Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Tips for Creating a Client Attracting Website Fast

Many people spend months on their website and this
substantially delays their ability to build their business.

I have an important message for you.

YOUR WEBSITE SHOULDN’T TAKE MONTHS TO COMPLETE

If you remember, in the past I’ve suggested that you need
these pages to get started:
- a home page
- an about me page
- a service page
- and a contact me page.

Four pages to get your website up and running.
put everything aside and commit to getting it done.

If your website is complete,
take time this week to review it and make updates.
Perhaps you need to update your special offer,
your home page message, or even review it
for typos and grammatical errors.

If you don’t have a website, make this a priority.

Although a website will typically NOT get you business,
it definitely will legitimize you as a business owner.
It is also a powerful tool for collecting names of prospects
who are interested in your special offer.

I’ve seen the development of a website
hold people back more than enything else.
They are waiting for the perfect look,
and the perfect message.

Do not wait!  The quest for perfection will keep you stuck.
Get your site up, and you can change it later.
In fact, you will change it later.  Guaranteed.

Your website can be as simple as a home page,
an about me page, and a generic services page.
And make sure you clearly have a way for your visitors to reach you.
Later you can add an FAQ (frequently asked questions),
a resource page, events page, etc.

Here are a 5 important tips for creating your web site:

1. Make your home page be about your market,
NOT about who you are.  Also, a short homepage
is better than a long one.
YAY, that makes it easier for you!

What goes on your home web page:

- What are their problems?

- What are the ramifications of those problems?

- How are you the one to save the day?

- How are your products and services the answer to their problems?

Do this in 250 words or less.

DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH INFORMATION ON YOUR HOME PAGE.
LESS IS MORE.

2. Remember to have your website reflect the
brand you created in recent weeks. Simple, clean,
colors and images that reflect your brand.

3.  Have a compelling free gift and an opt-in box
for people to give you you their contact information.  Do
not give your special offer away without getting your visitors’
contact information.

4. Have a professional photo of yourself on your home page.  With the rise of internet business and skeptical buyers, people feel more comfortable if your site is warm and inviting, speaks to their needs, and shows them who they are entrusting their contact information to.

5. Your other pages – About me, Services and Contact.  To start, stick with the basics – an about me page, a services page and a contact me page.  Get the basics complete for now and then you can add later on.  Remember your goal is to connect with your visitors, establish credibility, show them that you understand them and can meet their needs, and invite them to engage with you further.  Keep your site simple, and keep it about your visitor (remember they’re thinking, WIIFM – what’s in it for me).

Again, your website will change and evolve over time.
Guaranteed.  Do not overcomplicate the process of creating
your web site. Get something going so you have something
to tweak as your message and business solidifies.

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4 Steps to Creating Predictable Income in Your Business

Imagine if you could plan and predict your income every month. That would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it?

Out of all the things you can do in your business, planning your income is the one thing that will give you more confidence, enjoyment and peace of mind, than anything else.

Here’s a simple strategy to create consistent and predictable income in your business:

1. Identify your target market’s 3 greatest problems.

Create tips, solutions, resources or other education-based information that you can send to your prospects and clients to address these needs. This can be delivered in various mediums such as the written word using articles or success tips, audio, or short instructional videos.

2. Develop a communication schedule to send out these tips, solutions and resources.

What topics will you address and when? What tip or solution will you send and on what dates?

3. When you deliver the information, promote an upcoming teleseminar or webinar where you will be discussing the topic in greater detail.

Addressing a need, providing tips and other valuable resources to solve that need, and then offering an opportunity for them to come and learn more in a teleseminar or webinar,
is a very compelling offer for your prospects.

4. On the teleseminar or webinar, have a specific program, product or service to promote.

What do you want them to do next? Have a complimentary session with you? Sign up for a program? Buy a product? Come to an event? Have a well thought out
plan for what you want your attendees to do next.

By doing this on a consistent basis and tracking your results, you will be able to plan and predict your income every single month.

It’s Time To Simplify

I think I ‘follow’ too many people.
Do you ever feel that way?

I get so overwhelmed and think that
if I get another email about how to make money on the internet
or how to market my business I will scream.

And lately I’ve seen people that don’t even
specialize in business building strategies
teaching people how to grow their businesses!

All of this is enough to make me crazy.
And I’m a marketer and LOVE marketing!
I can imagine how people who hate marketing feel
because they know they need to do it to grow.

