Internet Marketing Success Center The Internet's Leading Education Center For Online Entrepreneurs Wed, 24 Jun 2020 04:44:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 21116496 5 Marketing Fails and What You Can Learn from Them Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:49:10 +0000 Mistakes are just part of being human. They are naturally occurring, and how most of us learn. Oftentimes, failure is not devastating, it is a blessing in disguise because it forces us to grow, and keeps us grounded.

Even the best digital marketers deal with failure daily. Advertising campaigns crash, or brand messaging just plain stinks. Sometimes we think we got it right, but we still manage to post ablog that gains no momentum. Even when success is great and it is time to celebrate, never get too comfortable or complacent. That is an important lesson that failure has taught us.

When asked to name the biggest marketing errors or failures of all time, a LinkedIn group recently offered some interesting responses, some were depressing, other amusing, all were humbling. Some of the following responses stood out among the rest, others offered valuable lessons learned:

  1. Keep it Classy

Avoid using slang terms unless you fully understand how to use them correctly. McDonald’s marketing execs made a big error a few years ago. They seemed to think they were being hip, and appealing to a younger audience by implementing a phrase many teenagers like to use. The advertisement was for the chain’s dollar menu. It read, “double cheeseburger? I’d hit it…” The problem here is that the popular phrase refers to having sex with an individual, highly inappropriate for a family-oriented burger joint.

Moral: Get your facts straight and never use words or phrases if you don’t understand their true meaning.

  1. Proofread, Again and Again

If you have pored over that whitepaper or blog content a dozen times, or if you somehow missed your deadline, you still need to proofread. Never skip this step, always put in the time needed. This applies to just about every task you do that requires you to decide on something. Oftentimes taking the extra few minutes will save you a great deal of grief and precious time in the future. For instance, Scottish singer Susan Boyle, wowed audiences all over the world in 2009 with her amazing voice when she got so close to winning Britain’s Got Talent. The marketing error here was when it was time to release Boyle’s album, whoever was in charge did a poor job of choosing the best hashtag. Either the singer or her publicists went with #susanalbumparty. Hardly a winning post, it invited ridicule and mocking comments.

  1. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

The Hoover Company, famous vacuum cleaner and washing machine maker, made an offer to their UK customers. Buyers who purchased more than GBP 100 worth of Hoover products would be given two return flight tickets to Europe. The offer later included tickets to the U.S. Without many surprises, the company could not cover the enormous expense. In short, Hoover wound up being sued repeatedly across Britain.

  1. An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

Back in 2013 the marketing team for Canada-based Coca-Cola brand, Vitamin Water thought it would be a great idea to offer a mix of both French and English words on their bottle caps to accentuate the country’s proud bilingual community. The marketing fails the demeaning phrase,” you retard” showed up on the cap of a bottle opened by a young lady with a half-sister afflicted with cerebral palsy. The brand was very lax in its approach to provide a memorable customer experience. Their method backfired because the words on the caps were only reviewed by native French speakers. “Retard” is defined as “late” from the French perspective. Call it a hunch, but It appears they should have also consulted with English speakers.

  1. Some Marketing Ideas Aren’t Worth the Risk of Making a Mistake

Shutterfly, an online provider of photo-based gifts and keepsakes recently sent a marketing email to new mothers. The communication welcomed the new arrivals and provided a discount on infant announcements. Sounds innocent enough, but the problems arose when the email was sent unintentionally to a much wider audience than originally intended. Viewers on the distribution list provided a range of responses, they were either offended, confused or amused. One female customer who was accidentally sent the congratulatory correspondence found the email to be very insensitive, she was not able to bear children. Although the brand was by no means commenting on anyone’s ability to procreate or even if these customers had kids at all, unfortunately, the message came across that way.

Digital marketers can’t ever dismiss the fact that the internet is unforgiving and never forgets anything. If you send off an insulting blurb of copy or post an offensive tweet, whether it was intentional or not, viewers will read it, maybe even save it and judge your brand in the ruthless court of public opinion. Since this is not rocket science, it brings a few thoughts to mind.

Genius or Marketing Fail?

Are some of these marketing fails actual errors in judgment or brilliant strategies? Is it brand genius or an epic fail when a campaign is so horrible, or ridiculous, it leaves consumers wondering if this tactic was purposefully orchestrated. We all know that even bad press is good press.

Problems with grammar and spelling are unacceptable, this point is so fundamental it makes you question who is in charge or was this move done on purpose. Any ad used to market your product or service reflects your brand. Always proofread and double check your content before sending it out into oblivion.

Poorly placed ads can also lead to a marketing fail. When ads line up against one another, that can lead to pandemonium. Chaos ensues when marketers dish out lots of money and editors mess up.

Failure happens from time to time, we have all made errors. The important thing is to learn from these marketing mistakes so that success will come the next time you face a similar challenge. Have you encountered any marketing fails that you were able to turn into a triumph?

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for marketing fails that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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How to Create a Fail-Proof Social Media Strategy Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:15:58 +0000  

You may never be an expert in the workings of social media, it is ever-changing. With every blink of an eye here pops up some new platform and everyone is ranting about the newest webdesign  trend. There is just no way to have it all figured out, at least not for long.

However, it isn’t as complicated as you may think, you don’t need the brain of a rocket scientist. But you do need to be willing to experiment, analyze results and repeat. You will never stop learning, you just keep adapting.

How to Begin Your Journey

At this point in time, everyone sees the great potential, but some may be unsure about how to proceed. To get your fail-proof social media strategy in action, start by following these easy steps:

  • Get to Know Your Customers

You can’t even start planning a strategy until you have determined who is your ideal audience. Identify the right people to target and learn how they occupy their time online. Not everyone engages on the same social media platforms, they don’t all work for everyone. Different needs must be met. It is useful to set up a research survey or simply ask current customers which social media networks they use the most.

  • Set Specific Goals and Initiate the Plan

Planning comes first before all else. Start with some concrete figures like actual sales or how many posts you plan to commit to every month. Regardless, write it down and hold yourself accountable. Goal-setting worksheets allow you to map out and break down the big picture.

Once your set goals are in place, it is time to brainstorm. Throw your ideas out on the table and develop a content calendar. Review each item individually and in further detail. A social media checklist is a helpful tool for use on both a daily and monthly basis.

  • Start with Baby Steps

In this business, the process is more like a marathon, not a sprint. You must maintain steam to keep it going. Start small by tackling one step at a time, consistently. Once you do each task well, you will add on more. There is no point to trying to do all or nothing, that approach will most likely lead to failure.

  • Delegate Work as Needed

Business owners know that to meet demands and remain in control of the company they built, particularly in the public eye, it is often wise to delegate the load. It is okay to hand off the necessary and time-consuming task of online marketing to a team member or hire an outside strategist.

  • Get the Process Moving

Once you have devised your social media strategy, have a system in place to keep it running smoothly. There are many tools available to make daily rituals flows easier. Find a regular routine that will work well for your business.

  • Track Your Results

Keeping track of your results is just as important as setting goals. You must know what is working for you and what needs to change. Social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools that are easy to use. Google Analytics can help you manage referrals.

  • Be Patient

Understand that although cliché, the adage still holds true, good things come to those who wait. People probably won’t show up overnight. To get everything just right, you need to put in quite a bit of work with lots of trial and error, constant tweaking, and repeating steps. Sometimes the very thing that is missing in your strategy is time.

Don’t Over-Complicate Things

Now that you know how to set up a laid-out plan, here is what you can do to get your social media strategy rolling right now.

  1. Be in The Game Consistently

Nothing else matters more. You can’t post once a week and expect to obtain success on social media. You need to post every day and keep your audience engaged. You should post often enough that your audience doesn’t forget you, but not so much that you become a nuisance. This is where the two posts a day standard comes into play. Connect with them a few times

  1. Create A Sense of Community

It is natural for people to want to be a part of something. Therefore, it is important to incorporate a sense of community in your strategy. Do you make your customers feel important they are after their first purchase? Are you creating ways for satisfied buyers and potential prospects to interact with one another?

You can set up a Facebook group and invite fans to discuss your products and services. Social media users like to get together and chat with like-minded consumers on topics of interest just like they would in person. Come up with ideas to boost this kind of engagement on your feed. Post thought-provoking polls or questions. Try to get customers to consult with each other. Put the spotlight on the most interesting and useful dialogues. Always think outside of the box.

  1. Show Them Why You Rock

This can be a tough one for many brands. They may be skilled at providing an attractive and engaging feed, build a strong sense of community and present themselves as relevant and relatable, but they forget they are running an actual business. The bottom line is you are a company that exchanges money for goods or services. Don’t forget to bring up information about your business. This step is very important, you don’t see huge corporations like Coca-Cola or Apple neglecting to push the business aspect. They are launching products, posting current promotions and showing off what they want consumers to buy.

Final Word

It is not a misstep if you discuss your product or service more than once. You are not being conniving or shady, you are telling people what you are all about, why they are important to you, why they need what you have and how you can help.

Tell them why you rock. Don’t overthinking anything, present the truth and create a fail-proof social media strategy.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for social media that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Privacy Statement: Should You Have One and What Should It Include Thu, 03 Aug 2017 15:58:57 +0000  

Although there is no federal law that regulates such practices, you should always include a privacy statement on your website. Creating the simple document is a very important step in the process. A properly written policy will disclose all or some of the ways you plan to use gathered information about site visitors. It should include an outline of how you store data and manage gathered information in plain language that is easy for users to understand.

The Basics of Creating a Privacy Statement

A solid privacy statement will offer complete disclosure leaving readers at ease, and instill confidence. It will also protect you from having to deal with multiple liability concerns.

  • Craft a privacy policy that is both user-friendly and reader-friendly. Write the statement in plain language and the same writing style that you employ throughout your site.
  • Keep it short and to the point. Viewers won’t take the time to read a lengthy privacy statement. If you want users to read it, as the most discerning web users do, keep the policy thorough, yet brief. However, avoid abbreviating the necessary content so much, that you end up omitting vital information. The goal is to disclose all the important information so your readers understand their privacy rights and that they are respected and handled in an agreeable way.
  • Post your privacy statement in a location that is easily accessible and type in a very readable font. Don’t bury it away in a hard to reach the area of your website. If it is too hard to find, and the print impossible to read, viewers become suspicious. You don’t have to make your privacy policy the focal point on a web page, but site visitors do need to locate it and absorb the message easily. For example, a good design approach is to place a tab at the top of your landing page which includes a link to your privacy statement. The top tab should contain clear and concise content. Some suggestions include:
  • How We Protect Your Privacy
  • Our Privacy Policy
  • Privacy and Security
  • Your Privacy is Important to Us



What Should be Included in a Privacy Statement

  1. Develop a privacy policy that covers all the bases regarding the use of your web site. Every privacy statement must be very specific and tailored to the site at hand, but disclosures and web policies should be set in further detail for e-commerce The more gathered user information and the more other businesses have access to the same data, the more extensive your privacy statement must be. Online users aren’t willing to dish out their private, financial information if they don’t know for sure that it will be protected. Therefore, your policy must answer any possible consumer questions or concerns a visitor may have about buying from you. Review your business with a fine- toothed comb and add any issues that may come up with your customers. Consider including the following assurances:
  • What type of visitor demographic or buyer’s personal information is collected: It is good practice to include a detailed explanation of reasons why you collect specific information up front. For instance, you may need it for customer communication or to ship goods.
  • How is all of this gathered information is securely stored: Include the name and location of the outside of provider being You might state something like, we use 123 Top of the Line Software to protect our customer information by keeping their data securely stored.
  • How is all or any portion of the gathered data shared: Let your customers know that from time to time, you may offer their information to third parties, and inform them they do have the right to opt out. If they choose not to share their personal data, you will no longer have any control over who else receives their information without the customer’s consent.
  • Third-party marketers on your website and links to their web pages: Give your followers a good explanation as to why you share information with third-party advertisers. It may be that the ones you choose need your customer data to complete orders or to compile marketing lists or send out an email confirmation. Your customers will be a lot more accommodating if about sharing information if they know exactly how you plan to use it, and understand it is beneficial to them.
  1. Add a statement about cookies. This doesn’t refer to the sweet, baked crumbly dessert. A cookie is a small string of information generated by a website and stored on a user’s computer. The visitor’s web browser pulls up the website data every time the person goes back to the site. It is not difficult to understand what a computer cookie is, but there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about these data strings in regard to privacy. Learn more about how to develop a privacy policy for web site cookies to avoid any consumer apprehension or concerns.

