Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What to Do When Your WordPress Site Gets Hacked Part 1

It was Monday morning and I was on a call with a dozen others who are my peers. Each of us helps the small business owner with their businesses in one way or the other. It was at the end of the call and we were each sharing our websites and going over how to make little improvements here and there. Time was running out and there was just enough time for one more website review, I volunteered. As my site was coming up for all to see suddenly the screen turned a maroon red with an outline of a security officer with his hand stretched out and the words of "don't precede malware danger." There was more but I was too horrified to remember exactly what it said. I was concerned about my website that I had spent hours on being ruined plus humiliated that the people on the call had seen me so vulnerable.

Protect Yourself

My first step isn't one you have to take but it helped me. I had a good old fashion pity party. I cried and railed against the evil hackers (that where probably 13 and smarter then me.) And then I did what I should have done before I even started my website. And here is where I want you to start as well. Learn how to protect yourself before you get hacked. The beautiful thing about WordPress and why so many of us recommend it is because it is so easy to learn. Unfortunately, that can also be a detriment to the health of our sites. We have to learn how to add a security fence around our site.

Keep Updated

Here are some things I learned the week of coming back from being hacked. It can and will probably happen to you. I had gone five years on the internet without being hacked and got lazy. I had several domains being hosted together. I didn't keep them all updated with the newest plug-ins and themes. There is such a thing called cross contamination of sites that share a hosting spot. And if your site has outdated items on it that becomes an opening for hackers and then it just spreads. I had a backup plug-in but when I went to check to see how to get the site back it didn't cover all of the different areas of the website. It was worth the amount of money I paid for it. Zero.

Keep Informed

I was scared and didn't know what I was going to do. I don't know code how was I going to wade through lines upon lines of code finding the problems. I went looking for people who could clean my site and it was expensive. By this time I was frustrated and angry at myself. How could I let this happen to all the work I have done. And what was I going to do now. I remembered a year ago I went to a conference in Atlanta and meet a woman who worked helping other small business owners keep their WordPress sites safe. I contacted her on Facebook and was directed to a site called They give out weekly WordPress security reports, best WordPress security practices and best of all a weekly webinar which was going to run that night.

There's More to the Story

There is more to the story. You are just going to have to read the second part to hear what I learned that night that saved my WordPress site from being destroyed. Until then don't make the same mistakes I did. Learn more about how to protect your sites from hackers. Keep all your sites updated, it is so important that the plug-ins and themes stay updated within the sites. Keep yourself informed this is the informational age and things change daily. One of the best ways I found is a great site called I'm not an affiliate for them. Just thankful for the information they provide.

Donor Wall Ideas and the Difference Between Static and Dynamic Recognition

Too often organizations find themselves in the dilemma between static (never changing) and dynamic (ongoing) recognition. Here are some thoughts about static (one-time) recognition verses dynamic (cumulative) recognition.

A dynamic recognition display allows everyone to participate. It not only recognizes those large single gifts that are received from time to time (especially in a specific campaign) but also those smaller gifts given with consistent caring over a longer duration. Each is important to the organization's success and growth and both deserve recognition to show appreciation. Additionally, cumulative recognition allows the donor to see and be thanked for his/her entire history of giving and not simply for a brief "snapshot" of the donor's generosity.

Not-for-profits spend significant amounts of money to recognize donors who give during annual appeals or capital drives. With static recognition, those donors will feel appropriately thanked at the time of dedication; however, the recognition vehicle soon begins to fade into the surrounding décor after the end of the event. As a plaque on the wall, it soon loses its appeal and disappears-if not from view, then certainly from our consciousness.

If, however, organizations would invest a little more into the display, a flexible, expandable, non-defined perimeter piece can be created that will become a dynamic part of their ongoing fundraising efforts. For example, it could include a rotating art exhibit of historic and/or current events that tell a story; this will keep it a consistent area of interest. It will allow organizations to recognize into the future for all donations: large and small, planned gifts and legacies, life insurance proceeds and wills.

Not-for-profits can create giving levels and giving clubs, which allow donors to be continually recognized as their gifts grow through the years. Additionally, they can identify capital campaign donors as the "founders" for a cumulative approach and use their gifts to help generate dollars forever. This method will multiply the effects of donor generosity for years to come.

