How My Love Affair With Digital Marketing Began

I’m sure you’ve seen the quote “Do What You Love, Love What You Do”. Well I’m happy to say that that is how I feel about Digital Marketing. When you find something you love it really doesn’t feel like work at all.

Don’t get me wrong; there are still times (many, many times), when I am pulling my hair out because I can’t get something “technical” to work (who knew I was a techie). It could literally take me a whole morning trying to work something out, but the joy (and yes it is joyful) of puzzling through something and getting it to work and better still get results for yourself and your client is so worth it.

I sometimes think it’s not so much the work itself, but the fact that I’m challenging myself to learn new things (after 20 years working in the recruitment industry) and that the skills I’m using now every day in Facebook Messenger Marketing are actually helping people. Not helping in a way that Teachers or Doctors help people, but helping small businesses to grow; that to me is worthwhile.

I first started learning about digital marketing in general when I set up an online business making and selling pet supplements on Amazon. I needed to promote my own business and as I wasn’t making a lot of money from it at the time, couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it. I had paid people in the past to promote other businesses, with mixed results over the years.

I started to consume every article and webinar and book on the topic of digital marketing. I became particularly interested in Facebook advertising, despite my 13 year old daughter informing me “mum, nobody uses Facebook; it’s not cool”. Well sweet, it’s still the biggest platform on the planet (2.2 billion monthly active users as at 2018!) and lots of people who have their own businesses, still need and use it.

I got to the point where I needed to invest in myself again, so I did what every budding entrepreneur has to do (according to Russell Brunson, entrepreneur & author of DotComSecrets); I got my purse out and paid for some training. That was THE best investment (since buying my house) that I ever made.

Almost five years later and I now focus almost exclusively on Affiliate Marketing & Facebook Messenger (I don’t like referring to myself a “specialist”, although I’m quite good at it!).

Through my business, Bristol Digital, I now get to work with amazing business owners, creating engaging advertising campaigns that actually work and get them new clients.

I really do “love what I do” and I hope you will as well if we ever get the chance to work together.

Thanks for reading

Sharon Marie xx

Why not join our growing community of likeminded entrepreneurs: Facebook Profit Secrets for Online Entrepreneurs, where we share digital hacks and tricks to help you to create your personal brand and grow their reach and influence online.

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.

I’ve become addicted to the discomfort in my head that comes from learning.

Illustration of cogs moving in the brain.

“I’ve become addicted to the discomfort in my head when I don’t know what to do and the guaranteed growth that happens if I suck it up and push on” Steve Larsen.

If you’ve ever felt this way then you’ll know exactly what he means…

In case you haven’t heard of Steve Larsen, he’s an amazing internet marketer and another one of the people I look up to and aspire to be like in the online marketing world. To think that he too feels overwhelmed at times is very encouraging (sorry Steve, hope your head’s OK, genuine..)

Actually, this came in an email from him yesterday and it was just what I needed to read.

Yesterday was just one of those days when I felt like I was walking in treacle (or quick drying cement). I was trying to work something technical out in Clickfunnels and I just didn’t understand how to do it.

I have been  learning about building sales funnels for a while now and I think I’m getting quite good at it (even if I do say so myself), but today I was quite literally pulling my hair out.

In the end I had to abandon it and go and do something else (It must have been bad, because I decided that hanging up my wet washing was preferable!)

Later, when I was talking to a friend that I haven’t spoken with in a good few months, I realised just how much new stuff I have been cramming into my crazy marketing brain these last few months. I’ve come so far and learnt so much new stuff. I LOVE IT!!

The weird thing is that later in the evening, when I was actually really tired and watching some tv with the kids (30 minutes of downtime each day to connect with them is essential btw, don’t skip this bit..), I had a flash of inspiration. I suddenly understood what I’d been puzzling over and boom!

After the kids were in bed, I grabbed my Mac and started working. I ended up staying up until the early hours, but I made so much progress. I slept like a baby afterwards. It was almost better than sex (steady, I did say almost!)

The next time you hit a wall, just take a break. Do something else to engage your brain in another way. Go for a walk, hang out the washing, do some housework (if it’s really difficult). Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us.

Some things are hard to get your head around at first and that’s ok, but your subconscious brain is capable of working it out, and it’s still working on it, long after your conscious brain isn’t, even when you’re asleep!

Keep hustling, keep learning and keep moving forward.

Sharon Marie xx

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.

Everything we know how to do starts with not knowing how to do it.

Book Cover ~ The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth.

