It’s been a while since I posted about my rant against online tools! BUT here we go.
Look … I have been marketing online since before there were things called autoresponders and page builders.
I have been through the evolution of these systems AND HAVE ALSO FALLEN VICTIM to their capricious standards and massive price increases.
I mean until recently I was paying the following:
$97 a MONTH for ClickFunnels
$200 a MONTH for my autoresponder system
$87 a MONTH for my app creator for online marketing
$47 a MONTH for a video marketing platform
AND a few more dollars for the yearly fee for my Wishlist Member wordpress plugin to make membership sites for delivering my training. SERIOUSLY close to $800 a month if you add it all up. WHICH IS GOOD because these systems are all making money!
BUT … my friend Erik (a long time internet marketer) was pissed a these prices and the lack of features and decided to build a new, complete, integrated online marketing system for entrepreneurs … that wouldn’t break the bank.
He did with his Builderall system … you get a TON of great features for only $48 a month TOTAL, including some REALLY great training on building good systems for marketing online.
I started using it a while ago and it’s AMAZING what you get for the measly $48 a month. I’m saving over $700+ a MONTH with this and it’s BETTER than all of these “piecemeal” systems since all of the pieces work IN CONCERT with no integrations etc. IT WORKS OUT OF THE BOX!
The price for this is going to go up to $97 a month very shortly (still a bargain) but for now you can lock in this special “Friend of Bob” price if you use this link below:
If you are at this page, you are one of the lucky ones to get one HELL of a deal on web hosting for your business, organization or even for your own personal stuff!
Yes, you can go to the main page at Lifetime.hosting (not .com … but .hosting) and see what they offer, but you do NOT want to buy there!
Because I have been a long time “charter” customer of theirs, I’m able to offer the original INSANE launch deal where you can get one of the different packages of hosting for like no more than $67 ONE TIME FEE!
ARE THERE EXTRAS YOU CAN BUY? YES! But you can decide if you want them or not. FOR ME I got all of the goodies because it was a ONE TIME FEE for them all. I got the SSL certs, extra domain names, and more space (because I had a LOT of sites to move over from my old hosting).
BOTTOM LINE? JUST BUY THIS because you WILL need hosting if you are doing business online, so why not pay just a one time fee instead of huge monthly fees (Mine used to be LITERALLY $200 a month for ONE particular set of websites)
Picture Perfect Profits: Growing your Business the Instagram Way
Instagram is growing in popularity every day. People love to take photos and upload them to share with the world. Wouldn’t it be great if you can put this social media site to use and make some money with it? The best thing is, you can and Instagram is easy to use as an online business to make a decent income. So you want to know how to start this business? Well it is very easy and I will show you how!
Reasons to Choose Instagram for your Business
First, you want to know why this is a great business idea. Let’s look at the facts. There are over 400 million active monthly users. It is really easy to find people who are interested in your specific niche and to present them with material that will catch their eye on the spot! Remember, you have a very short amount of time to attract a potential customer, so this is key when deciding what types of pictures or video to use on your account.
Going along with the massive amount of monthly users, there are more than 75 million people who use Instagram every single day. Of course this number can be much larger on any given day and it can change drastically; as quick as you are done reading this article.
More than 20% of Internet users are now on Instagram. You may think to yourself that is not a really huge number, but when it comes down to it, there are millions upon millions of people who use the Internet daily. There are times when people take breaks at work or, on the weekends when there is nothing else to do they will surf the Internet. Users will likely search for something that has media rather than read something with just words. Pictures and videos are among the most popular type of content that the average person is looking for.
One fact, which is good to know about Instagram to get you motivated to start your business, is that more than 77.6 million users use this platform in the United States alone. So are you convinced yet that you should start your business using Instagram? If not, then you might as well not read anymore. If, however, you are even slightly curious, please continue and read more exciting reasons to use this platform for business.
Easy or not so easy – You be the Judge
Maybe you are thinking it is not that easy to start a business with Instagram. ”With all the thousands of posts that are out there, it might be too crowded for me to get people to find and follow me”. Well, truth be told, it is easier than you might think. So how does one grow their Instagram business after they have their account setup with some pictures ready to go, but not many followers? There are several ways to do this.
First, do your research. One thing that attracts people to an image is colors. This is a known fact as many marketers will tell you. I know someone who sat in a seminar for marketing and they were literally blown away by what was said. Did you know that a yellow background with red font actually gets someone’s attention more than other colors used? Of course, this should not be a majority of what your posts look like, but when you want to place an ad on Instagram to attract a potential buyer to your affiliate link and offer, you may want to consider this. And do your research to see what other types of ads work.
