Email Marketing For Small Business – What To Do, What To Do

Small Business Email Marketing - What To DoYou have heard for years that “the money is in the list”, that you have to have a list and that you need to send email newsletters or give away free offers…and you ignored (or half-assed) all of that.

Then, thank heavens, you heard that email marketing is dying and you got away from even thinking about, except when that little voice in the back of your head said, “but I read emails still”.

The Dead Email Marketing Myth

Seriously, you can try and get around the fact that you need an email list, you can gnash your teeth and complain about the time and expense, but can you really say that email marketing is dead? How many emails will you get in your inbox today that you requested from someone selling something?

Email marketing is still the most powerful way to connect with people who actually want to hear from you! Stop whining and get your email marketing started today. (Right after you finish reading this post!)

The Dreaded Newsletter

When was the last time you thought to yourself, “damn I hope I get to join five or ten new newsletter lists today?”, said nobody ever! You have to have interesting reasons for someone to join your list. Things that they want to have that you can provide. We give away a number of free marketing courses, marketing tools and other bits that people would actually want to have in exchange for giving us their email address.

You don’t have to a big production either! One of our “best selling” give-ways is the 100 Free Marketing Ideas handout that we use for our speaking events. No additional effort AND we get to add them to our list.

Subject Lines

Today ends your lame subject lines. Stop sending out messages that say Sally’s Newsletter and start using powerful subject lines that will get your emails opened and read.

There are only a couple of rules here. Write them to one person (only one person will be reading them at a time) and make them compelling. Think to yourself, “if I got this message in my email would I stop everything else that I was doing to read it?”

If you need some ideas, check out our post, 100 Great Email Subject Line Examples

Make Sure You Are Selling Something

We are bad at this, producing content at a furious pace without ever getting to the “ask”. Well that all changes this week. We printed out and reviewed every one of our email campaigns and will be including a call to action to buy a book, join another course, check out a blog post or any number of other awesome things that they can do which will result in sales for us.

No one expects something for nothing and few people will offended if you provide great content AND the ability to extend the conversation beyond with a course, book or other item.

What Email Service Should You Use?

If you read this post and just decided to start an email list, we recommend you go with MailChimp. They offer free service up to a thousand or so list members and will do some of what you need to do if you are going to have a strong marketing campaign.

If you are all fired up and know that you are going to fix your current systems or really start rolling, we recommend Infusionsoft (that is what we use). Infusionsoft is a huge database system that will let you do things like email data capture, list fulfillment, ecommerce, events, video marketing and more.

Great Stuff

One day I was all excited telling a client how cool a new marketing strategy was and that I would forward her the article. Well I got a shock when she said she didn’t want to read the article, she just wanted to know what I thought about the article and if it was something she should look into.

Dang. That was so powerful and has driven everything I have produced from there on out. Your list people have signed up because you have some kind of expertise and they are looking to you for direction. Make sure you are giving them great content AND the input from you that they need to be able to use it.

Stop Thinking About Email Marketing and Start DOING Email!

Email marketing strategy sessionIf you took the time to read all the way down here on this post, you are probably aware that you need to do email marketing. You have probably tried a couple of times with various degrees of success and are ready to really DO it this time. Get off your hands and get your email marketing set up right this time  with a small business marketing strategy session TODAY!

Entrepreneur Marketing For Startups – If It Sounds Too Good To Be True

Entrepreneur Marketing - Startup warningEntrepreneur Marketing is one of the most predatory areas of marketing today.

Fleecing “newbies” out of their hard earned money is big business and we are here to tell our entrepreneur friends some hard truths (that might just save them some money and time!)

The 10K A Month Pipe Dream

Internet marketers (the people who are selling the “gold rush” and “get rich quick” systems of success are not stupid. In fact they are some of the smartest people in marketing today. They have spent millions of dollars to find out which exact triggers will cause you to hit buy, hoping that this time they are telling the truth about how much you will make.

One of the best converting triggers is to promise that you will make $10K a month. Studies have shown that this is “the dream”. The six figure income that everyone wants to hit.

While I agree that this is a great goal, the chances that you will make $10,000 a month if you are making very little or nothing right now is slim.

No List, No Site, No Problem

Another biggie in the internet marketing world is to say that you don’t need to have any assets to make money. That you can start with nothing and make millions.

When have you ever heard of this working in real life? When someone sat on the couch, dreaming of owning a franchise and raking in the big bucks. Or an author who has a book in their head and is a best selling author.

If you have no assets, digital or otherwise, it is going to be very hard to build up anyone’s business but the person selling the product. Oftentimes this kind of scheme involves you sharing their content on social or with your few connected friends. This works (for them) because they get hundreds or thousands of people to share their product with a few friends, adding up to a huge campaign for them and little money for you.

People Making The Course

Which brings us to the real reason most internet marketing courses are developed. To make money. That is the only reason. It is not some altruistic need to help “the little guy” or the wanting to “share it”. It is capitalism pure and simple.

They are making something that will make them money.

So are we bashing capitalism, heck no. What we are bashing is the hyperbolic sales messages and the packaging of crap to sell at a profit to people who are desperate and want to believe in miracles.

Circle Jerk

If you belong to any internet marketing lists, you will notice that there is a “launch” every couple of weeks (or days). All of the guys and gals with big lists will send out the latest and greatest amazing course to their list, knowing that their pals will send out their course the next week or next month.

The first thing that annoys me is that they hardly ever even take the time to change the subject line of the emails. This happens for a couple of reasons. Laziness on their part, they just copy and paste to their list and make money. Also, the people launching these products have spent a lot of money to have great copywriters find out what will trigger sales. Oftentimes they leave them intact because they know it will make you open it (and maybe buy).

It Used To Work

One last bit on the downside of many of these programs. Do you really think that someone who is making internet millions is going to “share the secret” with people who will be competing with them and driving up the cost of business?

Say someone knows the secret to getting $.10 clicks on Facebook. If they sell a course to 1,000 people in their niche and those people all start buying ads, the cost per click will go up as competition increases.

Instead they make their money and take all those screen captures of their money making success. Then once that starts to cost more naturally, they package their “system” and sell a course using techniques that used to work, but which are not as effective anymore.

Good Guys

I am sorry to say that being an entrepreneur is hard work. You will have to work hard and the chances of you going from zero to $10K a month in days are non-existant, but building a strong sustainable business is possible.

There are some truly good guys and gals in the marketplace. Here are a few that we know tell the truth and building strong, sustainable businesses helping entrepreneurs succeed.

  • The M&M Monsters are dedicated to working with entrepreneurs to get them started off on the right track. We do marketing strategy sessions that are affordable and effective.
  • good guys
  • Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income is a great guy who has built up an amazing affiliate business and who shares his tips with his podcast listeners.
  • Self Publishing Podcast – Sean and Johnny are an amazing resource if you are thinking of writing and publishing your own book.
  • Perry Marshall – If you are going to be doing Adwords, you need to start with Perry Marshall. He is the master of adwords marketing and has helped us often over the years.
  • Internet Business Mastery is where to start if you are just getting into affiliate marketing. This is a great post that talks about what we did here!
  • Joel Comm is a super successful internet marketer who is a great person to follow as he shares A LOT of great information.

We have spent years working with entrepreneurs and know that you can make it! You can have the life of your dreams and be hugely successful doing work you love. All it takes is time, patience and hard work. We know that you have it in you and all you need is a little push in the right direction!

Get Some Real Entrepreneur Marketing Help!

Entrepreneur Marketing - Start up strategy session bannerWe have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them to get a real startup marketing plan in place and getting their businesses up and running faster than they ever thought possible! There is no secret to being a great entrepreneur, just having solid plan and executing it effectively every day…see how now!

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What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?

What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?Twitter is changing how your profile and stream looks, whether you like it or not. The first thing that jumps to mind when I see it is that it is totally a Facebook clone now which makes me sad. One of the reasons I like Twitter so much is the ease of use and clean layout. This update seems to make things a little more fancy…sigh.

Here are the new look and the past look so you can see the differences:

New Twitter Look and Feel

New Twitter Look and Feel

In the new version, there is a wide-wide graphic at the top and underneath are your tweet stats including number of tweets, photos and videos, following, followers, favorites and more (the “more tab” holds the lists).

There is no background image, nor is there a way to modify the arrangement or add any additional personal information.

Old Twitter Look and Feel

Old Twitter Look and Feel

I liked the old look and feel much better as it had the information about the person right up front and center where I could see it. I actually use that information a lot when deciding whether or not to follow someone. Those bits have moved to the left under the profile picture.

New Twitter Timeline

New Twitter Timeline

According to Twitter, the new timeline will allow you to “pin” an important post to the top and your highest quality tweets (the ones that people like and retweet the most) will be a larger size than the old ones.

It is easier to select which view to see of the profile, right now I see tweets, tweets and replies, but supposedly you will also be able to choose only tweets with photos or videos.

Old Twitter Timeline

The Old Twitter Timeline

The size of pictures included does not seem to have changed. It appears that 800 height by 1200 width is still the aspect ratio that they display. If photos are larger they display the middle area like Facebook does.

New Twitter Mobile

New Twitter Mobile

I pulled both the new and the old on both the Twitter App and the Google Chrome browser and this looks very similar to the old desktop Twitter. One thing to note is that the only part of the wide-wide picture that shows is the middle. We will have to watch where those pictures “cut off” so as not to have a ridiculous header in mobile.

Old Twitter Mobile

twitter-post-mobile-befores

Not much change here but important to note that on both versions it is important to have some of your posts include photos.

Read the whole Twitter update

out top suggest next step resources

Get Some Help! New Media Marketing Strategy Session

New Media Marketing Strategy SessionWhat does this change mean to your Twitter marketing efforts? How have the recent changes at Facebook hurt your views and what should you do next? Is Pinterest right for your business and if so, what should you be “pinning”?

It is almost impossible to keep up, but with a New Media Strategy Session, you will know that your business is on the cutting edge of what is working today on the social networks!

Find out more TODAY! >> Click here

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Dear Facebook Business Pages, We Are Through, It Is Not You It Is Me

Dear Facebook Business Pages - We're ThroughI am both a marketing gal and a small business owner. My time and monetary resources are finite (with time being my most precious commodity) and Facebook, you aren’t there for me on either of these! With that in mind, I am breaking up with you. And it really is not you, it’s just me and the time and money I am willing to spend to make you happy.

Recently a big brand, Eat24, who had 70,000 fans shut their page down because they weren’t able to get their posts seen by anyone. They had a really funny exchange, with Facebook coming back to say that the brand needed to shut up and understand that someone’ friend’s new baby or homemade cupcakes were more important than their pictures of sushi.

Your Friends

One of the things that Facebook said in their reply was that:

There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends – really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space.

Facebook Word SearchI do agree that maybe a friend’s baby IS more important than seeing a page’s posting, but I am not sure why Facebook feels the need to make that decision for me.

Today on my wall, in order, I have one of those stupid “tell us the first three words you see” word search from a lady I know very peripherally, a post from a young friend, a business friend, my father-in-law, my father-in-law (he is a prolific poster!), my brother, ironically a picture of an old business acquaintance’s baby, an updated profile picture of our friend Fred, a cute business quote from someone in my network and a post from an old friend from Florida.

Had I been given the choice, I could have skipped the baby, the old-old friend’s post, one of my father-in-laws posts and for sure the word search (which Facebook feels I should see every one of!) What is conspicuously absent to me is postings by one of my best friends (whose posts I comment on and who I message several times a day), my father and my husband (from both of whom I have let Facebook know I want to see every post). For some reason, Facebook has decided that stray and random strangers should take precedence over my Daddy and sweat pea.

I GET IT, Facebook was started as college sharing site and college high-jinks are fun to some people. For me, college was a chance to hang out with people who thought farting was the height of hilarity and to share a bathroom with thirty other women, several of whom had PMS at any given time. Good times for sure.

Too many “friends”

Facebook Spammy MessagesSince I am in marketing, I do have A LOT of friends (3,972) at last count. In that number are my friend-friends and family, business people I have met over the years and friended, Realtors around the country because I do Realtor Marketing in addition to small business marketing, authors, marketing experts, and then everyone else.

Now, over the years I have thinned the herd and eliminated people from foreign countries known for scams, have unfriended and blocked anyone who sent me a special message starting with “Hi Dear”, and anyone who posts excessive political commentary for either side. The last one is very subjective on my part! While I do feel like they have the right to post whatever they want, I don’t have time to let negativity from either political party enter my business networking time. Make no mistake, for me Facebook IS business networking.

While I do enjoy seeing the limited amount of posts Facebook shows me from my real friends and family, I can see my husband’s stuff on Google Plus, I talk in person with my Denver besty once a week and exchange frequent emails during the week, I talk to my Tampa besty on the phone as often as we can manage and my Daddy doesn’t post all that much anyways.

Friends With Benefits

My Facebook friends have to be friends with benefits to be a part of what I spend my precious time on. Some ways they benefit me include:

  • Posting interesting business stuff that I can share to other networks
  • Posting their own business info so that I can comment and increase our connections
  • Talking about marketing
  • Talking about what is working in their business
  • Sharing interesting or motivational quotes
  • Sharing interesting or motivational stories about people who are succeeding in life or business
  • Posting pictures of rescued dogs (this last one is just because I like great stories about doggies finding forever homes)

I am not that fun in real life. I don’t want to “poke” anyone, join them in a game of “kill the gangsters”, be on their birthday calendar or wish them birthday wishes unless I know-know them, or any other of the other fun, social things that social people like to do. I am sure part of my perplexity at Facebook is just that I am not that interested in doing what some people like to do, again my fault, not Facebook’s.

Profiles For Business

We have been telling our clients lately that growing their Profile is more important than growing their page. Well, it is time to take my own advice and stop trying to make our pages what they once were, a way to connect with new people interested in marketing….sigh.

So the big “kicker” about why you should use a page instead of your profile is the limit of 5,000 friends. Well, I have been on Facebook for quite a while now and have almost 4,000 friends and and 500 followers. I know that I am reaching my limit, but only laziness is keeping me from clearing up another thousand or so people from my friends list who have no real connection to me at this point. I cannot foresee a time when I will need more than 5,000 friends and they can follow me if I reach that limit anyways.

When you have events, it is friends you invite, not people who like your page. When you recommend your page, it is to friends. I just can’t see where focusing on my friends is going to be a bad thing.

Pages You Like

Let’s get back to Facebook thinking they know what I like. I don’t like babies and think they are funny looking and while I applaud my friend efforts to procreate, I would rather see stuff about marketing from pages, stuff that my clients and business friends post and skip the baby pictures. And I HAVE indicated that to Facebook. I have marked many business pages as things I would like to see in my timeline. No go.

To see page posts I have to go…

How To Get To Facebook Pages

…see, all the way down there, #14 on the left? Those are the business pages I have followed. At this point I have to manually go there and click the tiny little link to see what pages have posted. I never actually do that. One of the reasons I don’t is that I am not able to put them into lists like I can on any other social network. I like having lists like Influencers, Marketing Peeps and Email Marketing so I can sort things out and see what everyone is up to. No go.

Business Page Traffic

One of the reasons that we did use Facebook was to drive traffic to our websites. The old page format (which I still have for a while at least) allowed me to put a link to my website front and center (1.) and to have pretty graphics that would prompt people to sign up for our free offers (2.). Those are going away with the new page layout.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that few people ever came to our pages anyways (they tend to like and see wall posts more in theory), BUT at least there was a glimmer of a chance. As you can see, the new design eliminates even that small chance. The arrow is pointing to the tiny little link that you would have to click to see our offers. I would never actually do that so why would I think that anyone else would.

Facebook Old Layout, New Layout

Not to beat a dead horse, I KNOW that this Facebook’s prerogative. They are aggressively trying to make money by aggressively trying to reduce the marketing opportunities that I can get for free. I get that and while I am sad, I will survive, just not by investing my time in Facebook.

See all the changes

Promoting Posts

Did you know that only about 1-2% of the people who have “liked” your page will actually ever see your posts. Let’s consider my Marketing Artfully page. Recent posts have been seen between 5 and 119 views (once). So let’s set 10 as a reasonable estimate of the number of views I can expect to receive on a post. 1,131 Fans with 10 views per post is right in line with what we have heard, about 1% (.88% for you mathy people).

So what makes the difference between a post that gets 11 views, has 6 likes (over 50%), and one share. This post was originally written by a man who is very well respected in the marketing industry:

Facebook Low Views High Shares

And one that gets 119 views, has only 1 like (almost 1%), and one share. This post was also written by a well respected expert.

High Views Low Shares

Who the hell knows why the one with one like and one share beat the crap out of the one had almost 50% likes? Facebook does not share it’s algorithms with us so there is no way that we would construct a plan to figure out how to make that happen again. We would just have to hope that something caught on.

Pay to promote a facebook postBut wait, there is more! I could promote that post which got 119 views to 5,000 to 15,000 more people for the low-low price of just $30. Since it is not a link to my website, I guess my play here would be to gain more likes for my page, which would lead to more views, which would lead eventually to more hits to my website? Okay, let’s go with that!

If Facebook is only showing my posts to 1% of likers and we estimate that 10% of people who actually see a post might click to my site (I made that up, if someone knows an actual number for this, please let me know!) and think a fair return for $30 is 15 clicks ($.50/click) then I would have to have 15,000 likers to get 150 views (1%) to get 15 clicks (10%). This means that ALMOST EVERYONE I have a potential of reaching with that $30 promotion not only has to engage with it, but then has to take the additional step of liking my page for this to make any sense at all to me money wise.

There is NO WAY that is going to happen.

if my math is messed up on this, please let me know!

Am I Deleting All My Pages?

So the company that we started this story with was so glum that they deleted their page with 70,000 likes. That seems ridiculous to me. I am not going to delete any of my pages, I just will not be spending any more time trying to figure out our Facebook Business Pages.

I will post amazing stuff to my profile and I am lucky to have elves that work for me who can post to each of our pages twice a week so that they don’t go fallow. There is still value to having current Facebook pages as that is where many potential clients check to see if you are in business. They can also check my messages and make sure I am not missing anything important.

If you are an entrepreneur doing this yourself shouldn’t take more than an hour or so a week, just make sure when you turn your focus elsewhere you aren’t completely ignoring Facebook.

I am assuming I will have a little bit of a hard time with this. Checking my Facebook bits has become part of my ritual on my phone. Because I am moving my efforts away from Facebook, I will now need to spend more time on productive social networks like Twitter and Google Plus (right now my Pinterest is more personal and less business-y).

But, like they say everything is a habit. If I consciously try to make sure I am hitting the other networks, I will eventually ween myself off!

Small Business Advice

Much of the controversy surround Facebook’s move to a “Pay To Play” model has centered around Brands. For those of you who are not marketing junkies, a brand is Nestle or Oreo or Nike. These companies have deep pockets and lots of man hours available through employees to be able to weather this changeover.

For little guys like me and my clients, reducing time spent on Facebook seems counter-intuitive. Isn’t that were everyone is hanging out? Could be, but they are truly there to like stupid word searches, see pictures of puppies who need rescued and play games.

I think it is time to admit that Facebook is never going to be the small business marketing Mecca it was in the past. That unless you have a huge presence established already, you are going to have to pay to get more “likes” and that those likes are much less valuable than they have been in the past.

It is time to move marketing time and energy over to social networks that are okay supporting business people (Twitter, Pinterest and Google+). Heck, Pinterest actually encourages commerce by allowing price tags.

I Really Tried, For The Love Of God Will You Please Show My Stuff?

If you have gotten down here, you are obviously as marketing obsessed as I am or maybe you are someone who works at Facebook and who has some pull. I understand that you can’t show everyone everything and that you don’t think my normal effort to create compelling content that actually helps people is enough.

BUT TODAY I tried! While I am breaking up with you, I did spend quite a lot of time getting a cute kitten breakup picture. I searched my stock photography site for just the right combination of “I hate your guts and am dumping you” paired with your favorite, cute kittens.

Throw the girl a bone, show this last post that I will be actually trying on to more than 5 people, I beg of you!

Buy The Book!

New media marketing - social media strategies bookNew Media Marketing Strategies: Oh the tangled web we weave!

Looking for some real strategies to improve your social media marketing efforts? This book is full great tips for how to make a real marketing channel from social.

No “gold rush” ideas, just solid information that will help you to grow your social presence (and make your website better too!)

Includes all the top social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

>> Get it on Amazon

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The Best SEO and Social Media Tools

The Best SEO and Social Media ToolsWe find all kinds of great social media tools and SEO analysis sites, but I am not sure we have ever shared them with you!

There are literally thousands of tools that can show you all different aspects of what is working and not working with your internet marketing efforts. We have broken them down into different sites with various functions.

If you have one that I missed, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below. I am happy to find new tools myself and would definitely consider adding it if it really helps!!

Quick Sprout – SEO and Social Shares

four-stars

Quick Sprout - Social Media and SEO ToolsSprout social is a free SEO and Social Media analysis tool. Functionally, you put in your website and up to three competing websites. They return three kinds of data.

Website Analyzer: Speed, SEO warnings including that my descriptions are too long (they all say that, I am fine with it), backlink counter, social media shares (this seems pretty neat but the numbers for Facebook and LinkedIn seem low and the Pinterest number (0) is factually incorrect), top keywords and SEO recommendations.

Social Media Analysis: This is pretty cool! You can see each of your posts, pages and category pages, seeing where you might want to share more socially or find out which of your content has the best social reach.

Competitor Analysis: A general overview of how your SEO and other bits stack up against your competition. Not that helpful BUT you could do the main search for each of your competitors and then compare to see where they have chinks in their armor that you could exploit.

Neatest Feature: You can download your report in PDF or Excel format.

>> Check out Quick Sprout

Buzzsumo – Social Media Sharing

five-stars

Buzzsumo Social Media Monitoring ToolsBuzzsumo allows you to put a keyword or domain in to find out what has been shared the most in the category you have selected. I started with “Marketing” and that was absolutely too broad a term to produce any sort of actionable results.

“Social Media Marketing” returned more targeted results BUT they were all from the top players in the industry (Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, Mashable) but there were 63 pages of results and by going to further down pages I was able to find some new places to get content to share and find out what the social communities where interested in.

It is really interesting to note which are popular on LinkedIn (10 ways to generate media buzz for your startup) and which are Twitter darlings (A social media myth debunked). Depending on your main social site target, you would want to title your posts in very different ways to attract the attention of the various networks.

You can search both by keyword and find the top influencers in that category.

Neatest Feature: There are some really neat filtering tools. Sort by date, type of post and even see “regular people” instead of just the usual suspects.

>> Check out Buzzsumo

Hashtagify.me – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Hashtagify Twitter ToolsThis is one of my all time favorite Twitter tools. It has a similar technology to what google used to have with showing the connections to various keywords, just this time with hashtags.

Functionally you put in a Hashtag and it shows the most related hashtags. For “marketing” we got leadership, branding, advertising, SEO, socialmedia, social, sales, and business. Clicking socialmedia I got SM, SMM, infographic, facebook, seo, twitter. It is a really great way to find out which hashtags are related!

The top influencers section shows the top 6 people ranking for the hashtag and has a great little flyover that shows how many followers each has. This is great for finding out who to follow on Twitter and to have rock solid data for who to use in your targeted Twitter paid marketing efforts.

>> Check out Hashtagify.me

Ritetag – Twitter Tool

Three Stars

Rite Tag - Social Media ToolsTo log in you use the open auth login through Twitter. They then rate each of your posts as to how likely they are to be shared.

X – if you don’t have a hashtag. This is why they got three stars. If you have no hashtags it is always an X, even if you are mentioning someone with authority. I get it, it is important to have hashtags but not helping with any data if there is no hashtag it doesn’t actually mean that “this tweet has no chance of being discovered”.

! – are infrequent or overused tags. The nice thing is they give you a drop down recommendation of other related hashtags that would be better to use next time. I used “podcasting” and they recommended that I use “podcast” instead.

✓ – is the best one! This is a post that is using a good hashtag that is not overused or under represented.

>> Check out Rite Tag

Click To Tweet – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Click to tweet social media toolsAlright, I gave Click To Tweet a five star BEFORE I looked around and found out that they have a wordpress plugin. Now I am sort of wishing that I had a six star graphic.

Functionally what happens is that you pick a phrase that you want people to tweet out and the super snazzy plugin builds the tweet automatically. You can include hashtags and encourage the sharing of your content.

If your content is good and you have a good community that likes to share your stuff you can get some good reach by using Click To Tweet. This is the code that you use to insert your tweet into the “text” tab of your wordpress site.

[Tweet “AWESOME READING :: The Best SEO and Social Media Tools #SEO #SMM”]

BEST “do one thing” plugin or website ever!

>> Check out Click To Tweet

Retweet Lab – Twitter Tool

four-stars

retweet lab - social media and twitter toolsRetweet Lab, provided by Hubspot, has A LOT of data to help analyze your tweets to see what is working and what is not. You can see:

  • Which day of the week is best
  • Which hour of the day is best
  • Tweet length
  • Reading grade level
  • Sentiment
  • Capitalization percentage (how many words have capital letters)
  • Most retweetable words
  • Hashtags
  • Quotations
  • Links
  • Calls to action (asking for “please retweet” “please RT” or “retweet if”)
  • Questions

Neatest Feature: There is a graph that shows which of your words are retweeted the most. Mine are #1, conversions, wrong, #smallbiz, resource, and practices. This is powerful data to find out how to generate even more retweets to your content!

>> Check out Retweet Lab

Trending Sites

There is a value to know what is trending now on search and the social sites. You may be able to jump into something that is happening right now. That said, avoid adding to conversations about disasters, deaths or other bad things. More so, think about when the lights when out for the Superbowl a couple of years ago and Oreo jumped into the conversation.

  • Google Trends – This is great for finding out what is trending across the Google-verse.
  • Trendsmap – Pretty cool tool for seeing what is trending on Twitter geographically.
  • Twitter.com – You can modify your Twitter trends a bit changing your location to get more geographically targeted trends. Simply click “change” on the left hand side box.
  • Google Plus Explore – A really good look into what hashtags are trending on Google+.
  • Popular on Pinterest – See the movers and shakers among the Pinterest pins.

Social Sharing Sites

  • Bufferapp.com – We cannot recommend any site more highly for sharing to your social networks. There is a free version but we do pay the $10 per month to have 12 accounts.
  • Hootsuite – When we have to have date control of our posts we use Hootsuite.
  • Social Oomph – Schedule tweets and other social posts.

MISC Sites We Like For Data Analysis

  • Uber Suggest – Super tool for figuring out related keywords. Could possibly use Google search for this but they do a nice job of grouping them together by category.
  • Google+ Ripples – Great for seeing how content is shared across Google+.
  • Pinterest Web Analytics – We haven’t used this one yet (because we are using Pinterest as personal accounts) but looks like it could have some amazing data.
  • Social Searcher – Kind of a fun search engine that returns results from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ side by side.

New Media Marketing

New media marketing ebook

New Media Marketing Strategies: Oh The Tangled Web We Weave

There is a lot of information out there about how to set up your social and websites, but very little about how to actually work them to increase your brand reach and sales funnel. This book is an in-depth guide on how to dominate your niche.

Throughout we cover the background for each topic so you know what worked before and what you should avoid now, tips for using the sites including universal best practices and in-depth marketing strategies.

get-it-now-amazon

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Free Marketing Training Courses and Tools

Fre Marketing Training and ToolsAre you looking for amazing free marketing ideas? We have the goods for you right here! Get help with your social media, newsletters, small business marketing, realtor marketing and more.

These are not just thrown together classes or some kind of come on to buy something else, every one of them is chock full of great content that will help you rock your marketing!

These aren’t just basic, beginner information that you can find on any website or YouTube…it is advanced strategies and tactics that we use in our marketing business today.

Who are these classes for?

  • Small business owners
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Realtors
  • Professional services
  • Speakers, coaches and trainers
  • Marketing pros
  • Social media marketing peeps

Free Social Media Marketing Course

Free Social Media Marketing CourseWe have put together a course that will help you to understand HOW social works, WHY it is so important to your business and WHAT you should do to make the most of your time.

Find out how to use strategy to find and target the right connections socially, how and what to post to the different sites sites and how to get them off of social and onto your email list!

>> Get the Free Social Media Marketing Course

 

Amazing Email Newsletters

Free Course Amazing Email Newsletters That Get ResultsWith all the clutter that hits the average inbox daily, you already KNOW that you’ve got to have something glorious that stands out from the crowd! Cutting through the noise and getting your email newsletters not only seen – but also responded to – is not only important, it’s currently one of the best tools you can use today to turn those warm leads into closed sales. Our AMAZING Email Newsletter Course will ensure that your email newsletters get opened – and GET RESULTS!

>> Get the Free Amazing Email Newsletters Course

 

The Best Darn Free Email Marketing Course EVER!

best email marketing course everIf you are using email marketing to promote your business, you need to be sure that you are maximizing your efforts. This course walks you through all the of the aspects of email markeitng including getting started, developing your content, writing a sales page, setting up your campaign, getting the bugs out, free offers to build your list, and finally our top email marketing tips. This is all of our best email marketing strategies in easy bite sized bites!

>> Get the Best Darn Free Email Marketing Course EVER!

 

100 Free Marketing Ideas

This is the fourth annual 100 Free Marketing Ideas sheet, with a twist. When we took a look at what had changed over the last couple of years we realized that we needed to update the ideas from the ground up!

This amazing resource contains everything from internet marketing to social media to offine marketing ideas. Make sure you pick just a few and get going today!

>> Download the 100 Free Marketing Ideas

 

The Twitter Cheat Sheet

Because we use Twitter so often (and effectively), we took a bunch of time to figure out some things about which tweets catch the eye and how to attract more attention to our tweets. Some of them were obvious (have great info) and some more obscure, like that people tend to respond more when using the word “you” because they are alone when they read tweets. We keep this cheat sheet right beside us on our desk when we are tweeting so that we can post the most powerful messages possible.

>> download the Twitter Cheats Sheet

 

The Twitter Tweet Generator

Up until recently I used the TweetAdder tweet generator tool to make a variety of tweets that I could use to marketing on Twitter. With the recent changes, they deleted that function, but luckily I have a geeky husband who made me this AMAZING Tweet Generator!

Please use it responsibly…:)

>> Use the Twitter Tweet Generator to create a list of every combination of tweets based off of user entered text.

We are pleased to present these free marketing training courses and tools to help you with your small biz marketing efforts…
if you got some great ideas, please let us know!

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Goal Setting: Quit Trying To Find A Big Why and Start Working On Your Big What!

Goal Setting: Quit Trying To Find A Big Why and Start Working On Your Big What!I had epiphany this week! I have spent years at different events and trainings hearing people ask me to come up with a Big “Why”. Come to find out what I really needed was a Big WHAT!

A Big Why

Choosing a “Big Why” is supposed to be motivating. In theory, you pick something like a new car or your kids or some other carrot to hang out in front of yourself that will motivate you to do better work.

Well, I am not motivated by increasing my income. I would like to of course, but when distractions come up, just thinking that I could make more money by ignoring them does not give me any special motivation to stay on track.

Additionally, while I love my kids, just thinking of them is not a great predictor that I will be doing what is the highest and best use of my time for my business at any given moment.

There are just way too many interesting things to read about and learn. There are emails and Facebooks and problems that come up during the week that need to be addressed. Having a Big Why never put a real dent in any of this. I just worked longer and harder on the hampster wheel, trying to get everything done.

A Big What

Like most entrepreneurs, I have spent years having lots on my plates, juggling them and trying to keep them in the air all at the same time. I have tried and succeed at a lot, but spent most of my time feeling like whatever I was working on at any given moment was probably not what I should be doing right then.

Until this January when, wah wah, I found my Big What! This January I decided to write an Ebook a week for a year with my Marketing and Media Monsters partner, Rebekah Welch.

The best thing about having a Big What is the clarity it gives your life. Should we keep doing every other week networking sessions? Nope, not helping to write a book a week. Should we move that to bi-monthly because we can sell some books at them…sure!

Just that decision freed up at least 15 hours a month that can be used for writing and publishing books! YAY!

So does that mean that all we are doing is writing books? Heck no! Just all the things that are put on a priority list have to be a benefit to that…here is what my week looks like with that as my top priority:

Monday – write main content of the book of the week and send to Rebekah to proof and add content. This schedule just got finalized, so this week we have a consult on Monday and a talky-talk thing after the kids get home. My assistant now knows that Mondays are for book writing exclusively. SOOO not the end of the world, but it does mean I have to write on Sunday instead of being able to keep on schedule.

Tuesday – social media and blogging, obsessing over book sales from the weekend and some research into paid marketing opportunities. Meet with Rebekah to go over the content and outline for the following week’s book.

Wednesday – work on client work, make graphics for this week’s book and promote last week’s book. There are very few writers who have the luxury of working on their books full time and I am in that category right now. Also, because we write about marketing, it is good to keep working on client work so I stay up on what is going on in the marketing world by helping them.

Thursday – publish last week’s book, more client work, more blogging to keep our numbers strong and think about next week’s content.

Friday – send Non Fiction Marketing Newsletter (new), client work and more blogging. Scheduling the following week and doing some research to see if there are any specific book titles we should be considering writing.

Weekends - should be off but since we are effectively a startup right now, blogging and writing next week’s book.

Pooh Bear and Why This Works

thinking pooh bearMost of how I live my life has been formed by reading Pooh during my childhood. This is a great quote to describe my life before a Big Why….

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

My problem with work has never been a lack of effort. My problem with work centered exclusively on knowing what the highest and best use of my time was at any given moment. By having our big Book Writing Why, I can effectively ignore anything that is not book writing or sales related. I don’t care how cool your WordPress plugin is, I need to get this blog post done so I can keep my stats up and sell books in the sidebar.

Want to have a one-on-one with me? Unless you are a book seller or publisher, hanging out with you is a luxury that I cannot afford at this time. Now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing some really neat consults with coaching clients, but just “getting together for coffee” or “hanging with the girls” is over for a while at least.

Note: if your Big What is to meet 1,000 new people this year then one-on-ones and fun lunches ARE on the table for you…it is all about knowing what matters to you!

Some Other Big Whats

I just spent the other day talking to a gal who is going to be putting 500 people a month into her database. WHOO WHOO..that is a big what. Because she knows that is important, she can safely assume that these activities would be beneficial:

  • Blogging (to get more traffic for her email signup form)
  • Making her newsletter AMAZING
  • Attending events where she can meet more people who might like her newsletter
  • Developing white papers and courses to use as free give-aways
  • Going to industry events where she can meet more people who might like her

Now, all those sound nice, but how does she make money?

  • First off, she does consults so some of the people on that list will want to hire her
  • Secondly, when she has a big list people will want her to promote their products
  • Lastly there is a huge swell of momentum that comes with having a Big Why, there are definitely things that are going to happen which we can’t even conceive of right now!

Having Faith

Picking a Big Why feels like jumping off of a cliff. We don’t know if we will make more than a couple of bucks from our books, but we think we can.

Taking time away from “real work” feels like a luxury we can’t afford right now. But, based on just the things we have been able to eliminate, that time is just being used more specifically now.

Plus we have already gotten some amazing opportunities that would not have come to pass without having published our books!

As entrepreneurs, it can sometimes feel like everything you do is a failure. You have tried a million things half way and nothing has worked. If you are this far down and still reading, PLEASE, you are looking for a goal, a plan or a reason for being. Pick a Big What and start today!

Additional Cool Big Whats We Have Heard About

Dietz Team - 90 Listings In 90 Days90 Listings in 90 Days – Clearwater Realtor, Coach and Speaker, John Dietz

The Dietz Team, headed by leader John Dietz, has set a goal for taking 90 real estate listings in 90 days. In his market agents are grateful for getting a couple of listings a month so that is an AWESOME Big Why. The cool thing is his team knows every second of every day what they should be doing…getting more listings!

Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile

Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile I have been fascinated with customer demographics for years. The idea that there are large groups of people out there who would want to buy what we are selling was very tempting to consider. Just find the sweet spot in the marketplace and advertise to them…what could go wrong.

Well, there isn’t one person on the planet who will match your entire customer demographics profile for one. There is an old saying, “if you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one”. Especially these days when buyers are exposed to so much media, trying to craft a sales message that will appeal to a single woman in college AND a stay at home mom AND a boomerage kid home again (all could be a 25 year old woman) is impossible. There is not enough sales copy in the world to do that!

Customer Demographics and The Perfect Customer Profile At 40,000 Feet

Customer Demographics are the generalized character traits of the people who you sell to and who you would want to become your customers in the future. They are broad and somewhat interesting to know about for certain kinds of marketing.

The Perfect Customer Profile is almost the exact opposite of that. It is picking (developing a profile) for one single person that you will be selling to and developing a sales funnel and copy that centers around that person.

Customer Demographics

In marketing, Customer Demographics are specific characteristics and shared traits of a group of people that can be used to help target marketing materials. Wikipedia says, “Demographics are the quantifiable statistics of a given population.”

Some useful Customer Demographics include things like:

  • sex
  • age
  • income
  • occupation
  • race
  • marital status
  • kids
  • car
  • country, state, city
  • political party

All of these categories share some common traits that you can use to target marketing campaigns. Baby Boomers have a world view that is formed by the times that they grew up in. Parent have many different buying habits than young hipsters.

How Can You Find Your Customer Demographics?

There are many places that you can reverse engineer your customer demographics (these are the a few I find helpful, almost any site you have a presence on can increase your customer demographics knowledge!)

Facebook

Customer Demographics From Facebook

On your business page, click “insights” and then the people tab. Some customer demographics I can discern from this data are:

  • 58% Women, all Facebook is 46% female so I have a higher than average number of women following me
  • 41% Men, all Facebook is 54% male so I have a significantly fewer number of men on average
  • My highest age group is 45-54, with 35-44 in second and 55-64 in third
  • The United States is my highest country and Denver is my highest city (113), followed by Tampa (52) – this makes sense as I live in Denver now and before that lived in Tampa for 17 years

So how does this help for advertising. For this one, lets just look at geography. Say we were running a Google Adwords ad targeted to a local area. By clicking “see more” I get a longer list of cities that are “Tara friendly”. Using this data, I could set up my “colorado focused” ad to run in Denver, Westminster, Lakewood, Arvada, Boulder, Littleton, Colorado Springs. Centennial, Golden, Longmont, Fort Collins, Aurora, and Broomfield.

Now, I could have probably guessed that, but why guess. Some notable areas missing in this list are Thornton, Lafayette, and the mountain towns. Based on this data, I would be wasting marketing dollars to include them (which I would have because I find them charming!)

Twitter

Customer Demographics Twitter

You find your analytics for Twitter in https://ads.twitter.com > analytics > followers.

So interesting things in Twitter:

  • 78% men and 22% women – that seems a little shocking as it flys in the face of every other customer demographics I chart for me, but it is a fact none the less
  • The United States is my top country, California is my top state and Denver is my top city – whoa, where did California come from…interesting
  • The most unique interests my Twitter peeps have are leadership, alternative care, SEO, real estate, divorce support – I get the SEO and real estate and leadership is hot in business now, but divorce support? that might be our professional services people?

I use this data to market on Twitter (I especially like the areas of “your followers also follow”) to target ads to. But also knowing that my audience on Twitter is so weighted heavily male makes how I present my ads very different than if I was marketing to my usual smart women demographic.

Alexa

Alexa Customer Demographics

Once your website gets some traffic, you can usually find a listing for it in Alexa.com.

Some key insights here include:

  • MarketingArtfully.com is super off-the-charts for women, being well above the average (the green shows a positive number)
  • My peeps are mostly college or graduate school level
  • They visit from work (this is VERY plain as my traffic craters every weekend!)
  • They are from the United States and India, with a dash of England represented (LOVE those Brits!)

The biggest thing I got from this is that even though EVERYONE in the world tells you to talk down to your readers, writing like they have no higher than a fifth grade education, my peeps are SMART! And by the amount of traffic I get to my website, they are not offended that I write as though they have a brain in their heads!

Google Analytics

Customer Demographics - Google Analytics

To get this data, you need to have a website and analytics installed. The age and gender come from Audience, interests are Audience > interests > overview

Some key insights are:

  • 25-34 is my highest age group according to this data, with 35-44 coming in second and 45-54 third
  • 53% of my readers are women and 46% are men
  • They are news junkies, TV and Movie Lovers, and pretty darn techy
  • They like online communities, social networks and news and weather
  • They are interested in real estate, phones and home improvement

This is interesting because of how high the real estate numbers are. Over 29.04% of my readers are interested in real estate in some fashion. That does not mean they are all Realtors, but it does show a huge bias to that kind of thing.

Analyzing The Data

So in general, looking across all of these data, I can safely predict that I should be marketing to:

1. A woman
2. Who is college educated
3. Who works
4. Is mid-thirties or forties
5. Likes marketing

While that is helpful, writing sales copy for this demographic would be terribly hard which is why we recommend doing this AND…

The Perfect Customer Profile

I have known this about my customers for a while, but was frustrated about how to use it to actually sell stuff. We would write sales copy that tried to appeal to a business woman who liked marketing and worked. Come to find out all working ladies do not like marketing, they just know it is a necessary evil. Also, the professional services people like doctors, lawyers and accountants, were not interested when I lumped them into the real estate agents or the marketing people.

So, we have spent four years and hundreds of hours figuring out how to write a perfect customer profile! Wah wah!

perfect-customer-profile-ebook-coverWhat this is a book and worksheet that we use every time we are launching a new product, be it a book, course, website or any other thing that would need marketing.

Functionally what you do is take the customer demographics that you DO know about your perfect customer and make them a real person. So say I was trying to sell a real estate book…I would take the data I know about from all the different sites and say that our Perfect Customer for a real estate book would be:

A woman, so I will name her Mary. Now I am not trying to sell to everyone, I am just trying to figure out how to help “Mary” grow her business and improve her life. Next I will put that Mary is 40, a real estate agent and that her kids are in middle or high school. Old enough that they are not babies anymore and she can focus on her career more.

Also, she drive a Lexus, lives in an upper middle class suburb and likes to have lunch with the girls at least once a week and dinner out with her husband every Friday. She is 40-ish so she likes some new music and mostly hits from the 8o’s and 90′s. She loves her kids and admires Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin. She thinks the term “soccer mom” is derogatory and is not ready to just be put out to pasture.

Because we “know” Mary and that she is serious about her career, we wrote in the sales copy for the book…

“who is this for? Top real estate agents who love to hone their craft and who are looking to get a couple nuggets they can use today”.

This speaks directly to Mary. She feels like a top agent and CAN use some additional tips to take herself to the next level!

We also used intriguing “come ons” to make her think a bit about why she would want buy…

“Why all that “about us” and brokerage information is hurting your credibility”

Because we spent so much time fleshing out Mary and her life, writing sales copy that would convert her to book buyer was really easy.

Buy The Book

Perfect customer profile - targeting your perfect customers who will buy and buyAs you can tell, I am a pretty rabid fan of working with customer demographics and how they can help with product development, sales copy and content.

With all that in mind, we wrote a book detailing the “magic system” we had developed for figuring out EXACTLY who we were selling our products or services. If you have ever read sales copy and thought, “dang that sounds just like me”, someone probably used a system like this to figure out what would make you buy and buy!

The uber cool thing is that it is not a high price, two week long course! In fact it is a $2.99 ebook that will walk you right through the whole process so you can figure out your perfect customer yourself!

If you got anything out of this post at all, you will LOVE the Sales and Marketing Success Book that details how to do a Perfect Customer ProfileTMget it today!

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Social Media Setup Package For Real Estate Marketing and Realtors

While there is no “Realtor Marketing” there are things that Realtors have to be aware of when setting up their real estate social media and websites. Our President is a former Realtor and currently licensed active in the state of Florida. She KNOWS the special ins and outs to watch for when setting up your social sites.

Your buyers or sellers are looking for you! CAN THEY FIND YOU?

Social Media Setup For RealtorsThere’s no question that in today’s competitive Real Estate market, you simply are not in business until your customer can locate you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or even Google+!

Right now, more than 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook EVERY MONTH! Every week, over a billion tweets are posted on Twitter. Social media and instant communication are here to stay. GONE are the days of sitting by the phone waiting for potential clients to call. No matter how many signs you post or business cards you give away, you simply cannot compete with the voice of Social Media. And aren’t you excited? The internet has given you a platform to establish credibility, build relationships, and demonstrate your expertise!

We understand! Creating new profiles and business pages on all the relevant platforms can be confusing and time consuming, and may not even reach the people who want what you have. You need someone who not only understands marketing and social media, but also understands the business of Real Estate to lead you out of the chaos and into the streams of your potential clients.

That’s where we can help. Our Social Media Set-up Services for Real Estate are designed to take the stress out of figuring out the where, when and how, giving you a powerful voice and helping you target your perfect customer every time!

The right social media presence can put your products and services exactly where they need to be – in front of the eyes of your perfect customers! Our team of marketing experts helps you choose the right sites for your business. We take care of setting up custom, professional, fully optimized profiles and pages on your selected sites. We create custom graphics to keep your brand message consistent and exciting. We even place industry relevant, optimized content on your pages according to your desired customers user preferences. Then we work with you to develop your launch strategy, guaranteeing your social media success.

Our all-inclusive, professionally designed and implemented Social Media Set-up Services are very competitively priced at just $750 and include:

  • Half hour marketing consultation to make sure the setup goals are YOUR goals
  • Custom graphics (profile, background, cover & header images, etc.)
  • Fully Optimized Profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest*
  • Professionally designed Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn** Business/Company Pages
  • SEO’d (Search Engine Optimized) Short and Long Descriptions and Graphics for each
  • Customized Launch Strategy
  • 2 Weeks of Pre-Scheduled, Industry relevant posts to fortify your presence

we never spam and a real human will call you to find out more about what you need. we don’t sell our list and work one-on-one with all of our clients!

BONUS OFFERING (Limited Time Only): Act now and you can choose to have your Social Launch announced to our massive existing network of 500,000 followers globally! Additional fees apply.

*Pinterest includes setting up your account and creating 5 industry specific boards with 5 posts each.
**You MUST have an email at your own company’s domain (yourname@yourowncompanyswebsite.com) to set up a LinkedIn Company Page. Century21, Keller Williams, etc will not work for LinkedIn Company Pages. If you need help setting up a professional business entity or website – we do that too!

Need more? For a limited time only get your Blog AND Social Media Set-Up for the low, low price of just $1250 (saves $250) ! Call Today (727) 415-9165

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Social Media Setup Package: Get All Your Social Media Sites Setup or Updated All At Once

Our social media setup package is the best in the business, hands down. We have helped hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs get their social media empire up and running and can help you too.

Your customers are looking for you! CAN THEY FIND YOU?

Social Media Setup For Small BusinessThere’s no question that in today’s noisy marketing climate, you simply are not truly in business unless you can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or even Google+! Creating new profiles and business pages on all the relevant platforms can be confusing and time consuming, and may not even reach the people who want what you have.

That’s where we come in. Our Social Media Set-up Services are designed to take the stress out of figuring out the where, when and how, giving you a powerful voice and helping you target your perfect customer every time!

The right social media presence can put your products and services exactly where they need to be – in front of the eyes of your perfect customers! Our team of marketing experts helps you choose the right sites for your business. We take care of setting up custom, professional, fully optimized profiles and pages on your selected sites. We create custom graphics to keep your brand message consistent and exciting. We even place industry relevant, optimized content on your pages according to your desired customers user preferences. Then we work with you to develop your launch strategy, guaranteeing your social media success.

Our all-inclusive, professionally designed and implemented Social Media Set-up Services are very competitively priced at just $750 and include:

  • Half hour marketing consultation to make sure the setup goals are YOUR goals
  • Custom graphics (profile, background, cover & header images, etc.)
  • Fully Optimized Profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest*
  • Professionally designed Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn** Business Pages
  • SEO’d (Search Engine Optimized) Short and Long Descriptions and Graphics for each
  • Customized Launch Strategy
  • 2 Weeks of Pre-Scheduled, Industry relevant posts to fortify your presence

Order the Social Media setup

BONUS OFFERING (Limited Time Only): Act now and you can choose to have your Social Launch announced to our massive existing network of 500,000 followers globally! Additional fees apply.

Need more? For a limited time only get your Blog AND Social Media Set-Up for the low, low price of just $1250 (saves $250)! Learn more, Call today! (727) 425-9165

*Pinterest includes setting up your account and creating 5 industry specific boards with 5 posts each.
**You MUST have an email at your company’s domain (yourname@yourcompayswebsite.com) to set up a LinkedIn Business Page. If you need help setting up a professional website – we do that too!

Social Media For Realtors

Looking for Realtor Specific Social Media?

Check out our Realtor Social Media setup package!

Social Media Setup Package For Small Biz

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Time Management Tips – Turning Down “Great” Opportunities

Time Management Tips - Turning Down Great OpportuntiesOver at M&M Monsters, the marketing site where I collaborate with my bestie, we have spent the last year defining our business goals and product offerings. We have done a lot of soul searching and have picked three main areas to focus on; writing marketing books, speaking at events and consulting with companies about their marketing strategy.

Much in the manner of “ask and you shall receive”, as soon as we hit publish on our first real book on Amazon (we had done ebooks and giveaways prior to this) we got a really exciting offer. A BOOK DEAL from a genuine publisher! The cool thing was that it was not a book we would write spontaneously ourselves!

It had some seriously big upsides for us. The status of having a real book in bookstores, having book-books to hand out, the opportunity to work with a publisher and see the process behind the scenes and there was pay involved! So we have spent a couple of weeks submitting outlines, negotiating contracts, etc. and (as you can probably guess by the title of this post) turning them down!

For me, it was totally a time management and benefits analysis problem, with a little bit of woo-woo thrown in…as in the universe kept sending me messages that getting derailed off of our primary goals could be a bad thing. Here are my top reasons why a great opportunity should sometimes be turned down!

1. Does it fit with your current business goals?

Our goal this year is to write a non-fiction ebook a week and sell them on Amazon. We may branch out and start selling on other sites AFTER the year is up, but dividing our efforts and energies at this stage of the game seems silly. We are on published book number six this week and have the outline for book seven which will go out next week.

The first book was a nightmare of formatting and figuring out how to produce actual words on a page that Amazon would accept. But we sold some and continue to sell some of that one each week!

We now have a great process for publishing and our books are getting better and better each week. We have found a writing style that combines both of our voices and the review and editing is down pat at this point (want to follow along on our book writing journey?)

So YES! A book deal at this point seemed like a great opportunity! It did fit into our current business goals.

2. Does it fit with your current product offerings?

I have always called things outside the scope of what we do a “one off” from the manufacturing world. A one off is something that is outside the scope of what your usual product line is. For our marketing company, doing a ecommerce site like Amazon would be a one off. We don’t deal with shopping carts, SSL certificates or the like when we build a marketing blog for our clients so we would have to learn all about those technologies to do a good job.

The thing is, you cannot charge anyone else for your inexperience. If we were to take that job and it took us twice as long because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing, we could still only charge the customer the going rate. It is not their fault that this isn’t our expertise. (want more? read all about one-offs here)

So our book deal would definitely be a one-off. They were looking for a technical manual with a short paragraph about what to do and then bullet points about the steps to do it. Hmmmmm. As you can tell 600 words into a simple blog post, I am more writery. I like to explain the strategy and reasons why. We went back and forth a bunch with an outline, us adding juicy bits that would help explain the marketing strategy and them cutting them back out and saying that we needed more screen captures and bullet points.

3. Is it a zebra?

There is a great quote that I heard somewhere, “if you hear hoofbeats don’t think zebra it is probably a horse”. Now I know we have bastardized this a bit, but we are constantly looking for zebras in our business. Things that could cause problems down the line if we take them as opportunities.

Years ago we got a marketing client who was “special”. Early on in the process we found that she was unable to grasp even the simplest concepts about online marketing or email. She did not value them because she didn’t use them herself and so could not understand why anyone else would either. We had a six month contract and after six months of almost nightly emails criticizing every aspect of the work we did, we were finally able to let her go back into the wild. Whew.

Now, we sorta, kinda knew from our initial meetings that she would be a little “special”. The signs were there, we just chose to ignore them as it was a time when we needed to get another client on board.

The one thing this zebra and other “special” clients has shown me is that if they say they have worked with three or more marketing people before us and they have all been worthless A-Holes, the problem is probably not with the marketing people. Early in my career I thought I could fix everything and do everything better than anyone else on the planet. So when someone came to me and said that their previous marketing company was lame, I figured I could do better! Not so much…if the client values those marketing people so little they probably won’t get us copy on time, will balk at every idea we give them and will probably require round after round of graphic concepts. Being a little older and a whole lot wiser now, I tend to run from these “opportunities”.

This book writing opportunity felt a little bit like the Social Media Examiner zebra I had already seen.

If you haven’t had a chance to read that post yet, basically I applied to write for the Social Media Examiner and they accepted me! YAY! Then they proceeded to turn down about 20 titles I suggested that I would be good at writing about…BOO. Then they finally picked one! YAY! Then we commenced a month long back and forth of me submitting my writing and them rejecting it because it had words and strategy…are you seeing what I am seeing? I have seen this zebra before and it turned out that we parted ways with me doing a lot of work and getting no glory from it! This book “opportunity” was feeling like that…like we would submit revision after revision, us adding words and them removing them.

4. Do you have a funny feeling that it just isn’t right?

Lastly, is the “Oprah effect” as we like to call it. Oprah was a big talker about how the universe tries to tell you things like your boyfriend is a homicidal maniac who will spend the next 7 years stalking you if you go ahead and marry him. Oprah says it starts with a whisper in the back of your mind telling you that this is not right…then it goes to a murmuring and eventually the universe hits you upside the head with a brick.

I am enthralled with the process of self publishing and how to market books right now and am listening to podcasts about this voraciously. I listen mostly to the Self Publishing Podcast guys because they cuss and have a great time AND great info. So one of their biggest regrets from the last year of successfully publishing a metric shit-ton of books is that they took a book deal and it derailed their efforts because they didn’t have control and they had to keep to the timelines of their publisher.

Hmmm…that was the most blatant one, but there were other niggling things that said it was hard to go from loosey goosey writing whatever you want to writing what someone else thought that you should write and that many of the indie authors were turning down book deals from traditional New York City publishers because they could make more money in less time by doing it themselves.

Time Management Tips

So if you have gotten all the way down here and are still looking for time management tips, here are my top tips for this kind of thing!

  • Have ROCK SOLID, TAKE NO PRISONER goals for your business and hold every opportunity up against them to see if it will be a good fit
  • Be willing to take the time UP FRONT to find out everything you can and make sure there isn’t something hiding in there that will bite you in the ass later on
  • Know your limitations…we COULD have written the book, but it would have taken up huge amounts of our work cycles weekly that might be better spent elsewhere
  • Walk away if you get the willies…you are never going to be more excited about an opportunity then at the start, if you feel “weird” at the start, it will never get better

Last but not least, know that something better WILL come along! There is a saying that when God closes a door he opens a window. Today, having finally figured out it wasn’t a good fit and sending my amazing opportunity to two buddies who it would be better for it, it feels like there might not be other opportunities like this again. Having spent a few weeks spinning my wheels, I hope not!

But, I KNOW that the next one to come along will be a better fit and that because I am not doing this one I will have the time and open hand to receive it!

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Small Business Marketing: The Real Bull Shit About Get Rich Quick Internet Marketing

Small Business Marketing: The Real Bull Shit About Get Rich Quick Internet MarketingTruth is, I am sad about the state of small business and entrepreneur marketing. There are good, hard working people out there in the trenches just trying to figure out what the hell they should be doing online to market their business. It seems like every day a new site pops up or a new marketing “trick” being touted as the “4 Hour Workweek”, “new goldrush” or “get rich quick” scheme.

Having been on the internet for going on two decades and working in the marketing space for about 15 years, I am here to tell you there are some hard truths you need to know if you are going the “GRQ – Get Rich Quick” route.

1) You have to start early. Many of the people who are trying to sell you something got into whatever it was before now! I have great traffic on this site because it is old and I have blogged consistently for 8 years now. Our social media channels are D-List popular (we will NEVER compete with the likes of Ashton Kutcher) but robust enough to do what we want with them…again, started with them early and have worked them consistently for years. The marketers that can show amazing results probably started when no one was doing it and then rode the wave as it became popular and now are reaping more rewards by selling desperate people the “secret” of how to do the same. The problem is, the landscape you will be playing on is not the same! The goldrush days are gone and the hard work days are here.

2) Marketing geniuses are not stupid. Think about it, there are only so many best #1 podcasts on iTunes or first page listings on Google. When a technique or strategy is working well, cranking in the dough in, they are busy working it, not telling schmoes about it. It is only after the peak of the bell curve hits that they package the “fool proof” plan they used when the picking were easy and make money off of that too!

3) Some things do work, until the platform breaks it. Now, there are good people out there selling courses and classes that offer value. The problem sometimes is that the tactic works until the platform break it (I will explain!!!) One tactic on Facebook was to post words with no hyperlinks, this got you more listings in the news feed, which got you more followers which lead to more exposure. We bought a $97 course that told how to do some neat tricks, used them for one week and then Facebook changed the algorithm and BAM, those things didn’t work and we had to figure out other things that do. Sigh.

4) You are probably not cool. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about cool hunting back in 1997. Basically, there are people who inherently can look at things and tell if they are going to be cool. Gary Vaynerchuk is pretty good at spotting cool (Twitter, Medium) but has had some dorky misses (what was up with that Gowalla thing?) I have talked to thousands of small business owners and what they think is “cool” marketing wise, is generally about two years over and being sold by someone who did when it really was cool!

Platforms, Tricks and Strategies…Before we go much further let’s talk about the parts of marketing in the digital age.

Platforms

Platforms are the sites and services that we use. Here are some of the most common platforms and their categories:

  1. Amazon – Ebooks and product sales
  2. iTunes – Podcasts
  3. Blog Talk Radio – Broadcast radio
  4. YouTube – Video
  5. Infusionsoft, Mail Chimp – Email marketing
  6. Google Hangouts, Livestream – Broadcast video (like TV)
  7. Wishlist – Memebership websites
  8. Clickbank – Affiliate sales
  9. Kajabi – Information product sales
  10. WordPress, Blogger – Blogs
  11. Facebook – Social Media
  12. Twitter – Social Media
  13. LinkedIn – Social Media
  14. Google Plus – Social Media
  15. Pinterest – Social Media

This list took me 5 minutes off the top of my head. I had originally intended to break each down, but we are are at 600+ words now and that would have made it a truly EPIC post! Suffice it to say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are probably at least as many more that I didn’t list but which are viable marketing channels.

Tricks

Tricks are the “sneaky” tactics that internet marketers try to sell to game the system. These are the things that are probably not working right now but which did before a loophole on a platform closed. If you get an email promising this kind of thing…RUN the other way (pulled directly from my email inbox this morning)…

  • Sneaky bid trick pulls in a $13,073 profit + Local Market Update
  • Get 2109 Done For You Proven Facebook Campaigns (Revive Fanpages FAST)
  • 900 Targeted New Opt-ins EVERY Day – You Could, Too
  • Sneaky bid trick pulls in a $13,073 profit + Local Market Update (you thought I messed up right? nope, it is just a campaign that ALL the internet marketers are copying and sending to their lists right now)
  • Imagine over 1 million targeted views… XXX is LIVE!
  • How to Create Your Video Traffic Machines [3 simple steps]
  • Google’s hidden ranking formula has been uncovered…
  • Make $273 A Day With This…
  • Hurry, only 1 Day left to get this Google spying tool.
  • Easiest Cash online… RIGHT HERE.

When these come into your inbox, it is tempting to hope that this one really will be the one that trips the switch. Just by using this one little trick you can circumvent all the hard work, building an empire and other things that you actually know work. One reason I can find so many so easily is that I have any kind of this thing to into a special folder in my email, skipping the inbox. Now, I love great marketing more than anyone, but my goal for my business does not involve getting knocked off track by a shiney new object. Which leads to…

Strategies

Strategies are plans. They have been well thought out and are set in stone for a period of time. They have definitive goals and measurable results. You know why you are doing them and WILL NOT DEVIATE no matter how many flashy, GRQ emails come into your inbox! Let’s look at some of those platforms again and figure out strategies instead of tricks…

  1. Amazon – Strategy: Publish an ebook a week for a year. Measurable results: Ebook sales, grow email list, consulting opportunities.
  2. iTunes – Strategy: Gain listeners, growing network. Show expertise in the industry, affiliate sales.
  3. Blog Talk Radio – Strategy: Gain listeners, growing network. Show expertise in the industry, sell personal classes and course.
  4. YouTube – Strategy: Gain subscribers, drive to website. Show expertise in the industry, sell consulting.
  5. Infusionsoft, Mail Chimp – Strategy: Grow email list and community who likes to hear from you. Sell something.
  6. Google Hangouts, Livestream – Strategy: Gain watchers, growing network, post on recording on website and grow blog traffic. Show expertise in the industry, affiliate sales.
  7. Wishlist – Strategy: Grow membership, gain residual income, maybe affiliate sales.
  8. Clickbank – Strategy: Make money from sales (requires other channel to collect followers).
  9. Kajabi – Strategy: Build multiple sales funnels, grow email list and sell information products.
  10. WordPress – Strategy: Gain traffic with great information, sell your products or services.
  11. Facebook – Strategy: Drive to website or email list, grow relationships.
  12. Twitter – Strategy: Grow network, post amazing stuff, quick hit links to products or services.
  13. LinkedIn – Strategy: Grow network, connect with industry, drive to email list or website.
  14. Google Plus – Strategy: Grow followers, post keyword targeted information to get indexed in Google.
  15. Pinterest – Strategy: Grow connections, gain traffic by posting amazing photos with links to your website.