This lovely little nugget, comes from a book, wonderfully titled  The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators

If you’re anything like me, you want to know everything now. I get sooo frustrated that I can’t be really good at something straight away. I know it’s totally stupid, because of course, learning anything takes time and getting really good at something takes even longer.

Here I should use the usual platitudes; “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, “Good things come to those who wait” (actually that’s not a great example, because if you wait, you could miss the chance altogether, but you get where I’m coming from..)

The point is and I guess the whole point of this particular post is to say that everything we know has to start somewhere. Surely what’s important is that we keep learning, keep striving. The day we think we know everything is the day we stop growing.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

Sharon Marie x

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.

This book is available on amazon The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators

Mumpreneur ~ Patronising to some, welcomed by others..

Being called a mumpreneur is patronising

So apparently now, it’s not ok to refer to someone as a “mumpreneur”. It is patronising to some women, because they say it implies that their business is just something they do as a little hobby.

Well if your business is something you do to make some extra money, because you want to focus on being a mum first, then what is the problem.

Let’s face facts here. As a mum of young children (I’m going to use the caveat of kids you still need to pick up from school and feed!), you are not viewed in the same way as your childless counterparts in the workplace. If you are working “flexible” hours around your family commitments, then you are essentially asking to be viewed and treated differently. You can’t really have your cake and eat it here.

When I worked in “corporate land”, I had to negotiate slightly different hours as I needed to get my kids to and from school. They also had to be picked up at 6pm, so I simply wasn’t able to stay any later than 5.30pm. In the recruitment industry, if you leave the office at that time, you’re considered unambitious and a jobsworth. FACT.

The phrase mumpreneuer was coined in the 90’s because it was referring to women who were starting businesses that could fit around their commitments as mums.

I am a mumpreneur and proud. Proud because finding the time most days to run my business and still be present for my kids is tough. If someone wants to give me a title that recognises that, bring it on! Either way, it is my CHOICE. I choose to work for myself, from home, online, because it gives me the flexibility I need and allows me the JOY of being a parent as well.

Am I allowed to refer to myself as a “single working mumpreneur” or is that taking it one step too far?

Be a GREAT parent and GREAT at whatever it is that you do in business and that is how people will regard you. AND if there are some women, who choose to start businesses that fit around family life, i.e actually be a “mumpreneur” then more power to them.

Sharon Marie xx

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.

Is “Passive Income” a myth?

If you’ve found this post, chances are you’re looking for change. You may already be self employed or you’re working for someone else and you want your life back. Someone told you there’s a way you can earn money while you sleep and you want in..

I first started Googling the phrase “passive income” 3 years ago. I actually started looking for “work from home” opportunities, “make money online” etc. as at the time, I desperately wanted to get my time and my life back. I started reading books like Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! and Awaken The Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life

I was “employed” in a senior role in corporate land, working long hours, making decent money, but working towards someone else’s goals, not mine. As a lone parent, with two young kids at school, I always seemed to be rushing from one place to the next. I had no time for myself and very little time for anything other than working, cooking, cleaning and getting the kids to bed. It wasn’t sustainable.

I read a quote somewhere, which said “when you have kids, happy hour becomes that hour between them going to bed and you going to bed an hour later”. If you’re a parent of young kids, you’ll get that. Well I didn’t even have happy hour. I was going to bed with the kids, often falling asleep next to them, whilst giving them a goodnight cuddle.

I’m not going to bore you (yet) with what happened to change the course I was on, but something did and it put me on a new path and I’ve never looked back. More about that another time.

So what is “passive income”? Passive income is income you receive, whilst not actively engaged in doing the work. Income from a rental property for example, would be considered “passive income”. Income from selling physical products on Amazon could also be considered as passive, but you’ll do the work upfront.

There are many, many ways to earn passive income and I hope to be able to share some of them with you in this bog. The ideal scenario really is to have “multiple streams of passive income”, so that you can work from home if you choose, set your own hours and essentially get your time and your life back.

If that sounds appealing, I want you to know that “passive income” is NOT a myth. It is achievable, with some planning, and dedicated hard (smart) work and I’d love to help you to achieve it…

Sharon Marie xx

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.

The Top 5 Reasons Why So Many People Try And Fail With Affiliate Marketing.

Online Marketing

I think there are lots of people who love the idea of becoming an affiliate marketer because it optimises the whole “laptop lifestyle” that they crave. What’s not to love about working from your laptop, wherever and whenever you want and getting paid to recommend products and services that you already use and love? What could be simpler?