Making a Picture Viral
It is important in this day and age to make images that people will share. I find the best way to do this is to make the picture funny and remember able. There are so many different types of pictures posted on Facebook that are colorful, have a funny saying and sometimes a cute animal.
If you notice, you can see how many times they are shared – it’s quite mind blowing. Well think of that as a technique when creating an image for an ad, but of course make it something that will encourage the follower to click and look at your offer.
When someone sees something they like, they are more likely to share this with their friends. Sharing is the key to getting your affiliate or products out there. The more eyes that see it and like what they see, the more potential and actual buyers there will be. I’m sure this intrigues you as much as it did me.
You can make a Business Account
Yes, you can actually create an Instagram Business Account. Just sign up the way you normally would if you were creating an account for the first time. Make your username something related to your business. For instance if you are promoting Sporting Goods and more specifically fishing gear, then create a name that is something like “greatfishinggear” so people know this is where I get the awesome products for my fishing needs.
One thing I want to suggest is that you keep your business posts separate from your regular posts.
There is nothing more aggravating then when your friends want to promote something and all you see are ads trying to make you click here and there to buy something.
You will have fewer followers than you had before if you try that, so please keep this in mind. If you don’t want to see ads everywhere, then most likely, your social followers don’t want to either.
It is also important to keep the ad posts to a minimum. You may think, well then how am I supposed to get people to click on the ad? Like I said before, make it memorable and attractive. You can post once a day or a couple times a week. Nothing happens overnight, so be patient. When you have the right ads and strategy in place, you will begin to notice an influx of followers to your business and even regular Instagram account.
You can also let people know about your business on your regular account, but again don’t go overboard. If you follow these rules, you are sure to keep people liking, sharing, and following your posts.
Hashtag, if you didn’t know, started out as a typo. Someone wrote something on Twitter and had # before a word, and the hashtag was born. Now it is widely used on all Social Media to reference something important.
It is nothing super spectacular, but is so important these days. I am reminded of the commercial for Honda where they say Hashtag this and Hashtag that. Well you want to #keywords to encourage your followers to click and go to an offer. Make those words memorable and interesting so people will have a reason to click on them.
Also, a great way to use Hashtags is to include your business name. You can also link your business website to a Hashtag on your business Instagram or even personal account. You can also Hashtag your business Instagram to your personal account by saying something like “I caught a big fish the other day; want to know how I did it? Check out #bigfish.” Then it should direct them to a picture on your business Instagram of you showing off your catch.
Always include some personable material on your business account so people will take you as a real person and not someone who just wants you to buy from them. You can of course make your picture clickable so people can get the gear that helped you make your big catch. It is also a great way to motivate people to pick up a hobby, if they never fished before, and they can begin to purchase fishing gear from you!
Involve your Followers
Many times, people want to share their life with the world. When you have a business that has tons of followers, have your fans send you their funniest or cutest pictures to post on your Business Account.
When people see that there are others in the world that like your business and are promoted on your page, they are more likely to feel you care about people. I once heard someone say they saw their picture up on a website and were very excited about it.
They said “I will continue visiting this site and this is where I am going to keep buying my office supplies.” So do you think this strategy works? Put it to the test!
One more thing you can do is to like your followers’ photos and videos. If you aren’t doing this, they may forget about you or even worse, think you don’t care about them on a personal level.
Always be personable and think of others as you go about your day. When they see the likes from you, they will be more likely to remember your name and brand.
Also comment on their posts. Make sure when you do this, you are adding to the conversation. Most likely you do not want to promote your business in the comments. I see this all the time on YouTube where people comment on a video and put a link to their offer. This is SPAM and is very unwanted behavior.
There is no worse feeling than when someone wants to take everyone’s eyes off the post and go to another post. You would feel like you don’t matter enough, and so will they. And when someone comments about what you said, comment back. This will get the conversation going.
People want to hang around someone who is real and not trying to be something they aren’t. This goes for when you are promoting something you are selling. Post a picture of you using a product you sell in an authentic manner. Sometimes people don’t think outside the box and you may have to encourage them to see the ways the product can be used.
If it is something that sparks their interest, you may just have a new customer. This is why using pictures and video are so important these days.
People like to see how it is done. Of course, you don’t always have to be so serious when promoting your products. Throw in a picture that shows the wrong way and then the right way to use the product. Write the word “fail” or “major fail” on the one photo and on the other photo show them the correct way to use it. You can get some laughs out of that and more followers and sharers.
