Category Archives: Home Business

The Top Ways to Build a Powerful Business Presence on Social Media

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.

Interrogative Engagement

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.

YouTube Keywords

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.

Marketing Idea: “News Jacking” For Profits

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.

Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

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:

http://www.adsonwheels.com/images/stories/pizza_hut_vehicle_wrap_graphics_installation.jpg

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.

Marketing Test: You CAN Make Money Generating Leads!

Hey Gang!

In response to numerous requests, I’m now going to post the results of something that I have been testing … and that is the best way to generate leads online that doesn’t cost a lot or require any huge technical skills!

But before I do … I have to make a confession.  Look, I’ve been doing online marketing for a long, long time.  And in the early days it was just crazy.  Everything was new so we just did a lot of things that failed and a lot of things that worked.  BUT over the years as things got more sophisticated and technologically “easier” to work online … many of us drifted away from the BASICS of marketing, depending on technology solutions to do the marketing for us.

Well …as the old saying goes, everything old is new again!  And thanks to a “wake up call” from a “snot nosed kid” who is one of my marketing students (smile) – he definitely “one upped” me by using MY OWN TECHNIQUE AGAINST ME!  And “old school” technique that I stopped using and am KICKING MYSELF because I did!

You see … back in the late 90’s I was asked to contribute to a chapter in Robert Allen’s book “Multiple Streams of Internet Income” where I shared with him my “shocking” technique of generating leads online.   It was well received but over the years … that technique sunk into the sands of time and I forgot about it, until now.

That SECRET lead generation technique?  BUYING ADVERTISING ONLINE!

WHAT?  No SEO?  No Blogging?  No Forum Posting?  No Techy Website Tricks?  NOPE!

Here is the concept:

  • Find advertising venues online that match your niche or product
  • Advertise on those sites, lists, services
  • Direct people back to your system so they get more information
  • Capture their information
  • Sell them & Make Money

It truly is as simple as that.  AND if you can make enough money to cover your advertising costs, or even just a little under you are generating very cheap or even FREE leads, very quickly when compared to trying to do all the technical mumbo jumbo we all seem to do these days to generate leads.

But it can get better … and I covered this in my chapter.  IF you structure the system correctly you could actually not just break even but you could MAKE MONEY while generating leads so that you can not only cover your advertising cost, but make more money to advertise.  And when you do that you get more leads.  More leads means more prospects and more customers and then more money from your business.  The money is in the list and if you can get paid to build a list you can make a fortune.

How does this work.  It’s just a minor twist:

  • Find a front end product (affiliate / CPA offer etc) that resonates with your nice
  • Advertise to get them to your site & capture their information
  • Sell them on the “front end” product
  • Some will buy, some won’t
  • BUT if the offer is good enough you can make money
  • BUT Then you PROMOTE your MAIN product to ALL the leads!

A minor tweak but a major difference.   How we do this is find an affiliate program or a CPA offer that has high conversion and high payout and “lead with that”, make our money and keep all the leads.  Again, the product has to be relevant to your perfect customer.

Without revealing all the details here of my test.  I want to share with you how I MADE $1.42 for every lead I generated for a recent campaign.  THAT is before I even sold them my BACK END PRODUCT!

  • Cost = $75 for a small run advertising test
  • Generated 368 Visitors to my capture page
  • 122 of those visitors “opted in” for more information.
  • The “front end product” was a LOW cost (to them) service that created a $50 commission to me when they purchased.
  • This generated only $250 in sales.  That could be better but it was my fault with a technical glitch that turned off some buyers!
  • That crated a $175 PROFIT up front!  Even before I hit them with my “main offer”
  • SO $175 divided by 122 leads = $1.43 PROFIT per lead created!
  • The “back end” consists of two “tools” that customers in this industry will want to use and need and pay a nice average of $30 a month back to me.
  • So if only say … 5 of them act that would be a residual $150 per month
  • OR a total income in month 1 of approximately $325 on a $75 advertising investment!