Having Patience

Now, I know these suck. Not one promises internet riches overnight and they all look like hard work. All of them also require patience. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, did I say patience? Yep! There is not one of these strategies that will work the first day you try them. You will not do one thing, set up one site or send one email and rake in thousands.

Leveraging What You Have

The cool thing…so there is one really cool thing. Once you have set up a strategy and implemented it, the benefits go on and on. We are writing an Ebook a week for a year (check out this week’s book, Sales and Marketing Success, Targeting Your Perfect Customer Who Will Buy and Buy).

First off, it is REALLY good. It is the 5th book we have written (just 47 more to go) and everything is easier. The cover is nicer, the content is tighter, and we are using our already built social media and website empire to market it. Because we stayed in the groove of marketing, we had a built in audience, sales channels already set up and the experience to know what our customers need. Building on long term success is actually really cool.

Just Starting Out?

That said, what if you are just starting out? We have a client who is doing his own thing with setting up a podcast (I am blown away by his bravery!). While we did make a website for him (he is smart enough to know what he is good and not good at), the rest is all him! I asked him for 5 ah-has from someone just starting out…I am pleased to present Dave Negri of the Contractor’s Secret Weapon Podcast!

  1. When you look at the overall picture of podcasting it can look very daunting. Lucky for me, with my personality I just take an overall look if it looks doable and I just jump in feet first and go for it. There are a lot of great podcasters that give away a lot of free information to get you up and running. Ah-ha… I can do it. Anybody can do it.
  2. It’s not as scary out there as one might think. You don’t have to go it alone. Like I said, there are a lot of great podcasters that will point you in the right direction. I’m going to plug Dave Jackson at School of Podcasting. He is a great resource for newbies as he has been podcasting since 2005.
  3. I was told first thing is to figure out what your show is going to be about. Lucky for me we knew exactly what we wanted it to be about and why. Out of the gate we had 50 weeks’ worth of topics without any guest interviews figured in (ah-ha, listen to the experts they will shorten your time to get up and running)
  4. It’s like any other business, if you create systems as you go it takes the uncomfortable out of the new thing and makes it comfortable. Well, maybe a little easier.
  5. Going into it with the proper mindset has made all the difference in the world. It’s not just another task do to for business. We had to make it as much fun as we could for everyone, ourselves and our listeners. Our goal was to help our business grow, but also add value to our listeners and help their business grow. I truly believe that podcasting is still in its infancy stage and there is no limit to the possibilities for the future podcaster.

I could not be happier for Dave. His strategy is to have a quality podcast for the next year. He has reached out to experts he knows (like me) and we are supporting him by sharing his stuff and appearing on his show. He did not think that having a podcast would be easy or successful 7 minutes after he aired the first one, but he does know that if he can get over the hump, there are great things on the other side!

Here is the podcast that he had me on!

The End

Really? You made it down here despite all the cool distractions. Well this is the most important bit anyways so you are in luck!

The best part about the fact that this shit takes hard work is that most people will start it and never finish. If you want to start a webinar series and have a strategy and the stones to stick in there, you will succeed. If you want to be an affiliate marketer and are willing to bust your ass, you will succeed. There is nothing “secret” about any of this. Have a plan, take time to let that plan grow and hustle. That’s it!

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  • how effective is blog talk radio for marketing online
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  • small business internet marketing

Writing Tips For Blogging, Books and Business Copywriting

Writing Tips For Blogging Books and Business Copywriting

Being a brilliant and creative writer is not about being perfect, it is about writing A LOT (Click to Tweet)

So I have been doing A LOT of writing. Between blogging, emails, writing books and then just business copywriting (sales copy, product descriptions, etc.) I feel like my days are filled with words…in a good way because I like words quite a lot! That said, I wish I had not cheated during typing class in high school (there were no computers then and who knew that typing would be a skill that would drive everything?)

With all this writing I have some observations, tips and resources that I have been collecting for a while now to share and today is the day!

Being A Brilliant And Creative Writer

First off, almost no one feels like a brilliant and creative writer. I have listened to a bunch of podcasts about writing books lately (more about that later) and almost everyone feels like a schmoe when they put words to paper. Blogging is a little less tortuous because of the transitive nature of blogs, but I was just talking with a friend the other day about how the posts I think are BRILLIANT rarely rank well and the ones that are “meh” light up the night which leads to…

Being a brilliant and creative writer is not about being perfect, it is about writing A LOT, training your brain the way that you would train for an athletic event. When you first sit down to write, the blank paper looks like Siberia, big and white. But if you write consistently, you don’t have to “get back in shape”, your brain just kicks in and starts churning out stuff.

Additionally, if you have a lot of books or blog posts or sales pages, some of them will work better than others. In a perfect world we could just have one epic work that everyone flocks to, but in actuality, it is the cumulation of having lots of things that makes someone successful.

What If You Are Stuck

Because I come from the marketing world, we all know about having a “swipe file” and it is not creepy like “plagiarizing” is. A swipe file is used to collect inspiration so that when you are stuck you can just check out what someone else did and get going again.

TIP: It used to be hard to accumulate a swipe file, these days I use Pinterest to get my swipes all in one place. This is my opt in pop up box swipe file that I use for inspiration when I am stuck for words to use in my copy.

The other thing to do when you are stuck is to just write something. It might be the crappiest blog post ever written or the worst-sales-copy-ever, but the act of writing will lead to better writing or at least something that you can edit when you get done. The WORST thing that you can do is wait for the urge to strike you…a big hint, it rarely does and never when it is convenient. Schedule your time to write like you schedule all your other appointments.

Pick The Proper Tools

This is a biggie. Many people write in Word because it is what they are used to but it is not a great option for most writing. Here are the tools that I use and the reasons why…no affiliate links, just my favorites

Writing Books – I have a new love, Scrivener. With one of my business buds I am writing a book a week for a year. That means 52 perfect customer profiles to see who we are writing for, 52 outlines, 52 files to save for Amazon (and maybe someone else down the line). The wicked cool thing about Scrivener is that you can make a book file that has the writing AND your research AND a scan of your scribbles and then split screen them so you can see them at the same time…bliss. PLUS if you are doing Amazon publishing using a Mac, save yourself about 20 hours trying to make it work, just get this and it spits one out automatically. Not sure I would use this just for blog posts and business writing, but I might!

Writing Pretty Books – Prior to this year, I have only made pretty books (fewer words, lots of formatting and pictures). If you are making ebooks that you are NOT going to upload to Amazon but use as a giveaway on your site or to print out, nothing can touch InDesign by Adobe. The nice thing is that you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to get it anymore, you can rent it month to month through Creative Cloud and they do give BIG discounts if you are any kind of student.

Writing Blog Posts – For the love of God, DO NOT write your blog posts in Word and then copy them over to your blog looking all pretty and formatted. Word has horrific extra formatting that should never get into web pages. Instead, write your text in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) and then paste it into the Text pane of your blog post.

Book Writing Tips

Writing books is not as hard as I thought. We have been churning out a book a week for a month or more now and while the first ones were not that great, even in this short time, we have gotten better and the process has become easier.

  1. You probably have some “stuff” laying around that you can use to get started with your first book. We had about 6 books almost ready to go (although looking back, it is almost easier to use them as a brief reference and write the book-book from scratch.
  2. You should make an outline. We spend a little bit of time laying out what we are going to talk about and what order it is in.
  3. Don’t try to write a perfect book. Write a good enough book, have someone else check it for grammar and typos and ship it. Then write another one.

Two last questions I see about writing books are 1) how much should you charge and 2) how long should they be. I can really only answer these in regard to Non-Fiction. We charge $2.99 for between 5,000 and 9,000 words. If the book was going to be longer than that we would split it up into two books so we didn’t have to charge that much and no one had to read that much in one sitting.

The funny thing to me is that it is functionally about 7 blog posts for me (I write AMAZINGLY long blog posts). The difference is that the work is not off the top of my head, has two viewpoints and is more cohesive. We feel really comfortable charging three bucks for the answer to a specific problem that people are having with their business. Now, pricing and length are different for everyone and are MUCH different for fiction.

Writing Blog Posts

Now, this is something I know a lot about! We have two main blogs (marketingartfully.com and mandmmonsters.com) and about three others that are industry or location specific (real estate marketing, coaching and local denver).

I have been blogging since 2006 and have had this blog since 2008. I get about 15,000 hits a month on this one site and post about once a week here except in December when I try to post every weekday for a month.

Writing blog posts is easy now, but when I started they were heinous. My very first post (I had to go back and look it up) was “Seth Says…Gobble Up Market Share” with 300 words, no SEO and no picture. It took time to understand what I was going to talk about and how to make it relevant so other people would want to read it. I think the BEST part about when you start out is that no one is paying attention so you can get better before anyone notices how lame your writing is!!!

Two resources I like for blog post headlines are:

  1. 5 “Five-Minute or Less” Blogging Tips That Yield Big Results. I’m Using Tip #1 in This Title
  2. Your Headlines Suck. Here’s What You Can Do About It

Writing Good Emails

One of the things that I am super proud of is that our email open rates are generally comparable for marketing messages (maybe a little higher) but that we CRUSH the industry standard click throughs. This comes because our emails are well titled to be interesting, well written so people like to read them and lastly, have calls to action in them so people know what to do next.

The top post on Marketing Artfully is 100 Great Email Subject Lines.Written over a year ago, this little gem churns out hits to my site showing that this is something that everyone struggles with.

Here are my top email tips:

  1. Ditch the bland autoresponders. Some years back it was cool to set up a series of 200 autoresponders that would go out to your readers when they signed up for your email list. These were folksy and chatty and tried to get them to fall in love with you. Fast forward to today, the world is inundated with email, Facebook, texts, tweets and all kinds of messages. Today you better have something awesome that they can use or act on or you will be just one more delete.
  2. By sending bad messages you train people to ignore you. We have a dear friend whose emails mostly go into a spam folder on my email because he sent out all kinds of messages with cute headlines that were not actually for me. I got conditioned to ignoring these and so when there was something important I missed it entirely.
  3. Make sure every message has a purpose. If you need them to do something, just talk briefly about that one thing and then link out to what they need to do. If you are trying to build relationships, don’t hit them with a buy, buy, buy message. Get really clear on what the purpose of each message is.

Business Copywriting

First off, stop thinking that business copywriting is hard. It is not hard once you know exactly what it is that you are selling and exactly who you are selling it to! The hard part comes when you are just trying to sell whatever is in front of you with no background or motivation from the buyer.

So pick a person who is your perfect client and think of them when writing your copy. What do you have to say that would make THAT person buy what you are selling? I KNOW, your product or service could appeal to LOTS of people, but who is the perfect person? (we are writing a book about this for next week so keep your peepers open if you struggle with this!!!)

There are just two resources that you have to check out for business copywriting:

  • Brian Clark at Copyblogger has LOTS of GREAT free information about business copywriting
  • Perry Marshall (yes the Adwords guy!) think about it, who has to be a better copywriter than someone who only gets three lines of text to sell you something.

Video Transcripts, Quotes and Other Funny Bits

When you get in the writing groove you start noticing other opportunities for words. One thing that I have noticed is that some people are not writer-y. They don’t like to type and even if they do, they don’t like to sit their butts down in a chair for days at a time.

Gary Vaynerchuk comes to mind here. What Gary does is pull out words from the videos he makes and recordings that he does. He makes graphics of his quotes and has transcribers record what he talks about instead of him having to do the physical act of writing. If you got the bottom of this post and are not a writer, run away and find something productive to do with your time! But beyond that, find ways to leverage the talents you do have and pull the words out of there!

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Authority, Branding and Niche Building, What Do They All Mean?

Authority Building, Niche Building and BrandingSo, we talk A LOT about Authority building (we even have a book out about it on Amazon!) That said, I think that there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace about the difference between Authority building, niche building and branding!

Here is my take…

Branding

(the easiest so we will start there)

Branding is just “making your stuff look like your stuff”. The branding for Marketing Artfully tends to revolve around dark and gloomy with a hint of lime green. I have typewriter keys that have a dollar sign which I fell in love with a while ago and I use them in A LOT of my marketing. OH, I also use black and white photos more than color…just a personal preference!

Marketing Artfully AvatarHere is the avatar that I use for Marketing Artfully. It is the typewriter keys AND the logo, which is great for continuing that story!

Note: PLEASE do not make a picture your LOGO. A logo should be something that you could embroider onto a baseball cap. I have seen A BUNCH of people fall in love with something like the typewriter keys and never have a formal LOGO, LOGO for their business. Don’t make that mistake.

Tara AvatarThe next thing to think about is the branding for you! I use the “TARAdactyl” Avatar on sites like Twitter, and have spent almost 10 years branding her and making her a memorable thing.

That said, I think people are moving away from liking a brand and more onto liking people. Unless you are a hideous mountain creature with horns, your picture, taken by a professional is probably more than good enough for marketing work.

The other thing is that YOU have to love it. There is one gal on my news feed who I cringe when I see her picture (it is over processed and strangely cropped) but she is ROCKING IT so I love it too!

MandM AvatarBringing on other projects…so I am not just Marketing Artfully now! I am involved with writing and doing marketing courses with my buddy the Colorado Connector! When we were branding our shared project, I made sure that it was similar enough to what I had that I would not have to reinvent the whole wheel. As you can tell, I DO like that lime green color quite a lot.

Overall, when you are starting a business or a new product, you need a logo, a couple of key photos that you can use across your marketing and a really strong color palette. Think about green and dark blue and you think financial, think pink you head right for the ladies. Some of this is so simple that you will go DOH and be on your way to an amazing branding campaign!

Niche Selection

This is just as much fun as picking out colors and developing a great brand! Niche selection is like picking your favorite thing to eat on a surf and turf smorgasbord.

So going back to my business, I like MARKETING. Not social media, not video marketing or anything else cool and hip, just plain old small business and entrepreneur marketing.

Right now, without thinking about it, write down the first thing that comes to you that you like. Could be the law, could be healthy eating, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as YOU like it!

Note: Some people will tell you to start with a “hot niche” and work backwards from there. I am here to tell you, that is incredibly hard and after about 6 months you are sick to death of it and want to commit suicide rather than hear-one-more-word about your niche.

So you have a 40,000 foot topic that you like. How are you going to sell stuff? Niche it down even further. I like Real Estate Entrepreneurs and also Speakers, Coaches and Trainers, oh and people who run non-profits. So my three top words are “small business marketing”, “entrepreneur marketing” and “realtor marketing”. They have served me well and I am not even close to running out of things to talk about 8 years of this blog later!

Authority Marketing

becoming-an-authority-bannerBecause we just wrote a book about this, building Authority is top of mind right now. To me, building Authority can come after Branding and Niche Selection. When I started my two-year real estate practice years ago, I had ZERO experience, ZERO clients, but what I did have was a great niche, branding and marketing. While I am not a proponent of lying, Authority building will probably start before you are an actual authority in anything.

The other half of this is that no one will crown you an authority. No one made me “queen of marketing”…I just started studying it years ago and have put almost 15 years of constant focus on getting better and better at it! THIS is how you get authority, you reach out and grab it, taking ownership and not waiting for anyone else to give you permission!

Not to be too rah, rah, but if you have read all the way down here, you sure as hell need to figure out what you are going to be an authority in and get started! Building Authority is not hard, it just takes time and the sooner you start the sooner you will get there!

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Persistence, The Rah Rah Post

Persistance..the rah rah postPersistence is a funny concept. On one hand, it is a glorious, motivating being who propels you forward into previously unimagined consequences. On the other hand, it sometimes drags you down in the bowels of despair thinking, “is this all that will ever be?”

This is year is a pivotal year for me. I have been plugging along, building bits of my business up and letting some other bits fall by the wayside. I have had brainstorms that amounted to less than a shower and crackpot ideas that blossomed into full downpours. What I can say is that through it all, the main reason I am so excited for the year is that I have never stopped. Losing momentum is the biggest dream killer there is…keep going forward whether you know where you are going or not, at least along the way you will have produced something.

My Top 10 Thoughts About Persistence (in a somewhat top to bottom order)

1. No excuses

Okay, this is not my thought, it is Chris Brogan’s thought. He has dubbed this the year of #noexcuses. Check out his post My Goals Don’t Care

2. Alchemy and getting to do what you love

This next one is probably one of the coolest things I have ever heard. If you are not a writer, substitute your industry for writing. Pressed for time, start at minute 22 (the link for the podcast is at the bottom of the page). The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast

3. BHAGs

Big hairy audacious goals. This one is a tripper-upper. You need to have specific tasks that break down your goals and make sure that you have enough bandwidth to accomplish them. Our BHAG this year is to publish a book a week. I just did my calendar and accomplishing that means that some other things that I have had as pet projects have to go away (for now).

4. Scheduling

You cannot be successful if you are flopping all around, doing what feels right at any given moment. We are planners starting at monthly (what our monthly theme is to accomplish) then moving down to daily. If you have BHAGs but have not put time into your calendar, they will not magically get accomplished. Figure out what you want to accomplish this year or month or even week and set up your calendar making that a priority.

5. What You Like To Do

I KNOW, there are bits of your business you HAVE to do (banking is one of those for me). That said, you need to whittle the things that you hate to do out of your life. I am not talking about “outsourcing everything” as that rarely works (except for Tim Ferris). Get the horrible things contained in one day a month or do 5 minutes of them every day, whichever you work best at. Find a partner or team member that is good at what you are not and share. When you dread doing something it takes on HUGE proportions that are way out of sink with reality.

Then you will free up time to do what you love. If you are a small business owner, you should be spending most of your time loving life!

6. Make A Plan

Now that you have freed up time for your favorite bits, make a rock solid plan for what you are trying to accomplish. Put EVERYTHING you would like to do on a big giant list, brainstorm with your friends and business contacts to get a REALLY BIG LIST. Now, figure out what your major goal is…could be to make money, could be a building year, could be anything, depends on you! Now, figure out which of those things fit into your major goal. Do those things until you are done and don’t do anything else that is not vital in the meantime. Crap will always try to creep in…to succeed you HAVE to put on your crap deflectors.

7. Stop Yelling At Yourself

That voice in your head will be FREAKING out right now. She will tell you that you are dumb for thinking that this can work. She will tell you how you have failed in the past and that you are currently the biggest loser on the planet. She will run through a list of your failures, starting with the fact that you quit band in 10th grade and move forward with a highlight reel of all your shortcomings. The cool thing about having a major plan and LOTS to do is that she doesn’t get to talk all that much because you are busy. When she does pipe up, tell her to shut up and review what you have to do today to accomplish your BHAGs!

8. Stop Reliving Past Failures

This is a big one for me! We are getting ready to launch another pretty big project and it is something that I semi, sorta, kinda, tried before. I got dragged there kicking and screaming and it failed (go figure). So this time, that stupid voice is jingling back there, you aren’t good at this, you tried this already and it didn’t work. Well, to be honest, I didn’t actually try. I did the limp handshake thing and did the absolute minimum required. If you have something on your goals that you did try before, be honest with yourself…if you tried your hardest and it failed, maybe you need to pivot and do something similar but not exactly the same, if you didn’t try and failed, imagine what would happen if you gave it your all!

9. Learn Something

You can’t do amazing things alone. You need a team to help like coaches, mastermind partners, brainstorm friends AND people who know what to do! I spend all my time not working listening to smart people. I have books on tape and podcasts downloaded. I read articles and watch YouTube videos that fill me with hope and help explain things. The people I see who are stuck, honestly believe that there is no time to educate themselves. They are in a rut and just churning down there, never looking up to see the light at the top. If you are “too busy” to learn things, you are probably busy at the wrong bits.

10. Living The Dream

Every one of us who owns our own business needs to take a moment and consider what that means. Want a raise, work harder. Want a bigger raise, work smarter. Want to take a day off? Take it, just work harder the next day. If you are self employed, get down on your knees right now and thank goodness you are not working for the man, that you are master of your own destiny and that this year is going to be the best one ever!

Goal Setting – Figuring Out Your Fabulous Life

Goal Setting - Figuring Out Your Fabulous LifeOkay, you guys know I am HUGE on goal setting, having written goals with you right now! But what if you don’t know what your goals should be? Today’s post is all about finding your passion and living your Fabulous Life!!!

The now

  • You are sitting at your desk, thinking, “if I have to do this one more time I am going to scream”. Whatever “this” is is OBVIOUSLY not a part of your fabulous life. OR
  • You are doing EXACTLY what you LOVE to do and feeling horrendously guilty that you are not doing “real work” because something that feels this good can NOT be what you should be doing in the moment!

Sometimes we can get all caught up in needing to change EVERYTHING to live our fabulous lives when all that is needed is a little pivot to get there.

What is a fabulous life

This post is a read and then write post so go fetch a tablet…I will wait for you!

A fabulous life is where your work life is filled with amazing opportunities, wonderful people you enjoy working with and you hop out of bed on Monday thinking, “thank god the weekend is over and I can get back to work!” I have to say that the number of people I see singing praises to the weekend is staggering (and sad). Obviously they are NOT living their fabulous life at work.

Now it is time to figure out your fabulous life bits. Draw three squares on your tablet and in those you are going to do put three things that you would enjoy doing. Now, this is not to combine work and play so no knitting (unless you own a yarn shop)…these should all be things that you would be happy to do, all day, everyday for the rest of your life.

Example…my three things are speaking, writing and consulting. I LOVE to have the opportunity to talk with people and help them improve their lives in big groups. I also am a prolific writer who HAS to put words on the page and tell you things that matter, like this post. Lastly, I love consulting because it is a quick hit…I can swoop in, help and leave without enduring a years long commitment like coaching has!

Another example is my Besty, a realtor. She LOVES to help teach new agents, speaking and problem solving. Her team is being built on a training philosophy, she has gotten better at not throwing up before speeches and her whole job is how to solve problems (with agents AND homeowners).

TODO: Write down three things you would do work-wise, all day, everyday, for the rest of your life if you had the chance.

How to figure out WHAT to do in your fabulous life

By now you are probably all fired up thinking, “damn, doing just that would be AWE-SOME!!!” But how do you get from where you are now to your fabulous life? Let’s start small (and you probably don’t want to censor yourself at this point), just put 10 things on the page that could help you get to your fabulous life and you can figure them out later.

Example…I want to be a writer. I could

1) have a blog
2) write ebooks
3) guest post on other blogs
4) write articles for money
5) partner with someone who is selling something but who is not a writer themselves
6) take writing courses
7) teach writing for the internet at a local college
8) write for a local offline paper
9) offer writing on fiverr.com
10) write courses for online offers
11) write great sales copy
12) take a copywriting course to get even better at writing sales copy
13) interview people who are successful writers now and find out what they do
14) watch videos on youtube about successful writers

As you can see, once I got going I had way more than 10 things that I could do and you might too!

TODO: Make a list of (at least) 10 things that you could do to make your fabulous life a reality.

Cutting the BS and getting something done!

Okay, now you are rock-solid sure that this is the direction that you want to go (if you came up with 10 things, you are probably pretty passionate about what you are wanting to do!). Now is where the rubber hits the road. You need to DO SOMETHING on that list…and not just something, ACTIVITIES that will make those things happen.

Example…Because I want to be a writer I need to do things that are, well, writer-y. Here are my activities for the next three months (three months is great because it is not so long that you can’t stand it and not so short that you get nothing accomplished!!!)

1) Write and publish one ebook on the Kindle per week…I will try and do a good job but will NOT worry about writing a masterpiece, they sell for $.99-$2.99 for heavens sake

2) Write on each of the blogs that we deem important at least one time per week…this will get us blog traffic AND will help spark creative juices that I can use in upcoming books

3) Make a point of having great sales copy on each book page…I will NOT just slap something together as this is important for my future

As you can see, I have SPECIFIC goals. One ebook a week is going to be glorious sometimes (I have some already written so they should go fast-ish) and heinous sometimes BUT the whole point is to not cut myself any slack. I WILL have an ebook posted by Midnight every Monday night for the next three months. As Chris Brogan says, #noexcuses.

How can I guarantee that? Simple, I will NOT wait until the 11th hour when everything can get screwed up. From Wednesday (my writing and book doing day) on, the ONLY thing I am going to work on is getting my book published. Everything else will have to wait until I am done. If this is my fabulous life then I am only hurting myself by doing client work or playing on social media instead of doing what I said I was going to do.

TODO: Pick three of your “could dos and make activities for them”.

Shooting yourself in the foot

So I will guarantee that you will not be comfortable with this.

If you are doing ANYTHING right now but what moves you toward your FABULOUS LIFE you are just burning time!It will feel like doing what you love cannot possibly fit into your schedule. You will tell yourself that this is just another case of try and fail miserably. You will have a million excuses…just tell yourself to shut up and do it. I know, that is really harsh but “yourself” has a vested interest in keeping everything exactly the way it is. Humans hate change and you are going to make things change.

Just remember that you did this “for” yourself (not “to” yourself). If you can catch a grip and simply do the activities that you figured out for the next 90 days I guarantee that your life WILL change in ways that you never imagined.

Need help figuring out your Fabulous Life? I would love to consult with you about how to get there…give me a call today to find out more 727-415-9165

(see how I slipped that in, one of my consulting activities is to actively mention that I have this service!)

How To Get Engagement On Social Media…Ask Questions!

How To Get Engagement On Social Media - Ask Questions!A big topic of conversation around here is how to get engagement on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Another big “discussion” topic is how stupid it is to foster that engagement by asking inane questions.

My business partner is big on these. She is a question asking fool and I was actually skeptical that this would work. I wouldn’t answer silly questions on Facebook so why would anyone else…or so I thought! Come to find out I am compelled to answer some of these silly questions when she posts them and I KNOW that they are just to get engagement…sigh.

Why do you want engagement like this?

Since I have a trouble with this, I am sure you are asking yourself the same kinds of things…if I sell real estate or jeans or business services, why would I want to go off topic and ask questions that have NOTHING to do with my product or service? Here are the only things that I can think of to justify this:

  • It works. Because social is about more than selling, people DO respond. They WANT to share their personal thoughts and feeling so you get engagement. Which leads us to..
  • It matters that people talk to you. Most of the sites use an algorithm that measures how often someone talks to you and then serves up additional “views” based on those connections. Facebook is a huge one for this. If you can get a number of people to talk to you about something non-business related, you get more opportunities to talk to them about things that truly matter.
  • Custom messages. Last but not least in my book…they tell you things about themselves that you can use later to sell more! How cool would it be to take the answers to each of these questions and include them as tags in your database and then send customized messages based on their likes and dislikes? I haven’t done this (yet) but would love to hear if it is working for you!

So what kinds of questions should you ask? Rebekah was very nonchalant about this and said, just ask them “this or that”. She can come up with millions of them off the top of her head. I on the other hand do not have this creative bone so I made her give me some examples. I will admit, once we got started it became easier and more fun to “play along”. Here are some of the best ones we came up with…feel free to use them in your social media postings AND make sure to swing back around and let me know which ones worked best!!!

Questions to ask to increase interactions on social media

Cool questions:

  • Who was your childhood hero?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Winnie the Pooh or Underdog?
  • Guns and Roses or Metallica?
  • Alfred Hitchcock or Steven King?
  • If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
  • What are you doing this weekend?

Sports:

  • Sox or Yankees?
  • Soccer or football?
  • Skiing or ice skating?
  • How bout them (insert home team)?

Food and Beverage:

  • Beer or wine?
  • Steak or chicken?
  • Vegetarian or carnivore?
  • Hotdogs or hamburgers?
  • What is your comfort food?
  • Pizza or tacos?
  • Chicken or egg?
  • Chips or pretzels?
  • Tootsie Rolls or M and Ms?
  • Donuts or Bagels?
  • Hot sauce on eggs?

Fashion:

  • Shoes or sandals?
  • Who has more fun? Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads?
  • High heels or flats?
  • Suit or jeans?

Locations:

  • Did you come from a big city or small town?
  • Cozumel or Paris?
  • California or New York?
  • What was your all-time favorite vacation spot?
  • What is your favorite hometown landmark?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in (insert town name here)?

Technology:

  • iPhone or Android?
  • Mac or PC?
  • Twitter, text or talk?
  • In person meetings or Skype?

Personal:

  • Who was your biggest crush?
  • Who was your first crush?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  • Did you go to prom?
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Have you ever skinny dipped?
  • Have you ever been on a blind date?
  • Have you ever missed an appointment?
  • Have you ever lied on a job application?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Do you mind telling people how old you are?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Would you let your kids get a hampster?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you go to the doctor when you are sick?

Weather or Location:

  • Summer or winter?
  • Spring or fall?
  • Live up north or down south?
  • What part of town are you from?

Favorites:

  • What is your favorite book of all time?
  • What is your favorite movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite album of all time?
  • What is your favorite rock band of all time?
  • What is your favorite Disney Movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite Broadway musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite black and white movie musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite quote?

Holidays:

  • How do you celebrate New Years Eve?
  • Open presents on Christmas Ever or Christmas day?
  • Does the Tooth Fairy come to your house?
  • Do your kids still believe in Santa?

Business:

  • What do you do?
  • Do you have a Facebook page?
  • How’s business?
  • What do you love most about your business?
  • Do you have a favorite customer?
  • Who was your favorite customer of all time?
  • What is your biggest business goal?
  • Are your goals written down?
  • Do you have a vision board?

Well there you have it, some questions to get you started getting engagement on social media…if you have more, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list!!!

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100 AWESOME Sayings To Use For Social Media Or Artwork

100 AWESOME Sayings To Use For Social Media Or ArtworkI grew up in the land of sayings. The good german folk of Northwestern Pennsylvania seemed to have a saying for everything and my parents and grandparents where full of them! What I found though, is that there are are a lot of truths in those sayings and that many folks have a visceral response to them that works well for quotes and social media postings.

Here are my favorite sayings, idioms, call them what you will…

I have separated them out according to how I will use them, please let me know in the comments below if I have missed one of your favorites! Also, Dad-isms may not actually be sayings, it is possible that they are ones he made up…but had to include them!

Inspirational Sayings

  • A rising tide lifts all the little boats
  • To the victor go the spoils
  • If at first you don’t succeed try, try again
  • Tomorrow is another day
  • Look before you leap
  • The longest journey starts with a single step
  • Carpe Diem – Sieze The Day
  • If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well
  • Doubt is the beginning not the end of wisdom
  • Fortune favors the brave
  • All’s fair in love and war
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss
  • All good things come to those who wait
  • Faith will move mountains
  • Good things come to those who wait
  • The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
  • Little hinges swing big doors
  • Little strokes fell great oaks
  • Where there is a will, there is a way
  • Great minds think alike
  • Many hands make light work

Cautionary Sayings

  • It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
  • He who hesitates is lost
  • Beggars should not be choosers
  • He who pays the piper calls the tune
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • It ain’t over until the fat lady sings
  • No man can serve two masters
  • You can’t have your cake and eat it too
  • You can’t get blood out of a stone
  • Many a true word is spoke in jest
  • Penny wise, pound foolish
  • Once bitten, twice shy
  • Out of sight, out of mind
  • Pride goes before a fall
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword
  • There’s no smoke without fire
  • Better to be silent and thought the fool that to speak and remove all doubt
  • The bigger they are, the harder they fall
  • The price of liberty is eternal vigilance
  • The end justifies the means
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day
  • Strike while the iron is hot
  • Misery loves company
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

Animal Sayings

  • Tail wagging the dog
  • Let sleeping dogs lie
  • Barking up the wrong tree
  • If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
  • Don’t change horses in midstream
  • You can’t run with the hair and hunt with the hounds
  • If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas
  • A leopard cannot change his spots
  • One might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb
  • Hold your horses
  • Big fish in a small pond
  • The early bird catches the worm
  • The worm will turn
  • Every dog has its day
  • As happy as a clam
  • Pull the wool over your eyes
  • Birds of a feather flock together
  • You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
  • Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched
  • Bats in the belfry
  • Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink
  • Never look a gift horse in the mouth
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat

Insect Sayings

  • Bee’s knees
  • Birds and the bees
  • Make a bee-line for it
  • You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar

Literary Sayings

  • Never judge a book by its cover
  • A word to the wise is enough
  • The pen is mightier than the sword
  • Pearls of wisdom

Artistic Sayings

  • Paint the town red
  • Red letter day
  • Back to the drawing board
  • A picture paints a thousand words

Devil and Angel Sayings

  • No rest for the wicked
  • Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t
  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
  • Needs must when the devil drives
  • Tell the truth and shame the devil
  • The devil is in the details
  • Between the devil and the deep blue sea
  • The devil finds work for idle hands to do
  • Revenge is a dish best served cold
  • Let the punishment fit the crime
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions (Dad-ism)
  • People in hell want ice water (Dad-ism)
  • It will be a cold day in hell (Dad-ism)

I am just noticing that while we were not a particularly religious family, there was a lot of hell talk at our house!

Nautical Sayings

  • Shiver my timbers
  • Hand over fist
  • Time and tide wait for no man
  • Any port in a storm

Death Sayings

  • Dead men tell no tales
  • Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die
  • Old soldiers never die, they just fade away
  • The wages of sin is death

Weather Sayings

  • Into every life a little rain must fall
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • It never rains but it pours
  • The darkest hour is just before the dawn
  • Make hay while the sun shines

Miscellaneous Sayings

  • Smoke and mirrors
  • Heavens to Murgatroyd
  • The whole nine yards
  • Climb/Jump on the bandwagon
  • Close, but no cigar
  • Get down to brass tacks
  • Gild the lily
  • Talk through one’s hat
  • Go haywire
  • Hissy fit
  • In spades
  • The whole shebang
  • Whoops-a-daisy
  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
  • In for a penny, in for a pound
  • It takes two to tango
  • No use crying over spilled milk

Things You Say To Your Kids

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees (Dad-ism)
  • Were you born in a barn? (Dad-ism)
  • Another country heard from

While many of these came off the top of my head, I did check for the correct usage at The Phrase Finder…a truly epic site for this kind of thing. Also, if you would like to learn what makes an idiom…check out the wikipedia!

A rising tide lifts all the little boats

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Small Business Marketing – 5 Things To Check Today!

Small Business Marketing - 5 Things To Check TodayOkay, we all are busy and life gets in the way of us having optimal online lives. Today, yes TODAY, you should take a peek at these 5 things and see if they are still working for you! Some of you may not be able to change certain ones, but the ones you can, either schedule time to change or do right away!

I KNOW, you are swamped today, but aren’t you swamped everyday? These are things that will make a huge difference to your success this year and are basically easy fixes!

Your Email Signature

Seriously, this is the one thing that EVERYONE you talk to sees EVERY time you send them a message! Here is my old signature line…not heinous, but not setting the world on fire either…

Tara Jacobsen - Old Email Signature Line

So how do you figure out what needs to be there? First off, what is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you want them to do? For me it is to get into my database and I don’t have the option for that anywhere…sigh. When I fixed this, you will notice that I broke up the word “FR|E|E” so that I would not get stuck in everyone’s spam filters.

Next are my contact bits…moved a couple of things around here and eliminated the link to my Facebook business page. Heaven forbid they sign up for that as Facebook shows so little of what I actually post there. That time has passed and now I just want them in my database!

Finally, I have used the avatar on the left FOR YEARS so I am keeping her active, BUT there is a school of psychiatry that says that “seeing” us in an email is just as good as “seeing” us in real life. I finally took a selfie that I like enough to include on my emails so my friends and clients can see me. I also made it a little smaller since so many people are using phones to access their email now.

Tara Jacobsen - New Signature

Still busy but have my call to action and the picture of me. I will use it for a little bit and see how it goes.

Your Website Layout

Now if you are using a “real” website, moving things around is probably a nightmare, but for those of us who are using wordpress, sliding things around is relatively easy peasy. I noticed the other day that it was REALLY hard to find the newest posts on Marketing Artfully. They were there, just down in the bottom with no pictures. As I really do want people to read my stuff, I am going to move some things around a bit!

Marketing Artfully - Old Layout Design

So I moved the recent posts up into the middle of the home page, reduced the number of small business marketing posts and added real estate marketing and customer demographic posts to the mix.

Now, there are other things that I think could do with some fixing, like I have TOO MANY competing things on the sidebar, but today is just the basics and I got those fixed! Check out the new layout with the recent posts front and center…

Your Social Media Descriptions

It is amazing how out of date these can get fast. I did this with my Twitter just a couple of weeks ago and was AMAZED at how off target it was. Make sure that you have the following bits in your social descriptions:

  • Links to your MOST IMPORTANT THING
  • Hashtags if appropriate (like on google or instagram)
  • Keywords like you use on your website (social profiles show up well in the google search)
  • What you are currently offering, most important to least important

Here is my updated Twitter profile that talks about EXACTLY where my business is TODAY:

Taradactyl Twitter Profile

Your Social Media Graphics

Okay, I admit I am not the best at practicing what I preach but WHAT WAS I THINKING when I did my Facebook business banner THIS WAY. It doesn’t use any of the imagery I use in anything else, it doesn’t have Marketing Artfully green, and my logo might as well not even be on there for how present it is. What happened was, I saw a technigue and wanted to try it and was less than impressed…so I left it there?!?!?

Marketing Artfully Old Business Page Banner

So this one is not going to set the world on fire, but at least it is congruent with my branding and it is better than what it was (that is our theme for today…good enough is good enough!) I also changed out the avatar which leads me to the last tip…

Marketing Artfully - New Facebook Timeline

Make sure you like all your profile pictures

I hated my LinkedIn profile picture and they MADE me use a “real” picture instead of my beautiful avatar lady who always looks great and never gets old. That said, I did (finally) get a picture that I didn’t hate so I swapped it out…this icky old one for my shiney new selfie:

Tara Jacobsen - Old LinkedIn

It is VITAL that you find a picture of yourself that you like. If you don’t have one, you are less happy with your social overall and will not be as effective.

Don’t let anyone tell you the “right” kind of picture. As you can see, mine is obviously a selfie, not perfect and DEFINITELY not professionally done, but I like it!

There you have it, my top 5 things that you need to check on your small biz marketing!!!

PS – all changes where made in the hour it took to write this post so don’t make this harder than it has to be, get some stuff fixed and then put the rest on your to-do list for fixing soon!

Time Management Tips – Forms and Crystal Clear Goals

Time Management Tips - Forms and Crystal Clear GoalsHave you ever spent the day “working” only to end it knowing nothing got done and thus feeling like a failure? Without a plan or system for what needs to be accomplished there is no winning and you are setting yourself up for certain doom.

If you haven’t read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy yet, this is a great way to get motivated. Mr. Tracy is a time management genius and it is well worth your time to read it. He has spent a lifetime developing time management habits that serve him well…I am in awe of his focus.

Steps to organizing your work life and time

These are generally in order and build on each one. Please do not skip a step as you cannot accomplish what you want if you haven’t done all the steps!

Plan Your Time

The very first thing you have to do is get your calendar under control. You can have the best intentions in the world but if there is no time in your day to complete your tasks, you will fail miserably.

Time Management CalendarThis is my calendar.

It is color coded to include Orange – which is the Strategy bits that are what actually make me money and move my business forward. As you can see, my days start with that as I am most productive in the morning and there is no way that I can get off track.

Pink is personal and stuff I have to do (if I don’t feed the little ones and get them off to school, no one will!) Then I have my standing appointments and work for clients that HAS to get done.

So, you are probably a entrepreneur and the idea of locking down your time is opposite of what the dream is. In the dream world, you can spend all day doing what you want when you want it. In the real world, if you are willing to calendar (and hold yourself responsible), you actually get to do everything that you want and more.

When I put something into my calendar, it is sacred. I KNOW that if I do what I am “supposed” to do that day, I can take the kids to the park in the afternoon without feeling guilty. If I DO all my monthly tasks, then I “get” to research marketing and take classes because I am not just wasting time, ignoring what needs to be done!

To Do List

So what should you do to make yourself more productive and organized? Put IN WRITING what you have to accomplish and do those things first!

If you start your day out checking your emails, responding to crisis after crisis, then pop over to Facebook and diddle around there for a bit, you WILL waste immeasurable time accomplishing nothing.

The concepts that you have heard time after time are true. Sit down before you end your day and figure out what the top three things you HAVE to get done the next day are. I do these after I get all my “real” work done (like writing blog posts, doing social media and learning new things!)

Now, you “To Do List” people…here is where it gets hairy. A list of 100 (or a 1,000) things you need to do is a WISH LIST, not a To Do list. Keep that to the side and hidden if you must, but make sure you have a short (I like three things) list of things that you need to do TODAY.

Monthly Goals and Tasks

The next thing you have to do is sit down and figure out what your “theme” for the month is. Our theme this month is “Amazing Social Media” so we have two hours a day dedicated to posting, growing lists and learning about social media. (we use a month because ANYONE can do something for a month and it is long enough to see some results and make the work worth it!)

Things we have included are:

  • Writing (Tara) – One hour per day (this can be on our blogs or as guest posts OR writing sales letters)
  • Pinterest (Rebekah) – One hour per day (she is rocking the Pinterest and sending traffic from there so we gave her a whole blissful hour to work on it daily!)
  • Social media – Half an hour (this is checking in on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Klout, Google+, etc. each day)
  • Sharing and Linking – 15 minutes (I have to make time to comment on “stuff” other people do as I don’t spontaneously do this without prompting)
  • SS Round Table – 15 minutes (sharing our clients social media posts)

Now, that is THREE HOURS out of every one of my days. If I do not get those things done in the morning, I have to stay up late that night and get them done after the kids go to bed (I am an early bird so that is DEFINITELY not something I am going to do daily).

Some notes about this kind of thing:

First off, whether I did this kind of focused work or just floated around, I would still be “working” all day. Just with the time blocked I am actually accomplishing something that I consider important.

Second off, there is something to be said for the old axiom that we underestimate what we can accomplish in 5 years and over estimate what we can do in a month. With this type of focus, I WILL get stuff done this month.

Lastly, by the time the month is done, at least some of this will 1) take less time so I can incorporate it into my daily life for real and 2) I will have developed habits that will serve me well going forward.

How To Actually DO All The Crap You Said You Would

This is where the magic happens. After I get my schedule down and figure what I SAY I am going to do, I make a checklist for the month. My checklist this month has at the top the daily bits for the hours committed that I can check off. We also determined what the optimal things where to do on each of the “special social media” days and put them down as checkboxes to get done.

I can tell already that I need a daily checklist for what to do on the half-hour social media days as I ran over on time and just kinda hit the high notes. We will figure that out tomorrow in our weekly meeting.

Want to see our checklist? Amazing Social Media Month!

Some notes about this kind of thing:

Good enough is good enough – because we are not going to be using this for years in our business, it is fine to work with for a month. There ARE things that I would change BUT that would take time away from actually DOING it so they can stay there for a while.

YES, you have to have the checklist. I spent the last couple of months of last year floating around without a checklist. Yep I got stuff done, but not on the scale that I do when I have determined a course of action and then set the measurable goals for completing it.

So there you have it…my best time management tips for getting things done!!! Please feel free to comment if so have a great tip I missed.

Public Speaking, Blogging and Email Marketing – What Is Your Voice?

Public Speaking, Blogging and Email Marketing - What Is Your Voice?When you are public figure (and I am feeling like everyone in business is moving in that direction with the advent of blogging and social media), you have to be interesting. Your blogs, emails and speeches have to convey something that ads to the conversations that are happening online and in the real world.

Back in the old days, like 10 years ago, everything that a company produced marketing-wise was “corporate”, whether that company was a tiny little entrepreneur based enterprise or a massive conglomerate that was snapping up the competition left and right. The “brochure” was created, agonized over, re-worked and then stood proudly as a testament to THE COMPANY, a perfect piece to give a prospective buyer or client.

Then in about 2008 blogging started. At first people were confused…who cares if you had oatmeal for breakfast and NO business would ever be caught dead having a blog. Blogs were stupid.

Fast forward another couple of years and now blogging isn’t looking so stupid anymore. Some really big name companies are utilizing the power of the RSS feed and the fact that they can build an email list to market to and all of a sudden blogging is cool.

Here we are today. Social media means that you need to be, well, social. Posting internal company pictures, showing the process of your business and communicating with prospects and customers in a very “UN-Corporate” way. The masses have risen and there is no barrier to them. They want to see more than what you have so carefully crafted on your brochure. In fact, they are so busy with all their online stuff, they don’t have time to even look at your brochure!

Why Does All This Matter?

So this history lesson is nice, but what is the point? The point is that in years past, you could present whatever kind of front to the world that you liked. You could have a glamour shot taken and use that as your business card picture for 10 years, who would know?

Today, you are on the Facebook with a million pictures from events and other things you are doing. If you are a speaker, you are taking pics of the airport, posting stuff from the front of the room and generally documenting everything AROUND your speaking events on Instagram.

The world wants to see behind the mask and know all about you…and if they like what they see, they will sign up for your email lists, speaking events and read your blog voraciously.

The one thing about all this access is that it makes being fake impossible. You may WANT to be cool and polished, prim and proper, but then someone will post a picture of you on Facebook making silly faces and jumping around in your jammies.

We meet A LOT of people who want to avoid that happening by hiding behind their business Facebook page, cutting their “real” life off from the social media world. Seriously, this is just not going to happen today. Even if you are not on there, people are posting and commenting and sharing abut you all day long and it is better to be part of that conversation than to not have a voice!

Stop Worrying and Stay Real

So a number of years ago I had a great client who was super fun to work with. She was friendly and bubbly in person and her email messages reflected that in her writing style. A single missive could contain 10 exclamation points, two smiley faces and portrayed her joy of life.

Then came “the day”. I assumed she was ready to fire me as the tone of her messages turned dour. There was no life in them anymore, just the facts ma’am. After a couple of weeks of this, I had to call her and ask what was up (it was driving me crazy). Well, come to find out, she had hired a coach and the coach said she needed to clean up her emails and make them more “professional”. Gone were the smileys and exclamation points, and they never came back…sigh.

What is your voice?

From being interested in people and watching them A LOT, I have found a number of different types of writers and speakers. Here are a few that I notice…

Effusive and caring – This is the message I got when I joined Chris Brogan‘s affiliate program…”I’m SOOOOO excited you decided to help with being an affiliate marketer for all my various offerings.” It felt personal and that he really was talking to me because it was not boilerplate, perfect and proper. Chris is a very open communicator and that shows in his public speaking, email messages and his blog.

Vulnerable and openBrendon Burchard is a public speaker who really shares a lot about himself personally. He is caring and really interested in the people who belong to his tribe. His email message for Christmas was, “love you Happy Holidays!!” Now I would NEVER send that because it would not be congruent with who they meet when I speak or talk on my blog, but for Brendon, it was COMPLETELY understandable!

Grouchy and to the pointGary Vaynerchuk is one of my favorites! He is blunt and cusses a lot when he speaks. There is no mincing words here, he is very passionate that there IS time to do everything you want for your business if you will just, “Stop watching fucking Lost.”

Now, I am sure that Gary V. offends some of the people in his audience. They are not motivated in the same way I am so the message starts to sound like yelling or nagging instead of as inspiring and “get off the couch and do something”. Brendon is not one of my favorites. He IS high energy (which I like) but a little too touchy feely for me. That said, his message is so good that I stay on his list so I can still consume it when I am in the mood.

Stop rounding off the corners!

There are a million ways you can present yourself. You CAN be incredibly cultured and demure. You CAN cuss like a sailor and drink beers during your talks. You CAN be sincere and open, spilling your guts out for everyone to see.

What you HAVE to be is honest. If you are not a sliced-white-bread Yankee who wears alligator shirts and drives a “beemer”, don’t try to play one online. Today we have to make sure that our online life matches who shows up when we speak or make videos or blog.

If you have not found your voice yet, ask your 5 closest people what they think of you. Ask them to pick 5 words that describe you and your style and then run with it. I will tell you, being “real” means that half of the people will love you and half will hate you, but the ones that love will do so completely, signing up for your newsletters, watching your videos and attending any talks you give.

I KNOW, being yourself seems scary but honestly, it is the only way to go!

Humanizing Your Brand – If Toilet Paper Can Do It…

Small Business Marketing - Humanizing Your BrandWith the advent of social media, the world has shifted. Before SM a company could sit up on high and just be a corporation (or small business) without having to have a human personality. We talk with A LOT of small business owners who want to use their logo instead of being the face of their business…this is a huge mistake. As small business owners, we benefit when we take a look at what the big brands are doing to humanize their brands!

Not too many of us have hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch a major advertising campaign. We don’t have the money to hire actresses or do HUGE focus groups to see whether they like one thing or the other more. What we do have is the ability to copy what we see the “big dogs” with deep pockets doing. And what they are doing is putting a face on some really strange products like toilet tissue!

The Toilet Paper Lady

Humanizing Toilet Paper AdSo I was cruising one of my girlie (craft) magazines on my iPad the other day and came across a woman talking about toilet paper. She is British, relatively good looking and seems to have my best interests at heart (she just wants me to be clean and safe). She is talking to me about “bums” and invites me to head over to the Cottonelle Facebook page to talk about toilet paper (now I have to say that unless I was a marketing nut I would NOT have been compelled to go there BUT since I am, over I headed).

They are doing some stuff pretty right, there are some funny posts (like toilet paper sports casters) and seem to have some good interactions on the page. That said, it does seem like there are A LOT of ladies chiming in with love stories about toilet paper. How did that happen?

Oftentimes a brand like this will contact mommy bloggers and other influencers and give them free offers to “promote” their page or comment with their own opinions. Now, you can be sad about this or know that there are two great things about this… 1) you can grow a following yourself and get free toilet paper and 2) you can get this same kind of thing on a smaller level by offering your products or services for free in exchange for social interaction. I also am a huge proponent of begging (I infrequently ask my tribe to do things because I have built up good will through sharing great content for free – like this post!)

Sharing Cottonelle Facebook FailWhat they are doing wrong… so it is kinda little to see, but one of the Facebook peeps actually said to them, “You guys gotta come up with something better than this!” in response to a picture question, “Have You Shared The Joys Of the Cottonelle Care Routine With Your Family And Friends?” Seriously? Cottonelle thinks that we are going to share this photo to our timelines or spark a conversation with my Midwestern hubby about why we have to have a toilet care routine (that WOULD be fun, but could lead to a divorce!)

The page has a couple of neat posts but you can see that the corporate parent is not so comfortable about moving away from traditional push marketing and is losing the “person” in their brand. Just putting a picture of this chick onto a sales message isn’t going to work!

This Is Not New!

Old humans in adsSo it is easy to think that this is a new phenomenon with Social, but I can think of literally hundreds of examples over the years…from the Marlboro Man (my Mom smoked Marlboros and so do I) to Madge the lady who said you should soak your fingers in dishwashing liquid.

While we can see that the some of these brands have been modernized, the concept is still the same. Have a strong, silent man to represent your smokes. The thinking is that if you buy (and smoke) Marlboros too, you will be as cool as this guy.

Where I think Cottenelle is missing the boat is that the toilet paper lady is not “cool” or hip. She is obviously “mom-ish” aged, but she is a little cartoony for my taste. I happen to know that most women in the 35-45 demographic are not ready to lie down and die, turning into the stereotypical “mother”. This may be because having a “neutral” character is far less scary to a big brand than injecting a little edge into the equation.

Some interesting notes about humanizing your brand:

  • It is widely held that women are more approachable and shared on social media. This may be why we see so many women “spokesmen” for brands.
  • About 80 percent of buying decisions for this kind of thing are done by women so it is no wonder we have lots of ladies.
  • As humans we tend to like to see people who are “like” us. Have to think that the blond haired, blue eyed lady is not flipping the switches for African American or Hispanic buyers.

So there you have it, my take on humanizing your brand for small business marketing. If you have a favorite from today or days gone by, please leave a comment below so I can add him or her to the post!!!

Choosing A Niche – But Do You LOVE It?

Choosing a niche - do you love it?When you are doing entrepreneur marketing, there is nothing more important than to know who your perfect client is and then focus exclusively on that person when developing products or services. One of the ways that we recommend figuring out what you’re selling is to figure out what you like to do best.

As entrepreneurs, there are many things that we COULD do! Sometimes it seems like we are just jumping from one great new idea to another without really planning what we like to do (or at least would like to do for the next 5 years or so!)

This has happened to me a number of times over the years. I started doing real estate in 2007 because I thought it would be fun and I would be good at it. Well I was! I was a GREAT real estate marketer, but a horrible real estate agent. Within two years I had a pretty huge practice and was MISERABLE because in reality because I like marketing not helping people buy and sell homes. I was in and out within a couple of years with a firm understanding that I like marketing.

I have also fallen into other areas that I COULD do. Mostly they are one offs that are not profitable and take up way to much time once I get digging into what is needed. Check out this post to learn more about how these “detours” cost you time AND money…One-offs – How they cost small business owners time and opportunity!

So how DO you go about choosing a niche?

I KNOW, there are myriad people out there talking about how you should find your passion and then monetize that. That is cute, but there has to be a point where you really look at what the numbers are. If you love knitting and are a great knitter but not good on the computer, you are going to have a hard road to open up a local retail store and then finding enough other knitting others locally who will support your store. There are just too many online retailers that can crush you on price or selection.

Choosing a nicheThat said, you also DO NOT want to pick a “popular” niche just because it is profitable. I was cruising the interwebs the other day and came upon this article about wrestling and how the promoters were greedy. Pretty interesting in a marketing way.

I noticed that the site was using other people’s footage and basically just reporting with some of their own commentary thrown in. There were also many marketing pieces there including ads and links that the website owner could make money from….interesting.

Now, if you were trying to choose a niche, this one looks great! But for me, I would be able to write about one article that take me FOREVER to research. I would also have to start subscribing to and following blogs and news that was about sports, sport figures and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good football game as well as the next gal, but that is definitely not a passion of mine.

Won’t choosing a niche limit how much you can make?

The next question I get about choosing a niche is, “but won’t I lose money by having such a narrow focus?” Um, just because you focus on and target a niche, doesn’t mean you won’t get opportunities outside that. You don’t turn them down, you just don’t focus on them with your marketing money or energy!

Again with the entrepreneur thing, but I think it bears repeating…entrepreneurs are smart and capable, they are able to be nimble and pivot easily. That is a blessing and curse. With marketing, time and patience are your friend and if you are always flitting from one new project to the next, you will have a hard time gaining traction to do what you want and live your fabulous life!

Pick a thin slice, focus on it for a good three to six months and then figure out if it is going to work. We tend to get WAY out ahead of ourselves with our ideas and fall in love or hate with something too quickly. Take a little time to plan your biz out and it will reward you in the long run!

I promise I am not bashing local, I LOVE this local shop

So what does a great niche look like? I am stalking a scrapbooking store in England, Art From The Heart (I live in the US and have never even been to England). I get their emails almost every day and watch what they have new in stock (I could never buy because the shipping would be OUTRAGEOUS!)

So how did this British upstart win my heart?

  • One – the owner of the store is a speaker and talks at events around the world (clue: if you are a local store owner, you have to leave it from time to time to generate business!)
  • Two – they have a great email list that sends the latest products AND pictures of finished projects AND news about where the owner will be…I AM stalking her after all!
  • Three – they have a Facebook page where they feature finished projects (not sure if they have a Pinterest, but I KNOW many of Dyan’s designs are pinned on the site!)
  • Four – she sells products in the US at stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
  • Five – she designs products that are good for her, things she is interested in using and because she is scrapbooker she is great at knowing what people like me want.

Now, if you are choosing a niche or getting ready to launch a new company, this sounds insanely out of reach. There are A LOT of moving pieces to her success and it is hard to figure out how you could get all that in a couple of months.

Well you CAN’T! If you are truly working on your passion and know what you want to do for YEARS you just need to start somewhere today. Pick your niche, pick your products or services and start today with ONE THING. Could be to sign up for an association site, setting up a website, sourcing products or basically anything that moves you forward one step. Tomorrow get up and do something else that moves you forward another step. Rinse and repeat.

Picking a great niche (for you) WILL make things easier but at the end of the day, you just need to take the time to build an empire around doing what you love and keep that momentum going every day!

Need help figuring out your niche? Give me a call today to find out more about our Entrepreneur Marketing consultation! You will be glad you did…:) 727-415-9165

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Using SEO and Tagging To Play The Game!

Using SEO and Tagging To Play The GameOkay, today I am going to let you into the twisted world of “winning” at SEO and tagging on any website you are registered with. This is not for the purposes of ranking on search engines, but on specific websites that you are a part of (although it should work on YouTube and other sites that allow self tagging).

The Media Monster and I signed up for SpeakerMatch.com so we could get more public speaking events next year. You may be signed up for an association website, LinkedIn or other similar site where there is heavy database, keyword or tagging searching (I did this for my husband on LinkedIn so he could rank for Database Administrator (DBA) a keyword that people look for when they are looking for people like him! As you can see he is ranked number three with very little LinkedIn use and very few connections.

SEO LinkedIn Tagging and Keywords

If you are in the job market (for say speaking gigs), you could max out your profile with keywords that people might use like public speaker, denver, etc. These will all effect the number of hits you get. Don’t try to be everything to everyone on each site, just try to be the best you on each one!

Database Bits

SpeakerMatch Database SearchSo I was messing around searching the SpeakerMatch database BEFORE I publish our profile. There are a number of different database fields that you search (these are called CLUES to me!) This is the public search that meeting organizers will be using to find speakers. Some fields include:

please note that humans tend to start at the top and work their way down, keep that in mind!

  • Speakers First or Last Name – I can’t compete with this one…if they have someone in mind already I am NOT changing my name…:)
  • Keyword – This has to be a boolean search (a database term that means using keywords with the ability to use pluses, etc.) as the results that come up are not in the tags of the people who are returned. Note to self, make sure that I have LOTS of keywords in my description. Someone could search “marketing speaker” which returned 2 results OR “marketing speakers” which returned two also – could mean that it knows plurals but to be on the safe side I am going to use both.
  • Topic category – Now this is where it gets interesting! Like I said before, people read from the top down so my potential categories are (A) Advertising and PR, (M) Marketing and (S) Social Media. Now there is not a place for me to choose this so I need to make sure that I have those keywords in my profile so I can get in the juicy first category!
  • Fee range – optional based on your business…picking nothing (open) seems lame and counter productive
  • City - PLEASE use the biggest city in your area. I live in Westminster, CO but say that I am traveling from Denver as that is the closest large city to me!
  • State – Self explanatory
  • Gender, Ethnicity and Religion – Can feel like it is intrusive, but meeting planners and others sometimes have need of certain person to fill a spot. Your goal is to get on the list so fill these out!

Missed Opportunities

Now, I started filling bits out and thought I had it pretty well done except for tweeking. Then I dug a little deeper. You can have programs (your topics – many didn’t even have this basic information filled out), articles (why not write a couple of quick articles?), audio (pull it off of your videos!), blog (um add the link!), pictures, documents, and testimonials.

As with any website that makes their business selling information, rarely are the owners of the site (like SpeakerMatch) going to tell what to do to win. But dang, they sure give you come clues. If you are dedicated to succeeding at coming up in the most searches, add some articles (even though you wonder why in the heck you would…:) Upload your videos if that is what they like or share you YouTubes. Remember this is all a game and the player with the most cards WINS!

One thing that is tempting to do is repurpose something you have written somewhere else. I wouldn’t do that, make sure you have new content for the articles. Also, it would probably be a great idea to do a welcome video just for that website so people know that you care! These little touches will ABSOLUTELY make a big difference in how many people find you in searches (and that is the point right?)

If you have meandered down here, you probably have either a jones to make your LinkedIn or SpeakerMatch better BUT remember this works for ANY website that allows search term, SEO, tagging or opting in to things like “liking” certain pages (ie Facebook). If you start to think, “hey I want to be the one that comes up in searches” you can make a huge difference in your SEO marketing efforts!

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Inspirational Business Quotes | Business Motivation Quotes

I admit it, I am a major quote nerd! I love to find really great quotes that I can use for inspiration, or to motivate me or to remind myself that there ARE giants who have gone before me and who experienced some of the same doubts and fears that I have today. I think for someone like me who spends a lot of time alone behind a keyboard, reaching out to people and hearing their words of wisdom is a very powerful driving force!

Please feel free to share the quotes with pictures freely, all I ask is that you leave the attribution to Marketing Artfully on there!