So here’s what I think.
IT’S TIME TO SIMPLIFY.

I have a simple marketing philosophy,
that has helped me grow a very large list fast,
and create a very nice income.
Simply put, that’s what we want -
a large list and a nice income. :-)

Guess what?
You need just three things to do it:
1. Someone to talk to
2. Something to say
3. Something to sell

Who is your ideal market? Where are they? How can you reach them so you can talk to them?

What does your target market care about most?
What problems are they having and what solutions can you provide?

What do you have to sell?  What programs, products, or services
that SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM do you offer?

If you have these three things,
you have ALL you need
to be successful in your business.
If you don’t have all these,
it’s time to get them.

If you would like a free weekly action plan to help you move forward in your business one step at a time, go to: www.takeonestepforwardtosuccess.com

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7 Steps to Moving from Idea to Action

When I first started my own business, I was excited!
I had spent 15 years in corporate America and had “escaped”.
I was still sane, not all my hair had turned grey, and now I
had the chance to pursue my dream to be a professional coach,
and help people realize their own dreams.

Business started out better than I had expected. I was making
great contacts, connecting with people, getting clients, and business
was growing fast! With all the momentum and excitement of a
growing business, I started coming up with many great ideas on
products I could develop, workshops I could teach, and articles
I could write. Daily and weekly the ideas would come fast and
furious, and they were brilliant! I would literally feel overwhelmed
with excitement of ALL the things I could do!

But as the days and weeks went by, I noticed that the ideas were
coming, but the action was NOT. It was exciting, but then I realized
that this flood of brilliance was actually paralyzing me. How could
so many ideas containing so much opportunity be paralyzing me?

The ideas were so creative and forthcoming, but I couldn’t decide what
to do first, nor focus long enough to develop and implement a plan.
I started to feel scattered and was becoming less productive.

It wasn’t until I explored this further that I realized this is a
common phenomenon with new entrepreneurs. It’s a phenomenon I
call “Idea Overload.” The bottom line is, while our never ending
well of ideas could be an incredible asset, many entrepreneurs end up wasting so much time in the idea generation phase, they never end up getting anything done. Soon they are falling further and further behind.

To help get control of my “Idea Overload,” and use my ideas to grow my business, I developed 7 Steps of Moving From Idea to Action. They are:

  1. Keep an idea journal – Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. This will free up your mind to receive new ideas and allow you to focus on the ones that are most important. It will also take away the fear you may forget those ideas because now they are documented for when you are ready to pursue them.
  2. Accept that you DO NOT have to act on all your ideas NOW – You will then be able to release the stress of that urgent feeling to act immediately because you KNOW your ideas will be there when you are ready.
  3. Get clear on your “what” and “why” - You have to be clear on what you want in your business and why. This will open your mind to bring new ideas that tie to these goals. When you can tie your ideas to your bigger goals, you can focus in on what you should pursue.
  4. Prioritize – Choose one or two ideas that best align with your “what and why” and stick with them. Don’t panic! Your other ideas are still there and you can pursue them once you have accomplished the others first.
  5. Make a plan and GET TO IT - Don’t wait for your plan to be perfect to take action. In fact DON’T ALLOW for it to be perfect before you start. It’s going to change anyway! Yes, it’s important to have some idea of where you are going, but only to act as a guide. If you wait for it to be perfect, you will be stalled in the planning phase and won’t move into the action phase. This is the key! Get to it RIGHT AWAY! The longer you wait, the less likely you will act!

  6. Schedule time in your calendar and do something everyday – Commit to doing something toward your ideas everyday. It is imperative to put it in your calendar, in INK, and treat it as a high priority item.
  7. Expect obstacles and DON’T GIVE UP – We all know that anything worth having is going to have its challenges. Challenges, however, can be the killer of action. When we hit a road block, the frustration and additional effort to overcome the road block could be the one thing that stalls us. Resolve to expect challenges, meet them as they come, and don’t give up.

These 7 steps will shatter your “Idea Overload” and take you from inaction to action. Make up your mind to do something with your brilliant ideas!

When you act upon your ideas, you’ll gain confidence, inner security, self reliance, and a willingness to take action again when future occasions arise. When “Idea Overload” overcomes you and you don’t act, you lose confidence and will be less inclined to take future risks when opportunities arise. Activity feeds one, inactivity feeds the other.

NOW is the magic word of success. Resolve to go out and do something with your ideas TODAY.