So what do you think you should do with that profit?  YOU GOT IT … reinvest and do the same thing over and over again.  SO that you scale it up and in a short period of time you could be creating a HUGE list of people that you can go back to with other products and services!

Look … even if I just made enough money to cover the cost of the advertising and I made not one red cent on the front end, but still got 122 leads and a residual $150 a month from that promotion … it’s STILL making money in the short AND long run!

So can it be done … yes.  How can you do it?  Stay tuned.  After sharing this with some of my colleagues and students, they are asking me to do a webinar or training on how to do this!  I will be offering this for FREE to everyone so … keep checking back and I will post on facebook about this training too!

AND for those of you that are students of mine or part of any of the network marketing or direct sales programs I support – I have some extra goodies for you too!

 

How A Home Business Can Change Your Life For The Better

There’s a lot of talk in the media about how the concept of telecommuting and home based business is changing the field of small business. Today, small businesses may be the corner store, a well-known franchise, a network marketing program housed in someone’s living room. A small home based business has the potential to completely transform your life, creating a freedom that is rarely found in any other type of business model.

Many people don’t realize that working outside the home encompasses a range of hassles and expenses that may take some time to unravel before the full cost can be seen. On the surface, the costs of working for someone else may not seem like much, but when added up, they make up a substantial amount of money.

Continue reading How A Home Business Can Change Your Life For The Better

The Secret Code Of Success

In today’s update, I want to share with you a “review” of one of the most important books that I was recently introduced to and that is called:  The Secret Code Of Success!

And I think I can sum up my review and advice on this book in 4 words:

BUY IT – READ IT!  (Click here to get a great deal on it at Amazon.com)

You see … as an entrepreneur, I can attribute much of my success in business and life with the training and mentoring that I have received from my mentors, trainers and coaches.   And a key part of my success is doing that these mentors told me to do and a BIG part is to CONTINUALLY read and learn from books like Think and Grow Rich (which I read once a year every year) and even from biographies of top leaders in the world of business, technology, politics etc.

Bottom line?  This self education is VITAL to success in any areas of your life.

So … what is so special about this little book?  Well … it literally shocked me and DISTURBED ME.

Continue reading The Secret Code Of Success

Tips, Tricks & Techniques For Home Business Success!

Tips, Tricks & Techniques For Home Business Success!

Home BusinessLook … let’s face it.  Home business time and money management is not the easiest thing to work with. The biggest reason is that you are at home where getting distracted is so easy, and you can often be also wasting money in your business in areas that you don’t even know!

Take it from my own personal experience from running a home business,  that this can indeed make it harder to get things done on time and in full. Many people find they are working longer hours due to being interrupted more … and finding that they may not be making all the money they should be in their home business.

Here are some “unconventional” home business tips!

Here are some tips that may help you put your home business on the fast track to success:

Consider hiring a landscaping company to cut your grass, rake your leaves, and blow your snow. If you’re busy working on your home business you won’t have time to clear the driveway before you rush to a meeting or to help a customer. Having it done for you will save enough time to make you more income than it’s costing you.

Sit down before you spend any money to be sure that what you are spending it on is an actual necessity and not just a luxury. If you find that your business can thrive without it, you will want to avoid that purchase. Put it on the back-burner until your business picks up, then you can get it.

Open an account with your bank that is strictly for your business. If you try to keep all of your personal and business money in one account you will likely use one for the other. It will make it much easier for you to keep track of spending and earning with a separate account.

Plan for the worst! There is really no way to plan for bad things to happen but if  you are ready for them if they come it will make things much easier to deal with. Have a well thought-out contingency plan developed to help you through this time. Figure out a way to keep your business running on minimum money.

You can see why you would want to implement a time and money management plan for your home business!  No one wants to work all day and night for nothing. To make the most of your time and the money you make from your business – it is best to use both of these resources in the best way possible!  So put your time and money management plan in place now!

Stay tuned for more home business related articles and resources soon …