  2. Be sure to Include a limitation of liability clause. This is a contractual clause or basic restatement of the common law principle that restricts or specifies the number of damages a site visitor can recover.

It may also be a good idea to add some sort of provision about business transfers. Also referred to as a business transaction clause, this will be useful in the event you sell your e-commerce business, gathered customer data would be included as part of the sales transaction.

The more straightforward you make your privacy statement, the more likely you will thwart any potential visitor concerns. When it comes to online privacy, there is never too much detail, there is only not enough.

Boost the trustworthiness of your website by applying for a symbol of credibility, a credentials seal. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) or some other internet privacy certification company can help you with this process. This valuable seal shows visitors that you are a reputable company recognized for handling confidential information with care.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for privacy policies that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Should You Rebrand? 10 Questions to Ask Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:40:15 +0000 It is quite a huge undertaking to rebrand your company or organization. You need to know exactly what image you want to convey and which consumers will likely respond. This could mean a whole lot of brainstorming meetings to discuss important factors including graphics, brand messaging and typography. Improper use of any of these core elements can hamper, or terminate, profitable customer engagement.

The Process of Rebranding

Keeping in mind how costly and complex this process can be, along with the potential danger of taking missteps, it is very important to pose the correct questions before making any moves. The following is a list of questions that an elite group of leading public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agency executives advise other professionals to ask before they begin the process of rebranding.

  1. What Are Your Reasons for Rebranding? What Do You Expect to Accomplish with The Rebrand?

Prior to starting your project, you must be very clear on the reasons. What led you to want to rebrand and exactly what do you expect to accomplish? If you don’t define your goals clearly upfront, you will not launch a successful strategy. In the end, it will just be a brand update or design change, not a decisive rebranding strategy.

  1. How has Your Brand Evolved Over Time and Where Is It Headed?

Before taking the leap, first, spend some time on internal business analysis and brand introspection. Marketing executives and business owners should be thinking about how the brand has changed over the years, how it has grown into the success it is today and where it may be going in the future. This is an important step because if you neglect to answer such questions early in the rebranding process, you will risk investing in a plan that doesn’t embody the company accurately.

  1. Will a Rebrand Work Everywhere?

All rebranding strategies employ a compelling manifesto, toolkit or guideline that comes equipped with fresh design elements, a new brand voice and more. What is usually missing is true to life example of how these changes will work in all mediums. A successful brand thrives across all marketing channels. Make sure your new brand strategy works seamlessly everywhere, from digital advertising to television and print marketing.

  1. Don’t Forget Your Employees

While you are totally engrossed in the development of your rebranding, don’t forget one of your most vital audience segments. Employees are sometimes completely overlooked or neglected in the process. The huge endeavor involves a big change, not minor tweaks. Values and company vision are sometimes thoroughly revamped. It is not wise to plan your strategy thinking only of your external audiences. Employee involvement and good internal communication are critical if you want the rebrand to be a successful one.

  1. Are You Speaking to Your Most Profitable Target Audience?

Who are your ideal audiences and which personas will have the largest impact on your brand’s bottom line? How will you determine the right voice or the best design choices? What wording, logos, colors, fonts, brand message or corporate culture would be most compelling to viewers and potential customers?

  1. Will Your Existing Customers or Clients Feel Abandoned?

Change can be very exciting, and launching a new image brings a feeling of new hope. However, you should never forget about the loyal following you have already acquired. You existing customer base may have a strong emotional bond linked to your current branding. That buyer passion may work against you. This is exactly what happened when executives at Coca-Cola opted to change things up in 1985 and launched the New Coke. The popular brand took a leap of faith but ended up with an epic fail that not only affected Coke’s success, it changed the dynamics of the entire soft drink industry.

  1. Who Is Your Ideal Audience? What Type of Followers Do You Want to Attract?

Do you know the demographics of your target audiences? Have you learned about their values, household incomes, type of style, education level or how they make purchases? It is common for businesses to first consider changing their design when thinking about rebranding, but the change starts with understanding your ideal audience and redesigning with their needs in mind.



  1. What Values Do You Stand For; What Is Your Brand All About?

There is no point in considering a rebranding if you have yet to determine your value. You first need to know what your brand represents, what it stands for, what your promises are and completely embrace each one of these answers. If it is clearly the best time to rebrand your organization, the change should stem from the heart and reflect the employees, the business culture and the products or services. Ultimately, the goal of rebranding should be to build a long-lasting connection while maintaining your existing customer base.

  1. Are You Focusing Only on Changing Your Brand Design?

It can prove to be very problematic to go through the process of rebranding, simply to make a few color changes or to update your font styles. It can take years to cultivate just the right branding for your company with great marketing and advertising, choosing the appropriate social media platforms, strategic placement and much more. So much time and money are invested the first time around. If the rebrand is solely to change your aesthetics, you might just end up either alienating or confusing your loyal following. Putting forth a rebrand is like launching a whole new chapter. It is indicative of a change in management, significant company growth, or shift in policy or product choices.

  1. Are You Prepared for What Will Come After the Launch?

Typically, most rebrands lose momentum after the first year. This holds true across all industries. Businesses go into this without preparing for the aftermath that follows. Being truly committed to your rebranding means remaining dedicated to sustaining the process for the long term. The hard work begins once the new strategy and identity are set in place.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for rebranding that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Tools to Use for Brand Consistency Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:41:53 +0000 It isn’t hard to write regularly scheduled blog posts or to put out eBooks or other types of digital content in 2017. In fact, it is so easy to shift an idea into a concept that we sometimes forget to check for brand consistency. With internet access and use of basic business software just about anyone can create online content with their interpretation of your brand messaging and look.

But, it is bad practice to leave your brand open to multiple customizations and interpretations. The brand you cultivate should build trust and a loyal customer base. If your brand is ever changing your followers will not recognize you and all credibility will be lost. Therefore, brand consistency is vital to the success of your business, both online and offline. Every single customer interaction should embody your brand’s values and promises in a way that is easy to comprehend.

Establish Brand Guidelines

It is common for large business organizations (and some smaller corporations) to develop brand usage and style guidelines to ensure that their messaging and asset use is always spot-on with consistency. This tactic not only makes things easier for the marketing department, it also serves as a helpful guide for employees in other departments.

Successful Brand Consistency

Explore the following example, and gain a feel for how comprehensive and thorough a brand guideline can be:

Walmart Corporation: This branding powerhouse has managed to use the Walmart corporate brand in every conceivable way. The detailed brand style guide covers how to use Walmart’s editorial voice, instructions for using the brand logo online, in print, on merchandise and much more. The correct use of fonts, icons, taglines, and logos are also included.

Mozilla: This open source community uses an online style guide to help users learn how to use Mozilla trademarks and logos, as well as Firefox and other affiliated products. This approach helps all employees protect the brands the fall under the Mozilla umbrella

Even though your business may not be as monumental as Walmart, or have the same reach as Mozilla brands, you still need to put in the work to achieve success. These guidelines may appear overwhelming, but they aren’t necessarily what you will need to the job done. However, you must spend some time establishing a foundation that will guide your brand message, and make sure it lines up seamlessly with your business goals and the needs of your target audiences.

Create Content with A Brand Consistency Approach

After you have developed your unique brand style and guidelines for usage, refer to them frequently when creating marketing content.

Once you’ve created your brand style and usage guidelines, refer to them when planning all your content marketing efforts. It has been shown through research that two-thirds of consumers make purchases across channels, both online and offline. With so many these opportunities to make an impression, it is more important than ever to be consistent across all touchpoints.

5 Main Areas to Consider

Your brand logo and all design elements should be used consistently. All employees should have access to this material in the proper proportions. There is nothing worse than seeing marketing artwork that is pixelated, re-colored in odd hues or stretched beyond the original size. To avoid these types of blunders:

  • Make a network shared a folder full of company-approved graphic content that employees can access and use. Include explicit instructions on how the images are to be used online and offline.
  • Create a deck of branded slides for use in webcast videos and webinars
  • Make stock cover photos for social media platforms
  • Provide various templates for social sharing and documents
  • Channel all print orders and promotional materials through one individual or department

7 Suggested Tools to Use for Consistent Branding

  • Frontify to cloud-based software for creating brand style guides
  • DropBox Business, Google Drive or SharePoint for secure Image and template file sharing, and storage solutions
  • Canva or Visage for brand storytelling, template creation for social media platforms and marketing collateral
  • WiseStamp for professional email signatures

Choose appropriate topics that are consistent with your brand’s goals. Create content for your calendar that makes sense and serves a specific niche. For example, write blog posts that focus on industry developments that are relevant to your key customers, particularly if your business has expertise in the issue.

Incorporate offline business events into your online efforts. Your company is being represented at a trade show or has received some sort of recognition or award, be sure your online followers know about it. Anytime you participate in a community event or take on a leadership role, that is a powerful brand-building opportunity. Promote these experiences heavily through social media, blogs, and video posts. Always remember to include your brand name and/or logo to all videos and photos you share.

Maintain your brand’s personality and tone across all channels. If you take on a fun, chatty approach on Twitter, do the same on Facebook. Your brand message on LinkedIn can be more professional in tone, but be careful. Don’t go too far off base so you sound like a totally different company. Compare it to this analogy, when you go to work you act one way, when you get home or around friends, you behave differently. At the same time, you are still the same person. Your personality is essentially the same no matter what the setting. This also applies to your brand.

Engage on the right platforms and social media channels that align with your brand identity and your target audience and current customer preferences. Don’t be swayed by what is new or simply by what others are doing, evaluate whether a given platform makes sense for your brand. Start by asking the following questions:

  • Would a similar brand use this new social media platform?
  • As a consumer, would you trust a brand on this type of network?
  • Is your target audience or current customers presenting on this platform? Are they being targeted on this new channel?
  • Are you building a consistent brand experience?

By using the right tools and implementing all these steps, maintaining brand consistency will become second nature with the likelihood of fewer missteps.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for brand consistency that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Advertising: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:53:25 +0000  

For those who have experience dabbling in paid search and have had encounters working with a wide range of industries, it’s stunning to perceive how much normal cost per clicks can shift. By and large, if the product is economical, the normal cost per click will likewise be low. On the other hand, if the finished product is generally costly at that point we expect a high CPC because advertisers can rationalize costs.