Core Values are Important to People
What are your company core values?
Think about that and incorporate this into your posts. Do it in a story or as an event on your page.
Let people see visually what is most important to your business so they have more of a reason to like your brand and company.
One way to get people to follow you and look at your content on Instagram is to let them know that here is the only place you will see this post. If they want to get the best deal or best product on the market, then they should know they can only get in through Instagram. Make sure they know this and see how many people will follow you.
Ask Questions and Ask People to Vote
I actually found this to be a very interesting way of engaging followers. One way to do this is to ask your followers “have you used your _____ today? Maybe “what is your favorite coffee flavor?” It can be so simple. People love to share with the world their likes and even dislikes so this is a great way to get people involved.
You can also ask a question like which is better, vanilla or chocolate and put up a poll and show responses. People are always interested to know what is popular. Seeing poll results help them to know. If you are promoting a product, people can see how popular it is and will want to buy it.
When and How often to Post
Now that you are more excited and informed about how easy it is to have a business on Instagram, one question may still be lingering in your mind. How often do you post? Well, for starters, be consistent with your posts. If you post every Tuesday and Thursday, always post on these days. Also, think about the time of day. When do people normally get up for work, when do they take lunch, and when should they be home?
This is important because Instagram, like any other social media site, gets floods of posts. You want people to be more likely to see your post, so post at a time of day where people would normally be logged on. The three times mentioned above are the best times to post something. People are more likely to see your posts.
The amount of times to post will determine on your followers. If you post a couple times a day and notice more followers, then that is a great frequency to use. It does depend on the demand of your brand, so keep that in mind. If you are seeing that people stop following you, you may be posting too much. You can lessen the posts to once a day, or even a couple times a week. Always test what works by monitoring your followers, and how many people are clicking on your links.
Keep it Trendy
One last thing to note is to be aware of the trends. People are most likely following a trend because they want to know what other people know and be a part of the crowd. People may say they want to be an individual, but keep in mind; they want to feel different about certain things in their personal lives, such as the clothes they wear. You actually want to attract the people who follow trends because they are the ones who like what the majority of people like. The more people who like something you sell, the more likely they are to see your ad and click the link then buy your product.
Always keep in mind these tactics when you are starting your Instagram business. It is very easy to start one and will not cost anything upfront, so there is a lot of room for fast profits. A lot of people want their own business because they know there is money to be made. Of course, people imagine business being hard work and needing large capital to start. Now with the Internet and Social Media like Instagram, you are well on your way to making those picture perfect profits! Results will vary and there are no guarantees that one thing works over the other. So, keep trying and use different strategies until something works.
It has been shown in the past few years that social media has a lead-to-close rate that is a full 100% higher than traditional outbound marketing strategies. Engaging with an audience is obviously critical for the success of your business, but many budding entrepreneurs and even some senior marketing analysts are unaware of the best tips and tricks. Let us look at a handful of the most effective and innovative strategies which can help elevate your presence and reputation to the next level.
In other words, the audience should be engaged with a question in order to produce a response. Let us look at these two examples:
“Recent studies have shown that Facebook is the best social media tool for businesses”.
“What do you think about the recent studies that have pointed out the business prowess of social media?”
The second text is much more likely to generate a response from any visitor or follower. The longer a discussion is kept alive, the higher the chances are of breeding a loyal and responsive fan base. In turn, they are likely to examine the products or services that you are offering.
Quizzes and Polls
Many social media sites give you the ability to create polls and quizzes that members can take. This is a great way to enable a post to go viral while simultaneously curating solid leads for future contact. Let us never forget that in the same respect, such questionnaires are excellent ways to keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of your targeted demographic. By understanding their opinions, you will be able to focus your services around their needs. While there are many great platforms out there, one that should be looked at is Engageform.
The Power of the Video
It is amazing to note that very few businesses utilize videos within their social media framework. It has been shown that a massive 65% of individuals will visit the website of a marketer after watching their video. Videos are a great idea for a few reasons. First, many users are more likely to watch (or listen to) a video while out and about as opposed to reading small text on a Smartphone. Secondly, videos put a “face to the name” in terms of product and personality. Another novel way to employ videos is to answer popular questions, introduce a new service or even to make a heartfelt apology to a less-than-satisfied client. Modern videos take proactivity to the next level.
Although sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are often seen in the social media limelight, YouTube is another immensely valuable form of social media. One of the reasons that some digital marketers have not taken YouTube as seriously is that this portal is designed for information or entertainment as opposed to purchases. Those who have tried to optimize their YouTube pages have mistakenly employed Google AdWords.
