Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where Has All The Good Marketing Gone?

What You Can Learn From Top Marketers
By Michael Fleischner

I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is a scarcity of good marketing today. What do I mean “good marketing?” You know the kind of marketing that sticks with you and drives you to take action. The only marketing that has really moved me in the last couple of years has been from Apple. How do I know? I own 3 ipods.

You might be thinking to yourself that it’s more the product that drives behavior than the marketing, and when it comes to the ipod I don’t necessarily disagree. However, I would argue that in some ways, the marketing has to be even better than it does with your run of the mill product.
Apple has maintained a certain level of success with their marketing and now that marketing must not only tie together with previous marketing campaigns, but convince current customers that their current products are no longer sufficient.

It appears that this is done, not through slight of hand, but by showing you what you can’t do with your current device. By illustrating this in a manner that is contradictory to your current satisfaction, it does make you feel like your ipod – which was fine until a moment ago has suddenly become inadequate. To me, that’s really good marketing.

So what can be learned from the tens of millions that Apple spends on advertising every year? I think the answer to that question is to work in lock step with your product development team to showcase developments and tap the emotions of those using your products. When I use my iTouch, I feel empowered, cool, and complete. I wouldn’t have reached that conclusion without the help of marketing to get me there.

The lesson that I’ve learned is that marketing, if done correctly, helps us to define how we feel about a product. Once you have prospects and customers attaching emotions to your products, you develop loyal customers. The next time that you’re thinking about a marketing campaign, consider how you want your customers to feel about your product.

Manage the entire purchase decision process in order to consistently manage the experience to reinforce or produce these desired feelings. Once you’ve been able to do that successfully, your creative, marketing messages and promotions should be relatively easy to produce. Now that’s what I call good marketing.
About the Author
Michael Fleischner is an author and Founder of MarketingScoop.com. If you're looking for SEO training or wish to Learn SEO with the help of leading search engine optimization experts, then check out the leading SEO software with MarketingScoop's SEO Elite Software Review and turbo charge your search engine optimization.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How To Find SEO Consultants Who Get Results

By Michael Fleischner

If your web site is a major source or revenue, or could be, then you should have a formal search engine optimization program that monitors and improves rankings on a daily basis. Now you might be thinking that you don’t have the resources necessary to implement a productive SEO program, but the costs of not doing so are significant.

Starting an SEO program for your business is easier than you think. There are numerous SEO consultants and experts that can show you how to radically improve your rankings for much less than you might think. In fact, many search engine optimization consultants can save you significant dollars if managed properly.

Getting the most from your SEO consultant requires a number of considerations. I have found that the most productive engagements around optimization and SEO all have these same factors in common. By adhering to these principals, mutual expectations are set and each party has a clear understanding of what is being delivered by whom.

The first step is finding a credible source. There are many people out there who claim to be search engine optimization experts but have nothing to show for it. Find a legitimate company, ask for references, or find someone who has a proven track record and is an authority on the topic. A good bet is to find someone who has achieved number one rankings for their website or the web sites of their clients.

The second step is to mutually agree upon what’s being delivered. Most clients feel that by paying a search engine optimization consultant a sum of money that their site is going to instantly rank number one on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. I can tell you first hand that‘s not the case. The purpose of an seo consultant is to help you construct an effective strategy for the long term optimization of your web site.

The third and final step is to assemble a team to work with the consultant and implement his findings. Seventy percent or so of the companies I’ve worked with were very interested in learning how to optimize their websites but couldn’t or weren’t willing to follow through on what it takes to succeed. Commit time and resources dedicated to implementing the consultant’s finding and you will see the true value of your investment.

Whether you’re launching new website or trying to improve the rankings of an existing site, it’s important that you find a reliable resource that can help you succeed. Define what success looks like for both you and the consultant you will be working with. By doing so, you’re creating a mutual understanding of the work that’s being done and clearly understand what it means to your business.

Michael Fleischner is an SEO consultant and author of SEO Made Simple, revealing strategies guaranteed to improve search engine rankings. Learn more about Michael's hands-on SEO training program and SEO Elite Software Review at MarketingScoop.com or contact him via the Marketing Blog at http://marketing-expert.blogspot.com.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Top 5 Search Engine Ranking Factors: Pay Attention!!!

By Michael Fleischner

As someone who makes a living improving search engine rankings, I can tell you that there is a lot of bad information out there about SEO. What if I were to tell you that the road map for achieving top rankings was within your grasp? The holy grail of rankings is not imaginary. As is true with any major success, it leaves clues.

By working with literally hundreds of small and medium sized websites, I have found that top ranked sites have a number of factors in common. What are they? I’m about to share these factors with you and explain what separates those in the top Google positions and those that are never found on page one of search results.

The first search engine ranking factor has to do with the anchor text of all inbound links to your website. Google and other search engines use the anchor text from other sites linking in to determine what your site is about and what it should rank well for. If websites link in only using a URL, and not your keywords in the anchor text, email them and ask them to update your link. The link should always appear with your most important keywords.

The second most important ranking factor is using keywords in your title tag and other meta tags. Meta tags still have an impact on your search rankings. Although the weight of meta tags may be minimal, they are effective in categorizing your page and identifying what search engines should expect to find when they spider web site pages. Make sure your tags are constructed properly and include you keywords.

The third ranking factor to consider for your web site is link popularity. This phrase has been talked about in search engine circles for a while but can be equated with Page Rank. The concept of Page rank or link popularity for that matter take a number of factors into consideration to identify the quality of web pages from an external perspective. The largest factor that influences search engine rankings is the number and quality of links that are pointing to a web site or web page.

The fourth ranking factor is the diversity of domains that link to your web site. For many search engines, it’s not only what links you have to your site but making sure they are from different domains. This represents more popularity associated with you web site and therefore is judged to be a better search result. When link building, try to focus on generating inbound links from different websites.

The final ranking factor is keyword use in root domain. Although it's possible to use subdomain or dedicated pages to get your keywords in a URL, nothing beats having them in your root domain.

All of these factors are important for top search rankings. Don’t overlook any of them if trying to improve your search rankings for particular keywords or keyword phrases. Also, be sure to continually read up on the subject or consider any one of a number of SEO training programs that can show you how to have more impact with your optimization efforts.
Michael Fleischner is an SEO consultant and author of SEO Made Simple, revealing strategies guaranteed to improve search engine rankings. Learn more about Michael's hands-on SEO training program, Internet Marketing Forum, and SEO consulting at MarketingScoop.com or contact him via the Marketing Blog at http://marketing-expert.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How To Improve Your Online Conversion By 300% Or More

By Michael Fleischner

Do I have your attention? Anyone trying to make a living online is interested in one thing, improving conversions. As an Internet marketing veteran, I’ve seen plenty of web sites and blogs miss one their biggest opportunities for growth. The answer is actually quite simple, making the most of your list.

Maybe you have your own email list of fifty-thousand names or more. Perhaps you have a small list of just a few dozen prospects who have emailed you questions or comments. Regardless of where you begin, having a list is only part of the equation. The most successful marketers I know utilize their list in a variety of ways to build relationships and sell products that are a win-win for both buyer and seller.

The first way to utilize your list is through an auto responder sequence. If you’re not using an auto responder, I advise you to search for auto responder services online. Popular services like Aweber only charge around twenty dollars per month, allowing you to send unlimited messages. These messages should position you as an expert, provide purchase ideas, and continually provide value.

