Apr 252012
 

Internet Marketing StrategyYou have heard about all these businesses successfully marketing online and have probably been assaulted by dozens of social media managers by now, but how can you be confident in their anticipated results?

It all comes down to one word, strategy.

Beware of these social media managers and website designers willing to accept your money without ever addressing the strategy they propose to implement. Creating a posting schedule for every social network out there and creating a pretty website may sound glorious, but is it worth it if is not generating any income?

I am pretty sure you like to make investments that yield an ROI so I am going to guess you said “No Joe, it isn’t worth it.”

So let’s go over 5 imperative segments of a successful strategy.

1) Design Strategy
Any graphic artist or competent website designer can make something pretty, but will it convert visitors to subscribers and sales? It is important when creating the look and feel of your site you take into consideration what actions you want your audience to take on every page of the site. The home page design is the most critical because it is where most of your visitors will land, but remember your objective is to get people to stay interested and check out other pages.

2) Content Strategy
Ok, so you have addressed the design of your site as a whole and you have defined the objectives for all your pages, now it is imperative that your copy leads people through your site the way you want. It is your content which is going to directly influence the time spent on your site. The more time on your site the more opportunity you have to develop confidence and comfort with your visitor.

Content is typically a component drastically overlooked when developing a site, but it is more important than the design in my opinion. Unless you have a site like Jim Carrey, which is freakin’ amazing by the way, your site must be engaging and provide as much value as possible on each and every page.

3) Promotion Strategy
Now you have got a design people will love, and content has been created that will fully engage anyone interested in your topic, but since less than 1% of people come to your site for the first time to make a purchase how do you plan to capture their information?

This is where the rule of 7 comes into play. In order to capture information you must create an irresistible offer. Now this is not a news letter or some PLR crap you downloaded and repackaged, you really want this to be something that exposes your awesome knowledge and credibility. You want people to take advantage of your proposition and make it a point to revisit your site since you exceeded their expectations.

4) Engagement Strategy
If you have completed the first three segments, congratulations! You have already done more than most businesses, but your work is not over yet. That was the easy part, and it was easy since all of those tasks, once they are set up, are relatively stagnant.

There should not be regular massive changes to your design, but engaging with your audience frequently is a must. Just because someone opted in for something you offered does not mean you have free reign to market and sell them on the next greatest thing out there. Engagement on social media, your website, and in your email campaign, offers you the opportunity to establish comfort and reliability in your knowledge so you can earn the permission to offer a product or service to your list.

5) Conversation Strategy
Knowing how to create blogs, status updates, and content updates on your site in a way that spawns conversation is a strategy that you should establish ahead of time so that there is a predetermined schedule of content going up and a scheduled time to respond to interaction. The last thing you want is happy and maybe not so happy people talking about your brand and you not have any response.

If you are willing to take the time to address these 5 areas prior to fully launching your site you will find it much easier to generate and measure the results of your internet marketing efforts. Check out the Biz Resources page for other tools both free and paid that may help you on your online marketing journey.

Have an awesome day!

Jan 012012
 
Business Social Networking Doggies

You must read on to understand why dogs are dressed in dice costumes...

That’s right! I figured out a way to combine two of the most popular online activities into a useful and enlightening post to help grow your business through social networking.

Let’s face it the internet and social media is where it is today partially because of all the porn sites that were some of the first sites making billions online back in the day.

Now let’s get to the topic of how the hell this relates to your business and your social networking.

I think it is pretty hard to argue with the fact that LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and social networking in general have become the technology de joure of the past few years, and will remain that way for the next few as well. Ten or even twelve years ago it was like “Wow! This internet thing is awesome I need to get myself a website.” Then everyone and their mother went and spent whatever it cost to get a website to highlight their business.

Now websites are more important and less expensive than ever, but if someone asks you, “Are you on Facebook?” and you say “No,” the only thing most of us can say to ourselves is “Seriously?”