This makes no sense, for AdWords focuses upon expanded search queries in regards to a purchase. A great way around this is to employ the YouTube keyword tool. You will be able to see the most relevant terms, their associated monthly search volume and thereafter add the appropriate tags directly onto your page. Never forget that YouTube is still a great resource to redirect others to your main website.
The “Secret” Power of Twitter
While Twitter is a great social media portal, it boasts another lesser-known advantage. You may have not been aware that you can become your own “secret shopper” by adding a simple term in the upper search field. Employ the search.twitter.com URL and simply enter in the word “wish” immediately before your service or brand.
This associates “wish” with relevant phrases such as “I wish company ABC would bring back their old product from last year.” This is a quick and easy way to scroll through any feedback that you may have received in order of the date that it was originally added.
Speaking of Tweets
There are some who have recently stated that repeat Tweets serve very little purpose. This is only partially true. Those fragments which have generated little feedback or interest should naturally be discarded. However, any Tweets that have received massive responses or engagement should OBVIOUSLY be repeated until their usefulness has run its course. Should you determine that higher clickthrough rates are associated with a particular Tweet, run with it.
Put ROI Aside
No one wants to feel like they are being sold something every time they visit a social media page. Posts such as “buy this” or “take advantage of our latest offer” are now becoming trite and redundant. Simply put, people are becoming much more finicky. It is wise to throw out the self-serving jargon and start real conversations. Find fun and interesting ways to plug your product without putting off your visitors.
Keeping Ahead of the Curve
One of the issues that many marketers encounter is that they simply do not have the time to keep track of numerous platforms. In turn, posts can become stale and not nearly enough attention is devoted to this powerful medium. Much like in any other analytical campaign, use software that enables you to centralize, collate and interpret how things are going. Packages such as Hootsuite are great at cutting down on the clutter and enabling you to determine exactly what it is that you should be doing.
Social media is an ever-evolving organism. So, what worked well yesterday could be outdated tomorrow. These are a few key tips which will help you to focus your efforts in the right place and understand what it is that your audience desires.
If you are like me, you have an insatiable desire to learn a lot of new things, BUT hate how long it takes to slog through long courses, with endless videos, and huge manuals.
I love all kinds of training BUT because I’m RIDDLED with A.D.D., it takes a lot of work for me to sit through long courses … because it takes a lot of energy to keep paying attention to the material. Worst of all, my mind wanders when this happens and I need to “rewind” to relearn what I missed. Can you relate to this?
Well, I just found a REALLY cool site called Coursmos
A site that has amazingly powerful training on 1000’s of subjects – BUT – they really distill the training into micro courses and micro sessions. Each session is no more than 3 minutes, with no more than 7 sections per subject! I mean there are over 125,000 video lessons (with more being added) on business concepts, personal development, graphic design, cooking etc. etc.
I’m taking sessions on Photoshop, Personal Development and Cooking lessons (I have to keep up with Joyce)!
Right now (and for a limited time) they are offering a FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL OF COURSMOS and if you like it after that, it’s only $9.95 a month for unlimited access to all of the training.
Seriously, go check it out and let me know what you think about Coursmos and what you got out of it here on the blog comments below. I would love to hear more and maybe we can get an interview with the company too!
Well, the time has come to say something that has me dealing with a bit of “mixed emotions”.
You see, I’ve decided for several reasons that the relationship between Facebook & me is a bit dysfuntional on many levels. So, I’ve decided it was best that we spend some time apart so we can both “find ourselves” 🙂 But at the SAME time I’m excited because during this “time apart” I’m devoting more time to working in “the lab” to get some MAJOR projects done that I have in the works.
Oh I know this seems like some marketing ploy or being overly dramatic, but I’m 100 percent serious!
Here is the deal,
Look, I’ve been online since before there was a “modern internet” … REALLY! Back in the Commodore 64 / 300 Baud Modem days communicating on message boards and usenet (look it up 🙂 So I’m no stranger to how technology can change the way we communicate and interact.
But lately … I’ve become very “disturbed” at what Social Media (particularly Facebook) has done to people’s lives, families, and their businesses – mine included.
Let me explain, stick with me.
For years, personal development courses have been the staple of my life. You name it … audiobooks, books, tapes, courses, seminars on personal growth … I’ve done them all. But my favorite of all has to be the “Ask & It Is Given” series of books / training by Jerry & Esther Hicks. Basically it’s where the whole “Law Of Attraction” concept got it’s start. You should check it out.
