07 Sep

Paypal.me – what a simple innovation



The best innovations are sometimes both simple to grasp, elegant in the solution they create, and almost always obvious in retrospect.

PayPal’s “Paypal.me” idea ticks all 3 checkboxes, providing individuals, startups and solopreneurs alike with a quick and easy way to invoice for services, creating payment links “on the fly” like this:


for example.

Simple to grasp, elegant and super-quick to set up.

There are so many ways this can be used; here’s some quick ideas:

  • You’re a business growth consultant who charges £120/hour, offering some freemium content on a Google Hangout or Periscope to a targeted group. At timely moments during the valuable free group session, explain that for one on one sessions, viewers can take advantage of a 30 minute “special” where you’re offering to help them move forward, at a 50% discount: http://paypal.me/yourname/30. Or perhaps instead, if they want to take the next step, you could send them to http://paypal.me/yourname/1 for a £1/$1 trial for a 15 minute session.
  • You’re out with some business friends & the group decides to go for an impromptu Italian meal – but you’ve accidentally left your credit cards at home. Since there’s no charge to receive money if it’s from friends, most of the group have already grabbed their own personalised Paypal.me link, and the leader sends you his Paypal.me link for your share of the meal via text.
  • You’ve just introduced a new B2B service and you’re with a prospective client who really seems to want to trial the system today, but you’re not entirely sure they’re being serious. You could create a Paypal.me link “on the fly” as you’re talking with them as way of checking where they’re at: “Tell you what, let me text you a trial link where you can run with our full system for 30 days, and then you’ll be in a much better place to see if this is really a good fit for your business”.

…this is obviously just the tip of a very large iceberg in terms of how Paypal.me could be used.

But you can already see that with a bit of preparation on your part, you can leverage Paypal.me in all sorts of creative ways to help with better cashflow, give new clients a low risk way to get on-board, and a whole bunch more.

How about a tip jar for Bloggers, with a WordPress plugin that gives the reader an Ajax-based dropdown where they select the amount they want to tip and then pay via Paypal.me in just a few clicks)?

Or maybe something similar to the above for a yard sale, or even you’re own Etsy-style “pay what you reckon” e-commerce page, where visitors can choose from a range of prices?

What ideas can you come up with that will help your business using Paypal.me?

01 Sep

State pension cash set to run out in 2015? Time for a different type of pension!

Just saw this today:

Instead of investing money in the government's bankrupt pension scheme, why not invest some of your own time to build something much, much better? Click here to find out how

Build your own pension with time instead of money – click here to find out how

This quote takes things a step further:

The report’s author, Michael Johnson, has suggested that the end of the fund will mean that the government needs to take radical steps. He suggests that it should bring an end to the National Insurance system – and that the Chancellor ought to announce this in the Autumn Statement. He suggests that the current approach of adding it to the income tax bands should make way for a single tax matching the total tax we currently pay on income – namely 32%, 42% and 47%.

But perhaps most shocking is the effect he is predicting for future generations. Johnson suggests that: “Given that exhaustion is inevitable, the next generation should be advised that their State Pension will be, at best, derisory. Indeed, it would be prudent to plan around not receiving anything at all.” He warns that for people aged 45 and under there’s every chance that the pension will be more modest, and retirement dates much later. For those under the age of 35 he says that there may be no state pension at all.

So Instead of investing money in the government’s bankrupt pension scheme, why not invest some of your own time to build something much, much better? Click here to find out how.

26 Jul

The power of networking with social media & video – how I got Dan Ariely to leave a comment on my blog (unintentionally!)

The video is *really* quiet, so turn up your speakers to full :)

Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational is a superb dive into the psychology behind why people make the buying decisions that they do, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it at the beginning of 2011.

What is more interesting is that I inadvertently attracted his attention – he wrote a comment on my Mad Web Scientist – which is pretty cool in my books.

So what if you intentionally used this strategy? It might just work, particularly if you did a whole string of short videos detailing your thoughts on a particular author's work.

