Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Big Oil In Big Trouble

     Britain's offshore oil industry has according to a new report, seen the loss of 15% of its workforce since the beginning of last year. To put that in perspective we are talking about  65,000 jobs gone within a year.

     The annual economic impact report published by Oil and Gas UK. Has shown a drop from roughly 440,000 to just 375,000 jobs created directly and indirectly by the oil industry. The report cited a vast reduction in both expansion and existing infrastructure as the main cause of job losses.
This year alone these cuts amounted to a massive £800m. This figure represents an 8% reduction in operating budgets with a further 14%, or roughly £1.3bn, cut planned for next year.
     The report went on to say that cost-cutting is expected to account for most of the losses to come. As a reaction to vastly reduced oil prices many companies have rushed to downsize and many have also begun actively decommissioning platforms.

     The report also mentioned that it was highly likely that capacity may have to be reduced even further in order for companies to weather the storm. Even after the oil markets begin to recover it is expected that the current push for increased efficiency will mean that job numbers will fail to return to their previous levels. In fact it is expected that over the next three years job numbers will continue to fall albeit at a slower rate.
     All of this comes on the back of a loss in revenue of 20% last year, and another fall of 30% this year. Offshore oil and gas companies have previously used the Offshore Europe event in Aberdeen to showcase increased growth and job potential. This year however has seen hard times in Aberdeen with the loss of jobs in the oil industry having a noticeable follow on effect in the Granite City.

     There is still money to be made from the industry, and Aberdeen is still toiling along.  In the UK oil industry though, insiders have said that there are quite a few companies that are "simply waiting to be bought". There's nowhere else to go and many otherwise highly intelligent and well educated professional may be left high and dry.

     Every week brings more redundancies and more pressure for those displaced by the downturn to find other opportunities. Last week it was Expro. This week it seems it may well be ConocoPhillips.
With the oil price falling from $115 (£75) last summer to below $43 (£28) last week, the North Sea industry, an experienced and solid sector, has now found itself facing the challenges common to older fields, with higher costs and declining production making the situation more complicated than in newer areas of development. Due to this there has been  a strong push to reduce costs further.

     The end result of these efficiency efforts is an aim to reduce the operational cost of extracting a barrel of oil, or its gas equivalent, from £17.80 to about £15. The industry hopes to achieve this result by the end of next year. So far, even with the cost cutting and job losses that price has only fallen to around £17 per barrel.

     Capital expenditure, which reached a peak last year of £14.8bn, is expected to fall to £11bn this year. Much of that will be taken from large scale operations that have already begun.  In the next three years it is expected to fall by between £2bn and £4bn more, effectively halving the total input within four years.

     Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, was quoted as saying "This great industry of ours is facing very challenging times. Last year, more was spent than was earned from production, a situation which has been exacerbated by the continued fall in commodity prices. This is not sustainable and investors are hard-pressed to commit investment here because of cash constraints."
"Difficult decisions have had to be made across the industry. It is likely that capacity may have to be reduced still further in order for the business to weather the downturn.

     "The industry is under a lot of pressure and it is now widely recognised that a transformation in the way business is done is required if the UK sector is to become more resilient and competitive in a world of sustained lower oil prices".

     Ms Michie also stated that the continuation of low oil prices will inevitably force companies to reconsider the viability of their offshore assets, and that there was a need for further "lightening" of the tax regime, to attempt to encourage further investment in the sector.

Celebrate Your First Lead We Get Our First Lead With New Business

Today I am ecstatic I just snared my first lead through my new website. One month of build up but now the ball is rolling. Scored another two leads only minutes after taking this video. Cheers to all the guys that helped me out in the last month and here's to bigger and better things.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Haiku Deck with Slideshare Tutorial; We show you how to use Haiku Deck T...

Today we introduce you to Haiku Deck presentation builder supplied through Slideshare by LinkedIn.
Haiku Deck provides a quick and easy way to create professional looking presentations which can then be shared and downloaded across multiple platforms. For more Digital Marketing Training Click Here.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Droids Tanking Our Jobs? New Society and the Great Shift From Muscle Power

So what will the future of society look like and why is it important that we reeducate ourselves to fit into the job market of tomorrow? We discuss some of the key points of the new post industrial system and look at why it is so important for people to become digital and tech capable.