Now the core philosophy of this training is that in order to “attract” the things you want, you need to concentrate on that and not the things you don’t want … and that you can’t let negative emotions impede the flow of “receiving” of the things you desire.
Feelings like anger, helplessness, rage, boredom … and envy … are things that take out “out of alignment” to getting in the path to keep attracting what you want.
AND UNFORTUNATELY it’s been a documented fact that Facebook has been a HUGE cause of NEGATIVE emotion for so many people! Don’t believe me just check out this one article:
Seriously, as someone who is very VERY aware of how emotions can affect your life (and I’m pretty immune to those issues) … I was shocked when I realized just how much Facebook was HINDERING my business!
Facebook has gone from a place for family and friends to connect and share information, stories, pictures and events … into a form of Social Voyerism & Exhibitionism that is creating major personal issues for those involved.
At it’s worst I have personally seen a seemingly simple “connection” between lost friends on Facebook turn into a true “fatal attraction” where families and lives were literally destroyed due to a form of “facebook psychosis and paranoia” occured. Where normally happy people begain to have their attitudes, feelings and thoughts “turned” by the Social Media circus. At it’s least, I just get pissed off at someone online for their opinion.
My ephiphany came about a week ago.
I was doing my MORE THAN ONCE DAILY scroll through my news feed and the following happened:
* I saw yet ANOTHER duckfaced, self important selfie – it pissed me off!
* I saw yet another marketer friend of mine post a check – it made me envious!
* I saw yet ANOTHER post where someone was holy than thou about their food regemen – pissed me off again!
* I saw someone posted a horrible picture of an abused animal – made me sad!
* I saw someone post an idiotic response to a political situation – made me think they were stupid!
* I saw someone bragging about their new weight loss – I rolled my eyes thinking “you think you’re so much better than everyone else”
By about 5 minutes in of this, I realized that my mental state was NOT where it was when I started.
I woke up, did my affirmations, did my meditation and felt SO energized. BUT after 5 minutes of going through facebook, I was VERY VERY far away from that good feeling state. And the further you are away from that state the further away you are from being at the center of your point of attraction. I called this Facebook Aggravation Syndrome.
SERIOUSLY – I’m probably the LEAST “envious” person I know. I applaud when others do well, I applaud the success of others, I celebrate the abundance that flows to others – because there is more than enough abundance for us all.
BUT I CAN TELL YOU that as I carefully monitored in my journal how I felt as I was going through posts and what “thoughts” were going through my head and where my emotional state ended up after going through facebook, I can tell you … that almost 100 percent of the time it was a worse state.
I was mad
I was envious
I was frustrated
I felt bad about what I did
I felt bad about what I didn’t do
I just was not in a place of positive vibration.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had HUGELY successful people tell me that they don’t EVEN LOOK AT THE NEWS! WHY? Because they say that it does nothing but breed fear, doubt and bad emotions and can “derail” your positive path for success.
Well … I now put Facebook into that category. BUT it’s much worse. You not only get news on facebook but you get other people venting, bitching, complaining, worrying … and this combined “hive mind” mentality just creates a huge mass of NEGATIVITY that does NO ONE ANY GOOD. It’s “misery loves company” on steriods.
SO I decided to take a few days on and few days off Facebook. AND I can tell you that after a few days off, I was more productive, happy and on my path. The days I spent on facebook were days where my life kind of derailed and … dammit … I realized how much TIME I wasted on there that I could have been doing something to bring into my life the things I wanted, instead of being an “envious voyeur” on facebook!
SO here is the deal.
* I have defriended a TON of people. These were people that when I looked at their posts – if they did not bring light and happiness in my life or really made me feel bad. They were gone.
* I have put people into lists. Business associates in one and CLOSE FAMILY AND REAL LIFE FRIENDS in another and I make it where I would only see them. And even then if some of them were “negative” I would block them on my feed.
* I have blocked feeds (as said above)
* I have limited my exposure to facebook from daily to every couple of days to now, I’m going cold turkey for a while.
*YES I will use Faceook Chat on my iphone to communicate with a few family & friends that use that but I’m DELETING my facebook app on my phone 🙂
SO I’m going into this experiment for the next 45 days to see how things go. How much more productive I can be and will be tracking my results. SO this “hiatus” is not to be taken personally by anyone … on the contrary … it’s the facebook system itself that helps create this environment. And if you chance the environment you chance the person.
AS A SIDE EFFECT OF THIS DISCOVERY I have also done some other things in my business life that are going to make some people very mad …
I have decided to also consolidate my core business concepts into the handful of things that I do well and make things happen, and am DROPPING things that I have been testing, trying and considering.