The second way to use your list effectively is to provide pre-notification of product launches. There are many super affiliates that use their list in this manner, generating tens of thousands of dollars per month. Once you know of an affiliate product being launched within a six to eight week period, map out a pre-launch communication plan that reaches out to individuals prior to launch. This may include access to product information, downloads, videos, etc., to build anticipation around launch day. When launch day comes, create a sense of immediacy and scarcity – purchases will ensue.

The third way to leverage the power of your list is through referrers, building an even larger list that you can communicate with. Are you asking those who sign up for your list to refer your company, products, or services to others? Make your emails easy to forward and encourage referrals. This is a great way to reach individuals who are more likely to value your content and accept your offers.

The final method for leveraging an email list is to communicate on a regular basis. Your auto-responder sequence should integrate a series of messages spread out over time. By continually staying in front of your list and utilizing the content that you have to provide value, these individuals will stay engaged and have a higher propensity to purchase from you.

The time to start building your email list is now. In parallel, be sure to focus your energies on leveraging that list using the proper techniques. Having a great list is fine but unless you utilize it properly, you’ll never see the true value inherent in the list itself.

Michael Fleischner is an SEO consultant and author of SEO Made Simple, revealing strategies guaranteed to improve search engine rankings. Learn more about Michael's hands-on SEO training program, Internet Marketing Forum, and SEO consulting at MarketingScoop.com or contact him via the Marketing Blog at http://marketing-expert.blogspot.com.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Start a Home-Based Business That Will Succeed Part 2

Figuring out the profit angle and doing a business plan are two important parts of the process of starting a home-based business – two parts that many people starting a home-based business don’t bother with. But if you want to start a home-based business that will succeed, rather than just being another business failure that drained your time and wallet and left you disappointed, you need to pay particular attention to these two steps of the starting a home-based business process.

5. Figure out the profit angle.

This is the litmus test for anyone wanting to start a home-based business. You may have a great talent for something and the skills that enable you to express it, but if people aren’t willing to pay you for the product or service, it won’t work as a business. For each home based business idea, you need to know the answer to two questions:

How much are people willing to pay me for this product or service?
Can I make a sufficient income from that?
Suppose that you, being a creative person, are able to make beautiful quilts. However, because of the time involved, you’re only able to make two quilts per month. You discover that people are willing to pay $200 for each quilt you produce. The math says that you would have, therefore, an income of $400 per month. (Actually less, as there will be expenses related to quilt production, such as cloth and thread, to deduct from this amount.)

An outrageous example, isn’t it? But many people put themselves in a very similar position by starting home-based businesses without considering the profit angle. Business is about profit, and without sufficient profit, you’ll never have enough income to even pay the bills, let alone generate wealth. (For more on creating a business that actually produces income, see Is Your Business Model Broken?)

Go back to your list of home business ideas and assess the profit-making potential of each. If the answer to either of the two questions above isn’t satisfactory, cross that idea for starting a home-based business off your list.

Note that you decide how much income is enough. Many people run part-time home-based businesses that supplement their income and are perfectly satisfied with that. If you are planning to start a home-based business that will provide all of your income, however, you have to research the profit-making ability of your business idea very seriously.

6. Do a business plan to assess the viability of your new home-based business.

Many people are under the impression that working through a business plan is only necessary if you’re going to be looking for a business loan. But the primary reason to do a business plan is to find out if your business idea has a chance of becoming a successful business.

So once you’ve chosen a home-based business idea you’re passionate about, start working through a business plan. My Business Plan Outline will lead you through the process. The research and thinking that you do as you work through the business plan will do more than anything else to ensure that the home-based business you start succeeds.

And if your work on the business plan shows you that your idea for starting a home-based business is not a good idea, shelve it, choose another home business idea and go through the process again. It’s not uncommon to work through part of at least three business plans before you find the business idea that will blossom into the thriving business you want to run.

So if you want to start a home business, ignore the home-business opportunity ads; there are no shortcuts to starting a successful home-based business. By following the six steps outlined above instead, you’ll end up with an idea for a home-based business that truly has the potential to succeed, bringing you the money and the satisfaction you’ve been dreaming of.

Friday, October 1, 2010

How to Start a Home-Based Business That Will Succeed Part 1

The best home-based business is the one you start with your own two hands – not the one in the ad or the one your friend is promoting.

How do you start a successful home-based business? The secret of success is not to stop halfway through the business selection process as so many people do. Follow these six steps to start a home-based business that will succeed rather than just being a drain of your time and money.

1. Access your talents.

Think of your talents as the things you’re really good at. They’re like personality traits. For instance, you may be a very creative person, or a person who’s really good at attending to details or a person with a gift for communicating. Your talents are the base for any successful business venture, including a home-based business.

2. Examine your skills.

These are the things that you can do. The difference between talents and skills is that talents are passive and skills are active. Or, to put it another way, you’re born with talents but you develop skills over time as you learn. For instance, a creative person may have excellent skills for drawing or writing or design. A person who has a talent for attending to detail may have strong accounting or organizational skills.

3. Put your talents and skills together and generate business ideas.

The procedure I’m outlining here will work for starting any kind of business, but as we’re focusing on home-based businesses, the question is, “With these talents and skills, what kind of home-based business could I start?”

Suppose you’re one of those people who has accounting and organizational skills and the talents to back them. Some of the home business ideas you come up with could include:


  • Tax preparation
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business manager
  • Professional organizer


And that’s just four ideas from our limited premise here. When you’re doing this exercise, you, of course, have more than one or two skills, so you’ll find that your list of possible home business ideas is much longer.

Don’t censor yourself as you list home business ideas. List all your ideas at this stage; crossing off choices comes later.

(If you’re having trouble coming up with business ideas, see 7 Sources of Business Ideas to help you get started thinking as an entrepreneur.)

4. Give your business ideas the home-based business test.

The fact is that not all businesses are going to work well as home-based businesses, and some won’t work at all. You are not going to be able to start a manufacturing business in a residential neighbourhood, for example, and any home-based business that involves a lot of clients coming and going is sure to upset the neighbours.

Go back over your list and cross off any business ideas that won’t work as home-based businesses.

If you are intent on starting a home-based business where you actually get to work at home, also cross off any business that could be operated as a home-based business but wouldn’t allow you to work at home. For example, in the short list of sample business ideas above, I would cross off “business manager”, as this would involve off-site work.

Many people who want to start home-based businesses stop here. They’ve come up with an idea for a home-based business that they like and feel they’ll be good at, so they plunge into it at this point.

Don’t make this mistake! If you do, you run an extremely high risk of investing months of your time, energy and money in a losing venture and seeing the home-based business you had such hopes for fail. As I said in the introduction, the secret to starting a home-based business that will succeed is to work through the entire business selection process. The next two steps are critical to your home-based business’s success.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Got a Job? Start a New Business!

People are often taken aback when they ask me, "When should I start my new business?" and I answer, "Now."

"But I’m working," is a typical answer.

Exactly.

The best time to start being self-employed is when you're already employed. You'll only be able to work at or in your business part-time, but you'll have three big advantages that will smooth your business start up and give your new business a better chance of success.

1) You'll have business start up funding.

The main deterrent to starting a small business for most people is money. Even if they have a nest egg set aside and can afford the start up costs, they know that their new business isn't going to bring in any appreciable amount of money for a while and don't know how they're going to pay their bills in the meantime.

