May 222012
 

Guest Post By: Katie Krienitz, COO or The Wealth Building Annex

Being passionate about your company is a vital component of every successful business owner. It may not always be the product or service you’re passionate about. It could be the marketing of that product or service, the systemization of the company, the management of the team, the execution of the sales process or even the development of new ideas that get your juices flowing. Wherever that passion lies, it’s crucial to constantly stay in contact with it..otherwise, it dies. And then, your business becomes WORK.

I was definitely in WORK mode a few weeks ago. Exhausted and burnt out, I sat in a fog during a team meeting as our marketing plan was discussed. One of the ways I experience joy in our business is in the details of our processes…making sure that our company is as systemized as possible. Apparently, my passion for this had served its purpose because there was no longer a need for the majority of my time to be spent on our systems. I have an incredible team that I can hand these systems over to, so my time was now free to market and bring in new members. And because I was not in touch with a passion for marketing, our business was now WORK to me.

Until...a brainstorm.

Chris, Mark and I sat at the table while committee meetings, events and networking ideas were discussed, none of which made me very excited. To be honest, my stomach began churning as I anticipated walking into each of these scenarios. While I love to connect with others and form strategic alliances, networking, committee meetings and events are not my strengths. I slumped in my chair and felt defeated. I saw the looks on their faces – business owners who loved to get involved in the ways that made me cringe. Frustrated and feeling lost, I suddenly blurted, “what other ways, besides joining committees and networking groups, can I get out there and connect with other business people?” Thoughtful stares, but nothing. The conversation resumed and went in different directions. A few minutes later, Mark brought up the Centre Club golf membership and suddenly, I sat up straight.

“Golf! I can golf with people!!!!” A seemingly easy concept had hit me hard. “It makes perfect sense! I’m an athlete. I love sports. I can incorporate my athletics into my marketing!” All the tension and pressure that had been building up over the past few weeks were immediately gone. “And I can pick up tennis again too!” There it was…my passion. Once again living in the same space with me and my business.

I know this sounds ridiculously simple. But as your relationship with your business matures and changes, the smallest of tweaks can have the most powerful effects. I felt horrible for a long time that I didn’t want to be a part of 20 committees and join 15 different networking groups. But with a simple twist of how I can embrace marketing in a way that excites me, I’m not WORKING anymore…I’m playing business builder. And I’d say my 227 yard drive on my first time out on the golf course says I’m playing to win! (yes, it was straight on the fairway).

May 122012
 

We just discussed 3 easy strategies that will increase your online presence; let’s identify a few things to avoid that can save you time and money on you internet marketing.

I think we can all agree that the internet is a non-stop avalanche of new ideas and informational products. So how can you to be expected to know what is crap and what is gold? There is no shortage of self proclaimed guru’s out there marketing all of the “secrets” of Facebook, and Linkedin, and Youtube and on and on.

Here are 7 reasons why your efforts may be falling short and some ideas to improve your results.

1) Your website is an online brochure.

This is a very common error in the market place because the capability of a website has evolved dramatically. We have gone to, I need a website so when someone search for me something comes up; to my website is a lead generation system, company validation platform, sales processor, dynamic face of the company.

Get your site on a CMS like WordPress, or Joomla (Just 2 of many examples, I prefer WordPress myself)

2) There is no “Call to Action”

I have heard people say, “My site has a Contact Us page, if they want our information they know where to find us.This is horrible!

We as a society have become lazy and impatient. When we get to a website we want benefit, instantly. By not capitalizing on why people come to your site and addressing their needs immediately you are losing people faster than it took them to find you

3) No communication

When people interact with you on your site or social media it is your duty to respond. Most of your efforts are probably being made to try to get people to interact with you and when they finally do you don’t even communicate back! Now, I am not referring to having an auto responder send them an email, I am talking about you actually taking a moment and show you give a damn about what they took their time to say.

Making a phone call based on someone’s communication online is almost unheard of. I have asked this in seminars “Who has ever gotten a call from someone online based on your subscribing or purchasing something?” The response is maybe 3-5% of the room, and of those people all of them can tell you exactly who it was that made the call.

Pick up a phone based on an online communication and skyrocket participation and exposure.

4) Shiny object syndrome

Marketing online is great, but when you are doing something new every week, are on every new webinar, and are looking for the magic bullet to explosive viral growth you are wasting an immense amount of time.

Which leads into the next ROI killer.

5) Lack of strategy

Creating a profile on all the social networks, and setting up a website is not a strategy. Making random posts about what you do or about your company of your Facebook page is not a strategy. Telling people about your business in everyone of your post responses is not a strategy. Posting a pitch of your company on other people sites or fan pages is NOT a strategy.

You may laugh, and say “Joe, duh! Why would I do that stuff?” Well the fact is it happens all the time, and for some reason people think it works.

A strategy is exactly that, a strategy. It is a formulated plan of attack. It defines objectives, goals, timelines, milestones, checklists, and a success tracking plan.

6) Tracking

Strategy is great and necessary, but when you don’t ever take the time to look at what is and isn’t working the wheels never stop spinning and they may be taking you down a path of failure faster than you can imagine.

Identify how many people come to your site (daily, weekly, monthly), where are they coming from, how long are they there, what are they clicking on, what percentage of people are subscribing and/or buying, how many are opening your emails, are they clicking on links, what is your sites rank and bounce rate?

All of these things can pretty much be achieved with Google analytics and a CRM like iContact, Constant Contact, or Aweber.

7) Thinking you can do it on your own

There is nobody out there creating massive success online completely by themselves. Just like in any business everyone has a few things they like to do and a few things they are really good at. It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and leverage them.

Outsource, collaborate, barter, do whatever you have to do get away from the stuff you know other people are much better at than you are. You may be great at implementing a strategy, but have no idea how to create something that is going to generate revenue or vice versa.

I love creating strategy, but hate doing the leg work. There are pieces I like, and I can do everything (for the most part) that I need to get done with some exceptions, but I began to pay others to do the bits and pieces I don’t want to be bothered with and life is much easier.

Don’t be another “I tried internet marketing and it didn’t work ,” B.S. story. You can do it, it does require learning new stuff, and the only one who can make that decision is you.

Thanks for stopping by, and please let the audience know if there is some tool you used that you did or didn’t like or even a strategy.

Have a great day!

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!