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What I'm Doing, (Maybe Where 🙂 & Why

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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 5, 2022, 5:10 am

Rock on, Ali!

Nice approach with Green, his first email was a bit of a power move in my opinion, especially with the comparison with "the other authors at 2k".
But you handled it great and came out of it perfectly.

And cool to see TPM members inter-connecting (and nice to hear about that podcast appearance!).

Agreed, and thank you again for providing this community here, Lucio!

It's interesting, the more you share, the more it seems to contrast with what I'm learning in Blog Money Blueprint (BMB).

A snapshot of a conversation about forums in the Discord:

It seems like many agree that forums are great if done right. But, there was never an outline in BMB on how to do it right and Jon didn't share his thoughts on it, so the outcome felt like "for the most part, forums are obsolete."

A shame since that information could've maybe translated into good feedback on how this forum might be able to improve.

The same with your thoughts on SEO:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 5, 2022, 5:10 am
Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 5, 2022, 3:33 am

Working On: TCCB SEO

Started investing in TCCB's SEO through The HOTH.

On our introductory call, they pulled up the site on Ahrefs and noticed that we've already made it out of the "Google Sandbox" (an alleged filter that prevents new websites from ranking in Google's top results). So, if that's the case, it's no doubt thanks to the sites like Entrepreneur and TPM linking to the site (big thank you guys!)

We're getting started with some (hopefully high-quality) backlinks from some guest posting. Soon, I'll also be getting their HOTH Lock My Brand package to establish TCCB's social media presence and get some more backlinks from those social media sites.

I also got some web 2.0 backlinks from SEOClerks recently.

Hopefully, in a few months' time, we'll see some more traction. I'm keeping tabs on The HOTH's progress through my campaign dashboard:

Maybe we can give a good, honest review here after seeing how they perform. (Though, it'll be difficult to track that since I'll be doing SEO work for the site outside of The HOTH as well).

This is just me giving some random advice on blogs and learning-based online businesses:

I think backlinks might be decreasing in importance in SEO.

And if I had to give advice, I'd say focus less on SEO, and watch out from being dragged down into Ahref and Ahref-like tools and SEO analyses (and analysts).
SEO is not science, it's guesswork, which makes it ripe for over-charging on dubious services and knowledge.

But the biggest risk is that it will take your time away from other more meaningful and impactful pursuits.

The question "what do you regret most" and "what would you like to change" are probably the #1 and #2 questions you should never answer.
But if someone asked me "what would you change in the early stage of TPM" I might say: spend far less time learning and developing SEO.

A look at the BMB course SEO section:

As you can see, I haven't gotten to that lesson yet. But, the lesson's title combined with much of Jon's input in the Discord point to high-quality backlinks being the most important for SEO.

And yet, TPM seems to thrive more in content quality than in backlinks (which also has the benefit of facilitating a quality over quantity approach to traffic by weeding out the people who aren't interested in or ready for advanced material when they read the content).

Definitely something to think about, you're right on that.

Developing high-quality content 

I hired the highest-rated and reviewed SEO content writer on Fiverr twice before.

He did great the first time around, so I gave him so more advanced, difficult topics to write on. And, I had to rewrite them all.

My biggest concern is putting basic (unhelpful) information out there. So, after I'm done working with The HOTH, I'm looking at working with SEO Reseller to create and post really well-done articles (both from an on-page SEO and content perspective).

Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 5, 2022, 12:51 pm

Developing high-quality content 

I hired the highest-rated and reviewed SEO content writer on Fiverr twice before.

He did great the first time around, so I gave him so more advanced, difficult topics to write on. And, I had to rewrite them all.

My biggest concern is putting basic (unhelpful) information out there. So, after I'm done working with The HOTH, I'm looking at working with SEO Reseller to create and post really well-done articles (both from an on-page SEO and content perspective).

Yeah, I can totally imagine that.

Keeping on my personal advice and opinion, always with the premise that "everyone got an opinion, and doesn't necessarily mean it's any good".

What you describe is one of the reasons why I'd actively recommend avoiding that approach.
But it goes deeper.

It's a popular strategy to say "hire writers" and probably many courses on website-focused entrepreneurship advice on that.

In principle, it seems like it makes sense: you go quicker, you manage instead of working (sounds more entrepreneur-style), and you build a business that is independent of you (E-Myth style).

But if you're going for quality, for a new niche, for advanced material, or for a new take on anything, then that "hire writers" is the best and quickest road to mediocrity.

Exceptions always apply, but if someone was an expert in anything, he wouldn't probably be selling writing gigs on Fiver.