Getting a small business loan is an option for some, but small business loans are often earmarked for specific uses. (The Canada Small Business Financing Program is one such program that offers small business loans with restrictions on what can be done with the money.)

While you may be able to get a small business loan for purchasing property or equipment for your new business, getting a small business loan to cover your living expenses may well be impossible. (See 10 Things You Need to Know About Small Business Funding for more about business start up funding.)

Starting your new business part-time solves this problem neatly. You're still able to pay your bills and can afford to bankroll your new business because you've got money coming in.

2) Getting the first client or customer may be easier.

Getting the first client is another thing many people starting a new business struggle with. They proudly put out their shingles, do some advertising and then wait... and wait... and wait for the first client or customer to show some interest in their products or services. Meantime, their expenses roll merrily along.

But if you've started your business part-time while you're still working, your situation is very different. Besides giving you a financial cushion for starting your new business, your current job puts you inside a network that is full of potential clients and/or customers. Even if your co-workers and boss are not interested in the products and/or services you're now offering, he or she may know someone (or several someones!) who will be.

Remember, though, not to promote your new business in any way that is against your employer's company policy or that will turn off potential clients. Slapping bumper stickers advertising your business on all your co-worker's vehicles or talking endlessly about your new business all through lunch are not ways to win new customers and may get you into trouble at work as well.

However, mentioning what you're doing now to the people you're working with at the right time in the right place can get you clients and/or customers and help get your new business off the ground.

3) You'll have testing time.

Starting a part-time business also gives you the luxury of not having to fully commit to your new business right away. Instead, you'll have time to test both the feasibility of your business idea and the practicality of you running such a business.

You may find, for instance, that your market research went awry and there just isn't the interest in your products and/or services that you thought there was. It's a whole lot easier to drop an idea that's not working and move on if you have a job to fall back on.

Or you may find that the business idea is fine but that you personally are not the right person to implement it. For example, friends of mine once started a Bed and Breakfast business only to discover that they didn't actually like hosting strangers in their home and that running the B&B took many more hours a week than they had anticipated. Just like attractions to other people, attractions to particular businesses may or may not work out.

Part-Time Business Smoothes Your Business Start Up

Starting a part-time business while you're employed cuts a lot of your risk when you're starting a new business and makes it easier for you to find out what kind of chance for success your new business has. While you obviously won't have as much time to work on your new business as you would if you quit your job and threw yourself into the business start up process full time, the advantages of starting a part-time business make up for the slow start.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yellow Pages Advertising

Question: What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "advertising?"

Answer: TV commercials. Print ads. Direct mail. Brochures. Billboards. Flyers. Ads on the back of bathroom stall doors.

Everything except Yellow Pages, right? Truth is, YP advertising is very important to your business.

The fundamentals are tricky and the competition stiff. But these quick tips explain the advantages and essentials you need to create your own YP ad:

Ad Placement
YP ads are placed from biggest to smallest. Full page ads, 3/4 and so on. Flip through your phone book and take a look at the restaurants section. The very first full page ad you see is not randomly placed. This advertiser has had their full page ad the longest. If they were to give up their full page ad and downgrade to a 3/4, they would be the very last 3/4 ad you'd see until a newer advertiser bought a 3/4 page ad. It's all seniority-based. So if someone has the highest level 3/4 page and upgrades to a full page, they're still last until someone newer buys the same type ad.

Color
Research is conducted every year to see if a color ad generates more response than a black and white. Every year, the results are the same. Color ads do not outpull a b&w. Color ads are also more expensive so this is a cost to consider eliminating from your ad budget.

Headline
Tell your customers the benefits of buying your products/services immediately! There's not much time so you have to grab a potential customer's attention. Tell them how long you've been in business, why you are different from your competitors and what associations you belong to.

Open 24-7
Another YP benefit is that they're available 24-hours a day. People are usually ready to make a purchase or get more information when they use the Yellow Pages.

Research Proven
Studies show eight out of 10 consumers contacted a contractor from an ad in the Yellow Pages. Out of that number, 40% made a purchase and an additional 40% said they were likely to make a purchase.

Target Market
One of the unique advantages of YP ads is the ability to target an audience in a specific geographical area.

365 Days A Year
No matter how much begging and pleading you do, it won't make a difference. Once your ad goes in the Yellow Pages, it's going to stay that way for an entire year. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! If you sell "dogs" and your ad says you sell "dots" then you'll have to wait until next year to fix the error.

As you can see, there's a lot more to YP ads than just throwing your name, address and phone number in a box. That's why there are plenty of advertising agencies exclusively devoted to YP advertising.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Looking for a Good Melbourne Website Designer?

When choosing from Melbourne website designers, the only way you can assess their competence is by looking at samples of their previous work. How do you assess that the website designer will provide reliable results, meet timelines and deliver within the specified budget? Choosing a good website designer makes the difference between a successful website, and a website that fails to deliver, and is a waste of time and money.

If you are depending on Melbourne website designer’s previous work, check whether he/she is able to:

- Write the HTML code, manually

- Work with various tools and languages, such as flash, Photoshop, JavaScript, among others

- Create and optimize meta-tags for search engines

- Create interactive content, including forms

- Work in a secure server environment

In addition, you must check how fast it loads. An assessment of Melbourne website design is that a page of any well designed website should take less than 10 seconds to load. It’s always best to try loading through the dial up connection when you are testing, to ensure that even the visitors to your website with a similar setup can access it fast. It’s a different matter, though, that most individuals subscribe to high speed broadband services these days.

In addition, when checking out the previous sites of designer offering website design Melbourne, do not be overly impressed by the dazzle of the site. Look to see how easily you can get around the site, and how accessible are its pages.

Tips for selecting a good website designer

Since the success of your business depends on your website, and the success of your website depends on your website designer, you need to be very careful whom you choose. Here is a checklist of the factors you need to check before you decide whom to take as your website designer:

- Decide on page layout, graphics, text location and colors of your website, in addition to cross linking pages and navigation of your site. As the web designer is a deemed project manager of your website, he should have the ability to either actually do computer programming and graphic art work himself, or outsource the work to programming specialists.

* Your website designer must be able to write the code to run the site, and have the knowledge of the technical stuff involved to make your website work properly for your visitors.

* Create graphics, including logos and buttons, for your site.

* Create an overall attractive and appealing look.

* Your website designer should be able to attract more traffic to your site by determining how your website fits into your overall marketing strategy. More traffic to your site means more sales.

Talk to us

One of the top website designers that do all the things listed above and much more is Makingspaces. It is a well established company in Melbourne whose prime focus is functional, unique, and creative designs. Check it out on http://www.makingspaces.com.au.

We are one of the best Melbourne website design company. Talk to us if you are looking for a good Melbourne website design company. Our professionals are at the top in their field. Our previous work is ample proof of our competence. Please visit http://www.makingspaces.com.au/portfolio.html to see our portfolio.

Define the scope of your work, and we at Makingspaces will help you implement the same. You can click here http://www.makingspaces.com.au/solutions.html to know about the solutions we provide. You can tell us what you need and we will deliver within the scope of your budget.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Choosing A Good Melbourne Website Designer

There is no short-cut for finding a good Melbourne website designer. You have to see samples of their work and assess their competence. What you need to find out is how efficient the website designer is in providing reliable results, meeting timelines and delivering within the specified budget. Remember, these are crucial issues on which the success or failure of your business depends. A good website designer makes the difference between a successful website, and a website that fails to deliver, and is a waste of time and money.