Now, have a think why that might be useful attention to get, and write your thoughts below, in the comments section.

A bientot!


20 Jul

Mark Hoverson's Info Marketing Blueprint Review & Bonus

Click on the following link to get more info about Mark Hoverson's Info Marketing Blueprint


Mark Hoverson's Information Marketing Blueprint is a step-by-step, in-depth guide to how to create compelling information marketing products that will not only help put money in your bank account, but will also brand you in your niche as a leader.

The Info Marketing Blueprint is not the first attempt by a savvy online trainer to help coach a new breed of information marketing experts, but what he has produced in his Info Marketing Blueprint is an outstanding example of how to unpack, step-by-step what is required in order for anyone with any skill to leverage it online, and lay the foundation for creating an online marketing publishing empire.

The Info Marketing Blueprint is much more than just a step-by-step guide however – at every stage along the way, Mark addresses common limiting beliefs, mindset issues and misunderstandings that he has encountered throughout his business life, and even if you are a seasoned business owner, you will certainly benefit from the seeds of wisdom that he educes through the wisdom he shares borne out of his experience as a business coach and trainer.

The Information Marketing Blueprint deals with every level of creating and marketing an information product, right through to how to create effective and compelling video sales letters, training ans sales webinars, and much more.

Lastly, Mark Hoverson has pitched his training program at a very affordable level, because he is truly passionate in his desire to assist struggling business owners and marketers to get out of the poverty trap and poor cashflow that dogs so many potentially outstanding people.

Visit http://Dezfutak.com/infomark/  to find out more about his training program now.

21 May

Gary Vaynerchuk: It's time for The No BS, Authentic Home Business Entrepreneur

I have huge respect for Gary Vaynerchuk – he is about 10 years ahead of the curve in terms of online business ethics and transparency, so if you're thinking about getting started in the online game, you and you haven't caught up with his books & videos, you should switch off your TV for a couple of days & grab a pen, take some notes, and write down an action plan based on your skillsets and passions.

I'm about to launch my first online training product on video marketing and video creation, and Gary makes it very clear that if you have skills that others want to benefit from, it's never been easier and cheaper to get started.

So how do you get started? Well, buy a couple of Gary's products, get yourself a simple WordPress website and start writing about your skills, offering free downloads in exchange for your email address, and then once you've got a few dozen, start asking them how you might be able to help. And, better still, hang out on the Warrior Forum, a superb place for finding out how to get started. If you have any questions, please do fill in your details on this page (or at the bottom, in the comments section).

Wishing you every success as you build your online empire,


Please add your comments & questions here!

22 Apr

3 Hours Before the Bristol Riots


Yesterday evening I was in Stokes Croft visiting a client, and the blazing evening sun invited a brief photo shoot using my phone.

This morning I got an email from one of the guys who works at Foo Magazine, where I'd been, saying:

"You got out of Stokes Croft just in time last night. There were riots on the streets. Very hectic!"

Below are some of the photos I took: you might recognise one or two of them if you live in Bristol.

It's strange to think that just a short time later, the whole landscape was suddenly changed into a violent scene of destruction

20 Apr

Facebook ads for nearly free?!


When someone posts a sales page claiming that they've got Facebook ads for near zero cost, I'm interested.

Now we both know there are scammers out there, but the *one* place on the internet where you can't scam people easily is the Warrior Forum.

Spence has produced is a superb product – and I'll be using it over the next few weeks in my Facebook marketing and advertising strategy.

Be warned though – $10 for an information product may deceive you into thinking the content is rubbish. You'd be sadly wrong if you were of that opinion, as the Warrior Forum special offer area is where you can get some incredible bargains.

And $0.00 Clicks from Facebook Ads?? Proof Inside – High Quality U.S. Traffic! is definitely one such bargain.

Once I've applied what's in the course, I'll do a follow-up post on this blog, and give you a sneak-peak into some the the strategies I'm using at the moment for lead generation and sales.