But everyone doesn't deserve their own audience. That's something that's earned. - Seth GodinBut everyone doesn’t deserve their own audience. That’s something that’s earned.
Seth Godin

In order for you to profit from your mistakes, you have to get out and make some.
Anonymous

The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.
Walt Disney, Animator

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
Vince Lombardi, Legendary Football Coach

You can't be half brave, chris broganYou can’t be half brave. You can’t fly on the ground. You have to shift from “should” or “someday” or “going to” and do something.
Chris Brogan

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
Erica Jong, Author

Obsess over how much you can give with your time rather than how little of your time you can give.
Sam Parker, Co-founder of JustSell.com

What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage!
Cowardly Lion, from The Wizard of Oz

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to. George Allen, football coachPeople of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.
George Allen, football coach

The secret of business, especially these days, is to focus relentlessly on your unfair advantage – the thing you do that others don’t.
John Rollwagen, executive

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
George Woodberry, Poet

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Henry Ford

And when things start to happen, don't worry.  Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll  start happening too. Dr SeussAnd when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Dr Seuss

If you don’t fail now and again, it’s a sign you’re playing it safe.
Woody Allen, Director

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
M Radmacher

The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., American judge

When I was young, I observed that nine out of 10 things I did were failures, so I did 10 times more work. George Bernard Shaw, Writer and CriticWhen I was young, I observed that nine out of 10 things I did were failures, so I did 10 times more work.
George Bernard Shaw, Writer and Critic

Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
Napoleon Hill, Writer

I don’t think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it.
Mike Ditka, Football Coach

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
Frank A. Clark

Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it. J. M. Barrie, DramatistDreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.
J. M. Barrie, Dramatist

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie

No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.
Brian Tracy, Author

So there you have it! My favorite inspirational business quotes that help with my business motivation. I update these when I find new great ones (hint, hint…if you have a good one I missed please leave it in the comments and I will add it to the list with a thank you link if approved!)

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Is Long Form Content Taking Over The Google?

Is Long Form Content Taking Over The Google?I read an article the other day about how long form content (a fancy word for really long articles) is dominating Google now. This seems to be counter intuitive to today’s busy world as people try to consume less info in smaller chunks AND Gary Vee is writing whole books about how being brief and to the point is winning over long, intense posts.

What does make sense to me is that the “thin” sites from days of yore were made precisely to game the systems. These were full of short, crappy, spun posts that did not benefit Google’s users, the searcher. So maybe deep in the bowels of Google’s algorithm is a favoritism towards long content. How does Matt Cutts sleep at night knowing all the secrets of Google and still not telling us!!!

A Non Scientific Study of Long Form Content Results – My Data

I am not a math girl so I am not going to do an in depth study of numbers and variables, but what I do have is my analytics data that shows my old-old site with great traffic and a newer site that is process of growing. Let’s take a peek at what those sites tell us about the length of articles in combination with their popularity (only based on my numbers – I know, you math whizzes are cringing right now!)

Best pages with views and word count Marketing Artfully (minus the home page and sales pages):

  • 100 Great Email Subject Lines – Email Newsletters (2,635 views | 2,368 words)
  • What are important customer demographics? (717 views | 594 words)
  • Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors (713 views | 598 words)
  • Work Quotes With Pictures | Labor Day Quotes (612 views | 318 words)
  • Giving Thanks Quotes For Small Business (508 views | 755 words)
  • 100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples (494 views | 1629 words)
  • Customer Demographics – Age Demographics for Advertising (441 views | 656 words)
  • Small Business Marketing – 100 Great Call To Action Examples (290 views | 769 words)

Best pages with views and word count M&M Monsters (minus the home page and sales pages):

  • Real Estate Marketing – Tips For Listing Agents, Writing Your MLS Listing (72 views | 885 words)
  • Easy Email Follow Up Plan for Networking (61 views | 1392 words)
  • Why Knowing Who Your Perfect Customer Is Matters (31 views | 869 words)
  • Why Infusionsoft! (29 views | 873 words)
  • Real Estate Marketing – What Should You Send In Your Email Newsletters? (26 views | 810 words)
  • Real Estate Marketing – How To Market To A Farm (24 views | 639 words)
  • Real Estate Newsletters – Are Newsletters Dead (23 views | 476 words)
  • Email Marketing – What is the difference between autoresponders and drip campaigns (21 views | 818 words)

Conclusions…first off, I don’t really write posts between 300-400 words so there is NO chance for that length to be represented. That said, here is the breakdown by percentage of my top blog posts by length:

  • Epic (1500-2500 words) – 12.5%
  • Wordy-McWorderson (1000-1500) – 6.25%
  • Long But Not Stupid Long (500-1000) – 68.75%
  • Shortys – (400-500) – 12.5%

It seems like the sweet spot for getting traffic is somewhere between 500 and 1,000 words with 800-ish topping the list.

Google Results

Now lets go outside my posts and see how long the top Google results are for things I care about!

Customer Demographics

#1 – What are important customer demographics? (mine) 594 words
#2 – Customer Demographics (Frost & Sullivan – case study) 839 words
#3 – 14 Tips to Nail Down Demographics (Mashable) 1,245 words
#4 – Know Your Target Market (Entrepreneur.com) 1,281 words
#5 – What Are Your Customer Demographics? (Experian) 546 words
#6 – Demographics (Wikipedia) 650 words
#7 – The Difference Between Your Customer Demographics and Psychographics (YellowPages.com) 498 words
#8 – What are my best customers like? (Neilsen) 126 words

Conclusions – well I am in REALLY good company! I am sharing the first page with the likes of Entrepreneur, Neilsen and Mashable. All are between 498 and 1,281 words (with the exception of Neilsen’s 126 words with a couple of graphs). Pretty spread out, let’s look at another one!

Realtor Marketing

#1 – Realtor.com no words mostly pictures (stupid realtor.com)
#2 – Mobile List Builder Realtor.com no words mostly pictures (stupid realtor.com)
#3 – Realtor.org Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS® 768 words
#4 – Inman Next category page
#5 – Agent Boost 21 Low/No Cost Real Estate Marketing Tips 617 words
#6 – Marketing Monday 10 Killer Real Estate Marketing Ideas 2308 words
#7 – Mine – Realtor Marketing – Stop Offering A CMA | Comparative Market Analysis 561 views
#8 – Zillow Blog – Drones taking off as real estate marketing tool 645 views (first page, 1,142 total)

Conclusions – The NAR (National Association of Realtors) and Realtor.com dominate this keyword. That said, if you are a Realtor looking for marketing help you may wind up skipping the “official” sites after you have visited them once and move onto the sites lower down the page. I get a lot of traffic from Realtors looking for marketing help so they must be coming from somewhere!

Other Smart People Who Are Talking About This Too

Final long form content and Google thoughts. I think that we can safely say that a sweet spot to rank in Google for a specific keyword is about 800-1,000 words. There is also a bunch there around the 500 word mark but the concept that you can churn out 300 word minimum posts and get a quick hit ranking from Google is probably an urban myth. Hitting those high spots takes time, dedication and great content.

Side note, I follow ALL of these sites and they do not have just one amazing post about the topic. To rank well for a search term, your whole website has to have a cumulative ranking for that term and then you can break through with a great post that ranks on page one.

What does that mean? If you have a website that is all about Customer Demographics and write an AMAZING post about Social Media Marketing you may have a chance of that one ranking. BUT, if you have a site about weight loss and write that same AMAZING post about Social Media Marketing, your chances of ranking well diminish greatly!

Incoming search terms:

  • how long content for google

Social Media Marketing Success – Using Lists To Stop Driving Yourself Nuts!

Social Media Marketing Success - Using ListsI have to say that the amount of content that I am exposed to daily is overwhelming. My day starts with checking the news on my USA Today app, going through email (not much news there, mostly spam I have to delete) and then I head over to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Klout and Pinterest. If I spent just 15 minutes doing each one, I would  have wasted 2 hours out of my day right off the bat (and 15 minutes would be a low estimate for some of them!)

So how do I make sure that my time is spent productively? Using lists makes it MUCH easier to fly through my day! On each of the social sites, I add people and companies to lists of things that I want to see and interact with, cutting my social time down to about half an hour and providing ONLY the content I want….

…which leads me to a question that you MUST ask yourself. Are you producing content that someone would add to a list? This is different across social media and here are a couple of things to think about:

Facebook – FB, being inherently social requires that you share a bit of yourself, your hobbies, funny bits and maybe some good quotes. FB is NOT the place to go on a rant, post provocative info or blast the other political party. You HAVE to remember that half of the county is Republican so sending out a snarky Sarah Palin post will make about half of your friends unhappy. Thinking of posting a “funny” gay bashing cartoon, most people have a friend or family member that is gay and while they may chuckle along with you, it doesn’t do anything for either of yours’ social standing. Something to remember…they may not unfriend you for doing this and you may have the feeling that everyone agrees with you. This can be because the people who have grown tired of your rantings have hidden you from their wall and now only people who agree with you entirely are seeing your posts.

Twitter – Twitter is simple. People are not necessarily wanting to see your whole breadth as a person, more-so they are looking for great information about single topics like marketing (YAY!), weight loss, business, camping, goal setting and the like. We have found that having a TIGHT Twitter timeline can be a very powerful thing. One of our Twitter accounts has gained over 500 followers in a little less than 2 months by focusing exclusively on the topic of Search and Search Engine Optimization. Having such a tight account makes it easy for someone to feel good about following us, they KNOW that they will get only information that they would be interested in.

LinkedIn – This one is a enigma to me. Generally all I see is recruiting, nationally recognized figures and large corporation content. So roll with it! Figure out how to post things that they might find interesting AND share the great national content that they produce. ALL posts on LinkedIn should be business related in some fashion.

Google Plus – Google Plus is for search! You can be a little more free wheeling with Google Plus because mostly people are not interacting with you on the level that Facebook requires. The main benefit of Google Plus is to grow large networks and then share content from your website or blog with keywords attached in the comments. This will make your posts show up in the “regular” Google search and is a super powerful tool!!!

Pinterest - The blessing of Pinterest is that you can have as many boards with varied interests that you like. The only thing that I make sure is that I have business related boards at the top and bottom of my profile. I feel like personal people (say people who follow my scrapbooking board will be more likely to “dig” for relevant info while business people are looking to look at the top and scroll to the bottom to see if they “like” me enough to follow my profile.

This is all great, but how can using lists for your social media marketing increase your effectiveness? I told you about all these social sites because I think it is important to know the FOCUS of the social media property before developing lists! Having a great list on Facebook will not automatically translate to a great list on Twitter!

Lists On Social Media Sites

Facebook - Let’s start with 800 lb. gorilla in the room! Facebook is nice and can be a really good site to build relationships and get referrals from. That said, I think that there is a really strategic way to increase your influence on Facebook with lists…

  • Profile lists – Your friends and family. If you are using FB for business, it can be VERY had to find the posts that you “really” want to see (like those from your Daddy and husband). With this in mind, you need to make a list of Friends and Family that you can check at will without waiting for Facebook to show them in your timeline.
  • Profile lists – Business friends. Now this is still a list of real people, not businesses. These would include key influencers you are targeting, clients, referral partners and basically anyone who you want to connect with business-wise.
  • Profile lists – Pages. Now this is where it gets powerful. Facebook thinks that comments from humans are more important than comments from pages so you can really help boost and make an impression on the page owner if you have a targeted list of business pages. Just remember, A LOT of these pages are managed by social media managers so you may not get as big a bang for your bucks as you might on say, Twitter. But still worth-while!
  • Profile lists - Groups. Same as pages, just groups.
  • Page lists – Pages. As your page, you can make lists of complimentary businesses, other local businesses and industry leaders who are using a page instead of a profile (pages can only interact with other pages – they can’t talk or comment to people although they could share a post). It is really powerful to interact as the page as this is one of the primary ways you can get likes now-a-days.

Because Facebook limits what you see on your wall, it is extremely important to have these kinds of interactions available through your pages and posts lists.

Twitter – AMAZING! Okay, I am biased because I like the Twitter so much, but Twitter lists are GREAT for finding and sharing (retweeting) information from your key influencers (again, industry peeps, clients, prospects and referral partners). Here are some reasons to do Twitter lists…

  • Filtering – There is SOOOO much information flying around on Twitter that without making lists, you cannot possibly find the great needles in the haystacks.
  • Retweeting – This is the highest compliment that you can give on Twitter. Sharing someone’s post is a great way to attract their notice.
  • Real People – Many Twitter accounts are actually the real person! This is a way to get access to people that you might never have a chance to talk with in “real life”.
  • Finding Content – There is A LOT of great stuff on Twitter that you can save to share for later on your social networks. That said, without having lists of types of content you will have a hard time finding anything good.

Pinterest – The cool thing about Pinterest is that lists are kinda-sorta built right in. By following boards instead of people, you will get only the “stuff” they post that is of interest to you. That said, there are no lists on Pinterest yet which is a real bummer. Moving right along…

Google Plus – You can easily make lists in Google Plus – they are called Circles and Google has made this easier than any of the other social networks. One thing to note about Google Plus circles is that you should try to limit them to 99 people or pages so that you retain the ability to email out your posts when you have something important. Sharing content works much the same as on Facebook with some notable exceptions:

  • Profile lists – You can mix up pages and people in these lists although I try to make Biz Page lists and people lists to keep my lists cleaner. I definitely look at people stuff before I look at business page stuff.
  • Biz lists – One superior thing here is that pages CAN like and circle people.
  • Engagement – Like and share from both lists to your profile and business pages!

LinkedIn – The most disappointing lists. Sigh. So on LinkedIn you can make lists in your contact book to email out to your contacts but you cannot make true lists of real people that you are connected to. What you can do is use Interests > Pulse to get easy access to industry leaders and people who LinkedIn as deemed as “Influencers”.  These can include journalists, best selling authors or industry titans. You can also add “channels” like marketing or innovation and companies that are big enough to attract LinkedIn’s notice. It is a good way to get content to share, but honestly, I doubt that many of these are real people, more likely they are being managed by Social Media Managers and are not a great way to reach key people.

There you have it! Lists for the top social media sites (I also have lists for my feed reader and Klout but seriously, how long can this post get?) If you have any great info about making lists on social, please make sure to leave me a comment below!

Incoming search terms:

  • real estate social media
  • engagement social media

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake, Bar None

So today we are going to talk about the biggest social media marketing mistake companies are making, bar none. If you are one of those that wants to know the answer and move on, it is not including pictures in your blog and social posts.

For those of you who want more, I think this post is going to be a big eye opener today. I am going to show how people are using photos well and how some are crashing and burning.

No photos in Facebook intended posts:

MIT Facebook pageMost of you know about MIT (the technology school) and they have GREAT info, but according to this article, Sharing fast and slow: The psychological connection between how we think and how we spread news on social media by www.niemanlab.org, this is how their Facebook page ALWAYS looks. Full of the MIT Magazing logo. Sigh.

No matter how brilliant your “stuff” is, if you don’t have a picture in it for sharing purposes, you are going to be fighting the inertia of most people’s overwhelm. You need to have something snazzy to grab their attention.

How you post to Facebook

I was talking to a gal the other day who did not want to have to use the native platform (logging into Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and preferred to use a service like Bufferapp.com or Hootsuite.com to schedule ALL of her posts. The problem with that is that the photos pull in differently depending on HOW you post them and the size of the image in the post. Here are four different posts, which I tried valiantly to maintain in their actual size comparison.

the size of photos in facebook

The first one was posted the same way that the second one was (with Bufferapp.com) the only difference being that the photo in the post was SO tiny that it could not be pulled in as a large photo (it would have pixilated).

The second post is actually not all that bad, it is big enough to attract notice in the news feed and the photo in the post was large enough that Facebook could pull it in easily!

The third one is a good example of how Facebook crops photos. I would have been better off to move the words to the middle instead of having them at the top so that they would be more centered when FB pulled it in.

Lastly (and obviously the best), I hand posted this, uploading the photo and then adding the link and words. Using the native format (logging into Facebook to post) makes a huge difference and should be used when possible!

The mother of all photo sites, Pinterest

Before Pinterest, we all had sorta-kinda okay pictures in our our posts that matched what we were talking about. Smart marketers today though, know that having a call to action when a photo is shared will make a BIG difference in how much traffic you get through Pinterest.

How to make interesting pinterest photos

As you can see, photo one was from the old days and was marginally close to the topic of the article, Is Honest Affiliate Marketing An Oxymoron. That said, because Pinterest is a visual and sharing site, NO ONE has bothered to read the words below it. They do not know that this is a blog post and really the only sharing opportunity I have is if someone likes spiders – which will NOT help to get traffic to my marketing blog!

Both the other photos have a strong call to action and let the reader know what the accompanying site and photo are about. These get shared very well and currently Pinterest is the fourth largest source of traffic on my website.

Google Plus Photos and Posting

Last but not least photo-wise is Google Plus. The same holds true that uploading a photo directly to Google+ makes it big and beautiful (good for people). That having been said, I have heard around that if you post a picture and put a link in the comments it will not show up in Google search as this is a tactic they recognized that the spammers would use to game the system.

With that in mind, it is good to post your important posts a couple of times to Google Plus, once with the link pulling the photo and once with the photo loaded separately so that you can take advantage of both types of benefits.

Videos In Blog Posts

You may follow some of the big names in marketing like I do and one thing that I notice is that they have a screen capture of the video they are including AND the video. The reason for this is that they can then post and pin the photo, pulling directly from the post. If all they have is a video, that will not pull in when posting to Facebook and the like.

Pictures and videos in blog posts

thanks to MarieForleo.com for doing such a good job at this!

Why Photos Matter

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake - It's All About The PicturesIf you are a pinner (using Pinterest) please click the “pin it” link. If I had just used the photos in this post, you would have been able to “pin” them BUT would not have had the option to pin the picture that tells what the post is actually about! That would have greatly decreased the number of shares I would get on Pinterest and would have hurt my efforts across all the social media sites.

Never have pictures been so important to marketing as they are today and I fully believe that the biggest social media marketing mistake people are making is to not take advantage of the power of photos or pictures in their posts.

>> If you are a small business owner and would like some help with your marketing, please check out our social media marketing services page!

Small Business Marketing – Why Do They Keep Saying SEO Is Dead

Small Business Marketing - Why Do They Keep Saying SEO Is DeadThis post is for NON-SEO (search engine optimization) people, my small business owners who are out there in the trenches trying to figure out how to do SEO to get your posts and sites seen and read. It is pretty long and detailed, if you have any questions, please make sure to leave them in the comment section!

A little history of SEO

The history of SEO for me starts in about 1999 when I was working at a web hosting company and we started building websites for clients. In those days having a website was a rarity and luxury that few business owners could or would afford. In those days there were no search engines as we know them today, you just had yahoo and altavista which were sites that were effectively big directories of page links that you could add your website to. Not too much SEO going on yet…but we still tried. In those days you DID have to keyword each page because they were all separate HTML pages.

Fast forward to 2005-2006 for me and blogs had become all the rage in the big dog circles although I was still on the fence. That said, I built my two main sites there and we were off to the races. They looked clumsy and ugly, but man did they rank well in search engines like Google which was big and getting bigger all the time (check out the history of the Google here…:)

Around this time I first became aware that there were “black hat” and “white hat” methods of SEO and that some of the black hatters were doing mean things like hijacking your website and redirecting it to the porn…sigh. Oh this was high times for SEO. You could throw up a couple of “doorway pages” that were keyword stuffed and get rankings right away. You could also write a bunch of keywords in the bottom of the page and make them white so no one could “see” them…but of course the search engines could read them when the spiders came to index your site.

The other thing you could do was to make huge networks of links that were really lame and came from “thin sites” which had about 5 keyword stuffed pages. You could also pay very little to be put into gagillions of directories. All these backlinks still helped to increase your rankings on Google although everyone knew they violated the terms of service.

Onto 2009 and some really fun times. You could write a couple of posts and then “spin” them and submit them to sites like Ezine articles and article farms. There was no thought put into any of these, just tons of gibberish and sort of english sounding words all strung together. You could also find content on the internet and just pull the feed into your site as content or simply copy and paste it to your website and it would still rank well. For a while there, when you did a google search, all you got was crap sites…which leads us to a short break to talk about what Google does…

Google is focused on the user experience of the searcher and they don’t care if marketers are happy. They make changes to their algorithm constantly and this causes some sites to go up and some sites to go down. Sometimes popular site are penalized by these changes and tactics that worked in the past no longer will work. Additionally, they have an internal system for figuring out page rank of sites, giving sites a score between 0-10. Having a 10 site (like www.usa.gov and www.adobe.com) link to you is like the holy grail of link juice and something that all marketers try to accomplish!

Moving on, in 2011 the Panda Update targeted thin sites that offered a poor user experience…meaning that all of those crappy sites dropped like a stone. Not only did this effect the little sites, but it made the page rank that they sent to the connected pages in the network worthless. So if someone had 100s of sites all linking to them from thin sites and google took all those sites down all that ranking love went with it. Now we recommend that people have more “authority sites” rather than little tiny websites!

The 2012 Penguin Update specifically targeted links. This one mad me very happy because I KNEW that there were black-hatters out there who were getting LOTS of traffic because they had made A LOT of fraudulent backlinks to their websites and I didn’t want to cheat that way even though my clients’ and my sites were struggling to show up in the non-black hat world. This update didn’t just say that crappy backlinks were bad, and don’t do them anymore…it said we are going to penalize you dearly for all those backlinks you ALREADY have out there and you need to try to walk back the cat and make them go away. Think about finding 5 or 10 THOUSAND of bad backlinks, emailing the site owner and begging them to remove your link…not fun!

Last but not least, the Google is a changing over to semantic search. This is a term to describe the fact that, while many people are still searching on their computers, many searches are done on a smart phone with real words, such as “siri how do I get to the grocery store on 7th and main”. In the past this search would look much different as it was typed into a computer!

Now you are pretty much up to today so let’s break down some of the specifics about why they say SEO is dead!!! ps – I wrote a post a while ago about bad SEO not just not helping but hurting that you might enjoy too!!

No follow links

Back in the heyday of link building, there were many sites that allowed “follow” links in their comments and even on their sites (Squidoo comes to mind). That has changed drastically now and most links that you are able to proactively create are “no follow” links which do not pass any page rank to your website.

Over-optimized links

It has been almost two years now since Google said that they would punish you for bad links and still I get user names like this in my comment section…”SEO China, SEO Hong Kong”. What they are trying to do is get a link back that has the keywords SEO and SEO china in them. The problem with this is link building companies are unable to make links the way humans do. In the real world, some of those links would say “click here” and some would say the owner’s name, and some would say the company name and some would link to SEO china, but not all. The SEO companies are still using old tricks that no longer work and could hurt you!

Doorway Pages

Some of you may be wondering why I am talking about something from 4-5 years ago…well I am here to tell you, these are still going on and being sold by SEO companies even though they will probably hurt the website owner! These are keyword stuffed pages that are intended to stand alone and provide a “doorway” for a particular page on a website. For example, I could make a doorway page that was super optimized for SEO Expert Denver, and have the only link go to my sales page for that service. Sounds good, right? Well it was at least 4 years ago that Google got wise to these and shut them down (even before noticing the “thin sites” that they corrected in the Panda update). These do not work!

Keyword Links to multiple pages

Dude, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just, like, rank for Social Media Expert Maryland, Social Media Expert Florida and a whole bunch of different ones like that? Then we could make pages for each one with the same content except change the words to the right city and state…people are STILL doing this to this day even though it was Panda-ed. This one just needs to die a horrible death!!!

Article Spinning

There are hundreds of article spinner softwares out there and it can be tempting to think about all the great backlinks you can get…unfortunately this is another blast from the past and it doesn’t work nearly as well as it did before. You would be MUCH better off to write a number of different articles so you will know that it is original content!

Fake directories

There are literally MILLIONS of directories that you can submit your website to. None are particularly good or high quality and they don’t work anymore. Here is a great article about this… What Makes a Good Web Directory, and Why Google Penalized Dozens of Bad Ones. Please note that this post is from 2007…when they started to crack down. The sad thing is this is still a service that SEO companies offer today.

Buying links

The whole idea that you will write great content and people will beat a path to your door is cute and not all that relevant. You have to work your face off to get backlinks from other sites and share it on social A LOT to get traction. This can make wanting to just buy backlinks from Fiverr or a really bad SEO company very tempting. DO NOT DO IT!!! All of those links violate the terms of service and will count AGAINST you. In plain English…you will pay someone to make a whole bunch of links that you will have to pay someone else later to get rid of through remediation and hard work.

Why EXACTLY Do They Say SEO Is Dead

Well, Google just hid all the data about what keywords people use to search for your website so it is hard to figure out what you rank for. The data in your google analytics just shows the info from Yahoo and Bing and is such a small sampling for most of us that it paints an inaccurate picture. There are a few companies out there with some data about this stored but it is getting more out of date day by day.

The “tactics and tricks” that people used in the past are all falling by the wayside as google cracks down (sometimes retro-actively) on bad practices. Being cute and trying to game the system is getting harder and harder. I wrote this post because many of our clients are still hiring “old” seo firms that are using these practices and are being hurt by them. Today’s SEO landscape looks more like a soccer field with multiple players. You need to be doing social and video and blogging and myriad other things rather than relying on one company to “get your site to the top of the search engines”. It isn’t pretty and it is hard, but honestly you don’t have any other choice.

Goal Setting – Good Marketing Done Imperfectly Still Counts

Doing the day-to-day stuff is hard and where most people fail. So it is the time of the year that I do some serious goal setting. During December I generally try to post a blog post each and every day of the month (generally missing the first day…it has become a tradition around my house!)

So today I got all fired up to write an AMAZING blog post but then figured out that I had a speaking event, two client meetings and about 1,000 emails. Sigh.

What to do, what to do. Well people in person trump blog posts. Clients have paid for their time and that trumps blog posts. But still, it is important to do what I say I am going to do…so here are my deepest feelings about marketing:

Good marketing done imperfectly still counts

So I am signed up for a website called Flylady.com which tells you how to keep a house well (I am organizationally challenged which is why I have such stringent systems for my business). While I do like some of the tips, mostly I like her motto which is “housework done incorrectly still blesses your family”.

Those of us who are frustrated perfectionists can understand this immediately. It can seem like doing a post that is not a great seo post, that is published at 6:09 Mountain time is a waste. But it is not really. I truly believe that doing what you say, no matter if it is perfect is important.

Doing LOTS of stuff sometimes trumps doing perfect stuff

During my speaking event, a lady asked about social media and if she should do one really well or all of them (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest) a little bit. I think she wanted to hear that doing one perfectly was the best bet.

Of course I said, do all of them! It is tempting to do the one that you like the best, but your potential customers are actually on all of them and you are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table if you only do the one you favor.

Doing LOTS of stuff sometimes trumps doing perfect stuff – part two

Another thing for this topic is that A LOT of my traffic in the coming year will come from the posts that I write this month. Every day when I try to shoehorn a blog post in around presents for the kids, decorating, oh and work, I think about that.

Doing the day-to-day stuff is hard and where most people fail. If you can just show up everyday you will beat out 98% of the people out there!

Giving Thanks Quotes For Small Business

It is that time of year again! Time to give thanks for friends, family, and especially our clients! This post contains giving thanks quotes with pictures and Thanksgiving quotes that are appropriate for business. Please feel free to share them on any social media platform or your site, as long as you leave the attribution intact…:)

I am grateful that my horizons were not narrowed at the outset. Jessye Norman

I am grateful that my horizons were not narrowed at the outset.
Jessye Norman

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. James Allen

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
James Allen

The sun will not rise or set without my notice, and thanks. Winslow Homer

The sun will not rise or set without my notice, and thanks.
Winslow Homer

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. Meister Eckhart

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
Meister Eckhart

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. Max de Pree

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
Max de Pree

Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought. It must be born with men, or else all the obligations in the world will not create it. Edward F. Halifax

Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought. It must be born with men, or else all the obligations in the world will not create it.
Edward F. Halifax

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. Albert Schweitzer

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.
Albert Schweitzer

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. Victor Hugo

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.
Victor Hugo

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Gilbert K. Chesterton

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. James Allen

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
James Allen

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Some more great Thanks and Thanksgiving Quotes

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
Karl Barth

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward

Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.
Joseph Wood Krutch

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude… Don’t complain; just work harder… Never give up.
Randy Pausch

Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.
Felix Frankfurter

Disappointment is a sticky one, because no one can steal contentment, joy, gratitude, or peace – we have to give it away.
Kristin Armstrong

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.
Lionel Hampton

It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.
Roberto Benigni

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve made mistakes, but thanks to those mistakes, I’ve learned.
Enrique Iglesias

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
Aesop

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie

I am very grateful to make my living doing what I would do for free.
Judd Nelson

Remember that not to be happy is not to be grateful.
Elizabeth Carter

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.
Kristin Armstrong

I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I’m on and to relish each day as a gift.
James McGreevey

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.
Joel Osteen

I am grateful that I didn’t let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness.
Mariska Hargitay

The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.
Richard Carlson

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.
Eileen Caddy

_ _ _

These are the best Thanksgiving quotes with pictures that I have collected! Please let me know in the comments if you have a favorite that I missed!!!

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Realtor Marketing – AgentMatch, What It Means To Your Marketing

Realtor Marketing - Agent MatchThis is a post about “Who moved my cheese”, the fact that everything changes and that you CAN win at any game in which you know the rules!

So Realtor.com rolled out AgentMatch in two marketplaces, Las Vegas and Boulder which is just around the corner from me. Basically, it uses the sold data on properties to “match” your search to the “best” agents in the area.

Wanting to know more, I put out a call for a Realtor that would talk about this with me who actually worked in the Boulder market (many of the agents I hear yelling are not actually in a market that has this yet) to get his opinion. His name was Jason Sater, with Coldwell Banker and these are a few of the things that he said:

  • Agent match is in Beta right now and may not roll out to the whole country. In addition, agents could do the same function in Zillow (loading in their solds) for a while now so not sure why all the hub-bub.
  • Jason has seen a nice mix of teams and individual agents ranking in the searches he has done. It seems like the top agents are represented but also some of the other agents in the area.
  • It does seem like you could manipulate things like DOM just by deleting the listing, reposting and setting as sold more closely together.

What I find interesting is that Jason is not actually freaked out at all. He is pretty calm about the whole thing and is really just trying to get his arms around what it will actually mean for his business. Make sure you check out his Boulder real estate website!!!

This is what AgentMatch looks like…

Agent Match Boulder COI started with a search that seems to be in “North Boulder”. Now, as a consumer I did not know that it would be North Boulder and I am not sure I would have noticed. The portion contains some normal market statistics:

  • Number homes on market
  • Homes sold in the last six months
  • Average sold to list price
  • Average days on market

Marketing Tip #1

The first thing that jumps out at me if I was a listing agent in this market is that there is no absorption rate shown (maybe because it is a hard concept to explain to consumers). BUT absorption rate is a much more practical number than simply average days on market. So No. 1, when going on listing appointments I would ABSOLUTELY print this top part out and bring it with so I could talk intelligently about it. Panic-ing agents worry that they are not on the bottom showing up as “best”, I would worry about being the most knowable agent sitting at their kitchen table.

Next there is a dropdown and while it defaulted to Agents with recommendations, I could also choose:

  1. Agents with recommendations
  2. Homes for sale in this area
  3. Homes sold in this area
  4. Average days on market
  5. Average sold price to ask price

Marketing Tip #2

Real estate agent selling tips [Ebook]They just dropped a big hairy clue here. If you are a Realtor in this marketplace you need to get more recommendations…and not just ANY recommendations.

According to a great article by Inman, the recommendations have to be made on RealSatisfied.com which seems to have a relationship with Realtor.com (my words not theirs).

So following the bunny trail down, you probably need to find out more about RealSatisfied.com. It looks like they have a free plan that lets you get up to three recommendations. Now, that may or may not be enough to get you on the top 16 in your marketplace, but I have to think it is a good place to start. I would DEFINITELY set up an account and get my three favorite customers to give me referrals…I would go to their homes and beg if I had to.

So here comes the hard part. If you need more than 3, you have to pay $79 a year for unlimited. Sigh. I am so sick of people charging realtors for tools they have to have for their business…BUT if this rolls out in your marketplace, better to have it than not.

Looking at the numbers

When you are using data, it is easy to get confused (and manipulate it!) Because they are looking at recommendations here, we can extrapolate that R Tim Goodacre must have the most reviews in RealSatisified. OR it could be that ALL 16 have great reviews and they rotate the top agent. OR, OR, OR…what it does mean is that we need to take a closer look at all the data…

So now let’s see what each criteria results for the top 8 agents for each category:

Recomm Listings Solds DOM Sold/Ask
Goodacre Goodacre (6) Goodacre (4) Goodacre (32) Ratay (103%)
Hobson Bell (4) Hobson (4) Herz (36) Herz (101%)
Franco Franco (3) Franco (2) Westfall (37) Caulfield (100%)
Ratay Kidder (3) Ratay (2) Meko (40) Hinkleman (100%)
Huffman Hinkleman (3) Westfall (2) Hill (45) Soklin (100%)
Kidder Hillman (2) Meko (2) Hobson (49) Hobson (99%)
Hinkleman Meko (2) Caulfield (2) Soklin (49) Franco (99%)
Bell Hobson (2) Huffman (2) Franco (52) Westfall (99%)

Some observations:

  • If you look a this data, Mr. Goodacre seems to be a rock star in all areas except for list to sale price. The problem with data is that one bad sale price could skew the whole thing and he DID make the list at number 16 with 86% for four homes sold. I challenge any realtor to think that this is a “bad” number. It is a real number!!! But then again, is the public educated enough to know that this one statistic is not enough for them to choose or reject Mr. Goodacre.
  • The three top List to Sold gals sold 2, 2 and 1 property each in the last six months. That high list to sale price is nice, but are they carrying a high enough inventory to be a successful agent? Hard to tell by looking at the numbers.
  • I did another search that turned out to be in the “Central Boulder Market”…only Goodacre and Hillman came up on this one in 15th and 13th places respectively.
  • While I don’t think having listings outside of your farm or neighborhood area hurts, what HELPS is to be the neighborhood or geographic location expert. I would NOT split up marketing dollars for prospecting postcards over that line. I would make sure to know what the boundaries of the areas where and stay inside them for maximum effect.

So, should you be freaking out that your Realtor marketing is going be decimated by AgentMatch, um…no! But are there things that you could do even before it gets to you to improve your chances? Heck yes!!!

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Social Media Marketing For Small Biz FREE Email Course

Free Social Media Marketing CourseHave you ever scratched your head and wondered how the heck everyone else knows about social media marketing when you are just struggling to keep up with the latest trends. And forget marketing, you are just flailing around hoping that one of your posts will “go viral” and make all this hard work worth it.

Stop right now! Social media marketing involves strategy and you CAN learn how to make the social sites work for your business.

We have put together a course that will help you to understand HOW social works, WHY it is so important to your business and WHAT you should do to make the most of your time.

What this social media marketing FREE email course is not:

  • A how to set up your sites…you can get that on YouTube
  • A lame-o fluff piece…it is pure content that will help you figure out Social Media once and for all
  • This is not for using social media, well, socially…all emails and videos will show you how to use social to market your business

When you take this course you will get advanced marketing marketing concepts that marketing pros usually charge between three hundred and three THOUSAND dollars for!

How it works

Every other day you will get an email with another aspect of social media marketing. We stagger them so that you will have time to do a little work on each property before going to the next one!

What the course covers:

  • Why Social Media Is Important
  • B2B or B2C
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Website Integration
  • Drive To Email List

Sign Up Now!

we respect your privacy and never sell our list…please don’t forget to confirm your email address so you can start the course! (it can take a few minutes to come in and you might need to check your spam folder!)

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Customer Demographics – Creating Your Perfect Customer Profile

Customer Demographics - Creating Your Perfect Customer ProfileYears ago, when I started looking how to pick the right customer demographics for my marketing, I only knew about the basics like age, marital status, income and the like. As I got a little more sophisticated (maybe a little obsessed) I started spreading that out to more and more areas of my perfect client’s life and was able to better write sales copy and develop courses that would help my target market.

Today I want to let you in on how we figure out our perfect target customer. We do this process:

  1. When we are developing a new product or service
  2. When we are writing a sales page to sell something that we already have in house
  3. When we are working with our clients to get them on track
  4. When we are trying to develop an advertising campaign and write ads that convert

The reason it is so important is it stops us from talking about our features and makes it focus on “what is in it for them”. By having a super clear vision of who we are looking for, all the subsequent marketing, posting, branding and everything else just cascades down from there!

Lets Get Started Working Up Your Perfect Customer Profile….

Sales and Marketing Success: Targeting Your Perfect Customer Who Will Buy & Buy1. Get our ebook, Sales and Marketing Success: Targeting Your Perfect Customer Who Will Buy & Buy

As you go though it, I will try to give you a quick overview of each section and item. That said, it is A LOT of info and if you need some help, please check out our Small Business Marketing Consults where we will walk through it with you!

2. Selling – what you are trying to promote

3. Name – now this is where we lose A LOT of people. They think it is stupid to give their profile a “name” and ask, “Why not just say that it is a woman or a man? Why do I have to pick something? This is stupid!” The harder you fight against it, the more I know that you are not selling to a person, you are selling to “people” – a nameless, amorphous blob who you consider to be customers, not individuals to cater to. Just stop arguing and give them a name!

4. Age, income, occupation, marital status – these are pretty self explanatory and considered “normal” customer demographics.

5. Kids – it is important to know about their home life. A single mother juggling three kids is going to have a very different level of time than a single man with no kids.

6. Car – now this one seems silly too, but knowing that someone drives a crunchy granola 1984 Cherokee versus a brand new leased Lexus is huge difference!

7. Neighborhood – goes along with lifestyle and is a good indicator of where to network and advertise to reach them!

8. Hobbies – can include things like do they golf, volunteer at a food bank, spend time with girlfriends, knit, go to the gun range…all sorts of interesting things that can hook to their political affiliations and other fun stuff.

9. Reason for working – are they the sole support of their families or doing it for pin money for extras? This comes into play when writing sales copy!

10. Financial focus – someone who is 63 and saving for retirement may be much more motivated than someone who is just trying to get a few extras like a trip to Disney World. (I feel like this needs a little explanation…think of MLM or Direct Sales people. Many stay at home Moms go into Direct Sales to get a little of their own folding money. When marketing to them you may need to talk more about getting out of the house or affording a trip. If they are the sole breadwinner and saving for college, their triggers will be very different!)

11. General – anything that you can think of to help describe your person! These are some of the bits that will make them seem more real!

12. Social sites, Internet and Search – where are they hanging out online? How will you try to reach them? Depends a lot on whether you are selling a B2B or B2C service!

13. What style of learning? This will help tell you whether you need to talk about “see how you can make more money” or “have you heard about…” We tend to like people who are like us so I like visual people (heck I named my site Marketing Artfully – I like everything to be pretty!)

14. DISC Personality – Huge for me! I don’t have a ton of this floating around publicly but did write a post years ago that might help with understanding this…Using The DISC Personality Profile For Marketing and Selling

15. Generational Beliefs are WICKED cool – these are things that we generally don’t even think about having an impact on us but which are very important. I am a Gen X-er and I KNOW that “if it is to be it is up to me”. Part of the latchkey kids, I was responsible for my younger sibling at a very young age and am still willing to jump right into the leadership role. Compare that to a Gen Y-er who would probably be more comfortable with having a friend along to share and help with the work. These generational forces are strong and need to be considered!

16. Worldview – probably the most important part for your marketing message! My worldview is that it is best to spend my business money at the end the end of the year so I don’t have to pay taxes on it. I am wide-open to marketing messages that come in during the holiday. Compare that with a single mom who has just spent every penny to put a great Christmas together for her family…the same message sent to each of us would be received very differently!

these next four come from Perry Marshall and his Swiss Army Knife course….gotta say I LOVE that Perry and am pleased to be an affiliate for this product!

17-18. What Your Customer Loves or Hates – this is personal to your customers. Could be something like singing in bars, making money, impressing their friends or the Tea Party. These are all very different things but they add to the framework that we can use to develop a strong marketing message.

19-20. Your Customers Heroes or Enemies – I find this to be very telling. If your gal’s hero is Oprah, there are hundreds of touch points that you can use…what Oprah says like “When you know better, you do better”. Having compassion for everyone, not just people you like. If her enemy is Sarah Palin, you can use sayings like “Can’t put lipstick on THIS pig” and the meaning is very clear. Now, you don’t want to be too polarizing and you might want to stick to general enemies like “working for the man” or “the people who don’t understand single girls and give them stupid advice”.

21. Positive Beliefs About Your Product Or Service – this is important. If you are selling a product that is known to do what it says (like the Dyson vacuum that is a best of class product) you have a much easier time than if you are selling a weight loss supplement. These are also sometimes beliefs that are not realistic but are still positive like, “I can set up a Facebook page and all my marketing woes will be gone”.

22. Negative Beliefs About Your Product Or Service – this is where you can get down to the nitty gritty and start making an impact! If you are a business coach and KNOW that people think, “I tried that before and wasted my money” then you can address that right up from in your marketing, setting yourself apart from those “others” who don’t have systems or a plan or satisfied clients.

23. Why They Buy - if you haven’t sold anything, guess. If you have a track record of sales, reverse engineer what it was that made them take out their wallets. Was it the fact that you have a great track record, was it your autoresponder series that primed them…basically just look at what got them over the tipping point and made them sign up or buy.

24. Albums, Actors, Movies, TV, and Books – These are all great cultural references. I always use the example of Twisted Sister. Saying that to one of my friends who was a teen in the 80s induces feelings of “we’re not going to take it”, big hair and Dee Snider in addition to the general term of endearment among my set. Calling someone a twisted sister is a compliment and if you are not of that age, you wouldn’t know that.

25. Other Experts – this is your competition. These are other experts in your field that you are going head to head with! While it is tempting to stick you head in the sand, looking them full in the marketing and figuring out how you differ can be a very productive process.

I KNOW that you are probably thinking, bloody hell, how much do I have to know about this person to sell them a toothbrush! That said, all of these touch points will help you to craft a message that will resonante with them and will make your job of crafting a message MUCH easier than if you are just sitting there with a blank piece of paper trying to figure out how to talk ONE MORE TIME about what you are selling

Want some help? I KNOW this can be overwhelming but it is vital to your sales and marketing success. Knowing your customer demographics could mean the difference between selling the heck out of your product and heading back to the cube farm in disgrace (see how I threw in that reference to your enemies!) Stop trying to go it alone and check out our Small Business Marketing Consults TODAY!

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Small Business Marketing – 10 Things You Are Doing Wrong

Small Business Marketing - 10 Things You Are Doing WrongWhen you are doing small business marketing and trying your hardest, it can seem like all you are doing is spinning your wheels. You market your face off but it seems like no one is listening and when they do they are not responding. Having talked to A LOT of small biz owners, I can tell you that the problem is probably one of these:

Product development – We can’t understand what you are selling

The number one problem I see with small business owners is not having a super clear, you can rattle it off in 30 second message about what they are selling. Now, what you are selling in public may not be the actual product you get paid for (I am a speaker so I always “sell” getting my next speaking event BUT my actual sales are of social media marketing or marketing consulting services).

That said, frequently when I am at networking or a Chamber event, a business owner will flail around for 5 minutes, explaining what they do, not telling me in clear terms EXACTLY what they are selling!

Your mission…figure out EXACTLY what you are selling. If this is your first effort keep it to three things max, if you are seasoned you can probably go up to 5 which you can rotate at events. You MUST be able to spit it out in 30 seconds or less and you need to check with people who don’t know you to see if it is actually comprehensible!

Product development – Naming it something cute

In the day of the internet, A LOT of your leads, traffic and comprehension will come from people already knowing what you do. We have an amazing friend who built a huge marketing campaign around being a “megapreneur” or something along those lines. While the concept is interesting, in practice no one is looking for a made-up product word. They may be looking for entrepreneur marketing or entrepreneur consulting, but trying to build a brand from nothing that humans say is a long hard schlog.

When I lived in Clearwater, Knology was coming to town and it was AMAZING to watch the money being spent on branding them and rolling them out to the public. First went up billboards that had interesting sayings and a teaser that said something new was coming. Next were TV ads with the same (I think) red color and more teasers. Radio spots were bought and paid for, the local paper had some ads and then…wha wha…they let us know they were a cable and internet company.

Now, we never switched because we had Time Warner and were relatively happy, and I really only noticed because I am in marketing. BUT my frugal little heart wondered if naming the company a made up word was worth the MILLIONS they had to have spent to launch into the Tampa marketplace.

Your mission…take a real look at the name of your product or company. If it is made up, create a tagline that DOES have what humans say. If you are in the process of rolling out a new product or service, please make sure it has the actual function of the item in the name and leave the “cute” bits to the tagline.

Event marketing – Not enough time

Oh the humanity. My marketing besty, the Colorado Connector is an amazing PR and new media marketer. She can fill a room and generate buzz about any event we are having here in the Denver area. She has a huge database of people to contact and we sometimes consult with people on their event marketing efforts. It is at this consultation that I see the flaws in timing most marketers have.

First off, if you are having ANYTHING, you need a six week lead time. No questions asked and that doesn’t mean you are waiting to hear back about who the speaker is. You need to have your sales page and collateral materials ready to go including a online landing page (no we can’t share your Word Document flyer), at least a couple of graphics that you can share on social media, a press release, and handout flyers that you can take around to events. Next you need to have a plan for posting, schlepping around locally and basically how you are going to market your event.

Your mission: for your next event, do everything right. Give yourself time, hire a copywriter to write your sales page, go on fiverr.com to get some graphics made. Once you know what a true event marketing plan looks like, you can simply duplicate that for every other event you do going forward. I think you will be surprised at how effective (and popular) you will become!!!

Event marketing – Bad content

Okay, last event marketing one, BUT this is a biggie! Most people do not know how to write an amazing sales letter and your event NEEDS a sales letter. Just posting on Meetup.com that you are having something is not enough anymore. You need to SELL your event, your speaker, your USP or benefit to people who are going to attend. This is super important if you are charging but maybe even more so if it is a free event.
People have been burned too often on their time and now are hesitant to commit to wasting more of it on your free event.

Your mission: find an event that you felt like was a MUST ATTEND and figure out why you were so compelled to go. Look closely at their sales page and reverse engineer the reason that it tugged at you. Collect these so when you are writing your events up, you can use these same triggers to fill your room.

Small business marketing – Not enough time

Speaking of time, too many small business owners are frustrated because they feel like everything takes too much time…they want marketing to work RIGHT NOW. I wrote a post on how long it takes to get a great post ranked Small Business Marketing – How To Write Authoritative Hero Blog Posts. In it, I basically lay out that it takes about THREE MONTHS to get a really good blog post to start ranking. That is three months of promotion, sharing and slogging to get ONE POST popular.

I was giggling about this the other day with one of my marketing peeps….:) So many small business owners worry about what time to post their info. What time? Seriously, I don’t care what time you do something, it is the frequency and dedication that you use to get it done that matters. I post most of my blog posts about 10 times over the course of months to get traction. I post them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, make a video, heck anything that I can think of to get exposure for it.

This same thing applies to ALL of your marketing. Building a blog? Sad a week later that no one is reading? CRAZY! Start a Twitter account and KNOW that you will have thousands of followers in a week? UNREALISTIC. Building all of these properties takes time, dedication and patience.

Your mission: do something AMAZING and then plan to promote it for three months. Could be a video, blog post, or even a great graphic. Post it and share, talk about it, email your friends and ask them to share it too!

Small business marketing – Listening to too many gurus

This is a huge one for me! You NEED to find only one or two people to follow marketing-wise. If you have a 100 different “gurus” you are following they are all going to, over the course of a month, try to sell you something. Even if you only buy 5% of what is being sold, you will have spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. The reason this happens is that they are GOOD marketing people, their job is to get you to buy, buy, buy.

The problem is that if you are buying new systems, plans and products each month, you are not PLANNING and IMPLEMENTING against that plan. Honestly, you need to stop buying any new marketing products or courses until you know EXACTLY what you are doing and why you are doing it!

Your mission: if you have not met with a marketing consultant yet, find one and settle on a firm plan for your marketing. A good consultant will take into consideration what you want to sell, what your skill sets are and how much you have to spend on your marketing. Need a great marketing consultant? I would love to throw my hat into the ring to help you today!!! Find out more

Bandwagon jumping – By the time they tell you about it, it doesn’t work

Speaking of gurus, PLEASE know that by the time they are showing you the latest trick, it has flamed out. Do you really think that someone who is making GAGILLIONS of dollars a month doing something is going to sell you the “secret” for $47 or even $297? Telling you how to do something that is in direct competition with them (like buying Facebook Ads) is not smart, and these guys and gals are SMART.

We heard a great webinar the other day talking about how Facebook contests got the presenter thousands of new likes on their page. The “catch” was that they said early on that they had done this about 9 months ago. Well, Facebook has changed the contest format since then and contests are about as popular as Groupon giveaways now. The presenter was not lying, they did use a contest to get those likes, but by the time they are talking about it, that loophole has closed and it is not such an effortless sale anymore.

Your mission: Stop chasing easy and develop a plan for your marketing. Stick with it for at least 90 days before jumping to the next magical marketing trick. Bonus if you put all the “make money online” or “internet marketing” guys in a folder on your email that you never look at.

Productivity – No systems

Okay, this is a huge one! Do you know that I have a system IN WRITING for how to promote my blog posts and videos. This includes a worksheet where I list what I have done, where I have shared it and what I am selling for each item. I meet with my business partner each week to make sure we are on track and doing what we are supposed to do…:)

Once you have a marketing plan, this gets much easier. You know what you need to write about, what your videos should look like and how to get people down your sales funnel and into buying something. You feel better about yourself because you know what your top tasks are and when they are done for the day, you know that you have accomplished something worthwhile!

Your mission: First off, figure out what ONLY YOU can do for your business to market it (could be writing blog posts, making videos, chatting with prospects on the phone). Next make sure that you have a plan IN WRITING everyday for accomplishing this. Sounds easy but “real work” always gets in the way. I have seen that the best and most successful business people ignore what “has” to be done and do what “needs” to be done to grow their business every day.

Social media marketing – Posting one and done

Every thing that you create, including blog posts, videos, Facebook pages, etc. needs to be promoted multiple times. I KNOW, it can seem like you sent it out and you don’t want people to get “sick” of seeing it. I have a secret for you, most people are not paying that much attention to you! They are not worrying that they have seen something more than once because they probably didn’t even “SEE” it the first time.

Additionally (and I think this is a huge one) it depends what you are saying WHEN they are hearing it. By this I mean that someone who has never looked at Twitter will not like my Twitter posts, but if they start using this social media service, all of a sudden they can start “seeing” my posts from a couple of months ago that now have new life!

Your mission: Make yourself a worksheet! Plan how often each week you will blog. Figure out how many videos a month you will make. Daily post and follow new people on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Klout, LinkedIn (check out Tip 3 on this post to see an in depth description Internet Marketing 5 Tips To Organize Your Work Flow.)

Social media marketing – Thinking this is marketing

Okay last one! If you made it down here I have a REALLY GOOD feeling about your marketing chops! This one is HUGE and super important.

Most small business owners think that social media is marketing. The thing is that social media is just a little piece of the marketing puzzle. In my experience doing JUST social media is not an effective use of marketing time or money. Social media has to be a part of a blog, email, direct mail and in person marketing campaign.

It can be very powerful when used to build relationships, but standing alone as a prayer for generating sales it is a dud. We get A LOT of people who contact us and think that by setting up a Facebook page they are going to get hundreds of leads a week. That is just not true. Setting up a Facebook page is step one in a hundred step process to grow a sales funnel. Additionally Facebook is just one piece, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and YouTube also need to be in the mix.

THEN you need to have a way to capture names (an email database), an autoresponder series to keep them interested, maybe send them a post card or personal note. I KNOW….the gurus are telling you that all you need is Facebook or LinkedIn, but everything changes and you NEED to have a comprehensive marketing plan and system that will get moving down a pipeline from your “stuff” to a paying client over time!

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There you have it…my top 10 things you are doing wrong with your marketing! Please feel free to leave a comment if you agree (or disagree!) If you want to get going with a plan-plan and don’t know where to start, make sure to check out our Marketing Consulting Services.

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Internet Marketing 5 Tips To Organize Your Work Flow

Internet Marketing 5 Tips To Organize Your Work FlowSometimes when I make myself crazy because I am not the most organized gal in the world, I think, what would I tell my peeps to do and then implement that….FORCING myself to create systems. This post is like that!

Here are my top tips for things to make your life a little easier – Internet Marketing 5 Tips To Organize Your Work Flow

So what the heck is work flow? It is the fancy term for the way you accomplish tasks! I am not an organized person, BUT I HAVE to do certain things to keep my internet empire running like a well oiled machine. Then every once in a while I will notice that there is a little hitch in a gear…here is what those may look like:

  • It might be that I am doing something and have to switch back and forth between folders a thousand times
  • Could be that I feel like I will “lose” something if I don’t do it right now (even though I am doing something else)
  • Sometimes it is that feeling that you KNOW you should be doing something BUT you are not inspired right at that minute and so it doesn’t get done

Now, there are a million organized people in the world who will tell you their systems for getting things done using folders, colored tabs and paperclips, but they just make me want to cry. Where it the organizer for a visual person, who likes to keep it loose but not make herself crazy…oh well, this post is not for the organized, it is for schmoes like me! Don’t try to copy my way of doing things, just take an idea here and implement it!!!

Tip 1 – Have a delete me folder

This is one that I have used for QUITE a while and which is brilliant! Anything that doesn’t have to be saved DOES NOT go on my desktop, it hits the delete me folder. These things can include:

  • Pictures that I am just passing onto social media to include in a post
  • Documents that I am printing out but don’t have to save to my computer
  • Zip files that get opened to somewhere else

Basically all the flotsam and jetsam that comes with doing business on the internet!

What a delete me file is NOT, it is not a second garbage can that you “store” stuff in. You have to be willing to “select all” and delete the whole shebang every now and then. No looking, no going through it one last time. Otherwise you are just making yourself a big dumping ground of unorganized stuff that you have to look through later!

Tip 2 – Have an editorial calendar

SOOO sorry that I am using so many terms, but it is that kind of day! An editorial calendar is a pre-planned outline of what you are going to do each week, month or year. It tells you what you need to be doing when you are stuck for ideas AND because you thought it out in happier times, it is probably a good reflection of what you SHOULD be doing to increase your business rather than what “feels right” today!

The huge bonus for this is that the planning doesn’t have to be heinous! Sit down with a glass of wine and your marketing besty and brainstorm the whole year first. Go month by month and figure out what you “theme” is for each month. Before the first of the upcoming month, fill out the sheet that tells you what you need to do for the next 4 weeks.

A couple of questions came up…YES we re-write the annual stuff every month, things change and we may have to move some bits around. NO you don’t have to do everything we do, but why not try for a couple of months and see how much you can get done!

Tip 3 – Make yourself bookmark folders of things you do often

This is a biggie for me. I tend to be a little loosey goosey with my day unless I have all my time locked down. Social media is a huge time sucker if not done properly so I make sure that I can progress through it easily without having to think too much.

With that in mind, I have a bookmark folder on my Chrome browser that has a tab for:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Klout
  • Pinterest
  • Blog Lovin
  • Buffer

As I “walk” down the tabs I am able to quickly accomplish everything I need to do to “check in” on social media without having to think about it. I post something to FB and like a couple of friend’s things, check and see if anyone talked to me on Twitter, take a quick peek at LinkedIn, post on my Google Plus profile, hand out some Klout to influencers I am targeting and my friends, and check Bloglovin to see if there are any good articles available to “Buffer” for posting later and I am out.

If I am busy and don’t have the time to dink around, I can do all of this in less than 15 minutes.

Tip 4 – Get Evernote  or Pinterest to save “stuff”

One of the problems with the internet is that it is so interesting and HUGE. When I have some time and start researching things, I have blog posts, articles and videos that I want to see or read, but not a 16 hour day to consume them all.

If you are not a huge “sharer”, you can absolutely use Evernote to capture them all for consumption later. I tend to use the incoming folder as a dumping ground…don’t do that! Set up a “to read” folder and when you have read it, move it to either the trash or if you need to keep it, to a labeled folder.

I LOVE using Pinterest for this type of thing. When I find an article that looks interesting I will “save” it on a Pinterest board so that I can go back and see it later. The benefit to using Pinterest rather than Evernote is that Pinterest is public and when people see your boards they will want to follow you, growing your influence.

Bonus…when you have a Pinterest board that is popular, you can intersperse your posts and videos in there and get more website traffic or video views.

Tip 5 – Take the time to get it right

It drives me absolutely insane when I hear someone say, “I don’t have time to get organized” or “I try but nothing I do helps”. It literally took me over 5 years to get my calendaring system down to a science. I tried at least 4 different day planners (different sizes, different pages), a couple of online calendars, task lists and a whole host of other “solutions”.

Eventually I did figure out the right strategy for me. I use the Apple iCloud calendar that sinks on my phone, laptop, iPad and the internet (so my assistant can schedule appointments for me).

Had I given up and just resigned myself to missed meetings, stress and confusion, I would absolutely not be as successful as I am today. LESSON: keep trying until something clicks for you!

You often hear, “stop working IN your business and start working ON your business”. This is VERY true. There is no magic time fairy that makes extra time for those of us who have systems. We just know that spending a couple of hours now can save us weeks in the long run. LESSON: Unless you have rock solid systems in place, your first goal today should be to STOP and get your business in order. No emails, social media, getting quotes out, making phone calls or meetings until you at least have a framework for a plan to systematize your work.

There you have it, my top internet marketing tips to organize your workflow!

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Entrepreneur Marketing…Going General Will Bite You In The Ass

Entrepreneur Marketing Bite You In The AssEntrepreneur marketing is not about throwing up a site, getting some followers on social media and selling your heart out. In today’s day and age, entrepreneur marketing is ALL about figuring out EXACTLY what you are selling and pairing it with what “they” want and giving it to them!

Pick A Niche

One of the things that I notice when I am out in the field speaking is that most small biz owners don’t want to eliminate anyone as a potential client so they go REALLY broad and shallow when describing their business. Realtors will talk about working with buyers and sellers, luxury and condos, functionally if you fog a mirror, they will take you out in the car. Now, don’t go getting all sanctimonious about those realtors, most small biz people that I see standing up in networking talk about ALL of the things that they could do, but not a lot about a really tight target.

The best thing about having a tight target is that people can refer to you. If you are a financial services person and you say basically the same thing that all the other financial services people are saying, there is no way I can thin you out from the crowd. Now, if you say that you work with families who have children in the 9th or 10th grade who did not plan for their children’s college education…that I can get all on board with. I KNOW people with kids that age because my daughter is that age and now I know who to be looking for to help you!

The second best thing about a tight target is that the person you are talking will have their reticular activator turned on and are ready to pick someone that they can refer you to!

Your reticular activator turns on when you are focusing on something actively…say you are thinking about buying a red jeep, all of a sudden there are red jeeps all over the road. Did they just have a sale on red jeeps? Nope, you just started noticing them! This works the same for your referral partners, clients and friends. If they KNOW that you like to work with newlyweds, all of a sudden they notice that there are newlyweds everywhere who they can refer to you!

Stop Selling Everything

You are thinking that this is like a pick a niche but it is not! I can’t tell you how many times I hear something like,

“I moved here from Baton Rouge last year (GREAT OPENING) and own a call center that hooks up small business owners with prospects (SOUNDS GOOD, WHEELS ARE TURNING TO HELP THIS GUY), but today I am here to tell you that I just opened a nail salon and have an amazing nail tech who can….(BLOODY HELL, WHAT IS HE SAYING?)

LOTS of entrepreneurs read my blog. We are truly special people who do have the bandwidth to accomplish more in a day than most people do in a week. BUT, we confuse the hell out of our business partners, friends and family when we are not super clear about what we are selling. We frustrate them when we have diverse interests and try to pursue them all at once. And, like this guy, we shoot ourselves in the foot when we confuse our prospects by not having a clear goal of what we are selling.

Even if you have diverse businesses, don’t talk about them in the same session. Pick the one that will resonate best with the person or people you are speaking to and stick with that one thing.

What’s In It For Them

I KNOW, you are sick of hearing about this one but honestly the whole world has changed and the old ways are dead. If you are trying to tell anyone about your company or your products, you are probably dead in the water before you start.

Instead you should be helping people, sharing your expertise and adding value at every step. The days of standing up in networking and saying, “I am looking for someone who…” are gone. The marketplace is too crowded and people are overwhelmed by THOUSANDS of marketing messages everyday.

So what should you do when you have a chance to talk? Should you just stand there and look silly? NO!

Stand up and HELP, give a tip about your industry, tell something that you found out which could help someone in the room, tell a story that could benefit your listeners, give a shoutout to someone else during your time (especially in leads groups where you KNOW KNOW the people in the room well already).

People are so sick of marketing and advertising being shouted at them that when a message comes through with sincerity and true caring it shines like the sun. Just by caring you can set yourself WAY apart from the crowd and cut through the chatter.

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What A 6 Year Old Can tell Us About Sucky Marketing

What A 6 Year Old Can tell Us About Sucky MarketingSo my 6 year old knows nothing about what marketing is supposed to accomplish, what he does know is that some of it makes him wicked mad and interrupts him and some is great and interesting and adds to his life.

He plays a game that is subsidized by marketing. During his football games, each quarter ends with an advertisement he has to watch to get to the next quarter. The most interesting part of it to me is how he recognizes them across channels.