Here is a checklist to help you choose the right person. Make sure your Melbourne website designer has the capability and facility to do the following:

- Write the HTML code, manually

- Work with various tools and languages, such as flash, Photshop, JavaScript, among others

- Create and optimize meta-tags for search engines

- Create interactive content, including forms

- Work in a secure server environment

When checking out the website he/she has designed previously, check to see how fast it loads. An assessment of Melbourne website design is that a page of any well designed website should not take more than 10 seconds to load, if not faster. When testing, try through the dial up connection, as most visitors to your website may have a similar setup, even though high speed broadband services are becoming more popular.

In addition, when checking out the previous sites of designer offering website design Melbourne, do not be overly impressed by the dazzle of the site. Look to see how easily you can get around the site, and how accessible are its pages.

Tips for selecting a good website designer

Since the success of your business depends on your website, and the success of your website depends on your website designer, you need to be very careful whom you choose. Here is a checklist of the factors you need to check before you decide whom to take as your website designer:

* Take intelligent decisions on page layout, graphics, text location and colors of your website, in addition to cross linking pages and navigation of your site. Your web designer is your project manager, and should be able to either actually do computer programming and graphic art work himself, or get it done by programming specialists.

* Your website designer must be able to write the code to run the site, and have the knowledge of the technical stuff involved to make your website work properly for your visitors.

- Create graphics, including logos and buttons, for your site.

* Create an overall attractive and appealing look.

- Can determine how your website fits into your overall marketing strategy, attracting more traffic, and hence more sales, to your website.

Visit Makingspaces for the best

If you are looking for a good website designer to create a website design in Melbourne, you can confidently choose Makingspaces. Visit our website, http://www.makingspaces.com.au now! We are an established Melbourne based company whose prime focus is functional, unique, and creative designs.

We are one of the best Melbourne website design company. Talk to us if you are looking for a good Melbourne website design company. Our professionals are at the top in their field. Our previous work is ample proof of our competence. Please visit http://www.makingspaces.com.au/portfolio.html to see our portfolio.

Define the scope of your work, and we at Makingspaces will help you implement the same. You can click here http://www.makingspaces.com.au/solutions.html to know about the solutions we provide. You can tell us what you need and we will deliver within the scope of your budget.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Postcard Direct Mail Marketing by an Irish Removal Business

Towards the end of last week we put our home up for sale with a local estate agency. This week in the post I received a postcard from a transport company that specialises in removals. The card had details of their services and offered me a free estimate if I called or visited their website.

Libratrans deserve a pat on the back for actually implementing a direct mail campaign to a well defined target audience, that of people selling a home and moving and therefore most likely to need the services of a removal firm. The full colour postcard they sent is well designed and caught my attention straight away. Generally I find that in amongst all the other daily mail a postcard tends to stand out.

I think the call to action on the postcard is a bit weak, it simply says visit our website or call for a free estimate. Personally I’m never particularly impressed when I see a company say the offer free estimates; whoopee you are going to tell me your prices for no charge how good of you. I don’t think they’d get too far saying “call for an estimate; it will cost you €50”.

The website that Libratrans has lets them down - there were errors on the page when I viewed it in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, and the quotation request form that is pretty crucial to their operation would not load. It is kind of disappointing to think of all the leads that they must so nearly have generated but then lost by having a website that does not do the job for them.

What other things could Libratrans have done to make this campaign more effective? Perhps the campaign could have been strengthened by offering a free incentive for prospects to get in touch. On their website they currently offer a checklist to prospects of things to remember when packing up the contents of a house. The content of this checklist could be reworked into a report and offered for free when prospects fill out a form on the website.

Perhaps they could make the offer stronger still by offering something of use such as 3 free packing boxes or similar. This would help them qualify the leads from the postcard mail out a bit further and allow them to capture the names of prospects rather than just ‘The Home Owner’. This would help to build a relationship with the prospect, the cost of this would be minimal and I’d be willing to bet it would increase their conversion rate over and above just offering a free quote.

In general this irish direct mail campaign was effective and allows targeted leads to be generated. I’m nor sure where they got our contact details, maybe they keep an eye on the property websites for new listings. Or maybe their staff are encouraged to keep a note of any homes that they see for sale.

Whichever way they do it you can bet it is nicely systemised and produces a good return on the investment. Lets face it the cost of a postcard and postage would probably be less that €1 and the potential business could easily be €1000 per client. It is a shame that the rest of the sales conversion process they are using falls a bit short; however even with what they have I’m sure it puts them well ahead of their competition.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to Explode Any Business Using MLM Email Leads

You lost your job and you have to pull a rabbit out a hat and figure out a way to earn an extra $60,000 per year by using mlm email leads in the next twelve months. Any ideas?

Would you use mlm email leads to promote your current business, start a new business or what... specifically?

What's your plan? Without a plan of action and a determined budget - your mlm email leads marketing campaign is destined to fail from the very beginning.

This report outlines a proven system of using inexpensive mlm email leads to promote ANY business - a system that helped me and my family enjoy the benefits of working from home, working if and when we want, and having tons of free time to spend with family and friends. Let's begin at the beginning...

It all starts with the Ultimate Success Formula, a modeling technique popularized by Tony Robbins: "If you want to achieve your dreams and goals, all you need to do is find a way to duplicate the process of those who have done whatever it is you seek to accomplish. Find out what, exactly, they did and do the same things."

There are four important steps:

1. Know your desired result for using mlm email leads

2. Take Massive Action by using mlm email leads

3. Learn from What Worked & What Didn't, and

4. Make Adjustments as Necessary

Know your desired result for using mlm email leads...

A person on an "mlm email leads" list specifically requested to receive more information about starting their own home-based business. With this in mind, the #1 best use of mlm email leads is to promote a money-making business or network marketing opportunity. This will give you the most bang for your buck.

But because mlm email leads consist of consumers as well as business opportunity seekers... don't think you are limited to only promoting a money making opportunity. You can use mlm email leads to successfully market ANY product or service because when you approach a large enough group of people (massive action) you will always be able to make at least a few sales.

So the first key to success using mlm email leads is to decide exactly what result you want. Do you want to make a sale, capture a new hot lead or recruit a new business builder.

Use inexpenive mlm email leads to take massive action...

There are three types of mlm email leads. Expensive, inexpensive and super inexpensive.

For example, do you really need a 9-question live surveyed mlm email lead? Or are aged leads just as effective?

Listen, here's the bottom-line secret of profitably using mlm email leads to take your business to the next level:

"Quality (your desired outcome) is found in quanity."

Meaning you want to create a mlm email leads system that allows you to take consistent MASSIVE ACTION over an extended period of time as inexpensively as possible. For example, instead of buying 20 live surveyed mlm leads for $100... you want to purchase 100,000 mlm email leads for same $100 and use an automatic contact and follow up system to do the all the work for you.

A profitable mlm email leads system consists of:

1. Subscribe to a mlm email leads autoresponder

2. Upload 100,000 mlm email leads per month

3. Send seven or more emails to promote your product, service or opportunity

4. Follow up with a complimentary back-end offer to earn even more money

Test every component of your mlm email leads campaign...