As you can see, cumulative recognition, or a dynamic display, works for organizations dependent on their donors both large and small; after all, both should have the opportunity to be recognized for their total effort on behalf of the not-for-profit.

Whichever direction you ultimately decide to take (static or cumulative); we hope you allow Design for Recognition to prepare a design to meet your goals and objectives. At that time, we will review the Information Worksheet in detail, and then proceed with a design which will fulfill all your needs and expectations. The result will be a plan that will lead to consistent recognition for a deserving, ever-expanding donor base.

People Don't Do Business With Those They Know, Like and Trust

Have you ever heard "People do business with those they Know, Like and Trust"? Do you know people who like and trust you? Then, why don't you have more business?

I asked myself these same questions and here is what my years of attending hundreds of networking events and spending countless hours upon hours at coffee shops conducting one on one meetings revealed.

People do business with those they Know, Like, Trust AND CONNECT with.

Connecting with someone is the most important element in this equation. Let me explain why.

There are many stages to building business relationships. Relationships are cultivated over time by investing time and effort.

The first stage is getting to KNOW the other person's business. This is where you learn the basics of who they are and the product or service they offer. If you have done any networking you are very familiar with this initial conversation.

The second stage, LIKE, is where you to start to know them personally. Do they have a family? How do they spend their time away from the office? You can tell a lot about a person when you find out what they do during they off time.

The third stage is TRUST. During this stage you will discover both their business and personal ethics. How do they respond to problems? Do they take care of their customers? Listen to how they talk about their clients and family. Are appreciative of the business or does it seem to be more of an inconvenience? Does there seem to be a lot of drama around them?

Now, how many people do you know who pass in all of the above stages? These are people you can say you know them... like them... and trust them. If so, why are you not doing business with them or referring business to them?

I am here to say that the last and most important element is not present.

The fourth stage is CONNECT WITH. This is the most important of all because without it no business will take place. Let me give you an example that made it very clear to me. As I mentioned, I put in my fair share of networking hours meeting people. Many of these offered the same product or service (ie insurance, real estate, etc). If I had an opportunity to refer, for example, a realtor whose business card would I hand out? I know many realtors that I know, like and trust however I gave referred the one I had a CONNECTION with. This connection was made by building not only a business relationship but also a personal relationship.

Once I discovered this stage of building a relationship and spent more time on connecting... really connecting with others, my business increased.

Look at your networking circle and focus more on connecting with each person and you will see that it will change where you spend your time and the rewards will come pouring in.

Linda Ballesteros is a strategic networker who learned the ins and outs of networking after leaving a 30+ year career in banking. To better understand networking, she founded a business women's networking organization which grew to 300+ members the first year. She now has a book "Your Pot of Gold is a Handshake Away" to share the next step to networking... Referral Marketing.

When Is It Time To Bring In The Mediator?

I'd like to be able to tell you that there is nothing in this world that two negotiators can't work out between themselves. I said that I'd like to be able to tell you this, but I can't because it's not true. The sad truth of the matter is that in certain circumstances, maybe it because of our different negotiation styles or negotiating techniques, we are just not able to see eye-to-eye with the other side of the table. When this happens, it may be time to bring in a mediator...

What Does A Mediator Do?

Mediators play two different roles in a negotiation. The first occurs during the actual negotiators themselves. A mediator can be brought in to bring together two sides who for whatever reasons because of what is being negotiated may not be able to come together without some outside help. The other role that they play occurs after the deal is done.

Negotiations consist of many different phases. During the implementation phase of a negotiation, after the deal has been signed and both parties are supposed to be working to make it happen, a mediator may be needed if one or more parties doesn't think that the terms of the agreement are being lived up to. This happens so often that it really should be part of the negotiation definition.

The role that a mediator plays is to find a way to harmonize the differing viewpoints that are held by each side of the negotiation. The reason that you would bring in a mediator is because the alternative is much more messy - you'd have to take the other side to court.

How Do Mediators Help A Negotiation?