Sucky Marketing

I am not sure which car company it is but one of them has been buying A LOT of advertising time on his game. Now, admittedly he is playing Madden Football which is more of a big guy game BUT it is the constant interruption that he attributes to this car company. The interesting bit is that when he sees it on “real television” he goes out of his way to comment that they are on his game and he hates them.

Now, I am not sure that this is going to influence his buying decisions for a lifetime but it has happened enough that he has now associated that car company with something bad that happens. And he has played the game almost daily for two months…gotta think that some neural connections were made.

one note…this is a “typical” car commercial, lots of driving and inane comments… I did a search for car commercials to see if I could find and dang, there are actually some fun (and funny) commercials. would have thought have an entertaining commercial during a game would make more sense

This same thing happened to me. I was watching a show I had recorded in a marathon and they had obviously not sold enough different advertisers. I kept getting the same ad over and over…causing me to actually stop watching the program because I couldn’t STAND-TO-SEE-IT-ONE-MORE-TIME.

My final example is a brilliant one from SpyFu…they had bought A LOT of ads of on the YouTube so that they could retarget and blanket the marketplace. Problem was, there is ABSOLUTELY a fine line between being “everywhere” and actually being everywhere, over and over ad nauseum.

Is It Still Bad Marketing If It Is Not Memorable?

Now in the world of a 6 year old, this commercial actually ads to his experience. He stops and watches it and comments about it favorably on it when he sees it on “real tv”.

Unfortunately, it may not be accomplishing its goals…the six year old gets one dollar a week as allowance. It took me almost 20 minutes to find it because, even though I have watched it a bunch with him, I did not remember it was Inkjoy. I checked Pilot Pens, Bic and Paper Mate before figuring out that it was Inkjoy (purely by accident). Now I do actually have a budget for buying pens but would not have been able to identify the brand to buy them.

Take-away

It is really easy to hear “you should be advertising everywhere” rather than hearing “you need to be everywhere”. While it is great to use some of these new fangled marketing channels that we have at our disposal, the wise marketer knows the difference between connecting, marketing and advertising.

ps – the child in the photo is a stock image, although my child has that same face when he sees car ads!

The Best Halloween Quotes and Pictures For Business Part Two

Want more? We have a great post with some other Halloween Picture Quotes To Post and Cheesy Halloween Email Subject Lines from last year too. This year’s The Best Halloween Quotes and Pictures for business are here for your viewing pleasure!

This year’s Halloween quotes with pictures are all great for business, with a nod to Halloween but inspiring messages that have a more serious theme!

Please feel free to share at will, with the marketingartfully.com attribution included

The cat is a dilettante in fur

The cat is a dilettante in fur…Theophile Gautier

It's as much fun to scare as to be scared. Vincent Price

It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared…Vincent Price

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death… J.K. Rowling

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death… J.K. Rowling

Stuff that's hidden and murky and ambiguous is scary because you don't know what it does. Jerry Garcia

Stuff that’s hidden and murky and ambiguous is scary because you don’t know what it does…Jerry Garcia

No One Here Gets Out Alive Jim Morrison

No One Here Gets Out Alive…Jim Morrison

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it…Voltaire

The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring...Victor Hugo

The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring…Victor Hugo

Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared...Eddie Rickenbacker

Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared…Eddie Rickenbacker

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death...Omar N. Bradley

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death…Omar N. Bradley

I have always believed that one should not be scared of losing, I think that really is the key...Imran Khan

I have always believed that one should not be scared of losing, I think that really is the key…Imran Khan

I am not fearless. I get scared plenty. But I have also learned how to channel that emotion to sharpen me...Bear Grylls

I am not fearless. I get scared plenty. But I have also learned how to channel that emotion to sharpen me…Bear Grylls

Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death...Earl Wilson

Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death…Earl Wilson

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Poopourri – Awesome Commercial But A HORRIFIC Email Autoreponders

So I am not sure people outside of marketing are as focused on the brilliance of the Poopourri product’s video marketing. The video that was made as an advertising piece was awesome and compelled me to give them my email address and check out their free sample (turns out that was a seriously bad move on my part!)

While the Poopourri video was AWESOME, their email autoresponders have definitely not achieved the same high level of interaction and cleverness. In fact, it is looking like bad email marketing from the late 2000′s instead of current, up-to-date cleverness to match the video.

 

So what have they sent me?

Poopourri Email HeaderDay 1

Your poo still smells, do something about it. You had me in your cart, but I can only stop poo stink if I am in your toilet. Click on “View Cart” to take me home this time.

Okay, I get this one. I abandoned the cart and in the moment might have just gotten distracted. As an ecommerce site, their goal is to sell something and get that sale. Gave them a pass on this one.

Day 2

Stop embarrassing bathroom odor right now for free. Try a free bottle of Poo-Pourri today.* No strings attached. Simply click the button below to redeeem your bottle.

Okay I got the message, you want me to order a free bottle, but are you just going to keep saying the same thing? I even commented to my marketing besty that the poopourri people were stalking me like the paperboy in Better Off Dead, “my two dollars”.

Day 3

What The Crap? Something Doesn’t Smell Right. We reached out a couple days ago and never heard back from you. That stinks. Click on “return to cart” to take me home this time.

Now this feels like it is getting personal. I understand that they have sent me some emails and (obviously) I did not buy. At this point I am just wondering how long the autoresponder series is and if I was a normal person (and not secretly obsessed with seeing bad marketing in action) I would either unsubscribe or mark it spam.

What should Pooporri do to improve their email marketing campaign?

Okay guys and gals, we can take away some really good pointers here from a national campaign and help improve our stuff!

I showed a predilection for watching videos, why no videos in the email series?

First off, I got there because of a video of a funny lady talking about poo. I actually watched the whole thing from a YouTube commercial and was interested enough to give them my email. Where did the videos go? This series of autoresponders does have a picture of that lady, but no videos in the emails.

Where did that lady go, she was charming, the emails aren’t!

If that lady had told me I stink in email #3 (it may be #4, I think I hard deleted one before I knew they would keep coming) it would be charming. An email that tells me I stink is just insulting. What about a video with that lady?

One trick pony

That said, I do not have the same connection to the picture of her sitting in the toilet as I once did. I have now received 3 spam emails and get it, it was funny, now not so much. I know about branding and applaud the consistency, but seriously, how many are in the series?

How could they keep the magic alive?

Honestly, I was really interested in the product but not willing to pay the shipping with the information that I have at this point. So what could they do to change my mind?

Tell me where to get it locally

Okay, I admit it, I would pay $4 in gas to go get this at the store rather than paying a couple of bucks in shipping. While I would like to know where in Denver I could buy it, I would be willing to click a map and search for my area (with no personalization they don’t know where I live).

More facts

What about sending me some of the details about the product. Supposedly I have only seen the commercial once and may not have observed the actual features of it.

Real people

What about videos of real people using it? I would love to know if it really works or has solved a problem for someone.

Who is it for?

What came to mind for me was my college days in the dorm when I snuck off at midnight so I could have the toilets for myself. Did they check with anyone to see where this is good for? Most people have no imagination and aren’t chatting about embarrassing poo experiences. Why not give me some good ideas about who and where this could work.

Personalization

I wouldn’t have even minded answering some questions from an email (not these emails) to help figure out more about me. I have a daughter who will be going to college in a couple of years and could have had my heartstrings tugged. I think this one bothers me the most. This product is ABSOLUTELY a woman centered product and I am getting bold, aggressive man emails that say I stink…sigh.

Okay, I have to get back to work now and stop obsessing about Poopourri and their horrific email autoresponder campaign…:) I will update if I get anymore of their “awesome” emails!

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Where Should You Share Your Blog Posts?

Where should you share your blog posts 2013-2014Today’s question comes from reader Rae Ann Dougherty of Green Cleaning Products LLC. Rae Ann asks…where should you share your blog posts in late 2013 or early 2014? She mentioned sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Digg, De.i.cio.us, Stumble Upon, Technorati, Yahoo Buzz!, Blink List and Tumblr.

The landscape has changed so much that it is hard to know as a business person where you should spend your time and energy! Now, this is a post about where to share your blog posts, NOT about where you should publish content, which is a whole different ball of wax and can include sites like Rebel Mouse, Medium and the like.

In thinking about this, I want to break down the three types of content sharing…social sharing, search sharing and bookmarking. Social sharing sites include things like Facebook, Search sharing is on Google or the other search engines and bookmarking is less about sharing and more about making a list of relevant sites.

Let’s break it down by my numbers…we are going to look at two of my sites..this one that is O-L-D and gets lots of search engine traffic and which has old share links across the web (maybe not the best example for most of my readers) and www.MandMMonsters.com which is new (under a year old) and does not have the benefit of being already indexed on lots of sites.

Social Sharing:

Social sharing includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I KNOW that there are myriad more but these are the ones that have the most traffic and mass of humans to be able to share and consume your stuff. (Whether you should be on tiny social networking sites is a post for another day).

Web visits from social sharing sites

As you can see, Pinterest is overwhelmingly the top spot for sending traffic (and that is knowing that most of our stuff being B2B was not that hot on Pinterest a year ago…:) I find it awesome that using the bufferapp.com tool is actually helping our traffic.

Search Sharing:

This one is a little more confusing as I do not see Google Plus broken out as a line item for Marketing Artfully as it is so integrated into Google the search engine so I am not sure if there is just no traffic from Google Plus or if it is actually just being absorbed by the Google numbers. That said, I did see three click throughs for google plus broken out on the MandMMonsters.com site.

Web Visits From Search

Bookmarking Sites:

At one time, getting a front page link on Digg was a real coupe. Today Digg has faded into obscurity and no longer is the driving force it once was. There are some old sites like Digg and Reddit, some (good for me) sites like Stumbleupon and some that aren’t taking individual posts anymore like Technorati. As there is not as strong a social sharing component, I am not sure that these are as valuable as they once were BUT please note that I only really share to Stumbleupon at this point so my numbers are skewed that way.

Web visits from bookmarking

So, based on the numbers, I would say that spending time on social and increasing your search are good uses, I will continue to do stumbleupon because I find stuff there to share, but overall will not be taking any time to submit to directory sites from now on.

PS – this “where should you share your blog posts” data is skewed. It is based purely on what we are doing currently and just because we are not getting traffic from some of the sites may have more to do with the fact that we are not focusing on them than the fact they wouldn’t send traffic if we didn’t do a bit more. I used the data I had at hand!

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How To Set Up Your Twitter Profile With Marketing Strategy

How To Set Up Twitter Profile Marketing StrategySo we have a reader question today…how to set up your Twitter profile with more of a marketing strategy and less of pop culture feel?

This is a more advanced tutorial so I am not going to start with, go to Twitter.com and put in your name and email. I am assuming that you have an account and that you have verified your email address.

First big question – should you change your twitter name or handle?

We get this one a lot. If you have just set up your account, change away. If you picked an offensive name or one that will be shut down once you get successful, change away. BUT, if you have had it for any length of time and have followers, links from your website and other web properties, I would leave it alone and focus on what matters, a great profile and posting amazing content.

ps – when I say one that will get shut down…for example the term “realtor” is trademarked by the National Association of Realtors, if you have a tiny account, they will leave you alone using it. The problem is that once you get successful, they will do a cease and desist, causing heartache and strife to your amazingly successful Twitter account.

Parts of your Twitter account and what they are good for

Twitter SettingsAll the bits that you need to work on will be in the gear > settings. We will break down the simple, straight forward bits and then talk about strategy.

  • Account: Has your user name, email and timezone…this is pretty straight forward.
  • Security and Privacy: For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT CHECK PROTECT MY TWEETS. Seriously, if you are using Twitter for marketing, you have to make the barrier to finding your stuff low! I check location, email, website visits and promoted content (I am in marketing, I like ads!)
  • Mobile: I ignore this! I keep my phone separate from my social media.
  • Email Notifications: Now, it will be tempting to turn all of these off BUT, if you are doing Twitter marketing connecting with people and thanking them for sharing your “stuff” is important. This is a totally personal preference and will be up to you (I only turn off “I am sent a direct message” because that is what the spammers use)
  • Profile: This is where you can really shine…we will cover it more in depth later. One thing NOT to do is to connect your Twitter to your Facebook. Choosing this will post your tweets on your FB and could make you look VERY spammy on FB. If you want connect your Facebook to your Twitter that is TOTALLY acceptable though www.facebook.com/twitter.
  • Design: This is also a place to set yourself apart for people who see your profile on the internet. That said, with more people accessing your profile through apps it isn’t as vital as it once was. I DO recommend you make it less generic (I notice when people have the generic twitter background and think they are schmoes). If you want to see some fancy twitter backgrounds go ahead and check out the link. One reason I don’t have all my contact info on my background is that the links are not clickable so do not actually serve as a back link or a way to reach me, functionally, the background is just a giant picture. I use my profile area to generate backlinks.
  • Apps: This is where you will see all the apps connected to your account. It is worth it from time to time to take a peek, but generally not an area of marketing focus. That said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you join a followback app or a “who unfriended me” app as these are thought of very unfavorably by real Twitter users.
  • Widgets: These are used to put your twitter bits on your website. As my only goal for my website is to get people on my email list, I do not put a twitter feed that could distract them on my site.

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile – What and Why

 

 

Accounts in this video:

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile – How To

Parts of Your Twitter Profile

  • Profile Photo: This should be a picture of a human optimally, could be your logo but surprisingly enough people mostly like to connect and share with other humans. I have heard that “changing it up” helps keep things interesting. I feel like “changing up dilutes your brand and doesn’t give people a way to learn to know, like and trust you!
  • Header: Not sure that this is that important other than making sure that it doesn’t compete with information and clickable links that sit on top of it. This could be something you change up, but I have so much more important uses of my time.
  • Bio: The most important bit for marketing. You need to make sure you get your keywords into here. I had a client who was an author who named his book “marry yourself first”…this would not be great to have people find your profile and follow you. You would want to talk about “self help” or “personal development” instead. Also, please make sure to get your actual function into the bio. Use terms that describe your title, doctor, author, direct sales, realtor, etc. You can also make hyperlinks here BUT don’t overdo it. Keep it to one that really makes a difference.
  • Location: While it is nice to have your actual town here, you may do better to get followers by choosing the biggest close location.
  • Website: This one is easy peasy, put your primary website here. If you are linking to a sub page for capturing email addresses you will need to have a direct link to it. For example I don’t use a shortner to get people to a landing page on my website, I use a top level domain name www.100FreeMarketingIdeas.com. This is because people are sick of getting scammed on the internet and they want to be able to see where a link goes before they commit to spend their time checking it out.

 

So there you have it…A LOT of information that will help with setting up your Twitter profile with marketing strategy and thought. If you have any further questions please leave a comment below and I will add it to the mix!

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How Long It Takes Blog Posts To Rank – Practical Internet Marketing

How Long It Takes Blog Posts To RankEver wonder how long it take blog posts to rank (or your website even). Here is a little bit of practical internet marketing to get your day started right!

Internet marketing is full of hype. There I said it. As a marketing professional I spend A LOT of time reading sales copy that tells you should have 100,000 Facebook followers by just doing this one little trick. That if you spend $497 on a course you can learn “the secret” to dominating something.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a learn stuff kind of gal BUT what I find the most harmful is what all that talk does to us. How we get in our psyche a feeling that everyone else is having amazing success and they are doing much faster than we are.

Even I, intrepid marketer that I am, can feel like, “dang I am doing all this and not getting anywhere”. Well today we stop that nonsense! I am going to break down blog posts and how long it takes to get them to rank and then give you tips on how to make it happen even better, maybe faster but definitely better!

My best blog post – 100 Great Email Subject Lines, gets around 3,000 hits per month. She is my little sweet pea and I adore her! That said, she looked a little peaked out of the gate. I had spent about 8 hours writing the post and collecting subject lines and wha wha wha…she just laid around for a bit.

This is the breakdown of how many views she got over time:

  • Written Nov 21, 2012 – first day, 50 views (whoo whoo)
  • Nov 21 -Dec 21 – 351 total views
  • Dec 21 – Jan 21 – 283 total views (christmas is a really bad time for my views!)
  • Jan 21 – Feb 21 – 1030 total views (Monday Feb 4th was a good day)
  • Feb 21 – Mar 21 – 1633 total views
  • Mar 21 – Apr 21 – 2876 total views
  • Apr 21 – May 21 – 3773 total views
  • May 21 – June 21 – 3370 total views
  • June 21 – July 21 – 2604 total views
  • July 21 – Aug 21 – 2736 total views
  • Aug 21 – Sept 21 – 2888 total views
  • Total views to date – 21,871

How Long Does It Take A Blog Post To Rank

So what happened to make that a reality? A number of things.

First off, I wrote a blog post that is a helpful service to people. It took a while and honestly was just something that I couldn’t find a good one of so I decided that I needed to make it.

Second off, I promoted the heck out of it. I did not just share it once and cross fingers that people would “get” it. I post it regularly to this day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ (really you can only post it once on the Pinterest, a couple of times if you put it on different boards). I also internally link to it (like I did today) and also post a link to the other blog sites I own. Just FYI I don’t try to mask them or fool google, they all have the same analytics account so I am sure that the google knows they are all mine…oh and I do the author thing to make sure of it!

Third, there is a wild card that is other people linking into it. This is where that whole “if you write great content it will float to the top” comes in. That said, I try to help it along by doing what I can to share my posts.

BONUS INFO – Seasonal Blog Post Rankings

Okay, so I am REALLY interested in this stuff and I wanted to see what would happen if I had a post that probably would only rank seasonally. I wrote one that is called Work Quotes With Pictures and Labor Day Quotes.

It looks like this:

Seasonal Blog Post Rankings

There are only four days that it is a rock star:

  • Written Aug 31, 2012 – 38 page views
  • September 3, 2012 – 438 page views (that was labor day)
  • April 30, 2013 – 122 page views
  • August 30, 2013 – 177 (the friday before labor day)
  • September 2, 2013 – 287 (labor day again)

Google Trends Labor Day QuotesNow is she setting the world on fire, nope. BUT over the whole time she has been around she has gotten 7,174 views which is nothing to sneeze at!

Here is what the google trends report looks like for “labor day quotes”…same up and down around labor day…go figure!

This is crazy…a post that just sits there and churns out views, tiny bits at a time, month over month with some big hits at the end.

Would talk to you more today but have to head on out to make some more great blog posts that rank!!!

9 Tips For Writing Great Email and Blog Content

9 Tips For Writing Great Email and Blog ContentContent is KING…if I hear that one more time I am going to puke. Writing great email and blog content is NOT about churning and burning words on a page but writing great stuff that matters!

Basic Tips For Writing Great Email and Blog Content

These are general, a refresher for those who are in the trenches everyday and should really help those who are just getting started.

Tip #1 – Would You Guest Post It

I am a little weird because I have not guest posted all that often and when I do I get rejected A LOT because they like my writing on my blog but when I am ready to put it on someone else’s they would like it to be more, well normal, like their blog. Fair point BUT my writing is my writing and I am not actually capable of changing it (I have tried to check my spelling more, cuss less and generally dumb it down so the content optimizers are happy…doesn’t work so screw it!)

That said, you should NEVER post anything on your blog that you would not consider good enough to send to someone else. BELIEVE ME, there have been crappy posts on this blog and I have been horrified to read them later. Good enough is no longer good enough!

Tip #2 – Is your blog post interesting? and do you care?

If you take a peek at my blog I have a nice mix of stuff that I know people want (like this post) and information that is a little out there and probably only interesting me and about three other marketing nerds in the world (my ongoing obsession with Twitter and the mechanics of it comes to mind!)

If you try to write only “link bait” articles and never show your personality or interests, people are going to see through that fast, use your current article to link bait their own social media and then move on. Having a blog with personality will get more email signups, more returning visitors and just generally more bang for your buck.

Tip #3 – Your Emails better be AMAZING

Now for the opposite…email marketing. I can tell you that every post you write will not appeal to everyone BUT when it comes to your email list, you darn well better make sure that something in it appeals to everyone you send it to! There is almost no wiggle room at this point for the content of your emails. Now, your main content can come from your blog BUT if your list is expecting to read about Finance and you start blasting out the latest celebrity news, you will get unsubscribed FAST! Keep your content relevant and AMAZING.

Medium Tips For Writing Great Email and Blog Content

I have spent A LOT of time collecting online headlines for my post 100 Great Free Report Titles, Best Headlines and Free Optin Offers. In addition, I wrote a post about 100 Great Email Subject Lines – Email Newsletters and what I found was shocking (to me at least). I thought these two things would be similar but they couldn’t be more different.

Tip #4 – How to title your blog posts so they will read your content

First off, a blog post has to have keywords that someone is going to be searching for! I KNOW, you will read that you can title it anything and your loyal followers are going to love you. I would rather title it something that people are looking for and dazzle them with my brilliance after they find the darn thing…:)

Blog posts are NOT mini sales letters. They are ENTIRELY meant to get someone to your blog to read what you wrote (and sign up for your mailing list). You need to have a great headline with great content that matches the promise of the title.

Having looked at thousands of blog posts titles across myriad industries, I can tell you that the ones that are popular target some part of the human condition…helping you make money, stay young, feel better, make your kids happy, save time, find love, get respect, do something better. The ones that scream, “I am going to give you a huge sales pitch” don’t even show up on my subconscious at this point…I just skim over them (more about this later!)

Tip #5 – How to title your emails so your content gets read

Okay, so you have them on your email list and you think, awesome, the factually correct thing worked to get them here, now let’s keep that ball rolling. NOPE! For people to see your email content and click your links you have to start with a great subject line that will cut through the inbox clutter AND let them know about your great content inside!

You need teasers of what they will get, PLUS to make sure your title is congruent with the content. In the days when you didn’t have to worry about bening labeled as spam or having a ton of unsubscribes you could play this a little fast and loose, but today you need to get real and offer real help or solutions to their problems!

So am I saying you can’t send an email that sells something? NOPE again! Chris Brogan does a great job with his newsletter. Normal newsletter, catch title and great content. Sales newsletter and he lets you know that there is a selly-sell in there…funny thing is I read them both! Letting them know that it is something that you might want to buy can frame them to, well, buy!

Advanced Tips For Writing Great Email and Blog Content

These are some of my observations and reflections on writing.

Tip #6 – Last title tip… Use descriptive titles that are easy to share on social media

You have a great post, you want everyone to share it so it can “go viral” but the title is too darn long. What will happen when they hit the share button is that the program will cut off the end of your title or they will pick the parts that you DIDN’T want them to. Titles should be no longer than about 100 characters which will leave room for them to put the source (for example @taradactyl takes up 14 characters of a tweet). They may also want to add their own words so leaving a little room is never a bad idea!

if you want to check out what a 100 character tweet looks like, please feel free to share this article with your twitter friends! click to tweet

Tip #7 – Remember their worldview

This is the most powerful thing I have started paying attention to (see more about it in my post Seth Godin Q&A)

Basically Seth said that you need to make sure that you take their worldview into consideration when you are writing content. In his example he said that ladies who buy $1,000 shoes are not considering that luxury footwear, just a reasonable fashion choice. The fellow who was asking the question really wanted the women to recognize that $1,000 shoes are luxury but to them they were just normal footwear and luxury footwear was probably in the $10,000 range.

I though also of how we write for people who are interested in green cleaning or green cleaning products. Their world view already says that having healthy, safe products is more important than strong degreasing so there are two camps to address when selling these types of products. One is to people who already drank the Koolaid and who want their world view reinforced. We can also extrapolate that they might be interested in other health and environmental issues and can talk to them in a way that lets them know we are like them!

The other people are ones who are at least considering buying green cleaning products but who we have to convince that it is the right thing to do. These folks need different kind of content to move them down the sales funnel and into a decision. Neither is right (although the quicker sales come from Koolaid drinkers) but the thing to watch out for is how we talk to each and how we frame the message for them!

Tip #8 – What’s in it for them

Whether it is an email or a blog post, NO ONE has time to read something that benefits you and not them. They don’t care how many sales people you have on staff to take care of them (that is a feature), they care that if they call there is a zero wait time to order (a benefit). They don’t care your company has been in business for 20 years, they care that because of your experience you know how to help THEM.

I see A LOT of marketing that is boilerplate and self serving. If you are sending out an email or a blog post, stop right now and see if more than 10 percent of it is anything other than pure bliss for your reader. Think about this post you are reading. It is not 9 Tips For Why Tara Jacobsen Is So Amazingly Awesome (not sure even my Daddy would read that), it is a post to help you, my reader, to understand how to write great content.

Tip #9 – Puffery is dead

Best free email marketing course everIf you have been in marketing any length of time you know what puffery is…functionally the fact that you can’t get sued for saying that you have the “Best darn free email marketing course EVER” even if you can’t prove that it is the best EVER.

I read a super good post today about Millennials (Gen Y) and why hype is no longer working. Marketing To Millennials And Other Skeptical Customers? Make Will Ferrell Your Gen-Y Consultant

Basically it is about been there, done that. If you bought one course that said you could make a million dollars with no website and no list and made even $10,000 you would feel cheated. The next time you see a course like that you are going to take it with a grain of salt and the 400th course like that you just reject out of hand.

There has been too much puffery in the marketplace to make anyone notice anymore and it may actually count against you. The people that I like and respect are not trying to shove miracles down my throat but are providing practical solutions to real problems I have at an affordable price. Now, your job is to figure out how to find people who want what you are selling and to make sure that your pricing is attracting the right crowd!

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  • best saying ever with picture

Great Free Tools We Use For Analyzing Your SEO Data (For Non Nerds)

Great Free Tools We Use For Analyzing SEO DataSometimes knowing how your SEO (search engine optimization) or keyword targeted marketing is working is hard.

In the old days (like 2001) it was easy, all that was available were paid services that you had to use to check which keywords people had used to find your website. There were also significantly fewer site and it still mattered if you ranked on Yahoo…fun that this might be coming back around again, but that is a post for another day.

Then came along Google Analytics and like crack I was hooked! I love looking over my reports and checking what is working and what is not…until…dum dum dum…I noticed some weird data when I compared my reported great keywords and content compared to what was actually happening on my website.

Google Analytics and Keywords

I read a great article about this this week, Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks which basically means that you will never get info from google on the keyword page of analytics.

So is that the worst thing that ever happened…um no…stinky but as of right now I mostly don’t know anyways! Here is a screenshot of my Google Analytics Keyword Report for the “keywords not provided” part…

SEO Keyword Not Provided

Hmmm…out of about 8,000 searches 6,000 were not provided. So my marketing besty and I sat down the other day and set out to figure out what that means. Here is the data for my top 10 search terms according to the google analytics report…

SEO top 10 keywords

Now I am not math-y but this was a best case scenario for me! If 6,000 of 8,000 keywords were not shown, I could extrapolate that the numbers should work out to be about a fourth of the amounts were listed and then I could just times 4…right? So if there were 25 showing and I was only seeing 1/4 of the results, the actual number should be 100…YAY! Then we worked the numbers compared to what was actually going on and there was very little correlation between the two!

Top Landing Pages

This can be a little hard to see so let me list them:

Follow along with me here…if my keywords were ACTUALLY just 4 times more likely to have been the right numbers it would have looked like this…

  • Labor Day Quotes – 168
  • Customer Demographics – 132
  • Hard Work Quotes – 75
  • How To Farm Real Estate – 54
  • Wise Agent Versus Top Producer – 51

Which looks NOTHING like I got over 3,000 hits to my one email marketing post. In fact, there are only two keywords even related to that post in the top 50 keywords for my whole website!

So what does that mean for my keyword research…

First off, I am the kind of gal that does A LOT stuff and is happy when some of it works. What this tells me is that I need to make sure to continue my social media marketing efforts and consider dipping a toe back into paid search so I can get some data from Google.

Secondly, I have to use tools that will help me see what is going on. I have two favorites that I have been using for a while I can recommend. Both are WordPress plugins.

SEO Search Terms Tagging Plugin

SEO Search Term Tagging is BRILLIANT

Functionally what it does is take each post and let you know the keywords that were used recently to find that post and puts them at the bottom. I have found some really great keywords to write ADDITIONAL articles about from the keywords at the bottom of my best posts.

Now, I think that this is supposed to be there so that you can get SEO help…not sure it does that, I use it for keyword research!!!

Post Views Stats

Post Views Stats

This one gives you a cumulative running total of the posts that have been visited the most on your website. I find it is much easier to pop in here when I am blogging and take a peek than it is to pull up my Analytics.

And DANG, just found out I have a widget that I can list my popular posts…cool!!! (see it pays to write blog posts!)

Seth Godin Q&A

So Seth Godin is one of my all time favorite writers and speakers. I was in NYC courtesy of Infusionsoft’s bringing Seth in to speak (oh and the fact that my Daddy lives there and could provide transportation and a pull out couch!) I went with my biz partner Rebekah (the other half of the marketing and media monsters) and we had a GREAT time in NYC.

Okay, on to Seth!

Seth Godin NotesThe first thing you have to know is that I take funny notes – they are pretty and very artistic (YES that is a purple cow – no judging, art is in the eye of the artist…:) Second off, the notes are in answer to questions (which I didn’t write down because most were rambling and self serving – I think that mostly seth talked about whatever he wanted regardless of what was asked!) Lastly, they are not verbatim…my interpretation is in there and should not be held against seth if I misunderstood something!

He started with a quote I had not heard before…

“Every revolution destroys the perfect before it creates the impossible.” – Seth Godin

This was a lead in to talk about how industries like the music industry and travel agents have been disrupted by the seeming endless competition and weakening of established beachheads that were once the status quo. It is the end of the industrial age and now shelf space is unlimited. We have moved as a world from scarcity to abundance where people have unlimited choice and multiple channels.

His big question to us is “who are you trying to change with your work”. His example was the Harley Davidson culture that allows lonely people to buy a motorcycle, get some clothes that have the logo on them and then immediately be a part of a new family. There is no barrier to being a member of this team, just buying a bike. Also addressed was Apple whose legions of followers are trouping out right this minute to buy the latest and greatest cell phone. Apple set themselves apart by focusing on typography, industrial design and good taste when all the other computer companies were racing to the bottom on price.

His next big question was, “who would miss you if you were gone?” Are there people who would notice if you stopped your business or are you such a commodity that they could easily switch over to another provider without really noticing.

The Daily Candy in NYC is not trying to appeal to everyone. They are simply providing fashion and style to 25 year old women in NYC who like fashion and style. Their email list is not filled with middle aged, beer drinking luddites, it is full of 25 year old women who either can afford the products or dream of being able to afford the products they promote.

If someone talks about you and your business, what story will they tell. Without a story there is no way to spread the word.

I love his talks about selling to everyone, as seth says, no one is looking for the boring middle, they are intrigued by the people around the edges who are weird! When there is a good story people tell their friends…and the internet only amplifies this effect.

When you are talking to people (i.e. doing your marketing) make sure you are using words that are anchored in what they understand. Selling B2B, make sure your words help convince someone at a company that they can talk to their boss about hiring you without looking dumb. Like the old saying goes, no one ever got fired for buying IBM.

my big take-away here was that we need to focus on companies rather than trying to get solopreneurs to part with their own money…even small companies have line items that they are going to use for training or marketing

When asked what made him famous, seth talked about failing (A LOT). All of his turning points that made him what he is today came about because of stuff that didn’t work out the way he thought it would.

On hiring talent – Make sure you can offer them something that they can’t get anywhere else. Look for interesting people who might not be on anyone else’s radar like 60 plus year old programmers or disabled workers. You can’t be more normal than the old established brands so don’t try, get out on the edges to offer them amazing.

Selling into a need – A couple of people were mentioning in the Q&A that either their product wasn’t selling the way they wanted it to (but they were selling something) or that the marketplace didn’t seem to want what they were offering. The example was a lady who was selling a DVD into classrooms. Seth talked about how DVDs and classrooms may not be a good fit (too techy), that the teachers don’t have the money to buy the program and the fact that they will feel stupid if it doesn’t work. He had a great example of a company that made their product match a line item in NY school budgets that was already there. The sales pitch became much easier when they could go, “see that money you aren’t spending, this product fills that exact need and will not cost you anything.”

Building a funnel – One fellow asked about targeting CEO’s who make 5-100 million a year. A couple of things came up like 1) LOTS of people are targeting that demographic and getting to them is hard and 2) once they are there, they have the resources that they know, like and trust already. Seth suggested that you provide them with great information BEFORE they hit the big time so that when they reach your target demographic you are firmly on their radar.

Not being able to source for your retail or online store – A tile ecommerce site was sad that they couldn’t get all the tile manufactures to list on their site. Seth had a couple of things…first off, don’t try to sell every tile. Amazon did this in the early years by buying retail when the manufactures didn’t love them yet, BUT there is only one Amazon and they are already there. Instead he suggested that the tile guys figure out a way to be unique in the marketplace and then the tile companies will WANT to be on their site when all their competitors are listed there.

Social media spam - Spam is spam whether it is in email or on Twitter. He seemed to think promoted posts and the like were not so great although adwords was a version of permission based marketing because people were actively searching for answers on the google.

Seth Godin and the Marketing and Media MonsteresFor coaches – Building a career as a coach is hard. Most people who want a coach already have one and it is almost impossible to convince someone they need a coach if they are not looking for one. His suggestion was to think of a problem that you can solve for your target market and then tell them how to fix it.

Apps – Holy buckets…the poor lady who started with, “I have an App” got an earful…:) That said, I was in total agreement. Apps are not about apps but what they can do for someone and the app makers are way off base with thinking that technology alone is enough to make something popular. Seth said there is no scarcity and that most are all the same. (this is one of the reasons I love seth!) What he thinks is that the App that will win is one that will not work until other people use it too…like the fax. It doesn’t work unless the person on the other end has a fax machine too!

Marketing luxury shoes – This was a great bit about how to frame your message. He asked if women buying Jimmy Choos are buying a luxury shoe or are just making a sensible investment in fashion…dang. For those of us who do not live in the world of high fashion, spending a thousand dollars on one pair of shoes (gulp) seems crazy, but if that is your world view, you are looking for marketing that reinforces the thought that this is just a great purchase that will keep you on the cutting edge.

People don’t know why they do what they do - I did not know this…most people who ride tandem bikes put the man in the front which makes no sense. Being bigger they would help more by being in the back and because they are taller they are hard to see around if you are in the back. That being said, most do it that way. You need to KNOW your marketplace and ask LOTS of questions so that you can understand what they think and do even though they can’t necessarily tell you why they do it!

Well there you have it…Seth Godin at his finest!!! Bliss…:)

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Small Business Marketing – Who To Learn From Taradactyl Style

My favorite marketing peepsOkay, I have had two of my connections in the last day ask who I recommend to learn from that is A. reputable and B. knows what the hell they are doing. So, here is who I trust for great info and on the mark content.

Some are little guys and some big guys. Some are people we represent because we like their products and some are just people we follow! All are people I have recommended to my friend-friends and now I am sharing them with you!

General Marketing and Concepts

Seth Godin – Author of the Purple Cow and one of my favorites, the Dip. If you are looking for inspiration and the will to keep going, these are the two I recommend. Also his link goes to his blog where everyday he has an insightful comment about the state of business or marketing. In the NYC area September 17,2013? See Seth in person

Malcolm Gladwell – Author of the Tipping Point and Outliers, he is SO cool because he looks at the causal effects of the world and figures out what makes things happen. I read Outliers at least once a year.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Author of Crush It and the upcoming Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. He is an AMAZING speaker…my idol. Make sure to sign up for Gary’s YouTube Channel to get the most up to date info on the marketing world.

Freakonomics – Now I don’t love the bits about Real Estate Agents but the overarching idea that numbers determines the way that things happen is pretty cool.

Marie Forleo – AWESOME woman who tells it like it is. Her Q and A Tuesdays are amazing on the YouTube. Marie Forleo on YouTube

Jay Baer – Author of Youtility. Really good ideas about how to provide amazing content so that people WANT to work with you! Jay’s Website – Convince and Convert

Chris Brogan – SUCH a great marketing mind. Has written a number of books including The Impact Equation and just launched a new marketing magazine (Owner Magazine) that you should check out!

Internet or Affiliate Marketing

Internet Business Mastery – If you are just starting out with internet or affilate marketing, these guys are DA BOMB. Simple, easy to understand info that will help you get going fast. Their podcast is a great way to consume their content.

Pat Flynn – If you have any interest in Internet or Affiliate Marketing (or even just how to do great marketing in general), run don’t walk to see Pat’s Smart Passive Income Blog. If one of my friends is considering Affiliate marketing THIS is the guy I send them to!

Sugarrae – SUCH great content. Her affiliate marketing info is second to none and if you watch nothing else, make sure to check out 11 Things My Son Taught Me About Life and Business. A tear jerker but you will be FIRED UP to kick some ass!

Paid SEO Search

Perry Marshall – Actually wrote the book on how to do Adwords. I have followed Perry for years and have never had a bad experience. Quite the contrary, I am a better marketer overall for having consumed his adwords content.

Howie Jacobsen – SUCH a good adwords marketer. He has a super easy going manner and gives great information.

Data

Derick Halpern – We saw him speak at an event and he was AMAZING. Not sure which place to put him as his social triggers website is such in a class by itself (so I put him in his own category!)

Website Conversion

Tim Ash – Again, saw Tim speak and fell in love with his content. His site, Site Tuners has great info on how to optimize your website for maximum effectiveness.

Which Test Won – Sends out a weekly email detailing how small changes in a website or email copy make a huge difference in how a campaign converts.

Social Media and Video Training

James Wedmore - James’ YouTube Training is where I start when I want to learn how to market instead of just making videos. And on top of that, he is freaking funny!!! Make sure to check out his YouTube Channel.

Amy Porterfield – Her information about how to do Facebook Ads is second to none. She has great, practical tips on how to make your Facebook marketing effective and affordable.

Sales

Jeffrey Gitomer – Okay, I admit it, I am not a sales kind of gal. I am a market your face off and then get the low hanging fruit. That said, sales does come into play sometimes and the only guy that ever made a ton of sense to me was Gitomer. Straight shooter and really great content!

Our Sites

So I can’t let you go without reminding you about our sites!

Marketing Artfully – I have been blogging about all things marketing for almost 7 years now and I am super proud of my site! Focusing on Customer Demographics, Small Business Marketing, Entrepreneur and Realtor Marketing, she is my pride and joy!

Marketing and Media Monsters – This is the love child of Rebekah Welch (the Media Monster) and me (the Marketing Monster). We are so excited to see where marketing is headed and give great information about how to market for your industry!

Seth Godin Marketing Meetup – Small Business Big Things Sept 17th

Seth Godin - Sept 17th NYCSeth Godin is speaking at an Infusionsoft sponsored marketing meetup event September 17th, 2013 in NYC!

During this three hour event Seth Godin will be doing a rare question and answer session…OMG if you have ever seen one of his keynotes, you know how wonderful his vision of how to do small business in the digital age is!

The Marketing and Media Monsters will be flying in to see this amazing networking and speaker presentation.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:

The way we work and play has changed. Big companies who have not innovated have failed. Small companies who have innovated are thriving.

Laggard companies are being crushed. Companies who can strategically innovate are being created and growing.

Will your business thrive? Will it survive?

Seth Godin - Marketing Meetup NYCIf you have never seen Seth speak, you need to make a point of signing up RIGHT NOW! This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Seth in a small setting. We signed up for the VIP tickets which were about a hundred bucks and included reserved seating and private networking afterward.

The best part? We got our readers reduced seats because of our association with Infusionsoft!!!! Seeing Seth Godin for under $30…are you kidding me? His keynotes generally cost thousands of dollars…so glad that we have this opportunity!!!

Sign up here >> http://smallbizbigthings2013.eventbrite.com/?discount=marketingartfully

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Practical Twitter – Why The Hell Should You Use Twitter For Business

Practical Twitter - Why the hell should you use twitter for businessSo I wrote a post this week about 100 Great Twitter Tweets. To do that I had to look at about a gagillion tweets to find 100 great ones. While doing all that research I figured out some things that may seem basic, but if you add them to your Twitter marketing mix, may help your efforts immeasurably!

Why did I cuss in the title? Well I spend A LOT of time talking to small biz owners who think that Twitter is the dumbest thing they ever heard of. They are horrified that I expect them to spend even ONE SECOND on this silly little social network. That said, we get a lot of traffic to our websites and email list signups so I KNOW that there is value in doing the Twitter, IF you do it right!

Save room for retweeting. People are lazy and they will just hit retweet without making sure your whole tweet gets posted (generally whacking off the link to your website). Have room for them to include your twitter name AND 4 extra characters..the space, the at sign and RT.

Special characters part one. Using things like CAPS, Exclamation Points, …dots, and other F.U.N.N.Y. looking words made it SO much easier to see the tweet! If you would like to get a free Twitter Tweet Cheat Sheet, click the link for immediate access!

Special characters part two. DO NOT overdo it! I am immediately turned off when I see something like this…#RETWEET THIS! FOLLOW ME & EVERYONE ELSE THAT RETWEETS THIS FOR 50+ FOLLOWERS FAST! #TeamFollowBack. I know that they are just spammers and trying to con me. Stick to one fabulous thing each post.

Use You. When you are tweeting it is easy to think that you are reaching the world so you should say “you guys” or “hey all”. Unfortunately, EVERY person reading it is doing it alone on their phone or computer so you are seriously shooting yourself in the foot. Stick to saying YOU when posting tweets.

How to get retweets. I read a great report about how to get retweets, (The Science of Retweets), while I was writing this and even though it is somewhat dated (2009) there are some really good universal ideas there! That said, it is true that if you can get great content out there it WILL get retweeted.

Grow your following. I have over 17,000 followers on my @taradactyl account and I get a great response. Part of that is because I started a while ago. Our @MandMMonsters account has fewer but is growing because I work on it each week. The easiest way to get followers is to follow other people. This is one is slow and steady wins the race!

Post about blog posts, infographics and videos. If you do a [Blog post] before your tweet it shows that it is not some kind of creepy sales pitch.

DO NOT mix your message. I know we all have different likes and interests, but on social media you only get one chance to make a first impression. I will tell you, I check out a person’s feed to see what they are talking about and if they are all over the place, I rarely follow them. I want people to be one thing (such as a scrapbooker, email marketer, social media, denver local). If they are not, I really don’t have time to sift through to find what will interest me. Save your amazing variety of a life for your “real” friends.

Mix it up! Don’t just post your content. Retweet other great content you find. Have 80 percent information and 20 percent sales (and by sales I mean anything that requires a signup or a form to be filled out to get the info).

Tweet this out!

  • [BLOG POST] Why the hell should you use Twitter for your small biz tweet this
  • (Blog post) Some real world tips on how to use #twitter for your small biz tweet this

100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples

100 Great Twitter Tweet ExamplesSo most of my posts are just so I have my research handy to use wherever I am…this one is no exception. I spend A LOT of time crafting tweets (and blog post titles) that I think will be “tweetable” or “sharable”. This list is what I use to get the creative juices flowing.

if you are an author of one of these tweets and would like it taken down, please just let me know…if you have a great tweet example that I have not included, please leave a comment and I will review it for inclusion!

Using Unique Characters

  • T.W.I.T.T.E.R = Tweet With Integrity To Then Earn Respect. – Milana Ryan (@PfPioneer10m)
  • •• Wanted — Ambitious – Hard Working Individuals! ••>>> http://dk-rec.info/PTS (@Davy_robot)
  • This. Is concerning. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/radioactive-ground-water-under-fukushima-nears-sea … #radioactive (@JimDuncan)
  • If It Fits, I Sits: A Supercut Of Animals Sitting In Small Spaces (VIDEO) http://huff.to/1d7AP6L via @HuffPostComedy (@JodyZimmerman)
  • [Denver Weather] Your Weekend Forecast For Denver, CO (80247) http://dlvr.it/3rcC6F (@DENSmallBiz)
  • $CRM==wow! Shorts be scrambling. Maybe wait a bit now to start a new position. (@jimcramer)
  • TAKE NO MORE @Seb_Kirby ★★★★★ review ‘NEVER would have guessed who the culprit was.’ http://ow.ly/osCYo Pls RT #BYNR (@Seb_Kirby)

Free Offers

  • #helpeve ASK QUESTIONS. GET ANSWERS. give a little, get a little. Its free. http://buff.ly/1d2rjmm (@projecteve)
  • 50 Free Fonts, Part 1 http://bit.ly/1201LiF (@terrinakamura)
  • [REPORT] Strategy checklist, how to organize your business for social & more from @wildfireapp. #WFbyGoogle http://goo.gl/dJKcB (@wildfireapp)
  • Free White Paper: 50 Best Practices to Go Beyond Landing Pages. Get your free 25-page guide today! (@ioninteractive)
  • Did you get your free P&G coupon book yet? If not, get it here: http://ow.ly/obKTj (@drugstoredivas)
  • Hey guys, we’ve prepared something for you. http://www.topeleven.com/fan-kit/#!fankit-twheaders … ← Click the link and download FREE #topeleven headers for your profile! (@topeleven)

Intriguing Posts That Are Hard Not To Click

  • How One Brand Switched A Million URLs & Lived To Tell About It: 5 Questions With @HomeAdvisor http://selnd.com/18WkBZg (@sengineland)
  • Can a single word make your subject line more effective? http://bit.ly/14IheVF (@effectiveemail)
  • The Change in Quality Score Reporting: What REALLY Happened? | WordStream http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/08/26/quality-score-reporting-change … (@WordStream)
  • (So gosh darn amazing!) London Panorama Drawing – the view from the Shard: http://vrl.ht/176F #creativity (@avinash)
  • If you aren’t using the new Facebook Ads reporting, you’re missing out. A huge improvement from the previous version (@glenngabe)
  • This Louisville #startup @collabramusic may have found the missing piece in music collaboration http://ow.ly/o9ppB (@startuptechguy)
  • The cure for hating the gym is this!! http://bit.ly/IirNGi #Health #Fitness #fitnessKit #physicalHealth #music #musculartraining (@hipmomjulie)
  • SEO Tactics You Think Are OK, but Are Really Just Spam http://nblo.gs/Oyqp3 (@mayrabor)
  • Just warning you… this book has real life dialog. The characters drop the F-bomb on occasion :) COWBOY TAKE ME AWAY http://ow.ly/lKwx5 (@PenelopeChilds)
  • Why Kendall Jenner Is the Hottest Kardashian. These hot pictures are proof. #2 is out of control!! http://bit.ly/16FiBpP (@high_on_glitter)

Cliffhangers

  • 2 Chainz arrested following a nine-hour standoff over tour bus access: Rapper and his entourage refused t… http://bit.ly/1bZH7Cv #TBR (@TrueBornRecords)

How Tos

  • How I got published on Amazon! http://r.ebay.com/ogdiZ5 (@toyourhappiness)
  • Tying the knot doesn’t have to cost a fortune. See how this #bride saved over $20K on her #wedding: http://po.st/IbpZyg (@davidsbridal)
  • Learn the differences between a chipotle and an ancho with this video from America’s Test Kitchen: http://lifehac.kr/MzCjosw (@lifehacker)

Using Numbers

  • The Day the Knowledge Graph Exploded (+50.4%) by @dr_pete (@Moz)
  • Drive traffic with Pinterest. It is exploding. Watch this 7 minute tutorial http://bit.ly/UsePinterest (@PowerLineTrain)
  • 13 Tweets a Real Estate Agent Should Have Answered, Not Me … real estate peeps PAY ATTENTION, pass on! http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130829164107-10486099-13-tweets-a-real-estate-agent-should-have-answered-not-me (@garyvee)
  • 10 Powerful “Before” And “After” Pictures Of Rescued Animals http://bzfd.it/14H0w9A (@BuzzFeed)

Asking Questions

  • 6 questions about ads in the gmail tabbed inbox. What’s your opinion? http://wttw.me/14hztAT (@wise_laura)
  • What The Heck Is AdWords Quality Score And Why Does It Matter Anyway? http://bit.ly/12lHLap (@WordStream)
  • A new trend for online retailers? The New J.Crew Catalog Is a Pinterest Page http://ow.ly/oaTap #trnews (@toprank)
  • Are You Really Going to Wear That? Learn more about dressing for the casual workplace in my new book. http://bit.ly/19kDHMF (@BarbaraPachter)
  • Can Groupon win back small businesses? http://bit.ly/1d69bId (@OPENForum)
  • What do you think of Rihanna’s mullet? http://bit.ly/192ndom (@BritishVogue)

Funny Or Clever Posts

  • Do you think Ninja’s sneak up on their family members just for fun? #FunThoughts #MyBrain (@JohnLusher23)
  • Don’t be such a potty mouth! Introducing @virgintrains magic new talking toilets (honestly!) http://virg.in/tlh (@richardbranson)
  • Bam-BOOO: More Bad Press for Pandas http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/bam-booo-more-bad-press-for-pandas_b71206 … (@abeautyfeature)
  • I’m becoming convinced that the more hashtags a person uses, the less money that person makes… (‏@Chris_Smth)

Number Posts

  • “Your idea is probably not new.” 5 lessons every startup founder should learn: http://trib.al/TsMKKjO (@FastCompany)
  • Fun fact. MT @RecallElections #Filner is the 11th official nationwide to resign in the face of a recall this year. http://bit.ly/16Xbha5 (@LisaHalverstadt)
  • 7 Ways to Wow Prospects on Social Media http://ow.ly/o3wxA Research & examples #socialmedia #smchat #some (@heidicohen)
  • 8 Common Grammar Mistakes You Should Never Make Again http://ow.ly/omSNZ (@brianmoran)

Capitalizing On A Current Event Or Trending Topic

  • Small Business: Do You Have A Dream? http://ow.ly/ocZE1 #smbiz #usguys #mlk (@heidicohen)
  • The wagging tongue according to dream analysis. 4 Subliminal Symbols You Missed in Miley Cyrus’s VMA Show – http://bit.ly/17m7Q9l (@cracked)
  • THREE DAY WEEKEND IMMINENT 15 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas this Labor Day Weekend, August 29 to September 2 http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/mixmaster/2013/08/13_awesome_things_to_do_in_dal_4.php …(‏@Dallas_Observer)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s Most Tweeted Quotes In 2013 #twitter http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/martin-luther-king-most-tweeted-quotes_b48707 … (@tweetynerds)
  • Nike ‘Get Drenched’ NFL Jerseys (PHOTOS) http://bit.ly/16Vh35Z #Nike #NFL (‏@TDdaily)
  • 12 Reliable Sources to Follow on Twitter for #Syria News http://on.mash.to/12PeXan (@mashable)
  • How To Get Back Into A Healthy School Routine http://nblo.gs/OyqQY (@familyfocusblog)
  • Reduce acne, prevent future breakouts & #battleblemishes as you head #backtoschool with Natural Acne Solutions. http://brtsbe.es/AcneCoupon (@BurtsBees)

Hospitality Posts

  • “30 years of marital bliss, celebrated at the Bistro bar” Thanks John and Chris for celebrating with us! – and… http://fb.me/2lN5tUouD (@beachbistro)

Professional Services – Dentists

  • If #celebrities are #wearing #Braces , why shouldn’t you? http://bit.ly/16QqTIt (‏@cyberdentistry)
  • So U know when u get home and see green veggie stuff stuck in ur teeth and wanna curse everybody that didn’t tell u (‏@tyrabanks)
  • Miley Cyrus had braces the whole time they filmed Hannah Montana. They were glued to the back of her teeth so we couldn’t see them. (@Fact)
  • 19 Ways to Wreck Your Teeth. Be good to your teeth, and they’ll be good to you. Avoid these known teeth wreckers! ‏(@MIHealth)
  • Throughout its lifetime, an elephant goes through six sets of teeth. The elephant starves to death once the sixth set of teeth falls out. (‏@OMGFactsAnimals)
  • You are like dentures, because I could not smile without you ~~ @notseongyeol (@fakepcho91)
  • #FACTS The acid in Coca Cola is called phosphoric acid which is known to dissolve teeth, metal N it can eat away your liver. (@incarceratedbob)
  • Drinking beer actually helps strengthen your bones and teeth because it gives you a healthy dose of silicon. (@UberFacts)

Professional Services – Financial

  • “I can’t believe this financial advisor – who moonlights as a wedding singer – would rip me off!” http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20130829/FREE/130829917 (@ReformedBroker)
  • Is a ‘Practical’ College Major Necessary to Make a Living? – MainStreet http://shar.es/zzgLv (@jimcramer)
  • How to take control of your #debt https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/debt-management … #Best advice for #family #financial #success (@PrepareToWin)
  • Become a negotiating pro with Dave’s quick tips: http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/how-to-negotiate-a-bargain … (@RamseyShow)
  • Why SMU never recovered from its scandal and Penn State likely will by @davidwhitford http://ow.ly/onx5v (@FortuneMagazine)
  • Murdoch divorce on front page of NYTs? Or not? What’s your vote? (@serwer)
  • 43% of Americans pay zero federal income tax. http://on.mktw.net/19TgWwr (@Jonnelle)
  • The startling statistic behind America’s top 25 highest-paid CEOs http://on.mktw.net/14H83VT (@MarketWatch)
  • In an attempt to not look cheap, this generation of Americans is going broke http://aol.it/14m8Z42 (@daily_finance)

Health and Beauty

  • Gatsy-inspired hair by Dez at Hair Therapy for Women! #TBBJBWOTY pic.twitter.com/6Ykna1sWtC (@MereCensullo)
  • Holy heart stopping coat love batman: http://nym.ag/184yNOT #wishlist http://ow.ly/i/2ZUG5 (@TheCut)
  • YOU WILL READ THIS HILARITY NOW: Madonna’s Diet Is the Hardest I Have Ever Tried – The Cut http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/07/madonnas-diet-is-the-hardest-i-have-ever-tried.html … (@TheHanBurger)

Sales Tweets

  • Shoe Carnival Back To School Sale – BOGO50% OFF + $5 Coupon! Divine Savings – http://bit.ly/15EY8li (@DivineSavings)
  • Oh man… I want this!! The new Wacom Cintiq Hybrid tablet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw7kDOQ4k2o … (@baekdal1h)

Personal Recommendations

  • I recommend this for ANY business that lists #SEO among their top marketing goals: (@RachelStrella)
  • Wait! You’re on Instagram and you aren’t following me? Then how the heck are you keeping up on all my adventures? Just do it, it’s a total of, what, two mouse clicks? http://www.instagram.com/d1taylor (@DaveTaylor)
  • I don’t know how I ever lived without these life tips. Never get a mosquito bite again! http://bit.ly/1dqqIds#sp (@relatabIemsgs)

Using “Big Names”

  • Going #Green with #Emeril Lagasse http://dld.bz/b2zFm (@denverfoodguy)
  • *chef gordon ramsay leans in and whispers in your ear* today im going to show you how to prepare my world famous Vienna Sausage Sushi Rolls (‏@rad_milk)
  • Quite a remarkable story on Seattle’s Seahawks: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9581925/seattle-seahawks-use-unusual-techniques-practice-espn-magazine … embracing empathy & being the exception (@randfish)

Realtor Tweets

  • Your clients will appreciate these 10 tips to spruce up their outdoor space, from @realtormag: http://ow.ly/onToY (Go ahead and RT!) (@REALTORS)
  • Commercial Investments Rise 24% in First Half of 2013: http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/2013/08/29/commercial-investments-rise-24-in-first-half-of-2013/ … #CRE (@NAR_Research)
  • 7 Luxury Homes for Sale in Bearpath Golf and Country Club in Eden Prairie, MN http://ow.ly/objv8 Great course and club too! (@Agentopolis)
  • 20 Amazing Kitchens, Each One Is Dream Home Worthy (PHOTOS) http://pinterest.com/pin/200269514652830258/ … (@Christophechoo)
  • Photo: Hard not to love all the sunlight in this home office loft near Boston!… http://tmblr.co/ZuEDqxtVqOg2 (@ColinStorm)

Some of my favorite Twitter Tools

Notes:

You should leave room for retweeting. What you need to do is count the numbers in your Twitter name (@taradactyl has 10 characters), then you want to add 4 for the “RT, a space and then the @ sign before your name). So my posts should never be longer than 126 (140 available MINUS the 14 for the retweet characters).

100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples is a compilation of tweets that I have seen across the Twitterverse. I tried to make them relevant to all industries but KNOW that there are more marketing tweets than anything else…that happens, I am a marketing gal through and through!

Incoming search terms:

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Entrepreneur Marketing – Marketing Focus…what are your three most important things?

Business Focus - Three ThingsOkay, if you have followed me for any period of time you know that I think that you should only have three main focuses (focusi?) for your business and your entrepreneur marketing. Because most entrepreneurs are a little ADD and jump around, I strongly suggest that my clients pick three things for three months at a time!

For me right now that is Speaking and Authoring a book, client work and…this is a big one for me…affiliate marketing!

So I was sitting around the other day (at my computer “working”, but work without focus is just sitting) trying to figure out what to do next and I thought, “a ha, I will do some client work”. Then I was still sitting and checking my email and social media….more sitting and finally I started writing a blog post, but then someone called and I had to some more client work.

Now client work IS one of the three things I HAVE to do (it puts food on the table for kitty), BUT it is not something that ONLY I can do. Wait, you mean that there are other people who can do tasks better than I can when I don’t love them…um…YES!

So here it is…DO THIS!

Figure out the three things in your business that only YOU can do. In my business these are the three:

  • Write blogs
  • Write email courses
  • Make videos and pictures

These three things get us the most traffic to our websites. Get us the most opportunities to speak. Get us the most referral links to our affiliate programs. So…

End of conversation. These are the three things I have to do BEFORE I do anything else EVERY DAY.

Go ahead and write your three things…I will be here waiting when you get back! (queue the Jeopardy theme song)

Now, get yourself a piece of colored paper like I did and write them big and bold. Put them up where you can see them ALL DAY while you work. When you find yourself straying into other things, ask yourself, “am I done with my three things” and if not, “is there someone else who could do the non-three things”.

HUGE NOTE!

I have to say that if you asked me the three easiest things to do in my business I would cite the same list. I KNOW blogs work because I have been pounding them out for years and like getting the chance to research or write them. I make videos about what I see as things people are missing in their marketing and I am a graphic artist so making pictures is actually fun for me.

BECAUSE they are all easy for me, sometimes it feels like “cheating” to spend my days doing them. There is so much other “stuff” that needs to be done that “just” working on my important things feels like shirking my duties or playing hokey!

YOUR MISSION

Write your three things. Do them first every day for a week. See what happens. Tell me about it (I LOVE hearing how people’s lives change with little tweeks!)

Tweet this out – just click the link and your Twitter will pop up!

  • [AWESOME BLOG POST] What three things can only YOU do for your biz? tweet this
  • Blog post :: figure out your three things & all the rest falls into place! tweet this
  • Marketing Focus…what are your three most important things? tweet this

Incoming search terms:

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Small Business Marketing – How To Write Authoritative Hero Blog Posts

Small Business Marketing - How to write authoritative hero blog postsSmall business marketing to me is about sharing information with the people who could be potential customers in a way that makes me an authority and them better marketers (and making more money). That said, A LOT of the time I post things on my that are just things that I need everyday. These tend to be evergreen marketing posts AND get a lot of clicks from the Google because if I am interested in them, probably other people will be interested too! So here is…

How To Write Authoritative Blog Posts

How to pick a topic

First off, you know the questions that people ask you all the time? Those are authoritative blog post topics. For example, in my world people want to know how to get their emails opened and read. The first step for that is to have a GREAT email subject line. With that in mind, I wrote a post that, well, has 100 great email subject lines!

Usually if there is a tool you need or something you would reference often, that is a great authoritative post topic. I use the email subject line post almost every time I have to write emails (and even when I need to do Twitter tweets…hey wait, 100 great Twitter tweets would be a super topic….hmmmmm must write that post next!!!)

How to know if it is working

So the first one you write will start out slow. DO NOT get discouraged! This is what the email subject line progression looks like over time…

View progression for authoritative blog post

If you can read the tiny little numbers you can see that there have been over 19,000 views on this post. BUT, you don’t have to see very well to know that that number grew over time. I had to work at it to get it ranked in Google. Which leads us to…

How to make your posts popular

Here are just a few of the ways that I have promoted this post!

  • Posted it to Facebook multiple times
  • Posted it to Google+ multiple times
  • Posted it to Twitter multiple times (on multiple accounts)
  • Posted it to Pinterest multiple times
  • Posted to LinkedIn multiple times
  • Internally linked it in my blog (like I did above – just means I made a reference to it in another post)
  • Wrote an email course that includes a link to it
  • Tell people about it when I speak and then send them the link
  • Submitted it as a URL to the Google Webmaster tools
  • Send out as a link in our email newsletter

Those are just a few of the things…one more I can do easy peasy…do a youtube video and share THAT to all the other places. Oh, and write about it on my other blogs. Generally, you should treat these like the “hero” blog posts they are and promote them on a weekly basis until everyone loves them as much as you do!