UPDATE UPDATE: This has become the WSO of the day!!! (WSO = Warrior Special Offer)


07 Apr

How are You Branding You? (Google Will Tell You)

I finally left my 16 year old teaching career recently, to work full time on the internet. When the head teacher gave the traditional speech at the end of the school term, he said this:

"I'd heard about Dez Futak doing 'something on the internet', so I thought I'd find out for myself. Well, when I Googled his name this morning just to check, I discovered 7 pages of links with his name, so I guess what he's doing must be working!"

So how do you brand your business online?

The best way is by leveraging what the technologies behind the internet to help amplify the effect of your own content creation.

Most businesses now recognise that this is of paramount importance in the increasingly transparent world of the internet.

How do you want your business or personal presence to be perceived by others?

Increasingly, the first place people are going to find out about you is online. It's the natural thing to do.

In order to maximize the chance that they'll find information about you that you want them to know, you must be putting out content regularly, through many different channels.

I was shocked (I shouldn't have been really) to find a freelance job being advertised this morning, where the main task was to use "Astroturfing" techniques against another company in order to tarnish its reputation.

Online reputation management, social media management and content creation are now longer a luxury for a select few large corporations.

Every business must now seriously consider how it wants to be known.

Gone are the days of simple Search Engine Optimization strategies – we now also have social media optimization, reputation optimization, and so on.

So how do you go about leveraging these online technologies?

Here are a few simple ways to leverage your existing content:

  • Use Ping.fm to join together your social media accounts
  • You can also use Pixelpipe to perform a similar function
  • Join up your Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn accounts to cross post
  • Use SocialOomph to time the release of blog posts and Tweets
  • Use a video syndication service such as TubeMogul, Traffic Geyser or Content Buzz to magnify your media content in many different locations

There are, of course many other ways to amplify the effect of your dynamic content online, such as the use of WordPress plugins which automatically publish your content to RSS feeds, Web2.0 properties such as Squidoo and so on.

In fact, not a month now goes by without some new and clever traffic-getting tool popping up online, and from the ones I've seen so far, they all seem excellent.

So, the battle is on: either you are branding your business, or someone else will for you, whether you like it (perhaps because you've outsourced your social media management to them), or not.

But you can't just sit by and hope. You've got to act. And now would be as good a time as any…

28 Mar

Social Media? How About Mobile Marketing?

I was going to keep quiet about this. But I'm spilling the beans about mobile marketing instead.

The reason? Well, just as social media (Facebook & Twitter mostly) has become mainstream, so too will mobile marketing within a very short space of time.

You might already be using it for your business. If so, just say "Pah!" and move along to more important things now.

If you're not yet using mobile marketing – which can include QR codes – then I reckon your business will be missing out big time, not too far in the future from now.

Oh, by the way, if you're still not using Twitter & Facebook (AND YouTube in my opinion), then you should also stop reading now. Get on the phone and give me a call, and I'll show you how you can create a simple Facebook fanpage for free.

So, then, what's all the fuss about QR codes?

Well, about 6 months back, I was passing an Estate Agents (or Real Estate 'shop', if you're not from the UK & reading this!).

And it had a QR code attached to the shop window.

So why would a place advertising Real Estate do that then?

Well, if you have a smartphone (and in N America approx. 29% or so people now have one1), you are – at least at the present time – 72% likely to respond to the presence of a QR code in a newspaper, shop window, or some other form of advertising, according to a recent QR usage survey2.

So what does that mean for you, if you run a business?

Obviously, a big opportunity.

With smart phones rapidly becoming the norm within the next few years, you are at a big advantage if you can position your business at the head of the game.

And I haven't even begun to talk about ways to combine QR codes, SMS short codes and email marketing into a seamless sales funnel yet.

And how about combining all THAT with your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel?

You have got those, right?


If not, maybe we should have a conversation, (or Tweet or text!).

I'll be detailing more ideas that you can steal from this site soon, so stay tuned!