There are countless others who have false (and limiting) beliefs about what being an affiliate marketer is all about, They say things like; I’m not great at writing, I don’t have a blog, I’m not a techie, I don’t want to bug my friends and family, there’s too much competition, I don’t want to spam people, I don’t have the time…

These people won’t even try and probably won’t try anything else for that matter, for the very same reasons (excuses).

There are many reasons why people (if they try at all) fail at affiliate marketing. Here are my top 5 reasons:

  1. Most people don’t have the patience. They’re looking for a “get rich quick” way to make money (which by the way, doesn’t exist!). They start off really well, and then they lose interest when the results (commissions) don’t come rolling in while they sleep. It takes TIME to build credibility and authority in your space.
  2. They are approaching it purely from the perspective of “making money online”. OK, so I get that that’s the objective here, but you’ll never make an penny in any business if you only want to make money from people. You first need to “serve” (and I don’t mean that you should start by getting a job as a waiter). Your approach must be to SERVE others first.
  3. They choose the wrong niche. This point kind of ties in with the previous point. It’s best to choose a niche, where you either have some knowledge now OR you have a genuine interest in the niche. You’ll need to establish some authority and credibility in your niche before people will trust and ultimately, buy on your recommendation.
  4. They choose the wrong products. Product selection is critical to your success. Choose products with reputable companies, with low return rates and great reviews. Do your research and yes that means, you need to purchase and use the products you’re promoting. Again if you’ve chosen a niche that you either know or want to know, product selection is easy.
  5. They don’t do enough work. Being successful as an affiliate marketer requires the same effort, focus and work that is required to be successful in anything, business or otherwise. Sorry, but most people simply don’t do the work that’s required or they don’t do enough (or they don’t even start)

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn money online, either full time or part time and it can be truly passive, once you get up and running. As with any business however, it requires, patience, consistency, imagination, determination and a desire to serve others. Nobody said it would be easy, but the rewards (not just financial) can be huge.

Sharon Marie xx

How an Uber driver saved me.

Uber App on Phone..

Uber is a great service, period. Yeah I know they’ve been slated in the press for all manner of things, not least for allegedly exploiting their drivers and driving (no pun intended) down fares making it difficult to compete. I’m not here to comment on any of that as I don’t have the facts.

Uber has offered to many of its 2 million drivers (yep, that’s how many there are globally, reportedly) an opportunity to become their own boss and to earn money outside of the conventional 9-5 model. Something you’ll know I’m a big fan of.

Now I am basing the above findings on a very personal experience, a “straw pole” if you like. Let me explain.

In 2016 I had an accident whilst bouldering. I fell and completely ruptured my achilles tendon, making driving impossible and public transport difficult for a good 6 months. During this period I was employed full time as a trainer. The job I was doing didn’t really allow for working at home, so I needed to be in the office every day.

The only way I could get into my place of work was with Uber (thank you Uber!). I was getting two Ubers a day in and out of work and dropping the kids at school on the way in.

The surprising thing was that I always got a different driver, some were more chatty than others, but they were all great. What was interesting was that they all had a unique “story” and many of their stories were inspiring.

I met quite a few entrepreneurs. One guy who was in the middle of opening his own Indian restaurant, another who was setting up a cyber security business, a student who was funding his travels around the world and quite a lot of dad’s who had been working similarly long hours in various manual jobs, for less money, who now had a great opportunity to become their own boss.

Each day the kids and I would wait for our driver with interest and anticipation. One morning, quite early on in the proceedings, one of the drivers I chatted to was starting his own Amazon FBA business. He was quite surprised when I actually knew what it was. We had a great conversation and I bid him a good day thinking I would never see him again.

He was driving an Uber to get the money together to launch his first private label products on Amazon. Whilst I’d been researching “passive income” I’d been reading about the Amazon FBA opportunity myself and seriously considering it. In fact that evening I was registered to attend a free webinar. I’d seen an advert in my Facebook feed a few days earlier and had signed up.

That evening, inspired by my conversation with my Uber driver (and a few glasses of red wine!) instead of leaving the webinar early, I stayed till the end. Not only that, but I got my credit card out and paid $900 for the training.

I have to tell you that when I woke the next morning I was really worried. I’d made the decision to purchase the training programme on an impulse and I was now wishing I hadn’t. Did I have $900 to spare, no!

My feelings of regret were not helped when I spoke to my friends later that day, who all told me to contact the company in question and get my money back as I’d probably been scammed.