How to know what is working

So I use a plugin call SEO Search Terms Tagging that shows what terms people used to get to my blog posts. These are what the searchers were looking for:

  • best email subject lines ever (7)
  • email subject lines examples (not on page 1 – probably getting hits because of social connections)
  • great email subject lines (not on page 1 – probably getting hits because of social connections)
  • email subject examples (6)
  • best email subject lines examples (9)
  • subject for leave email (not on page 1 – and not sure what they were looking for)
  • email titles (5)
  • good subject lines for emails (not on page 1 – probably getting hits because of social connections)
  • newsletter subject lines (page 2 – 5)
  • good email subject lines (not on page 1 – probably getting hits because of social connections)

The numbers after are where I rank on google for those terms (I used a proxy server to check, your results may vary)… As you can see, I don’t rank number one for any of these, BUT because I am listed across multiple keywords, they all work together to get me lots of hits. Here is why some are getting more clicks when I am connected to the people searching:

So, if you are writing Authoritative Hero blog posts, hopefully these tips can help!

Incoming search terms:

  • how to be authoritative marketing

Entrepreneur Marketing – For Heavens Sake DO SOMETHING

Entrepreneur Marketing - For Heaven's Sake Just Do SomethingToday’s post is just an observation about what I see going on. I watch A LOT of entrepreneurs who are gung ho about their business, fire in the belly, moving and shaking it until….wah wah wah. I feel like I have to address this right now…entrepreneur marketing, for heaven’s sake DO SOMETHING!

I love the angel in this picture. I bought it from a stock photo place and when this guy (or gal) gets up this morning they are going to be ASTOUNDED that someone actually bought the tatty angel with a wrinkly gown. BUT this is exactly what I am talking about. Instead of second-guessing whether anyone would buy it, they put it out there! Okay…on to the meat!

Learning too much

Splitting your time and attentionI am a learner, listener, tryer. I spend A LOT of money buying training for myself and my staff. I think that one of the reasons I am so successful is that I am constantly figuring out new things and testing them. That said, I see problems, BIG problems.

In my world, occasionally two classes will come out at the same time and I buy both. Being human, I like one more than the other and do it more, BUT still try to watch and implement a little of the other one so as not to have wasted my money. Splitting your time and attention, even with the best of intentions always winds up with two things done poorly instead of just one!

I have also seen many entrepreneurs spend days, months and even YEARS waiting until they know enough to start. QUIT IT. Learn enough to get going and then try. If it was a zero sum game and the world stood still while you were getting ready, that would be fine. But all the stuff that you are learning now probably has a shelf life and if you don’t try now, it may have no value in 6 months or a year.

Go all in

Sorta, kinda trying to have a business is different than throwing your heart and soul into something. Starting out, you HAVE to give it everything you have. You have to take the time and put all your energy into whatever you are doing. I talk to a lot of people who are half-in. They are checking it out until it works or something better comes along. Have you seen a lot of Olympic athletes who are “trying” to be good? Nope! They are spending 6 to 8 hours a day in the pool, busting their asses.

If you are not passionate, I mean REALLY excited about your business, stop and do something else. Get a job, pick something else or figure out what you would love to do but stop torturing yourself. Life is too short to be an entrepreneur who isn’t in love with their business.

Quitting too fast

So you have a dream. You are busting your ass and…nothing. You have been working for two whole months and not seeing any results on your social or your website. Nobody has jumped up to hire you. Well, two months or six months or even a year working at something is normal. I KNOW, you have gotten those emails about how a guy (never someone you know) who had no website, no list and is making $1,000 a day. Those are marketing emails not real life. If you are trying and setting a groundwork, success will come, I promise! Stop going for the quick hit and start a real business.

Quitting too slowly

A good idea executed poorlyNow for the opposite. If you are not selling anything it may mean that there is not an audience for what you are selling. Could be that you need to get more specific or that the marketplace has just rejected whatever you are offering at the price you are charging.

Years ago I was selling an AMAZING service, one that I would have bought without thinking twice. That said, we could never get above 38 subscribers per month no matter how much effort we put in. Shutting it down felt like failing but in hindsight it opened up our time and energy to do something that would actually work.

Today I have learned that I should try something, see if there is interest and then if there is, sky rocket it and reach even more people.

Not planning

Last but not least is planning. My marketing partner (AKA the Media Monster, Rebekah Welch) and I sit down EVERY WEEK for at least 3 hours and talk about what we are doing right now, how it is in line with our business model and deciding what to have done by the following week. Now don’t get me wrong, we have a 5 year plan and a 2 year plan BUT you would be surprised at how random strangeness creeps into your business. Just this week we had to make a hard decision to stop doing in-person classes. Our business has outgrown them (YAY) but they are something that we really enjoyed and felt benefited our peeps. That said, they don’t match what we are doing now.

Now, you might say that if we like it and they like it, what does it hurt. After all, we are just talking about one afternoon a month right? Well there is writing the sales copy, creating the content, promoting the class, losing our planning time for that week, following up and a bunch of other time that goes along with it. PLUS the psychic energy used on something that is not moving us forward is can actually hold us back!

Take a hard look at what you “have” to do for your business. Are there any things that you do because you have always done them or they seemed to make sense a while ago? If so, STOP IT!

BONUS – Stop worrying so much

What makes the dawn come up like thunder? COURAGE!I find that some entrepreneurs are REALLY concerned about what they are putting out. They read and re-read every post. They have an editor look at it and revise it to within an inch of its life. They panic if something goes out wrong and send followup emails apologizing for being such an idiot.

Well…in my world, doing ANYTHING is better than doing nothing. Just this week I put out a quote with picture that I LOVED. It was a cowardly lion quote and epitomizes my feelings about courage. I posted it to the Facebook and watched the views and shares roll in. THEN I noticed that it had a mis-spelling. Instead of stressing about it, taking it down and losing all the social love, I just said, oh well.

I put out enough great content and it was such an amazing picture that no one even noticed (or if they did they didn’t tell me!) PLUS, I did something. Instead of putting out one perfect picture, I have put out 4 pictures this week, all of which have gotten social hits and broadened my reach. Stop worrying and start doing!

Internet Marketing – Monitoring Tools For Checking Up On Your Website

Internet marketing is all about ranking in the search engines, getting seen on social and about a million other traffic generating bits. Today we are going to talk about how to check up on how all that effort is working!

There are three sites I use to check on my website’s status: Moz – Open Site Explorer, Alexa and SEMRush. These three tools will help give you a good idea of your site’s ranking authority and what you can do to increase your status.


Moz – Open Site Explorer

Moz Open Site ExplorerThis site will give you a quantitative number from 1-100 about your site’s authority. To give you an idea, YouTube and Pinterest have 100, our Marketing and Media Monsters site that is less than a year old has 34. This site has 49.

Open Site Explorer is generally about checking what kinds of links you have back to your website and supplying a ranking based on that number. Now, what does that mean? Well, Marketing Artfully has pretty good authority and when I post something, it tends to get ranked pretty well in the search engines compared to when I post something on MandM Monsters. That said, there are things that you can do to increase this number.

Links – from what I can see, regular links from directory sites like AllTop count as well as no follow links from other blogs. How do you get no follow links from other sites? Comments! I have made comments on a number of sites that I like and follow. While no follow links don’t help on Google, it does seem to impact this report. When I look at this I am inspired to get out there and make more links.

Top pages – this is the pages that have the highest authority by links (no by numbers of hits as the pages that Open Site Explorer lists are not the pages that Google shows I have traffic for!)

Linking domains – Shows the sites with the most authority that link to you! Now, most of mine come from posts and videos that I have shared places like YouTube, Pinterest and Feedburner (how I aggregate my RSS feed). The nice thing about this is that if you are doing social, these things are probably working for you already!

Anchor text – This is where some people got in trouble with Google for trying to manipulate anchor text backlinks. You need to have a nice mix…A LOT of mine come from “Tara Jacobsen” which makes sense as those are probably blog comments and a fair number come from Marketing Artfully. What you will see if you have spammy link building going on is a lot of “small business marketing” and “entrepreneur marketing” instead. If OSE can figure this out, you know that Google can too! Stop spammy link building right now and just work on getting true backlinks to your website!

Alexa

Alexa has some really good data, including where your site ranks in the world. Today I am number 44,978 in the US. Just recently that number has been going down (which is a good thing in this case – google is number one, youtube two, etc.)

General stats – Alexa tracks the bounce rate for your site (how fast people come and leave), how many pages each visitor looks at while they are there and how long they stay on your site. You can change each of these yourself by making sure you site loads faster, having your headlines match your content (having AMAZING content is a given) and having other things to do once you have them there. I use a plugin called “Just another related posts plugin” which gives them similar posts to the ones that they are looking at.

Audience Demographics – This is what I love the most! Here they tell you about what your readers look like. Mine are generally female, with a college education and browse at work. This makes sense because I do not “dumb it down” and write at a fifth grade level like everyone says I should and my traffic is abysmal on the weekends compared to during the week.

Search Terms – One last bit I like here is that they give me search terms that are used to find my site. These are often different than the ones I get from google and so are a great place to look for blog posts I should write in the future.

SEMRush

SEM RushLast but not least is SEMRush. These guys will tell you the search terms that you are ranking for by position. According to them my best number one term is for Customer Demographics, which matches the info that I get from google showing that is a top incoming search term that people use.

Keywords – To me this is best thing about them. When you see the keywords that you rank for and want to move up, you can write more posts about that topic or make sure that you have social links to the post that ranks well. Many times I think business people think that one blog post is going to get you ranked for a keyword, but actually it is cumulative. If you have 5 posts about a topic in a category, not all five will be ranked in google BUT the one that is is boosted by the other 4.

Ranking – I watch this pretty closely and if I slip lower for a phrase like “realtor marketing“, I will write a blog post for that and include a link to the post or page that ranks best in google for that keyword (see how I threw that one in…every little bit helps!)

Website Monitoring Tools Wrapup

Alrighty then, hopefully you found some new toys to play with today. Using these website monitoring tools to keep an eye on your website is a great way to make sure you are headed in the right direction overall!

Do You Still Need To Have A Website If You Are On Facebook (or other social media)

Do You Still Need To Have A Website If You Are On Facebook (or other social media)I am not sure why business people are so hesitant to have a website. Maybe it is the HUGE blank page syndrome or a perceived time commitment. Maybe they are afraid of the technical aspects of it after hearing all the hoopla about WordPress versus a “website-website”. Maybe they have outdated ideas of how much a website costs (ours are around $750 to build and the hosting and domain name are around $100 a year – check out Website and Blog Design).

That said, having your own little corner of the internet to act as your “HUB” is vital to your business. Well, now I have gone and said it, YES you still need a website even if you are on Facebook or other social media!

Top 5 Reasons You HAVE To Have A Website

1. You own it!

I KNOW, you keep hearing this and it is starting sound like ho-haw. What is the big deal? You “own” your Facebook or Twitter page right? Um, nope! Facebook owns your Facebook page and can take it down anytime they feel you have violated their terms of service which are long and easy to stumble on. Say you see your biggest competitor offering a free consult if a viewer posts a picture of them using their product…great idea! You hustle over to YOUR Facebook page and do something like that…and…dum, dum, dum…Facebook disables your page and you can’t get it back!

But your competitor is doing it. Facebook doesn’t always mete out punishment fairly. There have been times our clients have had their accounts shut down for days or weeks, not because of anything they have done but because a plugin worked wrong or because someone complained or because it was Tuesday. Staking your business on a platform that you do not own is crazy.

2. Not everyone is on Facebook

Because everyone is just getting into social media, it is the bright shiney object and it can feel like the new Mecca! Everyone is there and making scads of money so why shouldn’t you too? You are getting hundreds, if not thousands, of emails telling you how to make money using Facebook and you are starting to feel like you can just plant a stake there and have all of your other marketing woes go away.

It used to be easy to market, get your yellow page ad and call it a day. Now you hear you have to have a website, a blog, a Facebook page, be on Twitter, check out Pinterest and start making videos. Who has time for all of that? Getting a Facebook page and calling it a day is starting to sound like a brilliant idea!

I am sorry to tell you, everyone is NOT on Facebook. Even those who are may not be in a buying mode, probably they are cruising pictures of puppies and kitties and talking to their “real” friends, not a business owner trying to sell them something!

Oh, and not everyone likes Facebook, some people (like me) like Twitter better and spend my time there. Some like Pinterest or cruise YouTube movies all day! Sticking to YOUR favorite social network can really limit your access to potential customer.

3. Facebook changes the rules, A LOT

We all hear about the Privacy changes Facebook makes, but did you know that they change the rules on business owners MORE than they change the rules on Privacy? Here are just a few things that I can think of off the top of my head…

  • Started as Facebook “fan pages” then switched to “business pages”
  • Had little widgets that you could customize your pages with to drive business – gone
  • You could set your page to a “landing page” that marketed your business – gone
  • You can put contact info on your banner, then you can’t and now you can again, sorta
  • Free range on contests and giveaways – now you have to use an app
  • Put ANYTHING on a page with static HTML – gone
  • Moved your “real business” stuff to three tiny buttons at the top…in theory great…when was the last time you clicked one?

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Setting up your page perfectly today could mean that you are doing it all wrong TOMORROW!

4. Edge rank means very few people see your “stuff”

Here is one of my least favorite parts of Facebook, both as a marketer and a consumer. Even if you set your Facebook to show you everything from a page or a person, Facebook decides what is “worthy enough” to show you. With analytics you can see that most people do not see most of what you post. Right now videos are doing great, links not so much. Pictures are meh, and just words are better.

So say you work your fanny off and get 1,000 likes (like I have). Oftentimes the things we post reach 13 or 16 people out of 1,000. SERIOUSLY? That is such not a good use of my time. That said, in this day and age you HAVE to have a Facebook page and be posting actively. Just the cost of doing business!

5. People like people not pages

I talk about this A LOT and people always seem to be amazed at my brilliance…hah! People don’t really like talking to companies. They are genetically predisposed to liking other people not brands. As you cannot have your brand as a person (it violates the terms of service), and you are limited to 5,000 on your person, if you are considering trying to get THOUSANDS of views, hits or sales from Facebook you have to have a page. Having a page limits what you can do also, you cannot invite your “likers” to your events, only your friends. That is just one of the examples of the kerfuffly-ness that is Facebook.

Okay, here it is, we talked A LOT about Facebook and why it is NOT the platform to build your whole empire on, but why should you have a website?

1. It is your HUB where you send your traffic and do data capture
2. You own and control it
3. You can change it at will with very few limitations
4. YOU control what happens there (have a contest, post your contact info) it is your world!

Hopefully this helps clear things up! Now get out there and get yourself a ROCK STAR website or blog today…:)

Social Media Marketing – Why Pictures of Kitty Cats Work So Well

Social Media Marketing - Why Pictures of Kittys Work So WellEver wonder why Kitty Cats are such a phenomenon on the internet? There you are, cruising the Facebook or Pinterest and a cute picture of a Kitty pops up and you can’t help smiling…and you hate cats! One of the big mysteries of social media marketing is why pictures of cats work so well, let’s try to break it down.

Disclaimer…while I am trying to be “scientific” about my research, most of these observations about Kitty Cats and social media marketing are anecdotal and should not be considered factual or used in any journals or reports!

I can has cheezburger - cnetThe kitty cat phenomenon first came to light for me when the “LOL cats – laugh out loud cats” showed up on I Can Has Cheezburger. According to this article, the first I Can LOL cat appeared January 9, 2007. Back then there wasn’t as much kitty competition BUT they did a great job of pairing funny cat pictures with funny sayings, spawning 6 years so far of funny cat pictures.

 

Dog swimmy poolWhat they did right…so I think that the nerve they hit was based entirely on the fact that we all love small furry creatures who are beholden to us. In my home I have a dog (who has me wrapped around her finger) and a cat who rules the home. As my husband and I didn’t have kids right away, our pets became our children and receptacle for all my baby talk, “whose a good dog, whose a good dog?”

This picture says it all, I KNOW not a cat but, what cold hearted bastard can look at this picture of a tiny creature with a cute saying and NOT have that “awwwww” reaction.

Kitty Cats and Social Media Marketing

Now, cats are cute and all, but how do they help with social media marketing? For this I have to turn to my partner in crime, the Media Monster Rebekah Welch!

I have grilled this woman relentlessly about why, as a marketing company, B2B business, heck even as a hair salon or lawyer, should ANYONE for business use kitty cats in their marketing. Sigh, it just doesn’t seem to make sense that you would want to brand yourself with a little cat instead of posting something “serious” that relates to your business.

Okay here is the scoop…people like cats, dogs, funny monsters, babies, bunnies, monkeys and panda bears. We also like cars with faces, sweet flowers with faces, heck anything on the site Cuteoverload.com is a candidate to post on the “cute-o-meter”.

Fanpop pictureAccording to this article about Neoteny from Princeton, we are predisposed genetically to liking creatures with big eyes and “cute” features so we will put up with our babies who depend on being cute for us to care for them.

In some really creepy bits, it is also why old guys like young girls better, they still have the big eyes disproportionate to how how large their faces are (like in the anime pictures – this one is from fanpop.com).

So now we know WHY cute pictures work, now tell us the HOW!

Here is the whole scoop…you find a cute picture of a kitty or ducky or other thing that people will “like” and “share”. You make sure to attribute the picture ON the picture so you don’t mess yourself up and then you post a link under the picture to whatever you are trying to drive traffic to.

Screen Capture - Cute dog in swimming poolThis example shows that I am trying to remind people to like our Marketing and Media Monsters facebook fan page which has NOTHING to do with a cute puppy picture BUT which will follow that picture around Facebook as it is shared and liked by other people.

Unfortunately social media is about more than business and marketing (I KNOW, that is just wrong but a fact). People go there to find cute stuff, get a smile or connect with their friends and acquaintances and the more things you can share which will spark a viral sharing frenzy the better.

That said, I would NEVER put this on my business pages, and feel a little funny about doing it on my profile…BUT should I get 5 or 10 more likes and increase my edge rank in Facebook, I will probably get over it!

What are you still doing here, head on over to the google and find some cute stuff to post RIGHT NOW!

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Video Marketing – Why You Should Do LOTS of Short Videos!

Video Marketing - Why You Should Do LOTS of Short Videos!Okay, today’s post may be a little controversial, but no cussing in the comments and just remember that my opinions are my own!! You do what is best for your biz…

Video marketing consists of a number of different types of types of videos like Infomercials (PURE SALES), authority videos where you are talking about your industry, how to videos and introductory videos (that are ads for your business). I am sure there are a million types more BUT overall I feel like they fall into two main categories:

  1. Self serving advertisements – these are all about you, what you are selling and how they can buy it
  2. Helping thems – these benefit your watcher…they teach them how to do something or enrich or enlighten their lives in some way.

If you have read my blog for any time now, you KNOW that I am squarely in the, “people are too damn busy to watch your advertisement” camp. I think every piece of content you make should help your viewer or reader.

So now that we have that out of the way….why do I say you should do short videos?

First, you probably are not willing to pay a fortune for short videos. I DO think fancy videos have their place sometimes, but the chances of my readers being able to afford to have hundreds of little videos made professionally is slim and so we probably can agree that using an iPhone or personal video camera is sufficient for most of your videos.

Second, if you make SHORT videos (like around 2 minutes each) you can upload them to Facebook in addition to sharing them on YouTube. Check out my (kinda) short video about how sharing your videos on Facebook GREATLY increases their reach…

Video Facebook SharesI have to say that the most powerful and sharable content we post is OVERWHELMINGLY the videos that we upload directly to Facebook! I redid this experiment today and got 38 views after posting to my Marketing Artfully page, 63 after sharing it to the Marketing and Media Monsters page and then ROCKED the house when I shared to Tara Jacobsen (my profile) with 310 views about an hour later.

Lastly, no one really has time to watch your long videos. I am famous for producing documentary length videos and blog posts, but practically, it is better to do a bunch of little ones that you can share all over the place than to have one GIANT one that has limited reach.

Limit Your Market – A FABULOUS Guest Post About Niche Marketing!

Today’s post is by Barbara Grassey, writer extraordinaire and good friend of mine! Her niche marketing tips are SUPERB and her marketing knowledge rivals mine (not sure I can say that about too many peeps!)

Limit Your Market - Niche MarketingI spent my first five years of internet marketing trying to dominate my market place. World domination was my goal and I hit seminars, webinars, teleseminars, read books, went on forums, got mentors, bought courses and software and did everything I could to conquer the internet. My findings: The internet is REALLY, REALLY BIG.

After beating my head against the world wide wall, I finally knocked some sense into it. I woke up one day and realized I didn’t need to dominate the internet. I didn’t even need to dominate my niche. In fact, I barely needed to market.

I run a “boutique” business. No, I don’t run a boutique. A boutique business is one where the clients are high end and very, very niche. I don’t need to market to the masses and in fact there are no masses to market to. I can get by with as few as eight clients a year, though I shoot for 12. I usually have one or two repeat clients a year. Almost all of my clients are referred to me.

I would love to tell you that this happened through clever strategizing on my part. I wish I could say that I purposely built up a referral business. Of course I didn’t. It happened partially through luck and partially because I do good work that I charge a lot of money for. I have very little overhead (internet fees, coffee, single malt scotch, chocolate — not necessarily in that order) and mostly sit on my sofa in shorts and a t-shirt. I seldom actually meet with a client. It’s all done by email and a few phone calls. I still have to work – it’s not passive income. But I don’t have to spend a lot to do what I do.

Once I realized how small my true target market was I stopped killing myself trying to dominate the marketplace. My target demographic is less than 10,000 people. OK. Maybe a few more than that, but I am not interested in finding ALL of them. I only need a dozen a year and there are new people entering the marketplace every year.

While this may be very nice for me, how does this information help you? It may not. But it very well might. When I worked with marketing clients (back when I was trying to be all things to all people), I always started them out with an exercise to find their target demographic. It starts with finding their ideal/best client. For me, my ideal/best client is a busy speaker who needs a manual and doesn’t hesitate to pay big money for it. I especially prefer clients who don’t like to read. But that’s my bias. Sometimes your client base is geographic or a certain ethnic group or age range. You need to know who you are targeting before you do anything else. That exercise alone should start focusing your marketing efforts.

Once you figure out who your ideal client is (and that client is ALWAYS someone who willingly pays for your services), you need to determine if they can be reached easily. If your target market is difficult to reach, you’re always going to be struggling – spending too much time and money to bring clients into your business. So, if your target market is hard to reach, can you narrow or widen your target to a more easily reached demographic?

As an example, let’s say you run a pool service. Your target market is anyone with a pool within a certain geographic area. You can run ads in the local paper and gradually build up a cliental of 50 or 100 homes at a moderate monthly fee. That would be a pretty good business at $75 a month. But, could you build your business faster if you bought a mailing list of people who owned pools? (Yes, of course. There’s a list for that. There’s a list for just about everything!) What if you targeted pool owners in one or two upscale subdivisions? Now you can charge the same or maybe more (“Elite Pool Service”) and you are no longer driving all over hell and creation to service your accounts, cutting your overhead. What if you targeted commercial pools – hotels, condo associations, etc. You can charge more for that service, have fewer clients and cut your costs even more.

The point is, you probably don’t have to be or want to be the largest pool service in the world. You just want to carve out a customer base that provides a steady income, that you can expand at will and maybe one day sell your business at a nice profit.

The third component is to charge enough money to compensate you for your hard work and cover your overhead. Too many businesses are afraid to charge what they are worth and this results in constant cash flow problems. It eventually leads to owner burnout. What you charge is a marketing tool. It helps define your customer. It weeds out people who can’t afford you, and people who can’t afford to pay you are very bad clients. It establishes a higher level of credibility and confidence which is incredibly dumb, I know, but it does. “He must be good – look how much he’s charging!”

Take a look at your business and spend some time determining just how many clients you need on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. How many do you need if you raise your prices? Then determine if there is an easily targeted subset of your market that you can go after. You may find that you can have more clients, money and time by limiting your market rather than dominating it.

My pal Barbara Grassey is super funny (no, seriously, she used to be comedian!) PLUS an amazing ghost writer of manuals for speakers. I LOVE her style and look forward to every word!!!

How Does Social Media Work [VIDEO]

How Does Social Media Work?Ever wonder how social media actually works? What you have to do to get someone to add your link to their site or share your stuff…see how the process really works!

So I was minding my own business yesterday and a guy named Rohan Ayyar emailed me a really nice letter about wanting to guest post on my blog. I said no (I always say no!) but we did get into a nice back and forth and come to find out he had a really good link to share with me. That sparked a bunch of link clicking that led me to finding the King of Link Building and now I will be sharing his posts out to my social networks…see how it all went down:

So this is how social media works:

  1. Rohan (who has a really cool list of free seo tools) sent me an email asking to guest post which led to…
  2. a rejection, but he sent me a really great link back to the post “Throw Away Your Form Letters (or Five Principles to Better Outreach Link Building)” which led to..
  3. a link to the King of Link Building, Justin Briggs so I…
  4. added him to feed reader which I share with my 50,000 plus direct connections!

Now, what are our takeaways?

I DO think that reaching out to people via email with some forethought and consideration is effective. Rohan was great about the fact that I wouldn’t publish a post that would get him a link from my (pretty high ranking) blog. BUT because he sent me someone else’s link, and was nice, I gave him a keyword targeted backlink for no work, just because!

You DO have to produce great content that other people will like and share. It is very funny to me that this is such a key point in marketing. Before marketing was about telling people about you and then they bought. Now it is about helping them first before they want to hear anything about you.

Some of our clients and peeps want to know the ONE THING that they can do to gain social media success. That one post or video that will “go viral” and get all the hard work done at one time. That is just not how it works. You need to have LOTS of stuff out there that people can find, like, share and spread. Going for one big thing is a recipe for failure. Do LOTS! Start now!

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Advanced Twitter Tutorial – Hashtags and Lists

So today we are talking about Twitter and how to use Hashtags and Lists in an advanced way! … don’t forget to check out the bonus tips below the video.

Advanced Twitter Tutorial - Hashtags and ListsCan you do a video or a blog post that illustrates such things as hashtags and lists – but from the point of view of the “other guy” – in other words, I love all the stuff you do that shows how we should optimize our Twitter accounts by using hashtags, lists, etc… but I would like to see all of that from the perspective of the user that we are doing all of this for. I really can’t figure out how people use hashtags and other things to find content that actually interests them or whatever. While I like Twitter the way I use it (and I genuinely do), I can’t help thinking that I really still don’t get it. I think it would be great to see that, and it would help me to have a better handle on why I do what I do when I use Twitter for my business. I get it on an intellectual level, I think… I understand in theory why I do what I do. I just probably never would have used Twitter if it weren’t for my business… and I feel like I’m still missing some of the “why”. IDK… just thought it might make a good post – to flip the perspective.

Thanks to Donna Thornton of Onederous Tribe for the great question!

Twitter Hashtags

If you are just starting out, you may not be as familiar with Twitter Hashtags. They are used to categorize a group of posts…in the video we talk about #smm which is actually a way to find all the “social media marketing” posts that people have shared.

There are literally THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of hashtags. A great way to find them is to use the Hashtag Dictionary or just do a search for your words in the Twitter search and see what everyone else is using.

HASHTAG BONUS – I hear A LOT that you should come up with your own hashtag and get it to trend on Twitter. First off, if you are using one for your business (like I could use #MarketingArtfully) no one else on the face of the earth knows about it and you are going to have to do A LOT of work to get them to notice. Non-generic hashtags are more for places like #homedepot, causes like #KONY2013 or events like #olympics2014. There are MUCH better things that you can spend your marketing time on than trying to get something to trend on Twitter for an hour or so.

HASHTAG BONUS PART DEUX – That said, you can make it really easy to track favorites and shares on your Twitter (and now Facebook) posts by using your own, customized hashtag. Again let’s say I used my own hashtag like #mmmonsters (for our Marketing and Media Monsters site) and then be able to search and thank and follow people who have liked and shared my “stuff”.

Software Suggestions

In the video I show you a bit of Tweet Adder (which I LOVE for automating and making some of my Twitter tasks easier!) – aff link

Twitter Lists

It is REALLY worth finding out more about the Twitter lists! I especially like following the people who have listed me AND using the lists of others to find people to follow!

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Promotional Products I Love! Oh the pens…:)

Promotional Products Pens

Okay, a confession, I LOVE promotional products. From cool screwdrivers to nail files and more, I love them all. That said, I need to have promotional products that I can afford to give away A LOT of and for me, pens are the answer!

The top pen in the picture are a new sample I just got from Uncle Scott (not my Uncle but two of my clients and my assistant’s Uncle Scott). It is a stylus for using on iPads and tablets that also has a pen inside (pretty cool). I have the other two in my arsenal for handouts already.

Why should you use pens as handouts?

  1. They are really affordable!
  2. I use them all the time and so I am branding my company everywhere I go.
  3. People LOVE the Javelin Pens – they are a really good writing pen!
  4. The Sharpie gel highlighter is not that much more expensive but seems to be considered a high value item. I frequently throw them at people who ask good questions at my events!
  5. I have really been looking for javelin stylus for myself (have been using a Bamboo one that is okay but not great)….this one “writes” really skinny on the tablet which is important to me! They are pretty cheap and would also be a high value item.

In talking about these, some things come to mind.

PLEASE do not get something that is “cool” that you would not love getting. I have a highlighter jones anyways so I think a gel highlighter is really neat…that translates to the value people feel when I give them one! The pen-pens are an amazing handout that I can throw in my speaking bag, handfuls at a time without over thinking whether the group I am going to give them to is “worth” it (we have some clients that buy really expensive handouts and never give any away because no one is deemed worthy!)

Well that is my ode to promotional products pens! If you have any questions about them, give Uncle Scott a call!

Scott Rauber
727-733-8387
Authorized Kaeser & Blair, Inc Dealer Since 1997

(this is NOT an affilate post! just a shoutout to my favorite pen guy and no, you probably can’t send me pens and have me write a post about your promotional products…:)

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10 Advanced Lead Generation Strategies to Turn Your Business Into A Goldmine

10 Advanced Lead Generation Strategies to Turn Your Business Into A GoldmineSo excited to have this guest post from my Monster buddy, Rebekah Welch! We have the Marketing and Media Monsters and she rarely gives out these advanced lead generation secrets!

Lead generation is vital to the success of every business. If you need customers, you need to generate leads to find those customers. No matter how amazing your product or service your business will not draw new customers automatically.

Before you implement the 10 Advanced Lead Generation Strategies to Turn Your Business into a Goldmine discussed below, it is vital to make sure you have a few tools in place.

  • A way to capture the leads you get so you can put them into your database. Use a simple lead capture form on your blog or website. If your leads are coming from another source other than your site (such as networking or email), make sure you have the ability to input those leads into your database. Hire an admin or VA if needed to make sure this piece gets accomplished.
  • robust database and customer relationship management (CRM) system with automation capabilities.
  • A highly functional and dependable email client with great deliverability.
  • A fantastic, high touch, high impact automated follow-up system. I recommend a powerful auto-responder that you can customize for your brand and load with power-packed value added messages and compelling calls to action.

*I recommend using an all inclusive tool such as Infusionsoft that can handle all of the above in one location.

Now that you have your tools in place, employ these advanced techniques to dramatically increase your incoming leads.

1. Optimize Your Website or Blog for Search (SEO)

Statistics show there are approximately 5.2 billion web searches performed daily. Getting your business in front of your target market when they are looking for solutions to the problems that your business solves is the name of the game. Choose your keywords wisely – based on what your customers are ACTUALLY searching for – and position them appropriately in your web address, your titles, your images and videos, and the body of your content. Give the exact info necessary to earn their click, which will buy you the opportunity to educate your prospect on your ability to solve their problem and lead them into your database.

2. Content Marketing

In 2012 businesses spent more than $16 billion on online content marketing alone. Craft high quality content based on your customers needs and challenges then offer it for free on your blog. Position your business as the go-to resource in the market place for your industry. When your potential customer is looking for a solution that your business offers, your company will be top-of-mind.

Always focus on education and avoid anything that feels like a hard-sell or a power pitch. Instead provide real value that includes calls to action within the content you create. If you are truly knowledgeable and capable, your former and existing customers will provide the social proof of your excellence.

3. Create AMAZING “How To” Guides

Your customer doesn’t care about you UNTIL you solve their problems, ease their pain, or provide valuable information. Learn your prospects most sensitive pain points and identify how exactly you can help. Create high quality “how to” guides based on solving that specific issue, and offer it to them via your blog or social networks. Use a simple form to capture their name and email as an exchange for your guide.

4. Create Interesting Reports for Your Industry and Give Them Away

Research interesting and useful information for your market and compile your findings into a report that you offer on your site for free. Sharing information is a great way to develop thought leadership, and position yourself as an expert. Helping your potential customers make better informed decisions will generate conversations, encourage referrals and generate a continuous flow of leads. Use a simple form to capture their name and email in exchange for your report.

5. Identify And Engage Joint Venture Partners

A joint venture is an agreement between your company and one that offers a complimentary product or service. Each partner recommends the other’s products or service to their own audience, creating a broader reach for both parties. Joint Ventures can be used strategically to generate leads, build trust around both partner’s products or services, and mutually boost awareness of each party’s offerings.

6. Boost Leads with Amazing “Explainer” Videos

According to Jakob Nielsen you only have 10 seconds to capture a potential lead’s attention. If you can engage your prospects and convince them stay on your page for thirty seconds, you can often keep their attention for 2 minutes or more.

The most effective way to achieve this is through Video. Entertaining “explainer” videos can quickly demonstrate your ability to solve the problems your potential customers are facing. Build in a call to action (request a quote, get more info, etc.) that captures their name and email.

7. Host Value-Packed Webinars

Webinars are a great way to target your prospects pain points and challenges and present your solution in a highly personal way. The trick is getting interested parties to show up. Make use of your branded email and auto-responder to send a confirmation when they register, a follow up email a few days out, and another the day of your webinar. After the event offer a replay for those who registered and could not attend or would like to see the information again.

8. Target Potential Customers with Social Media Ads

Most Social Media ad platforms enable you to reach tons of potential prospects with rich display ads and highly-targeted text ads. Most offer some method of filtering which allows you to target viewers by location, gender, age, and interests. The purpose of these ads is to funnel prospects into your database where you can offer them your guides, reports, webinars and build the relationship that leads to the sale.

9. Use Inboxq to Answer and Track Questions on Twitter

Twitter is an excellent place to add value, build community and bring in leads. Inboxq is a chrome extension that allows you to track Twitter questions in real time. As questions pop up that you have solutions for you can chime in and position yourself as a resource. Set up tracking in inboxq by identifying keywords relevant to your business. You’ll get a real time alert every time a question is asked based on the keywords you specified. Make sure you answer specifically and use the inquirers name in your response so they know that you are human. Provide links to your relevant resources that help them solve their issues.

10. Send A Value-Packed Newsletter on a Consistent Schedule

Engage and nurture your prospects on a consistent ongoing basis with a fabulous newsletter packed with info. Begin with a compelling headline to make sure your newsletter gets opened. Make your newsletter interesting and loaded with value. Link the content to your resources – your site, your products, your guides, your reports, and your webinars – as well as any Joint Venture opportunities you may be cross promoting.

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4th of July and Patriotic Quotes (some with pictures!)

I LOVE getting creative and patriotic at the same time! Here are some of my favorite 4th of July and Patriotic quotes (some with pictures!)

Please feel free to like and share these anywhere, just leaving the small marketingartfully.com attribution at the bottom. I purchased all the photos used and am not charging for any of them…they are yours for the sharing! Happy 4th of July everyone!

Independence Quotes

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.
Henry Ford

True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what's right. Brigham Young True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.
Brigham Young

The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.
Eddie Rickenbacker

Independence doesn’t mean you decide the way you want.
Stephen Breyer

Freedom Quotes

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right. Peter Marshall For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Nelson Mandela

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.
Peter Marshall

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.
Mahatma Gandhi

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
Albert Camus

Responsibility is the price of freedom.
Elbert Hubbard

Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.
Epictetus

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. Pericles Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.
Pericles

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people.
Brad Thor

Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.
Warren E. Burger

The best road to progress is freedom’s road.
John F. Kennedy

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people. Brad Thor Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George Orwell

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Desmond Tutu

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
Nelson Mandela

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
Erich Fromm

Nelson Mandela - Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
Nelson Mandela

The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.
Wole Soyinka

I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
Simone de Beauvoir

He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
Hans Christian Andersen

The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.
Thucydides

Freedom and order are not incompatible… truth is strength… free discussion is the very life of truth.
Thomas Huxley

George Washington Quotes

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.
George Washington

It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
George Washington

Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Abraham Lincoln

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
Abraham Lincoln

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Twitter Marketing – 5 REAL Tips To Make Your Twitter Marketing Better

Twitter Marketing - 5 Real Tips To Make Your Twitter Marketing BetterI LOVE Twitter Marketing. My reasons are many but primarily it is because they have an open API and I have a multitude of tools that I can use on my computer AND my iPad that make communicating with people easier.

Additionally, there are so many fewer people there than on the Facebook that I have a chance to cut through the clutter and actually be effective.

So why twitter marketing? Here are my 5 best tips for how to make your Twitter Marketing better!

You get to talk to talk to people who you would never have access to in real life!

It is amazing to me that yesterday I had conversation (all-be it a REALLY short one) with best selling author Jay Baer who has a book coming out this week and who was promoting it on the Twitter. He posted something and I shared it with my networks. The funny thing about this is that we (Me and the Media Monster, Rebekah Welch) saw him at a conference we attended where he was the keynote. Now, he didn’t know-know me, but he did know my twitter handle (taradactyl – follow me!).

At that same event, we met a lady who was a little, um, bossy and things could have taken a grouchy turn until I whipped out, “we are friends on Twitter! I am the Taradactyl” and immediately everything went from ho-hum to “oh my gosh” and “nice to meet you”.

Twitter Tip: When you share something from someone you are trying to “meet” on twitter, make sure to include the @ sign and their twitter handle. So in Jay Baer’s case, this was the tweet I shared.. Wanna help a great author? Pre-order Youtility by @jaybaer http://buff.ly/120E0CL can’t wait to get this one!!! There was nothing in it for me other than I am a fan and I think his stuff will help my peeps. Do enough of these and you WILL get noticed!

You can post multiple times and reach different markets

Tweet Generator | Twitter Tweet AdderI read a study, sorry I don’t have the link, that said at 24 posts per day on Twitter engagement goes down. So you could post 24 times a day and still not be seen as a spammer on Twitter – as long as your stuff is AMAZING and HELPFUL. What does that mean? I cannot post “Social Media Marketing Company – Denver CO” with a link over and over and expect anyone to follow me and share that. What I can post is information about marketing from other people, my blog posts, my videos, more information about marketing, and then, like one in 10 or 15 times a marketing message that is blatant. I have earned the right to do that by having such great content!

Think about it, you post 24 times a day about your industry on Facebook and you would get dropped like a hot potato, if not banned from the network outright! Oh the complaints your loving friends and family would throw your way!

Twitter Tip: When you are posting an event or a link to important content, make sure that you do not use the same words over and over! So if we are having a marketing event here I would not post…

  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver

Instead I would use the Tweet Generator to post these which look very different and will appeal to a broader range of people!

  • FREE Marketing Training, Denver CO, July 16th – Check it out! http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing
  • Denver Marketing Course :: Free training July 16th, Presented by the M&M Monsters http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing
  • FREE in-person Internet Marketing Course – #Denver, CO http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing

Make some lists

Alright, this is a biggie that everyone talks about and no one really knows how to implement! You need to make a list of the same types of people who are your prospects using your customer demographics data. So one of my target markets is realtors. So I made a list of realtors on my twitter (https://twitter.com/TARAdactyl/realtors) – there are about 200 in there and growing every day. So why is that list helpful to me as a marketing person?

1. If I am going to be sharing something that is real estate marketing related, I can check out the realtors list first and retweet an article or two of theirs BEFORE I post my thing. Remember, just because I am following them and have them listed, doesn’t mean that they follow me yet or that I am on their radar at all! By doing that I can help them, they will probably swing back and thank me for sharing their things and check out my recent posts and profile. I KNOW, you are thinking that is A LOT of work for one retweet. Well, if just one of those people is really well connected you will notice that you get an additional 20 or 30 followers all at once. Now THAT is something worth getting.

2. Every once in a while I check who has me listed. Many times I will swing around and follow all those people who cared enough to list me. SO WHAT you think…well consider if you make a list of all the top industry leaders you know (or would like to get to know) and just 10 percent of them followed you because you listed them? Getting followed means that you have a chance to market and show your expertise in a way you would never have access to in real life!

Get some tools!

The best thing about twitter is the third party tools that you can use which make the service even better! Here are some I use…

  • TweetAdder – I LOVE the tweetadder for setting up RSS feeds to autopost and also doing auto retweets (VERY selectively).
  • Tweet Generator – This is our tool that lets you “spin” your tweets
  • Janetter – The only app that I have found which lets me use the List functions on the iPhone and iPad…LOVE them
  • Twitter fake followers – Fun way to see if your (or your competition) has fake followers
  • Twitter Analytics – Seems weird that these live in the ads section – or maybe just a brilliant marketing ploy!
  • Buffer – AWESOME for posting stuff you find on the Twitter

There are the basics, if you have some more good ones, please leave a note it the comment section and I will check them out!

Finally – Have multiple accounts

Nicely enough, having multiple accounts does not violate the terms of service for Twitter. So why should you try to grow multiples? I have my main account that is sacred and my “real” place (taradactyl). BUT I also have an account that talks about nothing but email marketing (emailnerds). That is the “what’s in it for them account”. They don’t have to guess at whether they will “like” me, if they like email marketing, they will like what I post there!

Twitter Tip: So how does that help? First off, I am getting followers who might never like me-me. Second off, I find lots of great things to post about email marketing because I find it interesting and I am not turning my main account into email marketing central. Lastly, I can, every once in a while, post something that leads to my free offer or a sales product we are selling that is relevant to that niche. Again, I have earned the right by posting LOTS of amazing stuff over there that is not spammy-spammy.

Twitter Marketing Wrapup

Alright, I am not saying that this is my last plea for you to love the Twitter, but this is my best stuff. If any one thing resonated with you, PLEASE give it a try and see if you can’t get some traction!

As always, if you have any good tips I missed, please leave a comment below!

My Top Lead Generation Tactics That Really Work

My top lead generation tactics that workWhat are lead generation tactics anyways? Let’ step back one pace and talk about “what are leads”.

Too many of my peeps think that leads are sure things. They are people ready, willing and able to buy today. Sigh. Leads are people who have raised their hand and said they are somewhat interested in what you are selling BUT have not said that they are willing to spend their hard earned dollars – YET.

When you are lucky enough to attract a lead, you need to make sure that you have an effective sales funnel to move them from lead status to customer status.

Okay, enough about stupid leads already…onto my personal top lead generation tactics that really work!

1. Speaking

My first love and greatest lead magnet is to be a speaker. When you are the trusted authority at the front of the room, lead generation turns from begging and groveling one-on-one to one-on-many conversations where people WANT to be on your list, get your stuff and buy your products. Now, they are not all ready to buy today so you need to use some kind of followup system (we use and recommend Infusionsoft!)

One last thing I see with speakers is that they have a buy or “wha-wha-wha” mentality. By this I mean that unless someone purchases something, they are not included in the lead capture for the on-site event. If you are doing this you are leaving A LOT future revenue on the table. Stop focusing on the people running to the back of the room to buy and start cultivating EVERYONE in the room as a lifetime customer.

2. Blogging

I cannot even tell you how many opportunities I have gotten because I am willing to talk about marketing and put myself out there. I truly believe that everyone needs to have a blog as a HUB to drive everything back to! If you have a fancy formal site, it is really hard to go on a rant and talk about something that matters to you passionately. It is hard to write a quick post and plop a video into it. So, if you are still living in 1999 with your website, get on the blog bus and start writing.

3. Having partners

Some people call these referrals, referral partners and the like, but for me this is just people out in the marketplace who are willing to recommend me when they hear someone has a need I can help with. NOW, I don’t think they are great at selling their own businesses so I am not counting on them to generate sales copy, printed materials and the like that they can share. Instead I give the materials that represent my company the way that I like to be seen (this is one of the things that we give to share – Social Media Magazine) They get a few printed copies that they can give to prospects they think might be a good fit!

4. Being proactive

This is a biggie! Just last week we were talking with a client who was confused about why no one was taking her up on her free offer. She was offering a FREE Half Hour consult and no one was biting. We asked what she was doing….come to find out she would meet someone, engage in delightful conversation and then give them her business card that had her offer on the back. She would then go back to her office and wait for them to call her.

In my world, this goes a little differently. I speak (or meet someone), tell them what I do, and IF they are interested in taking it a step further I immediately ask them for their card and let them know that my Gal will give them a call. I don’t try to negotiate pricing, schedule a time or any other bits. My Executive Admin Shell then calls them, figures out what is the best fit for them, does all the preliminary legwork (like getting me paid) and THEN I am notified on my calendar that I have an appointment.

The reason this works so well is that I am not constantly being rejected, having to follow up a gagillion times (which takes away from my work time), or hearing the same “stuff” over and over. If I was doing all this part, I would be less inclined to get leads because I would know that they would just mean pain for me to do the legwork. If you do not have somebody following up on your leads, get someone TODAY!

5. Last but certainly not least, I play the WIFT channel in my head at all times!

This is the “What’s In It For Me” channel that everyone has going in their head all the time. You know the feeling when you are listening to a speaker and they start giving you an extended sales pitch, part way through you think, “surely they will tell me something that will help me without having to buy”, and the overwhelming feeling that you will NEVER buy from them because they just wasted an hour of your life. Gary Vaynerchuk calls this the 19 year old dude syndrom. Trying to “score” too soon can mean you lose the game entirely.

Instead you HAVE to provide value to your target demographic and keep giving them value. Now-a-days we think that everyone on the internet is trying to sell us some snake oil and so you have to make sure you build the know, like and trust factor BEFORE you jump on them asking them to “buy my stuff”. You can do this automatically buy giving something away for free like our Best Darn Email Marketing Course EVER. When someone signs up they get tremendous value PLUS I get the chance to “talk” with them as the consume 6 emails with videos of me talking.

I couldn’t PAY them to listen to me talk about my business for an hour and a half, but because I am helping them, they are happy to listen and start to know me a bit! We also have offers and calls to actions sprinkled throughout which lead to more sales!

Infusionsoft versus Office Autopilot – Email Newsletters and CRM Databases

Infusionsoft Versus Office AutopilotI get a lot of clients who ask about the difference of Infusionsoft versus Office Autopilot and passions run high on both sides!

Just this last week I had a client come to me and say that her business partner was insisting on using Office Auto Pilot for the email newsletters and internet marketing. While I DO think that Office Autopilot is a great system, I DO NOT think that it is a good fit for her! She is a smart woman with a pretty good grasp of technology (much like I am) BUT….

The one major difference between Infusionsoft and Office Auto Pilot for me is ease of use. I signed up for OAP about 3 years ago and they were talking about putting a new user interface on it so that setting up campaigns, autoresponders and lead capture would be easier. I logged in today and there was no interface yet (at least 3 years later) so I am not thinking making the system easier to use is a priority for them!

With Infusionsoft there is a Campaign Builder that is made especially for small business owners to make the steps easy to set up and see what you are doing! Check out the difference here…

With this in mind, we have suggested Infusionsoft to all of our clients without reservation! Some of the reasons we love them include:

  • Setting up autoresponders and web forms is easy peasy (see the example from the video here – The Best Darn Free Email Marketing Course EVER)
  • Doing events is super easy too – we just made one event with all the followup emails and can copy it for each new event we have!
  • The ability to target people and know what they are interested in using tags is invaluable
  • Our open rates shot up when we switched over to Infusionsoft (I don’t know about deliverability rates for each but I do know more people are opening our emails now)
  • OH THE TRAINING – when we started with AOP they had unlimited training but that changed over to a paid version shortly before we switched. Infusionsoft has a setup fee BUT…gasp…they helped us set up everything and got us up to speed fast PLUS my assistant talks to them all the time and their help desk is super helpful

Okay, you get the idea that we love the Infusionsoft….want to find out more and see more behind the scenes? Check out our Why Infusionsoft page!

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Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors

Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for RealtorsGreat keywords for Realtors include ones targeting buyers, sellers, FSBOs expireds and more! Here are my top real estate marketing search terms for my Realtor friends, broken down into categories.

If you think that there is something I am missing, please let me know in the comment section! Number amounts are the search volumes monthly

For Sellers

Most Realtors SAY they are prospecting for sellers but use all keywords that are for buyers. If you are a listing agent, please consider some of these for your website!

Realtors and real estate agents

  • realtors (9.1 million)
  • realtor (6.1 million)
  • real estate agents (1.8 million)
  • real estate agent (1.2 million)
  • top real estate agents (49.5 thousand)
  • top real estate agent (33.1 thousand)
  • best real estate agents (40.5 thousand)
  • best real estate agent (33.1 thousand)
  • best realtor (22.2 thousand)
  • find a realtor – how to find a realtor (15 thousand)
  • find real estate agents – how to find a real estate agent (8.1 thousand)
  • how to find a real estate broker (6.6 thousand)
  • finding a realtor (4.4 thousand)

Selling a home

  • selling a home (550 thousand)
  • sell your home – how to sell your home (74 thousand)
  • sell house fast (40.5 thousand)
  • sell home fast (33.1 thousand)
  • selling house fast (27.1 thousand)
  • ways to sell your house (14.4 thousand)
  • sell my home fast (9.9 thousand)
  • home selling tips (8.1 thousand)
  • marketing your home (6.6 thousand)
  • sell your home fast (6.6 thousand)
  • selling your home fast (4.4 thousand)
  • staging your home to sell (720)
  • cost of selling your home (480)
  • house selling tips (8.1 thousand)

Short Sales and Foreclosures

  • foreclosure (2.2 million)
  • foreclosures (1.8 million)
  • home foreclosures (450 thousand)
  • short selling (450 thousand)
  • short selling (450 thousand)
  • short sale process (22.2 thousand)
  • short sales process (18.1 thousand)
  • foreclosure or short sale (18.1 thousand)
  • short sale vs foreclosure (6.6 thousand)
  • short selling your home (1 thousand)

top-suggested-resource

Get the book!

Real Estate Marketing To A Farm EbookHow To Find, Grow & Reap The Benefits of a Geographic Farm…Find out tips and strategies to cultivate a successful real estate farm area. While researching for this title, we were surprised to discover how little real information there is out there about how to farm a neighborhood.

Included Topics:

  • What Is A Farm, Choosing a Farm & Farming For Sellers
  • Newsletters, Postcards, & Brochure Boxes
  • Website, Video, Email, & Social Media
  • Open Houses & Door Knocking
  • Creative Farming Ideas

Looking to take your real estate marketing to the next level? Start here

out top suggest next step resources

  • for sale by owner (1.22 million)
  • fsbo (135 thousand)
  • property for sale by owner (201 thousand)
  • properties for sale by owner (135 thousand)
  • sell your own home (9.9 thousand)
  • sell your own house (8.1 thousand)
  • selling your own home (6.6 thousand)
  • selling a home on your own (6.6 thousand)
  • for sale by owner listing (6.6 thousand)
  • for sale by owner listings (5.4 thousand)
  • listing property for sale by owner (1.6 thousand)
  • selling your house by owner (720)
  • selling your home without an agent (320)

Seller Tips

  • tips to sell your home (49 thousand)
  • short selling a home (27.1 thousand)
  • what is short selling a house (22.2 thousand)
  • tips for (on) selling your home (3.6 thousand)
  • tips to sell home (3.6 thousand)
  • tips to sell your home (1.9 thousand)

For Buyers

  • house for sale (on) (13.6 million)
  • buy home (1.2 million)
  • buying a home – home buying (823 thousand)
  • real estate listings (450 thousand)
  • real estate listing (135 thousand)
  • find real estate (110 thousand)
  • cheap houses for sale (74 thousand)
  • buy your home (40 thousand)
  • house 4 sale (33 thousand)
  • real estate agent listings (27 thousand)
  • big houses for sale (22 thousand)
  • find real estate for sale (9.9 thousand)

Condos, Townhomes and Villas

  • condos for sale (1.2 million)
  • condo for sale (1.2 million)
  • villas for sale (368 thousand)
  • villa for sale (301 thousand)
  • townhomes for sale (246 thousand)
  • townhouse for sale (201 thousand)
  • town homes for sale (165 thousand)
  • town houses for sale (135 thousand)

MLS

  • mls listings (550 thousand)
  • multiple listing service (60.5 thousand)
  • multiple listing services (49.5 thousand)
  • mls multiple listing service (49.5 thousand)
  • mls real estate listings (27.1 thousand)
  • real estate listing mls (14.8 thousand)

Buyer Tips

  • when to buy a home (1.2 million)
  • how to buy a home (1.2 million)
  • home buying tips (9.9 thousand)
  • tips for home buyers (3.6 thousand)

First Time Home Buyers

  • first time home buyer (301 thousand)
  • first time home buyers (301 thousand)
  • first time home buyer programs (49 thousand)
  • first time home buyers programs (40 thousand)
  • first home buyer tips (2.9 thousand)
  • first time home buyer tips (2.4 thousand)

Foreclosures

  • foreclosure homes (550 thousand)
  • foreclosures for sale (135 thousand)
  • foreclosure listings (110 thousand)
  • foreclosure listing (90.5 thousand)
  • list of foreclosures (90.5 thousand)
  • list of foreclosures (74 thousand)
  • foreclosure homes for sale (74 thousand)

Misc Interesting Words

  • list of real estate agents (18.1 thousand)

Incoming search terms:

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  • real estate quotes for marketing
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  • top keywords for real estate
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  • best search words for mls
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  • keywords for real estate websites
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YouTube Marketing – How To Make A Great Viral Marketing Video

YouTube Marketing - How To Make A Great Viral Marketing VideoYouTube marketing can be a fun and creative way to market your business and the ultimate goal of any video is to GO VIRAL. Viral like Psy? Viral like a million hits? Or really marketing viral?

So what makes a marketing viral video? Let’s break it down…

It should be directly targeted to your audience!

In the “real” world, you could make a cute video of your cat wearing a costume, riding rumba and chasing a duck (I SWEAR that is a real viral video) BUT how would that sell more of your product? So number one, make sure you know who your target is!

In this video by the Big Nerd Ranch (which my nerdy husband, John Jacobsen, sent to me), geeky guys flail around mocking C Code. They talk about things that non-coders would never understand but which geeky coder guys will think is funny. Seriously.

Now is this video striking a chord for you my marketing friend? Probably not but these guys sell advanced computer training for big bucks and their target audience is probably eating this up with a little giggle.

Big Nerd Ranch’s Cocoa Got Blocks from Big Nerd Ranch on Vimeo.

The Devil Is In The Details

If you watch this one about the new James Bond movie, there are LOTS of little clues going on all over the place. The violinist is playing the James Bond theme, all the hazards are making the guys look (sort of) like the antics performed by Bond, James Bond and overall, the effect is brilliant!

You Should Go All In

Now, nerdy guys dancing around may not be your cup of tea but DAMN, they gave it their all and everyone looked like they were having a great time. This reminds me of Justin Timberlake. I was never really a fan of his until I saw him on Saturday night live in a wine bottle costume making an ass out of himself. That changed everything for me and from that day forwarded I was happy to listen (and buy) his stuff. This video is really great with broad appeal and shows that he is a singer (a good one) and also fun to watch!

So do you have to make a huge YouTube marketing viral video with top level production? Nope, you just have to go all in! I am sure the nerdy video took a lot of time, but it is not ridiculously high quality…it is good enough for their viewers.

Social media marketing – How To Make Interesting Twitter Tweets

Social media marketing – How To Make Interesting Twitter TweetsSocial media marketing is easy, everybody says. Just post on the Twitter and you will get millions of dollars everyone says. Bah humbug!

If you have been on Twitter for any length of time, you know that Twitter tweets are fast moving and your Twitter feed is FULL of crap (and naughty girls but that is a problem for another day!) If your tweets do not stand out, you will be just a part of the crowd!

I am working on a post showing 100 great twitter tweets and DAMN it is slow going finding good examples! That said, what would make YOUR Twitter Tweets interesting…here is a quick video to get you started!

Twitter Tweet Strategy

Do NOT send out the same message over and over

Think about it, if your twitter stream looks like this don’t you think you look spammy…

  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com

What if we took the exact same idea and link and made it look a little different like this…

  • Professional SMM Services :: Check Us out for #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • Professional SMM Services :: We know how to ROCK your #socialmedia http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for #socialmedia http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – We know how to ROCK your #smm http://marketingartfully.com

Just by taking a little bit of time and using the Tweet Generator, we can get four posts of varying lengths in about 2 minutes!

Make your tweets look different every time!

Okay, so one of the things that I did here was to use different characters in my tweets like :: and a hypen. Using ampersands, CAPS, hypens, punctuation and other interesting do dads makes your tweets look more interesting too! Check out these Fancy Schmancy tweets!

  • Marketing & Social Media Services – #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • SMM & Marketing Svcs #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • AMAZING Social Media Marketing Co. :: #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • Need social media? #smm http://marketingartfully.com

They all say the same thing but look very different!

What’s in it for them?

Last but not least, don’t do what I just did! Most people are not on Twitter to “buy your stuff”. They are there to learn, find out new info or discover something that will make them money, thinner, happier or any number of other things. Going for the HARD SELL is recipe for disaster.

Instead, give them something of value that leads them into your pipeline…

  • FREE Resource – 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • 100 Free Marketing Ideas :: #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • Need Marketing HELP? Free resource 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • BRILLIANT! 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • Free & Good! Yep…100 Free marketing ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com

Well there you have it, how to make interesting twitter tweets! That is it for your social media lessons today!

Social Media Marketing – Should you buy likes, followers and views?

Social Media Marketing – Should you buy likes, followers and views?Social media marketing is a combination of tactics, luck and sweat. Gaining followers, friends, views and the like is not an easy task and sometimes you can wonder if all that time is worth it.

Today’s big question is should you buy likes, followers and views for your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts? First off, this is one time where I don’t have a strong opinion on the subject. I am totally up in the air for three reasons:

  1. I don’t think that buying likes and followers actually accomplishes anything in the true social media space.
  2. Psychologically I think there IS value to having larger numbers.
  3. I worry that those fakers you get could eventually count against you in the eyes of the social media services or your other “real” people.

So there you have it, I am totally ambivalent so if you are looking for a yes or no, move on to someone else. If you want to become more confused (like I am) carry on as I break down each of these areas.

Buying likes doesn’t accomplish anything in the true social media space – sorta

This one is pretty obvious. If you buy feople (fake people) they will not interact with you at all. The providers of paid services are not promising that they will increase your influence or interact with you in any way, all they are saying is that you will have more numbers.

That said, up until recently YouTube actually counted views as a measure of whether to promote your video on their search results so YES having more views made it more likely that you would get found more, more people would watch and there would be a beneficial spiral upwards.

Additionally, if you are getting your Facebook business page posts shown to 4 percent of all the people (fake and real) there is a chance (however small) that someone will throw you a like and trigger a friendly uptick in your post being shown or shared.

My besty, the Colorado Connector falls on the “what could it hurt” and “heck, it costs so little why not try it” side of this fence. I am totally on the “bah humbug” here.

Psychologically I think there is value to having higher numbers

Should you buy twitter views?
Looking at those two accounts, which would you be more likely to throw a follow to (as a real person?) I have to say that I am swayed by seeing someone has only a handful of followers, thinking that their stuff must not be that good or more people would like it. Now, what would you say if you found out that just last week, MandMMonsters (on which we post AMAZING marketing information only had about 150 followers?) For this piece I worked with a company that sells Twitter followers and had them provide us with 1,500 Twitter followers (they were not paid nor was I for writing this post, it just makes me curious so I thought I would take a peek at the numbers).

This is the first time that I have used a paid service to get followers for any of my accounts (doing so generally violates the terms of service). That said, how it made me feel was somewhat compelling. These days it is not as easy to get followers as it was back in the good old days when I grew my Taradactyl Twitter account (I have 16,387 home grown, worked it and scrambled to get them for years).

I understand the idea that if you post great stuff and interact like crazy, people will follow, like or view your stuff. BUT there is much more competition out there now than when I started and got the initial 6,000 or so that made me “popular” enough to keep getting more. We do social media marketing for clients and I am here to tell you, without some kind of critical mass to get you over the hurdle, it is scrabble, scrabble to get any traction at all.

Additionally on Twitter there is a ration that says when you get to where you have liked 2,000 people, you can’t like anymore until you get 2,000 likes. We have one client who spent MONTHS trying to clear that hurdle and never made it. In the end she bought followers to get her over that and has continued to have trouble right up to today.

I worry that we could be penalized down the line for buying followers, likes and views

As you may or may not know, at heart I am an SEO girl. I like that my blog gets search engine traffic and ranks well for terms I am targeting. Over the years, many people have said I was stupid for not buying backlinks, spamming directories or doing any of the other “black hat” tricks that could have made me even more popular. I could have had a shining month or year where I got tons of traffic…until…dum dum dum…Google penalized me for doing that! So many sites have been hurt by the Penguin and Panda Google updates that there is a whole industry built up around NOT using search engine marketing (because their sites have been banned for bad practices).