You may be asking yourself, so just exactly what do mediators do? That's actually a very good question that does not have one specific answer. Instead, it runs out that mediators do a number of different things during the negotiation process depending on the situation that they find themselves in. Here are a few of the things that you could expect a mediator to do:

New Ideas: Pitch new ideas to each side of the negotiations. It turns out that each side may be more open to hearing about a new idea from a mediator than if the other party in the negotiation made the proposal for the new idea.
Realistic Suggestions: A mediator can help both sides to suggest what are considered to be realistic suggestions.
Come Back: Walking out of a negotiation is a fairly common tactic. However, after this has been done, it can be difficult to determine when you can return to the negotiating table. A mediator can be the person who invites you to return to the table.
Not Get Angry: a mediator can take the time to listen to what both sides of the table want in terms of some controversial topic without becoming angry or upset. Once the idea has been expressed the mediator can have an unemotional discussion with you about your position.
Compromise: a mediator can make suggestions to either side for ways that they can compromise in order to keep the discussions moving on without appearing to be weak.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?

As negotiators, we like to think that we can solve just about any situation. The reality is that sometimes we are not able to communicate clearly with the other side for a whole variety of different reasons. When this happens, it may be time to bring in a mediator.

A mediator serves as a go-between for the different negotiating parties. A mediator has the ability to help out both during the principled negotiation itself and afterwards during the implementation phase. Mediators accomplish their task by selling new ideas to both sides, listening, and showing where compromises can be made.

The ultimate goal of any negotiation is to reach a deal with the other side. Sometimes this can be just too difficult to do by ourselves. When we hit a wall and are not able to either start a negotiation or continue one, it may be time to bring in a mediator. If we judge the success of a negotiation by the deal that gets created, then using a mediator may just be what it takes to get us to where we want to be.

Network Marketing Is All About Duplication

DUPLICATION is the KEY to building a successful home based business and SYSTEMS are the Key to Duplication.

After great effort of time and money, we have built an Amazing Automated Marketing & Training System for GIA reps called the 'Retire Prosperous' Duplication System. You can try it absolutely FREE for 30 Days to please review this page and try it as it can help you grow your business.

In traditional old school network marketing, we were taught to contact our prospects one by one, belly to belly or eyeball to eyeball, but that myth has been replaced with AUTOMATED ONLINE DUPLICATION SYSTEMS that allow you to SORT AND SIFT through hundreds or thousands of prospects and allow you to contact THOSE WHO ARE SERIOUS!

The 'Retire Prosperous' Automated Marketing & Training System will show you how to reach a lot more prospects, and will automatically tell the GIA story for you so that prospects are a lot more likely to join your business.

I will use the analogy of prospecting here. Gold miners in Alaska used a gold pan. They scoop sand and gravel from a river bottom into their pan and then they wash the content again and again until all that is left in the bottom of the pan are tiny flecks of gold or in some cases nuggets.

That is what this sales funnel does and you can do this on a small scale with a pan or you can do it on a big scale with a front loader and a bigger sluice box. The amount of names you put in the funnel determine how many come out the other end.

The 1st phase of the SALES FUNNEL PROCESS is the EXPOSURE STEP. When your prospect goes to your unique, personalized website, they will be on the Exposure Step page where they will see a great 6 minute Professional Video by Kurt Wilkins that plays automatically. At the end of the video a Capture form appears so they can enter their First Name and Email address and see the next step. This is the opt in process that automatically triggers the prospects receiving a professionally written series of emails that talk about the income opportunity in GIA.

The Next Step in the FUNNEL PROCESS is that prospects hear the PRESENTATION STEP (or SALES PAGE). In GIA we do a LIVE Prospecting Call every Tuesday night and one of the best calls is automatically played when they open the second page. It also show photos of all the participants on the call. This gives prospects the whole story about GIA in a powerful way that can be duplicated by EVERYONE using this system.

On the 'Validation Page', prospects will watch a Video that plays automatically about the GIA Abundance Plan with testimonials. Under that video, are 4 more videos that can be played to educate the prospect about our great products. Then there is a green button prompting the prospect to start using our products and/or make money (which will direct the prospect to your GIA replicated site where they can join)!

Here is another huge benefit of using the 'Retire Prosperous Duplication System'. When you purchase leads (which is optional) from the two Approved Lead Vendors, then your leads are automatically added into your 'Retire Prosperous Duplication System/ and automatically start getting professionally written emails personalized from you to your leads. Every email is designed to give prospects reasons to click on a link to visit your website.

The 'Retire Prosperous Duplication System' will automatically notify you when your prospects visit your website and go through the steps. That is your cue that they are a good prospect and that you should call them immediately!