Use the Right Tracking

This may seem like an easy decision, but it isn’t always that cut and dry. All things considered, you’d be astonished to realize that many advertisers still don’t track telephone calls created from PPC campaigns on their points of arrival or straightforwardly from their site utilizing call following. Likewise, to a great degree high CPC’s, you better hand over the additional cost for keyword level call following to legitimately advance campaigns.

Watch out for Broad Match Keywords

It is a good idea to almost always prohibit wide match catchphrases completely from the start, however now and then you discover incredible keywords you didn’t consider. Also, typically, expansive match catchphrases are a considerable measure less expensive and similar keywords in the express or correct match. Ensure you seclude these expansive match keywords into their own promotions gatherings to nearly screen them.

Vigorous List of Negative Keywords

This list is particularly vital on the off chance that you choose to begin with some wide match catchphrases. All things considered, one superfluous snap could cost you $100+. Keeping in mind the end goal to discover negative catchphrases before propelling sort the root keyword in Google Instant and check whether it proposes any long-tail questions that would regard the searcher right off the bat in the exploration procedure. What’s more, when performing catchphrase consider utilizing Google’s Keyword Tool—searching not just keywords you need in your campaigns also catchphrases that you don’t need in your advertisements to appear.

The Way to Any Publicizing Is Picking the Correct Stage

There are considerable areas to purchase promotions, with each site having its own qualities and shortcomings. To begin with, you ought to see a portion of the core types of paid promoting.

Internet Ads

Show Ads or Banner Ads: Banner advertisements promptly strike a chord when we consider internet promoting because they emerge so detectable on the page. They are extremely normal and arrived in an assortment of sizes. These advertisements can be powerful; however, they tend to target clients who are not effectively searching for something new.

For instance, a man might be perusing a daily paper article and not be occupied with another online networking course. Show advertisements can be effective, however, they should be utilized legitimately. Show promotions can be bought utilizing a compensation for each PPC model or they just can be shown for a specific time span.

Distinctive Sort of Web Advertisements

Text ads: Text advertisements are the sort you, for the most part, observe on the essential Google search page. These promotions by and large are more affordable than show advertisements and target clients that really are searching for something particular. They can be exceptionally powerful however depend vigorously on great watchword inquiry and A/B testing

Here are a couple of the spots you should have a go at posting your advertisements, however, there positively are numerous others:


Google AdWords is a conspicuous decision for some organizations. They offer show and content advertisements in a relationship with exceptionally focused on watchwords. AdWords are an unmistakable decision for any battle. Reward Tip: Your Google Adwords promotions will deliver a superior rate of profitability the more you utilize Adwords. Google will remunerate long haul clients with better “quality scores”.

Advertisement augmentations are those bits of additional data appended to your promotions, are dependent upon advertisement position. Just those advertisements in the top spots will have the capacity to utilize promotion augmentations and accordingly receive their rewards.

If you experience the inconvenience to achieve the main 3 (or 4) spots in Adwords and Bing, at that point you’re passing up a major opportunity on the off chance that you don’t actualize advertisement expansions on your promotions.

Here are a couple approaches to get the most out of PPC promotion augmentations:

  • Include a guide indicating your business area. This is awesome for nearby organizations.
  • Include item data, for example, cost and rating.
  • Use “site links,” joins that indicate key inward pages on your site.
  • Review augmentations which exhibit positive client input.

“Arrangements” expansions for huge business occasions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are a ton of spots to purchase promotions, with each site having its own qualities and shortcomings. To begin with, you ought to see a portion of the significant sorts of paid promoting.

Outline your social promotions to fit cell phones and in addition desktops/portable PCs.

Completely 8 out of 10 web clients got to online networking on cell phones in 2016, as indicated by the Global Web Index.

So, in case you’re not planning promotions to work for portable, you may be dismissing tremendous quantities of potential clients.

Obviously, planning versatile advertisements isn’t the simplest thing on the planet. They must be anything but difficult to peruse and see on a little screen, “swipeable,” and ready to convey initially whatever it is you need clients to get it.

A couple of vital pointers:

  • Make your content sufficiently huge to be clear, however not all that enormous that it takes up excessively picture space.
  • Ensure that watchers have a promptly unmistakable approach to close the advertisement on the off chance that they would prefer not to see it.
  • Pay close thoughtfulness regarding shading. Brilliant, unforgiving shading blends can be amazingly off-putting when seen on littler screens.

Final Word

Keep in mind boring marketing is bad, and ineffective, but invisible marketing is worse. The most memorable marketing campaigns reel in viewers, hold their attention through the duration of the sales process, and leave them yearning for more, so they will want to share with what you have to offer.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for advertising that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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10 Questions to Ask When Creating a New Product or Service for Your Customers Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:59:39 +0000 If you currently operate an established enterprise, want to launch a new product or service, or if you are contemplating a fresh startup idea, usually the same fundamental screening questions will apply to help shape your new concept.

As you screen business ideas, the following questions will guide you, and focus your thinking as you further develop your concepts. Start by zooming in on these important focal points:

  1. Who are Your Ideal Customers?

Begin with a generic description, not a specific list of customer types. For example, will you market your products or services to consumers, businesses or some other entity?

If your business is consumer products, will your target market be white or Hispanic teenaged girls in New York City, Baby Boomers throughout North America, or 40+ music lovers with a disposable income of over $50,000? Whoever your target audience may be, be as clear as possible.

  1. Do You Know Your Customer’s Wants or Unmet Needs?

Another way to state this question, is what are your customers’ pain points? This is a term we hear all the time that simply refers to the reasons why customers will choose your products or services. It is the point they recognize you have the solution their problem (pain).

This can relate to a specific unmet need, such as a pacemaker for a life-threatening, unpredictable or slow beating heart. On the other hand, the “pain” might be more of a want, and less of a need. For instance, some businesses realize that many fashion-conscious consumers want access to top designer shoes and handbags, but can’t afford the high price tags, so they offer such products at competitive prices.

  1. How are Your Target Customers Currently Meeting their Needs, if at All?

Even if you have the most innovative and attractive approach, keep in mind, your ideal audience found a way to meet their needs before you launched your products or services. Long before the first automatic dishwasher was created, people managed to get their dishes clean by hand. Although it may be hard to remember, or even imagine now, we all survived without mobile phones. Landlines at home and work, along with public telephone booths served us well. How will you help them meet their need better?

  1. How is Your Competition Effectively Meeting this Customer Need?

Be very aware of what your direct competitors are doing. Know them all by name, study their all their ads and other promotional materials. Engage with their loyal customers and research their pricing. Know what competitors are doing well and what is lacking or failing and come up with your customer solution.

  1. How will Your Target Customers Benefit from Switching to Your Brand? What is Your CVP (Compelling Value Proposition)?

Value prop

Why would your ideal customers choose to address their need with your product or solution, instead of sticking with a competitor? What benefits do you have to offer?

If customers accept your solution to their problems, exactly how will you meet their needs significantly better, cheaper, faster, or in a more fashionable, reliable or trendy way than they were formerly doing?

  1. What is the Size of Your Total Addressable Market (TAM)?

If each potential buyer purchased your product or service, at the preferred price, either from you or one of your competitors, what would be the annual revenue? Although the TAM is a theoretical number, it is still an important figure because it quickly shows whether your concept is worth pursuing.

Determine your TAM by answering the following questions: Inside your geographic market, who could benefit from your product or service? How many people does that equal each year? Multiplied by unit sales at your current asking price, how much does that equate to in annual revenue? If this market were completely saturated, what would be the size of this market?

  1. How Do You Compare to Your Competitors?

Uncover and describe what makes you different and your strategic positioning. Never forget, that even though you are offering a solution, you will be asking consumers to make a change to the way they currently operate. Therefore, you will need to provide a much better way that provides more value than the way customers are addressing their pain now.

  1. How Can You Involve Potential Customers in Your Solution Strategy?

Develop a plan for involving prospective customers in your solution. The best run startups incorporate customer input, and the most successful players bring top customers into the thought process. These lead consumers are involved in the creative process of critiquing, specifying, altering and improving the company’s products or services.

  1. Can Your New Idea Generate Sustainably High Profits?

After all the necessary expenses are covered, will you gain a good profit? If so, do you foresee a good future sustaining these high-profit margins? If your concept looks promising per unit, how many units will you need to move to cover overhead? Do you have a good idea of how much lead time and expense it will take to get your new product or service on the market?

Obviously, these are very basic, yes or no questions. Answering these questions properly simply require you do the math. In addition, to ensure you generate high profits for the long term you need to gain the competitive advantage. Have you uncovered exactly what your sustainable competitive advantage will be, for the long-term?

  1. Does Your New Product or Service Have What it Takes to Stand Out in a Competitive Marketplace?

If you just happen to offer a unique product or service, that is so unlike the rest, that no else provides, it is a piece of cake to be the best. But that is a fairy tale reality for most businesses. To operate a successful business with a strong presence, you need to use every possible advantage. Do your research, give consumers what they need, treat your audience well, and make sure to stay a step above your competition.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips When Creating a New Product or Service that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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5 Ways to Market Your Business for Free Tue, 11 Jul 2017 13:17:52 +0000 Don’t assume you can’t promote your brand effectively without access to a huge advertising budget. Many new business owners get discouraged because they lack deep pockets. They think the only way to market their goods or services successfully is with massive amounts of money, and this can’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, even with unlimited advertising dollars, you must have a creative and compelling marketing campaign in place that produces results. The process is much more about effectively communicating your brand message and crafting unique ways to get it out there than it is about having access to the big bucks. Businesses that work with large marketing budgets, still require a truckload of creative thought. Ideas are your biggest asset, and those can come for little to not cost.

Marketing your Business with Little to No Money

If your advertising budget is $10 million or zero, there are ways to boost your brand effectively. The following five action steps can help you market your business cost-free, or on a limited budget.

  1. Build a strong presence on social media with an active, loyal following

Prioritize the social media platforms where your target audience is likely to engage. Top networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram provide direct access to a vast number of potential customers, all over the world. It is important to stand out and show your fans exactly why you are worth their time. Just being average will get you nowhere on social media. There are far too many competing businesses looking to attract your followers. To build a large, loyal and active following, you need to give them relevant content that is also creative and unique.

As you attract more social media followers, you will build a valuable audience that you can market your brand to, repeatedly, without dishing out a dime. But, keep in mind, don’t abuse this privilege by overwhelming your fans with constant incentives to buy or promotional offers. If a user opts to follow your business on any social media network, that consumer has already taken an interest in what you may have to offer. There is no need to keep posting direct ads, this practice is shunned upon and will, in turn, lead them to unfollow you. A better approach is to provide clever, well-written posts that spark interest in a subtle way. Let your target audience come to you naturally.

  1. Establish referral partnerships with similar business types

Working with businesses that share the same audience as you do, is an easy way to position your brand in front of your ideal target groups. Through this approach, you can quickly grow your customer base and boost revenue. You will have more working capital to scale.

To start, you must identify all referral possibilities that will complement the partner business. For example, a website design firm might map out an agreement with a nearby attorney who focuses on corporate issues. The lawyer may send the designer clients looking to launch a company website and be compensated either a percentage of the final sale or a flat fee.

For this merger to be successful, you must keep two important things in mind, the longevity of the relationship and keep the partner happy so the referrals will continue to come your way. This strategy may take away some of your profits, but it will bring in new business without the marketing expense.

  1. Stay constantly engaged with your loyal customers

Never forget that your best customers are repeat buyers.