I would rather have a “clean” site than hire comment spammers so why wouldn’t I want to have clean social media accounts. If Google could change the rules retroactively, why couldn’t Twitter. What if, from now on I have NO more paid for followers BUT it still hurts me in the end when they shut down my Twitter account?

Check your Twitter “realness” >> Twitter Fakers Checker-Thingy

So now you know how many fakers you have…as you can see, Taradactyl has 98% real accounts and MandMMonsters has 13% real accounts (on an interesting sidenote, the day they added those fakers, it was only 2% real, so in just one week, there has been an over 9% swing back to more real than fake – I wonder if that happened because people saw I had more followers and so were more likely to follow me, THIS Is why this is so hard to figure out!)

Should you buy fake followers

What does your twitter history look like? >> Twitter Counter

If this tool is out there you KNOW that Twitter can tell if you have dumped a bunch of followers in all at once. Thinking that they will not be able to track this is ridiculous. Maybe (because my account was not shut down) they have a level at which you have bought too many followers or you haven’t swung back around after to do real work on your account – just remember that buying followers is not the endgame, just a boost. The Taradactyl account was grown organically and shows a steady upward climb for the last three months. MandMMonsters is OBVIOUSLY not playing fair with a TREMENDOUS jump in followers all at once.

Twitter Counter - Twitter Following Stats

One last thing to note…the ones you buy are not forever. They will eventually all get shut down or banned so don’t count on them to do all the heavy lifting for you. Use the boost to quickly follow other real accounts who might then be more likely to follow you back now that you look less lame.

There is WAY more data (and interest on my part) about the mechanics of Twitter than Facebook or YouTube (their open API means that more developers have handy-dandy tools to check out your stuff). That said, the penalty for buying likes probably would be similar across accounts, the probability that they can tell what you are doing is high and the benefit still seems to be up in the air for me.

What do you think about buying likes, followers or views? PLEASE let me know if you have had success or crushing defeat one way or the other! 

Which RSS Feed To Twitter Accounts Is Best | Social Media Marketing

Today I am taking care of my Twitter accounts, making sure that my blogs “feed” the right posts to the right accounts. Now, I don’t have a million of them, BUT I do have enough that getting all of them hooked up to the right RSS feeds for my websites is important!

This post is an honest opionion of all the services I could find out there and how they work. Some I have used extensively and some I have tried for 15 minutes (and abandoned because they were too hard!) If you have a favorite, please leave a comment and I will check it out and add it if appropriate!

TWITTERFEED.COM

Twitter Feed - RSS To TwitterTwitterfeed has made sad over the years. I want to love them because their service is free and they do perform the function of posting to Twitter effectively. My problem with them is twofold (and my besty has a problem too!)

  • First and most importantly, the site is PAINFULLY slow. If you are adding a feed, it could take up to 15 minutes to get to the right page, load it in, set the parameters and then move onto the next one.
  • Secondly, they have used Twitter to login, AuthId, emails and about a million other different login systems. Half the time I have to spend a good chunk of time just figuring out how to get into the darn thing!
  • Bonus, my Besty the Colorado Connector uses it to post her RSS feeds to her Facebook and she says it unhooks itself often. Now, we KNOW that is a combination of problems between Twitterfeed and Facebook, but for her it means having to constantly check and see if her connections are working!

Cost: FREE

For right now I have taken MarketingArtfully.com off of there and moved it to another service. I have a Twitter account that publishes a bunch of Realtor blogs and for now I am leaving that there (mostly because the time to get all those unhooked would be prohibitive!)

DLVR.IT

Dlvrit RSS To Twitter ServiceI have moved my important sites over to this service. For now, the 15 social profiles for ten bucks a month should take care of what I need to do…:) I am sad that I have to pay BUT thinking of the old saw that we get what we pay for!

  • I am EXTREMELY pleased with how easy it is to set up accounts and and move around which feeds publish to which Twitter accounts. I will be doing the $9.95 per month for now and checking to see if I want to move up in the future.
  • It appears that they have post to Google Plus on paid versions which I will be checking out today too!

Cost: FREE (5 Feeds, 3 Social Profiles), $9.95 month (50 Feeds, 15 Social Profiles), $19.95 month (Unlimited Feeds, Unlimited Social Profiles)

IFTTT.COM

If this then that rss tweet feederHoly heck is this one hard to use! The concept is that like some database functions you can say If This Then That. So for my purposes I was trying to say “If marketingartfully.com publishes a post, then post a link to my TARAdactyl Twitter”. So far, so good. Next one I tried to make “If marketingartfully.com publishes a post, then post a link to my MarketingArtful Twitter”. DOH, it so only wants to post to TARAdactyl. Delete, try again, no dice.

This site seems like it might have a really cool function but my normal little marketing brain (not super mathy or logical) cannot get wrapped around how to write “recipes” or even use current recipes and modify them to work for my stuff. Sigh. Seemed like neat site but do not have the time or inclination to learn how to do all those bits.

Cost: FREE

SocialOomph

I have used SocialOomph in the past for scheduling posts and I thought, I bet they have some kind of RSS feed generator, lets go check them out! DOH, they charge $17.97 bi-weekly (which is $35.94 a month!). Now, I am sure they have many other services for that price, but for my needs, thirty-five bucks a month is astronomically expensive!

Cost: $35.00/month

Feedburner By Google

Seems like a good idea! Hustled on over and I CAN hook my feed to Twitter…SCORE! And I can hook it to another Twitter…Double Score…DAMN…you can hook up as many accounts as you want, but you have to pick which one will be the primary one and actually post!

Hootsuite

Hootsuite does this with an owly link. I don’t especially like those because I know they are pre-posted and sometimes ignore them. For this reason I am not using Hootsuite to publish my RSS feeds…although they do have a sweet deal…

Cost: Free (2 Feeds), $8.99 month (Unlimited Feeds)

PLEASE let me know if you know of any other good RSS Feed to Twitter accounts… I am open to hearing about any good ones!

Realtor Marketing – Stop Offering A CMA | Comparative Market Analysis

Realtor Marketing Stop Offering CMAsRealtor marketing is stuck in the seventies I swear! For the love of pete, please, please, please stop offering a CMA as your big free offer!

The Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT Offer A CMA As Your Free Giveaway

Reason One – I have talked with HUNDREDS of agents and the first thing that pops out of their mouth when I ask them what their free offer is, (said all chirpy), “a free CMA”. If EVERYONE is giving something away for free, it has no value!

Reason Two – What if I told you, “Sign up for my stuff and you can have a free PDQ!” Said in a chirpy voice or not, you probably have NO idea what that is because I just made it up. Many homeowners do not know what CMA stands for and so you are just spinning your wheels.

Reason Three – Realtor Marketing has moved on! There are scads of things that you could give them like a free moving guide, a free relocation guide, a free “thanks for listing with me” pack of coupons from local moving companies, organizers and the like. I KNOW, it is easy to do a CMA for them, that is why you are offering it. If your offer is easy and everyone is doing it, it has no value!

Reason Four – If you have to give a CMA away, why not call it something that people actually want like; “Spy On Your Neighbors, Find Out What Their Homes Are Worth”, OR “Get Monthly Updates On What The Homes In Your Neighborhood Sold For” OR “How Much Could You Sell For TODAY? Your Home May Be Worth More (or Less) Thank You Think!” All of those are something that homeowners might actually care about! You have to know that they cannot extrapolate your acronym (CMA) to what it actually does.

Final Reason – It makes you look lame. With just a few of the agents in your marketplace offering something better, your little “Get A Free CMA” offer looks worse than doing nothing at all! Now, I am not saying you have spend a fortune or have a fancy gimmick (one of my favorite examples is the agent in Florida who has separated himself from the competition by planting a flat of flowers around his sign posts to make them look less icky on the high end properties he lists).

With a good portion of the population thinking that Realtors are akin to used car salesmen (there are over 4 MILLION results when you search “used car salesmen realtors”), hearing “get a free CMA!” sounds just like “nobody beats a dealing doug deal, nobody!”

I LOVE Realtors, Heck I AM A Realtor

Real estate agent selling tips [Ebook]Now this may sound a bit harsh but I am just telling you for your own good! My besty is a Realtor and it is what I tell her, another besty is a Realtor too, same song and dance. Having a powerful message and offer that you can explain to potential clients is vital. Getting prospective sellers onto your realtor marketing list is vital. Looking like all the other agents out there is the LAST thing you should do!

Stop following the pack, stop offering a Free CMA and start doing REAL MARKETING! If you want some help with your plan, please check out our one-hour marketing consult for realtors….definitely $247 well spent!

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100 Great Free Report Titles, Best Headlines and Free Optin Offers | Lead Generation

100 Great Free Report Titles, Best Headlines & Free Optin OffersI have scoured the web for the best great headlines, free report titles and free optin offer offers! Having looked at HUNDREDS of sites to write this post, I have a couple of observations…

First as I was looking for great headlines in areas NOT of interest to me, I can tell you unilaterally, no matter how great your offer is, if they don’t NEED what you are offering, they won’t ever sign up, buy or take the next step.

Second be really niche-y! Don’t try to succeed at “weight loss” or “make money”. There isn’t something that you could present that will make everyone want what you have. Niche it down to something that would appeal to your perfect client or customer.

Lastly, there is A LOT of opportunity out there! I did this in order to be able to write better free offer headlines and I thought, “there is A LOT of competition”. In actuality, the majority of top websites and blogs don’t have any opt-in or data capture going on. Some have pop-ups that appear immediately (I ignored them until I learned more about the site), some have only social media opt-ins (good but definitely not the end game), and a few had a great free offer (a very few!)

Some Universal needs you can target:

  • Make money
  • Save money
  • Lose weight
  • Get respect
  • Don’t get ripped off
  • Save time
  • Protect your family
  • Love
  • Stay young, anti aging
  • Personal development
  • Kids
  • Pets
  • Health

How To Headlines

This is a way to present that starts with the readers’ need and ends with a benefit to them. In this model you start with How To [X] That Gets You [X].

  • How win friends and influence people (dale carnegie)
  • How to winterize your house and cut your monthly payments in half
  • How to give your children extra iron — these 3 delicious ways (copyblogger.com)
  • How do you monetize your content and expertise online today? I’ll show you how. (brendonburchard.com)
  • Discover how to slow down the aging process with expert skin care tips (clarinsusa.com)
  • How often do you say to yourself, “I should have started that last week”. How to stay on track in an always on world.

Tips and Tricks (the “Secret”)

No one really knows why people are so obsessed with learning a “secret”. Knowing the unknown is a universal human need and one we can use effectively to get people onto your list.

  • The secret of how to get 6 pack abs with no situps
  • Little known ways to reduce your electric bills
  • Secrets of the “free” home security system (thealarmcompany.com)
  • Learn secrets most men will never know about women and dating (doubleyourdating.com)
  • Forget The Free Crap, Discover The Truth About Google Plus Powerful Secrets Nobody Knows | Shocking Mistakes Everybody Makes This Is How It’s Really Done… (googlingsocial.com)
  • The top 5 digital marketing tools for local businesses (hint: the 3 best are free) (leadpages.net)
  • Discover how to describe what you do in a confident way that excites you and attracts clients -> finally (mainstreammediasavvy.com)

The List

  • Get the shocking FREE report “top 10 mistakes men make with women” (lovesystems.com)
  • Free book gives you 10 unheard of ways to lose belly fat
  • 10 steps to building a bulging bank account (tommi wolfe)
  • Free recording offers 10 ways to beat the high cost of remodeling
  • 5 unbelievable ideas for making money
  • 100 great call to action examples (marketingartfully.com)
  • 25 can’t fail life saving ideas
  • 56 ways to market your business on pinterest (copyblogger)
  • Discover the 39 essential tools needed to map out your goals, maximize your effectiveness, and win control of your time and your life (mindtools.com)
  • The 15 poker secrets every professional knows (pokerlistings.com)
  • The only 3 pieces of exercise equipment you need in your home (hint: they all weigh less than 5 pounds) (leadpages.net)
  • 10 leads a day formula – discover the 10 leads a day formula using the power of Youtube (Reel Marketing Insider)

Clever Headlines

You have to be willing to rock the nerdy to like these, but after reading all the rest, these are my favorites!

  • Small step for man, giant gaffe for NASA (AP)
  • Going once, going twice, going to be confiscated (dan kelley)
  • Is this the rail price, is this just fantasy, caught up in land buys, no escape from burecracy! (ulster gazette)
  • Nature’s 4 letter words: Wind, hail, rain (collier times)
  • Sneezy? Grumpy? If you visit Disney, use new sanitizers (jason garcia)
  • Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says (AP)
  • Federal agents raid gun shops, find weapons (brian barber)
  • Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops significantly after age 25 (mary ann tebedo)
  • Man accused of killing lawyer receives a new attorney (sun staff writer)
  • Gordon Ramsey sex dwarf eaten by badger (outrageous isn’t always good!)

Doing What Others Can Do

I think this is a real sleeper one, sort of like the secret but showing that it it is possible because someone else has done it before you!)

  • Now you can swim like Michael Phelps!
  • Find out how we made over 6 figures doing affiliate marketing last year
  • I lost 25 pounds in 5 weeks by eating this one super food!
  • Give me 10 days and I will show you how to swing like tiger woods
  • Advice to wives whose husbands don’t save money – by a wife (victor scwab)
  • Real results for real people. You’ve seen my results on TV. Look at the success my members are having right now: (jillianmichaels.com)
  • Resource Guide: The top sites we use to get traffic and dominate the search engines (number 4 may surprise you)
  • Are you ever shy on a date? 3 tricks I use that make me the life of the party
  • Who else wants to be happily married?
  • Why some people seem to be able to lose weight and the three things they share in common
  • When top marketers want to make fast money, this is what they do
  • Who ever heard of getting skinny without exercise? Find out how one woman lost 40 pounds sitting on her couch

The One Thing You Need To Do

  • The one thing you must do to make more money
  • The one thing that will make a huge difference in your weight loss efforts
  • Imagine—achieving ALL your goals quickly and easily! download this free e-book and discover the exact formula for goal setting success! (briantracy.com)
  • Make women want you…this one weird technique turns them on so fast it should be banned (online-dating-tips.org)

Amazing Offers

  • The ultimate guide to…
  • Now you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight!
  • Claim an incredible 100% bonus up to $747 on your first two deposits!! (manhattenslots.com)
  • Which of these $2.50 to $5 best sellers do you want for only $1 each? (victor schwab)
  • Free presentation reveals a somewhat unusual tip to get a flatter belly while still eating the foods you love (fatlossfactor.com)
  • Would you like me to personally double, triple, or even quadruple your business…for free? (frankkern.com)
  • Click here to watch amazing transformational videos (charlesdangelo.com)
  • Use this weird technique to make any girl kiss you… (mensbestdatingtips.com)
  • 100% guaranteed way to make twice as much money in half the time
  • It seems incredible that you can get all these tips for just $7.99, but it is true!

Cataclysmic Properties or Opportunities

  • Unstoppable forces will either propel you to victory or bury you on page 2-3-4 of Google’s search results (perrymarshall.com)
  • Do you make these 7 fatal mistakes when buying facebook ads?
  • Is the life of a child worth $1 to you? (victor schwab)
  • Important news for those who recently quit smoking…here’s the fastest and easiest way to clean your lungs of the poisonous tar and dangerous toxin build-up that could eventually lead to premature lung disease, cancer, or even death! (howtoquitstopsmoking.com)
  • Be prepared to be shocked – take the real age test today. The results may just surprise you. (sharecare.com)
  • The sex food so potent priests were forbidden to eat it (infomarketingblog.com)

You Deserve It

  • Get the body you know you deserve…introducing Richard’s new 90 day progressive workout system (richardsimmons.com)
  • Get exclusive access to the best bars, restaurants, shops, parties and more in Las Vegas…sign up for deals, memberships, invites and special offers (askmen.com)
  • You deserve the luxury of a cadillac

Avoiding Something

  • LinkedIn marketing mistakes, how to avoid missing great marketing opportunities on LinkedIn (linkedintelligence.com)
  • How much lifetime & money will YOU save by quitting smoking? Beat the Nicodemon at his own game with our FREE quit-smoking program! (quitnet.com)
  • Stop losing money…10 vital NL holdem’ tips
  • If your website crashed today, would you be up and running in minutes or weeks?
  • 50 fool proof ways to make your kids happy on a rainy day
  • Stop wasting money on training that doesn’t work, this one course changed my whole marketing plan and made me a social media rockstar
  • The one little mistake that can cost you $2,000 a year
  • Stop getting ripped off: why consumers get screwed, and how you can always get a fair deal (bob sullivan – book title)
  • There is finally an easy way to stop getting ripped off at the hospital (finance.yahoo.com)
  • Do you make these mistakes in english (victor schwab)
  • Do you have these symptoms of entrepreneur failure?

The Exact Amount

Putting exact numbers into your headline gives it credibility and makes you want to find out more!

  • [FREE Webinar] learn the marketing system these guys used to increase their business by 832% (mandmmonsters.com)
  • Learn how these guys grew from $0 to $2,000,000! – Free Webinar TOMORROW (mandmmonsters.com)
  • My #1 tip for writing great email newsletters, blog posts, recording videos and more! (marketingartfully.com)
  • Reduce wrinkles & rejuvenate skin. See results in as little as 10 days. (auroskin.us)
  • Facelift through exercise. Erase 10 years in 15 minutes a day. Eliminate wrinkles, jowls and more! (carolynsfacialfitness.com)
  • 4 AMAZING events to help you grow your business FAST in May 2013 (thecoloradoconnector.com)
  • Starting off with $56,000 in debts… a young divorced mother tells how she became a millionaire in only 34 months. Here she explains how you can start earning enough money easily to retire a millionaire in 5-8 years…(numatek.com)
  • You can master AdWords in 4 weeks with the most thorough A To Z training we’ve ever offered. I guarantee minimum 30% improvement in your performance or your money back (perry marshall)
  • Using your systems, my sales have increased by 215%
  • Skin that looks younger in 48 hours or your money back

Free Resources

  • Download pregnancy miracle ebook Now! (liked the testimonials section too here…Hey, Don’t Believe Me! Believe What Others Said! These Are Several of Awesome Testimonials From Our Satisfied Customers! (howtogetpregnantfastt.blogspot.com)
  • Small Business Marketing Guide: 100 Free Marketing Ideas
  • Resource Guide: the top 5 techniques to getting a man fast
  • Buyers Guide: How to avoid getting ripped off by the copier companies
  • How To Look Younger: 11 natural ways to look younger without surgery (nowloss.com)
  • Free report reveals…the 5 (dirt cheap) tools I use to create all my videos (including my $80 HD video camera) (leadpages.net)
  • Free report: Why go mobile. (worth $27) Discover how smart business owners are making tons of money by adopting the right mobile marketing strategies.
  • 7 important things you must consider before choosing a health retreat. (Natural Attitudes)

There you have it! My 100 Great Free Report Titles, Best Headlines and Free Optin Offers. If you have any I missed or others that you have seen work effectively for lead generation, please feel free to leave a comment!

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5 Steps To Amazing Lead Generation That Really Works

Lead generation is a topic that comes up A LOT in my world. Marketing is not exactly lead generation and so many small business owners to come to me frustrated and glum that they aren’t making any sales when in fact all they are doing is promoting and not ACTUAL lead generating.

So what is the difference between marketing and lead generation?

Marketing is all about increasing exposure to your business via a multitude of channels including your website, social media, networking and about a million other available outlets.

Lead generation is the active collecting of people’s contact information for the purpose of moving them through a sales funnel and ultimately to a purchase.

5 Steps To Amazing Lead Generation That Really Works

  • Step one – Know EXACTLY who you are trying to reach! A lot of times we hear that people want to reach women between 35-55 with a college education and a high income. That is not nearly good enough to develop an offer that will make them take notice. Are these women mothers, businesswomen, do they play soccer or do needlepoint? Are they homebodies or party gals? Do they have pets? Knowing the details of their lives lets you craft an offer that will get them to sign up to receive it. Which leads me to…
  • Step two - Know what you are trying to sell them. You CANNOT try to sell them everything you’ve got available. The more choices that you give human beings, the less chance that they will pick anything. For one of our offers, we are trying to attract small biz owners who are just starting out…we have a free offer and then followup with a chance to talk with us for an hour for a very low price. This is very congruent with what they can afford. If we gave a free offer about free marketing and then tried to seque them into a five thousand dollar package, we would probably not sell too many.
  • Step three - you have to have an AMAZING offer. I love that Seth Godin talks about the opposite of amazing is not terrible, it is just good enough. If you are trying to get someone to notice your business or sign up for your list you have to have something GREAT! Today’s cluttered world means that anything less will just get lost in the shuffle. One of our amazing offers is 100 Free Marketing Ideas, another is The Best Darn Email Marketing Course EVER! Both are amazing and get people to opt in to our list on a daily basis.
  • Step four – This is where most lead generation fails…in step 4 you have to have a followup program to get them through a sales funnel. You need to take that lead and nurture it like a little seed, watering it with information about your product or service that can help them make a buying decision. We all know that it takes at least 5 “touches” before most people trust enough to buy. If you are following up once, twice or even three times, you are falling short of getting the sale most of the time!
  • Step five – Know the lifetime value of that customer. Instead of just getting a quick sale and out, why not look at your current list of customers and prospects and see if there is something else you could sell them. Develop and source items that you know they will like and offer those to this group of “already know, like and trust you” customers!

Dave Sherman Lead Generation WebinarWe are rabid collectors of big lists. My biz partner and I have over half a million people who are connected to us socially and databases of over 40,000 contacts (growing every day!) We LOVE Infusionsoft for our sales funnels and lead generation and are super happy that we got a chance to pin Dave Sherman down on a webinar to help give us even more pointers….:) Check out this FREE Webinar – Fixing Follow Up Failure – How to Convert your Lead Graveyard into a Gold Mine (replay will be available if you can’t make it on that day!)

Realtor Marketing – What Should Be On Your Real Estate Website

Oh my friends doing Realtor Marketing…you are killing me! I have talked to literally hundreds of Realtors about their marketing and there are just some super-weird things that drive me nuts about you (the collective you, not you personally…:) The biggest thing to me is your internet presence and what should be on your real estate website!

Generally I try to tell you things that you should do in no particular order, but for this one, I am going to break it down from most important to least important…

5 Things You MUST Have On Your Real Estate Website

  1. Somewhere for them to sign up to your email list
  2. An intro video of you talking
  3. An about us page that talks about how you help them (NOT about how you are great at playing guitars or any you, you, you at all really)
  4. Customer testimonials (bonus points if they are video testimonials)
  5. Neighborhoods that you farm

But wait, where is the MLS search? Don’t I have to have an MLS search?

Real estate agent selling tips [Ebook]Yesterday I was talking with an agent and she was working on her site. She had spent a good deal of time and money to get it up and running and was considering whether to hire us (who do realtor marketing) or to hire a company that could integrate her database with her MLS search. In talking with her, I found out that she had between 50 and 75 searches a month on her MLS search. Sigh.

Having a back end system to track 50 searches a month will not add anything to her bottom line. And according to the latest numbers, Realtor.com gets 20 MILLION unique visitors a month, Zillow.com has had as high as 30 MILLION visitors a month, and Trulia.com gets about 22 million visitors a month. Homebuyers are NOT generally going onto Realtor websites to search for homes.

Another thing that chaps my hide is that most agents who are building big websites are listing agents (we all know that the money is with the listings). These agents say they want to get more listings but have a huge search box on their front page, prospecting for…wait for it…buyers! Ack.

So yes, I say that having an MLS search embedded on the home page of your website is a waste of time and money and is about number 25 on my top things a real estate website needs to have. Now that we have that out of the way, back to our regularly scheduled program…

What you SHOULD have on your real estate website >> Somewhere for them to sign up to your email list

This is the whole enchilada! Going to all the trouble to get someone to your website and then not having an amazing offer for them to sign up for is just silly. You should have a relocation guide, or a report like 5 Ways To Sell Your Home Fast, or (if you are prospecting for FBSOs) 7 Secrets FSBOs Don’t Know That Realtors Do!

Any of these amazing offers will compel someone to give you their email address and thus give you the chance to market to them forever. Want more about this? Check out post:

Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?

Next up – An intro video of you talking

Having an intro video is vital to getting another human to like you. Human beings are genetically predisposed to wanting that connection and you can accomplish that with a video of you talking. One of our clients HATES seeing herself on video, but got over it fast when she started getting commission checks! Check out the Irish Realtor and her amazing video intro

As you can tell, it is not perfect, she is squinty, BUT she is expressly telling people that they can call her! That is so impactful in this world on online-only communications!

An about us page that talks about how you help THEM

I follow an ad guy who talks about NOT we, we, weeing all over your site visitors. Back in the day, I went to a Hobbs Herder event and they were selling 10K packages to brand Realtors. You would tell them what you like and they would develop a whole marketing plan based on you and your interests. One guy liked playing the guitar and another liked his dog. Sigh.

How much time would you have to spend reading about how your accountant’s childhood or his love of fast cars and loose women? I jest, but think about it. When you are a hiring a professional to work for you, you want to know what they can do for you. Yes, you might like to know that they graduated from Harvard or that they have been in business for 20 years, but those are one liners to find out AFTER you have decided to work with them.

Your website should be all about THEM and how you can help them sell or buy a house. Why your processes and practices mean that they will have a smooth, stress free closing and that it will not consume their life.

Customer testimonials

The internet is full of liars and we know that anyone can write anything they want on the internet. That said, we still appreciate knowing what other people think and this is why testimonials are so powerful to marketing. Just knowing that someone else who worked with you and had a good experience is enough to tip the scales and get them to pick up the phone.

Now, let’s get back to the, anybody can write anything on the internet. What about if your testimonials were videos? Real people talking about how you helped them to get their dream house or sell their home fast and for top dollar. How you held their hand or were supremely professional. These types of testimonials are more powerful than anything you say, ever.

One of our clients uses his Zillow Testimonials on every page of his site. This third party endorsement helps this Tampa Bay Realtor show that working with his team is easy and productive.

Neighborhoods that you farm

Last but certainly not least is having specific pages about each area that you farm. Think about it, if someone is looking for Denver Real Estate, they are probably just at the early stages of their hunt. Drill down to a suburb like Westminster and they are getting warmer, BUT when they hit the subdivision level, they are ready to buy or sell.

These people are the cream of the crop and you should have a page just for them, with a video and possibly a number of pictures of that subdivision so they can feel like they landed in the right place.

Wrapup

I could go on all day about realtor marketing and what you should have on your real estate website. I KNOW, some of these things are so ingrained in the Realtor community that my ideas may seem shocking or even crazy, but just think about it before you slip back into, “but everybody does it that way”. If everybody is doing something, sometimes stepping out of the box helps you to reap great rewards!

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Customer Demographics, the DISC Personality Profile and Commercials

Customer Demographics, DISC Personality Type and CommercialsI had such a neat ephiphany this morning about how to explain merging of DISC Personality Types (extrapolate to your favorite personality profile!) and customer demographics using national advertising commercials.

If you are not familiar with customer demographics, they are the categories that people fall into, making them easier to market to as a group! For example, men who are 45-65 years old and working in industry have very different needs than a 25 year old woman hipster. Check out more about customer demographics

The DISC Personality Profile is super interesting to me as it helps us understand the TYPES of people out there. A “D” driver type person is go, go, go, an “I” is friendly and likes being around people, “S” people are stable and steady and “C” types are like CPAs, interested in all the details. Check out more about DISC Personality Types and marketing

So how do you tell what types of demographics and personalities commercials are trying to reach? Here are some great examples and my take on them!

D Type Personality, National Car Rental – Business Pro

First off we start with framing the commercial so that the watcher knows it is for him (using demographics). There is powerful man speaking in the background telling our business pro that he “knows how to mix business with business”. There are some really powerful “old boy network” images like the guys doing deals on the golf course. Our hero in this story looks to be a 30-40 year old white male (the “boss” in the story is his late 50′s, early 60′s).

Then we switch over to the personality type of D for driver (ha, in this case an ACTUAL driver!) Our hero can choose any car and GO. No stopping, no hassle at the counter with talking to a person, just grab your car and go. While this is great for a dominant driver type, it would not work with our other personality types who would want to interact, have some structure or details about how all that is accomplish, but for our business pro, it is perfect!

I Type Personality, Chinet – Rediscover the Lost Art of Getting Together

In this one our hero is a young woman, probably in her late 20s or early 30s. She seems somewhat affluent, the fixtures in the house are not opulent but are definitely designed well. There are a majority of white people in the shot although there is a bit of diversity and they are appealing to the moms with happy children playing.

All that said, the hero shot is when she gets to enter the party and join in the fun. And come to find out, all those happy people are using Chinet plates. I’s like to be around people, having parties. They want to be the one getting to spend time with neighbors and friends and the promise is, if they pick up Chinet at the grocery store, they will be able to produce fun times. The other personality types who aren’t as social will not “get” this commercial, but I’s will love it!

S Type Personality, Ancestry.com – Boxes

I pulled the Australian version of this one to show that these ideas are universal. It is interesting that each commercial has a voice over with the country’s accent, although they are all women.

The shot starts with a cozy family home and flows through how family and ancestors are there for you and will help. Love the “and I saw you, coming home” – not only are we hitting the stable, steadys BUT also the visual people (42% of all people are visual learners!) Old family pictures bring humans into the shot and remind the S’s that family comes first.

C Type Personality, Apple – Introducing Siri

WOW, they cover a lot of demographic types, young white businessman, young successful white husband (nice car!), young successful african american woman (she is going on a trip), older white mom (or grandma) type, young white blind reader (with a dog – dogs are always good!)

That said, this commercial is a C’s dream! You can find out any fact or detail instantly. You can know about important things like the weather and measurements. If you are a C (like my husband) this seems to be basic – OF COURSE you want to know all of that. For the rest of us, many times we have no idea of what the weather is until we walk out the door!

Wrapup – Customer Demographics, the DICS Personality Profile and Commercials

Sometimes seeing how these play out help our small business marketing efforts. Selling a high end business product, you probably want to make sure your graphics and ads appeal to older white males who are still at this point running much of industry (they are stereotypes because they are true!) Want to sell to young, hipsters? Have images of people getting together and having fun!

The national brands have amazing teams of marketing agencies, focus groups and deep pockets to test these things…as a small business owner you can leverage all that researching goodness to make sure you are targeting your best prospects!

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Guest Post Blogging – How NOT To Ask For A Guest Post

Guest Post Blogging – How NOT To Ask For A Guest PostThis post is a “how not to” for guest post blogging requests. Please, whether you are applying to my blog or any other blog, read it in its entirety so you can know what it feels like on the other end and maybe improve your requests. Please know that if you send me horrible requests to guest post, they may be published here (without any identifying information).

Guest post blogging is all the rage! I even jumped into the fray and tried my hand at it, check out my post about the experience…(Guest Post Blogging – I was rejected by Social Media Examiner and I am okay!)

While my traffic and customers are nowhere near the level of the SME, I do get my fair share of traffic… I am number 68K of US blogs, with a readership comprised of college educated women, who have an average income of 60-100K a year – not a bad bunch of readers to try to court! check out my Alexa details

Because of this and all the info out there about how great guest post blogging is, I have a problem. Every day I get about 10 requests to guest post to my website. As I have only had about 5 guest posts in 5 years, the chances that I will spontaneously start accepting guest posts at this rate is low (read non-existant).

That said, still the requests they come pouring in! Here are some of the worst of the bunch I have gotten recently and why I find them so heinous (I have gotten myriad other ones that were simply sad, not horrific and I won’t bore you with those!)

Guest Post Blog Request 1 – It would be a great opportunity for you to use your site to help me

Hello Tara,

My name is X and I work with X, a company specializing in visible magnetic board systems. I have been looking for bloggers that are influential in this industry, and found your blog intriguing. After reviewing your content, I think it would be great opportunity if we could contribute a guest post to give you some more great content and get our name in front of some new readers as well.

We have a few topic ideas that we would love to share with you, but are also open to any suggestions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

In the meantime, I welcome you to learn a little more about who we are here.

I am not sure I could have been less interested in this company. First off, I did not solicit this email, so them telling me that it would be a great opportunity for them to get their name in front of my people, while true, is pretty ballsy. Additionally, they were nice enough to leave a link so I could check out their stuff before promoting it for free on the website I have been slaving over for almost 6 years now. A true non-starter (but good for this post…:)

Guest Post Blog Request 2 – Run on sentences and I get the picture, you would like to “publish in your blog”

Hi Tara,

I visited your blog Marketing Art Fully today and I really liked the way you’ve presented it and as I was reading some of your articles I found them informative and engaging, especially your post entitled “Small business marketing tips – does everything have to be perfect?”. I’d love to contribute to your blog and provide you with a compelling article to publish in your blog.

I was thinking perhaps one of the following titles: (edited by me – they were about appointment setting and data cleansing – two topics I don’t write about)

Would you like me to send you one of these articles to publish in your blog. If these articles are not appealing to you let me know the latest topics that are of interest to you, and I’ll be glad to write a compelling article for Marketing Art Fully.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you and have a lovely weekend, X

First off, I am not stupid, I know you can pick a post and cut and paste the title in…guest post requests 101. What about a little bit about WHY you liked it (I KNOW, they didn’t actually like it, just heard that this is what you are supposed to do!) Second off, they spelled my site name wrong twice and repeated “publish in your blog” over and over like I would be mesmerized and write back, of course you could “publish in my blog”.

Guest Post Blog Request 3 – I am not doing what I should to promote them and off topic, you think?

Hi Tara,

Hope you are doing great…I am waiting for your response on my Guest Post proposal, Could you please let me know as how should I proceed ahead? If you’d like to take a look at what I’ve written before, Here is our sample of works:

http://X.com/kids/5-fun-mediums-for-art-with-children/

http://X.com/uncategorized/kids-and-chores/

I look forward to hearing from you.

First off, I wrote back and asked this person to explain to me why she thought her children’s articles would be a good fit for my marketing blog, but she didn’t answer. Second off, you can write me every day and I still won’t publish a post about kids…it is off topic!

Guest Post Blog Request 4 – Seriously?

Hi Admin..

I am a regular reader of your site and I really like your site so much. That’s why I also want to contribute my some articles to your site(http://marketingartfully.com/). So please give me chance to contribute some articles for your site.

MY name is: X

>> Update 5 minutes after publishing this post!!! – another winner in the “did you know it was a writing assignment category!<<

Hello Admin, (DOH – my name is Tara and is published on my site!)

Hope you are doing well. I’ve been reading your blog on marketingartfully.com since long. All of those that I have read are informative and beneficial too. I highly appreciate the information posted on your blog.

Moreover, I would love to share my insights in terms of knowledge and information for your readers by posting on your blog. As of now I have blog related to “Business marketing” which i wish to post on your blog.

Could you please let me know as how should i proceed ahead? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Okay, this was the straw that broke the camels back! Do these people understand that this is a WRITING request that they are sending? If you cannot write a three sentence request, what would make me think that you will write a 300-500 word article that I would be willing to publish on my own website? Now, I am not the grammer police, I have miss-spellings and sometimes cuss, BUT IT IS MY SITE! I am allowed to write however I want.

In conclusion, if you are going to send a request for anyone’s site to publish your work please:

  • Actually read at least one of their articles and say WHY you liked it enough to include it in your pitch letter
  • Use good grammer in your guest blogging request
  • Stop telling them what a great opportunity it is to have you write for them (a little humble goes a long way)

and DON’T keep writing them to ask why they haven’t answered you back, they are busy making their site popular enough that you want to be on it!

Small Business Marketing – 100 Great Call To Action Examples

100 Great Call To Action ExamplesI have broken this list of 100 Great Email Call To Action Examples up into categories that make sense to me and possibly to the people that I am trying to reach. While they ARE somewhat grouped, I have not alphabetized them or put them in precise order as I actually use these to spark the creative process!

Some places you can use these call to action examples include in banner ads, google adwords, in your email newsletters, on your webpages, basically anywhere you want to have someone do something!

Ease Them In Call To Action Examples

Gentle, Non Threatening Call To Action – great for free offers or when you are just getting people into your database. There is a chance that these will convert well (because they are gentle) or that they will flop (not giving a strong enough voice to the action) so make sure to test, test, test and see which is the best one!

  • Find out more
  • Learn more
  • Learn how
  • Watch
  • Watch now
  • Visit now
  • Go now
  • Train now
  • Visit site
  • Get email alerts
  • Get on the mailing list
  • Get started (it takes about 20 seconds)
  • Join the club now
  • Start creating
  • Take the next step
  • How to get started
  • Relax. Reserving a X is just a click away.
  • Take the quiz
  • Let’s get started
  • Start here
  • Check it out
  • Experience now
  • Join the community
  • How it works
  • Join the fun
  • Go

Detail, Detail, Detail Call To Action Examples

These seem to be for the people who are planning something, be a trip, a move or a new marketing plan….interesting to think about the different personality types, I would have to think that these are for “C” types (on the DISC Personality Test) who like to have details and facts.

  • Offer details
  • Click for details
  • Click here for details
  • See schedule
  • See plans and pricing
  • Start planning
  • Get details
  • Take the tour
  • Try the demo
  • Live preview
  • Learn what’s new
  • Compare
  • View features
  • Free or premium? – get a full features comparison
  • Thinking of upgrading? – estimate your X premium bill
  • More info
  • Search now

For Our Visual Friends Call To Actions Examples

Visual learners are forty percent of the population and especially important if you are going to be selling or offering something that you want them to look at or see.

  • Watch sneak peek
  • See in action
  • See how we are X
  • Read more
  • View portfolio
  • See plans and pricing
  • Watch the tour
  • View full X
  • Continue reading
  • Browse library of X
  • See the case study
  • Watch this video

Something For Nothing Call To Action Examples

Oh everyone likes something for nothing! Using a free offer is a great way to get people into your database. Just make sure that you have a plan for them once they are in there.

  • Get it free
  • Free download
  • Listen in – it’s free
  • It’s free – get started
  • Click here to get this deal
  • Click here and save
  • Get this deal
  • Request a free X today
  • Sign up for your free trial
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Try it now, free
  • Start saving today
  • Free instant access
  • Sign up for promotions
  • Download PDF preview

Contact Us And Request A Quote Call To Actions

Not the most amazing buttons but definitely to the point and if you hit your audience when they are ready to buy can be very effective!

  • Get a no obligation quote
  • Get a free quote
  • Call now
  • Contact us about your project
  • Contact us today for a free X
  • Call today and ask for free web only discount
  • Learn more about working with us

More Aggressive and Direct Call To Action Examples

These are all or nothing buttons, some more than other, but each requires that the user does something, makes a decision and takes an action.

  • Get it started
  • Join the hunt
  • Join today
  • Apply now
  • Apply online
  • Add to shopping cart
  • Add to basket
  • Order now
  • Subscribe now
  • Buy now
  • Shop now
  • Sign up today!
  • Sign me up now
  • Signup
  • View plans and sign up
  • Download now
  • Purchase now
  • Book tickets now
  • Scan your site now
  • Become a member
  • Help us defeat X
  • Create your account

Fundraising Calls To Actions

Would love to have more of these for our fundraising friends!

  • Donate now
  • Donate
  • Help now

Placing Limits on your Call To Action

  • Offer expires X
  • For a short time only
  • Limited time offer
  • For the first X people only
  • Order now and receive a free gift

If you have a good one (or two) I have missed, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list (with a little link love to you!)

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Guest Post Blogging – I was rejected by Social Media Examiner and I am okay!

Guest Post Blogging – I was rejected by Social Media Examiner and I am okay!Guest post blogging is the new black. Finding authority sites that will publish your works is as old as the hills, but has turned into one of the only true-blue ways to get backlinks that Google likes.

First Off, What Is Guest Post Blogging?

This is where you find a site that would have comparable materials to yours and offer to write a post. Sites like the Social Media Examiner even have a submission form where they review your current work and then let you know whether or not you will be a good fit. I was super excited the day they let me know they would consider one of my articles!

Next you submit (or they tell you) a number of different titles that would be interesting to their readers and write a post for their review. I worked with an awesome editor, Cindy King who seemed a little hesitant about my titles but in the end said the one about contacting authorities in the marketplace might work. I wrote the article in my somewhat quirky style, trying to remember that it was not for my blog, but needed to fit into their process. I got quotes from Chris Brogan and Seth Godin and included them in the post (they were both VERY gracious about sending me over great info!)

Pitfalls When You Are Guest Post Blogging

Okay, I should have seen this coming a mile away. While I do read and enjoy Social Media Examiner almost every day, I didn’t really scope out that they are more of a technical “how to” site than suits my style of writing. Also, they have very high end techy people who are excited about sharing the details of what to do, where I am more of a how and why kind of gal. It was not a good fit so I stopped trying to make my round peg fit in their square hole.

There is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with them, just we were not a good fit!

So not only should you make sure they are in your industry, you should make sure that your writing style fits their publishing style. I am thankful for the opportunity they gave me to try, but my time is better served by finding sites that do fit how I write and approaching them instead of trying to make my whacky bits fit their serious bits.

A couple of things…first off, if you are techy and involved in social media, I would recommend you sign up to see if you could write for the Social Media Examiner. They have a high class operation that is a pleasure to work with.

Second off, if you would like to read the article they rejected (which is VERY good if I do say so myself) it is below!

Exact Strategies To Connect With Thought Leaders In Your Industry

We have all heard it before, the way to increase your SEO and Social Media efforts is to piggyback on the authority of thought leaders in your industry. That is great for you and can only serve to help your efforts, but what is in it for them?

Experts in industry have spent a lot of time or energy becoming experts. They have written best selling books or gotten super advanced degrees in their field. They have spent years building up an audience of rabid fans and the outward manifestation of their hard work is the fact that they now “important” and everyone wants their time or attention.

In my industry (marketing) it is easy to think, “if Chris Brogan would just write a blog post about me and how wonderful I am, all my lead generation problems will be solved!”

But what would cause Chris (or any other thought leader) to notice you?

I know, you could send them a long email about your product and how it would be great for his readers! In it, you could enumerate the ways that your product will benefit his audience and how much money he could make if he just told everyone about it.

Sigh. Even on my small scale of notoriety, I am astounded about how many people will approach me asking me to use my authority to help them.

When you go about it this way, not only does it make you look ridiculous, but you may have blown a real opportunity to make a meaningful connection!

So exactly how should you connect with thought leaders in your industry?

I was reading the editorial guidelines for writing a post on the Social Media Examiner and they said, “Try and quote people: Expert quotes always add to your work. You can source these from blogs via email or by phone.”

Brilliant! I want to write for SME and they say to get quotes….I should ask some experts. Hmmmm, let’s try some best selling authors in the marketing field. Who do I know? or more correctly, who knows me enough to take time away from their busy day to help me?

1. Read their “stuff”

The first person I thought of was Chris Brogan (of course), a New York Times Bestselling author of books like The Impact Equation and Trust Agents. Chris has a newsletter that I read weekly on Sundays and email him back when appropriate. I also share his blog posts on my social media when I think they will help my audience, using the @chrisbrogan method of letting him know I shared it.

So I sent him a quick email (short is better, they are busy) asking if he could give me a couple of words about how to approach someone for a favor, this is his response,

“Often, what happens when people approach me is they come from what they need, what they want, what they hope to get, and usually, with very little to offer me or my community in return. They want my time, my thoughts, and my effort, but without really giving me much of a reason to participate. 

The people who get my attention tend to have actually read the last handful of things I posted (not the most recent because that’s an easy fake), don’t bother lavishing me with praise, do give me really simple directions for what they need, and do make the project easy to do. 

It’s not that we’re prima donnas and that we have gentle sensibilities. It’s that our inbox is full to the top with people asking for something. But if I can answer easily, or can participate without a ton of effort, I’m usually game. 

Just like this reply. ;)”

What to do:

  • Read their writings – I know this seems simple, but many authorities are AUTHORS, the whole point of their being is to have people read their works.
  • Buy their books and review them on Amazon – bonus points if you write a blog post about the book and point it to their Amazon sales page without an affiliate link!
  • Sign up for their newsletters and reply when there is something that interests you.

2. Follow and share their events

Another one of my favorites is Gary Vaynerchuk of Crush It and The Thank You Economy fame. Gary has a HUGE social network and I know that he cannot possibly see everything that everyone is saying about him, but he tries.

I have met Gary in person twice, first at a small little event he gave before he was famous and then at a local book signing when his second book came out. Both times I introduced myself as Taradactyl (my twitter handle) and he graciously said he recognized me.

I did not get a response back from Gary for this article, but that is alright. I am sure that he is busy with writing books, appearing on television and running his social media marketing empire.

What he has done in the past is ask for my help (by pre-buying a number of his books) in return for the promise of something cool. Nothing more specific than that, just something cool. What I got was a box full of samples, coupons, marketing gizmos and special offers just for “friends of Gary”. It was an amazing surprise and one that cemented even further my liking of him.

What to do:

  • Watch for them to have national appearances – just recently @GaryVee (his twitter handle) shared that he was going to be on Piers Morgan. I Tivo-ed it and was able to reference that in my request to him!
  • If there are videos from their TV appearance, share them with your networks.
  • Go to their book signings – again with the Author thing, they need people to show up!
  • When they do have an event, share it with your social network – bonus points if you Instagram a picture of you with them from the event.
  • Set up a Twitter list or a Facebook list so you can check daily to see if they have a new offer or something of theirs that you can share.

3. Show your support

It is really easy to think that a personality has enough other people to help that you don’t need to jump in. Before his last series of books came out, Seth Godin did a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise money and to show his publisher there was support for a book that he intended to write. His goal was to raise $40,000 and ultimately what was raised was considerably more than that.

Seth Godin - Kickstarter Campaign

One of the best parts was the opportunity to support Seth and get a HUGE book of over a quarter million words of his blog posts printed out. From the Kickstarter site, it looks like just over 2,000 people took advantage of getting the “big book”.

Now that it is here and popular, more and more people are wanting to get one. This is the key, support them before it is cool to, not after everyone else has jumped on the bandwagon!

I emailed Seth to ask him “about the best way to approach a best selling author without being a jerk about it?” and this is his reply,

“The best way to approach someone in demand is to not approach them! In general, this feels like a shortcut, but it’s not. The opportunity is to create your own sphere of influence, curate your own content, lead your own tribe… it might take longer, but it doesn’t put you at the mercy of the delete key.”

What to do:

  • Show excitement about their work – this is a great video done by a fan about opening Seth’s book (Rex Williams, the man who made the video has almost 5,000 views on this video and personal links from Seth from his Squidoo lens).
  • Buy what you can afford – someone without the means to purchase one of the big Kickstarter campaigns, could have accomplished a similar level of enthusiasm by buying the smaller book, doing a YouTube, reviewing it on Amazon, posting about it on their blog and generally blanketing the airwaves with it.
  • Pay it forward before you attend one of their events. We are attending a conference that Jay Baer will be speaking at. We have contacted him and asked his best social media links to include in an unofficial guidebook we are making and he was happy to share the best ones with us. – update since I wrote this, we also wrote a post The Trouble With Email Marketing – A Shoutout To Jay Baer and Chris Brogan after seeing his keynote and he commented! YAY!!

Isn’t This A Little Mercenary?

With all the setting up Twitter lists, subscribing on Facebook, sharing on the Google+, doesn’t it ever feel a little icky stalking your target influencers?

Two things to think about here, 1) if you are working in an industry you love, they are probably on your radar anyways and 2) this is not about figuring out what they can do for you, it is about supporting them! Yes, there is a point when you might ask them for something, but I have found more often than not, they ask me for something.

Gary Vaynerchuk tweet

Of course I answered Gary and said I would buy some books to share and would be happy to evangelize what he is doing. Did that cause an equation to happen [answers a mass call on Facebook] + [requests a quote for article] = [gets the quote].

Do these tactics always work?

Nope, this time GaryVee was too busy to help. But next time he might not be, or he might have an opportunity that is too small that he could recommend me or my company for or any number of other good things that could happen because I am being nice.

If you think more about helping others than what they can do for you, oftentimes they will come through in the end!

What is your best tip for getting thought leaders in your industry to notice you?

Incoming search terms:

  • examiner geust blogging
  • social media examiner guest post guidelines

Keyword Marketing – How To SEO A Blog Post

Keyword Marketing - How To SEO A Blog PostYears ago I wrote the perfect blog post and have been using it ever since to illustrate how to use Keyword Marketing to SEO a blog post (search engine optimize).

Just do a search for FUNNY REALTOR POSTCARDS and my post Realtor Marketing Funny Realtor Postcards comes up at the top of the list….but why?

There are a number of reasons:

  • Generally I rank on Page 1 of the Google for Realtor Marketing so my posts about realtor marketing rank well too! PLEASE know that this is because I wrote LOTS of realtor marketing posts and eventually I made the grade. I have three terms I am trying to rank for including realtor marketing, entrepreneur marketing and small business marketing. What are your three main keyword phrases?
  • I did all of the on-page SEO perfectly (if you don’t know what that is, never fear, I will be breaking it out for you below).
  • Lastly I found a keyword phrase that gets SOME traffic and which could help my top level keyword move up. I use a neat plugin (SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2) to see what terms people used to get to my pages and for this page they used: realtor postcards ideas, funny real estate postcards, funny real estate postcard ideas, clever real estate postcards, humorous real estate postcards, funny realtor postcards, humerous (sp.) real estate postcards, funny real estate marketing postcards, realtor postcard ideas, and Funny Real Estate Marketing.

Now, I feel a little funny when I tell small business owners about this when they are just starting out as it is possible that ranking well for the search term realtor marketing might have given me an edge that is hard to overcome.

What to do, what to do? Okay, I am going to write a blog post that is perfect in every way for a site that DOES NOT rank highly or nationally for a search term and see how it goes!

The SEO Challenge

Get a post related to property management or denver property management to rank for the DenverRealtyAndRentals.com website. I have been kicking around the idea of having Tena rank for something along the lines of “executive property management” or “luxury property management” so let’s start with doing some searches using the Google external keyword tool…here are the terms I looked for:

  • executive property management
  • luxury property management
  • denver executive property management
  • denver luxury propert management
  • ft collins executive property management
  • ft collins luxury property management

How to seo blog posts

IMMEDIATE SCORE! Executive property management had an immediate score….low competition according to Google and high local monthly searches (2,400). In comparison “luxury property management had 3X fewer searches, giving us a clear winner.

Next I wanted to see how much competition there was so I went online and did a Google search for “executive property management” WITH the quotes which shows me who I am competing directly with nationally. Okay, 775,000 results nationally…not bad but sigh, that is a lot of direct competition.  Now the good thing was they were almost all geographically centered sites…so, what does it look like right here in Colorado….

DOH….there are NO competing sites at all for “denver executive property management”…double score. What about ”ft collins executive property management”? Same thing, no results.

Now I have been doing keyword research for going on 15 years and I would have guessed that luxury property management would have been the higher search. This is why you always have to check!

The Metadata

I hate when people talk about Metadata because it is confusing to my biz peeps. Basically metadata just means that it is the bits the computers and Google use to know how to classify a site. There are 3 parts to metadata, the title, the description and the keywords (we are not going to look at these today as they are not as important as they were in the past).

The Title

Do a google search for something like “Small Business Marketing” (without the quotes) and you will see that all the top results have that phrase or close to that phrase in their post title tags…

How to seo your blog postings

As you can see here, almost every post has that phrase, in that exact order. So, we need to make sure we don’t mess up the SEO for our perfect post! While it would be tempting to use:

Denver and Ft Collins Executive Property Management Services

you probably have guessed that will not work as well as using:

Denver Executive Property Management | Ft Collins Executive Property Management Services

because we need to get the words we want to rank for in the property order! That straight up and down line between is a really great way to separate our search phrases as it doesn’t bother the search engines. You make it by doing Shift plus forward slash which is above the Enter key on my keyboard.

The Description

The next thing you might have noticed from the above picture is that the words “small business marketing” are prominently displayed in the content of the top results. This is going to be important to getting us good rankings.

SOOOO….next I have to figure out what kind of content ranks well in the search engines so I am going to do a search for “new york executive property management” and see what I can swipe – use this as a model ONLY!, copying someone else’s stuff verbatim really won’t hurt them too much but will assure that the search engines think you have duplicate content and will not help you at all!

Rats, for a search term that has decent results, we got a whole lot of nothing to copy…so I will have to wing it:

Providing Executive Property Management services in the Denver and Ft. Collins Metro Areas, Denver Realty and Rentals is your best choice for superior property management service.

You are going to use this description as your metatags description AND as the first paragraph of your post!

The Picture

Another great place to get your words in is on your photo. We named this photo denver-ft-collins-executive-property-managment.png and made sure the description and alt tags of the photo read the same!

Additional SEO Items

  • You want to make a sandwich of your SEO using your main keywords in the first paragraph and then also as the end paragraph
  • Make sure that some of your subheads or bolds include your targeted keywords
  • DO NOT stuff your keywords in there excessively! You should have a nice mix of keywords and content so that people can read what you are writing. We have all had the experience of reading garbled text because they tried to use their keywords too frequently – don’t be that guy!

Curious about what all this SEO looks like in real life? Well, check out our final product at the perfect post:

Denver Executive Property Management | Ft Collins Executive Property Management Services

The Results

Page 1 Listing SEOLess than a week later, Tena ranks #3 on PAGE ONE OF GOOGLE for an anonymised search for Denver Executive Property Management! WHOO WHOO

New Update! A month or so later, Tena is the top 3 of 4 listings for “Denver Executive Property Management”!

YouTube Video Marketing – How to use calls to action in videos to increase interaction

YouTube Video Marketing – How to use calls to action in videosI am intrigued by YouTube video marketing and KNOW that the power is going to shift from long winded websites to short, pithy videos so I am trying to figure out best practices to use and will share some recent a-has with you here! Today’s topic – how to use calls to action in videos to increase interaction.

In case you are not sure what “call to action” means, it is just getting people to do something that benefits you. You see this all the time on the television infomercials when they say, “call now before they are all gone” or “visit our website for more information”. It used to be that YouTube videos did not have strong calls to actions but more and more we are incorporating them into our marketing.

First call to action – Like this

So your video will be seen more if you have more likes and comments. This is because YouTube wants to show popular videos and they judge this by the number of views, likes and comments they receive. That is why I thought the callout in this video was so fun! James Wedmore is sitting on the toilet talking about how to make intimate backgrounds for your videos when up pops a call to action – “too intimate – CLICK like below”. Well I clicked like and so did a bunch of other people. I didn’t even think about, just did what he said to do which is the hallmark of a GREAT call to action.

want to learn more about video marketing from James like we do? check out our review of his video training product – Reel Marketing Insider

Video Marketing - James Wedmore

Second call to action – Listing a hashtag or @name

In this video they put an overlay of the hashtags to use when sharing on Twitter (coming soon to a Facebook near you if the rumors are right).

So this time, I went to share it with my friends on Facebook and Twitter and I didn’t have to guess how they wanted it to be notated (not sure this is a word!) Instead of tweeting “Realtor Friends – You must see this” with no reference, I was able to put in the hashtags that the providers of the content (Chris Smith and Gary Keller) wanted to use. Here is my tweet – Realtor friends – a MUST watch! #the1thing #peoplework http://buff.ly/X879JT.

Video Marketing Chris Smith

Third call to action – See more

So those two were embedded in the videos and may be a little tough to accomplish for those of us who aren’t video masters. This one uses plain jane annotations to get people over to his website. Instead using fancy video editing software, Brad Fallon simply posts a small part of the talk he was giving on YouTube with a note in the video about where you can see more.

Video Marketing - Brad Fallon

Well, that about covers the basics… I will keep my peepers open for more good YouTube video marketing calls to action and will update accordingly! Make sure to leave a comment below if you want to be notified when new content is added to this post!

Incoming search terms:

  • youtube videos action

Social Media Marketing – 50 Ways To Get More Shares On Social Media

50 Plus Ways To Get More Shares On Social Media MarketingSo the Holy Grail of social media marketing is to “go viral” and get millions of views of one of your posts, videos, etc. What about instead if you tried to get more shares on the general posts you send out there?

I am not good at math but I am good at marketing and having one post that “goes viral” is much less effective than having 100 posts that get shared at a much lower level but have a much broader reach. Some people who have had a message go viral spend the rest of time trying to duplicate that to no avail.

So what should you do? Try to get a broader reach by having people like, share or otherwise interact with your content. For each interaction, your social reach goes up and you have more and more chance that new and different people will share your “stuff”.

So let’s get started!

Blatantly ask for the like or share

  • ‘Like’ if you agree, then ‘Share’ with others.
  • Pass this wonderful XXX on to all your family and friends!!
  • Check it out and “Like” the page
  • Please share…
  • please everyone share !!!!!!
  • Do give-a-ways that require sharing using tools like Raffle-Copter or GroSocial
  • Like and share ♥ – don’t know if the little heart made any difference but it did stand out.
  • Feel free to share and tag pictures! – seems to be encouraging people to share on their wall, crowdsourcing content!
  • To win your chance to win XXX all you have to do is like our page, and like and share this post. Winner will be announced when this post has 100 likes.
  • Please share this page with Ashford Oaks Neighbors. – I like the specificity of this one!
  • LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE & POST!!!!
  • Let’s have some input and I will make it happen. Please SHARE this so that lots see it and comment.
  • Why not share our page. We’ll be posting up some yummy recipies soon!
  • Like if you agree, Ignore if you disagree!
  • (LIKE & SHARE)
  • Hit “like” if you’re willing to cruise with Carnival. Comment if you’re not.

Asking questions to get comments

  • Caption this?
  • Anyone interested?
  • Comment with your thoughts: should we….?
  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • What is your favorite….?
  • …other —> Comment below.
  • This ring true for you?
  • Yes or no? gets good feedback because easy for your friends and fans
  • True or false?
  • What could you do with…?
  • Why do you…?
  • Ask multiple choice questions (pick A, B, or C)
  • Can you give me your feedback on this?
  • Where do you go to….?
  • What is your best tip for…
  • What is the best…
  • What do you think of all the…
  • What is the strangest thing you have ever done to…
  • Do you like?
  • Which is better…

Post what people want

Now I am not a huge proponent of posting “stuff for stuff’s sake”, but if you are here, you are probably trying to get a foothold of more likes, follows, connections or something else important and posting “popular” content in and among your normal postings can help that!

  • Quotes from famous people
  • Quotes with pictures you make (these work great for me as I can use them on the Facebook AND Pinterest!)
  • Cats, everyone likes kitties!
  • Celebrities
  • Happy things – I did a search to see if happy things are shared more than sad things, no results yet, could someone mathy please research this and get back to me…:)
  • Industry related INTERESTING information – just found a great post for our Realtors to share that was houses made out of unusual things like an airplane!
  • Smart things – my favorite place to find smart AND funny things is the “I fucking love science” page on Facebook. With over 4 million likes, it renews my faith in humanity that smart, clever humor is okay too!

Post when it matters

Unless you are targeting Mountain time people (like I sometimes do), you should post all content at a relevant time for Eastern folks. In addition, I use these times as a guide not a hard and fast rule as sometimes you can be too cute for your own good and jump in when EVERYONE is doing it and miss out on the slower times’ opportunities.

  • Twitter appears to like the afternoon the best with 5pm being the optimal time to get retweets, that said, noon and 6pm are also good times to tweet!1
  • On the Facebook, good times to post are noon and 7pm and one post every other day will increase sharing opportunities (I think this is because FB doesn’t show EVERY post you have to EVERY person who could see it. Because of this, you increase your chances of being shared more if you post less often.1

Don’t be shy

  • You should tweet out your blog posts at least 4 times for maximum exposure and sharing opportunities. I recommend using Hootsuite for this so that you can schedule them for the day you post, later the following day, a couple of days later and a week or so later, mixing up the times.2

Common courtesy

  • Sometimes it is hard to figure out who has shared your “stuff” but if you see that someone has, make sure to acknowledge them by liking their page or profile, sending a message to thank them and sharing something of theirs!

Some places I used to research this article…

One final note, this is an article about legitimate ways to get more interaction with your friends and fans. It is intended to help my small business owners with their social media marketing and should in no way be confused for “like farming” which a pox on society and a scammers dream.

The Trouble With Email Marketing – A Shoutout To Jay Baer and Chris Brogan

What IS the trouble with Email Marketing? It is the same trouble we have with everything else! People have to make choices about what they pay attention to and if your “stuff” is not amazing no one will notice (even if it is amazing people might not notice if you don’t promote it, but that is a post for another day!)

The trouble with email marketingLet’s start with what is wrong with the world…

In my emails after attending a conference for three days and the weekend, I had over TEN THOUSAND unread emails. Sigh. Now, some of those do not hit my inbox because they get sorted into folders so I can read them when it is convenient (it has not been convenient for over 6 months at least). Others have fancy smanchy tags that make them show up as special (these I have a better chance of getting at!) and a few come from people whose stuff I never miss (like Chris Brogan).

EVERY OTHER EMAIL is a hassle right now. They could be offering me the solution to my exact problem for free but I am on overwhelm so this is the

FIRST RULE OF EMAIL MARKETING.