Copywriting Tips You Can Turn Into Gold

Are your communications clichéd, corporate-speak or plain vanilla?

As you may have noticed, bad writing is growing like a disease, especially online. Bad writing is boring, rambling, convoluted. Overly wordy or a grammatical nightmare.

Bad writing has no direction or too many directions. It can show up on your website, in emails, direct mail, ads, brochures, catalogs or just about anywhere.

At best, missed opportunities slip away.

At worst, potentially serious consequences can occur.

Rather than set your company apart in a positive way, bad writing reflects poorly on your company and may cause you to lose face with those you are wooing. Even damage your brand and credibility.

I call this the embarrassment factor. And there are plenty of examples, such as:

Buzzword salad: "utilizing paradigms of support validation strategies of assessment"
Overly hyped "we're a thought leader with an established legacy of innovation and we will continue to take the company to the next level in every encounter... "
Self Important: Dow Corning's "Innovative solutions for wound management," simply means "bandages."
Says nothing. The owners of the company have made a commitment to continue to provide excellent service and expertise which has led to the success of these firms through the years
Even if you avoid these pitfalls you are not home free.

Another potential powder keg is the very real possibility of saying the wrong thing. Or saying the right thing in the wrong way, by that I mean assuming the wrong style or tone for your target audience.

For example, a blog for moms must take a different approach and use different lingo than one for bankers... boxers... or baristas. Getting this right is not easy, yet it is critical to the success of your written communication. I call this the off-key factor.

There are things you can do to sidestep these landmines and create business communications that sing, generating leads and sales.

Take a look at all of your messaging

Are your customer communications weak and unconvincing? Are they suffering from obesity? Most writing, especially for the web, should be cut back by half. Could your communications be from Anycompany USA?

This could spell death for a business.

As I mentioned, most writing on websites, press releases and blogs is boring, egotistical or corporate-speak. Brochures are often a litany of we do this we do that rather than describing how products and services benefit the customer.

Think of it this way: Tell them about their thick, bright, green lawn rather than the ins and outs of your grass seed. See the difference?

Then take the bold step of developing a company personality - and let that personality shine through.

Let's take a peek at the company New Pig. They stand out with a memorable name and play it up. They are a company that produces serious safety and industrial products that doesn't take themselves too seriously.

Here's what they say:

"We're a company with a really odd name... whose employees call each other "Piggers" or "Partners in Grime®." We create award-winning products to make your job easier... and we're absolutely, positively dedicated to helping our customers keep their facilities clean and safe. We know from experience that a clean, safe workplace is more productive."
Their catalog is called a Pigalog®.

You can call them at 1-800-HOT-HOGS and write them at One Pork Avenue. Wouldn't you remember them if you had an industrial spill?

If New Pig is too way out for you, there are plenty of other ways to get noticed.

Take Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, a company that's extra inventive about how they talk about their products and communicate with customers.

Their site includes a Scrapbook of the company history which mentions building the world's largest ice cream sundae... launching a cowmobile to criss-cross the country giving away free scoops... and details their environmentally-friendly activities.

You'll also notice how funky and original the names of their products are - like Kaberry KaBOOM, for example, full of cracklin' candy to tingle your tastebuds.

Doesn't that make you want to run out and get a cone?

Bottom line: Whether your audience is other businesses or consumers, there's a way to talk about your company and products that will help you stand out in the marketplace.

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Think like your prospects.

What drives them?
Keeps them up at night?
What are their hopes and dreams?
Worries and concerns?
Fears and anxieties?
Guilt or shame?
The more you know about your prospects and what makes them tick, the better you will be able to craft an ad, web page, direct mail piece or other communication that hits their hot-button issues. Then you can write from that perspective and position your product as the solution to their problems.

How do you get to this information?

If you have sales reps or other front-liners, speak to these folks. Call key customers and ask them directly. Or use an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey.

Speak to different customers differently

The days of one size fits all marketing are long gone. When you are writing the copy for a promotion, create different versions. Each version should feature a different offer to appeal to different segments of your audience, such as your most loyal customers versus first time buyers or prospects.

This will give your prospects and customers the feeling you are speaking to them personally because you are addressing their situation and their biggest desires or concerns.

Stay in front of your target audience at least 5 times a year - and as much as they will allow.

Most people don't respond to an offer the first time.