Lastly, if you want to make one of those pretty patterns above, visit the QR Code Generator page now.



1. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/us-smartphone-battle-heats-up/

2. http://mghus.com/qr-code-survey-results

26 Mar

What it Takes to be a Winner

You already know the score here: dedication, perseverance, persistance, consistency.

OK, end of blog post, let's just get on with it.

Obviously not.

There is, obviously, more to be said.

When I started up in business 3 years ago, I remember thinking: "This is gonna be like when I first started teaching: at first, there will be a steep learning curve as I seek to acquire new skills, I'm not expecting to become an overnight success. I'm in this for the long haul. I know that I will have to persist if I want to succeed."

So it is with everything of real value in life, and in one sense, this extends to the entire physical realm that we're part of.

Kneed The Dough (Not Need the Dough)

Everything has to be worked, like kneeding dough to make good bread.

Now I'm not saying that there aren't some good ways to speed up the process. There are, and I will allude to what I believe is one very important "success accelerator" in a minute.

And in fact, I believe that that key is the one which unlocks all the other doors that must be opened to enter into the success journey.

But before I explore the nature of that key, I want you to understand what I personally mean by success – what are the metrics I use to determine whether or not I'm pointing my life in the "right" direction?

Two key metrics for me are summarized in these two words:

  • Fulfilment 
  • Fruitfulness 

The "Superkey" for Success

If I have a sense of fulfilment in my life, and evidence of being fruitful – making a difference – then I believe that I'm travelling on the success journey. Then I'm winning.

So winning, success, is a journey into fulfilment and fruitfulness.

What about the destination then? If I believe success is a journey, where do I think I'm going?

That brings me neatly onto the "superkey" that unlocks the other doors to be passed through.

Simply put, in order to be a winner, I must have a strong sense, a vision, of why I am doing what I'm doing.

Confession time: when I fisrst started on this new journey of entrepreneurship, my far view was very blurred and foggy.

At the time, I simply want to have more time for my family, to have more fun. Actually, that could be enough as a why, but in my case, I also wanted to make a wider difference.

Defeating Death

You know, that "legacy thing". Many of us feel this way as a way of combatting own own mortality: it's a natural desire to want to leave a mark so that long after our DNA molecules have returned to the Earth, we somehow live on in the minds and on the lips of future generations.

And I'm not knocking that one iota. I feel the same way, and have done ever since those explorative teenage years when I began to emerge from the protective shell of self-centeredness.

Back to this "superkey": how do I find my why, how do I unlock that synergy within my being that will lead to harmony in my inner and outer life, and how do I know when I've reached that sense of purpose?

In other words, how do I judge when I'm winning?

Finding Life's "Why"

You've almost certainly guessed what I'm thinking by now, and if I've done my job well, the answer will be self-evident.

To know when I am winning, I must have a clear sense of my why – my aim.

"Why am I doing what am I doing?" is the question that will help me determine my focus, and then I will be able to see more clearly my target, so I can constantly refine and trim the direction of my life to achieve that fulfilment and fruitfulness that I desire.

Pretty easy then?

Obviously not.

Kneeding the dough requires a lot of energy, time and commitment.  BUT, if I have a clear sense of why I'm doing what I'm doing, and how I'm going to proceed along the journey, then that energy, time and commitment will seem much, much easier as life's curve-balls batter me into shape.

Let the Journey Continue…

In conclusion then, you, me, everybody, in fact, must discover our unique "why journey", and even more importantly, build and become part of a tribe of others who also want to discover a clearer sense of  that same journey together.

Everything else: the how and the what should stream from that greater sense of shared purpose.

Find your why.

Begin the journey.

Share that journey with others who become part of your tribe.

That's what it takes to become a winner.

Oh, and finally. notice that the dart board above has lots of holes in it.  Don't give up simply because you haven't hit your target yet. The process, the journey, is a fundamentally important part of the journey towards success.

For more information on how to find your why, read Start With Why, by Simon Sinek.