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How to Create Valuable Content in 30 Minutes or Less

For some people content creation is a welcomed task.
For others it creates panic and doubt.

But in our business, content is a necessity.

You will not be able to build your business
to the level you desire without your ability to
deliver free and paid tips, strategies, how to’s,
and other resources to address your target
market’s needs.

This is non-negotiable.

Content is used for four primary purposes:
- to grow your list
- to nurture relationships
- to convert prospects to paying clients
- to generate income through the delivery of your
products, programs and services.

You will want to have an abundance of content
that you can deliver in various forms
(written, audio, video) to serve these four purposes.

If you struggle with content creation,here are
a few simple strategies to EASILY create tips,
tricks, strategies and how to’s for your
prospects and clients.

1. Start small.
To build your “content creation muscle”,
write something as simple as a “tip” -
a 150-350 word ‘mini article’ that offers
value in the form of strategies, resources,
tips and how to’s that adress your target
market’s needs, interests and wants.
Tips can also be thought provoking
and inspirational.

2. Think of a question that your ideal client
would ask you about their biggest problems
and answer that question.

3. Think of one particular person who is a client
or prospect and write as though you are talking
to them.

4. Answer in a conversational tone.
Write the way you speak. If this is a struggle
for you, try recording your answer and then
transcribe it.

5. Keep it tight. The problem usually isn’t that
we don’t have enough to say, it usually is that
we have too much to say.
Once we get on a roll, the information
keeps coming and coming. We do not
know where to stop. We end up with
too much information and get confused
about what to keep in, and what to
put in another ‘tip’.

Before you write your tip,
think of one, two or three points to share
to answer the question. Then make only
one or two comments about those points.
This is will allow you to keep your tip focused
and tight, and keep you from running away
with too much content.

Following these few simple strategies will help you
to build your “content creation muscle” so
creating new content becomes an easy task.

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Do You Have A Brand For Your Business?

One of my clients is setting out to create a brand for her business, and that got me thinking about the importance of having a clearly identifiable brand for all businesses.

As we were working through the process of designing her brand it was amazing to see it come alive through two important elements.

The first element was what she wanted people to ‘feel’ about her business.
The second element was how that feeling or perception would ‘look’
in colors, images and words.

Many business owners do not intentionally create a brand for themselves.
Often it is something that just “happens” without much thought
or strategy – and sometimes that is good, and sometimes not so good.
Not intentionally creating a brand can lead to mixed messages,
inconsistency and buyer confusion.

Confused buyers do not buy.

A brand is both a ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that you want your business to be
recognized by.  At the heart of your brand, is the ‘feel’.
It is what you want to be known for – what you want people to think
of when they think of your business.  And then the ‘look’ pulls it
all together in the form of logos, colors, words and images.

Very importantly, your brand needs to resonate with your target market.
It needs to attract them, speak to their needs, and communicate both visually
and in the written word that you are the right solution for them.

Answer these questions when creating your brand:

If you do not have a name yet, think about what company name is a
reflection of your target market’s greatest needs?

What promises are you making to your ideal clients?

What is the mood and personality of your business?

What colors, words, images and shapes reflect your company’s personality?

Use this information for creating your logo, working with your web designer to design the best look and feel for your web site, and with your copywriter when designing the perfect message for attracting your target market.


5 Ways to Get Control of Your Business

Did you know that most small business owners spend the majority of their first three years in business marketing their business rather than serving their clients?

And then to add to the stress, they worry about the continued expenses and lack of income.  They question if they made the right decision by going into business for themselves, and they wonder if they are going to ‘make it.’

Does this sound familiar? This was me. I spent countless hours each week, spent thousands and thousands of dollars and wondered if I was ‘doing the right thing.’

But when I made the shift from spending the majority of my time marketing, to serving clients, life got a lot easier and business became a lot more fun.

Here are the 5 things I did to get control of my business, control of my time, and thankfully, control of my income:

1. Focus on one single target market.

This is critical. If you identify an accessible target market and determine all the places to reach your target market, you will have more places to reach them than time to do it.
Effectively serving one market is more than a full time job. Multiple target markets means multiple full time jobs.

2. Identify their greatest problems.
How do you get your target market’s attention when there is so much noise and so many other people vying for their attention? 
Ask and answer this simple question:
“What are my target market’s greatest problems, and how can I make it as easy as possible to fix them?”

