&A sessions, create and deliver presentations, and do live demonstrations using webinars. Almost anything you can do during a live, in-person training session, you can do during a webinar.

There are tons of ways to incorporate online events into your product line, so being able to use webinar technology to deliver paid content could be a HUGE boon for your business.

7. Webinars allow you to partner with other experts in your industry.

Inviting another expert in your niche (or strategic partners in a similar or overlapping niche) to co-present on a webinar is a great way for you to develop relationships with other influencers.

And once you’re feeling comfortable with selling from webinars (if that’s what you decide to do) you can host joint venture webinar trainings where you present a webinar to another person’s audience. When you do joint venture webinars, you often split the income from the event — so that can be a nice income stream for you, too.

Webinars can be great for rubbing elbows with influencers, experts and other authority figures in your field. And those relationships can help your business in all kinds of ways. You can also help THEM – which is a wonderful way to start (or maintain) a relationship!

8. Webinars make you a better presenter.

I noticed that the more webinars I do, the more comfortable I get with speaking in front of groups. Webinars require different presenting skills than speaking in front of a live audience, because you don’t actually get to see your audiences’ faces. Personally, I think that could be a positive or a negative thing, depending on how comfortable you feel in front of people.

There’s no doubt, though – presenting during webinars can help you feel more comfortable delivering information to a group, sharing slides, and answering questions in front of a live audience. It also helps you learn to go with the flow if something go wrong during your speaking event!

Creating and running live webinars is one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years to improve the flow, pacing and engagement level of my presentations. I highly recommend doing them to make your live and in-person presentations better.

Why Webinars May Be the Best Thing You’ve Ever Done for Your Business

Webinars are an incredibly flexible, powerful tool for you to build your list, increase your bottom line and build relationships with your audience and other experts in your niche.

Want to try out a couple of webinars? There’s nothing stopping you. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of GotoMeeting or one of the other popular webinar tools, and get started today.

The world needs more great content, and more high-quality trainings from experts just like you.

So go get ‘em, tiger – the webinar world is waiting for you.

Enrollment for Mighty Webinars is now open!

This new program teaches you everything you need to know to build your list, connect with your customers and make more money with webinars. Find out more right here.

For the next few days, we’re going to continue covering the most frequently asked questions about webinars. Then I’m going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the webinars I’ve done in the last few years (and what I’ve learned from doing those events).

Want to make sure you don’t miss any of my upcoming webinar content? Make sure to sign up by clicking the red button below, and you’ll get all this week’s content right in your inbox.

Get More Great Webinar Tips!

What the Heck is a Webinar, Anyway?

What is a Webinar?Every day, you probably receive another email, inviting you to attend a new webinar.

“Brand New Training!” the invitation says. “Learn new, valuable stuff from a trusted expert!”

It seems like absolutely everyone is hosting webinars these days.

Authors, speakers, coaches, therapists, social media experts, and other leaders are all using free and paid webinars to increase their online authority, connect with their audience members, and make money by selling products and services.

But what exactly is a webinar?

The word “webinar” originally came from “web seminar.” A webinar is essentially just a seminar or workshop held over the Internet, and it can be a presentation, discussion, demonstration, or other instructional session. Webinars can either be free or paid.

Webinars are sometimes called webcasts, online trainings, online events, seminars, or online classes.

You can use webinars in tons of different ways right now, but it’s helpful to learn some of the basics about webinars so you can decide if they might fit well into your business model.

So let’s take a look at some of the common traits of webinars. These statements aren’t hard and fast rules — there’s a big spectrum of what you can do with webinars — but most webinars have these things in common.

1. Most webinars include an audio component. Participants can listen to the presenter by using the speaker on their computers, or dialing in using regular land or cell phones.

2. Webinars typically include a visual component of some sort. Usually, the presenter shares his or her desktop with the audience, and shows participants a slide show or other document. But presenters can also show live examples from the web, or do a demonstration of a particular piece of software. I’ve done webinars were I’ve showed PowerPoint slides or PDF slides, but I’ve also showed a web browser to the audience and showed them live examples of blog posts, Pinterest, Facebook or another social media tool.

3. Most webinars are live events, in which the person who is presenting speaks directly to the audience. There are ways you can do pre-recorded or automatic webinars, but live events are more common.

4. The presenter uses a webinar tool to run the event over the Internet. Presenting a webinar to a live audience requires a special tool, and there are several software companies that specialize in webinar tools. GotoWebinar is one of the most well-known of these tools. Attendees view the event by using login information provided by the webinar service.

5. A lot of webinars include some interactivity between the presenter(s) and the audience members. Webinar services (like GotoWebinar) have special tools that allow the host to handle questions, run surveys or speak to participants one-on-one by unmuting their phone lives.

6. The goal of most webinars is to teach the attendees or answer questions, and there’s usually a loosely-planned structure of some sort. For example, one common structure for a free, promotional webinar might be:

  • 5-10 minutes of introduction, including going over the agenda
  • 60 minutes of how-to content (with presentation slides or a live demo)
  • 15 minutes of Q&A

6. Webinars are either free (and often include some sort of pitch of a paid product or service) or paid (as part of a paid class or workshop). The flexibility of the platform makes webinars a great choice for all kinds of business purposes in many different industries and niches.