Maintain a current email list of all your repeat customers and touch base with each of them regularly, and often. Instead of bombarding them with a plethora of direct sales offers, provide your loyal base with interesting industry information relevant to them.

For example, a ticket reseller may segment customer lists into groups, based on events they have attended in the past, or past ticket purchases. This way, the reseller won’t waste time sending out generic mass emails. Instead, lists are broken down by interest so the right target audience gets reached.

This type of thought out marketing strategy helps your customers remember you when they need you. Therefore, the next time one of them is searching for what you offer, your company will be the first to come to mind.

  1. Get out there and hustle

It is not uncommon for new entrepreneurs to start up a business, put together a decent website, and relax, and wait for the profits to just up. We hear of so many fairytales, success stories where a company starts from nothing and blossoms into a multimillion dollar enterprise. There are plenty of these examples, but the media rarely focuses on how hard it is to keep a business afloat in the early days. There are struggles and most fail in the first 18 months.

The businesses that succeed do so because the owners knew how to hustle so the operation could gain the necessary traction that leads to long-term success. You must eat, breathe and sleep thinking about how to best promote your endeavor. Dive in and get the ground work done by hitting the street, talking to prospects and making sales calls around the clock if need be. Get the word out to everyone who will listen, it doesn’t cost a cent to get out and hustle.

  1. Take risks and go viral

A popular shave club posted a creative and captivating video that quickly went viral. Viewers took notice due to the shock value. This bold marketing approach helped the brand boost its subscriber base in record time, allowing it to scale, lay claim and take over the market.

If the same brand chose to post a dry, mundane advertising video offering only information about the service, it would have never gone viral. This is an incredible amount of free promotion and media attention simply for thinking outside of the box. Taking risks is worth it if it pays off in the end.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for marketing your business for free that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Social Media – 4 Ways to Gain Interactive Followers in 2017 Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:55:39 +0000 While it may seem vain to want to attract a whole lot of social media followers, the effort does have a proportional effect on how widespread your message becomes and the quantity you convert.

Follower numbers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are one of the monitoring metrics companies track on social media reports.

There’s a good deal of valuable advice available on the best way to boost your following on social networking. You may be wondering how, specifically, can you raise your number of followers? Which distinguishing tactics can you take today to cultivate your follower numbers?

Before we get into the research-backed procedures for growing your audience base, let’s begin with some best practices for follower development. You will encounter these ideas when searching for social networking hints or read up on how other companies attracted the followers that they did.

  • Post great content
  • Use hashtags
  • Put a widget on your website
  • Engage with others
  • Make sure that your content is shareable
  • Stay active
  • Follow other users

There is lots of really good information here on what works and what does not concerning adding followers. These strategies are great for the consistent development of your followers, and most of the advice you’ll read will be variants on several of these bullet points.

You might have noticed that there’s not any single, easy hack to get more followers. There is no switch to flip to get the followers flowing. These tactics do work for assembling your follower count, so long as it is possible to remain patient, determined, and constant.

But while there is no quick solution, there’s at least a whole lot of research that may take you down the correct path and be certain your efforts aren’t in vain. On the lookout for a surefire way to get more followers? There’s a fantastic blueprint in this information.

A research study at Rutgers University discovered that only 20 percent of social media users are informers, while the remaining 80 percent are actually, meformers.

  • A meformer posts regular updates relating mainly to themselves
  • Informers are focused mostly on sharing relevant information

The Rutgers team crafted the phrase “meformer” after evaluating data from a sampling of Tweets. Their analysis, established on patterns of use together with follower and tweet information, found an obvious split between people who share relevant information and users who share about themselves.

Informers had over twice the followers of meformers. Therefore, followers prefer shared relevant information on social networking rather than posts about yourself.

Action Step #1

Boost your information sharing on social media platforms so that you line up more closely with the informers instead of the meformers.

Roy Povarchik introduced his idea, Twitter Greatness. A simple way to get a whole lot of people to follow you: be like Katy Perry or President Obama.

What do attention-getters like Perry and Obama share besides fame? They’re creators, trendsetters, and leaders. They create and make a difference, that is what sets them apart. He even went so far as to draft a useful pyramid to illustrate the hierarchy of greatness on Twitter. This illustration can be applied to other social media platforms with a few tweaks.

This intriguing idea is made even stronger with some statistics to back this up. Dan Zarella, a data scientist, researched the impact of authority in a Twitter bio. Have you ever heard variations on the theme of “do not call yourself a guru”? Zarella found this statement to be untrue. Self-proclaimed gurus have about 100 more interactive social followers than the average Twitter user. Besides ‘guru”, many different sorts of authoritative names can help increase your number of followers.

Action Step #2

Create compelling posts and be a thought leader in your niche. Remember to include this info in your bio. Authoritative titles like official, writer, creator, and expert are very attractive to viewers and may serve to be strong assets when it comes to growing your following.

To keep the interactive followers you have, avoid sending out bursts of information. A big part of maintaining a large follower base is knowing how to keep them happy.

A Korean research group conducted a compelling study on why social media users unfollow. They examined over a million active accounts on Twitter and reviewed more than 50 days’ worth of interactions. Their interviews and research analysis uncovered the following factors:

  • Bombarding followers with an excessive number of updates in short window of time
  • Irrelevant or boring topics
  • Sharing boring details of an individual’s personal life

Over half of the unfollows observed resulted due to too many bursts, or too many posts in a short period of time.

Action Step #3

Earn a large interactive following by minimizing how many users unfollow your account. Use a scheduler to send out updates and avoid posting bursts. Stay away from boring or mundane topics.

Over half of all social media followers want to receive special offers, so give your audience what they want. If your brand is aggressive trying to build a larger following, you first need to know what will bring them to you. Recent research has revealed that the top 10 reasons why interactive followers choose specific brands:

  • 55 percent will a brand because they like it
  • 52 percent follow for coupons, special offers or promotions
  • 51 percent follow a brand for stay up to date company and product news

Of the top 10 reasons to follow a brand, one of the biggest draws was money-saving deals. Followers liked freebies, exclusive content, special offers, and promotions. The compelling, informative, useful or entertaining content was seventh on the list of reasons to follow a brand on social media. Therefore, gaining followers isn’t just about providing great marketing content.

Action Step #4

Offer free things to your followers. Users love freebies and discounts and are more likely to follow a brand that dishes out some sort of incentive. If you can incorporate value in this way, with great branding and content, your number of interactive followers will increase.

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Copywriting Formulas That Spark Customer Interest Thu, 29 Jun 2017 15:05:08 +0000 Great copywriting inspires readers to perform an immediate action. Whether the goal is to get people to fill in a form, subscribe to your company mailing list or purchase products or services, how your brand messaging comes across makes all the difference.

The following compilation of tried and true copywriting tips will help boost your content marketing strategy. If you need to spice up your wording a bit or add magnetism to your marketing material messages, you have come to the right place.

Use these copywriting formulas to improve the wording on your website.

Draw Them in With a Compelling Headline

David Ogilvy once stated that a mere 20 percent of viewers bother to read beyond the headline. To draw readers in, this is arguably the more importable part of your writing piece. Regardless of how persuasive your content, if you can’t capture the attention of your audience, the rest of the copy is irrelevant. If no one sees past your lackluster headline, you have failed.

A strong headline compels your audience to continue reading because it sparks their curiosity. At this point, you have their attention because you managed to pique their interests and emotions. Here are a few examples of effective headline copywriting formulas:

  • Straight-To-The-Point: 15-Year-Old Opera Singer Performs Her Third Sold Out Concert
  • Promote Intrigue: At 15 Years Old, She’s About to Perform Her Third Concert and Opera Fans Are Ecstatic
  • Storytelling: When Her Opera Coach Told Her, She Would Never Sing Professionally, Caitlin Set Out on A Mission…

To create a brilliant, eye-catching headline, you need to put in the work. That means taking the time to explore all possible angles and toy with every word combination. You aren’t likely to come up with the perfect headline on your first attempt, expect to rewrite and revamp dozens of times until you nail it just right.

Distinguish Between Product Features and Benefits

A feature is simply what your product or service can do, the benefit is what value gained by using it. For instance, a product feature for a mobile phone may be the battery life, the benefit is that only needs to be charged every four days.

Therefore, it is usually good practice to begin your copy with the benefit, so the reader understands the value of what you are offering. After you have their interest, review all the interesting and unique features.

Uncover your USP (Unique Selling Point)

A USP is a feature that differentiates a product or service from its competitors. This factor can be the lowest price, the best quality or be first of its kind. Think of a unique selling point as something you have, that your competitors lack. There are multiple ways to discover your USP, including:

  • Learning about your competition and figuring out how you can do business better
  • Finding and targeting a unique niche that is yet unchartered
  • Providing a no-risk guarantee to potential customers

Stay away from general and unproven claims, such as:

  • The leading appliance shop in the area
  • Best furniture in the region
  • Widest selection of children’s furniture in the state

Instead, use selling points based on proven facts, that your competition cannot claim. For instance:

  • Voted best furniture stored in the district in 2017
  • Sofas start at only $200
  • We over 1,000 furniture choices

Show Your Credibility with Social Proof

Have you ever noticed how those strategically placed tip jars in coffee shops and bars are always at least partially full, even when the businesses first open for the day? A few bills and coins aptly placed by the shop owner are an easy way to encourage patrons to follow suit and create social proof.

One of the most effective methods for boosting copy credibility is to show how well your brand’s products or services have performed in the past. Customer testimonials, case studies or reviews are powerful tools that can help win people’s trust and strengthen your brand.

Address Your Readers Directly in a Conversational Tone

Engage your audience by speaking to them in the second person. Make them feel like you are having a normal conversation with them. Stay away from words like, ‘I’, ‘they’, or ‘we’, or you will risk losing their attention when they feel the conversation is no longer about them. Copywriting should be conversational most of the time to keep the audience engaged. That is how people speak and we are more used to reading conversational type writing.

Use Persuasive Language

The wording you use to sell your products or services will have a huge impact on whether consumers opt to buy from you, or move on to a competitor. Buyers always place themselves in the narrative. With a little creative persuasion, and maybe some colorful flattery, good copywriting can influence a positive buying decision.

Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Wording

Nothing makes consumers act faster than a product shortage. By incorporating a sense of urgency in your writing you can drastically increase the number of calls to action (CTA) you achieve. For example, but informing your customers that stock is low, or that this is a limited time offer, you will improve the odds of them making an immediate purchase.

To create a sense of urgency in your copy, consider using these proven techniques:

  • Add a deadline to your offer, such as ‘20% off only for the next hour,’ ’24-hour sale,’ or ‘ends at midnight’
  • Incorporate time-sensitive wording, like ‘while supplies last’, or ‘time is almost up’
  • Be aggressive, use a direct CTA, ‘sign up, ‘act now’
  • Include ‘because’ and explain what will happen if they don’t buy from you, ‘…because the offer ends soon’
  • Provide a guarantee, like ‘easy money back guarantee,’ buy now, no question returns’

Be careful not to make false claims. You don’t want your customers to ever question your credibility.

