Archive for the ‘Building a List’ 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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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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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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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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Marketing Strategy: Be a Thought-Leader

Trust is the #1 question on the mind of any prospective client.

In order for someone to purchase your products or services, a prospective client must first feel that they can trust you. Waiting until we’re talking about the sale is a big disservice to ourselves and our prospects. A good way to build this trust is to set yourself up as a thought-leader.

Being a thought-leader is providing valuable information, fresh ideas, new perspective, or solutions to ongoing problems. The key is to get inside the heads of your best customers and prospects so you can find out what you need to know. If you learn what issues they are struggling with, you will be able to design the content that will be the most help to them.

Thought leadership in marketing is a way to build trust and show that you’re a valuable resource to your prospective clients before they actually require your services. As a thought-leader, or expert, your prospective market will turn to you for the information and guidance they seek.

Knowing your target market is essential to succeeding as a thought-leader. Key questions to ask yourself: What do they want and/or need to learn? Where do they go for information? How can you become their go-to source?

As a thought-leader, your content will be the answer to their problems. The emphasis should be on sharing your know how without ever mentioning your company or products. Regularly adding value will set you up to be the expert your prospects will seek when a sales opportunity arises. The best tactics for sharing this value-added content are the following:

-Blogs
-White Papers
-E-books
-E-zines
-E-newsletters
-Infographics
-Facebook
-Linkedin
-Twitter
-Webinars/Seminars
-Research and Survey Reports
-Podcasts and YouTube Videos
-Charts and Graphs
-Wiki’s, Forums, and Groups

Positioning yourself as a thought-leader is a powerful marketing strategy. Become a known expert for the beneficial information you provide to your market.

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12 Strategies to Grow Your List with Your Special Offer – Part 2

Here are six more strategies you can incorporate to grow your list by giving away your special offer:

7. Tweet about it. If you are a twitter user, periodically tweet about it and provide the link for people to access it.

8. Place an ad with an organization’s newsletter that reaches your target and offers your special offer. Either do a short article and have them link to get the “full report” or place and ad that drive people to your website to download the report.

9. Run banner ads. Put a compelling invitation on sites where you market frequents to gain attention and drive them to your site.

10.Include it in your newsletter. Include a short blurb and link to your free report in your newsletter as a standard item in every edition.

11.Take snippets from the report and post it as teaser content in your blog – Once again this is a great way to gain exposure, engage your audience and drive them to your web site wanting more. Remember, for blogs, you want to use key words that are relevant to your target audience. So this is a great opportunity for you to add your personal touch, stories, anecdotes and applications to attract new prospects.

12. Put a link to your offer in your bio when doing article marketing or other communications where your bio is required and it is appropriate. Providing a link to your offer in your bio is not as appropriate for verbal introductions when speaking on a telecall, event, or radio program. But it can be very appropriate at the end to invite people to become more familiar with you.

12 Strategies to Grow Your List with Your Special Offer – Part 1

Here are the first six strategies you can incorporate to grow your list by giving away your special offer:

1. Put your special offer in the top portion of your website making it visible and compelling. You will drive people to your website through different mediums, and it is also a visible, compelling offer for all visitors.

2. Offer it as a freebie at a speaking engagement – give them a compelling summary and the link. The idea is to capture a name so you can begin a relationship. No name, no relationship. Therefore you do not want to hand out your special offer, you either want to have people sign up and send it to them, or have them go to your website. Having people sign up or give you their business card will get you more responses than people going to your site. They are always well intentioned, but time gets away, other priorities take over, and fewer people will make it to your site to sign up.

3. Place a promotion on the back of your business card – tell others about it when you hand out your card. The special offer is a foundational marketing activity to drive people to your site so they can learn more about you, and get something of value. And you get a name.

4. Add it to your signature line of your email. Simple, effective, and will grow your list.

5. Use it as a free offer for someone to “check you out” when promoting a teleseminar or event. This is a great way for people to become more familiar with you first before committing to something such as a teleseminar or workshop. Relationships builds by the prospect being willing to spend more time and then money as the relationship grows. A special offer is kind of like holding hands before kissing.

6. Use it in your social networking. People often find out about you through your social networking circles before they’ve ever been to your web site. So be sure to use all the tools that are available through your social networks to attract visitors, gain their attention, show relevance, and drive them to your site so they can learn more about you, and you can begin to develop a relationship.

Watch for six more strategies to grow your list – coming soon!

Quick Tips on How to Create a Compelling Special Offer to Grow Your List

Creating a special offer can be a big task, and can overwhelm and paralyze people.  And yet this is a very critical element to your business. In fact, you MUST have a special offer (numerous ones) to attract your prospects to you and grow your list.