Don't take your early results for granted. Test everything in your mlm email leads system - email subject lines, body copy, web site copy, sales price, headlines, bonuses and even the P.S. Test, test and test some more. Strive to increase the results of every element of your mlm email leads campaign.

Make adjustments - rinse and repeat

Once you have optimized your mlm email leads campaign... always invest a portion of your profits to purchase even more mlm email leads. Rinse. Repeat.

Of course working with mlm email leads is NOT the lazy man's way to fame and fortune. But it does work, consistently, and it's a proven model that will virtually guarantee your succes. So what are you waiting for? Go for it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rags to Riches Using MLM Email Leads

If you absolutely had to earn an extra $100,000 by using mlm email leads in the next twelve months and you could not beg, borrow or steal the money - how would you do it?

Would you purchase mlm email leads and promote your current home business, join a new opportunity or get involved in a few affiliate programs?

What, specifically is your plan for using these mlm email leads? Do you even have one?

Here is a proven system to use mlm email leads to promote ANY business - a system you can use to create an easy $5,000 or more per month in as little as thirty days. Regardless of type of business.

It all starts with the Ultimate Success Formula, a modeling technique popularized by Tony Robbins: "If you want to achieve your dreams and goals, all you need to do is find a way to duplicate the process of those who have done whatever it is you seek to accomplish. Find out what, exactly, they did and do the same things."

There are four critical components:

1. Know your desired result for using mlm email leads

2. Take Massive Action by using mlm email leads

3. Test and optimize your results

4. Make adjustments - rinse and repeat

Know Your Outcome for Using MLM Email Leads

A person who finds themselves on an "mlm email leads" list is someone who specifically searched for and requested to receive information about how to make more money by starting their own business. So, obviously, the best use of mlm email leads is to promote a money-making home business opportunity.

But that does not mean you are limited to only promoting a business opportunity to these mlm email leads. Because you can purchase mlm email leads so inexpensively and because these lists consist of CONSUMERS... you can effectively use mlm email leads to grow ANY business.

So the first key to success using mlm email leads is to decide exactly what result you want. Do you want to make a sale, capture a new hot lead or recruit a new business builder.

Take Massive Action by using MLM Email Leads

Search the internet for mlm email leads and you'll find a host of brokers offering mlm email lists at prices ranging from less than a penny per lead to over fifty dollars per lead. The BEST PRACTICE is to invest in the least expensive mlm email leads you can find and secure a huge volume of leads.

Think about it. Why pay $10 for one lead when, for the same $10, you can buy 5,000 mlm email leads and give yourself 10,000 more chances of making a sale.

Here's the secret to using mlm email leads profitably:

"Quality (your desired outcome) is found in quanity."

The idea is to purchase as many inexpensive mlm email leads as you can reasonably afford, upload them into an automatic email broadcasting system, send a series of invitations - and cash in quickly from those you take action immediately. Use the system to instantly broadcast your ad to thousands, tens of thousands, even a million mlm email leads per month and your success is virtually guaranteed.

A profitable mlm email leads system consists of:

1. Subscribe to a mlm email leads autoresponder

2. Upload 100,000 mlm email leads per month

3. Have the system automatically send SEVEN or more email invitations

4. Follow up with a complimentary back-end offer to earn even more money

Learn from What Worked & What Didn't

Don't think for a minute once you've set up your mlm email leads system you are done. You're not. You must test every component of the mlm email leads system to optimize your results. Test subject lines, body copy and web site copy. Test prices, bonuses and offers.

Optimize and repeat...

Once you have optimized your mlm email leads campaign... always invest a portion of your profits to purchase even more mlm email leads. Rinse. Repeat.

Sounds like a lot of work but, remember, failure is not an option and if you spend the time and make the effort up front to use mlm email leads and use a system to take massive action over an extended period of time... your success is virtually guaranteed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Get Incredibly Wealthy Selling Advertising Online

Advertising revenue online is growing at an incredible rate, mostly from small businesses looking to expand their market.

Is it possible that you could sell advertising on the internet? After all Google is selling billions of dollars worth of it every year, and it is run by 2 boys that started in their college dorm room.

Kids as young as 10 years old have reported selling advertising online, as well as people as old as 101. But what is their secret? Surely if a 10 year old can do it anyone can. Isn't that so?

The answer is, yes it is possible for anyone to sell internet advertising and get a small piece of this incredibly big pie.

How do you sell this advertising? It's easy using a very simple concept. Your local town would be interested in a website about them. You can build one. A good choice may be local gossip about your town.

Search for a 3 or 4 pieces of gossip to post that will keep your town just wanting to read more.

Then you put a counter on your website, a very good one to use that does not download viruses to your visitors is StatCounter.com which is free and very easy to use.

Even though it may take you a little time, it will be worth it to put together a simple website with perhaps a simple blog. Take your digital camera around town and snap some shots that represent the town and put them onto your webiste.

Now you start posting your gossip every day. Soon traffic will start to arrive to your website. AT this point you are ready to start cashing in.

Now you go to local business owners and show them your site and how much local traffic you are getting. Ask them if they would like to get their advertisements in front of local people. Well of course they would.

This is a tested proven secret. But of course you have to actually work at it to make it work. I wish you the best!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to Get Unbelievably Rich Selling Online Advertising

Small businesses are driving a massive increase of advertising dollars being spent on the internet.

Is it possible that you could sell advertising on the internet? After all Google is selling billions of dollars worth of it every year, and it is run by 2 boys that started in their college dorm room.

10 year olds and 101 year olds are reported to be making money online by selling advertising. What is the secret, and is it a secret you can use to sell advertising also?

Yes. Yes it is possible. Yes anyone can sell internet advertising and make a lot of money. You only need a small part of this big industry to make a fortune.

Here is how you can do it using this simple concept. Build a website about your local town. As an example, you could have a website with local town gossip.

Search for a 3 or 4 pieces of gossip to post that will keep your town just wanting to read more.

It is important you put a counter on your website. StatCounter.com is very good, free, and easy to use.

First you will have to spend some time getting the website put together, but a simple blog should do it with some graphics that indicate it is a local website. Perhaps pictures of your main street or something that symbolizes your town.

Be diligent and post to your website every day. This will create some traffic to your website and once that builds up you are ready to cash in.

Now you go to local business owners and show them your site and how much local traffic you are getting. Ask them if they would like to get their advertisements in front of local people. Well of course they would.

This is a very simple method that really works, if you will really work it. Good Luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 Powerful Steps to PodCast Marketing

Just about every business owner I know wants to get in on Podcast marketing but does not have a really solid understanding of what this technology has to offer. Most think that it is just a MP3 file that is placed directly on the website, however, podcasts are strategically placed mp3 or audio type files on your site created with an rss feed. The rss feed is then used to mass distribute the audio file to podcasting sites like iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts, Podcast Alley and many more. It is a fairly simple technology that requires some amount of know-how, but it can be a very effective tool for you to attract customers to your website.

The idea of podcasting is simple enough, and as a marketer, you will want to consider podcasting as another means of reaching your customer base. Obviously, the more directions in which you attack the marketing problem, the better. Whether it is television, the radio, or the internet, you will need to be able to reach your target audience from several different outlets. Podcasting offers a new way of reaching the internet market. It is a way to reach your viewers without making them have to read through countless pages of web site material. As of today, podcasting has not fully realized its potential in the business world and most podcasts have been used for only personal purposes. It remains an untapped technology that many business owners may not have yet considered.

