Sunday, 16 October 2016

Becoming THE Expert Podcast - Episode 1

Hi, my name is John Hayes, I’m a marketing strategist and the author of the best-selling Becoming The Expert series of Content, Email Marketing, Social Media and eCommerce Books.

I’ve been promising myself that I would do this for quite a while now.

Welcome to the first ever episode of The Becoming The Expert Podcast. We’re going to keep it short and sweet. If you’ve got 5 or so minutes – I’d love it if you stuck around.

In this week’s episode – I want to take you back to the beginning.

A little over four years ago, something happened that changed my life.

My first book, Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing, was published.

Writing a book had always been something of a pipedream for me. I knew I wanted to write a book – but never really knew what it would be about.

I don’t mind telling you – I had many false starts along the way. My problem was I had plenty of ideas – just nothing I really believed in. And here’s the rub – if I don’t believe in something, I lose interest very quickly.

My laptop is full of the opening chapters of a number of titles that never got past the first few hundred words. I would guess, from the many, many people who when hearing that I have written books (I’m actually working on my 5th title now) tell me that they are also writing a book – which never seems to come out – this is quite a common problem.

Inspiration finally came after writing a blog post which was published on the iContact email marketing website. The blog was titled “believe in yourself, you are a thought leader” and was basically about all the amazing small business people I would meet through my job who despite years of experience, lacked the confidence to put themselves on a pedestal and position themselves as thought leaders in their various industries via their email, social media and blogging or content marketing efforts.

The blog post was incredibly well received – it got loads of shares on social media and a ton of comments – I’d clearly hit a nerve and so I set about expanding on the theme.

I always tell people that writing a book is easy. It just needs a little will power – and I’ll emphasis the word “little” here.

You just sit yourself down and write 250 words every day before you go to bed. It doesn’t matter what else you are doing – you’ve got to hack out those words. Sometime you’ll write a lot more and they will be great. Sometimes, they will be a real struggle and you’ll delete them all the next day. But stick to this plan and within 3 or 4 months you’ll have something worth running past an editor.

On a side note here – you can never underestimate the value of working with a good editor.

Originally, I was going to self-publish the book but was lucky enough to meet a publisher at an event I speaking at – and landing myself a publishing deal.

As a niche business title, it did quite well, selling several thousand copies and I’m pleased to say, four years down the line, it’s still relevant and continues to sell.

But it’s not the sales that my life.

It was the doors the book opened for me.

As someone who had written a book, I was suddenly invited to speak at more conferences, contribute more articles and participate in more online events.

It took me 20 years to build up the expertise and knowledge, I was able to share in my book – but it was the book that gave me the credibility and confidence to launch myself onto the global stage – and that pretty much happened overnight.

After writing the book, and getting initial feedback from readers – I thought to myself, I don’t want the process to end. I decided to take the book out on the road and sell tickets to an event which I called The Content Marketing Boot Camp.

The very first boot camp I organised was in my home town. Now I life in a rural Lincolnshire in the north east of England – it’s a long way from the marketing hotspots of London, New York or Californian. Non-the-less I booked a meeting space in a local business center, set up an Eventbrite page to sell the tickets and went to town promoting it on my blog, social media and via email marketing. More than a couple of people told me nobody would pay £100 to spend the day talking about content, email and social media marketing. The event sold out.

It’s funny – at times I believe it’s easier to sell a £100 ticket for a seminar than it is to sell a book for a fraction of the price. We’ll talk about that on a later podcast.

Since then The Content Marketing Boot Camp has travelled all over the UK, mainland Europe and The United States. It’s been everywhere from San Diego on the West Coast of America to Istanbul in Turkey and many places in-between.

Next month, I’m taking the Boot Camp back to Gibraltar where my last two events sold out and I’m already planning a number of sessions for early 2017.  There are quite a few places I’ve not been to yet. Canada, Australia, Dubai, South Africa and Hong Kong are definitely on the wish list.

I try not to spend any money beyond a few sponsored ads on social media to promoting my events. 

This works to my advantage when attendees tell me that they are sceptical about the power of blogging, social media or email – I ask them how they found themselves sitting in a classroom with me. Yep – you couldn’t ask for a better testimonial.

As well as generating income, my events also fuel my content marketing and writing efforts. I rarely leave an event with the inspiration to write at least two or three blog posts – and as I have already alluded – this is where I find my inspiration to write my books.

