Seven Internet Marketers Share Their Biggest Lesson Learned in 2011 by NicoleDean


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                         Expert Briefs:
     Nicole Dean Asks Successful Marketers the
                You Wish you Could

    “What was your big takeaway lesson from 2011
               – either good or bad?”

                                       By Nicole Dean

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                          page 1 of 11
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© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                                                           page 2 of 11
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About Nicole

                          Nicole Dean is the Mostly-Sane Marketer. (Ask anyone who knows her and
                          they’ll say that the “mostly” part is up for debate!)

                          Nicole loves to help online business owners to earn more money AND have
                          more fun! She is an expert in Affiliate Marketing, Affiliate Management,
                          “Lazy Marketing” for passive profits, Outsourcing Effectively, and Marketing
                          with Content. But, she’s got a secret. She uses a LOT of shortcuts.

Nicole juggles a lot of things, but she does it all without working every day or giving out her cell phone
number. The reason she works from home is to have the freedom when and where she wishes to

She enjoys work very much, but lives to spend time with her much-adored husband, her two silly
children – and also her two slightly neurotic puppies, Einstein & Luke.

                     Please stop by Nicole's blog and sign up for updates

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      Also check out her podcast for inspirational audio with successful marketers:

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 3 of 11
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    Resources from Nicole...
Learn the Secret of the Pros.

Learn the secret shortcut that many niche bloggers use to stop working so darned hard while
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Find out how Nicole has gotten a waiting list of people who want her to steal their web traffic:

Sell your Product on Clickbank.
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Jimmy D. Brown called her Wonder Woman when she was his Affiliate Manager. Why? She
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You're One Cup of Coffee Away from Disaster. You've probably thought “I sure hope that I
don’t spill this coffee into my laptop.” Wow. Scary to think about, isn’t it? What would the
ramifications be if you did? And, how long would it take you to recover from that?
And, that’s just from a cup of coffee. Heck, that’s an accident. What about intentional malice?
Hackers, viruses, identity theft — eek! Learn how to protect yourself now, before it's too late:

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                 page 4 of 11
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It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to
answer your burning questions.

If you’ve missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them
all –>

We are getting ready to dive into 2012 and it’s a good time to take a moment
to reflect on our accomplishments over the past year and start setting new
goals for next year.

With that in mind, the question I asked our experts this week….

      What was your big takeaway lesson from 2011 – either good or

       Dr. Mani of says:

In The End, Quality Always Wins Through

The BIG thing this year was the Google Panda ‘slap’ that devastated many
websites and online businesses. While opinions differ, the consensus is that the
algorithmic update was harsh on sites that tried ‘gaming’ the system in different
ways – while it rewarded those who provided value and quality through their

Having been in content marketing as an Internet infopreneur since 1996, I’ve always favored the
approach of writing (or recording) useful content that informs, entertains or inspires viewers and

I cringed through the phase when software generated ‘spun’ word-soup and $2 per 350-word SEO
optimized trash not only thrived, but also dominated SERPs – crowding out the really high quality
expert content that matters more.

Now, even though the ‘slap’ hurt some of my Web properties, I’m overall happy with the shift in
emphasis back to creating quality content that’s valuable to human readers.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                   page 5 of 11
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It’s a shift every infopreneur welcomes – and proves that quality will always win through. That’s my
biggest takeaway from 2011 – and it will impact the way I work in the years to come. I’m also
positioning myself to take advantage of the growing demand for top-notch content by providing
syndication of my content to other publishers (details at

Connie Ragen Green says:

2011 proved to be my best year ever since coming online in 2006, and I
was anxious to take a closer look at what could have made this
possible. There were three target areas that I focused on that
accounted for my increase in income without having to spend any
additional time working in my business.

#1 - I finally outsourced everything in my business that I wasn’t good at or did not enjoy doing. This
meant that by the end of the year I am actively engaged in each day are writing and product creation.

#2 – This year I made it a goal to seek out JV (joint venture) partners with whom I shared a common
interest. This helped me to grow my list and create more products and courses than I ever thought
possible. It’s also lots more fun to work with partners sometimes than always working by yourself.

#3 – I wrote two more books. Becoming an author has given me more credibility and visibility, and this
has led to greater profitability. Take some time and repurpose your blog posts and articles into digital
and physical books and it will change your life forever!

My biggest takeaway from 2011 is that you can accomplish anything you want to achieve in your
life, both personal and professional, if you are just willing to write it down, focus on it every day,
and then take massive action to achieve it within your time frame.

If I can do it, you can do it, too!

Jeanette S. Cates, PhD says:

My biggest takeaway lesson from 2011 was the Power of Systems. I was “out” of my
business for nearly three months, battling a bad case of depression. During that time I
didn’t even send an email! Yet the systems I have set up over the years continued to
© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                     page 6 of 11
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work – with traffic sources like articles and scheduled blog posts leading to optin pages – which led to
autoresponder sequences – which led to sales. Membership sites continued to chug along with
content dripping out automatically. My affiliates continued to promote. Customers continued to be
served through our help desk and friendly support staff. Affiliate payments continued to come in. All
in all my income actually increased in that three months!

I cannot stress enough the importance of laying a solid foundation and putting all of your systems into
place. If I’ve changed one thing – it’s to pay even MORE attention to my systems!

Shannon Cherry says:

Looking back on 2011, I’ve really come into my own in my business. I feel more
confident in my abilities than ever.

But sometimes learning to follow my gut, not what others thought should be
done was a difficult lesson for me.

I asked a few colleagues how to launch my own live event coming up in 2012.
All of them had done events before, so their insights were valuable. I started
on a path, following what they had done, and it didn’t feel right to me. But I
ignored my feelings because I felt what they said mattered more. Then as I
took a break from the project, I saw these same people lose thousands of dollars at their live events.
So what had worked in the past, as I had thought, wasn’t working with the success it once did.