What I am referring to is Podcast Marketing. Through Podcast Marketing, the objective is to broadcast your audio file to as many listeners as you can possibly reach. Websites that use podcasting technology have taken off like a rocket over the last few years and they have now become so important that even presidential candidates are using their services to reach out to the internet viewer. Most of what you find on podcasting and various other open media sites are limited to personal downloads meant only for entertainment, and they have not reached their full potential as advertising venues. For example, many situational comedy shows now offer podcasts that can be played while viewing a live episode. This type of podcast is mainly used to enhance the experience of the viewer, and they are usually played for entertainment purposes only. To find a list of PodCast Marketing sites search onlinefor podcast list.

Before I get into the technical details of podcasting, I would like to note that there are several companies out there that are selling these services without the proper knowledge or expertise to really help you. They do not have a full understanding of how podcast marketing really works, or what it can offer to you, the client. This guide will help you in this regard. You will be able to see that we do have a breadth of knowledge concerning this service, and that our expertise is worthy of your attention. We want to ensure that you have to spend as little time as possible in researching podcasting. Simply review our guide and you will see that we can clearly help you.

The 5 steps of Powerful PodCast Marketing:

1. Always have a plan of attack. There are various formats used to create a pod cast and you need to understand exactly what format will benefit you the most. You can post an audio file of an Interview or Commercial to boost your product. In addition, you can just make a recording of yourself as you talk about your particular industry. In any case, make sure your recordings are informative and interesting to listen to. Also be sure to mention your domain name clearly in the podcast so your listeners will know exactly where to find the services that you offer.

2. Have a few of your friends or colleagues listen to your podcast and give you their feedback on their interest level, the clarity of the audio and other factors. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be an absolutely perfect audio file. So long as your message is clear you will find success.

3. Make sure to have a valid rss / xml feed created on your site and upload your mp3 directly onto the site as well. Be sure to include a title and brief description of the recording to go along with your podcast. You can always go with wordpress and have a special podcasting plugin installed.

4. Test your audio file and make sure that it can be heard by other listeners. In addition, you will want to ensure that the rss / xml feed validates. Do a simple search online for podcast rss validator.

5. Finally submit your rss / xml feed to as many podcast directories as you possibly can. This may be a bit tedious and a time consuming process, but it will be worth it because the end results can be quite remarkable. In many cases, you will be required to choose a category and add some details, but the work should not be that difficult.

Now that your podcast is broadcasted, the marketing effect will really begin to kick in. This is a very effective and powerful way to market your product online. With the rapid advances in technology, it will only be a matter of time when you will be able to access these types of broadcasts on a television set. The more avenues with which you can market your products or services will only be a benefit to you. The recent advances in handheld device technology, iTunes, Hand Held phones, as well as many other devices will help ensure that podcasting will remain a staple for your core marketing needs. Why not give it a try? You have everything to gain for only a minor investment or your time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Promoting Web 2.0 hotel marketing with Google Interactive Maps

The "Google Maps" department has announced a major feature release to embed an interactive map in your website with 3 simple steps. Hotel websites can now brighten their location pages adding itineraries and showing the main points of interests of their travel destination:

1. Go to the Google maps and display the map of interest by entering directions or name of your City.

2. If you look at the upper cornet of the page, you'll see "link to this page" - click on it, then copy the content inside "Paste HTML to embed in website".

3. I think you know which is point number 3, right? Paste this code in the HTML of your location web page and there you are.

Location is the most important part of hotel websites - with few exceptions, decide for the hotel because of its position. It is therefore essential to stress the location and the attractions of the zone. A descriptive interactive map it's what you need.

If you're looking for new Third Party Intermediaries, probably the best you can find are on Social Networks and UGM websites. If you really want to improve the non-commercial side of your hotel site (thus improving the commercial side :) a Google map showing the best places of interest could be the easiest way to promote your business and convert lookers (of the map) into bookers.

Add to your map location's points of interest - To make it a little more attractive and functional, you can customize the map and show the main points of interest of the location (adding descriptions, pictures, videos, drawing lines and forms). You can add itineraries, restaurants, shopsand surely museums and monuments. Everyone can do it, and without the API problem. Thank you Google!

Follow the instructions of the Official Website: http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=68480. I'll show you a map reworked for a Florence hotel: http://www.rosarygarden.it/map/map_en.htm

Monday, August 9, 2010

Easily add an interactive Google Map to your hotel website

A Product Manager of the "Google Maps" division has recently announced significant new feature that makes things easier for everyone. You can now add an interactive maps to your hotel websites in just three SIMPLE passages. Let your location pages be a little more pleasurable (and useful):

1. Reach the Google maps homepage and select the right map providing the name of the City or the street address of the hotel.

2. Clicking on "link to this page" in the upper side of the page you'll find an easy "Paste HTML to embed in website".

3. Here you have just to paste the code in your web page and it's done. It was easy, uhm?

If you were asked about the most important section of your hotel websites, the answer is definitively "location" - travellers choose hotel accommodations based on location features. You have to stress location benefits and clearly point out the nearest attractions.

The User Generated Content as a form of middlemen - is the travel purchase trend changing? If you feel all the eyes of your guests on you (and your website) an interactive Google map could be the best way to create non-commercial communication on your website. Maps are really useful and you can empower the description of the hotel local attractions.

Adding points of interest, drawings, videos to your map it's never been so simple - so why don't show location most famous attractions! Travellers don't want to see only boring museums and monuments, let's show typical restaurants, shopsif we add a simple description, the result is a beautiful and easy way to convince site visitors.

Follow the instructions of the Official Website: http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=68480. I'll show you a map reworked for a Florence hotel: http://www.rosarygarden.it/map/map_en.htm

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sales Prospect

There are numerous sales prospecting ideas which can lead to success. You must ignore many of the myths that surround sales prospecting and stick with the methods which will drive your achievement. The notion of the sales prospect can be tough. After all, in sales, sales prospecting can be your bread and butter. But when administered effectively, sales prospecting ideas can help you become a success story.

When it comes to sales prospecting, one of the more important things to remember is to discard the old and go for the gold. This means find clients who are truly interested in your product and lavish attention on them.

If you see that a sales prospect is not, manage your time wisely and move on to someone who is. Devise a way to be ok with the fact that quality clients are often better than the sheer number you possess.

Never approach a sales prospect without a script. Know your product and presentation material. Maintain a level of confidence that the sales prospect will appreciate.

Furthermore, it will be relatively easy to tell in a few minutes whether or not you have piqued his curiosity. Manage your time wisely, and if he does not bite, then move on.

Utilize free advertising in your area, such as that offered by newspapers and local publications. Testimonials from other patrons also are a great sales prospecting idea.

Finally, allow sales prospecting to become a fantastic networking tool for you. Meet new people, get your name out in the market, and you will find those who are interested in your goods.

Sales prospecting ideas vary from person to person. However, one thing is clear. The better sales prospecting you do, the larger your profits will become. Target the right sales prospects and watch company growth soar.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Promotional Ideas For Sales

Sales promotion ideas are numerous within the business world. The ideal sales promotion idea will not only increase customer loyalty, but it will also entice new clients to request your goods and services. A sales promotion idea can be anything which will increase account traffic for your business. Try some creative new sales promotion ideas and you will quickly see an increase in profitability for your business.

Numerous sales promotion ideas have worked for businesses large and small in the past. Read on to develop a strategy that will help you, too, locate the desired sales promotion idea for your business to succeed.