Talk about a self-perpetuating circle

So, if you want to change your life and you have a book in you, I thoroughly recommend following my process.
  • Test the water with a blog pos
  • Expand on successful, well-received idea
  • Take the book to the people

You’ve been listening to the Becoming The Expert Podcast – my name is John Hayes – hope to catch up with you again very soon.

In the meantime you can find me on Twitter @John_W_Hayes on facebook at BecomingTHEExpert and online at

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Content Marketing Boot Camp Returns to Gibraltar

Following two sold out events in January, The Content Marketing Boot Camp is making a return visit to Gibraltar on November 14, 2016.

Tickets for the event are already limited and 
early booking is recommended.

The Content Marketing Boot Camp helps small and medium-sized business owners and marketers find their voice and position themselves as Thought Leaders within their own field of expertise.

This one-day course will explain in plain English how business owners and marketers can:
  • Find the inspiration to create and publish compelling content that potential clients and existing customers cannot ignore
  • Improve their rankings on the major search engines
  • Generate leads, maintain relationships and sell more via email
  • Win local, national and global media coverage with well-placed PR Campaigns
  • Engage their prospects with social media
  • Reduce their reliance on traditional (high cost) paid advertising techniques
  • Shorten the sales cycle and reduce the need for cold calling techniques
  • Connect all the dots to build a cohesive content marketing strategy

Tickets for the event are already limited and early booking is recommended.

The full-day seminar will be lead by John W. Hayes, content marketing strategist and author of four books including the best-selling content marketing book: Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business through Thought Leadership Marketing.

What people are saying about The Content Marketing Boot Camp:

"I would go as far to say John Hayes’ ‘Becoming THE Expert; The Content Marketing Bootcamp’ was the most worthwhile trip and best marketing training I have attended since I was thrown into the marketing world nearly 2 years ago." - Sarah Low, Genoa Black

"John’s content marketing boot camp was, for me, informative, intriguing and most of all energising. Light bulb moments were illuminating the training room throughout the day. And that mid-afternoon ‘yawning moment’ that always overtakes you despite your best efforts in hiding it from the training presenter, well that never came." - Jim Davidson, Fifth Ring

For more information or to book your seat at this very special event (which includes lunch and light refreshments throughout the day) visit:
Image: Tony Evans

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Get Rich Quick and Other Lies Sold to Marketers

If I were to create a simple formula to explain the marketing process, it would look something like this:
A Good Product + Great People x Lots of Hard Work = Success
Take any of the above components out of the equation, and your marketing strategy simply won’t add up, and you’ll be doomed to failure.
Despite this, I meet countless marketers who tell me they are looking for an easier option. Many have drunk the Kool-Aid sold by self-styled marketing gurus who tout programs promising “easy recurring revenue” or “plug-in-and-go fully automated systems.” It’s a real shame because the reality of working in marketing is very different.
Marketing is a challenging occupation. It’s both a science and an art. It requires dedication, skill, agility and persistence. It’s not an easy option – but isn’t that the best thing about working in an industry like marketing? We are problem solvers, constantly evolving, testing new ideas, learning and striving for success. To quote JFK: “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”
Note: iContact (where I am gainfully employed) is a very successful online marketing technology company. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and invest countless hours in marketing our services. We are good at it because we employ some pretty smart people, constantly invest in our product and service, and work really hard to get our message out there. Believe me, if there were an easier way, we’d have found it.