3. Solve their problems.
Solve their problems through various communications – the written word, audio, video and live speaking/teaching. Give them a lot of great value for free so they can get to know and trust you. Giving value also keeps their attention on you while they are checking you out before doing business with you.

4. Plan your communications.
When solving their problems through a planned communication strategy, you will feel much more purposeful and in control. What will you talk about, when, how often and through what mediums of communication? Planning your communications will make you feel like you are controlling your business instead of it controlling you.

5. Tell them what’s next.
So many business owners don’t tell their potential clients what they want them to do next.  People have to know what you want them to do – otherwise they won’t do it and they surely won’t ask. What is next for them? Do you want them to come to a teleseminar or webinar? Sign up for a workshop? Listen to an audio? Purchase a product or program?
Have a complimentary session with you? Let your clients and prospects know what you want them to do next.

These 5 simple things changed the course of my business.  It didn’t start out this way, but now I have a plan, a purpose, peace of mind, and I don’t feel the need to chase after every strategy that crosses my desk.

Think Outside the Box – Try these Marketing Ideas

It’s time to abandon the classical side of marketing and start being inventive with your marketing strategy.

Marketing is constantly evolving. Some of the up and coming marketing strategies are good and some are just bad. There is so much competition and so many options out there, it is easy to get confused.

Surprising your audience with something new and interesting is a great marketing solution. Here are some fresh and unconventional methods to think about trying:

Build on Your Current Community or List

Look at your customers as a way to spread your message. When you send out newsletters or post blogs on your website, give them an easy way to share with their friends and ask them to do it. You could say, “If this information has been helpful, share it with your friends by clicking below (or forwarding this message).” It’s one thing to get new customers in traditional ways, but it’s another to find them in new and innovative ways. Word of mouth may be an old trick, but finding a new way of spreading it is a great strategy.

Know Where Your Customers Are

Knowing where your clientele frequents can help you figure out how to best position your marketing. There may be websites on the net that you never would have considered advertising on, but if your target market frequents them, there’s a good bet that you could gain some new customers by advertising on those sites.

Make Personal Connections

Think about personalizing the products that you market or arranging to have them personalized for your customers. If your product is digital, perhaps include a personal note with each purchase, or a free gift. Simple gestures like these can go a long way toward your building personal connections with your clients.

Make Saying Thank you Special

Thank your clients in some way, whether it be big or small. Send out digital gift cards, no strings attached. Or set up a points program and offer rewards to customers based on their points level. Thanking someone by giving something back says something to your clients. It resonates because it makes them feel special and appreciated.

The Internet is Powerful – Don’t Underestimate It

Do something innovative with videos and post them online. Shares on the internet make people more recognizable now than ever before. The 21st century’s version of word of mouth can be very powerful indeed.

Infographic Marketing

Infographics are very popular but be sure to use them correctly. When used correctly, you can more easily deal with the limited attention span of consumers caused by the surge in social media and technology. Words have become less effective of late and communication via multimedia is continually on the rise. Infographics are a fantastic way to explain a topic, or provide information in a fun and interesting way. Also, infographics can spread like wildfire online due to social media shares, media outlet exposure, and infographic directories. Be sure that you use good data and it is not just a throw away survey you scrapped together in the eleventh hour. Finally, if you decide to hire someone to create it for you, ensure that person knows their craft – ask for sample of their work before you hire them.

Affiliate or Referral Programs

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to attract sales and traffic. You can do this without any out of pocket expense. These programs involve paying for leads or sales that others send your way, rather than paying for client acquisition up front. You’re not just saying “thanks”, you’re actually giving them something.

People Hate Ads, But Not If They’re Creative

This doesn’t mean putting more creativity into your ad’s artwork. Innovative marketing requires an eye for parallels. If you can pull it off it’s great publicity for your business. People remember what’s different, even if it is clearly advertising a product.

Thinking Creatively.

You might get lucky…your same ideas from last year might just keep working. However, often they don’t. The novelty of new advertising doesn’t keep its novelty for very long. Businesses these days need to regularly consider changes to their existing methods of advertising to both current and potential customers. Being aware of common marketing mistakes is very important. Also of utmost importance is to always be looking ahead for new and lucrative possibilities in marketing that might not have worked previously, but in today’s climate, they just might be the thing.

Try thinking outside the box for your marketing strategies. You might just stay one step ahead of the competition and bring a pleasant surprise to your customers.