7. Webinar attendees can attend the event from anywhere (and any time zone) as long as they have an Internet connection.

What Makes Webinars Different From Other Events?

You may have heard other terms being used for online events, like the word “teleseminar” or “online summit.” Teleseminars are similar to webinars, but the presentation is audio only. The participants call in to a regular telephone conference line to hear the presentation, and there is no visual component delivered over the web.

Technically speaking, an event must have both audio and video components in order to be a webinar.

Why Do People Like Attending Webinars?

Webinar are appealing for lots of reasons. I like attending webinars because they’re interesting and educational at the same time. I almost always learn something when I’m attending a webinar, and because there are audio AND visual components, they’re super engaging.

I also feel like I can learn a lot about someone when they present a webinar. There’s something about hearing a person’s voice, listening to how they present, hearing their stories, that gives me a bit of insight into who that person is (and most importantly, whether or not I can trust them).

I’m not sure if I should admit this publicly or not, but I am an absolute sucker for a well-delivered webinar. If someone presents a good webinar, then offers me a relevant and reasonably-priced program or product, I’m probably going to dig out my wallet and buy it.

I will be the first to admit that I buy too many online products — and webinars are one of the reasons why!

Why You Should Consider Adding Webinars to Your Marketing (or Teaching) Mix

Webinars are an incredibly persuasive way to deliver a sales pitch, if you want to use them for sales, and a webinar is a great tool for delivering content when you’re teaching or coaching, too.

If you’re not currently using webinars as part of your online strategy, it’s worth your while to look into whether they might be a good fit for you, your audience and your business model.

Wondering how you can use webinars in your business or blogging model? Look for a post from me tomorrow that will give you over 40 ways to use webinars to build your list, connect with your audience, be a better teacher or coach, and make more money.

And just to give you a heads-up:

Mighty Webinars, my 6-week class on creating, promoting and presenting powerful webinars, is now open for enrollment. We’d love to have you join us!

Why Do You Do What You Do?


I’ve learned a lot of fancy marketing techniques in the past few years. And sometimes when I did launches or ran programs, I felt like the marketing techniques were running the show, instead of me. I felt like my mission was getting buried in the methods.

So I want to get back to basics, and tell you why I do what I do. So here’s my truth-telling for the day:

I love working with entrepreneurs and business owners, because I feel like I can make a direct difference in people’s lives by helping them build businesses that they love.

I believe we can all lead lives of extraordinary power and magic. I know that we all started our businesses because we have a particular passion, a unique message that we want to share with the world – and I can help people share that message with as many people as possible. As a coach, I empower entrepreneurs — and it’s really satisfying and rewarding.

Here’s what one of my client said to me recently, that I think really sums up why I do what I do (and why I love it so much):

“Beth, you change your clients’ worlds…just by being you and doing what you do. You CHANGE THE WORLD by helping the world-changers…one client…one website…one blog post…one Pinterest board at a time.”

So if you’re interested in being part of this movement – to live powerful, magical and extraordinary lives – I would love to help you get your message out to the world, and bring in a steady stream of perfect clients to your business.

You can check out my latest program, Pinfluence for Coaches and Consultants, using the link below. I would love to welcome you to our unstoppable community of like-minded souls.

Sign up here (we close the doors at midnight this Saturday, June 14th)

Why do you do what YOU do? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.



Pinterest Marketing Round-Up

Did you miss a post during my Pinfluence Academy launch? Get ‘em all, right here. And make sure to let me know in the comments below which articles were the most useful, interesting or entertaining to you.

The Secret to Dominating Pinterest

5 Ways “Boring” Businesses Can Succeed on Pinterest

The Absolute Best Way to Get More Pinterest Followers — Fast

Is Pinterest Marketing for Me?

12 Unexpected Pinterest Hacks to Improve Every Phase of Your Online Launch (on

Exclusive Pinterest Marketing Interview with Pamela Wilson (on

Why This World-Traveling Artist Signed Up for Pinfluence Academy

Why Are You Still Skeptical That Pinterest Can Work for You? (on Copyblogger)

Today is your LAST DAY to join the 2014 session of Pinfluence Academy. Click here to join us. Registration ends today (March 14th) at midnight, EDT.

You may be thinking, “Whew! Beth, that’s a TON of content and Pinterest tips. Why do I even need your course? Why not just take this information and run with it?”

Here’s the bottom line — in Pinfluence Academy, you’ll learn how to create an effective Pinterest marketing strategy from the ground up. You’ll get the whole picture of how Pinterest can become a crucial leg of your entire online marketing strategy. You will learn how to:

  • Pin content your target market will LOVE (so you’ll attract followers who will become customers)
  • Optimize your website images so pinners will share your content for you
  • Turn traffic from Pinterest into raving fans and loyal customers
  • Make Pinterest your #1 traffic source for quality leads
  • Grow a massive mailing list with Pinterest

—and more. You’ll get 4 weeks of in-depth Pinterest marketing instruction that you absolutely will not find anywhere else.

The articles above are just scratching the surface. To become a true Pinterest marketing ninja, Pinfluence Academy is what you need. Join us here today.