Race Against the Machine: Andrew McAfee at TEDxBoston "We ain't seen nothin' yet"

We are moving very quickly into the future and we need to stop and reassess where we are and where we are going.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Simple Lead Capture Review and tutorial

Part 2 of our Online Business Expert Marketing Tutorials is here:

Today we take you through a quick review and tutorial of another piece of great software designed to make digital marketing much easier and quicker. If you like the look of the Simple Lead Capture you can grab a link to the site here and check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

What is TidyURL?

TidyURL is a great tool that allows you to shorten and rename links. Unlike most link shortners though it also has several other key features that make it incredibly useful.
With TidyURL you can take any URL and shorten it to something that resembles tidyurl.com/example. This leaves links looking neater and less cluttered as well as making them easier to use especially for Twitter where character count is important. Also because you get to name the example part of the url by yourself you can use these links to provide succinct information for yourself and your potential customers. For example if I wanted a link to my website I could use http://tidyurl.com/DDLSite.
Aside from being able to shorten and rename URL links as you please TidyURL also provides a links and menus function which keeps track of all the links you make with it. These links can then be annotated and saved into different groups to allow you to keep track of them and use them again and again.
Another great feature of TidyURL is the ability to choose with the advanced functions how the URL is redirected to the destination site, either through a 301, 307 or cloaked link or through the awesome social bar feature. The social bar feature allows you to change and control what content and or images are pulled from a page when the link is pasted into websites that pull video or images from the page linked to, such as Facebook.

Check out the video below for more great features and an intro to TidyURL:

Even better is that TidyURL can be downloaded and added as a plugin to any Wordpress website. If you want to check it out grab the link here and have a look.

Monday, 14 September 2015

What is the Digital Business System?

     We at Digital Dream Life have for a while been partnered with a digital education group known as the Six Figure Mentors.


     This group consists of professional and experienced online marketers, some of whom have more than a decade of knowledge behind them. What makes them really special though is the way in which they provide not only support and coaching on a wide range of digital and affiliate marketing topics but the way in which they also provide you with a starting platform.

     Even if you are new to the internet, affiliate marketing or have little to no online skills they provide a graduated learning curve with group and individual support all the way. Aside from offering detailed video, webinar and personal mentorship they also offer an excellent affiliate program of their own allowing you to cut your teeth on their products before going on to market your own or others products.

      In a way this sounds a little too easy but I should warn you that even with the best help affiliate marketing and digital business is not for everyone. To make a living doing what we do you need to be innovative and have a strong desire to do things a little differently. The reason I chose this path for example is that I was fed up of working a nine to five, or often longer, dead end job where the person who told me what to do made several times what I did even though I was putting in the hard yards for them.

      The digital business system opens the door to a whole range of possibilities. It allows you for starters to truly work from home. All you need is a half decent computer and the internet and off you go. No more rush hour traffic and sitting in a cubicle somewhere, or in my case standing in front of a classroom full of screaming kids.

      So what do the guys at SFM offer you? Well they offer a wide range of products, at a price obviously, that depend very much on what you want out of your digital experience. The basic entry level comes in at a measly $29.95 and then we range up to higher level packages that offer more tools and support. I personally am running at their very elite Black Membership level which offers access to expert retreats, one on one training sessions a great affiliate package and all the tools I could ever need.

     If you are interested in more information about the levels, the costs and the support and tools provided either check out the official application site here or send me an email @ rorymdonald@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Traditional Education vs. Digital Education

     We have all heard that information is money, but do we really understand what that means? Why is it that some people seem to make money at everything they do and the rest of us seem to simply stumble along making enough to pay rent or the mortgage?

     The answer is information. Those we think of as entrepreneurs are not any smarter, nor are they any luckier than the rest of us but they do have something most of us don't. They seek information. They drink in new knowledge. They open their minds to the changing economy and society around them.