Do not just send your message once. No matter how amazing something is today, if it is not a client, my spouse or my assistant, it is not getting any attention. That is just my own personal hell today, but as it is the end of a holiday weekend, I have a feeling that many peeps might be in the same boat. Which leads me to…the

SECOND RULE OF EMAIL MARKETING

Send your message when your people are paying attention! I know from my Google Analytics that my small biz peeps do not read my blog on Saturday or Sunday. I know that some “gurus” say to send when other people aren’t BUT I have a much better chance of getting them opened if I send them during times my people are actually consuming small business marketing information.

The FINAL EMAIL MARKETING TIP

today is Youtility. I was at a conference last week and heard Jay Baer speak about this. Functionally, what he says is that your marketing has to be more about THEM and what THEY need than it is about selling yourself or your products. I was already all over this, BUT did not think about who my competition is.

Youtility means that your competition on Social Media and marketing in general is their wife, son, daughter or besty, NOT your competitors. I had heard Jay say this before but when I hit my inbox today and started deleting with reckless abandon, I knew it was true!

A lifehacker article from my husband who thinks I would like it trumps ANY marketing message out there. A message from my assistant about what is important to do today trumps ANY offer that comes in!

So who did make the cut for my time and attention? Chris Brogan! Let’s break down why:

  • His message comes every Sunday so I know to look for it
  • He only sends amazing stuff (if he is sending marketing he labels it as such right up front)
  • He answers his emails
  • He gave me a great quote one time

Are any of those things by themselves amazing enough to put him on a level playing field with my hubby? Nope, but cumulatively he has shown me that he is a great source for information AND that he is a real person who values my time and attention.

So as I head back into my super full email, I will be thinking of two great marketers who make a difference!

Small Business Marketing Tips – Does Everything Have To Be Perfect?

Small Business Marketing Tips - You Don't Have To Be PerfectOne of my top small business marketing tips is to give yourself a break! Does everything have to be perfect? Not just no but hell no!

Today we are going to talk about your small business marketing and why shooting for perfection might be shooting yourself in the foot. Here are my top four reasons to NOT try for perfect…

Nothing is ever perfect!

I am not concerned with being perfect because I am a hard driver, ready, shoot, aim kind of gal. I don’t spend hours agonizing that I sent out an email with a typo in it, I am just happy to have so many readers who are happy to email me back and tell me about it…:) I also don’t know everything about marketing, I know a lot but not everything and am happy to admit openly and honestly when I am uninformed.

What do these things have to do with not trying to be perfect you ask? People who are ashamed when they make a mistake worry what people think more than I do. While I do think there is a happy middle of spell checking and grammer policing, if you are worrying that much that someone will unfriend, not hire or otherwise shun you because you made a mistake, you need to grow a little thicker skin!

We ALL have those high school moments when we realize that a mistake was made and we still wait for the laughter (at us, not with us) to start. That said, now that you are a grown up, own up to your mistakes and move on fast.

Wasting time on something that won’t work

This is my “fail early and often” speech. As a small business owner, you probably have lots of ideas about things that could work for your business. New product lines, new marketing pieces, etc. So you decide to go ahead and want to make sure it is perfect. You agonize for weeks, months or even years to get it perfect before you launch it. Couple things could happen…you could miss the window of opportunity where your idea will flourish OR you could find that there is no marketplace for your idea.

In either case you have spent A LOT of time developing something totally without knowing that there is a need for it. Instead, why not test it out on Adwords to see if people will click on your idea? What about doing it “good enough”, launching it and then finessing it as you go along – this is NOT the sell it and then make it, just a plea to not try to get it exactly right before you find out if anyone wants it!

If you do it this way, you will find out early if there is a need for what you are selling and can submarine things that are going to be duds. You have not consumed your life with it BEFORE finding out if it viable.

Getting ready to get ready

This is a big one and I have a great example from my business today! I did a video explaining our services to include in a quote request autoresponder. Half way through I thought, hmmmm there are some new things on YouTube I might want to incorporate, I should add annotations and call out boxes, maybe even an outside link…sigh. Instead, I did it “good enough” to include in our marketing and sent it on its way. It is not perfect, it does not have all the bells and whistles it could, but it is out there and has the chance to sell something!

Had I waited until I reviewed the 5 videos in the course I am taking on this, then recorded the video, then did all the bits, I would be looking at about a two week timeline to get the training hours in, the new features implemented and the video uploaded…IF something else did not come along in the meantime, and something ALWAYS comes along in the meantime.

Instead, it is out there ready to sell AND I can go back later, do it better and then change it out. In the meantime, I have something to test to see if it converts as is or if I should have more of a call to action or sales message.

“Actually in the world” trumps “working on” every time!

Last (and most important one) – Lots of marketing will always beat one perfect piece

In our internet-y, high speed world, information is flowing at the speed of light. One tiny little message, like a perfect video or email, will just be blown away!

In my world, I have done HUNDREDS of blog posts. Some are AMAZING and took a lot of time to write and some of them are just off the top of my head. I have to say the ones that came from the heart tend to rank better than the time-intensive, heavily researched ones. I also have LOTS of videos, blog posts, etc.

One of our clients has a great YouTube channel with her videos on it and she has over 26,000 views. Now, you might be thinking that she had one that “went viral” or that most of her videos have thousands of views. Nope, she has about 150 videos, most of which have less than 100 views. So there are a couple of things working in her favor:

  • Because some of them are older, they have just been around longer to get more views
  • Because she has so many, there is a chance someone will see one and want to see more
  • They are “real” videos not advertisements

That last one is super important. NO ONE watches commercials except during the superbowl so spending thousands of dollars to have one commercial made doesn’t make sense (that said, if you are in a high end industry make sure to get high quality videos done)! We are huge proponents of having a handful of professional videos you can use when necessary BUT also having LOTS of “off the cuff” videos available to help grow your views.

Apply this to pictures on Pinterest, blog posts, anything that you create for public consumption!

Email Marketing – How To Use Video In Your Email Newsletters

Email Marketing - How To Use Video In Your Email NewslettersOkay, I have a confession! I call them email newsletters because many of my small business peeps think of them as email newsletters, but they are actually little individual marketing pieces that head out into the universe and drive traffic PLUS make you more money if you do them right!

So, email marketing is dead right? No one wants your emails anymore and the best way to market is using that new fangled social media stuff…ummmm nope. In fact, I have to say that the MOST requested service we have at our social media marketing company is email marketing (including having a web signup form, some autoresponders and a rocking monthly newletter). Yep that is right, email marketing.

So why video in your email newsletters and exactly HOW does that drive traffic and sales?

First let’s start with the video. You need to make some videos that are going to slot into your email messages like:

  • One on one followup – Thanks for the meeting, look forward to working with you
  • Networking followup – Nice to meet you, love your business
  • Sales message – This is “What we do” (more about this below)
  • Training – Showing what to do NOT how to do something in your business, if you show them what to do and it is hard, they may hire you
  • Products – Demo your product (I bought a cleaning stick from one of our clients because I saw her video of how it takes stains off of whiteboards!)
  • Unpack your products – If you have a retail store, show all the new things you just got in

So now you have your gears turning about what you could send…why send it in an email? Well, imagine this…you want to learn more about our social media marketing services and send in a request for quote. I send you out a 5 page document that details how many times we will post, how wonderful our company is and standard boilerplate info that you need to “fluff up” your sales pages. What if instead I sent you a video like this embedded in an email?

I used Screencast-o-matic.com to record that, uploaded it to YouTube so it would be available to share, and then added it to a follow series of autoresponders (also called a drip campaign) for when someone requests a quote for services.

I published it publicly on YouTube so that I can get even more leads, but YouTube does have the option of only letting people you choose see it so it could be semi private and not on your video channel but only going out in your emails.

As a customer, you are WAY more likely to watch a 5 minute video about our services than you are to 1.) get my email message with the attachments, 2.) save those to your desktop, 3.) open them and read through five pages of information.

There are additional followup emails that walk you through the process of discover to purchase…all on autopilot!

Video Email Newsletters

Let’s just talk about email newsletters now! Say you have a list of people who like to get your email newsletters and read them monthly. Having a video in there will make them like you more, can help sell your products, PLUS give them great information.

Your customers are busy. They may not have time to read a whole long email, but if they watch your video and like the content, they are much more likely to read through the whole thing.

We use Infusionsoft for our email marketing because they have a handy dandy video embedder gizmo (that is the technical term for “I don’t have to know how to make a video show up, it just does!) PLUS they help with getting our campaigns setup and are a very stable and secure platform. There are other ones out there like Mail Chimp which can do some of these things if you are not ready to dive head first into internet and email newsletter marketing.

Some suggestions for next steps:

1. Make at least one video – if you haven’t made any start there, if you are pro make a new one just to use in an email marketing campaign
2. Need help with email marketing? – check out our Best Darn Email Marketing Course EVER
3. Get started with some kind of email marketing database like Infusionsoft or Mail Chimp

Start today while you still have excited ideas in your mind for how to take your email newsletters to the next level!

Improve Your Business with a Digital Marketing Assessment

Improve Your Business With A Digital Marketing AssessmentSo, you know that I don’t have too many guest posts here but every once in a while I get someone who thinks like we do and who might be able to point things out a little different way! There are some really good thoughts here for when choosing a digital marketing agency and I thought Cameron did a great job of spelling them out….Tara

This post is courtesy of Cameron Madill, CEO of PixelSpoke.com. Located in Portland, Oregon, PixelSpoke is a website design firm specializing in website redesigns and digital marketing programs.

Digital marketing is easy. You just build a website for your business, get some social media accounts started and go from there – right? Unfortunately, many business owners start with this approach, only to find that the leads they gain are crummy and the ROIs are equally bleak. Before overhauling your online presence or starting one for your business, consider consulting with a digital marketing agency and conducting an assessment. A digital marketing assessment takes a look at your current efforts and business goals to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses and the competitive landscape.

Why a Digital Marketing Assessment

Businesses usually encounter digital marketing struggles when they don’t reach out to the right audience. Or they reach out to the right audience but send the wrong messages. When you have a digital marketing company perform an assessment, you learn:

  • Which online arenas appeal most to your target audience (the highest-quality leads).
  • The messages that appeal to target consumers.
  • How your marketing efforts can add value to the lives of your target consumers.
  • How to stand out against the competition.

Digital Marketing Assessments: What to Expect

When a digital marketing agency first begins its assessment, it takes a look your company’s maturity on the market, your active consumers’ behaviors and the type of business you have (for example, B2B or B2C). It also examines the entities or people your consumers follow and evaluates your brand’s presence. After collecting this initial data, the marketing agency can provide you with targeted measurements and suggestions to start fine-tuning your social media activities.

A Look at Your Target

After identifying your target customers, the marketing agency conducting the assessment takes the time to learn about what drives them to make purchasing decisions and interact online. By connecting your business objectives with the needs of your customers, you can properly customize the content on your website, email and social media efforts to get the best results. The biggest issue for your customers is often inconsistent messaging and never looking at your materials from the perspective of your customers. Customers are often unable to complete basic tasks or find basic information because of poor website organization or content that is full of jargon.

Branding

Branding relates to how recognizable your company’s name and logo are, as well as the ideas associated with it. When you receive an assessment, you learn more about what consumers think about your brand as well as how consistently your different efforts (email, website and social media) are communicating your brand promise.

Analytics

It’s common for businesses to get caught up in the numbers – the number of followers, the number of hits and so on. A marketing agency can show you which numbers really count. You’ll learn how audience quality is more important than the number of followers your business has, as well as how to use demographic-related information to your advantage.

Email Marketing Strategies

In an age when spam is a four-letter word, email marketing is still a valuable digital marketing resource to nurture new prospects and engage existing customers. During your assessment, you’ll learn how your subject lines, list creation methods and current marketing methods work for or against you. By learning the best targeted approaches for your email marketing efforts, you’ll get your message out to individuals who want to hear from your business.

A digital marketing assessment can provide you with the foundation you need to deliver what your target audience seeks. When your prospective customers feel heard and valued, your marketing ROI will increase, and you’ll spend less time nurturing mundane leads.

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Using The DISC Personality Profile For Marketing and Selling

Using The DISC Personality Using the DISC Personality Profile for marketing and selling is one of the strongest tools in my toolbox. Knowing my personality type and that of my customers assures that I will be working with people who I will enjoy!

So what is the DISC Personality Test?

According to the Wikipedia, the “DISC assessment is a behaviour assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Marston. Marston’s theory centers around four different personality traits: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance.”

So the types are:

Dominance – These people are driven, determined and can tend to be a bit overbearing at times. (I am a “D”, I know that which I speak of!)
Inducement – These are the fun people who like to be around other people.
Submission – These are the nice people who nurture and support.
Compliance – Like CPAs and Accountants, these guys need lots of details to be able to function. They like order and structure.

Great, so what does that mean for our marketing and selling? A LOT! The easiest example I can give is myself. I am a “D” so I like things fast, fast selling cycles, fast implementations without a lot of hand holding, few questions and let’s get ‘er done! When I see a marketing piece that tries to sell me using A LOT of words, I shut down and move on. If you send me an email longer than few sentences, I fritz out and “save for later” because it looks like a lot of effort. Now, if I was “C”, I would be horrified by a sales piece that is just a couple of lines. Where are the details so I can make a buying decision?

So, now you have an overview, lets drill down into each of the DISC Personality types to see how to market to them and what selling tools you can use to close the sale!

DISC Personality Selling and Marketing for Ds

So if you are selling to a D, you better get to the point fast. Bullet points and headlines make content easier to read and digest. We like to control our consumption so you may be able to use the phone but don’t start with, “what are you doing or how is your day going”. Niceties are lost on D’s, we just want to get on the phone, find out what is needed or what you are selling and get off.

If you are sending a marketing message out to D’s, use bold statements. My marketing to D’s includes, “not a sing kumbaya, hand holding coaching program, I assume you will do what you commit to without me having to check with you every day”. Now that sounds harsh if you are another personality type, but for a D (who I like to work with), it is so much better than some kind of boilerplate marketing drivel. Remember, fast and to the point.

D’s make buying decisions fast. Rarely will we ponder for days, let alone weeks, on whether or not to buy something. We are jump right in and get started kinds of kids. That being said, don’t forget, we can dump you just as fast so you might want to spread your marketing around a bit!

DISC Personality Selling and Marketing for Is

If you are selling to an I, you need to make is sound like you are in it together. I’s are much like D’s in not wanting to have too much to read and going into overload if you have a four page marketing proposal. They will not want to hurt your feelings and will promise to look at it, but will probably find someone else that makes working with them easier. You can ABSOLUTELY call an I and ask them about their day. They will love it and want to find out about yours too!

If you are sending a marketing message to I’s, make sure there are a lot of people in there, and they better look like they are having fun! Talk about working together, being a team and you better have a bunch of contact points. I’s will not go off and work by themselves for days, they need to be with people and like to do things together.

I’s make buying decisions based on the person they are working with. They will not be swayed by some slick talking D coming along behind you. If they like you they want to work with you, the end. Keep up that relationship with good communication and you will have them for life.

DISC Personality Selling and Marketing for Ss

I like steady instead of submissive. S’s are the people who everyone counts on to get things done. If you are selling to an S, you need to make it sound safe and secure with guarantees and lots of testimonials from happy customers. They will read your marketing message and will probably have questions about your products. When prospecting S’s, you can call them, making sure to ask how their day is going and about their business or family.

When sending your marketing messages, make sure to have trust symbols like the Visa and Mastercard logos, the Better Business Bureau logo, license numbers (if applicable), etc. You want to talk about having been in business for X-number of years and about how you are going to be around for the long haul. S’s like to make sure everything will stay on an even keel.

S’s make buying decisions slowly and will stay with you forever as long as you don’t rock the boat too much. You can make changes, just make sure to give them notice and time to assimilate them!

DISC Personality Selling and Marketing for Cs

Oh the C’s. I think of the C’s like CPA, details, details, details! They want to know every bit of your sales process, work flow and reporting deliverables. They will need A LOT of data to make a decision and will need a number of phone calls to close the sale.

When sending your marketing message, no stone should be left unturned. They WILL read them all, highlighting points that they need to clarify before buying. C’s also like trust symbols and to know the background of any company they work with. Include degrees earned, certificates achieved, awards won, etc.

C’s make slow buying decisions and need to nurtured into buying so make sure that you send them a series of direct mail pieces or emails. The first one could be an overview of your products or services and the subsequent ones could be more details about different aspects.

There you have it, at least a start on how to market using the DISC Personality for marketing and selling!

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What Is The ROI On Social Media Marketing – Probably Not What You Think!

What Is The ROI On Social Media Marketing - Probably Not What You Think!So a couple of years ago, selling social media marketing was an uphill slog. Our business owners were amazed that anyone would consider messing around on Facebook or Twitter as actual marketing. Luckily today we have a better handle on the fact that social media marketing is similar to having a yellow page age in years past. If you don’t have it, then you aren’t in business.

That said, one question that keeps coming up over and over is….what is the ROI (Return On Investment) for social media marketing?

This term, bandied about by everyone from marketing “experts” to grandmothers, actually comes from the manufacturing industry and accountants who want a direct outgoing cost to match with a direct incoming profit.

With businesses that have been drilled in cost accounting principles almost 100 years old, this is their paradigm: the view that any amount of money that goes out the door other than taxes can have a return, and those returns can be compared across any investments….problem with Social Media is that it generates multiple returns, and only some of those are sales. Awareness, assists, advocacy and avoided costs are just some of the extra benefits a business can receive through participation in social media, and not all of those can be turned into a dollar figure.

great story about SMM and ROI here! go ahead and read it, I will wait here until you come back…:)

The Indirect Benefit of Social Media Marketing

So now we know that the expectation is that you will spend one dollar on social media market and you will directly receive one dollar (or more) back. Okay, there are ways to do that including driving traffic to a specific page, having an amazing offer on that page, getting someone new’s contact information, then sending them an offer and having a percentage of the people accepting it. I do believe this is best accomplished with pay-per-click marketing like Adwords, but people with big networks can do the same thing without paying. (BONUS…grow big networks)

The problem with this type of marketing is that as soon as you stop paying, the faucet shuts off and you were right where you started (with a few more leads hopefully).

The brilliance of social media marketing is that you are growing a huge network of people who WANT to hear your industry information and who, when ready and also looking for a marketing message. They will NOT go away the first time you stop paying (but they will if you stop posting consistently). So what can honestly expect from social media marketing?

check-out-our-social-media-marketing-servicesBranding – Years ago I was NOT a huge proponent of branding, the reason being that sending 10,000 postcards or paying for multiple full page ads in magazines is cost prohibitive (according to Quirks Marketing Research, the average cost of a full page, full color ad is $3,500, which would pay for basic social media marketing for 7 MONTHS, not just targeting readers of a magazine, but everyone on the internet! As the cost of branding yourself has gone down, so have the channels available (Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.)

Multiple Platforms – One of the reasons it used to be easier to do your marketing was a matter of scale. One neighborhood newspaper, three TV stations, one yellow pages. Now there are hundreds (if not thousands) of places for people to consume media. They are looking at social media sites, their tables, Netflix, their phones, and there are no longer 5 places but 5,000 places to be! Having a strong social media plan means being on as many of the sites that people are visiting because it is all about them and how they conduct their content consumption!

Crooked Line – The hardest part of social media marketing is the not knowing where and when being out there will make a difference. One of our peeps just told us about this opportunity:

Just received another FB Realtor referral! When I asked the obvious question why me? the Realtor said that I’m active on FB and friends with her OP and she looked at my profile and picked me! Ya gotta love the power of social media:)

Now, there is no way that we could know she would get a referral in this agent’s geographic area, nor could we know that that the OP was important to target. What we did know was that the broader and more prolific her contacts on the social media were, the more chances she would have for getting this kind of message.

So, what is the ROI of social media? About the same as attending your local Rotary or Chamber of Commerce meetings consistently, just on a global scale! Making those connections and “being out there” is the same online and off, just the opportunities grow as your networks grow!

Authority Marketing – Branding and Launching Authors, Speakers and Coaches

Authority Marketing - Branding and Launching Authors, Speakers and CoachesAuthority marketing is my absolute favorite kind of marketing. This is where we take a person and help shine a light on their business, brand and products. Sometimes this takes the form of information marketing (like online classes courses or ebooks), but mostly we are working with authors, speakers and coaches trainers to leverage their interesting-ness to grow their networks and database so they can sell their stuff, get rumps in chairs for events and generally get amazing opportunities because of who they are.

So how does one go about conducting Authority Marketing?

Step 1 – A clear message

First off, you need to have a clear sense of your areas of skill and expertise. Many of you may be working with a business or success coach and we LOVE that because it means you have taken the time to plan out your message, developing a clear sense of your strengths and have put together information about your business.

For speakers – while I would love to tell you that you can make a great living by speaking alone, today’s world demands that you have a following BEFORE someone will have you in to do a keynote AND that you have a back end of products or services that you can sell as a followup income stream (more about that later).

For coaches – coaches come in all shapes and sizes and may not have to be AS visible to the general public. For coaches the key is to be very high profile for your target audience, whether they be on social media, at trade shows or in other venues where you customers go, which leads us to…

For authors – having a published book (or two) is a powerful driving force and this is your sweet spot. Having put pen to paper and written a volume of work, you know your message and are ready to sell it and yourself to the marketplace.

Step 2 – Knowing EXACTLY who your target customer is

Too often I find that authors, speakers and coaches want to be everything to everyone. They have a message that they think will translate well across a multitude of industries and they want the world to know what they are doing. Hmmmm, that rarely works. There are very few people who are universally loved and hired. It is best to have a group in mind so that you can do a targeted, cross platform campaign to reach decision makers in your chosen field.

For speakers – This one can seem weird to speakers. Say you talk about time management, well that could apply to business as well as consumers like Moms who need to organize their homes. What you need to think about is who has the money to pay for a $5,000 keynote address or $1,000 a day business speaker. It is better to target organizations and channels that have the money and inclination to hire speakers.

For coaches – This is a hard one because it is about positioning and making sure you are giving great guidance for your clients. In my industry (marketing), coaching is less about hand holding them through a new brochure and more about helping them craft a message and develop products. That said, most of them think they need branding help or to do a new media kit. You need to make sure your message is about what they want to buy and then your coaching is filled with that but also what they NEED.

For authors – Now this is where it gets a little trickier for authors. On the internet, oftentimes people are not looking for what your title or genre is, they are looking for help. So you need to talk about and be found for the SYMPTOMS of what ails them. In my world, I talk about writing a good email subject line, and then segue them over to using our email services if they are overwhelmed.

Spreading your message

So now we get down to the meat of it. Authority marketing is about growing big networks, growing your database, creating raving fans and generating sales leads and prospects. So how do you do that? Here are but a few ways that you can start to build your internet city…

Speakers and Coaches - Internet Marketing HubA blog – if you are still on the fence about having a blog, as a speaker or coach you have to get off right now. Sending out regular bits of information into the interwebs is the only way to generate the kind of linking potentials that you need to make a dent in the vast amount of data out there. We recommend posting at least twice a week with keyword targeted posts.

Facebook – Some of our speakers and coaches think that they can “do the Facebook” and leave it at that. Mostly that doesn’t work for a myriad of reasons, foremost being that Facebook changes the rules frequently and makes it impossible to put together a cohesive and long term strategy. What works today may change tomorrow. That said, as a speaker or coach, you need to be out there as a profile (person) as well as a business page (also of your person, but with the functionalities of having a bigger following).

Twitter – Twitter is my absolute favorite for lead generating speaking events. I have been hired more from Twitter than from anywhere else! That said, it is just a part of my overall online persona and believe me, once they see my 140 character tweet, they then do a search for all my other internet real estate to get details.

Google+ – Oh the apathy that humanity has for poor little Google’s network. To the general population, Google looks like it is a loser, to marketers who understand universal search, it is a gold mine for sharing content and generating page one links.

LinkedIn – In some instances LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for generating speaking leads and clients. The blessing and curse of LinkedIn is the time that has to be spent talking one-on-one with people either in messages or groups. The leads you get are great, the reach you achieve can be very small.

YouTube – You must have video. Within a couple of years initial contact with your brand is either going to be through a video or a picture. I joke that if someone finds my blog first I am toast because my 1,500 word articles will drive them away. That is why I have videos that show some of the info and then drive them back here for more information. Now, I have recently started being in the videos more, but if you have a face for radio and want to do videos, it will be okay too!

Pinterest – Darling of the social media world now, Pinterest is great for presenting your pictures, sharing quotes, socializing and is a MUST DO so that you can take advantage of what is still an early adopter advantage. Growing a following on Pinterest is still relatively easy as people are looking to make friends, in a couple of years that will not be the case!

Blog commenting – Attracting the attention of decision makers becomes easier if you are actively commenting on their information. In addition, blog commenting is a great way to generate some traffic to your blog.

Guest posting – If you are going to be an authority, one of the most effective ways is to offer to guest post great content for an already recognized industry leader. You should have a plan in place to contact and follow up with guest posting opportunities.

Minor Sites – Gone are the days when you could have a one site internet empire. It is important to have diversification of your message across multiple internet properties. One that comes to mind in this category is is Seth Godin’s Squidoo which does not have the SEO love that it once did, but which is great for promoting books, courses and digital products. Another, for our speakers, is SpeakerWiki where you can post your speaking credentials.

Database – all of this spreading the word is nothing if you don’t have a marketing database to capture you leads with. You need one that will allow forms for multiple product sales funnels, some sort of payment processing system, and the ability to send digital deliveries and autoresponders. You need to write followup messages that sell and inform and set up a bi-weekly email newsletter to stay top of mind for your followers.

Authority Marketing Wrap-up

So now you are set to start taking over you social media empire, here are a few final tips:

  1. Don’t try to be perfect, just be you. There are going to be a lot of people telling you how many times you have typos or bad videos. There are going to be people who disagree and who are disagreeable. Just maintain your grace and your personality and you will be fine.
  2. Don’t try to make it happen all at once. You cannot grow a stable internet city by throwing man-hours at it. You can’t buy likes or followers, well you can but now there are tools to see that you did and it makes you look like a schmoe. Google, Facebook and the rest can tell if you are growing slowly and consistently over time or if you have just dumped a ton of content and money in. Starting a new blog, could be a few months before you will get any Google traffic (no matter what those make money online guys say!)
  3. Get help. Seriously, this is a full time job in and of itself. While I am a HUGE proponent of you doing your writing and videos yourself, the day to day following, liking and friending is better done by someone who knows what they are doing. We spend about $10,000 a year in training and attending conferences just to keep up with the latest techniques.

Thank you for reading! If you are a personality (author, speaker or coach) who wants to make a name for themselves, please give request a Free quote and we will get back with you lickety split! If you are a coach or trainer with clients who need to build these kinds of cities, please give us a call to find out about our partner programs! (727) 505-5384

My #1 Tip For Writing Great Email Newsletters, Blog Posts, Recording Videos and More!

Number one tip for writing great email newslettersI never talk about my number one tip for anything because things change, I learn something new, and generally marketing is moving target so I have to stay nimble like a tiger.

But today, I am throwing down with my #1, all time, most important, never goes out of style tip for writing great email newsletters, crafting amazing blog posts, recording stunning videos and every other sort of marketing that you do. In fact, it is one of the main, evergreen tenants of good marketing theory and I don’t we are talking about it enough!

You are only talking to one person.

There, for you High D’s who are worried that this is going to take too long, I have just blurted it out, for the rest of you, follow along!

When we are crafting blog posts or email newsletters, oftentimes we are thinking about all the people who are reading, listening or generally going to consume our info. We use terms like, “you all”, “you guys” or “everybody”. But think about it for a minute. Almost EVERY piece of content is being seen by just one person sitting at their computer or looking at it on their smart phone.

How To Go About Writing Great Email Newsletters, Articles or Blog Posts and Record Amazing Videos

Unlike “the news” which really is made for mass consumption, your written words are going to be sent out via email or over the internet. There will not be a gang of people sitting in a room waiting to read your pearls of wisdom, there will only be one person clicking that link and reading your words.

The easiest way to write for one person is to get a real person (or two) in your head and write as if you are talking to them. In another post I did for our Marketing and Media Monsters site I wrote today about new age marketing, I was thinking of two gals, Andye Murphy and Regina Sisco. Some of the ideas were specific to each of their businesses and I got double the great tips out because each has a little different business.

Another thing to check when you are producing content is are you saying YOU more than you are saying I or WE. If you are saying “we do this”, “I am” or “our tools” too much, your reader or listener will get grouchy and abandon all hope of you helping them! Howie Jacobson has my favorite saying, “are you we’ing all over them?” (read it out loud, it is really funny!) This is a SUPER easy way to tell if you content is great.

Last but not least, my besty the Colorado Connector talks A LOT about the WIFM (what’s in it for me) Channel that people are always playing in their heads. If your content is all about me, what I do or how I can help them, they will go away. Every person wants to know that you like them, that you care about their problems and that you have the solution for solving those problems.

Seriously, just making sure that you are talking to one person will make a tremendous difference in how your marketing is received! Now, go look at your web pages, listen to your videos and check out your last couple of email newsletters. Do not beat yourself up, just start a list of what you need to fix and grind through it. Then, start writing as if you are talking to your friends or best clients. Write as if you are telling them something and watch the accolades roll in!

Growing A Big Email Newsletter List By Breaking All The Rules

Growing Big Email Lists By Breaking All The RulesI am all about small business marketing, I spend almost all my time reading about, watching videos about and producing content about small business marketing. I have put in 10,000 hours many times over and KNOW what my passion is.

What I have come to find out is, that is not so easy for everyone. They have families and lives and hobbies and spend time NOT obsessing about their business. Weird.

So what the heck does all this marketing love have to do with growing a big email newsletter list?

There are many technical things you can do to grow a big email list, and you can find those all over the interwebs in much more detail than I would ever dream of including, but today’s post is about making people WANT to join your email list, making them search it out and find it no matter what it takes and consuming your stuff because it is so awesome!

In this post, we are going to shatter two or three of the most basic email newsletter tenants and show you how some two ladies are rocking the world by doing “everything wrong”.

Join my list calls to action and positioning

Dyan Reaveley Newsletter SignupWhat is to the left is one of the absolutely most deplorable, ridiculous email newsletter signup campaigns I have ever seen. When you visit artist and scrapbooking supplies rep Dyan Reaveley’s website, which is a free blogger blog by the by, you have to scroll a significant way down to find her newsletter signup tucked away among about a million other links.

Common sense tells you that she would get so many more visitors to sign up if she just rearranged her website a little and put the signup top right where it belongs. Oh, and don’t get me started on her “join my newsletter” verbiage, in today’s day and age, who wants to join a newsletter?…..except…um…I joined this weekend!

If you are just cruising around looking for scrapbooking supplies, you probably won’t find Dyan’s site at the top of the Google. Trying to figure out a technical bit about scrapbooking, you are still out of luck. BUT…

Looking for some great ideas, good solid stamps and products to use? Dyan is your gal. She is from England and talks funny. She calls paper towels, kitchen towels. She is admittedly lost in her work on airplanes and ignores the other passengers and she LOVES making scrapbooking journals.

Seriously? This chick makes a living doodling and coloring? YEP! As far as I can see, she has a business in England where she sells scrapbooking supplies, she reps for at least two different manufacturers who product supplies for journalling, she travels to trade shows and does demonstrations, she gets paid to do workshops around Europe and the US PLUS she does videos and blogs.

So back to building a big email list. BECAUSE of all the other things that Dyan does, she can have a tiny email list signup and still get people to click. Imagine if she had her empire PLUS a plan to communicate? I would LOVE to buy online classes from her, see her if she comes to Denver, hell invite her to come stay with me if she comes to Denver and generally consume anything this chick produces. Does your following feel that way?

Frequency of Email Marketing Newsletters

Flylady LogoSo conventional wisdom says you should be sending out a message a week, maybe even a couple a week, but every day? Multiple times a day? What about 10 times per day?

So there is this website about cleaning. The mascot is the Flylady and she is a little cleaning lady with fairy wings.

They send out, no lie, ten emails a day! They nag you about shining your sink and wearing tie up shoes. They tell you to eat vegetables and exercise and people LOVE them!

I have followed this gang off and on as I am organizationally challenged. Their no nonsense methods of getting your house clean and developing systems is right in my wheelhouse.

So here is another gal or group of gals that is making money online using email marketing. Not only do you hear about ways to clean, testimonials and purple puddles from the Flylady, but they try to sell you stuff every time!

That is right, they are selling purple scrubbers, purple mops, purple calendars and all other manner of purple cleaning products. And they get away with it because they have built and continue to feed a community of cleaning challenged people (mostly women) who want to hear from them on a REALLY regular basis as a support system for getting their homes in order.

Their message is GREAT (you are never behind and you can do anything for 15 minutes) and they have a friendly girlfriend tone to their messages.

So, ladies who clean and can write emails….hmmm who knew that could be a business model!

What is your passion and can you email it out?

So, what are you passionate about. What could you do 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week forever. No crying about a work-life balance, no whining about how you don’t know the technology what would you do all day, every day for the rest of your life if you could.

Find that one thing and start building a following around it using your email newsletters to get them signed up! Be amazing and passionate about what you are talking about and you can’t fail!

Incoming search terms:

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Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Web Design and Marketing

Here are a few of the best iPhone and iPad apps that I found for doing web design and marketing. Now, I am not a techy girl, massive amounts of hardware that I lug around to the contrary so these are easy to use and do mostly one or two things REALLY well. I don’t need complicated apps, just pop in and pop out for ease of use.

RGBColorPal

Best iPhone Apps for Web Design Marketing - RGBColorPalI love this app! One of the main reasons is it so perfect is that I helped to develop it for use in Web Design and Marketing. It was made by the FABULOUS John Jacobsen, app developer extraordinaire and my hubby! It does three things amazingly well and it is super easy to use.

The three different functions including;

1. Slider to pick RGB colors and gives the hexadecimal code for that color.
2. ALL the web safe colors in a long row so you can pick the best one AND
3. The best part, the HTML codes for making special characters! I use this often when crafting emails or Craigslist posts! It lets you make funny characters like ★’s, ☂’s and ☞’s!

RGBColorPal Screenshots

Cost: FREE

⇒download the RGBColorPal from iTunes

Doodlecast Pro

Okay, this is my GO TO app for making movies where I draw stuff. I KNOW that is not the technical term for it, but like I said, I am a great marketer but not a techy gal! Here is an example of these movies…

All I need to make these is my iPad, a stylus (it works with your finger but I have to have a pen-like tool to make it legible). It even picks up my voice without a microphone. If you wanted more professional outcomes you could absolutely record it without your voice and the do the voiceover on your computer using a big program like Camtasia. I am more of a “get lots of stuff out there” kind of marketer than a make one “perfect” video.

Cost: $2.99

⇒download Doodlecast Pro from iTunes

SoundCloud

This one is great for recording your voice or interviews and having an easy share option with Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Tumbler. My best tip is to set your phone down on a hard surface for recording. The first one I did was in my hand and BOY did it cause havoc with the sound. Additionally there is a download feature that would be great if you were doing podcasts with Soundcloud (great info in the link). Here is an example of a quicky recording I did to demo the Soundcloud.

Soundcloud screenshots

Cost: FREE

⇒download Soundcloud from iTunes

Additional Apps for Web Design and Marketing

I have some go-to apps that I use a lot for helping with my (or my client’s marketing). Here are just a few others to consider.

  • Quicklytics – great for checking my Google Analytics, cost $4.99 so worth it!
  • Dragon Dictation – another great sound recording app that transcribes what you say, unfortunately it has a hard time understanding me! Cost Free.
  • Grafio – good for diagraming, flowcharts, etc. Cost free or $8.99.
  • TruHDR – my favorite for taking snazzy pictures. Cost $1.99.

Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Web Design and MarketingSo, this is working list of the best iPhone and iPad apps for web design and marketing. Please let me know if you have any others you would like added by leaving a comment below (warning, I moderate my comments so spamming me with your links won’t work!)

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Contact Management Software Reviews – Infusionsoft, Ace of Sales and Office Auto Pilot

Going way beyond email newsletters, contact management or relationship management software is a tool that companies use to prospect, track and communicate with their prospects, suspects and customers. It is sometimes called your database and is VITAL to your success!

First off, I have a confession to make, my name is Tara and I am a database addict. I feel that I have some good knowledge about databases because I have used so darn many of them over the years (5 in 7 years). These are just my impressions from using them and you will be happy to know that I have (finally) found the database love of my life and have settled down happily with Infusionsoft!

If you would like the basics about contact or relationship management software, please see below the reviews for additional information!

Contact Management Software Reviews – Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft Product ReviewAs you can probably tell, I am a little biased about Infusionsoft! After having gone through the pain of exporting my list, cleaning it up, importing it, getting people to re-opt in over and over and over, I have finally found a system that works for me!

Here are my pros and cons of Infusionsoft…

Pros

  • AMAZING campaign builder. Basically it allows you to visualize exactly what steps of a marketing campaign you have, combined with a drag and drop interface that makes getting your marketing going a breeze! If you would like to see the Infusionsoft campaign builder in action, click the link and forward to 38 seconds.
  • Incredible support. Infusionsoft has a setup cost and at first I balked at paying it. Seriously? You are going to charge ME for setting up YOUR software? Well come to find out it was actually to pay for get MY STUFF set up! They teach and hold your hand through creating good business practices and marketing funnels until you know how to do them yourself. To this day, I get an answer to my questions within 24 from my coach, even after we are done!
  • Business tasks. This is where some of the others fall down. Because IS is a contact management software (instead of just a database), we can schedule tasks and trigger events based off of what my team is doing. For example, my assistant calls emails everyone who signs up for my list. She doesn’t have to scrape around in her email to find them, she just goes to her tasks, finds them and then either calls them with a pre written script or emails them with a pre written email! I have specific tasks that I remind myself of (like sending a thank you note when someone comes to meet with me!) Overall, Infusionsoft keeps things that need to get done from falling through the cracks!
  • Ease of use. Of the ones that we are going to talk to about today, IS is far and away the easiest one to use! I can create a web form, set up some emails and assign tags and tasks in minutes (my record is 10 minutes soup to nuts). The thing I like the most is that they can create web form pages that you can use instead of having to call your website company every time you want to test something out. I do our website stuff but know this is a prohibitive cost for many of our small business owners.
  • AMAZING integration with PayPal. They made it really plug and play to use your PayPal account for receiving payments. AND your contacts are loaded into the system at the same time…no double entry!
  • Easy video emails. Adding a video to your email is as simple as dragging over a box and entering the number of the YouTube video.

Cons

  • Dashboard. The only con I have is setting up the front page when I log in. I like to see what is going with my signups and other assorted stats and getting them on there is a little kerfuffly. Also, I would like to see my tasks instead of having to click through. update – tasks on the front page now!

Get a free infusionsoft demoif you are considering Infusionsoft and this review helped, I would appreciate it if you would use this link to find out more…it is the only affiliate link in this whole article because I believe in my heart of hearts that Infusionsoft is the best (and my last) solution! check out Infusionsoft…

Contact Management Software Reviews – Ace of Sales

CRM Reviews - Ace of SalesSo I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jeffery Gitomer and so when I saw he had a database coming out I was SUPER excited. Him being a sales guy, I figured that it would be all about sales and marketing, an internet database for the ages…sadly, it was way less than that!

Here is my review of Ace of Sales…

Pros

  • Direct mail pieces right from your database. This was a real feature for me. I could customize and send postcards and thank you notes right from the database. This seemed much more efficient than having to download your people into Send Out Cards before sending greetings. That said, the selection was okay at best and they didn’t update them very often.
  • Newsletters Part 1. They are very focused on helping you get newsletter signups. There are web form interfaces that you can use to get people into your database pretty easily.
  • Training. While they did not have a hand holder, I thought that the self-teaching training videos were well done and made it easy to learn the system.

Cons

  • Newsletters Part 2. So I get the Sales Caffeine newsletter from Jeffery every week and I thought, WOW, I am going to be able to crank those out looking beautiful like he does. If you click through the link, you can see how amazing it is and why you would want that. Sad to say, the newsletter templates that come in the system are FAR less than that. They are downright plain and not something that I felt good about sending to my people (and I am a graphic artist!)
  • Web forms. As I said, knowing that Jeffery is a sales guy, I thought he would rock out the internet leads. Not so much. Basically signing up for a newsletter was their big deal. I didn’t have any functionality to make huge web forms that would capture data into different fields which leads me too…
  • It is just a database. Ace of Sales is not meant to be a CRM. It is a database that you can use to track your prospects and communicate with them but it does not have all the task management and the ability to sift and sort like the true CRM databases do. It felt a little like SalesForce which was one of my least favorite databases of all time!

Contact Management Software Reviews – Office Auto Pilot

Office Auto Pilot Product ReviewsSo I used Office Auto Pilot for a year and a half and have a current client who is still using it. Overall, I found it to be an okay database without some of the drawbacks that a couple of the ones had. That said, I joined under the premise that they were building out a new interface and were going to be making things easier to use. Never happened and most of the reason I left.

Pros

  • Was a powerful database with if/then capabilities! Much of what I love about Infusionsoft is in here
  • Had a good interface with a plugin that built a membership sites (more about that below). Designating posts as protected was MUCH easier than any other membership software that I have used!

Cons

  • The NUMBER ONE reason I disliked it was having no central interface. Adding a product and putting up a web page literally meant going to one tab for adding sequences, hitting another area for forms, going into admin to do another function, and about 2 other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. It was very obvious that no though had gone into making the process easy to accomplish and the tech guys sort of had a, “well we can do, why can’t you” attitude.
  • Membership site plugin. The membership site plugin was not updated very often and broke frequently when WordPress updated their systems. I am not techy so don’t know more than that, but it was not a nice problem to continually have.
  • No email templates. Now, I AM a graphic designer and I CAN write HTML code to emails, BUT in this day and age, why do I have to? There were no built in formats for emails or web forms which was a real pain when it came to making sure that I was sending out properly formatted email messages.

Well that is the end of the contact management software reviews, BUT I have had a number of questions come in that I thought were vital to making a decision so I thought I would shoot them out here!

Aren’t Contact Management Software (CRMs) just databases?

Yep but with added functionality like web forms, shopping cart features, autoresponders, email capabilities, etc.

Shouldn’t I use a service for video emails like Talk Fusion or My Video Talk?

These services are sold by direct sales or networking people who you meet at your referral groups. I have a number of them in my sphere and am always sad when they talk about things that their company has said which aren’t true. You DON’T want your videos on their own channel, you want them on YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world. You DON’T want a video company, you want an email company whose sole goal is to keep up their approval rating with the email providers like AOL, gmail, Brighthouse and Comcast. I do not get any video emails except Eyejots because they are on a blacklist and they never come to my Gmail inbox.

Can’t I just use something like Constant Contact?

Oh my gosh, don’t get me started on Constant Contact. They are AMAZING if you are dabbling in a business and have a couple hundred people on your email list. They are HORRENDOUS for adding people online through their forms. When you use one of their web forms, the people sign up and then come to a page that has what looks like a confirmation that you signed up BUT which actually has to be clicked to get someone into their system. We had a client that we drove THOUSANDS of hits to and he got a handfull of signups because they actually entered the info into the form and hit submit but did not know about the stupid extra step they had to do. (I try to stay factual and impartial but as you can see this one makes me crazy! I got slammed by my client because it was almost functionally impossible for people to use the web form to sign up and that just makes me mad!)

Why do I need such a big system?

I have been a database kid for years so I have a hard time answering this. OF COURSE you need more than a rinky dink email list. I will tell you what I tell my friends. 1) you need the ability to sort people – no longer is it okay to send one message out to everyone. 2.) you need to be able to do video emails effortlessly – one email with your shiney face in it is worth a thousand words. 3) you need to be able to make one system that works and then copy it over and over. 4) you need to be able to make web forms that funnel people into your database and get them on an autoresponder.

Just off the top of my head, the cost to cobble something like that together is about $50 for a regular email newsletter service, $50 or so for the video email service, $50 or so for send out cards so you can remember to mail stuff, a couple hundred to your web guy to set up forms for you, a couple hundred to your graphic artist to do your email template, etc. For me, having all this in one easy place is a godsend!

Can’t I just use a button from PayPal to do the same thing?

First off, yes, you can generate a buy now button in PayPal. The problem with not hooking that to your database or CRM is that you will have to take those orders and then transfer them into your database so you don’t miss repeat sales or upsells. So let’s take my $3 Facebook ebook. I sell it cheap to get people into my system and then send them a series of autoresponders that get them to purchase other, more valuable information or content. I just made an order form and hooked it to a tag in Infusionsoft and the process runs seamlessly. They take the order, process the payment, send them the digital file, add the tag and then send out the emails for a predetermined time.

The End

Okay, if you made it to the bottom you are probably not just sending out email newsletters, you are probably thinking that you are getting ready to put together a comprehensive system and marketing plan. With that in mind, I would like to offer you something that I don’t do often…a free 15 minute call to talk about what you are trying to accomplish and which system would serve you best. I promise this is not a 15 minute sales call but a super honest opinion about what you should do. The cool thing is that we do have access to some specials that are not available to everyone so if you do decide to check out Infusionsoft, we can hook you up right!

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Social Media Marketing – What If I Do Not Want To Share Everything?

Social media marketing is all about connecting with people on the interwebs, gaining their attention to talk or notice your “stuff” and then maintaining that connection through communicating with them, sometimes across multiple channels or social media sites.

Social Media Marketing - Why do I have to share everything?First off, I just want you to know that for a public personality I am a pretty introverted kind of gal. I have a core group of friend-friends and a wide range business-friends who I have met through speaking, networking or from the internet through social media or my website.

I spend A LOT of time behind the computer doing work and then reaching out to talk and share on the internet. I write blog posts and post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and several other social sharing site, BUT those are things that I purposefully and proactively share.

What I am not so happy about is the inter-connectivity that many companies require. I was reading this morning and there was a really cool program that would show you your Google grade for your company’s name. While I could do that pretty easily by doing a search on the Google itself, it seemed like it would have some added functions that caught my eye…UNTIL they said that I had sign up through Facebook and hook it to my account.

Seriously? What does my Google search have to do with Facebook and why would I want to post those connections there? The developers have obviously jumped on the social media band wagon and are pushing for me to share EVERYTHING about every aspect of my life with my “friends”. Let me just tell you, my friend-friends know about what I do because I call, text, email or otherwise communicate with them, NOT in full view of everyone else on Facebook.

Now, I have to say that I am less snarky about things that connect to my Twitter, but still, why does everything have to be connected?

I am not a twelve year old girl who wants everyone to know that I like David Cassidy (the Justin Bieber of my time) on Spotify, I do not need stray and random strangers wishing me happy birthday through an app, and I don’t need the world to know that I am looking for a bumble bee placemat on Etsy.

I have started to boycott apps that only allow signups through social media. They don’t do it to make my life better, they do it so that every move I make on their app causes a subsequent notification on my (rather large) social networks, in effect endorsing their program.

I have a feeling that I am not the only one who feels this way and I hope that this will change over time. If I want to endorse something, believe me, I know how to hit the share button. BUT being forced to do social media marketing by companies with nothing more than an app is definitely not something I believe in!

PS – We do social media marketing for business clients and they often ask why they have to use their person as the face of their company. Sigh, it is because people like people better than companies, but it is getting harder and harder each day for me to justify why their online actions should all be fodder for the world to see. I am still a proponent of using social media to market your business, just not for having everyone seeing that you play Ninja Chicken when you take you lunch break!

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Social Media Marketing – Why You Should Outsource Instead of Keeping It In House

Social Media Marketing - Why You Should Outsource Instead of Keeping It In HouseSocial media marketing is a mainstay of business today. No matter how stupid you believe tweeting and pinning and liking are, in the end there is a tremendous value to being present online WHEREVER your customers and prospects are.

Used to be business dictated how people found out about them and how they were projected in advertising and the media. You bought an ad, placed a yellow page listing or had a write up in the newspaper that you basically controlled. Today, consumers are out there talking about you and your brand, searching the internet to find out what your company is all about and making buying decisions based on what they find.

Yesterday we had a business owner call to say that there were bad comments out there on a website and he wanted to know what one thing he could do to make that go away. Unfortunately there is no one thing. There are ten spots on google every time someone does a search and he will need to fill those up with LinkedIn listings, website and blog listings, Facebook and Google Plus profiles, YouTube videos and all other manner of data about his company in order to battle that.

So what if no one is talking bad about your company. You are okay with sticking your head in the sand and ignoring social media right? Hmmmm no! Having one website that was supposed to carry the load for your entire marketing efforts may have worked in 2003, but today, you need to be visible across a wide range of media. Your customers all have a favorite and if you aren’t on there, your competitors will be attracting their attention before they even get around to searching for your products or services!

Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

So now you know why you need it, why can’t you just hire someone in house to do your social media marketing? That way you can look over their shoulder and manage everything internally. Here are my Top 10 reasons for why this is a very bad idea!

1. It is cost prohibitive to get someone that is good. The AVERAGE salary for a social media marketing manager according to Salary.com is $101,969 a year. This does not include benefits that anyone decent will require.

Social Media Marketing Manager

2. The benefits package for this employee will be another expense. In addition to the salary requirements, you have another $12,550 to cover Social Security, retirement, healthcare, etc.

Social media marketing manager benefits

3. Getting someone with marketing experience. Social media marketing is not about social media, it is entirely about marketing. While learning the tools of how to accomplish the tasks is important, you would not hire a surgeon just because she had a good way with cutting her food. Knowing the company’s goals, what you want to accomplish and the best ways to do that are skills that are learned over the years. There are four hour courses that some of the so call “social media experts” take to learn the tools and then put themselves out there as gurus. Make sure to ask how long your in house employee has been doing marketing.

4. Staying current with the trends. Social media marketing and SEO are a moving target. You cannot learn something today and think that it will be the same in a year (or even the next two months). One glaring thing that comes to mind here is the practice of using posting services like Hootsuite. While there is a place for those, all you need to do is take a peek at your Facebook timeline to see that there are not nearly as many Hootsuite auto posts as there are real people who hand posted.

5. Keeping up with training. Another huge annual cost you will be bringing in house is training. Your employee will need to take courses and attend conferences and training events to stay current with the technologies. We spend between $6,000 and $10,000 annually in training for our employees and our marketing expert. The problem with spending this money on an employee is that all that know-how walks out the door if they leave.

6. A commitment to keeping jobs in America. One thing we do hear is that companies are sick of outsourcing US dollars overseas. This can make hiring a person for your company seem like a patriotic thing to do. We agree whole heartedly and there are social media marketing companies who are not outsourcing work (we know, we are one of them!). Simply ask if their employees are in the US or if they employ overseas workers when you are doing your due diligence.

7. Lots of hands. If you have your social media in house and your employee becomes sick or unable to do their job, there is no one to step in and pick up the ball. When you outsource your work, the social media marketing company should have multiple employees who can step in and take over your posting at a moments notice.

8. No animosity. Another big problem we find is that employees who are leaving or getting ready to leave on bad terms have sometimes tampered with or otherwise disrupted marketing channels before heading out the door. We have had more than one company contact us to see if there is a “secret” to getting their Facebook page back after a disgruntled employee has changed passwords or deleted pages. When you are working with an outside company, their workers are do not have any “skin in the game” to hurt your company. In fact, we hire all “seasoned” women who are proud of the job they do and who have never stepped a toe over the line without asking first.

9. Time and consistency. We have worked with a number of big (and small) companies who have every intention of hiring a social media marketing manager to, well, do the social media tasks. What we have found is that this person rapidly becomes busy doing other company things and the focus on tweeting, answering messages and generally minding the social media store gets diluted. Having an outside company dedicated to this allows your marketing department to keep the goals and focus in mind while directing the outsourcing agency, but the work still gets done.

10. Doing what you do best. If your company is not a social media marketing company, then the focus of your business needs to stay on your industry and not get mired in the social media flavor of the day. Utilizing internal talent to be doing outward facing tasks is definitely not the highest and best use of their time. It is fine to have sales people working with specific prospects, but your company as a whole has to have a plan in place to take advantage of this huge (and multi-legged) marketing opportunity.

Are we biased because we ARE a social media marketing company, probably! But I have to say that all of these are items that we have encountered in our work with companies and they are valid problems in this internet, social media based world.

If you have any questions about this or would like to talk about opportunities for hiring a social media marketing company to outsource your work to, please give us a call today! 727-415-9165

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Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?

Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?So today’s post is for my bestie, the fabulous Deb Ward (send her all your referrals for the Tampa Bay area because she lets me call her out to your benefit!)

So you are just getting into real estate or your are thinking about changing your real estate database over to something new. You have heard at conferences and from your broker that the best two on the market for realtors are WiseAgent and Top Producer so you figure they will be good enough. Sigh…

So what is so wrong with using a realtor database instead of a “real”, internet marketing database like InfusionSoft, iContact, Office Auto Pilot or any of the others out there on the market? Here is my take at 40,000 feet (read first and then watch the video)

1. Realtors have been told for eons that they need a realtor solution. They like marketing tools specifically made for realtors without looking around at their fellow realtors. These tools are made for the lowest common denominator, the agent who can barely work her cell phone and who is using the company website. Some of these dears are AMAZINGLY successful, but they are not exactly cutting edge on the technology front!

2. Having your listing process or closing tasks embedded in your real estate database might be a good idea, but most of the realtors I have talked to lately are using a third party closer or are using a system embedded in their broker site or MLS. The last thing you want is to have all your closing tasks in your marketing database (in my opinion). Your marketing database is bring in leads, lots of them, and then nurture them until they become real prospects.

3. Having a database that is a marketing database instead of a realtor database means that you will have actual tools for prospecting, building your website, collecting leads, sending autoresponders and generally doing real marketing instead of just tired old drip campaigns that annoy your prospects.

4. If you are primarily a listing agent, why the heck do you make the main focus of your website data capturing buyers likes and dislikes?

So finally to realtor marketing databases….

Deb is currently using WiseAgent and there are some good things in there for realtors…but darn it, I don’t care about realtor stuff, because she is my friend, I care about her getting more real leads, having more closings and making more money. That’s it. I don’t sugar coat it with her and so I am going to give you the real deal info too!

You need to start internet marketing right now! You need to have programs and campaigns specifically designed to prospect for people that you want to work with. If you are working with buyers, you need to make sure that you marketing is geared to fulfilling their needs, sellers need something different and you want to make sure to satisfy that too!

Some examples for buyers include… free relocation guides for buyers, a native’s tour of your town, top restaurants in the area, subdivision info, etc.

Some examples for sellers include… tips for home staging, honest talk about pricing, a checklist of what to get fixed BEFORE you list your house, etc. (ohohoh thought of another one! how to list your house so that you get cash offers instead of having to deal with Jumbo loans)

Do you see a theme here? If EVERY OTHER REAL ESTATE WEBSITE in the world has listings or heaven forbid an offer for a free CMA and you have real information that would actually help them, who do you think is going to get that phone call to come list me….:)

So what are we going to start with? A FSBO email marketing autoresponder. The FSBO signs up to get tips and tricks on how to be a better seller and Deb gets the chance to start a relationship with them without having to lift a finger!!! (find out how to do a campaign like this yourself at Tools for Realtors – there is an opt in form on the right)

So what are the steps?

1. Make a series of videos (as you can see in the free course, we didn’t go high tech here…just good solid info from Deb!)
2. Set up a web form to capture data (in the video below) and then
3. set up the email followups

That is it! I KNOW the first time you see this it seems like it is SO many steps but never fear, the first time you do anything it is hard, after that you do a system and then just start banging them out.

this is recorded in real time….:)

So, to wrap up. Your website should be made to do just one thing, capture leads from people who want to work with YOU (not just buy houses). You need a database that has internet marketing capabilities (I recommend InfusionSoft because of the ease of use and that handy dandy campaign builder), then you need to do some follow up emails, ensuring you stay top of mind when they are looking for a real estate agent to hire!

(that IS an affiliate link for InfusionSoft! I SO love them…:)

Resources from this post!

How To Set Up A FSBO Email Campaign – Tools For Realtors
Come To Clearwater – Clearwater and St. Pete Real Estate
Raj Qsar – Orange County Real Estate
Smart Passive Income Blog
Perry Marshall Adwords
Chris Brogan
InfusionSoft Database for Realtor Marketing

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Infusionsoft Strategy Guide EbookA Practical Guide for How To Use Infusionsoft For Real Business

Wondering how to make the power of Infusionsoft work for you? Many business owners have discovered how valuable having a robust email database like Infusionsoft can be. That said, with great power comes…well confusion. There are so many different features that figuring out how to integrate that into real business systems is overwhelming.

We wrote this book to show small biz owners the ways that we use Infusionsoft in our day to day business. Full of great real world tips and examples, this guide will give you ideas on how to take the power of Infusionsoft and make it work for you!

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Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don’t Work Anymore

This post is for a friend who is just getting into internet marketing. She has been searching for help and came upon a number of different “ideas”. I REALLY want her to know what is and is not working working in the marketplace today, and if I want for that for my friend-friends, I thought I should also share it with my online friends!! Additionally, I have some great resources below for people I trust in the different marketing arenas. No affiliate links, just recommendations for good solid people who are providing good solid information!

Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks That Don't WorkSo in my post, Keyword Marketing – Does Bad SEO Hurt I talked about old fashioned SEO tricks that used to work but no longer do. Today we are going to talk about Small Business and Internet Marketing Tricks that have gotten old and stale and which you might want to take out of your repertoire.

The reason most of these tips and tricks are out there are they worked for someone, somewhere, sometime. The problem with chasing the “get rich quick” dragon is that the people selling you stuff are not selling you current ideas, they only share them after they are done working.

Think about it, if they could make TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS a day, why would they be selling you a thirty dollar a month membership? Now, I am not putting them down for the original use of a technique, what I am sad about is that they have to know that the time for using that technique has moved on, yet they are now going to make some more money but trotting it out to the masses as a NEW get rich quick, or game the search engines idea.

Onto the small business and internet marketing tricks that don’t work anymore…

Recurring income – in 2008 I found out about recurring income and the allure of signing someone up for something once and then charging them forever-ish. In this model you do one thing, like have a software product and then instead of selling it to someone outright, you simply charge them less but bill them each month. You could also do a subscription like we did, write a marketing letter and web content that they could share…

the basis for any of these is that after you make the first one, all the other ones are free because they are already made and are PURE profit! The problem with this is getting a critical mass. We never got over 38 people at one time to sign up at one time (and we put a lot of effort into it). Additionally, about 10 percent of credit card charges fail each month and you have admin tasks to content with. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t think you should do something like this, just that the pendulum has swung back around and many people now want to pay once up front (even if it is a little bit more).

Membership websites – a couple of years ago, building a membership site and getting reoccurring income was all the rage. People were looking for a place to be able to congregate and get updated information. Now-a-days people are tending to congregate on social media sites instead and are not so much interested in joining membership websites. Additionally, if you are going to have a membership site, you need to know that you will have to put A LOT of effort into growing it and maintaining the software. What I suggested to my friend instead was to do a private Facebook group, some private videos on YouTube and an email newsletter that she could charge for WITHOUT having to build a giant membership site.

Anything “just like” – So if you are a small business owner or just getting started in internet marketing and someone is convincing you that it is “just like Facebook but with”…or “it will be like Pinterest but”…run don’t walk away from them. If someone is interested in Pinterest, they are going to go there because they have a critical mass of people already. Your product that is just like something else will have to compete on an unlevel playing field (don’t forget, my readers are usually doing some other business than selling software or websites so they already HAVE a product or service and are using marketing to sell it!)

Overpriced anything – I have a really nice man I know who wanted me to promote an ebook for him. Unfortunately, it was obviously a beginner effort (although the content was great), but this still would not have caused me to decline to promote it, what made it impossible to share was that it was a hundred dollars. WOW. That is a LOT of money for an ebook, no matter how great the content is. Ebooks are on the internet and there is no cost (functionally) to distribute them. While I could see paying $30 or so for something AMAZING by an author and respected expert I knew, a hundred dollars is a lot for something from an unknown author.

This is a trap that a lot of new marketers fall into. Just today I signed up for a webinar that cost about fifty bucks. It is on time management and will be great I am sure BECAUSE it is from Chris Brogan, best selling author of numerous books, internet expert and generally amazing guy with a huge email list who produces great stuff. The last one of his I attended had about 300 people on it…300 times $50 equals…drum roll please…$15,000. Now that is good scratch and anyone would be happy to make 15 GRAND for one hour of work!

The problem is, new marketers see these types of numbers and think, well $50 is how much I should charge for a webinar…ummm…only if you ARE Chris Brogan!!! If you are an unknown, you might want to set the bar lower like at $5 or free. You have to EARN the right to get paid big money for your information!

False Scarcity or Upsells – For the last few years, a great trick was to create what is called false scarcity. This was when marketers would have a launch and then “close it down” in a certain number of days to get people to buy.

While this IS a good tactic, it doesn’t work when EVERYONE is doing it. I KNOW that they will open it up again sometime. I KNOW they aren’t just selling 100 copies of a $7 software, I KNOW that if I don’t buy on the first pitch, they will probably offer it to me for less later, or throw in some bonuses to buy or give it to me for free. I also know they will try to sell me something else that will make the first thing work better (these are called upsells).