Six Lies Sold to Marketers

  1. Make Big Money: I would be very dubious of any marketing organization that promises to make you rich before looking at your product or service. Yes, I can often be found claiming on this blog that email marketing offers an unrivaled return on investment but this is based on following best practices, which include having a great product, service, etc.
  2. Easy Recurring Revenue: There is no such thing as easy recurring revenue. You have to constantly invest time, effort and money into your product to build a successful subscription-based business. It might be possible to win a few lucky sales, but if your product or service doesn’t hit the mark, you’ll soon find yourself fighting attrition.
  3. Trade Secrets: If you had found the answer to making millions on the Internet, why would you dilute your opportunity and sell the secret in an (albeit overpriced) ebook? It would be like KFC selling Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe so you could enjoy their food from your own kitchen. The only secret being shared here is that there are a lot of gullible people out there looking for a quick fix. Don’t be one of them.
  4. Just a Couple of Hours a Week: While I am a big fan of the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Workweek, I believe (for most of us) the book is more about driving efficiencies and freeing up time to concentrate on the most valuable aspects of your business than about working fewer hours. It’s worth remembering that before Tim minimized his workload, via outsourcing and careful consideration of the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule), he had already built a successful business. Scaling back on the day-to-day management of a business is something successful business owners have always done. But before you can get to this position, you need to put the (many) hours in first, as I am sure Tim did.
  5. Work Anywhere: Again, I’m a huge believer in remote working. In fact, some of my most productive days have been spent in cafes in remote locations – but this takes real discipline. How many of you would choose to put in a 12-hour working day when faced with the distractions of a beach resort or outdoor lifestyle? Yes, we should all strive for a more positive work/life balance, but do this by developing more efficient processes instead of torturing yourself with the “promise” of an easy life.
  6. No Inventory, 100% Online Business: Unless you have the skills to develop your own software, build your own websites or create your own digital products, you’re more likely to be getting involved in some top-heavy pyramid scheme than any legitimate business. Yes, there are people making good money via affiliate marketing programs, online publishing, educational videos, vlogging, etc. – but believe me, it doesn’t come easy. They too must invest heavily in content creation and ongoing development, and that means hard work.
They say you can’t con an honest man. In marketing, we all need to put in an honest day’s work if we are to see success. Instead of wasting time looking for the easy option, invest your efforts into your product, your service and your strategic marketing campaigns, and success will surely follow.

This abridged post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

What Kind of Retailers Find Success on

As the UK largest independent online marketplace, helps retailers position their products in front of a huge audience of price-conscious consumers.
Thanks to it’s unique shopping experience which helps buyers find the best available prices on brand name products, a visit to is often the final step on a consumer’s journey before making their purchasing decision. As such, Flubit retailers enjoy unrivalled conversion rates (typically around 30 percent compared to just 3 percent on rival ecommerce platforms).
Add to this the reach of Flubit’s distribution network which enables retailers to sell via a number of high profile online shopping destinations and the fact that Flubit don’t charge their retailers any set-up, listing or final value fees, and you have a really hot retail destination.
Case Study: Demonstrating the reach and the power of the Flubit network, gaming retailer recently had a run of more than 50 orders on a single SKU over the course of one day thanks to their Flubit-powered listing on the UK deals site Mighty Deals. Ecommerce Manager, Rob Clarkson, said: “By pushing our products to their partner channels, Flubit allows us to reach a whole new audience without us incurring any additional work or cost – this is something no other marketplace is doing.”
Flubit currently working with more than 1,500 retailers with access to 50 million+ products.
So what sells well on shoppers are looking for branded products at great prices. Our retailers are experienced, large scale online retailers (both “pure play” and “clicks and mortar”) with access to deep levels of inventory at SKU level, high standards of customer service and the ability to ship products with the speed and efficiency today’s online shoppers expect and demand.
Note: Flubit recently announced the launch of Flubit Go, a same day delivery online shopping experience covering London, Birmingham and Manchester. Read more here.
Let’s Talk
Flubit is always happy to speak with retailers with products in the following categories:
  • Automotive
  • Baby Products
  • Beauty
  • Books
  • CDs & Vinyl
  • Computers & Accessories
  • DIY & Tools
  • DVD & Blu-ray
  • Electronics & Photo
  • Health & Personal Care
  • Home & Garden
  • Kitchen & Home
  • PC & Video Games
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Toys & Games
As well as their API and FTP integration solutions, Flubit also offer retailers using a wide range of multi-channel sales technology, including ChannelAdvisor, VOLO, Linnworks, Magento, StoreFeeder, SellerExpress and many more, quick and easy integration, helping them open up new routes to market quickly and efficiently.
For more information or to start selling via Flubit, visit:

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

No Secret – Flubit Takes Your Retail Business Beyond the Online Marketplace

It’s no secret: Flubit has been helping savvy online retailers reach (and sell to) an audience of millions of price-conscious consumers in the UK for more than five years now. You probably already know that Flubit is the UK’s largest independent online marketplace for branded retail products, with more than 1,500 retailers selling in excess of 50 million products.

It’s common knowledge that consumers love Flubit because it gives them access to great products at amazing prices, and that retailers love Flubit because it helps them reach new customers while maintaining control over their marketing and sales costs.

But is the tip of an iceberg of technology, developed by a team of 30 engineers, that processes 24 million stock and price updates per day - that’s 500 per second. Their product data management technology cleanses and clusters data provided by merchants to create clean, rich master product records. And their market intelligence automatically identifies which products have the highest blend of popularity, margin and price-competitiveness vs Amazon.