     Ask any successful entrepreneur what sets them apart and I am sure several words will come up again and again. Words like drive, passion, need and determination. While all of these words describe the personality of the successful they still could not become successful without the knowing how to.
Education is an often forgotten side to entrepreneurship. Many of the greatest successes in our history have been made by people we could well think of as "under-educated" but that is I believe an unfair label. It is true that people such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and many others including those as far back as Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie were not what would traditionally be called well educated. That however depends on what education means to you.

     The traditional school and especially university education systems are proving incapable of keeping up with technology. They do not seem to be capable of teaching the skills and mindsets needed for this digital age.

     When many young people are putting themselves into crippling debt to pay for an education that not only doesn't guarantee them a good job, but which actually now almost guarantees them a bad one* we know we are in troubled times.

     So what is the solution? How do great entrepreneurs make it big? They still make sure they are educated they just choose a different more hands on form of education. They learn to use the tools they need to make themselves great. Take for example an online learning course such as this one. It costs no more than a college degree but instead of four years learning something that will have little impact on your job in the future it teaches you a wide range of skills you can apply to an even wider range of possible income streams.

I believe Alan Watts said it best:

     You see the internet should offer us more choice not less. We should be broadening our horizons and seeking to better ourselves not plodding along blindly at the same desk job we hate for years. We should be making the future better doing what we love and sharing what interests us.

     No matter what you want to sell, no matter what you are interested in someone else will be too so why not make yourself and the world a more vibrant knowledgeable place?

     It is up to us to choose our future, and you only get one life, so make it count.

Netizen Have A Responsibility

Regardless of who you are or where you come from one thing is certain. Uncertainty.

It is so easy to get stuck into a routine and think that life is just a case of plodding along and putting one foot in front of the other day after day. However we all have those moments when we look in the mirror and wonder whether we are simply surviving instead of thriving. We all want to change the world. To help the refugees. To stop crime, war, poverty and famine. To see our children grow up in a world better than ours.

When we look at the world outside the window though it looks too vast, everything is moving too fast. We watch the news and feel overwhelmed. We get to work and find ourselves buried under the here and now pressure of making it through the day.

What we forget though are those famous words, "before you can change your world, you must first change yourself". It sounds simple and almost obvious but it can be a lot harder than we think.
The future of our society, like it or not, will be digital. War and famine, politics and business are all becoming a more and more global problem. If we want to keep up not only do we have to get online we have to choose to make the online world ours. Complaining on Facebook or commenting on Twitter is a good start but we need more. We need a way to shape the internet and the digital world into a world of our own choosing.

For a long time the internet has been a a great money spinner. Even at its very beginning the enterprising were making money by selling everything from books and videos to porn and drugs. And so the internet developed a shady side before it ever developed a safer, more public minded side.
There are out there many great resources, just like in the real world, things like free libraries to help educate and elucidate, advice forums and help centres for every niche and need. While this is a great step forward it is our responsibility to make sure that these are the future and that the dark side of the net, the dodgy get rich quick schemes and the Nigerian bank scams are kept to a minimum. The best way to achieve this is to make certain that we and those who follow us are well educated.

There is no escaping it digital reality is the new norm and we are spending more and more time and money online. Which is all the more reason we should all be taking our talents, our time and our morals out onto the net but in a way that is safe and ethical and above all smart.

Be cynical but willing to try something new. Be educated but revel in learning something new. Be brave but don't forget to be kind.

It is the responsibility of every netizen to share good knowledge and to erase the scams and cons.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Affiliate Marketing is a whole new education

     Not too long ago I returned home after working in China for several years. I had been out of the job market for a full five years and this made it quite hard to get back to work. After looking around and doing some tutoring I came across a whole new industry. I was trawling the net one day when I came across an ad for SFM and with little to lose at this point I had a closer look.
     After doing a whole heap of research about the company I decided that their education and support was exactly what I was looking for. They offer an education, a system and an affiliate marketing product line that makes it possible for even internet novices to break into the fastest growing market on earth.
     My first baby steps into this industry have been both difficult and enlightening but every time I have had an issue these guys have been there to help get me out of whatever rut I have currently got myself into.
     As a life long educator myself though I have to say that it isn't the great products they offer or even the ease with which you can use their affiliate system that makes me love this system. The one thing that makes me so glad I didn't just brush past the ad I saw is their amazing ability to harness a whole team of experts to provide training that even someone like me can follow.
     Check it out for yourself and see what you think and don't forget to grab the free, no strings attached list building PDF and the basic video series.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why are you waiting?