Lucky for me, as a planner, I had time to revamp my whole marketing plan. And now I feel confident
that it will be not only successful, but something I will have fun doing. (And if it’s not fun at all, why

I had to learn that advice, even good advice from great people, is just advice.

Lynette Chandler says:

Reflect, Purge and Focus that’s probably the biggest lessons for me this year. I
realized going into the year I was doing several projects that made me unhappy

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                       page 7 of 11
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every single month. Completely unproductive and definitely not good on the bottom line.

Once those things were identified, I purged them. It sounds so easy now but wow it was such a tough
thing to do then.

It’s kinda like breaking up with a boyfriend but I did it and feel so much more energized and ready
to pour myself into the areas I’ve chosen to tightly focus on. It has already paid off and I’m so looking
forward to 2012.

Lain Ehmann says:

2011 was a year of huge change and growth for me and my business. The
biggest lesson I learned is that though planning is essential, you have to take
the cues from your market and audience.

I’ve floated a few things out there that I thought were going to be sure things,
but no one grabbed them. At the same time, something I threw together
without anywhere near the detail and analysis was a huge hit. Who woulda thunk?

Sure, I could hold true to my beginning-of-the-year planning and refuse to change my plans. But at
what cost? It’s much smarter to go where the market tells you it WANTS to go, even if you think
you’ve got the best plan and products in the world. Maybe you got it wrong, or maybe you just didn’t
notice this hidden demand. It doesn’t matter. Take advantage of the momentum and go with it!

There’s an old saying: “Would you rather be happy or right?”

I encourage you to amend that and ask yourself, “Would you rather be profitable or right?”

I know which I choose!

Nicole Dean says:

Wow! Those are really really good answers. Now the pressure is on.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 8 of 11
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What did I learn this year?

1. The power of coaching.

I always knew that I was blessed beyond belief to have friends who I could turn to when I needed to
think something through. However, I guess I never realized that others NEED what I have and that I
can absolutely impact their lives by helping them one-on-one. But this year, I’ve seen my coaching
clients take HUGE strides. It’s so funny because oftentimes it happens in the first 15 minutes and they
say “OH MY GOSH! I never thought of that even though it’s so obvious!” Not exactly an ego-booster
for me (lol!) but it does make me very happy that their fuzzy overwhelmed brains can get the clarity
and focus that they so much need to move ahead.

Recommended! If you need someone to tell you “THIS project” is the one to focus on or “THIS traffic
technique is what you need to be doing” – I recommend my friend (and mastermind partner who I
brainstorm with on a daily basis), Susanne Myers, who offers private coaching for much cheaper than I

You can check it out here: Private Confidential Business Coaching with Susanne Myers.

Or you’ll find mine here: Nicole Dean Private Confidential Coaching. (Yes, I have many clients whose
names you’d recognize. But I can’t tell you who they are. I promised them confidentiality.)

2. Beyond Transparency. It’s ok to be Personal.

I’ve always tried to be personal on my blog and in my newsletters, keeping my readers up to date on
what is going on in my life. I’ve tried to connect and show them/you that I care. And, I try to be

However, I’m always amazed by the love that I get back when I do share the more private areas of my
life. For instance, when my Eddie puppy died this year, I was devastated. It was emails from my
community (yes from YOU) that got me through it.

And, again, as I’m hosting a child from a Children’s Home in Latvia over the holidays – I received
prayers, well-wishes, and even monetary gifts towards her travel. I am absolutely humbled and am so
grateful for you.

Now I’m not saying to talk about last night when you sneezed while you were drinking a glass of milk.
But, share … and see what happens.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                   page 9 of 11
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3. Hire Based Upon Personality as Much as Skills.

You can always teach someone a new skill, but you can’t easily teach a person to have a positive
outlook. I don’t know about you, but I want to spend my work time with positive people. It’s an
ongoing process to outsource effectively, but there are plenty of people who are in need of work – so
pick the ones that make your day.

4. Balancing Being NICE with Being STRONG.

I know a lot of women, especially, have a hard time with this. In fact, one of my coaching clients talked
with me about this exact topic yesterday.

We WANT to be nice. However, we’re also running a business … so we can’t always be nice, or we’ll
get walked on.

So, direct communication is essential in order to get things done. You can be nice, but the second you
see an issue address it, so that it doesn’t build into a situation where you have to get mad.

Examples that you can use:

      “I need to clarify ______.”
      “I need to know if you can meet the deadline that we agreed upon. If not, I’ll have to get
       another contractor to do this project for me. Please let me know by (date) or I’ll assume you’re
       too busy to take on this work and I’ll reassign it.”

You’ll notice that I use the word “need” rather than “want”. I only do that during a conflict situation to
emphasize that this is not optional.

Other examples:

      “Yes, I understand your situation. However, … “
      “No, that will not work for me. This is what I need… (and when)”

Did you know I have an Outsourcing Course? You can check it out here: Nicole Dean Outsourcing

5. The Bigger Picture. Making Our World a Better Place.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                    page 10 of 11
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As you know, I’ve been talking a lot lately about your legacy and your impact upon the world. I try to
make decisions on my business based upon a bigger picture – will it help my customers and will it help
my customers to better serve their customers?

Well, this year, I decided to go bigger. First, you may have noticed that I have new graphics in my side

One is “Making the Web a Better Place” and the other is “Making the World a Better Place”. If you
have a suggestion of an organization that I should feature on my blog that is making our world a
better place, please let me know. Include a link to a graphic, too.

I hope you've enjoyed this report.


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© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                   page 11 of 11

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