A highly-effective graphic, can powerfully displays some straight-forward copywriting that snatches the viewer’s attention using clear and concise language with a direct call to action.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for copywriting that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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5 Ways to Increase Your Business’s Credibility Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:48:45 +0000 In the 2017 electronic age, you might be surprised to learn that although 87 percent of research focused on buying activity centers on e-commerce transactions, 92 percent of consumer purchases continue to take place in stores. If you are not yet selling online, or if you have failed to optimize your internet presence, you are limiting your reach and denying yourself a great opportunity to boost brand credibility. An astonishing 67 percent of active consumers start their buying journey from search to purchase, via digital means. This is the first course of action, meaning more than half of your prospects are viewing your online presence before ever considering buying your products online or in-store.

If your brand is searched for online, and not discovered, it is highly likely the seeker will move on to one of your competitors. To grow a successful business, you must cultivate online credibility that your followers know is legitimate. This is basically the same as offering an attractive and inviting storefront that shoppers enjoy browsing and want to return to again and again.

Here are five key ways to boost your brand credibility online:

  1. Create an Attractive Consistently Branded Website

Invest the same care in your e-commerce store that you would in your brick-and-mortar business. Take pride in your online investment and be sure it is user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and inviting to your target buyers. It should be easy for visitors to find important data quickly, such as contact information, pricing, hours of operation, reviews or client references, and anything else relevant. It is also necessary to present a cohesive visual brand identity on your site. This includes uniform imagery, colors, and streamlined designs. Your domain name should be very like your business name so your website is easy to discover in search engines.

  1. Provide Thoughtful Content

Create thoughtful web content so your business will be viewed as an industry thought leader. Post fresh, relevant content that is always on time, to optimize your website for such popular search engines as Bing and Google. The most effective way to remain current is to share different types of content on multiple channels. Videos are very trendy, as are podcasts and webinars. You can share your content through pictures, tutorials or posts from industry leaders or other relevant guests.

  1. Build a Branded Internet Business

With all that time and effort spent crafting a great business website, the next logical step is to capitalize on your new stream of traffic and start boosting sales. If your business is centered on selling products or services, highlighting an e-commerce section of your website will help you gain profits around the clock, even when retail shops are closed. This allows you the ability to cater to interested customers who may not have the ability, time or desire to visit your store in person. It shows that you care about your customers and value their business. More customer-centric shops dominate any industry and improve the odds that consumers will buy from them.

Since online shopping is so prominent in recent years, it is vital that businesses offer buyers ease of use and the convenience of an integrated shopping cart and secure checkout.

  1. Social Media Integration

Engaging actively on social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook enables you to contact with existing customers and potential prospects on a one-to-one basis. You can also answer questions and troubleshoot concerns quickly. Research has shown that more than half of all consumers leverage popular networks like Facebook or Twitter specifically for customer service purposes. It has also been found that businesses that fail to respond to follower requests on social media can lead to a 15 percent boost in customer churn rate. Consumer savvy brands that respond within 24 hours are valued and seen as credible. Sooner is always better. A quick response could simply be letting the customer know that their issue is currently being investigated, and has not yet been resolved.

Broadcast your social media handles on all your communications, such as your website and e-commerce store. Include links to your profiles on your company website footer, sidebar, and main navigation. Add your social media profile link in your email signature. Share buttons can even be placed on separate pages, in posts or on products to direct visitors and encourage them to spread the word about your brand in their network of friends.

  1. Email Marketing

Establish credibility and brand equity by using a branded domain for email marketing. This is how you should be communicating with prospective buyers and existing customers. Think about how you would perceive a brand if the business owner responded to you with a generic email account. It would be logical, and perfectly normal, to question the credibility and legitimacy of the business. There are too many internet scams floating around and most people have been affected in one way or another. An undistinguished email may include a branded signature with the proper information (contact info, social media, site link) but none of that will matter if the message is never opened.

Even with the overwhelming popularity of Facebook and Twitter, when it comes to obtaining new customers, email marketing is still over 40 times more effective. A great place for new online business store owners to begin is by launching a monthly email newsletter. Here, they can feature company and industry-specific news, sales and promotions, featured blog posts, and more. There are templates available that will allow you to customize your brand messaging and business contacts in the same place. You will be even more likely to establish a strong connection when you provide relevant and engaging content that your customers will look forward to reading.

Show your loyal customers potential buyers you literally mean business — online — in store. With an eye-catching website, compelling e-commerce store, thoughtful content strategy, engaging social media presence, and top-notch email marketing, you will be a brand buyers can trust.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for credibility that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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5 Tools to Help You Stay Organized in Your Direct Sales Business Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:00:32 +0000 Starting a direct sales business can help you achieve a fruitful and fulfilling life on your terms. But to ensure business success you need to take daily steps to keep all your affairs in good order. Without proper organization, it will be very difficult to reach your goals. Poor planning and chaos can create an unnecessarily stressful and hectic work environment and daily experience. By proactively organizing your business dealings and your life outside, you will be a lot more productive and your mind at ease. You may even be able to enjoy your business endeavors.

Basic Organizational Skills

Make time to organize your direct sales business on a regular basis, schedule blocks during your day, week and month to file, dispose of, prioritize and update. In addition, consider following these simple suggestions:

  • Define clear objectives: Set definite goals for the day, week, month and annually. This will help you remain focused on the purpose of your work.
  • Plan: Schedule small projects you need to complete to reach your business goals and chart your progress. Separate your biggest jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. Take one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed and discouraged.
  • Eliminate paper: Stay on top of filing, don’t let paper clutter accumulate. Allow a few minutes each day to tend to this task. You will be glad you did.
  • Maintain a daily list: Keep a list of tasks sorted by importance. Check off high-priority tasks first and work down the list, updating it regularly.

Keep your daily planner up-to-date and legible. Too many direct sales business owners try to rely on brain power. It is much easier to keep a record of what needs to be done.

  1. Time Management Tools

Time-management apps like Any.Do, EasilyDo and Wunderlist make it easy to stay on top of your daily to-do lists. These organizational tools, allow you to set up tasks and schedule reminders electronically from your phone, computer or tablet. You can generate multiple task lists and share them with relevant contacts, set priorities and receive push notifications.

Set important tasks for yourself on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Use time management apps to regulate your personal life. This is a great way to keep track of all your responsibilities and priorities. In addition, these tools are ideal for planning events either outside of your direct sales business or with team leaders because it is so easy to share task lists.

marGo for Direct Sellers

A reliable, user-friendly organizational resource designed specifically for your direct sales business is This innovative and intuitive time management tool offers email, Facebook posts, mail, sharp invitation images and voice broadcasting. Crafted with a simple design that is easy to navigate, marGo is the go-to tool for daily reminders and updates, event status, tutorials and training, and important contact information, at a glance.

  1. Organization and File Sharing Tools

Having easy access to all your important business documents should be a top priority. Keeping everything, you will ever need in one central location, available to all key players, is even better. Apps for organization and file-sharing give you the ability to monitor tasks, take notes, and save the information you search for online. These electronic tools automatically sync your phone and computer together so you always have access to your updated information from anywhere.

You can even invite others to view current projects on these apps. This works well for sharing training materials with new team members and business information with others. Images can also be stored and used for online events or for marketing purposes.

A few popular organization and file-sharing resources worth considering include Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and Trello.

  1. Online Meeting Tools and Team Communication

Maintaining good communication with your team is vital if you want your direct sales business to grow and be a lasting success. These days, there are a plethora of online resources available to help you hold conference calls and webinars, that are steadily growing in popularity. If your sales team is spread out across geo-locations, an online meeting or webinar is a good way to reach your whole workforce at once without added travel expenses.

Online meeting apps can also be used to hold informational calls where business or sales prospects are invited to join in and learn about opportunities from a leading organization leader. Suggested communication and meeting tools include Free Conference Call, Fuze, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, and Zoom.

  1. Money Management and Business Expense Tools

File receipts, track car mileage and know what comes in and what goes out in your direct sales business. The bottom line is to always keep more of your hard-earned money than you dish out. But since expenses result from so many decisions we make every day, some seemingly inconsequential, it can be tricky to keep an accurate record of spending. It can be challenging to get in the habit of monitoring your outflow.

Keep your business expenses organized with tools and apps such as Accountable Solutions, Deductr, Expensify, Mint, QuickBooks, and TaxBot. Keep more of your money, and be well prepared at tax time.

  1. Newsletters and Marketing Email Tools

Not every direct sales business provides customers with informative newsletters, but it is a good idea to send out marketing email and monthly reminders to your loyal customers. These important communications cover such items as business opportunities and upcoming events, discounts and monthly specials, tricks and tips, product highlights, host benefits, and much more. Email and newsletter apps like AWeber. Constant Contact, iContact, and MailChimp

Business Website and Blog

Direct sales companies usually provide independent business owners an e-commerce website either for free or for a nominal fee. However, many reps want to operate an additional site or blog to share unique content and useful information with their followers and customer base. A well-organized website, that gets your message across immediately is must in the direct sales business. Blogs are widely used and very effective for sharing on social media platforms and for drumming up engagement.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for direct sales that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Time is Money: Making the Most of Your Time with Block Scheduling Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:20:07 +0000 With all that our fast-paced lives entail, it is easy to get overwhelmed by a truckload of tasks, some unnecessary. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your valuable time by adopting more effective scheduling habits. Time blocking is simple to do and can boost your productivity by as much as 150 percent.

What are the Benefits of Time Blocking?

By scheduling a set number of hours to work on one task, you can focus on that single project and block off the others, and any other demands during that period.

If you usually spend a good chunk of time throughout each day answering phone calls, emails, and text messages, instead schedule a specific timeframe to complete these tasks every day. Post specific hours that you are available in your email signature and state it in your voicemail greeting. Co-workers and clients will appreciate this courteous gesture. Clear communication is always well received because no one has time to waste.

Clock Time and Event Time

Truth be told, most of us work according to the company schedule, anxiously waiting for the 5 p.m. cutoff. Whether the daily tasks are completed or not, when the shift ends so does the work. Keep in mind, you may be able to make the best progress after 5 when most of your colleagues have left for the day. You will have fewer distractions if any.

Instead of scheduling tasks to complete at the end of each workday, or extending it to the next day, stop living by the clock and set goals to be met now. Leave for the day when you are finished, don’t stop while your ideas are still flowing. You will not only increase daily productivity, you will impress your boss and colleagues with your dedication. Finishing what you start can also help manage your stress level.

Planning Time and Execution Time

Boost productivity by scheduling blocks to balance planning and work time. You could set one day aside each year for annual, long-term planning. Early every month, you can schedule one hour for project goal-setting. At the beginning of every week, use one hour to break your projects up into daily scheduled time blocks.

How Should Time Blocks Be Prioritized?

Simply schedule the more time-sensitive and most important work ahead of the rest.

If you plan to craft an annual time blocking schedule, think about which task(s) will make all your other worker easier, or obsolete, once completed. Make that project a priority, at the beginning of every work day.

Get the most important work done early in the day. Later, when your energy level may be dwindling, start checking off less pressing tasks. Unless, of course, you are not a morning person. In that case, plan your most vital tasks according to when you feel best during the day. Also, implement this method for essential daily and monthly tasks.

Should I Schedule My Time Off?

Long weekends, extended vacations, long weekends and weekday getaways should all be scheduled time blocks in your annual plan. By scheduling comp time well in advance, you will always have something to look forward to, your breaks are well-earned. If you plan, you can schedule work tasks around your free time.

If you don’t schedule in advance, you may not be able to take time off at the last minute. The opportunity to break free may never arise. Alert your boss, clients, and co-workers ahead of time to avoid any conflicts or friction.