     So many people procrastinate. They umm and ahh and make excuses and promise themselves they’ll do it tomorrow.

      It may well be though that tomorrow is too late. Even if it isn’t too late it is just another day wasted.

     Do you believe you can do better? Do you believe you can change not only your life but the lives of others?

     You see what so few people understand is that many, if not most, of the good digital marketing mentors out there want to help you and then you can help others and so the chain goes.

     So why? Why do I and many others want to help you?

     Well for starters it’s good for our business. The more faith people have in the fact the internet isn’t just one big scam the better for all of us. Secondly many of us, myself included, have been so far down on our luck, so backed into a corner that we don’t want to see others go the same way.
Many of us have at times when we start not been able to pay our rent, or lost it all on a stupid gamble.

     Why would we want to see more people become a victim of those who nearly stopped us from earning our success?

     The last reason, at least for me personally, is I am a teacher. I love it. I love watching people grow, watching them not only to see their real potential but also to reach out to it.

     So if you want to be better. If you want to show what you’ve got go out and do it. No more ummms and no more ahhhs. I want you to be proud of who you see in the mirror.

     Learn something new everyday, if you don’t you aren’t really living. Help out a friend every chance you can, if you don’t how can you say you’re really human. Give yourself all the chances you can, if you don’t then you deny the entire world your hidden genius.

Want to know more? Visit us at www.digitaldreamlife.com 

The Next Era Of Digital Life

     With ever moving technology, and a world that has become almost entirely connected, now is the time to look to the future.

     Being given the opportunity to receive news, information and even products at unprecedented speeds also places us in the unique position of having a responsibility to use this golden opportunity properly.

     So many people have already been bitten by scams and by spam marketing around the net. So many people have become jaded and have chosen to hide themselves away from the choices and chances the internet holds out to us all.

     As digital marketers, social media experts and representatives of our various online businesses the time has come for us to step up to the plate. The time has come for us to fight back, to give back and to provide value to enrich our followers rather than seeking only to enrich ourselves.

     So many of us now owe everything we are and everything we have to those who had faith. We owe our livelihood to all the people who took the risk and trusted us to deliver on our promises. Let us not forget those promises. Let us not offer false hope. Instead let us offer only solutions to problems. Let us provide the same level of service and excellence we would like to receive ourselves.
Every time someone gets scammed, every time someone is sold a product that fails to meet it's sales pitch we lose another chance to enrich both our own lives and someone else's life. As an industry we owe it both to ourselves and to our various clients and customers to take a stand and defend the right of everyone to build, to grow and to buy without fear.

     So, how many of us will stand by our products? How many of us will choose honesty over a quick buck? Can you say you would buy your own product? Are you proud of who you are and what you have to offer?

     If you are all these things it is time to turn it all around. It is time to show the whole world that not only the lucky few can live a better, freer life.

Visit us at www.digitaldreamlife.com for more.

Back bigger, better and readier to help you join us in the Digital Dream Life.

     I am sure a few of you have noticed we have been offline for quite a while. The big reason for this was that with Asia and especially china arising as a bigger and more open market everyday we here at DDL decided we needed to head over there and see what was happening on the ground in person.
This first thing to say about my year on the ground in China is that the opportunities opening up there are truly awesome, so much so that I had a hard time even knowing where to start at first. After taking a deep breath and diving into the whole new planet that is Renren, Taobao, Alipay, Alibaba, Weibo and so many others I discovered two huge things.

     Huge discovery number one China is, despite what most westerners think, a very money oriented and capitalist society. Everyone strives to get to the top and having more money than the next guy is a mark of pride and is very respected.

     Huge discovery number two Chinese people love, and I mean LOVE, shopping online. Go to any office in any city in China and I guarantee that many if not most of the computers will have at least one, and probably a couple, of the above mentioned programs running in the background.