I remember my first special offer took me approximately 35 hours to create.  I toiled, tweaked and labored over that thing because I was doing it on my own with no support or guidance.
I’m happy to say that now I have about 10 special offers that didn’t take me 35 hours to create. And you can too.
So that you don’t have to toil next time you create your special offer, here are 10 tips to make it easier:
  1. Have a compelling title – This is what gets people’s attention.  It can be the best special offer ever and get overlooked because it does not attract your market’s attention. Make your title be about avoiding a BIG pain or seeking a GREAT benefit.
  2. Have an attractive cover – Even though we are not supposed to, yes, we do judge a book (or special offer), by its cover.
  3. Give plenty of value – You would think this goes without saying, but the LAST THING you want to do is leave your reader feeling cheated – even if your offer was free.  You don’t have to give away all your secrets, but make your reader feel satisfied with the information they have received.
  4. Be conversational – Be personal and conversational so the reader feels you are talking to them and that they are getting to know you.
  5. Create aesthetic appeal – Take the time to add white space, photos, quotes and other elements to add aesthetic appeal to your report.
  6. Grab their attention – Make sure your opening pulls the reader in right away by addressing the problem and letting them know what solution you will be providing in your report.
  7. Structure your report – First addresses the problem of your reader and the ramifications of that problem. Then address the solution and the benefits of that solution.  Be sure to make mention throughout of how your products, programs and services provide the solution they need.
  8. Have a call to action – What steps do you want the reader to take next?  Contact you for a consultation?  Download another free offer?  Invest in a program?  Be sure to tell them what you want them to do next.
  9. About the Author – You can put this at the beginning or the end, but let people know more about you. Be sure to make the connection back to them and their needs.
  10. Consider putting your special offer in different mediums – Consider putting your special offer in audio or video form to add variety.
I hope these tips make your next special offer easy to create. If you like this information, you can get 52 more tips like this here www.TakeOneStepForwardToSuccess.com

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A Quick Tip on Easy Content Creation

We’ve all heard it said that ‘Content is King.’ It’s true, especially in our business.

The more our business is ‘relationship based’, the more our prospects and clients will need to get to know us before they will do business with us.

So how do we do allow our prospects the opportunity to get to know use before they buy our products and services?

By providing tips, tricks, strategies and resources in the form of ‘education-based communications.’ By speaking to them about their greatest needs, interests, and wants,we develop relationships that lead them to become our clients.

Content creation can be a real struggle for some people, but it doesn’t have to be for you. In the past I’ve suggested that you start building your content creation muscle by writing “tips.”

A tip can be as short as 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.

Tips are welcomed in your prospects’ and clients’ email boxes because they are quick and easy to read and provide value. And getting into the habit of writing success tips will make your other writing projects easier.

Here’s a simple way to format your tip:

Open by addressing the problem.  Say that you have 1, 2, or 3 tips, tricks, strategies to address the problem (mention the problem) and provide a solution (mention the solution).

  • propose solution/thought/perspective #1
  • share one comment on that solution/thought/perspective
  • propose solution/thought/perspective #2
  • share one comment on that point.
  • solution/thought/perspective #3
  • share one comment on that point.

Close by reiterating that implementing these tips, the reader will eliminate their problem (mention it) and gain the solution (mention it). And viola! You have a tip!

But here’s even more good news.

By using this model, you can create a variety of other products on different topics, both large and small. If you want to create larger products like special reports or audio trainings, you can add additional solutions/thoughts/perspectives, and go deeper into each of them.

For example, you can create three tips on a particular topic such as stress reduction, weight loss, goal setting, communication, improving your golf game, or making money, add an intro and a close, and make it a valuable special report.

Take that same information and record it and you have an audio product.

Get started today creating content and writing your tips!

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Content Creation Made Easy

If you struggle with staying in touch with your prospects and clients on a regular basis, join the club.

I hear from my clients that this is one of their greatest challenges. They worry, “Once I get a potential client on my list, then what?”

To address this concern, I encourage my clients to provide ‘tips’ in various forms (written word, audio and video) to their prospects and clients.

Tips are short ‘snippetts’ of information that provide value and are related to your target market’s greatest needs, interests and wants.

Tips are welcomed in your prospects’ and clients’ email boxes because they are quick and easy to access and provide value. And getting into the habit of creating success tips in various forms (written word, audio and video) will make your other projects easier.

Here are some ‘tips’ for creating your ‘tips’.  :-)

1. Remember, a success tip focuses a particular problem and provides a simple solution.  Simply put, it gives VALUE. It is not an advertisement and is not full of fluff.

2. Ask yourself, “What sort of tip can I offer to help people? What are they struggling with and what solution can I provide?”

Here are a few suggestions:

- reducing stress

- staying healthy

- controlling your thoughts

- being a better communicator

- eliminating conflict

- closing a sale

- being more organized

- setting goals

- providing better customer service

3. Format your tip like this:

- open with a short paragraph that addresses a problem.

- offer a solution (one, two or three brief points  o address the solution), and

- close with a reference back to the problem and how using these tips are sure to help.

4. Put it into your email system, and send it to your list as a free gift.

5. Send one every 5 – 7- 10 days, and you will be offering your prospects and clients amazing value, plus you will be building strong relationships!

6. Place your tip on your blog site and you will have new content there on a regular basis.

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