That strategy works if:

  • Your content is an add-on: Say, for example, you sell X and then develop a blog around it just to get some additional exposure or make it seem more "complete", but the content is not your main product
  • You get real experts to write: People with credentials (for Google) and people who really know their shit (for truly quality content). For example, big publications go for #1 and credentials and produce average and PC, "safe" content but that works to rank on Google
  • Your niche is hard to differentiate content-wise: If you're writing recipes for example, you can get the first 20 articles with hired writers. But even then, it's probably still better to get your creative or personal spin on it

In other cases, I'd say "probably better not".

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Ali Scarlett
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PU Flashcards

Here is the (only) set that I've made available to the public:

All other study sets are only available to PU alumni.

Excited to get back into the swing of things on this one, it feels long overdue :).

Serve No Master Podcast Interview

Did the SNM interview not long ago.

It was an eye-opening experience to how much growth I still have left to do before I can be a truly effective guest.

Always happy to be a learner, of course, yet it felt uncomfortable making mistakes in this interview because it felt like more than a reflection on me, but also on Lucio as my co-author (and mentor).

I wish we lived in a world where mistakes came without consequences and could simply be learning opportunities with benefits only...but, alas, here we are, we can only go for it and do our best (and maybe hope that our best improves fast enough before we lose too much).

I said before that I'd dial back the expressions of gratitude in this forum because I felt like I was overdoing it before. But, I truly am grateful for Lucio and everyone in this community's patience with me as I make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a person (and, hopefully, as a value-giving member of TPM for all of you).

TCC Coaching

Got a new coaching client the other day. He booked a call for business networking coaching, yet asked all sorts of questions surrounding his goal to reach a 100 million net worth.

It was a learning opportunity for me (I should've drawn more boundaries as far as refusing to give investing advice, which he kept pushing for) and, perhaps, a good case study for this community as far as why social skills are so important for life effectiveness and success (he made quite a few mistakes that made it difficult for me to want to continue working with him and I'd imagine those same avoidable errors could cost him high-quality mentors on his journey if he's not careful to learn from them).

TCC Collabs

Signed a contract to collaborate with a company to transform 1 billion lives! Happy about the great work (and the ambitious mission :), and now I'm working with them on top of production for The Social Strategist.

In addition to that, if I have any free time now, it'll be going towards course reviews for TPM and TCC.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Nice going, Ali.

And you made me curious about that podcast interview.
Is there anything you want to share that made you feel wasn't yet optimal?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 31, 2022, 12:03 am

PU Flashcards

Here is the (only) set that I've made available to the public:

All other study sets are only available to PU alumni.

Excited to get back into the swing of things on this one, it feels long overdue :).

 

BTW, just throwing an idea for now:

if you're interested we might also use it as an add-on for purchase and find a win-win way to offer a great product and share the commissions (the price tag would serve as motivation for the buyers to use it, and for the production to make it as good as it can be).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 31, 2022, 10:55 am

Nice going, Ali.

And you made me curious about that podcast interview.
Is there anything you want to share that made you feel wasn't yet optimal?

Thanks, Lucio, here's a short summary based on what I can remember:

  • Maybe miscommunicated what The Social Strategist is: he asked what makes The Clever Connector book different from The Social Strategist. I said that TCC is more about developing a social strategy to reach and connect with people, and TSS is more about the advanced social skills you need to master your social circle, raise your status, and win more negotiations. Most people get it when I explain it that way, but from the pause and look of confusion on his face, it may have comes across like I said TCC is the actual "social strategist" book and TSS is actually a social skills book.
  • Got thrown off by the host's body language: sometimes while I was responding to Green, he would look down for an extended period of time, which felt dismissive and made me wonder if he was paying attention or interested in continuing the interview. And, that gave me pause in my responses sometimes.
  • My nonverbals could have been better: an annoying eye twitch (from a lack of sleep) caused some of my smiles to feel like they were coming across as fake/inauthentic and affected my focus in the interview.
  • Poor internet connection on my side: it kept crashing, which was OK given the software we were using to record the interview (it caught everything), but didn't make me feel any better about the situation.
  • Typical power dynamics jitters/concerns: still viewing myself as a beginner here, of course, there are the usual concerns I have that I didn't communicate certain answers as well as how Lucio might have.
  • Asked for details I didn't feel well-equipped to provide: he asked more networking questions than I was expecting given that the focus of the interview seemed like it would be more about power dynamics. He was concerned his audience wouldn't have actionable takeaways because concepts such as "give value" and "keep your social accounts balanced" seemed more like theoretical, possibly vague advice. So, he asked for practical scripts listeners can use to network right away. One he asked for was in terms of how people can improve their current reach-outs to connect with others on LinkedIn. I don't memorize scripts to give away though, I analyze people's current scripts and highlight their room for improvement, so this was difficult for me. The other script (and I could be misremembering) was for people to connect with decision-makers in a career transition. I gave a story to answer this one and felt like that story could've been communicated better.