     What all of this means is that China has become not just a huge seller but also a huge market. So what kind of products does the worlds largest market want? Perhaps unsurprisingly one of the biggest markets is for western cosmetics and food supplements. The reason for this is the same reason there is not a huge demand for Chinese versions of these products in the West. Another major market, as China becomes more affluent, is for genuine (rather than locally made fake) high end clothing and accessories.

     The biggest roadblock however to selling to the Chinese market is simply put one of language. Many Chinese people learn English at school, in fact to the best of my knowledge all of them do to some degree. However learning English at a public school in China is not too different from learning a second language for most people in the West at school. You do it because it is on the curriculum and perhaps so you can pretend to be smart when you travel to France for spring break and can order a coffee in French. What this means is an audience in China where nearly everyone knows how to say hello but where only few can really read the language.

Head to www.digitaldreamlife.com for more info on what's new.

LinkedIn is swimming in SWAM’d

After a good friend of mine recently got added to the growing list of people SWAM’d over at LinkedIn I decided to do a little bit of research on a topic that seems to have gone under the radar.

Before I start I want to make it clear that I truly do believe LinkedIn is a great resource and one that has helped many, many people find jobs or employees over the last few years. Having a forum where professionals can find other professionals easily from all over the world can be nothing but a boon to modern society.

There is however a secret thorn hidden deep in the flowers of this particular rose and after doing my research it is one I feel needs to be explored more deeply.

I myself have a LinkedIn account although one that I use all too rarely. SWAMming however is not something I (like many other users) had come across until it happened to someone I knew. A few quick explanations may be in order at this point:

  • As of writing this LinkedIn has more than 300 million members across almost every industry.

  • LinkedIn groups are since the retirement of Signal the most common and important method of communication on the platform.

  • Most active members are part of multiple groups (up to 50).

  • Groups are often open, that is, there is no active moderation within the group as regards to posts that are awaiting moderation.

So, now we have a basic outline of the facts and figures, what exactly is SWAM and why is it becoming a major issue? SWAM stands for Site-Wide Automatic Moderation. In an effort to reduce spam (a noble goal in any social media organization) LinkedIn decided back in early 2013 to enact strong measures to protect it’s legitimate users from the flood of junk floating around the net. So far so good.

That unfortunately is where the good news ends. You see when the anti-spam initiative was put in place it was done with almost no fanfare. The original and in fact the only post to be found mentioning it’s inception appeared in a rather obscure corner of the site and would have been seen by less than 5,000 of their over 300 million users.

The basic issue with SWAM is that if someone dislikes something you say or post in a group in which they are a moderator they can choose to “block & delete” you. If a moderator in any group you are a member of does this it then means that any comment or post you make in any group you are in goes automatically to a moderation queue and must be accepted by a moderator before appearing in that group.

As you can imagine, while most people are responsible in the use of such a powerful tool, there are many who have abused the power given to them. As many LinkedIn members will attest it is all too easy for someone to push the hush button on you simple because they feel like it, they don’t like you for any number of reasons or even because they are totally unaware of the true repercussions of their actions.

Many cases have appeared where members in good standing, some of them even being top contributors, have fallen victim to SWAM. Besides the fact that any moderator in any group can do this to you possibly the worst part is that you get no explanation, no warning and no indication as to who decided to block you.

Obviously keeping spam levels down is a good thing but not if potentially innocent users can fall victim to a ban than can only be called crippling in the process.

Two other issues have arisen with the policy of SWAM as well. The first issue is that the LinkedIn help staff claim they cannot lift this ban manually and seem to have no interest in helping you with some people reporting they have even go so far as to deny there is a problem and tell you that you must have been spamming or else you wouldn’t have been blocked in the first place.

The second issue is that the only way to get out of the situation is to appeal to each and every group manager whose group you are in to individually restore your privileges in their own group. Not only is this an inconvenience for them but as your message will mark you as a spammer, whether or not you are, many group managers will dismiss or at least delay the message meaning you can be stuck on moderation forever.

According to some new information though it does look like there are possibly some changes coming with LinkedIn announcing that SWAM has been changed in a couple of subtle ways. One way it has changed is the option for members of groups to now get in on the SWAMming too by flagging posts they feel inappropriate which can lead to a temporary stay in the sin bin of up to two weeks.