One sales promotion idea which has been utilized time and again is that of providing discounts or coupons for clients to use. This may include receiving a product at a reduced price or receiving one free after an initial purchase.

Another sales promotion idea which always works well is that of samples or gift giveaways. Customers always like the opportunity to try items for free.

Another sales promotion idea which seems to work well is that of free samples or any type of free gift campaign. People love to try things free of charge!

Demonstrations, exhibitions, and trade shows are another way to get your product out to the public. House these at conventions or various retailers where you feel your services will be a good fit.

Work with your local newspapers and publications that target your audience to devise an advertising plan.

Work with local publications for print advertising. Devise an in house public relations blitz which will aim to impress.

Sales promotion ideas are a fantastic way to get clients in the door, and often, the right sales promotion idea will be exactly what gets them to stay!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sales Training Programs

There are multiple sales management training programs in which you can now participate. A sales management training program can help you to not only be a better leader within your company but also out in the sales field. Sales management training programs are now available everywhere and through multiple venues. Find the right sales management training program for you and your company and watch as your revenues grow.

Sales management training programs are available at every turn. However it is critical that you do a little research and find the one that is designed to best meet your individual needs.

Sales management training programs have been around for a number of years and many have found success via these methods. With the advent of so many communication mediums, there are even more opportunities for making this happen.

Furthermore, you should seek a sales management training program which will provide you with the resources for hiring and retaining the very best employees in the field for your sales team.

This will include items for you to analyze to determine their strengths and weaknesses, their needs, and how to encourage them to stay with your team.

In addition to all of these elements, a sales management training program will give you the keys to showing your sales team members how to meet their sales goals. Model the behavior for them, and watch as your revenues rise as they strive to meet your expectations.

Furthermore, sales management training programs which help you with hiring and retaining the best should also be at the top of your list. They should further provide you with the steps for leading your team to achievement via the meeting of sales targets.

Managing in sales can be tough. With the right sales training management training program under your belt, you may have all the resources which are necessary to make your business successful. Sales management training programs have worked well in the past, and they too can work for you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mortgage Marketing for Dummies

How well you do in the highly competitive mortgage market is dependent on a number of things. Of course you have to provide good service. You also need to be able to do your job quickly and efficiently. Finally, and most importantly, you need to be able to market your service and products effectively. In fact, if you know anything about the mortgage industry, you know that marketing is what you live and die with. If you have the right marketing plan, then you have all the business you need. On the other hand, if you don't know what you are doing in terms of marketing, then you will be out of business just as fast.

What this all means is that you need a good marketing plan. You need one that will bring you the most business with the least amount of competition. As with any product, a good mortgage marketing plan is one that is built around a niche. A niche is a unique spot in an environment. This particular environment is the mortgage business world. So what you need to do is find your mortgage niche so that you can get all the business possible.

Finding the Niche

The best first step you can take in finding your mortgage niche is to have a good idea of what your own skills are. Knowing your skills is the best way to make sure you are working in your own abilities. You need to interview yourself.

Ask yourself if you have been consistently solving the same problem for realtors all the time. If you have, then this is your strength: knowledge of that particular issue or problem. Additionally, ask yourself if there is any training you have received that separates you from others. The more you know and the more unique you are the better.

Ask yourself if there is a particular loan program you favor. If so, you are an expert at it and can market accordingly. Maybe you can even set your sites on every loan of that type in a particular market.

Overall, you want to make sure you find what you can do best so that you can work with that. Figure out what you get the most compliments from clients and realtors on. Also, think about what part of the mortgage business you like the most is. Maybe you like first time loans or working with certain types of homes (condos, town homes, or single family homes).

Focus, Focus, Focus

The best way to get the most out of your resources in any business, and especially mortgage business, is to focus on your particular niche. You see, while many mortgage pros are using their time and money on a number of different loan programs, markets, and industries, you will be focusing on what you are best at. You will become more knowledgeable and more likely to land the loans within your niche.

As you work in that niche you become an expert. People who work with you will understand how knowledgeable you are. This is something they will pass along and offer up when referring your services to others.

Finally, concentrating on this niche makes your more valuable to real estate agents. When a realtor refers someone, they want to be sure that person is going to take good care of their clients. When you are an expert in a niche, they know that they can send those niche customers to you with confidence.

Find a Program As Well

As you may know, your niche is almost as important as your referrals. In addition to finding your spot in the industry, you should also try to find your own referral partners in the real estate industry. Good referrals are as valuable as a good niche.

One way to get the best referrals from the best realtors is to make yourself valuable to them. You can do that through many referral programs out there. The best ones will get you access to the low hanging fruit of the mortgage industry: renters who are buying for the first time. These mortgages offer the least competition when referred and are the easiest to close. Additionally, they are usually qualified because they come from a real estate agent.

As you can see, there is a lot to be said for the importance of marketing in the mortgage industry. If you want to truly be successful, you need to find your niche in the market first. Then, as you progress, find your way to a program that will hook you up with realtors and the best mortgage leads around.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where to Find Blank Business Cards

Blank business cards can be a valuable asset to any business or individual. Even though most companies order their business cards from a card company that also prints them, it can also be very beneficial to order a supply of blank business cards for your use. Blank business cards can be customized to suit most any situation.

These blank business cards are a great way to customize cards when need be. If you think about it, why would you want to use the same business cards for every situation or for everyone one of your clients? If you have blank business cards on hand, you will be able to customize each one to meet the needs necessary. For example, if you are doing sales work for a client, it would be nice to have something about that on your card; but if you are performing copywriting functions for a client, you may want to mention something to that effect. There are as many different business card ideas as there are "functions" in your business.

Blank business cards can be bought at a number of different places. You will surely be able to find these cards at a local office supply or stationary store. Also, you can order blank business cards from the same company that supplies you with your regular cards. Just ask them to include a couple hundred blanks. This way you will be able to customize and format your own cards to fit your needs at that time. Besides single blanks, which are hard to run through your printer, you should get full 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of cards.

There are many business card software programs that you can buy to help print and customize your own cards. These programs do not cost a lot of money, and can be very beneficial to the growth of your business. Shopping around a little will surely find some blank business cards. These should not be expensive at all. The software to design the blank business cards can be found in many office supply stores or even from your business card printer.

Overlooking the purchase of blank business cards is a bad idea. Even though it may not sound very important, it can surely help to increase your business, as well as your creative spirit. Be sure to ask your printer for some blank business cards the next time you call them.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seven Low Cost Marketing Ideas

Growing companies face the issue of marketing their products or services. It is possible to use marketing consultants to do this, but marketing consultants often cost too much money for small companies. An affordable option is to try the following low cost marketing ideas to promote the business.

1.Press Releases - Make press releases that are newsworthy and draw the attention of the readers. The releases should be short and to the point with an opening sentence or phrase that is convincing and holds the attention of the reader.

2.Search Engine Marketing - Having a Website and using the services of a search engine is a necessity in today's environment where greater numbers of people are accessing the Internet for their requirements. The website host must be reliable so that prospective customers can access the site without difficulty. The website's design should be imaginative to the draw attention of viewers. Websites are an inexpensive method for accessing greater numbers of people. The website should have the company's contact details, including the business phone number and email address. Advertise in newsgroups that are in a similar line of business so that the site is easily accessed.