In other words, I believe in multilple streams of income, but consolidating those streams into a very very small group of core income streams.
Some of my affiliate relationships – done
Some of my network marketing consultations and positions – done
Some of my business relationships – done
The fact that I sat down and wrote down what was taking me closer to my goals and what was taking me further away was invigorating.
So … as a courtesy, please don’t write me on facebook about getting in another deal. WHY? For one I won’t see it since I won’t be on facebook. And 2 … I’m done with many deals right now. I have three core things in my mix and going to work them hard like I have done in the past where I have had great success.
AND AS A CLOSING THOUGHT
If you are reading this and … if you were either made envious, mad or frustrated at what I posted on facebook in the past. I’m truly sorry. I mean, I fell into this dogma myself. Overshare your success and attract people. Naaa … I know for a fact I probably pissed off more than I attracted, and for that I do apologize
As Brian Tracey said:
“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”
Facebook caused me to lose focus …
Concentrating on not pissing people off in too many “multiple business situations” caused me to lose focus …
And without focus you can’t succeed. So It’s time to focus!
Stay tuned … maybe I will see you on facebook in the near future (or if I have a relapse) 🙂
Now let’s GO GO GO!
News Jacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story And Generate Tons of Media Coverage
That is the title for a new and If you are an online marketer, I highly recommend you grab a copy. It’s only available as a digital download and it’s less than 7 bucks at Amazon.
I’ll try to summarize here it in my own words, but this is no substitute for getting the book, reading it and above all using it to generate free publicity for you and your business.
News breaks every second of every day, providing you with literally endless opportunities to get your business free publicity. And I don’t have to tell you that publicity is worth far, far more than advertising, and yet it costs you NOTHING.
Look at it from a reporter’s point of view – they already have the who, what, when and where – what they need is the “why,” and that’s where you come in. Journalists need original content, and they need it fast. And if you play your cards right, you can be as high as the second paragraph of that breaking news story. Jut think of what that can mean in terms of free exposure!
What is essential is SPEED. You’ve got to hit when the story is hot to have a shot at getting the publicity. Wait even a day and it may be too late.
Always use your good judgment. Your business is NOT a great fit for the majority of news stories, so be discriminate and only go with those that you can honestly, truly relate to your business.
Now then, how do you find news to “jack?” Keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know when the perfect story is going to slap you across the face. Monitor keywords, phrases and trending word clouds. Track journalists in your field and monitor media outlets. And perhaps the best tip of all – follow Twitter hashtags, since this will often be the very first reporting of any story.
When you hear of a story that’s a good fit for your business, immediately formulate your strategy. This is happening in real time and so you’ve got to act in real time, as in NOW and not tomorrow. Speed is crucial to your success in hijacking the news.
Ask yourself – how are you and / or your business related to the breaking news? What’s your angle or hook? Why should the media care?
When you’ve got your take on what’s happening – or your angle or hook – here are possible moves you can make next:
- Blog about your take on the news
- Tweet it using an established hashtag (this is not the time to start a new hashtag)
- Send a real-time media alert (press release)
- Talk about it in a speech, or make a video and post it online
- Hold a live or a virtual news conference
- Directly contact individual journalists who might be interested
Now if you’re thinking this article is just the tip of what you need to know, you’re right. It’s enough to get you started, but by all means grab the book so you can fill in the blanks.
And think about this: Linking yourself to one news story can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of free publicity, creating a boon for your business and perhaps even making you a mini-celebrity in the process.
With these tips you can get more accomplished and grow your online business faster without spending a fortune. Mind you – some may seem too simple. But years of trial and error have taught me that these methods flat out work at bringing about extraordinary results.
1. Have a Plan – So many new online marketers simply start working on something without knowing where they’re going or what they hope to achieve (other than making money.) I think this is why Internet Marketers tend to hop from one thing to the next and have trouble settling down. But if you simply take the time to write out your plan of action (what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it) in a step-by-step fashion, then you’ll have a guide that you can follow. It will save you so much time and money in the long run, and make things that much easier as well.
2. Narrow Your Niche – One of the biggest mistakes is trying to make everyone your customer. By targeting a niche, it makes it easier for you to find your customers and easier for them to say yes to your offers. One example I like to use is the IM niche itself. If you’re marketing to ALL online marketers, you’ve got a HUGE niche with a lot of competition. But if you focus on teaching chiropractors how to market their businesses online, you’ve now got a tightly focused niche. Rule of thumb: The more focused the niche, the more you can charge for your products and services. Paradoxically your click through and conversion rates will be higher as well; thus you can earn more with fewer customers.