When it's released, maybe I'll start a thread outlining where exactly I think I could improve. Always uncomfortable watching videos of myself (even reading back my earliest forum posts sometimes :), but well worth it for the learning opportunity and growth.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 31, 2022, 11:46 am

BTW, just throwing an idea for now:

if you're interested we might also use it as an add-on for purchase and find a win-win way to offer a great product and share the commissions (the price tag would serve as motivation for the buyers to use it, and for the production to make it as good as it can be).

Yeah, if we did that, I'd prefer to:

  • Copy the sets over to an account in your name: so it's safer there and you can brand it with the TPM logo (rather than my profile picture)
  • Do a poll in the forum: to gauge how valuable it is and what we might be able to do to make it even more valuable to PU students

Otherwise, sounds like a great idea. Though, I'd prefer to focus on finishing the index cards for right now, and then we can pick up this conversation again later (if that's OK with you).

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Lucio Buffalmano

Some Non-PU (But Relevant) Flashcards

Something I'm very interested in is developing a personality that supports my social skills goals.

My aim is to become a charming, charismatic high-quality man.

So, I've added a few study sets to memorize for the personality aspect of my journey:

More public study sets might be made and released based on what I feel are most important from the blog.

Experiment: Mindvalley Quests

Since I'd done so many MasterClass course reviews, I wanted to do some Mindvalley course reviews (which they call "quests" on their website) as well.

But, as I did my due diligence on the current reviews out there, I found that many of them were only introductions on the inside and the "real/in-depth" courses were available on the course instructor's website. (Not the worst play, in my opinion, by the way. Mindvalley gets an expert instructor, the instructor gets a platform and audience to do some good promotion, and the learners get to learn from someone who's top-class at what they do. But, this could still result in a win-lose if these introductions withhold too much value and become over promotional, which seemed to be the case for a few of these courses.)

So, I decided to get the "real deal" at the instructor's websites, starting with Marisa Peer's course on Rapid Transformational Therapy.

Marisa Peer is a world-renowned therapist and therapy trainer, named “Britain’s Best Therapist” by Men’s Health. Her approach to therapy combines hypnotherapy, CBT, and solution-focused therapy along with mindfulness to create a unique approach to getting to the root cause of a problem and reframing one's issues.

I liked the idea of solving the root cause of a problem because, in my experience, most therapists mainly focus on the symptoms, which I sometimes felt was a way to keep clients coming back (paying more).

I also liked the idea of reframing issues rather than "erasing" them (which I'd found is more effective).

So, I paid and enrolled.

There were some pros and cons (as with anything) that could warrant a full review. But, I see the potential for it to be a great way to get the subconscious mind on board with the conscious mind.

And, after the results I've seen so far, I'm eager to write down a set of mindsets that I want them to install and see how they do.

The Social Strategist Book Is Moving Forward...

...very, very smoothly!

So far, everything is going according to plan (besides one hiccup Lucio and I took care of already a while back) and this book is going to be beautiful by the time it gets into your hands.

I mean, just look at this social media promo set to publish soon:

Now, that's the look of a book that's going to do great things :).

Can't wait, stay tuned.

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Quote from Ali Scarlett on April 22, 2022, 12:00 am

The Social Strategist Book Is Moving Forward...

(...)

It does look beautiful, Ali :).

And you also gave me an idea on that Mindvalley: maybe it could be an option in the future to share there a shorter version of PU.

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Where It Began

It all started with the unexpected news of a close family member's passing.

It had been 11 years since I'd last seen him in person. That was back in 2010, in Jamaica for a different funeral: my grandmother.

Now, I've returned to Jamaica for the first time in over a decade for his funeral: my grandfather.

I was hesitant.

Many stories had reached me of family members being different people from who they were all those years ago. And, none of them were there for me in my darkest time of need either (albeit I don't hold that against them, it's caused me to grow far beyond the child they remember).

Even so, I caught the soonest flight and made it here.

A flight to the past

There was no nostalgia in the airport. But, there was peace in the patience of waiting for my flight.

There was no nostalgia on the plane. But, there was a relaxing feeling of pleasance in hearing some of the other passengers speak patois (the primary language of Jamaica).

Then, we reached Montego Bay. And, being surrounded by all of the tourists in a familiar yet busy and "not quite yet Jamaica" airport was more of a task to avoid being disoriented than anything else. (It takes leaving the Montego Bay airport to reach locations that feel more authentically Jamaica.)