As an internet marketer, you will need to make some decisions about what and who to promote. I won’t promote false scarcity offers as they mess up my SEO, if I had 100 offers that are all dead on my website, my rankings would drop like a stone. Instead, we look for offers that are ongoing (or evergreen) to promote.

So who ARE good roll models for new marketers? Here are some of the people that I follow and why…:)

  • Chris Brogan – Really great inspiration. He is down to earth and is very responsive to his tribes. I like his stuff on time management and working with people. Plus he emails back!!!
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – Tell it like it is, no BS advice on how to succeed…:)
  • Pat Flynn – LOVE his stuff. Great details about how to do affiliate marketing on his podcast and website.
  • Internet Business Mastery – More great info on how to get started with internet marketing.
  • Perry Marshall – Adwords genius BUT much of his stuff is about writing great content and sales copy.
  • Howie Jacobsen – another adwords guy but SOOOO good at getting to the heart of who you are talking to and why they would buy
  • Marketing and Media Monsters – the site I do with Rebekah Welch where we talk about more targeted affilate and internet marketing information

hmmmm…sad that there are not more chicks here….but I think the more cutthroat world of hard core internet marketing is dominated by men. That is why I am excited that more women are asking me about it!!!

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Email Newsletters and Messages – How Long Should They Be?

Email newsletters and messages are supposed to be going the way of the dinosaurs, but we have found lately that with more and more people dropping out of the marketplace, our message is actually being read and received even more than ever! Last month, we did a Marketing and Media Monsters (our niche based marketing site) taping on Email Newsletters and marketing ideas. Here is the answer to one of our viewer questions, how long should email newsletters or messages be?

Some of the things to note from this video….

Email Newsletters & Messages - How Long Should They Be?If you are going to write LONG emails or blog posts, you have to earn the right. They SHOULD be 300 words, with longish ones going 500-700 words. While I can write really long ones, it took a couple of years to grow a readership (you guys!) who would want to have that kind of detailed marketing information available.

Emails should not be complex. Cover one topic per email and do not have all different kinds of options or actions that you want your reader to take. Having too many different ideas in one email dilutes the whole thing!

Emails should not be too detailed, when creating an email blast, it should be short, sweet and to the point! People do not have the time or attention span to read long emails. If you need to provide further information, give them a link to go to your blog post to get more information. Great idea to drive people to your blog or website.

Add some humor to keep people interested!

It is fine to include HTML or text based ads in your emails as long as the content you provide is amazing! You are not sending emails to be nice, you need to them to DO something such as visiting your blog, liking you on Facebook or narrowing themselves down on your list.

BEFORE you hit send, is it relevant to your list and are you providing value added content EVERY TIME? You can ruin all of your built up store of good will with just one badly timed email or one entirely self serving message.

Email marketing and newsletters are not dead, BAD email marketing and newsletters are dead! Every message has to be interesting and informative for your readers.

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Small Business Marketing – Getting Motivated

If you could do one thing this year to increase your small business marketing efforts, I would say that getting motivated is at the top of the list!

I talk to A LOT of business owners about their small business marketing and the thing I notice most is that they are generally okay with their business. They are not happy or unhappy, they are just okay. They would like more customers and since they are talking to me, I KNOW that they are at least a little bit interested in how to make that happen, but that being said, very few are IN LOVE, head over heels with their business.

So how do you fall in love and get motivated again…here are a couple of things to do!

1. What Are You Doing?

Small Business Marketing - Getting MotivatedMake sure you are SUPER CLEAR about what you are selling and who you are selling to. I have to say that most of the problems that we see with our social media marketing clients is not because they are not seeing results, it is because they don’t even know what the end game is for their efforts. More than one has come to us and said, well we aren’t getting X, to which we reply, hmmmm well we weren’t trying to get X because you told us to try and get Y!

Step One…get crystal clear on what your goals are for the next 3 months. I use a three squares worksheet to do this, you can do it with a piece of paper and a pencil. Put down 3 long term goals for your business (5 years out). Then write down 5 things to do in the next three months that would be shorter term tasks that would get you to your goal. Then every day, work on one of those things to the exclusion of all else! Don’t worry when you get them done faster than you ever thought possible, you still have your pencil and can add more tasks if you get finished early.

the one thing - jay papasanBonus bit…I have been reading the advanced email copy of Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book The One Thing and they have some GLORIOUS ideas in there about focus and how to start habits that will lead to sucess…buy this!

 

2. Get Some Systems!

So there are lots of quotes about a goal without a plan or a dream without a date…here is the hard truth, if you do not have a step by step plan written down to get things done, you will fail. Life will get in the way and you will be exactly where you are now in 3 months (or three years).

I have a weekly meeting with our team to go over what we are shooting for, what we need to get done by the next meeting and make sure we are still on track. These kinds of weekly reviews make sure you are steering along the right course and that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. I know many small business owners who feel that this kind of meeting and review shouldn’t have to happen, that their employees and partners should be able to work autonomously without any direction. Hmmmm…considering how hard I work to keep ME on track, it is no wonder that our teams need some guidance.

Additionally, we have worksheets that allow us to check off boxes when we accomplish things. For the social media for my company, I have a worksheet that lists every day, which social sites to hit, and lo and behold, it gets done. If I were to just say, well I will get to it, I guarantee that there is no way I could do that for a week, let alone every day of the month!

Step two…take your crystal clear goals for the next three months and make some forms or worksheets to remind you to do that thing every day. If it is make videos, make a level for each week and just do it. If it writing sales copy and you have research, put down half an hour a day to research and write sales copy. Stretch yourself more than you think because an amazing thing happens, once you get used to doing, it goes faster!

Bonus bit…if you need help with this, please sign up for my one hour marketing consultation so that you can get clarity!

3. Get Some Tools

I was talking with my bestie this morning about her real estate business and had to step back and look at what makes it so hard to market her! She is using an old fashioned database and my goal for her in the coming year is get her moved over to an internet marketing database like I use! One of the reason that she isn’t as on board is because it is not a real estate database and YEARS of marketing tell her she needs a real estate database….sigh…will let you know when I get her moved over!!!

Another thing that came across my desk this week was notice that someone had set up a new website for her financial services business. I though, holy cow, let me see, I bet she is doing really well if she is upgrading like that….sigh…it was a free weebly website and obviously was not going to instill great confidence in people who would be entrusting their life savings to her. SERIOUSLY? A free website?

Step three…figure out the tools you need to succeed and start budgeting for them now. My goal for my bestie is to have her on a real database by the end of July! BUT I want her and her assistant to learn about it now so they bust their butts to get the money together to get on board. If you are thinking about using a new technology, talk to trusted resources, get a demo from the company and then make a goal for how to make the money to acquire it!

Bonus bit…if you have questions about which database to use or whether you should do some kind of marketing…leave a comment and I will let you know my recommendations!

How To Do Keyword or SEO Research | Keyword Marketing

Today we are going to talk about how to do keyword or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) research for your website, blog or other internet property in order to increase your keyword marketing efforts.

The very first thing I want you to do is go to the google and do a search for any keyword, let’s say how to make paper airplanes (you can click the link to see the search)

How To Do Keyword or SEO Research | As you can see, all of the results that come up have that keyword phrase in their headline or at the very least in the description somewhere. This is VITAL to know as most small biz owners and non-seo types do not understand that google cannot extrapolate. If you are selling salon services in New York City but talking on your blog or website about coupon clipping, the chances that google will rank you highly for your target term are none.

There is just too much competition out there now with people who produced content that EXACTLY matches what the user is searching for and that is what google is going to give them…exactly what they are looking for.

So should you produce crap that has those keywords and hope google doesn’t find out? Nope, that does work anymore either! Google uses algorithms to figure out if what you say your page or post is about and then factors in how many people link into it, whether people bounce (come to it on a search and then reject it by clicking the back button) as well as zillions of other factors to make sure that what you say in your title and description is actually what the page is about!

Tools For Keyword or SEO Research

  • The Google External Keyword Tool – works great for finding out how popular a keyword is and how much competition you will have for that word.
  • Google – this is a duh moment for many people is figuring out how many competing sites there are. If you do a search without quotes, you will find the keywords in any order, if you use quotation marks, you will get the results of that keyword in that particular order.
  • Google analytics – if you do not have analytics on your site, stop right now and go get them on there! Figuring out what you rank for easily allows you to pick the low hanging fruit of keywords that you can ultimately rank for without a lot of effort.

So there you have it, my top tips on how to do keyword or SEO research for your Keyword Marketing efforts!

The Gamification of Everything – What About Marketing?

Today it seems like gamification is the buzzword, generally I hear about the gamification of everything, but what does that have to do with marketing?

The Gamification of Everything - What About MarketingFirst off, what is gamification? It is taking every day things that we HAVE to do and making them a game instead of work. So, I got a Fuel Band for my Anniversary from my husband so we could move around more. In general, it counts our steps, adds what calories we burn living and gives us Fuel Points which should reach 2,000 a day. So, I am a marketing person, we spend LOTS of time behind a computer and my fuel points are deplorable. Enter the game, constant checking and a goal to reach and soon I am moving around more and expending more calories. PLUS if I move around enough, at the end of the day the little guy on my App will do a dance.

Second off we work with a great Enterprise level gamification company that does all kinds of data integration, etc. They have been with us for a while so gamification in the capital G sense has been on my radar, but I never could see how it could scale down to our little peeps (or my smaller marketing company).

Enter a little company out in Denver who does Gamification for learning. Well that is nice, but still not pushing my marketing buttons….but wait! The process of gaming and learning…what if I could make that something that would work with how I do my marketing consults with small business owners. And because I am twisted, combine it with a Cosmo style quiz about getting your man. Hmmmmm…

So, today I am laying out the framework for a game that will help people sift down what marketing they should do, and because I blog better than I work on my business, you guys are coming along for the ride!

First off at 40K feet, there are some basic types of marketing:

  • Online Writing – Blogging, Guest Posting, Press Releases
  • Online Connections – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest
  • Online Marketing – Email, AdWords, paid ads on social media
  • Offline Networking – Meetups, Leads Groups, Speaking
  • Offline Advertising – Ads in Local Papers, Promotional Items, Popbys

And then there are some basic questions I ask everyone who does a consult with me:

  • What are your sales goals?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are you willing to do?

So what if we made picking the type of marketing that we do a game that you could go through. You could pick and choose the bits that matter to you, what you are willing to do (any plan that involves the phone for me is a dud), what you want to accomplish and it would spit out the right answers at the end?….plus it will hook to my database (InfusionSoft)…

..not sure how this is going to work, but will keep you informed!

PS – Can you let me know of any aspects of the business world that you are more or less intrigued about doing gamification marketing with?

Internet Marketing – Should You Write Major And Minor Blog Posts?

Internet Marketing - Should You Write Major and Minor Blog PostsIf you are doing internet marketing you are probably at least considering doing some blogging. Now, this can seem time intensive and it is, but you can save time if write both major and minor blog posts.

What are major blog posts?

Okay, a confession here…I made up major and minor blog posts, it is just how I think of my writing. Major blog posts (to me) are ones that I have to research or do some extra work for. Some of the things that make a major blog post are:

I would say that a major post can take between an hour and a couple of hours to write. They require more than my personal knowledge to write and are probably interesting to me and a smaller segment of the small business population than most of my posts! They are also generally longer than most with some bumping up on 2,000 words.

What are minor blog posts?

Minor blog posts are the ones that I can write off the top of my head. I have 15 plus years of experience in marketing and spend HOURS a week researching and learning about different marketing techniques that could work for our small business peeps. That means that I have A LOT of information that other people don’t know. This is key.

You probably have a lot of information in your industry that other people don’t know. Sometimes it can seem like what you are talking about is too basic but that is because you KNOW it. Other people probably do not know it and could use your expertise.

These posts usually take less than a half an hour to write because I write them from experience and they are generally around 500 words max.

Which are better?

So I like doing major posts because I generally learn something during the process and they tend to be interesting to me and very high level advanced marketing. Sigh…well come to find out, they are not the magic that gets people to my website. My top posts last year in order were:

So 4 of my top 5 blog posts were written off the top of my head. They total 13,872 hits to my website last year and just sit there like little soldiers, bringing people by to see my site daily.

Sales Cycle Marketing – What Is Convergence?

Sales Cycle Marketing - What Is ConvergenceSo yesterday I talked about sales cycle marketing and went over a little bit about how you need to make sure you find people who want to buy what you are selling early in the cycle and then carry that through to making the sale.

Today’s post is a little more in depth about why it is SO important to make sure that you capture the attention of your buyers early! This is technically called CONVERGENCE and it is an amazing marketing concept taken from the world of mathematics.

What Is Convergence In Marketing?

Doing a search for convergence, I found that there were over 30 different definitions of convergence listed on wikipedia.com, but the one that matters to us is, “that some functions and sequences approach a limit under certain conditions”. Not sexy, but certainly true in math and marketing!

Doh, that seems hard so let’s take a look at a picture of what this means…

Sales Cycle Marketing Convergence Graphic

In this graphic, you can see yellow (for low urgency, early in the cycle), orange (for medium urgency and a medium time to buy) with lastly, red (high urgency and a short time to buy).

As the buyer moves down the chart, the urgency gets greater. Think about something dire instead of sales. Say you get a tummy ache (yellow), you might think about taking some Tums and figuring out what you might have eaten that was bad. It gets worse (orange), most of us now hop on the internet and search our symptoms to see if there is something wrong. You are in abject pain (red), your next search is for your doctor’s phone number or the location of the nearest hospital.

In this example, the “sale” is made when you go to your doctor to get fixed and the research you did will not actually change the outcome because you are already your doctor’s patient. OR you will go to the hospital in the closest proximity to your current location even if the hospital across the state has a great marketing campaign.

A parable about purple databases (databases don’t come in colors!)

Now let’s talk about something that is not life threatening. Let’s consider you want to get more customers. You do some research online and figure out that you need a database (yellow). You do some research and find out that there are three that will fit the bill, and then your best customer calls and you are back to work work.

The next day you think, hmmm better find out more about those darn databases and hop online to do some research or call your favorite marketing person to see what she thinks…:) WOW, they are not cheap but you know it is something you need so you compile more data to make sure you can make a good choice (orange).

Finally, after much contemplation, you KNOW which one you are going to get, call the company and throw down your credit card.

BUT, what if, in the middle of all this, you talk to a guy and he says that purple databases are better and, lo and behold, he just happens to sell purple databases. THIS IS A BAD thing for those companies you researched a few weeks ago. They fell out of the rotation and someone else swooped in and made the sale.

Convergence in the sales cycle

This is the important bit so pay attention….

As a company that needs to make sales, you want to get into the game in the yellow area, SUPER early in the sales cycle. Now, I know you are thinking to yourself, “but I only really need to be the swooper at the end”. That would be great if it worked in real life, but more often than not, sales is a process and you want to have LOTS of people in your process (pipeline).

But, we know those people are not ready to buy yet so we have to nurture them, building a relationship along the way so that they think of us when it is time to pull out a credit card.

I use InfusionSoft (a non-purple database) to grab people’s contact info, then talk to them (send emails about our products), have someone call them and be nice (people like phone calls when they are relevant and helpful) and am there when they are ready to buy.

note – if you are considering a database and want to talk to someone who uses Infusionsoft, give me a jingle 727-415-9165

Why Coming Into The Sales Cycle Late Makes No Sense

Really, in a perfect world, we would all be able to prospect ONLY to people within days of making a buying decision and I am sure there are high tech or high cost ways to do this (think about those huge pages of car sales in the newspapers or buying $25 per click paid keywords). But since most of my readers are small business owners or entrepreneurs, we are not rolling in the big, big bucks so we need to grow a consistent system and pipeline of people who want to buy what we are selling.

The only way to do that is to consistently find people early in the sales cycle and then nurture them through the buying process. I choose to do this with technology, but you could do it with your Google calendar if you wanted, just setting up a 6 or 7 step program to stay in touch and scheduling each one individually.

Whether you go with a software system or a more manual system, the key is to keep talking to your prospects all throughout the sales cycle in order to make the sale!

PS – This is also called the sell until they buy or die system…:) I like that too but it is not as scientific!

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Sales Cycles – Small Business Marketing

Many of my small business marketing peeps never take the time to really look at and consider sales cycles in their marketing efforts. Today’s post is going to be very important and worth taking the time to read!

So what is a sales cycle?

Small Business Marketing - Sales Cycles and When Will They BuyThink of it this way, when you are shopping for anything, you have a process you go through that starts with the idea and ends with the purchase. If it is a tiny item like a candy bar, the thought and the purchasing may be very close. If it is a large item or something you need for your business or to help improve your life, the timeline may be considerably longer, with more research involved.

Thinking of buying – So you are sitting at your desk and contemplating lunch when suddenly you see an ad for item, OR you are at an event and a speaker talks about something that is new to you and you think, “hmmm that might work for my business”, OR you are talking with a friend and they tell you about this great new product or service they are using. All of these are ways that the IDEA of buying something can come into your head.

Early research – Now you know this thing exists and if someone doesn’t sell you that minute on it, you are probably going to do some research on the topic.

I heard a great example somewhere about guinea pigs. People rarely buy guinea pigs spontaneously (thank goodness). They see them (or more likely their kids see them), then the parents research how much care and feeding they take, then the kids beg for a while and finally a pig is purchased.

There are multiple places in this research phase that you could attract the attention of researchers, have a GP for Dummies Book, offer a free guide to how to pick a long living GP, have a video tutorial about the care and cleaning of a cage. All of these things will get them into your sales pipeline IF you capture their data by asking for their email address and name.

Middle research – Okay, the initial discovery had been done and now your customer is moving onto serious research. In this case lets look at a bride. She has become engaged, done some early dreaming about her wedding, but now the rubber hits the road and she needs to find out pricing and availability of venues, where to get her gown and all the other things a bride has to do.

As a vendor in the wedding space, you would want to be on this short list. What if, during early research you had offered something like a free wedding checklist that she could use to make sure everything gets done and have continued to send tips her way for the last couple of months? Don’t you think your company will be on that short list?

Buying – The research is done and they are ready to buy. This is the sad little place that I see too many of my peeps miss the mark. They are all gung ho up in the research phase and actually convince someone of the value of buying whatever they sell, but then peter out and functionally make the sale for whoever comes along next and talks about it. You HAVE to be in constant contact at this point to make the sale!

The Bad News About Sales Cycles

I have bad news, most of my clients come to me all bright eyed and bushy tailed saying that they only want to target people who are 5 minutes away from buying their product or service. That is a truly admirable goal and sometimes possible by targeting buying keywords in your organic or paid online marketing, but mostly people want to buy from someone they know, like and trust.

Let’s say a customer is looking for social media marketing services and somewhere early in their search they happen along my site. They sign up for my mailing list and we send them great information for weeks or months about how to do their social media, what to look for, etc. By the time they are ready to buy they “know” me. They have seen my videos, they have read my emails, I have helped them to understand what they need to do and what kind of company they need to look for (miraculously close to what our company does) and so their buying decision becomes no decision, OF COURSE they hire us because we are the only real choice.

How To Do Sales Cycle Marketing

So you are thinking, “bloody hell”, how am I going to get all these people from thinking about buying to finally picking up the phone to call with a sale. You need to have a database that has the capability of:

  • Having a web form to collect the suspect’s email address and name
  • Have a series of “drip emails” (also called auto responders) that keep you in the front of their thoughts
  • A way to start separating the wheat from the chaff into prospects by checking which links they click in the emails to see where they are in the sales cycle
  • The ability to delegate some of these tasks (I have a WONDERFUL executive assistant who makes most of my calls for me, you NEED to have the best person for the job getting the task to perform)
  • Continuous, gentle reminders along the way to buy from you (these do not have to scream buy now, buy now, but why miss a sale because someone doesn’t know you are selling)

Sales Cycle Software Recommendation

If you are down this far, you are obviously interested in growing your business and making more money. Please, please, please stick with me for one more minute and find out how to stop thinking about doing something and really take action…

The ONLY way to accomplish all these tasks is by using some kind of advanced database (while Constant Contact or Mail Chimp will work early on, they fall apart at the place where you really start tracking and selling…they are a marketing tool, not a sales tool).

We recommend InfusionSoft for this kind of thing (we use them and they sponsor our site – first sponsor we have allowed in over 12 years – we love them that much!) Their software performs all of these functions AND they have training to make sure you know how to use it! Find out more about Lifecycle Marketing and InfusionSoft

Small Business Marketing – Authority Marketing

Small Business Marketing – Authority MarketingSo I talk a lot about authority marketing to my small business marketing peeps, but I don’t think I have ever spelled it out here. Not sure this is the “official version”, I just know what works for biz owners on a practical basis.

First off, what is authority marketing? It is taking the best bits of your business and becoming a champion of those pieces!

I talk (some would say ad nausea) about marketing, but in the final reckoning, there are some pieces of marketing that I champion…

  • having clear and definable activities that you do which will grow your audience
  • knowing EXACTLY what you are selling and how that fits into your marketing plan
  • and finally, totally digging into each different marketing channel that I think will help my readers and figuring out how to best explain that to my small business peeps

In the world of marketing, this could be construed as my USP (unique selling proposition), but in my world, it is just what I do, day in and day out.

So how does that transfer to your small business? First off, I firmly believe you have to love your industry. You have to read about it, write about it and immerse yourself into the culture of whatever business you choose. While there is some talk out there about choosing profitable industries, I think that anything can be profitable if you care and then leverage that caring into something that people want to buy.

What does that look like practically?

  • Sign up for newsletters from your competitors. DO NOT copy them, but use their info as a springboard to figure out what to write and talk about.
  • Attend industry events. It can be easy to get so busy working that you are not out there keeping on the edge of your industry. Knowing what is new and exciting about your industry is vital.
  • Share your knowledge. This is a HUGE one! When I am getting ready to write a post, I will oftentimes look around to see what other people think about it. If you are a thought leader in your industry, you WILL get opportunities that you did not even know existed.
  • Be excited. If you are not excited about what is going on, how can you expect anyone else to get excited? While it is hard for me to believe, not everyone loves marketing. That does not stop me from carrying on about it and my enthusiasm has caused some other people to care…that is being a champion for your industry.
  • Don’t worry about the people who don’t care. One of the hardest things in business is try and convince someone to care who doesn’t. Stop trying to convert the non-carers and focus on your biggest advocates PLUS the people on the fringes who could care if you explain how exciting it is. You will never sell your product or service to world, focus on selling it to the people who need or want it and forget the rest.
  • Get off the internet and get out the door. When I meet someone in real life who only knows me from online, I think they think I am just some person who writes emails and blog posts in some far away land (like the great and powerful Oz). It may surprise you know that I do at least one if not more big events a month, and many small speaking events (at least 6). This is because being insulated online (at home alone) stagnates you and dulls your skills. It is only when you are talking face to face with people that you can see their reactions and know how your message is really being received.

So, now you have all this knowledge, how are you going to get it out there to the masses who want to buy what you are selling?

  • Write a book. Sigh, this has been on my to-do list forever, but it is actually a great way to VASTLY increase your knowledge and credibility.
  • Blog about it. The number one, easiest way to start spreading your influence. The thing is to be consistent and make sure to always provide value.
  • Webinars. The cost of this technology is so small as to be almost a non-issue. Start doing great webinars, tape them and then let them spread.
  • Videos. If you are excited about your industry, let it out in videos. They can be screen capture or just you talking. Start this one TODAY.
  • Social media. Get on them, start talking and you will grow a following of people who are interested in what you have to say. Share your ideas as well as OPS (other people’s stuff).
  • In person. Go to networking events and talk about your biz. See what people think and be interesting.
  • Have an email plan. Not a plain jane newsletter, but actual info about your industry that people will want to read.

Okay, that is enough to get you started. Now go do something!

PS – When you are starting your authority marketing, no one will care. They will be busy doing whatever it is that they were doing before you decided to start and will need a while to figure out that you are out there. DO NOT get sad or disappointed. It takes time and consistency to become an industry leader and it will not happen overnight, but if you start today, you will be ahead of everyone else that hasn’t (and probably won’t start).

Remember that every person who you influence, who notices that you are doing something has the ability to share your message with someone else, and so on and so on.

Internet Marketing – Your Home Page Doesn’t Matter

Internet marketing is NOT about pretty and shiney anymore and the sooner you understand your home page doesn’t matter, the more money you will make and the more leads you will get!

Internet Marketing - Your Home Page Doesn't MatterAlright, this is blasphemy and I know that there will be outrage about it, but your home page doesn’t matter in web design.

I say this after looking at analytics from many different sites, and what I noticed right away was that there is a very small portion of people who actually come to your home page. Okay, I KNOW that some of you are optimizing your home page, you are driving paid traffic to it, etc. but in general, the majority of your traffic (if you are a small business owner) will come from blog posts on your site.

Why would that be? You want people to come to your home page so they can see the labor of love that you have done, with flash and an intro page and moving images. Oh the time you took to make sure it was perfect and looking EXACTLY as you wish.

Well, no one is interested in you or your company.

I am sorry to be the one to break this to you, but in todays always on, 24 hour news cycle, get kids to the soccer game, fight to keep your job, information inundated world, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU or your little website either.

They care about what YOU can do for THEM. The end. They don’t care if you have a great home page, if you have the right stock photography, if you have a splash page that loads, loads, loads (well they do care and probably leave before it ever gets loaded). They do not have time to try and figure out a complicated website. They want to be able to find the most important navigation links, see that your site looks professionally done and then get to whatever they need.

Prove it!

Okay, here is a lovely little video where I look at the back ends of some our (and my) blogs. You will see overwhelmingly that people are looking at pages that help them, tell them something or that they want to buy, NOT at any home page.

So, please stop trying to make the front of your blog or website look pretty (if you aren’t blogging, that is a shame and a post for another day). Make the most of your internet marketing efforts by producing great content and leave the looks for the other guys!

PS – want a bit of fun….check out Webpagesthatsuck.com…most of the problems with having a “beautiful” site are that they are counter to good design, non-functioning and basically invisible to search engines.

Small Business Marketing – List Of Promotional Holidays

Small Business Marketing - List of Promotional HolidaysSmall business marketing is not just talking about your products and services day in and day out. Oftentimes, if you frame your message around a holiday, you can increase interest in your marketing efforts.

Here is a list of the promotional holidays – we like to call this surfing the seasons!

Easy Seasons

  • Winter
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer

Basic Promotional Holidays

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Valentines Day
  • President’s Day
  • St. Patricks Day
  • Easter
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years Day

Yearly Events

  • Super Bowl
  • Kentucky Derby Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Opening Day of Football
  • April Fools Day
  • Groundhog Day
  • Back to School
  • Mothers and Fathers Day
  • Your company’s founding month
  • Election Day
  • Black Friday

Inspirational, Goal Setting and Resolution Quotes | New Years Quotes With Pictures

Looking for great inspirations, goal setting and resolution quotes? Good for New Years, team building or making your resolutions stick!

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.  Abraham LincolnAlways bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
Abraham Lincoln

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
Cavett Robert

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.
Robert Louis Stevenson

If you don't know where you want to go - Alice In WonderlandIf you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.
Alice in Wonderland

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
Jim Rohn

Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.
Bo Jackson

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Tony Robbins

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.  Alexander Graham Bell  Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
Alexander Graham Bell

People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.
Earl Nightingale

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
Demosthenes, statesman

Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.
Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.
Gary Ryan Blair

Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.
Muhammad Ali, boxer

You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.
Ted Turner

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
Leo Tolstoy, Author

Inspirational, resolution and goal setting quotesPlease feel free to use the graphics in the post at will, leaving the MarketingArtfully.com attribution in tact. If you have any favorite quotes that I missed or that you would a picture quote for, let me know in the comments and I might add it!

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WordPress Internet Marketing – Categories and Tags

So when you are doing wordpress internet marketing (like we do for some of our clients), things change depending on what The Google is doing. Stupid things. Throughout this post I am going to be adding some ideas for you and then making suggestions – PLEASE read the suggestions so you don’t FUBAR your blog and then yell at me!

Wordpress Internet Marketing - Categories and TabsWhen I started doing marketing on WordPress years ago, the prevailing thought was to have your posts in LOTS of different categories. And oh, the tags, you should have small biz marketing, and small business marketing, and marketing your small business because the Goole had not figured out yet how to follow the rabbit hole down and know that all of those references lead directly back to one blog post (or even a number of them).

So today I was talking with a client who has done a FABULOUS job writing content for her corporate wellness blog and we were taking a peek at her blog posts, categories, tags and Google analytics. Wonderfully enough, she had started with us a couple of years ago AFTER the insanity had stopped and we had her content organized into just a few, highly relevant categories.

That having been said, they were not the best categories for where her business was two years later and we are going to move some stuff around (not two categories Gluten Free and Dairy Free, but now one Gluten Free | Dairy Free).

note – DO NOT change the slug (the url words) since it may already be indexed in google, if you have the ability, seo the title and description but leave the slug alone so that the Google doesn’t think it is a broken link on your website.

note – The straight up and down line is a called a “pipe” and is a neutral in programming language. We use it frequently so that we do not cause interent problems with using an ampersand or worse a forward slash which IS a programming keystroke.

note – Having 10 strong categories is MUCH better than having hundreds of disparate categories and each post should only be applicable to one category or maybe two or it is too broad!

Interenet Marketing WordPress TagsWordPress Tags

This is a picture of my tag cloud so you can take a peek. First off, I used to use them to make sure I was talking about the right things in my posts. They get bigger when there are lots of posts (I used to have a HUGE mindset tag which is nice, but my blog is about small business marketing, doh!)

Additionally, they allow for a subset of organization that could be below categories. For example, we have industry based marketing categories on our Marketing and Media Monsters site, but then we have tags that drill down to the type of marketing like video marketing or article marketing.

Tag clouds

So, just a year or so ago I came upon a site whose admin had put in HUNDREDS of tags using a plugin. Most did not have a post associated with them, but the thinking was that all these disparate words would help with the SEO (search engine optimization).

Whenever I have a question about whether something is right to do or not, I check with Matt Cutts, Google’s frontman who tells us things about how we are doing SEO-wise. A search for Tag Clouds and Matt Cutts turns up his take on these from 2010. Now I can’t say that I have ever seen the Google spontaneously change their mind and say that something they considered detrimental was miraculously made a good thing, so I listened to Matt and took my tag clouds off!

Why is there so much bad information about SEO data out there?

Okay, I am on a tear because one of our clients who hired a bad SEO company emails us almost every day asking if one or the other tactics of theirs is hurting or just not helping. I did a bunch of research with experts in this and watched a funny (funny sad not funny ha ha) webinar where the expert went right down the line enumerating the bad SEO tricks that people were using that hurt their website’s ranking ability. read all about it in my post Keyword Marketing – Does Bad SEO Hurt.

That having been said, I get asked often why someone would do that. They got bad SEO info. They are not deliberately trying to hurt my client (I don’t think), just they took a class for sale on the internet with ideas that were 3-5 years old and already rejected by the Google.

Doing SEO work is not easy and requires that you keep your own ear to the ground and research, research, research what is working and what doesn’t. Additionally, NEVER do anything that some guru is selling a quick trick to fool Google. Generally I find these all to be old “tricks” that might of worked years ago, but don’t work today.

Seriously people, there is NO WAY TO FOOL GOOGLE! They have the smartest guys in the room working day and night to keep ahead of the spammers who are working day and night to figure out new “tricks” to use until they are broken and then sell to the dupes that don’t know any better!

If you are a small business owner who is growing an internet empire to last, do not use tricks. Just hire a company that has strong white hat tactics and who will take the time to help your business grow online on strong foundations!

Display Ads – What Are Good Conversion Factors?

Whenever I work on display ads (marketing banners for the internet) I spend some quality time perusing the internet to find out what makes me click. Because the age and other customer demographics of my website are like me, I can guess that having ads that make me notice them, will make my viewers notice them to.

If your customers are not in your customer demographic, I would do a mini panel or quiz to ask your current customers which ads THEY would be most apt to click on.

So what is display ad conversion? In simple terms, it is when you have one or ads sitting there, and your ad gets clicked instead of the others. It also has to be compelling enough to make someone notice it outside of the content that they are already looking at.

Where Are Your Display Ads Positioned

Display ad locations

On the site (http://www.topmommyblogs.com/) the owners have ads at the top that direct to different areas of their website. The ads at the side (labeled sponsors) are outside advertisements. Now, they could be people who paid the site directly or they could be part of the google adwords network.

Display Ads - What Are Good Conversion FactorsSince I am doing ads for my own sites, I am going to be putting them in three main areas, in the sidebar, in the posts and at the end of the posts. Because I have my products and affiliate products to sell I am using my own websites and I can control which ads are sitting next to mine and where I want to direct people.

If you are buying ad space from someone else, you will need to make sure your ads are super special and generally AMAZING because they will be sitting next to other ads competing for space!

Some things I like about display ads

So I am not an expert in display ad marketing, I just have looked at hundreds of them and found some that I like and discovered some key factors for what would make me click them. Again, these ideas are just to get you started thinking, make sure to contact a company that is expert at this when you are ready to do your own ads!

Wix Display adI think this is my favorite ad of all time! I like the photography (Wix is a photography website – score!), I like how the cow is sticking out over the bottom part of the ad and overall it is a happy ad! That being said, there is no call to action, no click here or really anything else to do.

 

Retail Business Development Display AdThis is one we did for our client, they have a great internal graphics department and started the ball rolling. That said, we added a call to action and made the person stand out from the background which is eye catching. Speaking of the person, people like looking at faces (people faces, animal faces, etc.) so you can rarely go wrong by adding an attractive person or fun animal in your ad.

Zulily Display Ads Okay, whoever does the creative for Zulily is rocking my world! I do not buy children’s clothing and I am attracted to their ads. Love the contrast between the black and white with the pop of color and also the fact that they have a shop now call to action!

 

Coupon Money Saver Display AdsThese ads from Coupon money saver have a really neat premise…they have the coupon like border that we all know from offline marketing. They were interesting enough to jump out on a page of other display ads I was searching for!

 

 

Alright, enough about thinking about display ads, I have to leave you my fine friends and go make some for my business. Hopefully this has given you some inspiration for how you want to take your ad design and make sure there are some conversion factors included!

Display Ad Resources

Okay, can’t leave you hanging here, so here are some of my top display ad resources to keep you going!

Customer Demographics – Age Demographics for Advertising

Customer demographics are about how old your customers are. It may surprise you to know HOW much age demographics for advertising effects your marketing efforts in this always on world.

Let’s start our talk with the age ranges that advertising execs look at when planning marketing campaigns:

12 – 17
18 – 24
25 – 34
35 – 44
45 – 54
55 – 64
65+

So how do those age demographics effect your marketing campaigns?

A pop quiz, which group uses email least, young people (12-17) or the old dears in the 65+ category? If I had to guess, I would have thought that older people who can struggle with technology and who did not grow up with it are less likely to be reading their gmail. Come to find out, the young people almost never use email! They like the immediacy of instant messaging or texting!

a great post from the New York Times about how time spent on e-mail rose 15 percent for people 55 to 64, and was up 17 percent for people 65 and older.

GREAT information about age distribution on social networks from Royal Pingdom…there is some great age demographic as well as gender information there…go ahead…take a peek, I will be here waiting!

Social network average age chart

Some telling data for social media marketing….

  • The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old
  • The average Twitter user is 37.3 years old
  • The age trend for Facebook and Twitter. Compared to a previous survey we did 2.5 years ago, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up two years, while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down two years. In other words, Twitter’s user base is getting younger, while Facebook’s is getting older (social pingdom data)

Targeting your marketing message and platform to the right age demographic

So what does that mean for you, my reader who are mostly college educated, women between the ages of 35-54 (site statistic data from alexa.com).

Alexa age demographics for marketingartfully.com

First off, I have men readers (I know because they make comments!) and I have readers who are a little older or a little younger than that, BUT primarily I attract people who are like me! Marketing nuts who are similar in age demographics to me (workaholic woman, college educated, 46 years old).

So if we take a peek at the age demographic data, my best social media response would come from WordPress (my blog), Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Pretty on the money although Twitter does alright by me too!

Picking an advertising agency or social media marketing company

So, if you are considering hiring a social media marketing company to help with your marketing, you need to make sure their target market and what they do is congruent with your demographic and who hires you!

We met a really nice young man last month at our Marketing and Media Monsters event in Denver. He was in the hip-hop, party all night, rave scene and was doing great with some of the clothing lines, helping musicians getting started and appealing to youngsters. His preferred platform was mobile marketing and he was very excited to tell me how “going mobile” would change my life.

Now, I am not that old, but I am getting to where I need some glasses…sigh. The thought of using my cell phone to consume the majority of my media gives me a headache just thinking about. I find text messaging from anyone other than friends an intrusion and would not be interested in knowing where the hot, hot, hot parties are.

My target demographic is very different than his AND my customers’ demographics are too!

Very few of our clients are interested in reaching the 12-17 year old gang and while we do have some that are looking for young adults, mainly we work with small business owners and entrepreneurs who need to reach people with a little bit deeper pockets than most of these demographics.

If you are looking for a great social media marketing company to help you strategize and implement a marketing plan…give us a call today! 727-415-9165

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Going Viral – How Social Media Marketing Gets Spread

Going viral and being seen by MILLIONS of people is the goal of most small business owners. They want to make sure their social media gets picked up and “liked”, “thumbs upped” or generally approved of by the masses. That having been said, is it better to “go viral” or better to build a strong internet foundation that will last through the next google update? Additionally, is it important to be popular on just one social network, or should you spread your efforts over many, increasing your social media marketing reach?

Why humans want to be popular on one social media marketing platform

Going Viral - How Social Media Marketing Gets SpreadLet’s start with why we humans like to be popular on our favorite social media site. I have a young photographer friend, Emmet who takes AMAZING pictures. He is looking to have hundreds (or preferably thousands) of likes on his Instagram pictures.

He has built up a nice following (142 people who have indicated that they are following his work). So what is the problem with being popular on Instagram? Because he is in the 12-17 year old age demographic, he is focused primarily on mobile. You can reach him easily by texting, but not so much if you email him (I think he may check his email a couple of times a month). So Emmet’s world view is that becoming popular on a mobile social sharing site is the goal.

Now, if you are an oldster like me (in the 45-54 year old demographic) you are probably not so focused on your phone. You are probably on Facebook, check your emails and even like receiving direct mail (gasp). So what should Emmet do to increase his reach?

  • If he is going to keep concentrating on Instagram as his sole place to post pictures, he needs to drive traffic there! So he could post a link to his Instagram page on Facebook, include it in his outgoing signature line of his emails, send a postcard that tells you his link, etc.
  • If his goal is to get his pictures seen by a wider audience, he should consider posting them on Pinterest (a photo sharing site), putting them on Flickr.com with a creative commons license so people can use them and share them, and even post them on Facebook. If he increases his audience, he will increase his likes.
  • Finally, if he takes more pictures, there will be more to like and catch someone’s eye, leading them back to find out what else this guy has to offer. He is very focused on having only amazing pictures (which I applaud) but a couple of notes. You have to do something A LOT to get better at it (my husband who is a great photographer also has taken tens of thousands of pictures to get a body of work that he is starting to become proud of…his first ones were not great, they are AMAZING now). You also have to have a wide range of photos for people to choose to like. I like his picture of a lizard VERY much, someone else, maybe not so much!

See all of Emmet’s work on Instagram here…Emmet on Instagram

Why one thing will probably not go viral

So, our young friend is being picky about the quality of pictures he posts and wants to be recognized in a big way…sounds silly right? Well I have talked to HUNDREDS of small business owners who have the same idea. They want to make one high quality, amazing video that they can post up on YouTube, go viral and then rake in the big bucks. The problem with that is that most small biz owners want to make a commercial about their business, highlighting the features and benefits of working with them and showcasing the company owner.

How many of you zoom though every commercial on your television through the use of your DVR? I know I do. I will even start recording something, then watch a half hour something else so that I can skip through the first one without commercials when I am ready.

So if you are planning on having a commercial for your company go viral….hmmmm….not so much. So what is popular on YouTube? you can click the link to check today, this week, this month and all time

I had thought it would be soldiers coming home, or cute kitties, but come to find out it rock videos mostly. A funny man named Psy, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Beiber. NONE of these is a commercial for anything. In fact, I did a really cool post on superbowl commercials and how many views they got on YouTube….the one with Eminem about Detroit (one of my all time favorites) that aired a couple of years ago had had only about 20,000 views a week after airing and it was on the superbowl for goodness sakes.

So how do you get viewers for your videos? Make lots of them!

Deborah Ward (Emmet’s mom) is my friend and a Clearwater Realtor. She has over 20,000 views on her videos…want to know how many the highest one has? About 2,000 for one Emmet made about a software product years ago. The other 18,000 have come 1,000 or 1,500 at a time…some with 34, etc. The old ones have more views than the new ones (they have just been there longer). So what does that mean in the real world? Deborah has sold a fair number of houses with leads from her videos. She is Irish so Irish people like her, she talks funny so she is interesting to listen to, overall, she is friendly and makes LOTS of videos (near as I can tell she has about 108 right now!)

check out Deborah’s videos (the CrazyIrishRealtor)

Really going viral

So we did have a client who went viral, Green Cleaning Products LLC, and our friend Rae Ann. She had had a free offer for a full sized product of her green cleaning products up for almost two years when one day the Mommy bloggers found it. Within hours she went from hundreds of views a month to 10,000 views in a day, got over 4,000 submissions for a free product and added a bunch of people to her mailing list. A true viral success story, right?

Um, not so much. It cost her a pretty penny to mail out all of those items, and the rate of reorder is dismal (the Mommy bloggers just wanted free stuff, not green cleaning products). But her web hits probably went through the roof, right? Um, not so much again…while she did get some carry over on her hits, in general her traffic has since settled back down to pre-viral levels. What has happened is she grew her mailing list and she is able to market ongoing, but if you figured out the cost of mailing, etc and how much each lead cost, she probably had other (more cost effective) ways she could have grown her list.

The moral of the story

So, this is a real tortoise and the hair kind of story. You can “go viral”, “burn your list” or do other things that will give you a big splash in the pan OR you can be like the turtle who wins in the end, growing a large, sustainable internet city that can not be torn down with one site closing or google changing an algorithm.

If I had to choose between going viral with my social media marketing or having my big networks of responsive people who know me, like me, trust me and think I know what I am doing…I will pick raving fans EVERY time over a quick hit of people who are just out there!

How Long Should Your Marketing Be? | Emails, Blog Posts, etc.

I get this question A LOT and it is DEFINITELY a do as I say, not as I do kind of thing, “How long should my emails (blog posts) be?” Here are some words of wisdom from the interwebs and my experience.

How Long Should Marketing Be - Email Blog PostsWe need to look at a number of factors when considering the length of your messages:

First off, are you an established entity? I started writing seriously in 2008, have rarely had a post that was under 500 words and have a following that reads what I write. I would LOVE to take the advice of people who say that shorter is better, but I have long thoughts and I am not sure my audience would be happy with short, fluffy posts (not to say short is always fluffy, sometimes I should break my thoughts up into small ideas instead of having many concepts in one post or email!)

Second off, do you LIKE writing long posts? Gary Vaynerchuk, a two time best selling author is not a writer. His message comes to us via video and books with nothing in between. I tell you this because sometimes small biz owners are put off thinking that they have to write war and peace when actually, they could just use their cell phone to grow a following!

Thirdly, is your information technical or common sense based. While it would be nice to learn about how to do SEO (search engine marketing) a tiny piece at a time, not having the big picture could lead you do individual pieces that wound up angering the Google gods because you never got the big picture.

Lastly, is your learning style (and communication style) designed to do one piece at a time or are you a dive right in kind of kid? When I am learning, I get SO wicked mad when they parcel things out over 6 or 8 weeks. I have the attention span of a gnat for that kind of thing, but can immerse myself in a topic for hours and come out with a good understanding of the content so that is how I tend to roll. LONG posts and emails that are full of info work for my peeps, but may not work for you.

Alright Already, I Came Here To Find Out How Long Should Emails and Blog Posts Be?

Easy, about 300 words (that would have taken up to part way through my 4th introductory point of learning style). In fact, I was reading a 1,000 plus email from that nice Chris Brogan this weekend and he said so too..:) I have heard that as conventional wisdom for years from all kinds of sources.

But why 300 words?

Well, I did a BUNCH of research and it does not seem to be a read-a-bility factor but more so to satisfy the Google and make it a minimally sharable link.

BUT….SOOO happy about this…while 300 words seems to be a minimum, it does not seem to be optimal! That nice Matt Cutts is the Google guy who tells us what is okay to do SEO-wise and what is verboten!

So, what I take from this is that 300 words is acceptable, but not necessarily well thought out or informative.

So, your emails or blog posts should be in excess of 300 words long, informative and helpful to the reader. THAT is how long your marketing should be!

Social Media Marketing – People Don’t Want To Interact With Your Brand

Social media marketing is FULL of common wisdom. I hear all the time that we should get people interacting with our brands. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are lots of brands that people want to interact with! I can think of a few that tickle my fancy like Starbucks and Hank’s Frozen Custard in Conneaut Lake PA. That having been said, there are literally thousands of brands that I buy and see every year which I don’t love enough to interact with…

Social Media Marketing - Interacting with brandSo I was reading the Harvard Business Review today (not usually such a classy reader so I HAD to name drop!). They were writing about why you should make a cell phone app but there were some bits in there that really resonated with me,

“In short, brands can create loyalty by being more personable, helpful and likable. But that’s not enough. Brands may be saying that they want engagement and conversations with consumers, but that’s not what consumers want. (Do you really want to “engage” with your grocery store? No. You want to get your food and go home.)” HBR Article Link

I think that MOST people do not want to interact with MOST brands. That creates a large gap between business and their customers. If you are taking time to build a business page, obsessing over how many likes and trying to keep your profile separate from your biz page, you may be wasting time and shooting yourself in the foot! So does that mean I think you don’t have to have a business page or that you shouldn’t post business pictures on Pinterest, not just no, but hell no. Potential customers are checking out your business on the internet and if you are missing or haven’t posted in months I guarantee they will move on to a more connected company.

What I am saying, is that as a small business, you HAVE to be the face of your company! Mashable has Pete Cashmore, Amazon has Jeff Bezos, Wendy’s had Dave Thomas, the lists go on and on. While customers like using the products and services of a company, the fall in LOVE with the person who is the face and soul of it.

Can you pay someone to interact with your brand?

So what about if you try harder, spend more and shout about your business. Wouldn’t all that attention FORCE the market to notice your business? Can’t you just buy attention?

My husband interacts with the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Vikings. He grew up in Minnesota and went to the University of Wisconsin. He is an “Apple” guy who owns every computer, phone, iPad, etc. on the planet and has to order the new ones on the first day. He shoots photos with his Nikon camera and drives a Jeep (we had one before, sold it and then had to get another one).

So what if we decided that we would try and make him a Cowboys fan, driving a Subaru with a Windows phone in his hand and Canon on his hip? We could slather him with Facebook ads touting the benefits of Subaru, Google Adwords him to death with Windows ads and stream Dallas highlights to him on his phone 24 hours, 7 days a week. Do you think that will change his mind or his habits? Nope, probably will just annoy him that we were interrupting his fabulous life with things that didn’t add anything and were generally distracting to him.

You could spend all the money in the world and you wouldn’t change ANYTHING about him (that is why the 18-25 demographic is so highly coveted, but that is a post for another day!)

So what should you do? You can’t spend your way out, you can’t yell your way out, you need a strong social media marketing plan that will allow you to grow a following, send out relevant and interesting content and MAYBE sell stuff. Generally your social media marketing should be filling your sales funnel, NOT acting as a salesman!!

If you would like to find out more, check out our social media marketing services or call us today 727-415-9165!

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Keyword Marketing – Does Bad SEO Hurt

Keyword marketing and SEO is definitely a science. Marketers take the current SEO “rules” and help to increase your rankings by using what works now (things like posting to Google+, using the webmaster tools, social media, commenting, etc.)

Keyword Marketing - Does Bad SEO HurtBut I had an interesting question the other day, does BAD SEO hurt your marketing efforts. My thought was no, but after some research I am not as confident about that. It seems that bad SEO does hurt and has to be fixed when it is encountered by the Google. So what does that mean?

If you doing keyword marketing 10 years ago (some of us were, really!) then doing HUGE HTML sites with lots of pages worked because there was not blog content to compete with.

If you were doing Keyword or SEO marketing about 5 years ago, the prevailing thought was to make blog networks with “thin” content (meaning just a lot of SEO, few pages and little authority) and get them ranked and THEN pass link love back to your main site. This worked.

If you were doing SEO marketing 2 years ago, the best way to make a big impact was to have a couple of crappy articles written, “spin” them and then post them to sites like Ezine Articles. This worked then.

Oh, oh, oh, another thing to do was set up fake profiles on all the social media sites and directories with your exact keywords pointing back to them, or how about the fancy smanchy “fake” comments posted on websites all around the world with links back to your site? OOPS, forgot the make a Squidoo page, Wet Paint, etc and have links back to your site.

If you are in the SEO marketing space now and staying current, you know these “tricks” no longer work, but do they actually hurt? After listening to an amazing webinar yesterday by Leslie Rhode of the SEO Braintrust, a absolute EXPERT in search engine marketing, I think they do! The cool thing was he took questions from attendees and “diagnosed” what had gone wrong. Almost everyone on the call had at some point done one or more of these “tricks” to get higher rankings in Google, but had since been “slapped” hard by Google, no longer appearing in search results.

The thing that struck me is the amount of work that you have to do to UNTANGLE the harm that was done in the past. That fake directories thing, if you were using that technique, you might have 7,000 or 70,000 fake directory links that you have to contact and try to make legitimate or just ask them to delete them. ESL (English as a second language) blog comments, better try to walk back the cat and get those blog owners to delete your spammy comments.

Leslie said that for most sites it was worth the effort to fix them in Google’s eyes, although I don’t know if I would have the patience to do that myself!

Black Hat, White Hat and Grey Hat SEO

So what does all this mean to our people? Regular business people out there trying to get attention from the search engines so they can get some more business? Well, first let’s talk about the types of SEO Marketing…

Black Hat SEO Marketing is done in back rooms by programmers and is designed to “game the system” while perhaps hurting other sites. One example of this is hackers who hack WordPress blogs, redirecting them to sites for pharmaceuticals or loose women. When people do this kind of SEO, they are building sites that may be only up for a couple of days or weeks, get lots of illegal traffic and then get shut down by their providers and delisted from Google. They are not trying to build a business.

Grey Hat SEO is when you are knowingly violating the terms of service of the Google (like spinning articles so there is no original content) but Google is not currently penalizing you for it. Another example of this kind of thing is to have white text on a white background thinking that Google can’t tell the difference. More about that later!

White Hat SEO is boring. It takes time and energy. It means growing a website with great content, going and commenting on other peoples blogs, posting to social media and building an “internet city” that is built on a strong foundation, not on tricks and gizmos! We tell all of our people that it will take at least 6 months to see any improvement on their rankings and so LOTS of people don’t hire us, instead responding to one of those “we can get you on the first page of Google emails“. That having been said, we work mostly with legitimate business owners and are proud of the fact that nothing will “blow up” in their faces when we are done! find out more about our social media and SEO marketing services

What The Google Cares About

Okay, I promised to talk more about Google and why even dipping a toe over the line into that gray area might hurt. Let’s take an example from today. Pinterest is a new social media network and it has great SEO and linking back properties. I stay on top of “stuff” and so I saw a software that we could buy which would automatically search the internet and “pin” things to Pinterest boards. Now, it was not good software, it pinned all the pictures to one board and they weren’t really pictures of what they should be (the title might be great dinners and the picture was of a dog). I have seen a bunch of spammers on Pinterest using this and a LOT of pictures getting flagged as going to inappropriate content.

So why do they do it? Spammers and scammers and crooks are, and have been with us. They would rather try and cheat the system rather than doing the hard work of growing a business. I always wonder what would happen if they put all that effort into something productive….but that is their choice!

Google uses mathematical formulas written by really smart guys and gals (called algorithms) to make sure that the very best content is being shown on their search results. Their client IS the searcher, not the advertisers or those of us creating the content. They do not care if we made a mistake and did something foolish, they will just take us out of search until we fix whatever it was that we did in the past that makes them mad today.

So they have updates with cute names like Panda and Farmer and Penguin. These are tweeks in the search engine algorithm that penalize people using techniques that are gray or even black! I guantee that there are people getting TONS of traffic right now from those fake Pinterest pins but that Google will figure out how to stop them and all will be right with the world again.

Long story REALLY long, if you are growing a legitimate business with a real online presence, PLEASE do a little research before you allow some fly by night SEO marketing company talk you into the “latest and greatest” SEO marketing trick that used to work but doesn’t anymore!

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Using Customer Demographics To Target The Right Customers

Using customer demographics to target the right customers for your business could be one of the most powerful techniques I can recommend!

First off, let’s talk about what are customer demographics? They are different categories that your prospects and clients can be divided into. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Republican or Democrat
  • Men or women
  • Geographic location
  • Education
  • Generation (Gen X, Gen Y, etc.)
  • Income
  • Married or single

What is the most interesting to me is how the internet has blurred the lines between these groups. When I was growing up there was no internet (I KNOW, that makes me a dinasour!) and we were limited to “knowing” people who were in close proximity to our houses or our college. There were not a lot opportunities to encounter other types of people so…growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania my life was full of Caucasian, Republican, Middle Class, mostly High School or College Educated people. Had I stayed there, my world view (and shopping preferences) would have DEFINITELY been different than they are now.

Using Customer Demographics To Target The Right CustomersWith this in mind, I think that we need to take a new look at customer demographics and what our customers REALLY look like!

My customers fall into two different categories: entrepreneurs with small to medium sized companies and entrepreneurs who are just starting out. They are NOT all men or all women. They are generally aged from 35-65. They are from all walks of life and different incomes (although most are middle class-ish). Some have high school educations and some have advanced degrees.

Hmmmmm….regular customer demographics seem to be failing me….what to do, what to do? I KNOW! I have spent a good amount of time thinking about this and my REAL customer demographics look something like this:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Bold with an aggressive need to grow their business
  • Interested in some kind of marketing
  • In a number of different industries including real estate, professional services, hospitality, business services, direct sales, etc.
  • Want to learn something (otherwise they for sure would not be reading my 1,200 word posts!)
  • At least a little techy

Now those are some customer demographics that I can really use to get info to my peeps (both through my email list AND by writing interesting blog posts!)

With this in mind, I am working next year to target the industries that I like to work with, write marketing copy that attracts aggressive marketing types and working to provide great training and product opportunities to help my readers and clients.

That looks MUCH different than looking to satisfy typical customer demographics!

So what should you do? Think about the CHARACTERISTICS your customers and prospects share. Are they generally happy or sad. Do they want a DIY system or do they want you to do it for them. Are they worried about getting old (LOTS of opportunities in the baby boomer space). Are they successful or failing, in a particular industry or religious group. Do they dress funny or wear suits. THESE are demographics that will help you shape your marketing message in today’s day and age!

 


 

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Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest

Social Media Marketing - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and PinterestSo today we are talking about social media marketing…that is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (YES YouTube), Pinterest, Google Plus and all the other social media properties!

The thing about social media marketing that is hard is that consistency is the key! You have to do things every day (or at least a couple of times a week), with a plan and a goal in mind. These are some of my observations about the different social media sites, suggestions for using them and notes about how the whole thing works!

Let’s jump right into the fray with…

Facebook Social Media Marketing!

Facebook is a touchy feely kind of site. You have a lot of inspirational posts, talking back and forth with other people AND broadening your reach with your business. What you DO NOT HAVE TO DO is sell, sell, sell. You might get leads from Facebook, but if you are drinking the Koolaid and thinking that you are going to put up a business page and then watch the orders fly in, you are probably going to be disappointed.

Facebook is for generating interest in your industry!

Things to do on Facebook:

  • Get friends (or subscribers) – people who see what you post
  • Post to your profile wall – we get LOTS of potential clients who do not want to use their personal Facebook for business, if you are a small biz owner, your Facebook profile IS for business!
  • Post to your business wall – these days this can feel like spitting into the wind for most of us, but is is still necessary for when a potential client comes to see your business, having a wall months out of date can mean losing them before you even have a chance!
  • Like other businesses with your business page – this is one way still left to grow your “likes”
  • Comment, Comment, Comment – because Facebook is social, you have to comment and share (not too much), but if you think you can be an island on Facebook, you will shoot yourself in the foot marketing-wise

Twitter Social Media Marketing

Twitter is the social media property that all our small biz peeps thinks is stupid. They constantly try and say that it is not necessary and that we should ignore it entirely. The problem with that strategy is that Twitter is the cornerstone of A LOT of other social media marketing. The other thing about Twitter is that it is an open network (meaning that computers can share your “stuff” without you even knowing about it!)

Twitter is for computers and immediate communication!

Things to do on Twitter:

  • Follow people – one of the easiest ways to get followers is to follow people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post great stuff – I have my Facebook hooked to Twitter so when I share something on the FB it goes to Twitter too, my blog is also hooked there so I automatically post these posts to the Twitter
  • Share – it is called “retweeting” and it means sharing great stuff that other people post
  • Follow Fridays – these are a great way to spark conversations, generally they are just a reference to other people who you like following
  • Twitter Hashtags – understanding and using hashtags in your posts can mean an even great audience

Google Plus Social Media Marketing

I don’t find Google Plus to be a great social media network (hardly anyone I know is over there chatting), but that having been said, Google Plus is a great social network for search! The connections that you make there are invaluable for you showing up well in the search results..:)

Google+ is for search engine marketing!

Things to do on Google+:

  • Circle people – one of the easiest ways to get into circles is to circle people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post keyword targeted info – I generally use my blog posts for this as that is my ultimate goal – to get people off of Google+ and onto my website!
  • Profile setup – this is one of the most important aspects of Google+, getting to put your keyword targeted links into the heart of the Google!

YouTube Social Media Marketing

YouTube seems like it would be a little strange to classify as a social media website, BUT there are the same “connecting”, “subscribing” and notification functions that occur on all the social media networks. That having been said, YouTube is primarily a way to get your videos into the mainstream of the viewing public!

YouTube is for video marketing!

Things to do on YouTube:

  • Post videos – the easiest way to generate subscribers is to post GREAT videos relevant to your industry
  • Subscribe to other people’s video channels
  • Build playlists of great videos in your industry with complementary video producers
  • SEO your videos well so they show up in YouTube AND Universal Search
  • Make sure to post them on your blog or website to increase exposure!

Pinterest Social Media Marketing

Pinterest, or something like it photo-wise, is the social media site of the future. Incredible growth and usage show that this model (of letting people “collect” information in a visual fashion from the internet) is very popular. If you are a small biz owner MAKE SURE you are jumping on this bandwagon TODAY! I guarantee within three years, most of the first contacts with you business prospects have online will be through a photo or a video!

Pinterest is how marketing will be in the future!

Things to do on Pinterest:

  • Post pictures drawing people back to your website or blog
  • Share other people’s pictures
  • Grow as a social network by following people and having them follow you back
  • Comment on other people’s posts

If you have made it this far down, I BET you are my kind of peep! One that likes marketing and is always looking for great new ideas…with that in mind, I recommend you check out my new marketing club:

Join our small business marketing clubJoin Our Marketing Club

We KNOW frustrating it is to find a great new marketing concept that you think will work for your industry, only to find out that you wasted your time! We give you industry based marketing ideas that you can use today to grow your business!!! Find out more about industry based marketing

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100 Great Email Subject Lines – Email Newsletters

100 Great Email Subject Lines - Email NewslettersWriting great email subject lines for your marketing and email newsletters is a breeze, you just have to study copywriting for years, sales for decades, psychology and everything else that goes along with crafting a message that gets opened and read! Or you can have something like a “swipe file” of great email subject lines you have collected, ones that make you respond and want to click through to open. With that in mind, I have “swiped” some of my very favorite email subject lines and will continue to build upon this list as I go!

They are in no particular order and if you have written or read a great email subject line yourself, please leave me a comment and I will add it with a submitted by. Just know they have to be GREAT, compelling, striking or otherwise interesting to management (me!)

Some New Ones I Love

  • Great teaser from @jeniiferscot- 12 Pinterest Boards You Can’t Live Without, #3 is my bible! – sp
  • If You Like Us, You’ll Love This (GREAT affiliate partner verbiage!)
  • The Brain-Dead Simple but Astonishingly Effective Way to Become a Better Writer – Jon Morrow – Boost Blog Traffic

Requested Items? – Not always really requested but definitely an eye grabber!

I am not all that sure how I feel about some of these email subject lines…if someone ACTUALLY requested info I am fine, BUT the ones where they use the reply sign to deceive is not so great for permission based marketing!

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With all the talk of moving the free line, many of your email newsletters and offers MUST include a free component to opens. We are moving towards providing MUCH more free content for our peeps!

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AMAZINGLY interesting calls to action from Bryan Ellis

(I am not a huge investing kind of kid, but always open his emails to see how he is going to frame some of his links!)

  • Cold, Hard Numbers: Housing markets in how many? states now have THIS in common
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