Yes, for the most part every business that is planning on actually growing into next year is jumping on the social media band wagon, and rightly so. “Bandwagon Marketing,” is what I have termed this wave of businesses utilizing social networking for their marketing efforts. Why? Because everyone and EVEN MY MOTHER is all over it!

Back to the point of the post, how and why you must stop masturbating with your business social networking. Just because you have 50 social networking profiles set up and you got yourself a blog doesn’t mean it is time to sit back and watch the sales roll in or that it is time to alert the world to every product, service, special offer, coffee break, or bowel movement someone in your company has.

The purpose of business social networking isn’t to pleasure yourself, it is to make more money and grow your business.

6 quick tips:

1. Posts and status updates must provide a pleasurable experience of some kind for the audience whether educational, inspirational, or entertaining. “I just had the best cup of coffee ever!” does not cut it!

2. Learn how to optimize your profiles and websites with information your readers can relate to, that is useful, and has a call to action.

3. If you are getting a few hits to your website and either aren’t tracking things accurately or are just not converting anyone this is NOT the time to invest in SEO to get more traffic. Sharpen up the site, do some testing, make some sales, then work on getting more people to the site.

4. Spend your time wisely online. Set up your action plan and stick to it. You are running a business it is time to treat it like one.

5. Don’t post the same thing 15 times 15 different ways throughout the day. If people didn’t take advantage of your first crappy offer posting the same offer phased differently every 15 minutes for the rest of the day isn’t going to be any more effective.

6. Be unique. Just because you jumped on the bandwagon doesn’t mean you can’t throw some fuzzy dice on the rear view to make yourself a more noticeable. Do your best NOT to be like everyone else. Those who stand out make the most money.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay tuned as we are going to be getting into some of the “how to” behind the strategy and highlight some great case studies over the next few weeks.

Please share with our fellow readers the best internet marketing tip you have ever received, and how it helped you grow, monetize, or benefit your business.

Have an awesome day!

Dec 072011
 

There is without a doubt a surplus of professional business networking events to attend as well as an increasing number of trainings to help business owners with social networking going on across the country. But, take a moment to think about your actions… Have you become a professional meeting attender??

(Yes, I am aware attender is not a real word, but attending meetings for a living isn’t a real business.)

After hosting networking events and trainings for the last 5 years it is both exciting and frustrating to see the waves of people come in and out. Everyone is “trying” to grow their business, they go out and attend everything imaginable, which is the exciting part. However, it seems like a crazy high percentage of people never implement anything at all!

Whether you are at a professional networking event or are starting to take part in social networking for business purposes the philosophy behind your objective is universal; connect with and help as many people as possible and then you will make more money. This is not rocket science.

Surely those of you who have been to a live professional networking event have encountered those obnoxious people who walk in with a stack of business cards and their only objective is to get rid of all of them, because “that’s marketing.” Is this really so different than logging onto Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or any of the other hundred social networks you are trying to use for your business and seeing the guy who thinks posting, “Hey, this is what I do! Check me out and let me know if I can help you.” Is it like using pay per click management to get an idea about your market?

How self centered are we to think that anyone cares about who we are or what we do?

Whether live or online the interaction that will turn into a potential business relationship looks like this:

  • Introduction (Meeting and learning about one another, no pitching or looking at people like they have dollar signs shooting out of their head.)
  • Identifying ways to help your new friend accomplish something in order to get them closer to a goal that they have. (Helping other people may very well help us advance our business as well… WOW, who’d a thunk it?!?)
  • Then it is really all about staying on each others radar. Having a meeting every now and then, communicating online, checking in to see how everything is going. (You know, developing a friendship)

(Yes, I am also aware I am being very condescending. My objective is to show you how simple the process can be if you allow it, and also to save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars “trying” to figure it out.)

These 3 basic principals work, and they work at live professional networking events or online when messing with your businesses social networking.

How much time should you spend networking online and in person? Well that really depends on just how friendly and resourceful you really are.

Meetings, trainings, and events are great, but when do you get to the point where you stop “trying” and start “DOING!”

I wish for you the greatest amount of success with both your professional networking efforts and in your business social networking.

Have an awesome day!