You have worked hard and earned scheduled time off. Don’t be apologetic about adding such time blocks to your yearly plan. Let your colleagues know that you care about their needs and workloads and will be back to help at the end of your vacation time block.

How to Avoid Planning an Overwhelming Block Schedule

It is common for so many of us to get distracted by low-priority tasks during peak hours because the important work is so daunting. For time blocking to be successful, you must learn to stop beating yourself up. Most people lose focus now and again.

You can take charge of this problem by recognizing when you are actively avoiding an essential task. Don’t waste energy giving in to feelings of defeat. This will trigger symptoms of stress. Instead, give yourself choices so you don’t feel so trapped by specific projects that feel too big.

Section overwhelming tasks into smaller portions, such as, “grow my clientele” into something like, “build a list of 10 leads” and gather contact information from lead websites. Make daily tasks more manageable and start each day feeling like you can conquer the world.

 I Don’t Have Time to Make a Block Scheduling Plan

If you took the time to read this blog, you may be seeking some scheduling assistance. But, you may need to catch up on a lot of backlogs before you can put together a successful time blocking plan. The following simple steps will help you get on the road to a more organized work life:

  1. Stay in the moment and focus: Take a few deep breaths and stop moving in circles. Realize that you are all over the place, working on bits and pieces, and finishing nothing.
  2. Slow down: You do have time to complete each task thoroughly and well. Productivity comes with focusing and completing one task at a time. There really is enough time in a day. Anytime you start to feel anxious, slow down and release some stress. You will be more efficient in the end.
  3. Complete one thing: Something, anything, just complete one task without stopping and working on another project. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment, and relief, that comes with finishing something being able to check it off your list. It can be a small task. Once completed, move on to the next small task and keep this process going. Repeat a few times until you feel comfortable and then move on to your most important job and dive right in.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for time blocking that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Copywriting Tips: Would You Click On It? Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:18:35 +0000  

Copywriting is all about improving the bottom line of your business. Effective copy is written with one purpose in mind, conversions. That should be the central focus of web copy, which is often what turns visitors into leads, and finally, leads into customers. It guides consumers through each stage of the buying cycle, starting from first-time awareness on to decision-making and advocacy.

Poor copywriting is often highly visible to marketers. It isn’t well written, it lacks fluidity, it doesn’t read smoothly or stir the necessary emotions that influence buyer behaviors. There are no clear calls to action, therefore it comes off as having no purpose.

If you are having trouble eliciting more conversions with your written copy, consider trying some these copywriting tips to help boost your profits with fewer words.

Find Your Best Headline

The headline on your landing page is one of the most important pieces of copy on your site. It needs to be eye-catching and make the audience want to know more. Most copywriters fail to get it just right on the first try. Experiment with different ideas and use a/b testing to discover which headline is truly the most effective.

Focus on the Benefits, not the Features

You won’t succeed by focusing solely on selling a valuable feature of your product or service. Clearly, sellable features are necessary and great, but you should always gear your written copy toward fixing a problem or offering a solution. Show customers how your product can make their lives better because of what it can solve, not simply because of all the fun features it can offer.

Provide Valuable Statistics

Let consumers know how much better their lives will be once they purchase your product. Include a few relevant statistics in your web copy, that has been well researched. This tactic can prove to be very profitable when it comes to improving your conversion rate. People tend to trust data that has been gathered from scientific sources. They see it as tangible and credible.

Stick with Headline Formulas that Work

Referring back o your landing page headline, remember that many copywriters have experimented and learned what tactics work and which are ineffective regarding headline writing. You can save yourself a lot of time testing methods by utilizing headline formulas that have already been tested and proven.

For example:

[Number] + [Customer Identification Noun] + [Verb] + [Benefits] + [Product Name] = 1,501 Medium Companies Have Boosted 80% Growth in Online Leads with Smith Contract Template Software!

Test Your CTA Text

The standard call to action phrase or button, “Act Now”, or “While Supplies Last” work well for some pages, but they are not always effective for others. Sometimes, it is hard to find the call to action on a landing page. It might be necessary to do some testing to uncover the right text phrase for your site.

For example:

Start Developing Your Template vs Buy Now

Accentuate Power Words

Using clear and concise language will carry a lot of weight. Specific power words such as new, you and free stick out and are easy to grasp. Sometimes they pack a punch when left in lowercase letters. In other cases, they boost conversion rates when the words are capitalized.

Have a Conversation

Readers like to feel as if you are conversing with them, but most people don’t want to feel as if someone is talking to them the whole time. It is important to determine if your copy reads as if you talking to your audience, or holding a conversation with them.

Incorporate words like me, we, I, you, they, us, etc., in an informal tone, into your copywriting to create a more personal conversation with your readers.

Use Proper Punctuation

It is common for copywriters to get a little overzealous with their use of the exclamation point. Overusing something intended to emphasize or convey excitement gets old fast. Adding one at the end of every sentence won’t boost reader excitement or foster an emotional response. In fact, if every sentence is accentuated, It may have the opposite effect.

Use Comparison Tables

Comparison tables basically compare your products or services to that of your competitors. These vital tools highlight the pros of what you have to offer and the cons of opting for the other guy. For some unknown reason, comparison tables are very underused. Copywriters should be using comparison tables often to maximize conversions.

Include Testimonials and Case Studies

Customers often want to know how previous buyers have benefited from a mutual purchase. They want to know what was great about it and why they should follow suit. Social proof eases the minds of skeptical consumers. Although third-party statistics do have a place, if you can provide comments by a satisfied customer and put together a case study describing how users were able to solve problem A with your solution, you should see a phenomenal boost in conversions.

Dress Up Your Copy with Relevant Adjectives

It is possible to see your landing page conversation rate skyrocket by simply adding one incredibly compelling adjective to your copy. It sounds crazy, but it is not only a possibility, it has happened. Nailing the right adjectives will power-charge your copywriting. They have such an extraordinary impact on a lead’s psychology. It is possible to fully exaggerate the benefit of something or a price using the right adjectives.

For example:

Pay $10 vs. pay a small $10 fee

Scale Your Competition

Know the kind of web copy your direct online competitors are posting to their sites. Be aware of how they present their products or services to target consumers. Know what features they have and what benefits they claim to provide. Check out which CTAs they use and on which site page they place them.

Know Your Audience

More explicitly, find your customer pain points and discuss them in your copy. Learn why consumers choose your product or service, how they make the purchase, what problems are solved using it, and what is most important to them.

Consider these conversion-boosting tips the next time you write copy. If you implement them wisely you should see measurable improvement in our conversion rate in a very little time.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for copywriting that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Consistency Is Key – Branding Across Multiple Platforms Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:22:05 +0000 Long before the information superhighway transformed our way of life, and how we process information, it was easy to maintain brand consistency. All you had to do was make sure your business identity and message remained consistent throughout all print ads, signage, stationery and other marketing collateral.

Today, there are many more challenges as your brand is viewed on an ever-growing number of platforms and sites. Consistency is vital. Branding style needs to be uniform across your website, social media channels, and email newsletters with a consistent image regardless of which medium is being used. Whether viewers are engaging on a tablet, laptop or a smartphone, brand consistency should not be compromised.

Maintaining your brand across multiple platforms is about constructing an ecosystem that conveys the same experience to your audience no matter how they are engaging with you. Even well-established, sizable companies are dabbling in this multi-channel arena.

The following list includes useful branding tips and a snapshot of how some companies are succeeding at getting it right. But, to fully appreciate the advantages that come with brand consistency, you should first understand the difference between brand identity and brand image.

What’s the Difference Between Brand Image and Brand Identity?

It is common for many individuals to interchange these terms, people get confused, they assume they are one in the same. They are mistaken.

Brand image is what pops into customer’s heads when they think of you, it is how your business is perceived. This is the impression they have formed of your products and company. Your brand image is a mixture of your personality, style, values and reputation, whether good or bad.

Your brand identity encompasses all visual elements that customers see, including your color scheme, tagline, and logo.

There isn’t much you can do to control your brand image. However, you have total control over your identity, and this can influence your image very heavily. This is all a matter of maintaining brand consistency everywhere your customers see you.

Why is Maintaining Brand Consistency Vital?

The concept of consumers regularly interacting with brands is a new a phenomenon. Back in the day, this occurred in a limited fashion. A person may have had one or two touch points with which to engage with a brand. This made it so much easier for companies to maintain brand consistency in the pre-internet days.

In 2017, and earlier, with ever-evolving social media, it has grown more difficult. But, with more time and effort you will get it right and your devotion will pay off.

Putting in the effort to boost consistency helps improve company recall for your audience. It makes it easier for customers to remember and find you. It reinforces your messaging and story, eliminating any confusion.

This is very important because it will influence consumer buying behavior. People like engaging with brands that are familiar, trustworthy and well-liked. By committing to always communicating a consistent message across multiple platforms, you will reassure your audience of your values.

Brand Consistency on Social Media

Social media is bombarded with giants, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, and others have taken over the world. Each platform caters to their own (slightly) unique demographic, with a different approach. All this means, is that your brand should hold a presence on more than one platform, maybe several. Of course, the challenge maintaining brand consistency across the board.

On every social media site, you hold a presence, include your company color scheme, tagline, and logo. This should go without saying. But keep in mind, these standards will not guarantee a consistent brand image or message.

You must include something more compelling. Viewers need quality content that reinforces your brand values and tells your story across every social media platform that you use to engage with your audience.

It is not necessary to cut and paste the same content into all your company’s social media pages. That is not even recommended. A better approach is to create a steady stream of story-based copy that strengthens and reflects, your powerful brand image.

The best way to show how this works is to review a couple of successful companies that have gotten it right.

How to Get Branding Right

One of the best examples is Coca-Cola, this powerhouse has been getting branding consistency right for years. Check out the Coca-Cola Twitter account, Facebook page and view the company on Google Plus. On full display, the popular brand is instantly recognizable. Take note of how the savvy company has crafted and posted creative content that reinforces the brand’s fundamental message, the joy of life.

For instance, most of the brand’s Facebook posts discuss enjoying life. On the Coca-Cola Twitter page, the tweets are filled with content that reinforces this message. The tagline on Google Plus states, “Refreshing the world, one story at a time,” followed by content that does exactly that follows the theme.

Another company that really knows how to maintain brand consistency across several platforms is Target. Like Coca-Cola, Target successfully uses the effective content. This giant uses social media to accentuate its commitment to outstanding customer service, providing great value and a satisfying in-store shopping experience.

Browse Target’s Facebook posts. The content is stylish, clean, colorful, and most of all, engaging. Many posts are geared toward product highlights, connecting the to a specific time of year or an upcoming holiday, such as artificial trees in December or fancy sandals for summer.

Also look at the brand’s Twitter feed. The company uses completely different content and images than it does on other social media accounts. Yet, they still manage to reinforce the same brand image and values. It is the same with Google Plus. Target posts varied content but keep their brand message intact.

What Brand Consistency Means for Your Business

The mean truth: your target audience and existence customers are engaging with your brand on a fiercely increasing number of online platforms. There is a higher number of touch points than ever before. You must communicate your brand message consistently across all platforms to remain competitive and be successful. You will improve audience recall and they will be more likely to engage with your brand.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for branding that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Referrals: The Best Form of Advertisement and How to Get Them Tue, 30 May 2017 14:11:34 +0000 Whether you love them or loathe them, when it comes to advertising your business, referrals play a vital role in any successful inbound marketing strategy. The truth is, there’s no better way to build your business than through referrals. However, the process of sourcing referrals needs to be executed in a resourceful and systematic way. Start with a smart approach, otherwise, you might end up dreading the whole process.