3. Fine Tune Your Slogan – Sure, you’ve picked a great name for your business (I hope) but what about your slogan? This is the sentence or sentence fragment found on your header, and it’s also what you tell people when they ask what you do. It needs to be short, clear and compelling. “Teaching Chiropractors how to optimize their online efforts resulting in a more diversified clientele and enhanced revenue” is NOT a good slogan. “Helping Chiropractors get more clients through simple marketing methods” is much better. It’s clear, it’s direct, the benefit is unmistakable, and it’s how people naturally speak.
4. Reach Out – Find the movers and shakers in your niche and reach out to them. Blog about them, buy their products, get on their mailing lists, and yes, email them. The more people you know in your niche, the better. You can ask them questions, become their affiliate, and eventually ask them to promote your products, but only when you’ve built the relationship.
5. Network at Live Events – sometimes working online isolates us so much, we forget that there are real live PEOPLE out there who want to meet us. That’s why it’s good to go to as many live events as you can afford, not just for the training that might be offered, but for the networking opportunities. Take a stack of your cards and try to meet as many people as possible. Get their cards, or write down their info if they don’t have a card. One note: Do not try to sell anybody on anything at these events. Your job here is to make contacts – setting up JV’s and such comes later when they know, like and trust you.
6. Follow-up. You know all those business cards you collected at the event? Follow up with each one within seven days to continue building the relationship. Follow up by phone or email, or both. Remind them of your conversation and pick up where you left off.
7. Use Both Sides Of Your Business Card – you’re at events, handing them out anyway – why not use BOTH sides of the card? On the second side you can add a testimonial, a link to a free report, and invitation for a free consultation, etc.
8. Crank Up Your Signature – Use your email signature to promote your business. Name and contact info are a great start, but you need more. For example, add a link to your webpage with an offer for an excellent freebie. And use the offer in your sig line on forums, too, where it’s allowed.
9. Billboard Your Vehicle – If appropriate to your business, get inexpensive vinyl signs for your vehicle’s doors and rear to bring in new customers. Or if it’s in your budget, spring for the full coverage auto graphics that are so eye-catching, like this one from adsonwheels.com:
10. Focus On The List – really this should be titled: Become Obsessive About Building Your List With The Highest Quality (Best Targeted) Prospects Possible. Your first priority in list building should be QUALITY, not quantity. That said, don’t miss a chance to add to your list if the prospects are a good fit for your business.
11. Work Your List. Send them great info on a very frequent basis (3 to 5 times per week) so that you become the “go-to expert” in their eyes. Once they know you and trust what you say, you can recommend anything and get a great conversion, so be sure to only recommend the very best products that they will truly benefit from.
12. Create fun promotions around silly holidays. While most every business is trying to leverage major holidays into sales and events, you can stand totally apart from the crowd (and avoid the competition on the big holidays) by focusing on the lesser known holidays. For example, Opposite Day, National Hugging Day and Do a Grouch a Favor Day. First, you need to find the holidays: Either Google something like, “strange holidays” or “weird holidays” or even “crazy holidays.” Or go to one of these pages: http://www.holidayinsights.com/ http://isd.cusd10.madison.k12.il.us/renfro/Crazy_Holidays.htm
Now choose a holiday that’s coming up soon, and think of how you can design a simple, eye-catching promotion around it. It doesn’t have to be anything too creative. For example, on Opposite Day you could send your list a product that they only pay for after they receive it and if they like it. That would certainly stir up some attention, and if you promote it in advance it could also grow your mailing list.
13. Hold contests. You might give away your new digital product or anything else your prospects might like, in exchange for whatever you choose. It could be a new sign up to your mailing list, a suggestion for a new product, the answer to a trivia question (not found on the Internet), etc. If your prize is big enough and awesome enough, ask your readers to forward your contest to others in exchange for extra entries, and it could go viral, providing you with hundreds or even thousands of new prospects. And certainly it will help you with getting your name out there as well.
14. Volunteer Your Services. If you provide a service such as building websites or writing sales copy, volunteer to do it for a non-profit and grab yourself some great publicity in the process.
15. Stage a launch. New product? New website? New service? Create a launch to turn it into a real event that gets people talking.
16. Take a Stand. If you want customers to feel strongly about you and your products, you need to take a strong stand that they can relate to. Most marketers are afraid to take a stand because they’re trying to appeal to everyone. The problem is, when you appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. Guaranteed no matter what your niche might be, there are positions and opinions that you hold that you can share with your readers. Taking a stand will bond you to the readers who agree.