So, what to take away from all this? I guess the lesson is know your platform well, consider others before dooming them to LinkedIn oblivion and try to use some common sense. As for social media sites I think the key lesson here is that putting your legitimate users in jail to try and boot spammers is seriously counter-productive.

 Want to add something or tell us something we don't know? Head to www.digitaldreamlife.com to tell us

Let me ask you one question: Are you satisfied with your life?

     If you have a quick look around you while you sit at your desk how many people do you see loving their lives? How many people do you see making a real difference to the lives of everyday people on the street?

     I bet if you are honest the answer is not many.

     If you are like me you have a feeling somewhere deep inside that tells you that even if you are working hard everyday you are just spinning your wheels. I’m not talking about money and I’m not talking about success. A lot of people have money and a lot of people have success however you choose to measure it. All of these people though tend to fail in one very important way. They don’t actively make people’s lives better.

     I am proud to say that no matter how high the ladder you climb and no matter how many awards you win I still think I do better. I have almost never been promoted, I have almost never made much more money than I need to survive. Knowing all of this though I still feel good looking myself in the mirror every morning. I feel good because every day when I get up I have the chance to help someone. I get to take ordinary people and turn them into extraordinary people.

     How do I do that? I know you hear a lot of promises and a lot of bragging about how much money YOU can make, but that is not really the issue. The issue is I know every person I introduce to the guys over at SFM has the chance to go from a worker ant to an entrepreneur. Granted not everyone does, a lot of people stumble, a lot of people fail and a lot of people are too scared to really take the first step into something new.

     I wanted you to let me ask you a question way back at the beginning of this post so now let me ask: Do you think you have the will and the vision to make a start on changing how you see the world and how you live your life?

     If you are not serious and if you have no interest then please turn back now. Go back to your T.V. show or the report you have due tomorrow and forget I asked. If you are interested though and if you want to hear some more of what I get to do everyday then put your email in the box and we will send you out a free week of videos that ought to give you a better idea of what I do and what SFM does.
     So, are you interested? Get the videos here.

Even if it’s not golden is it value?

     Not every word that comes out of our mouths is literary or informational gold.

     One of the big things to keep in mind about the digital era is that everything you say gets seen but that doesn’t mean it gets read. We all wish we had a silver tongue (or at least golden fingers) but content is just as important as class. Having a witty turn of phrase may get people to watch but that doesn’t mean they will bite.

     In a world of information overload one of the biggest losses is true value of information. It can be incredibly hard to sift through all the dross and one liners to find the data you really need or want.
So before you go creating page after page of fluff and padding think about the value you are giving to the poor reader who has to work their way through it all to find the nugget of gold in the proverbial haystack.

     After all time is money and in this digital era we all seem to have less and less time. So before starting a blog post, a webpage or even a tweet or status update consider this, “Would I want to read this?”. If the answer is no then perhaps you need to take another look at what you are saying.

     Adding value though doesn’t mean throwing a free mug with every purchase or a simple trial with every click. What it really means is listening to what your followers, what your customers, really want. We as the mentors, gurus and teachers need to ensure we do the hard work and go the full mile to locate, sift and fine tune the advice and information we provide so that our new digital proteges can get on with business instead of getting bogged down under a mountain of virtual verbal diarrhea.

So Think before you Link!

Marketing can be hard, but don’t despair

     One of the biggest challenges to starting out in the social media or digital marketing world is the difficulty of getting your foot in the door.
      It can often feel when you are first starting out that you have an insurmountable job ahead of you. The fact of the matter is no matter what you have been promised it is a long, often difficult journey to success.
      The internet no more offers instant success or success for little to no work than any other industry does. So if you want a chance at instant cash while you do nothing to gain your goals then you are best to try the lottery.
      If on the other hand you really do put the work in, do your research and keep your eyes on the prize then there is no reason at all that you can’t make it big online.
      The keys to digital marketing are really no different from more traditional industries, in fact the only real difference is in the amazing array of choices that going digital opens up to you.
      Make sure you get the right information. Make sure you get the right tools for the job. Understand your market and get help from those that have gone before.
Remember even if you want to change the world you need to start by knowing how the world works now.

     If you have what it takes find out more at www.digitaldreamlife.com