So many salespeople continue to gamble with outdated methods and hit or miss strategies that don’t generate the desired results. It is no surprise that the thought of drumming up new referrals often inspires dread. This very necessary advertisement tactic doesn’t have to feel like punishment. The best referrals can skyrocket your sales in very little time.

Try implementing the following referral strategies in a systematic way, as part of your sales and marketing approach. You could potentially earn double or more in sales within just a year.

Change Your Approach

It may sound odd, but asking for referrals isn’t the best way to increase your pool. Some of your customers might be unsure of what the term means exactly. They might think you are asking for references, or just assume you want contact information. What you are really seeking is a personal introduction. Why not be direct and ask for exactly what you need?

By eliminating the referral jargon, and focusing on gaining new introductions you will see bigger successes more quickly. Use this simple strategy the next time you are on the hunt. There will no longer be any confusion as to exactly what type of lead you are seeking.

Rid Yourself of All Fears

If you feel awkward asking your friends and clients for introductions, that is not uncommon. Many salespeople resist the idea of opening a conversation in such an unusual and unconventional way. The best way to squash this fear is to simply jump in and ask the question. Remember, you won’t lose anything by asking someone for an introduction, but you might lose valuable business by never asking at all.

With this concept in mind, put all fears aside and start changing how you do things and snag some fresh introductions. You will soon thank yourself and in no time, it will become second nature.

Send Out a Request for Help

Phrase your request for introductions as a solicitation for assistance. People like to be helpful, especially to those they know and like. Start off by saying something like this, “Would you mind helping me with something?” You will be setting the scene for a productive discussion and the other person will be happy to be of help.

Make Use of Your Entire Network

Seek out everyone, not just one group. This is vital when it comes to gathering business referrals. Contact family members, friends, friends or friends, acquaintances, business connections, colleagues, past co-workers, everyone you can think of, they can all provide an avenue to more introductions.

Be Very Specific About What You Are Seeking

Salespeople are often unclear about the types of referrals they need. Typically, the first question they ask is, “who do you know?” “Do you know anyone who would be a good fit?” This puts a burden on the person you are asking for help. A much better method is to be crystal clear about who you are seeking as an ideal introduction.

Give specific examples of the types of leads you want to find. Provide important information such as employment type, job titles, industries, companies, average salaries, education, and any other vital statistics. Allow the person time to consider their network, and which individuals you would like to meet.

Set the Bar at One Introduction Per Day

This may seem like a tremendous amount of work, but how much time and energy is involved in asking someone for an introduction? This task can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, each work day. Set aside 15 minutes in your daily schedule. That equates to five per week, and a whopping 250 annually. Just think about how many successful connections you can make out of that 250 introductions every year.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Don’t just think about finding one introduction every day, make it a concrete plan and stick to it. A lack of accountability is what prevents so many salespeople from gaining a steady flow of referral business. There is no room for flaky behavior in marketing and sales, not if you want to be successful. If you planned to seek five new introductions every week, add the task to your schedule and keep it going. Use a system that somehow holds you accountable for achieving this goal.

To key to success is setting a realistic goal that you can easily maintain. Use a CRM system or an online calendar to track your weekly introductions. Staying on top of this strategy will bring a dramatic boost in sales.

Host Invitation-Only Sales Events for Exclusive Clientele

This marketing strategy is a highly effective method of luring in new prospects. To make it work well for you, make sure the sales event has a very exclusive feel. Bring in only high-end clients and potential leads, and host the affair at a posh venue. By crafting an entertaining atmosphere where both prospects and clients can mingle, you will see that your most loyal customers will naturally do the sales work for you. In this type of setting, real magic takes place.

Sales events also offer a prime opportunity to ask invited guests for introductions to individuals they know who might have something to gain by attending your gathering. You will soon discover that people enjoy getting their colleagues, acquaintances, and friends invited to an otherwise exclusive event. It boosts their egos by making them feel extra special.

Final Word

Are you a heavy hitting salesperson who already has more referrals than you can reasonably manage? That is highly unlikely. There is always room for improvement and a desire to achieve more. Therefore, don’t hesitate to put these powerful sales strategies into practice and watch your referral numbers multiply.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for referrals that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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Marketing to Millennials: How to Keep Them Engaged in Your Content Thu, 25 May 2017 14:25:23 +0000 Millennials are young adults born anywhere from 1977 to 2000. This key demographic makes up about 25 percent of the population in the United States and makes 21 percent of all discretionary purchases. They are currently the largest population of the U.S. workforce, quickly taking over the steadily retiring baby boomers. Like all preceding generations, millennials are unique. This quirky group presents their own special characteristics and no smart business will ignore the massive amount of purchase power millennials offer.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when marketing to millennials:

Millennials are Different Than Past Generations

This is a key feature about this unique generation. They are unlike any that came before them, they are simply a demographic comprised of many facets. You must really dig your heels in deep to come up with the best marketing strategy for you. Young adults in 2017 are the most diverse group of individuals that have ever existed. With this generation, you will find anyone from single mothers to high-end professionals, and everyone in-between. Millennials are in every social class and business industry, from apps to marketing and fashion trends. Marketers need to start thinking in terms of each segment, instead of traditional demographics.

The Current Generation is Always Connected

Never forget that millennials grew up basking in technology. They knew nothing but how to be connected to each other and the rest of the world 24/7. In fact, most millennials are working their magic on multiple devices simultaneously. If they are ever in a position where they can’t get online access for any stretch of time, they may go mad.

For this reason, the most successful brands engage with millennials through constant online communication. They provide ample support, at any time of day because we no longer interact from 9-5, that lifestyle is now archaic.

Mobile Marketing Rules

Mobile marketing is a big deal across the board, but since 85 percent of U.S. millennials are glued to their smartphones, it is without a doubt essential to target this area hard in your campaign. To become a master at mobile marketing, start with the basics. All landing pages must be mobile optimized without heavy use of graphics that will bog down loading times. Your call to action should be clearly stated, easy to find on a small screen.

Once the essentials are covered, then you can be creative and craft stylized ways to integrate your brand’s advertising natively into widely used mobile apps and programs. This is a great way to reach this coveted crew and keep millennials engaged.

Millennials Like to Share

Even the least savvy marketer can clearly see that millennials spend more of their waking hours on social media than at any other time in their young lives. To access this target audience, your brand also needs to be active on social media. Our social culture has evolved around this generation. It a sense, millennials and social media have grown up together. Cutting edge businesses that are serious about their marketing practices are constantly sharing and always hunting for new ways to engage on social platforms.

However, keep in mind that not all forms of social media are right for you. Individual platforms serve different purposes and attract varying audiences. Remember to stay focused on the segment varieties and think about who is engaging on which social media sites.

Dismiss the Hard Sell

Don’t bother trying to push anything on millennials, they will laugh at your efforts. This group won’t respond to a pushy sales pitch or being hounded by someone screaming about their amazing products.

The days of the hard sell are long gone and you must allow millennials to make final buying decisions on their own. For instance, it is now very common for clothing stores to hire fashion influencers to help promote their products. Millennials respond better to seeing a fashionista wearing designer garb than they do to a hard sell. This is a much more powerful approach. Why?

Millennials value and respect authenticity. They prefer to hear the testimony of a customer who has preceded them, rather than read promotional copy.

Millennials are Always in Motion

They are not only in perpetual motion, they are moving fast. This is at least partly due to the mobile revolution, which has allowed millennials to stay connected no matter what they are doing, and regardless of where they may be. This eliminates the assumption that marketers may have had in the past, that millennials are accessing sites from home.

What this all means for marketers is that marketing is now an issue of that involves many channels. The retail world has had to adapt to this change. There no separation between mobile, online or offline marketing strategies. Now, they are all one.

It is Hard to Earn Loyalty

Unlike the baby boomers who preceded them, millennials won’t instinctively gravitate toward top brands. Other generations did this because it was more comforting to stay loyal to a brand they knew. It made them feel secure and they never had to take a leap of faith. The rise of this new band of free thinkers has taught established brands loyalty is not something to be expected from customers. Marketers must earn customer loyalty and figure out how to nurture it and keep it.

This concept fuels the well-known stereotype that millennials are flaky, disloyal and not capable of following through with anything for any significant length of time. But, all generations are misjudged and misunderstood on some level. Millennials are known for being hard to convince, but when you do manage to sway them, they are steadfast in their loyalty, the ideal customer. Gaining and retaining this customer loyalty will a constant, ongoing process.

Final Word

Millennials are here and they are taking over. They are fixated on finding the answers to life’s major problems and generational issues, largely through online searches and social media research. Innovative brands that manage to bring forth relevant solutions to these real-world problems in their content will succeed at winning the attention of the millennials.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for millennial engagement that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Market Testing: How to Know If Your Idea is Profitable Tue, 23 May 2017 16:58:24 +0000 To gain the most profit out of inbound marketing efforts, all marketers must always be testing, evaluating, and fine-tuning their ideas to achieve optimum conversions. Many market testing methods are available for use, but the following list includes the most widely used, and most profitable practices.

A/B Testing

The A/B method is a popular and highly effective market testing tool used to analyze the effectiveness and design of landing pages, headlines, CTAs, email subject lines, layouts and web page styles, promo offers, images, product pricing, copy length, form length, type styles, and so much more. The A/B test process involves two identical creations, two items or a single element are changed to determine which version is more appealing to the target audience. Later, the separate versions are displayed randomly, to see which one receives more of the desired results, such as downloads, sign ups, shares, etc.

Remember: Both versions must always be tested simultaneously to ensure trustworthy results. Don’t rely on your gut instinct alone.

Content Testing

Marketers can spend hour upon hour, creating a landing page, white paper or crafting, and email. Starting from the developer’s work backstage, to the creation of layout by a web design firm, all the way to the selected tools and wording, everything must be tested. What may appear flawless in your eyes, may not resonate well with your target audience. Consider these tips while evaluating your content:

  • Can viewers clearly recognize the purpose of your site within the first three seconds, without having to scroll?
  • Is your company name and logo posted in a prominent location?
  • Is your page content clear about what is being offered and what actions you want visitors to take, such as download an eBook or whitepaper, or fill out a form?
  • Is your page content clear and concise about what your business can offer, company knowledge and expertise? Is the information current?
  • Can anyone access your site regardless of user-ability, modem speed, computer type, browser size, or preferences?
  • Is your page organized well with an ample amount of white space?
  • Is the layout too busy? Have you overloaded your site with images, calls to actions and colors?

Remember: Keep the sales pitch, offer and end message consistent in the content test. Adjust the page layout, wording, CTAs, and images to determine which elements work best with your customers.

Multivariate Testing

There is no need to create multiple page versions with this method. Multivariate testing analyzes one page by altering the surrounding elements after using them for a set time. Test images, buttons, colors, and headlines on the same page, by comparing varying components to uncover the best elements and combinations.

Remember: Perform multivariate testing with useful tools like Google Website Optimizer, Test&Target, Metrics, Optimost, Verster, Maxymiser, and Omniture.