And did you know that Flubit isn’t just an online marketplace? It’s also a distribution network that positions your products across multiple high-volume sales venues. 

Beyond Marketplace Sales

By partnering with major brands in retail, publishing, finance, logistics and marketing, Flubit gives retailers access to millions of online shoppers outside of the “traditional” online marketplace. As such, Flubit provides a route to market any serious online retailer should not ignore.

While Flubit is constantly developing its partner network (keep your eyes on this blog for more information), here are just a few alternative sales channels Flubit retailers can enjoy:
  • Mighty Deals: The UK voucher code site shares a customised feed of Flubit retailers’ offers via the Mighty Deals website and its 500,000-strong email subscriber base.
  • Flubit Go: Flubit has partnered with On the Dot (a technology brand owned by UK delivery network CitySprint), to power a new same-day delivery service (with guaranteed one-hour delivery slots) for online shoppers in London, Manchester and Birmingham. This will enable Flubit retailers to compete with major online retailers like Amazon on ultra-convenient delivery as well as on price.
  • Trinity Mirror plc: Flubit’s partnership with the UK’s largest newspaper, magazine and digital publisher will enable retailers to reach 6 million shoppers per week through a custom web shop containing only Flubit products.
  • Ssshhh: There are a few things in the pipeline that Flubit isn’t quite ready to announce in detail just yet, but these will include partnerships with major affiliate networks, cash-back sites, third-party marketplaces, publishers and other major online brands that will drive high volumes of sales to your retail business. Watch this space for further announcements.
With no listing or final value seller fees and the ease with which products can be added to the database (if you use a multi-channel retail solution like ChannelAdvisor, VOLO, Linnworks, Magento, StoreFeeder or SellerExpress, you’re pretty much good to go), Flubit provides a simple, cost-effective and profitable route to market. 

While Flubit is certainly no secret (with deals as good as those Flubit has access to, it would be impossible to stay under the radar), you might be surprised just how far you can go as a Flubit retailer.

For more information or to start selling via Flubit, visit:

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Special announcement for my friends in Cyprus regarding The Content Marketing Boot Camp

Late last month, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was forced to cancel my Content Marketing event in Nicosia. Sadly, a busy schedule means I won't be able to re-book another event in Cyprus this year.
However, I am able to announce a special online event scheduled especially for the Cypriot market. During this two-hour session we'll focus on how content marketing can help business owners, marketers and sales professionals from across many of the industries that make the island tick - including tourism, online gaming, property and financial services.
If your corporate blog lacks personality, your email marketing campaigns could pack more punch or your social media activity is running low on ideas, join me online at 10.30am (EEST) on July 29th, 2016.
For more information or to book your space visit:

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Low Cost Acquisition Marketing for High Cost Acquisition Businesses

If you work in marketing for a financial services company, a law firm or a technology vendor, you’ll be painfully aware of the high costs associated with generating new business leads via paid search campaigns, comparison sites or affiliate marketing.

The cost of a single click on a paid search network can destroy any margin you have in a product or service and with so much competition out there, the promise of extended customer lifetime value and future profits are far from guaranteed.

But you need the leads because you need the business and so, as painful as it is, you keep digging deep in the hope it will pay off one day.

There is Another Way

BoostSuite is a low cost acquisition marketing technology that can deliver highly targeted traffic with the potential to drive tens or even hundreds of leads for the price of just one or two clicks on a paid search ad.

How Does It Work?

BoostSuite enables marketers to partner with like-minded organizations and build a shared pool of traffic which can be used to power incredibly targeted re-marketing campaigns. This creates an opportunity for potential customers to see your ads even if they have never visited your website before.

For example: A company providing mortgages might partner with a property developer, a real estate agent and an insurance broker. The traffic generated by people visiting your partner sites creates the opportunity for your ads (and your partners’ ads) to be positioned across a wide range of high traffic sites (including major news networks such as CNN and ESPN) and specialist, industry focused blogs and websites.

How Do I Start?

BoostSuite is offering marketers the opportunity to try their new remarketing service for free. The free service enables marketers to show their ads to up to 500 people per month. Paid subscriptions start from only $19 per month. 

Registration is simple
 and no credit card is required.

For more information visit:

Photo: Sam Valadi

Becoming THE Expert is an affiliate marketing partner of BoostSuite.


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