Those who don’t agree will also want to take a position, and in so doing they also bring attention to you. Think Rush Limbaugh – his fans are devoted and his enemies provide him with tons of free publicity. However, you always want to remain 100% professional – do not name call or denigrate others under any circumstance because it will only hurt you if you do.
17. Make Podcasts and Videos. Microphones and video cameras are cheap, and the payback can be huge. By dispensing great info via voice or video, you’re creating Internet ‘ambassadors’ that can bring you new prospects from places you never expected. BONUS: Someone who joins your list after listening to your podcast or watching your video is far more likely to open and read your emails in the future.
18. Build an Alliance With Non-Competitors. Look for non-competitors who service the same niche you do. Make contact and see about promoting each others products to your own lists, thereby expanding both your sales and your list of new customers and prospects.
19. Build an Alliance With Your Competitors. This works especially well in service niches because successful people have more business than they handle. Plus one competitor might specialize in a certain size or type of project that you prefer not to handle and vice versa. When you collaborate with your competitors, you can sometimes surprisingly double your business with very little effort.
20. Add Value. Whether you’re offering an affiliate product, your own product or just giving info away to build your list, add value. In the case of an affiliate offer, give away something that enhances the original product. In the case of your own product, give away the first chapter or two as a sample. And if you’re simply giving something away to build your list or as an added benefit to your readers, give them additional resources where they can get even more great information or the tools they need to implement your strategies.
21. Use Testimonials. Not just testimonials for the specific product you’re promoting, but also testimonials for yourself, your business, and even your methods. For example, you might use the left or right column of all your sales pages and web pages for testimonials from happy customers of all your products. And inside of your sales letters, place testimonials from people who back up what you say, such as experts who’ve done research that corroborate what you’re telling people in your sales message.
22. Ask for Referrals. This is one you want to be consistent on. Ask your readers to pass along your emails (make sure there is a link to your sign-up page) ask followers to retweet your messages, and ask fans to “like” your pages and messages. Next, put a referral program in place that rewards your customers for referring new, paying customers. And lastly, simply make it a policy to consistently ask and remind, in a very friendly, gently manner. Remember to always show your immense appreciation for those customers who do refer new business your way.
23. Do Teleseminars or Webinars. Teleseminars and webinars are excellent ways to connect with your customers and build your lists. You might do Q and A sessions or present a certain topic. Be sure to give lots of information, and save any product pitches for the very end. If you’re doing the webinar for a joint venture partner’s list, be respectful of the opportunity and make your partner look great for having invited you to speak to their people. You’ll build tremendous rapport with your listeners, and if you’ve presented them with great info, they won’t mind a little product pitch at the end.
24. Send Out An Ezine On A Regular Basis. You might have a list and you might send them offers – but do you send them real news and stuff they can use? If not, you might want to start. By sending them great tips they can use, they will be more likely to open and read your future emails, thus increasing your conversion rates on the offers you do send.
25. Take Your Best Shot – A professional photograph of yourself is something you can use everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your websites, article directories, business directories, etc. Build recognition by using the same great photo and it will pay off.
26. Blog. If you don’t have a blog yet, start one. Yes, even if you have a website, you should still have a blog because it allows you better connect with your community and create a personal connection. And btw, Google tends to love blogs, so if you set it up correctly you may also find you get some free traffic from your blog efforts.
27. Use Keywords. If you want to get found and ranked by Google, you need to use the keywords that people are looking for and that you have a chance of getting ranked on. It’s not always an easy balance, but investing in a good keyword tool and tutorial can help.
28. Bookmark It. Social bookmarking is a good way to help others find your best articles and blogposts. Join sites such as del.icio.us, reddit, digg, technorati and stumbleupon and then bookmark your best stuff as well as other people’s best articles and blog posts.
29. Do Press Releases. Do you have some real news to report? By all means do a press release and publish it on the press release websites.
30. Post in Forums. This comes with one caveat: Monitor the time you spend on forums or it can eat up your entire day. Spending 30 minutes a day posting on the best forums in your niche is a great way to increase your visibility. Add a link to your website in your signature and info about your business in your profile. This way when other forum members find your posts helpful, they’ll have somewhere to go to sign up for your list or just get more information about your business.
31. Capitalize on Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are great places to find people in your niche, to network and to build your own list. An entire library can be written about using Social Media in your business, so I’m simply adding this one in as a reminder.
As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to promote your business without spending a fortune. An open mind and a little creativity go a long way towards reaching out towards others, thereby getting the business to come to you.