Geo Target Testing

Visitors land on your site from all over the world – they arrive from different countries, cultures, climates, speak different languages and use their regional currencies. It is important to consider how to cater to these variables all at the same time. The answer is through geo-targeting. Geo-targeting uses Geo-Location to identify where site visitors are located through their WiFi, IP or GPS data. Using this valuable information, the correct data is transferred to the seeker. The user location may be a state, city, country or somewhere else. Therefore, if you are looking for Thai restaurants, geo-targeting will pull up relevant information to your IP address or physical location.

Remember One of the best sources for more information on geo-targeting in Google Webmaster tools.

Eye Track Testing

Eye track testing is a popular approach used to provide insight into exactly where viewers are looking when they browse a web page. Eye tracking measures eye motion or where the viewer’s eye is focused most. Through research methods and software like gaze plots, gaze replays and heat maps researchers can study a page layout and adjust according to what the test subjects look at first. The eye tracking software generates valuable data about these visual movements. Eye tracking can help answer important questions, including:

  • Do viewers understand the software and layout?
  • What do users view, but don’t click on?
  • How effective are the symbols and icons at directing visitors?
  • What is guiding the viewer’s decision-making process?

Remember: Eye track tests offer more concise results because there are no interruptions. This method also provides behavioral insight that may not have been shared otherwise.

Usability Testing

Even though your site design may be stunning, full of compelling visuals, calming colors, and a good amount of white space, it may be difficult to navigate. If users find it hard to hunt down the information they need you will lose your audience fast. The most successful websites provide whatever products or information that brought viewers to them up front before they leave for a competitor’s site. Evaluate and analyze your website in stages using explorative, assessment and comparative testing. The various types of usability tests include remote usability, hallway, expert review, automated evaluation, paper prototype, controlled experiments, interviews and questionnaires, and do-it-yourself walk through testing.

Remember: The usability test method you use should be determined by your what your budget will allow.

Final Word

When it comes to successful inbound marketing, it all comes down to tracking the performance of your ideas and refining your strategies accordingly. Market testing helps businesses discover what content, images, messages, CTAs, etc., resonate with the desired audience and enables them to implement these ideas on a regular basis, or in the next marketing campaign.

Business websites and landing pages are no longer company brochures displayed on an electronic screen. Keep this in mind, sites are now dynamic tools, live and engaging avenues that lead to your customers. To ensure that your marketing idea will always deliver the correct message to your target customers, market testing is vital. It is not only about knowing that all your site functions and features work properly, it is a means of constantly knowing that you are putting out the best possible presentation of business.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for market testing that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Making Engagement a Two-Way Street: 4 Ways to Encourage Prospect Interactions Thu, 18 May 2017 14:29:49 +0000 It can be very frustrating when people are reluctant to make an engagement, or they dance around the subject and won’t provide straight answers. They just won’t come out and tell you what they want. However, concluding that these prospects are inaccessible, or closed off, can be counterproductive on your part. First, you may develop a bad attitude toward this type of lead, and your feelings will show through your tone. This will make closing a sale virtually impossible and secondly, it demonstrates you made no effort to understand why the prospect chose not to engage.

Instead of embracing your frustration and dismissing the potential, try to see the situation from the lead’s point of view. The prospect may already be loyal to another brand and feel uncomfortable trying something new. This is the type of loyal customer you want on your side. If you can persuade such a prospect to engage and give your products a chance, you are likely to build a long-term relationship.

A prospect may also be reluctant because they have endured a bad buying experience in the past. They want to avoid making another mistake. In this situation, you will need to reassure the lead that you will provide a much more satisfying buying experience.

Other times, prospects just don’t feel they have a problem that you can solve, whether they do. These prospects are typically the hardest to engage.

  1. Be Upfront and Use Straight Talk

Approach some hesitant prospects with a lot of sensitivity. In other situations, it is best to be more straightforward. Address the lead’s reticent behavior directly by stating you understand why they feel the need to clam up, but emphasize why this behavior isn’t necessary with your respected and trustworthy company.

Say something like:
“It appears you may have a bad sales experience in the past. You might assume I am here to get something from you. That is not my goal, I want to help you succeed, but I need you to share. Help me to understand what your needs so I can provide the best solution.”

This approach offers two benefits:

  1. It shows the prospect their behavior is being interpreted as reticent. They may not be aware they are acting cautiously.
  2. By not beating around the bush, it will help you establish trust. Honest people are generally forthright and willing to address problems head on.

You can even go as far as to tell a prospect you will drop the offer if you are not sure it is a perfect match. This demonstrates a commitment to quality, rather than a drive to chase sales, thus promoting trust.

  1. Ask Positive Questions

Rather than focusing on what is going wrong, encourage the prospect to pinpoint areas that need improvement. Craft questions with a more positive spin. It can be more comfortable for people to speak about what can be made better rather than point fingers at all the negatives.

If you get the feeling a prospect doesn’t want to reveal or discuss problems in their company, redirect your questions. Don’t stay focused on what’s not working. Instead, ask about areas that can be improved. What can be done better?

Some prospects who are reluctant to engage will respond well to an offer of hope. If this doesn’t bring them out of their shell, it might be time to move on to another potential lead.

  1. Do Not Take Anger Personally

It is never easy to deal with an angry person, especially when you are not responsible for causing the anger. In this type of setting, we feel like we’re being treated unfairly. It is natural to take this behavior personally and let more emotions escalate the exchange. Take a deep breath, avoid getting sucked into the negative energy and focus on the goal of establishing trust.

Keep in mind, an angry response often results from mistrust. You haven’t gotten the chance to present who you are, what your company represents and what products you offer, much less the possible solutions you can provide, and the prospect is already objecting. They don’t yet know they can trust you, they have been let down before.

Gently gain control of the situation by carefully reminding them that you have never let them down, in fact, what you can offer is a much more satisfying experience than the previous one that left them in a tizzy.

  1. What if You are the One Causing Anger?

Some customers don’t respond well to the straightforward approach. In this case, you may cause an angry response. They may see you as being too intrusive, your request for honesty and transparency as inappropriate prying. This method may remind them of a time when they once got burned, and this can be very irritating.

A good salesperson with strong ethics would view this dilemma: Is it possible for me to proceed with this prospect, not clearly knowing their situation? It is suggested in this case, that salespeople instruct clients that a deal cannot be made now due to a lack of information. They simply don’t know enough about the prospect.

This approach is likely to evoke one of the following responses: no thank you and the deal is lost, or the prospect will realize there is something of interest being offered. If at this point, the prospect still hesitates to engage, it is time to stop trying. It is important to know when to quit and there is no point in chasing after a deal that is not realistically going to happen. If the prospect chooses to interact, you will be in a much stronger position to make a sale.

Improving Prospect Engagement

Experiment with a wide variety of engagement tactics to encourage prospects to communicate. Remain determined and persistent, don’t take everything to heart. Be consistent and keep your methods fresh. Take the time to empathize and understand your prospects so you can develop a stronger connection and build long lasting relationships.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for making an engagement that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Face to Face Training – A Thing of the Past? Tue, 16 May 2017 15:44:26 +0000 Is face-to-face training, a thing of the past? Not necessarily, human beings naturally crave interaction. Most people tend to learn better in a more hands-on environment. Yet, in the modern digital age, it is all about getting things done in a virtual way. We use electronic accounts to send mail, phone calls are being made over the internet with video, and it is more popular than ever to work from home. Instant communication is an integral part of our lives.

There are many advantages to all the recent advances in telecommunications, this cannot be denied, it makes communicating with one another much cheaper, more immediate and a lot more convenient. However, before science and technology took over, people used to interact with each other. They knew how to make connections and learn from each other without the use of a computer screen.

The reality is, people are social by nature. Young and old alike are currently active on social media, demonstrating a need for human connections. The need for interaction is a fundamental and defining human characteristic that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.

People communicate, learn and acquire memories most effectively through physical interactions. This is how all meaningful relationships develop and grow. The strongest connections evolve over time spent together. In recent years, everyday culture has put a lot of emphasis on how much time, and how many things we can get done in the cyber world. We no longer grasp how much we can learn directly from each other.

Physical Interaction and Education

When it comes to modern training and education, the virtual option has become a popular alternative to traditional classroom learning. With the rising demand, more colleges, universities, and businesses are offering more online training, open university courses and online programs. This is necessary to stay competitive and meet the needs of all prospective students.

There are so many advantages to providing a virtual learning environment, including minimizing or eliminating space issues and improving flexibility. Participants can typically follow the program at their own pace, on their own time, at a significantly reduced cost than traditional training. But, there are always concerns about the quality of education and the overall experience. Many researchers believe that online training is less effective than traditional face-to-face learning methods.

There is no doubt that virtual training provides an excellent opportunity for a wider audience to access education, butt this teaching style is not right for everyone. Like the experts have stated, some of the most successful global companies still prefer face-to-face training.

Advantages of Face-to-Face Training

Face-to-face training allows for a complete experience that comes from personal communication through body language, mannerisms, tone and volume, gestures, behavior, and more. It is based on what is seen, heard and felt.

Face-to-face training adds the human element to a workshop, unlike computer-based education. Personal connections, responses, and reactions have the chance to blossom and flow freely during in-person sessions.

Virtual education can negatively affect the quality of the training because there are limitations to attaining the same kind of teacher/student interaction that comes with traditional learning. This can make it impossible to achieve certain objectives.

Online learning creates an anonymous blanket that allows participants to join in disingenuously. There is a lack of physical stimulation because the only connections are through typing and viewing. Sometimes the only way viewers are actively involved is through reading a computer screen. There is virtually no value gained through the experience.

In addition, there are more problems with misinterpretation and miscommunication in digital training than there is during face-to-face sessions. It is hard to convey the right emotion through email or chat. The message may be received in the wrong way.

When it is a long presentation with a lot of information being presented, it is so much easier, more efficient and most effective to host a face-to-face, live instructor-led program.

 Misleading Benefits of Online Training

The cost benefits of online training programs are often overestimated. The money saved on the virtual course may not be worth the amount of actual learning lost and the experience that is not gained by the participants. When going over the checks and balances, and crunching the figures, you may end up paying twice as much to retain your staff, making the cost savings involved insignificant.

It has been shown that professionals who use video conferencing seminars are more likely to focus on such non-educational aspects as the appearance and likeability of the speaker, rather than the quality of the information, the presentation in its entirety, and the arguments, instead of those who participate in face-to-face training.

Since virtual training and education offers so much flexibility and convenience, it does work well for those with an overwhelming number of responsibilities and demanding schedules. It is also good for students who would not be able to attend classes without an online alternative. Nonetheless, there are still some clear disadvantages to the newfangled way of learning, like the lack of direct contact with teachers and colleagues, and the inability to immerse oneself totally in the program.

Nothing Comes Close to Hands-on Learning

Clearly, virtual learning has its benefits, it can be very valuable in the right situations. However, when it comes to training, it is more worthwhile to spend time face-to-face. By viewing and actively engaging with a speaker who is passionate about the presented topic, that excitement gets passed on, there are fewer distractions promoting better interest, boosting the likelihood of information retention.

Final Word

Physical, face-to-face training sessions not only promote better understanding, they help learners to recall the lessons and the program content more efficiently. The element of personal interaction fosters an important bond, it promotes camaraderie. There is value in being able to grasp new insights through others face-to-face and to develop social networks.

Ultimately, the greatest approach is a blended dynamic that delivers the hardest impact, a face-to-face learning environment with online support. This would include tools, sharing ad knowledge frameworks. Since both methods offer unique advantages, utilize the best of both worlds.

Lastly, let me know your thoughts and tips for Face to Face Training that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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