Finally, my uncle picks us up, we get in the car, and we start moving.

He didn't seem to recognize me and there was an emotional distance between us because he didn't think I remembered him. Almost as if our time apart reduced us to acquaintances.

On the way to our house, my dad asked my uncle to take a detour. He wanted to stop and grab a bite.

And, man, when we reached my Dad's restaurant of choice, the nostalgia hit like nothing else:

I'd never been here before.

But, the beach, the music, the people, the patois, the food (I had jerk chicken, veggies, and festival)...all of it brought me back.

And, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, calm, and comfort.

My Dad (in the middle) wanted me to try his clothing style for the trip, so I thought, why not

And, after taking that picture, we really started to get into the family spirit :).

A New Lifestyle

When we made it to the house, I noticed there is still a little bit of work to be done on its development.

But, the pros far outweigh the cons:

  • Enough solid food naturally growing around the house for full meals every day. (Went shopping and walked out with only one item: coconut oil for cooking.)
  • Honey mint leaves from our garden so real, rich, and pure, you can forget the sugar. It's naturally sweet enough on its own.
  • Eggs of a different, more natural quality. (How do you say it "tastes more real" without coming across like one of those annoying guys obsessed with "healthy nutrition" diets?)
  • So much more...

Plus, the view from my veranda is still like I remember it:

 

What I’m Working On

I feel an apology is in order.

I started out writing the official TPM book with a fire like no other.

I wrote the first draft in only six days. (Albeit, it should be noted that Lucio did most of the heavy lifting giving me much of the PU content to pull from and, as Lucio went through the draft, he made some corrections on where I was wrong from a power dynamics perspective. So, not only was the draft very rough, I was learning more from his wisdom through my mistakes in the writing process as well—all thanks to Lucio.)

Then, the passing came and I was given the difficult task of helping to plan the funeral.

Over the span of only a couple weeks, numerous challenges arose on top of that:

  • We bought the plane tickets, only to realize that we'd bought one-way tickets by accident and had to purchase another set of tickets to get back
  • I found out my passport was expired two weeks before we were set to leave, which resulted in a 2.5+ hour emergency trip at 3 in the morning to our nearest available passport office...where I spent over $600 getting a new passport (money that was supposed to go toward my share of the funeral's expenses)
  • Family drama both in Jamaica and in the US...

And so much more, I can't even get into it all without getting too personal.

But, I'm taking full responsibility, and have done so when talking to our necessary book production teams as well.

My most recent email to the head editor:

And, the editor has been very understanding. Her response:

My hope is that with this peaceful time here in Jamaica, I'll make some headway on the book. All other work has been paused, so I don't want to return to the US with this phase of the book's development still on my desk.

Edit:

Done. Didn't feel comfortable prioritizing anything else until my side of the revisions was complete.

What I’m Considering

Recently, I visited the "best entrepreneurship resources" section of TPM and noticed that a new book has made the #1 spot.

It made me wonder if:

  • I'm over-relying on Lucio to share the best resources: if I do my part to seek out top-quality resources too, maybe I'll find better information/mentors out there as well.
  • I'm being too closed-minded regarding who's "the best" in certain fields: ever since Methods of Persuasion made TPM's #1 spot for the influence and persuasion list, I bought the book, read it, and bought the author's Sales Psychology course to take my growth even further as well. Now, with the value I gained (and especially with the contributions I've been able to make to TPM thanks to Kolenda's work), I held him in high regard as the "best there is" in the marketing psychology space. But, now that I'm witnessing TPM's "best of" lists get updated and former top spots be replaced, it made me realize again that "there's always a bigger fish in the sea". One mustn't get too comfortable in their winnings, including any of the guys who make it on any of TPM's prestigious "best of" lists :).

So, I'm considering joining the Neuromarketing Certification program.

From what I've read so far, not only does their program have the potential to be better than Kolenda's and might add a lot of value to TPM on the marketing ideas side, they could also replace Kolenda as the top resource (which is exciting to think about for my growth).

Maybe worth a solid review, we'll see.

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Heartfelt condolences Ali.

Those places you're visiting look like little paradise corners.
Man, climbing on those inflatable rafts by the beach must be like a child's dream come true -but even an adult's dream come true, would love to climb in :)-.

And finally, good to see the book moving forward, I must say that the first draft you prepared indeed was shockingly fast (and good). Probably the fastest first draft that's ever been done in the history of book publishing :).

Looking forward to getting back into TSS, and super curious to read your thoughts if you happen to go through the Neuromarketing Certification (and definitely would be super cool to have a review on it).

P.S.:
Albeit the circumstances are far from favorable, I wish you to enjoy the family time and beautiful Jamaica.

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