Perhaps your promotion hit too early in the buying cycle. Perhaps your prospect does not need or want what you are selling right now, but may be persuadable in the future. Some people need to see something a few times for it to register.

Also, vary the channel and format, switching between emails, postcards, articles even hand-written notes, since different forms of communication hit each of us differently and more channels = better response.

Up to 35% better.

Your aim is to stay on the radar of your audience at a frequency that is comfortable for them. How do you know what that frequency is? You can experiment, and monitor response until you find the sweet spot. Or you can survey your audience and send out promotions in accordance with individual preferences.

Once you treat your prospects and customers as individuals and take their specific likes and dislikes into account your marketing success will skyrocket.

That's the big picture - let's get down to the nitty gritty of how to write an actual promotion.

You can get in the right mindset by recalling that good writing has a strong purpose, so be clear what that purpose is for every business communication you write. Make it a "wow" experience by firing your biggest guns first and staying on target. You've heard of the upside down pyramid, right?

This means when it comes down to doing the actual writing, spend 90% of your time coming up with a good headline or subject line.

Imagine that you are a fisherman... the headline is your bait. If you do not use the right bait you will not catch fish. You must hook your prospect right from the get-go or you will not have the opportunity to go on to clinch the sale.

Four tips for effective headlines

First and foremost, your headline must capture the attention of your prospect.
Clarity is key - the meaning of the headline should be crystal clear, and the benefits to the prospect immediately apparent.
The message must telegraph to your prospect that there is something in it for him. The headline should resonate so that he thinks, "This speaks to me personally!" You can accomplish this by stepping into the prospect's shoes and addressing his biggest concerns, as I suggested previously
Lastly, your headline should pull the prospect into the copy, reeling her in with each word.
There is not one right way to create an effective headline. In fact, there are many ways. Here are the eight different kinds of headlines:

Reason why
Let's look at each one:

How-to - If your prospect wants to accomplish what the headline promises, she will read on
News - Tout the benefit of a new product or service
Question - Ask an interesting client-focused question that gets the prospect involved
Command - Tell the prospect why it is in his best interest to act
Reason why - Present facts that set you up as an expert
Testimonial - Overcome objections and gain credibility by having your clients sell for you
Direct - Announce a sale or limited-time offer
Indirect - provoke curiosity and motivate the prospect to find out more
To determine if the headline you've chosen succeeds, you can try it out on a small segment of your audience, run a test where half sees one headline, half another (known as a split test or A/B split) or test different headlines in consecutive days, weeks or months when split tests are not available.

Let's look at a variety of vehicles from search engine listings to web pages and landing pages to see how effective headlines can hook more readers.

Search engine listings

I read in a Marketing Sherpa Search Benchmark Study that when your prospects are in search mode, they don't bother to read the entire listing - even though it contains so few words.

Their advice regarding search listing headlines: "The first two to three words pack a bigger wallop than words further on."

So, not only do you need to write a compelling headline, but one that conveys key information at the front end, not the back end.

Here's another point to consider:

To optimize your headline for the search engines, limit your head to 65 characters. Yes, a space counts as a character. The search engine will likely cut you off in mid-thought, which is another reason to frontload your headline with must-know information and nice-to-know information later on.

Landing pages and web pages

At a seminar I attended on optimizing landing pages, the speaker indicated that phrasing the headline as a question pulled more responses than a headline that began with the word Free.

Effective headlines for web pages can begin with questions as well. Why does this work?

Because you pique the curiosity of your reader, who wants to find out the answer to the question.

Use the body copy to give reasons why your prospect should take an action

You ultimately want your prospect to act, whether it is call, click, buy now, donate, subscribe or some other action.

Give her reasons to take that action.
Tell her what you want her to do, then tell her again.
And again, continuing to motivate your reader to perform the action you desire.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to assess your company communications through a new lens!

If you discover your communications are flat, from Anycompany USA or worse, I can help inject personality into your copy, re-name your products and services and come up with a brand-building tagline.

I create all kinds of written communications - in print, on the web and for integrated marketing campaigns - copy + creative that boosts leads and sales.

Should you get stuck in the next 30 days, I can offer you a complimentary copy check-up for an ad, brochure or web page. I'll analyze what you have done well... what could be improved and include tips to get up to speed... so you get better results. Normally a $350 value, for those in this room, it's yours free.