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Ideas for Follow Up After a Workshop

Whenever you are conducting a workshop, you want to have a plan for what to offer your participants next. You may want them to sign up for a future workshop, sign up to have a complimentary session with you to become a one-on-one client, or join a group program. The key is to have a goal.

Not all your participants will be ready to engage with you further, so you want to have a plan to stay in touch with them.

Here are a few suggestions:

-Follow up with participants by sending them a recent article and personal notes to keep them motivated.

- During the workshop, have each person write one idea they will take away from the workshop. Each week, email one idea that was collected.

- After 6 to 8 weeks have gone by, send out the results from the evaluation again so they will remember the positive effects from the workshop.

- Another great idea is to have each participant write on a blank sheet of paper the answer to the following questions:

o What factors will prevent you from implementing the desired changes?
o What steps can you take to increase the likelihood of changing your behavior?

- Save the papers and mail them to the individuals after 30 days with this question:
o How have you taken the necessary steps to improve yourself?

These are just a few things that will allow you to stay in touch, continue to nurture the relationship and remind the participant that you care.

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10 Epic Content Ideas

It’s true – we are living in the age of content marketing.

This content marketing age has created a plethora of articles all over the web. More businesses get involved every day and this is making the online world a noisy and crowded place. A recent estimate states that 86 percent of business-to-business companies use content marketing.

The competition for attention out there is huge. In order to stand out, you have to make yourself heard and this means going big or going home. Posting blog posts here and there is not enough. You have to get out there with unique and outstanding content that sparks conversation.

In other words, it’s time to go epic.

Below are 10 monumental content ideas to implement for your business. Use them effectively and you will get noticed and display a voice that will garner the attention of your target niche.

1. Write in-depth, well-researched blog posts.

In this crowded internet culture, your blog posts really need to stand out. The best way to achieve this is to research well and write your posts to be as in-depth as possible.

2. Create a sizeable list of tools and tips for your industry.

Lists are very popular. People love them. And they really love them if they provide valuable information that applies to their daily lives. This is why creating a list of tools is a huge content idea.

Brainstorm some topics to create this list of tools and tips to use in your own campaigns.

3. Conduct your own original research and get published.

People create great content using the research that others conducted. But think about the kind of content you could create if you published your own research. You would attract readers, plus you could link your website to a ton of blogs in your industry.

4. Experts make great partners and help create a strong resource.

There are two essential benefits to creating content with an expert partner.  It’s an opportunity to develop an associate relationship with a key influencer and it gives you access to their network for promotions, launches, etc.

When considering the type of content, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t really matter. It could be an exclusive interview or an hour-long webinar. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s epic.

5. Produce a video series.

Video series are really taking off in the online world. People are watching videos online at an impressive rate. This is an excellent time for a business to invest in this area. Video apps and social media have made producing and sharing videos easier than ever so it’s an excellent time for you to use this medium to your advantage.

6. Conduct interviews with experts in your industry.

This is a great idea for several reasons:

  • It allows you to connect with various of experts in your niche.
  • By contributing, these experts are more immediately aware of your brand.
  • By contributing to your content, it’s more likely that they will share it with their audiences.

Research about 10 to 15 experts in your industry and then request an interview with them on a specific topic. Use the same topic for each interview. When you’ve completed conducting of the interviews, put them together into a compilation content piece.

7. Publish and share an eZine with your audience.

The old tactic of a magazine made new in an online format. A new spin on an old device, updated for the online world, could be an effective move in your business.

8. Make Slideshare presentations with your blogs.

This type of content re-purposing can require some effort, but if done right, it could lead to major rewards for your business.

Ann Hoffman used Slideshare to gain 243,000 views on her blog in 30 days. A great example of how using other formats to publish content can bring effective and successful results for your business.

9. Make a book from your blogs.

By publishing a book, you can immediately increase your authority in the industry.

Have you spent large amounts of time on blogging? If you answered yes, then you probably have enough content for a book draft. Put together related blog posts into a book and then self-publish.

10. Post new, engaging content every day.

Sometimes to really get attention, it’s not so much what you’re delivering, but how you’re delivering it. If you are thinking that you have done everything in your power to publish incredible content, then maybe you should try to increase your content through quantity. Just be sure that the quality is still on par.

Prodigious content can have a massive impact on the success of your business. If done effectively, it will bring traffic, increase awareness of your brand and help you gain new customers.

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