The truth is that attitudes like that come from fear. Fear of the unknown. Don’t get me wrong, I too used to feel like that. The internet is full of people making promises and it’s sometimes difficult to filter the information, block out “the noise” and make the right decisions. Of course you should proceed with caution, but I also think that often, we’re actually looking for a reason to “not take action”, as doing what we know seems like a much safer bet.

I say I acted on impulse that day, but up to that point I’d spent hours if not days reading about the Amazon FBA opportunity. I’d watched a ton of free training videos and webinars, but there always seemed to be a bit missing. The truth is that actually paying for that training forced me out of my comfort zone and meant that I had to actually get started. Partly because I needed to earn the money back and partly because I wanted to prove to myself (and the naysayers) that I hadn’t been a complete idiot and wasted my money.

Looking back now, apart from buying my house, that $900 was THE best money I ever spent. Paying for that training is what kick started me into action and onto a new path; a path I could never have imagined would lead me to where I am today.

If like me you’re still on the fence about taking the leap, choosing the laptop lifestyle you so desire, starting that new venture of yours, committing to something, whatever it is, however impossible a dream it seems, in the words of Nike “just do it”.

Yes it’s scary, yes you will be overwhelmed at times, yes your head will hurt with all the new information you’re taking in, and no, it won’t be easy, but you CAN do it.

Russel Brunson, one of my mentors today, has a great saying; “there comes a time, in every entreprenuers journey, when they have to get their wallet out and buy something”.

As an affiliate marketer these days that’s something I’m now pretty used to, as I only recommend products and services that I’ve used and been really happy with.

Well I’m so thankful that I did spend that money $900 and that I had that inspiring conversation with that Uber driver that day. It’s like everything just lined up to put me on this path and I couldn’t be happier.

If you’ve found my blog because you’re looking for a laptop lifestyle then at some point in your journey to being your own boss, you’ll need to get your wallet out. Investing in training is investing in your brand, YOU. Also having to actually spend money will definitely make you work harder to earn it back. I’ve earned that initial investment back many times since starting selling on Amazon and I’d never have done it without that training.

About 8 weeks after starting the training, I had launched my first private label product on Amazon. I had also wanted to go freelance in my coaching business for a long time and getting involved in the Amazon FBA opportunity gave me the extra confidence I needed to finally go for it and leave my job.

The morning I was going in to hand in my notice, which Uber driver do you think picked me up? Yep, you guessed it. I’m not a particularly superstitious person, but I do believe in Karma and seeing that driver again, who had inspired me that morning gave me the final bit of courage I needed.

Since going self employed there have been scary times, but it’s the best decision I ever made.

If you’re interested in earning an income online and you haven’t read DotComSecrets or heard of Russell Brunson then you absolutely HAVE TO get it. You can get your FREE copy here.  DotComSecrets ~ The Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online You’ll just need to pay for the shipping.

I cannot stress enough how much this book has helped me. There is so much good stuff in it that will change your whole outlook and approach to your online business journey.

Russell Brunson has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of his books and co-founded a software company called ClickFunnels, which helps tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly get their message out to the marketplace.

Sharon Marie xx

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission

Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Ok, so this is my first post, yay!

I have been thinking about starting my blog for a while now (well over a year!). So what has been stopping me? Wanting things to be perfect, just right, everything in order, in place, all connected…

I was on my way to the bouldering centre today (something I’ll probably reference a lot, sorry). I was at the lights, behind a van. On the van was printed this quote (which I’ve now stolen ~ the quote, not the van!) “Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”.

Well that really got me thinking. I read a lot (or rather listen to Audible a lot). I listen to Robert Kiyosaki, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracey The Ultimate Brian Tracy Library,  Jim Rohn The Ultimate Jim Rohn Library… I could go on.

There’s a lot of talk about taking imperfect action (Jason McKim). Don’t wait until you’re ready to start, or you’ll never be ready. This quote really sums that up for me. Today is a gift…

So here it is, my first blog post. Is it perfect? no. Does that matter?, no (well probably nobody is going to read it anyway, thanks Russell Brunson for that honest insight)

Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. Simple, yet I think, very powerful.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time, why not just take imperfect action today.

“Perfection is the enemy of progress ”    ~ Winston Churchill.

Sharon Marie xx

In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I occasionally include affiliate links in my posts. I will only include links to products that I have found interesting and useful in my journey and which I believe will be of interest to you on your journey towards a “passive income” lifestyle. If you purchase an item using my affiliate link, I will receive a commission.