3.Trade Shows - Rent space at trade shows and hand out promotional material to clients. Keep a feedback or order address registry for clients. After the show, contact them, keeping the promises made at the booth.

4.Direct Marketing - Create a finely tuned list of targeted recipients and directly mail the explanatory material to them.

5.Yellow Pages - Make an ad stand out in the yellow pages with an attractive design and listing under a specific, targeted head.

6.Public Service - Promote the company in a positive manner in the community by sponsoring events, donating products to local charities and holding events with local schools or other groups. Distribute promotional t-shirts, pens, or mugs with the company's name emblazoned on it.

7.Business Card and Network Groups - Keep professional and well-designed business cards handy. Join a networking group for support and business leads.

Implementing Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Use knowledge, skills, systems and tools to create a low cost marketing strategy for new businesses to attract customers on shoestring budgets.

Knowledge: Read books on marketing knowledge and buy a couple of marketing manuals from web marketing masters. Learn marketing strategy from consultants or pay a marketing expert to market your business.

Skills: Develop the three important marketing skills.

Ask straightforward questions to learn of the clients' needs and problems.

Listen carefully and provide a problem-solving approach.

Write a compelling copy of marketing materials to attract customers. Demonstrate practical ideas and understand the working of the product.

Systems: Define responsibilities, schedule marketing activities, and use computers to automate tasks and hire people for clerical activities. Focus time and attention on the clients to deliver products or services in a stipulated period. Manage contacts to add to the database. Send information to prospective clients and respond to each query to handle clients respectfully.

Tools: Below are the basic tools needed to target a market.

Communication tools like phone, email, and web sites.

Information for clients about the business, like written proposals, brochures or pamphlets.

Things displaying the company name, logo and contact information like business cards.

Additional Help
There are software packages available to help owners market themselves to consumers. Many of these software packages are constructed with the small business owner in mind and contain invaluable and affordable tools.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ezine Marketing Tips

If you're seriously interested in knowing about ezine marketing, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about ezine marketing.

Consider contacting an ezine owner for a joint venture via telephone. Most Internet marketers loath the idea of actually having to talk to another human being in order to secure a relationship, but it is actually one of the best ways in which to make a deal. Consider breaking your silence as a business owner and contacting an ezine owner directly via the phone.

Use a powerful "call to action" in your advertisement. This is the part of the advertisement that tells the reader to stop looking and "buy now" or "get in now before you no longer can" or "start today for free." An effective solo ad will integrate multiple calls to action to give the reader the option to skip to your site immediately several times.

Consider contacting an ezine owner for a joint venture through snail mail. Contacting them through email will be quite tough, as they probably receive dozens of similar offers each week. As per protocol, write a personal email that specifically cites certain details about said person's business to ensure that they don't think it is simply spam.

Contact ezine owners and ask them if they are interested in free video tutorials. They could even send you a script and you could turn it into a video presentation for them, perhaps even using Power Point. You can then host the video from your domain and then can send traffic there every 2 to 4 weeks to get exclusive video content.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to ezine marketing than you may have first thought.

When creating a solo advertisement, alter the copy so that it specifically portrays the product as a solution to a specific problem. Purchase several solo advertisements to test how well this version converts when compared to other versions. Testing is vital if you want to continually improve the conversion rate of your advertisements.

When creating a top sponsor advertisement, avoid making an attempt to sell anyone on anything. Instead, give something away completely free that will upsell the reader later, such as a subscription or a special report. Additionally, make sure you clearly communicate that nothing is for sale and that you simply want them to take action for free.

Format your ezine advertisement correctly before you send in to a publisher. In most cases, you will have to format your advertisement to 60 to 65 words; and you may even want to perform a spam check. If the text isn't formatted properly, lines will be broken and wrapped unprofessionally; and if you don't perform a spam check, it may never even go through in the first place.

Setup contracts with ezines owners. Promise to procure at least one high quality, exclusive article from your staff each month. Find an expert on your subject who will write this article for you for a low price, sync it with an upcoming product release (for which you advertise in your resource box), and then send it along to the ezine owner.

So now you know a little bit about ezine marketing. Even if you don't know everything, you've done something worthwhile: you've expanded your knowledge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Squeezing every last cent from your marketing budget

Since hiring a high-powered public relations firm is not in the cards for most business owners, coming up with creative ways to market on a budget is an essential part of any business plan. Your marketing efforts will grease the wheels of your business and get it moving in the right direction. Don't be intimidated by the hype surrounding the extravagant advertising budgets during the Super Bowl. Not everyone needs to spend millions for a thirty second ad. There are plenty of cheap and effective ways to get your name out there and get your products in the hands of customers.

Don't Let Your Marketing Efforts Fall on Deaf Ears
Quantity is not quality in the marketing world. Believe it or not, sending out advertisements to everyone in the United States is not a cost effective way to spend your marketing dollars. It is a waste of your time and money to advertise to people you know won't be interested in your product.

Why would a dating service targeting 20-35 year olds living in the Pacific Northwest send a promotional coupon to a ninety-eight year old in Texas? Explore your customer base and figure out where you fit.

There are numerous ways to identify your target market. You will likely have an idea of the type of customer you want to attract from the get-go. It is just a matter of reaching those customers and seeing if they are truly interested in your product.

Don't go wasting half your marketing budget on your quest to find your target market. If you think your customers will be active adults fond of the outdoors, you might choose to visit local nature societies or park reserves in order to see if that group really likes your product. Instead of wasting time surveying thousands of people, go straight to the source. Find your niche and stay there.

Creating a Marketing Plan Within Your Budget
Now that you know who you are marketing to, you'll have to figure out how to do it. The "how" will be determined by your budget. Begin by asking yourself several simple questions:

-How much money can I spend on marketing?
-What type of advertising do I want to do?
-Where should I do this advertising?

While it is impossible to accurately foresee where you will want to spend your marketing money for the next year, you should be able to make some rough estimates. It can be helpful to research some of your potential competitors to see where their ad dollars end up. It is always good to learn from other people's flops. If you identify a certain ad campaign as ineffective, you've already saved money by avoiding the same mistake.

Cost Effective Ways to Market Your Business
Creativity is the key to any marketing plan. A creative home video featuring your business may find greater fame on YouTube.com than any television advertisement ever will. Not only is that free, it is effective.

The Internet has opened a whole new world of marketing opportunities, many of them free of charge. Both blogs and public forums have become a great way for business owners to connect with customers on a personal level. This is not about pitching potential customers; it's about sharing your opinion and having a conversation. Such a medium can be especially advantageous in establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

Article marketing has become another increasingly popular means through which companies market their products. This process requires you to write informative articles relating to the your industry. Once you've written a batch of articles, they can be submitted to article databases and then distributed to websites throughout the Internet. Each and every one of those articles will have links going directly to your company's website. That is free publicity at its best!

Maximizing a budget for a new business is never easy. When you identify your target market, create a marketing plan, and seek out marketing opportunities within your budget, you set yourself up to see sales climb.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

4 Free Marketing Methods

Every successful entrepreneur knows that the most important part of any business plan is the marketing strategy. Too many would-be business owners get so caught up in product development that they overlook the importance of how that product is going to get into the hands of consumers. The question investors ask budding business owners is what's your distribution? which is a way of asking how will you market this?

In the 21st century we have so many different means of communication available to us that it is overwhelming at times to try to choose which medium will best serve your business. People are hit by marketing messages 24/7 and tune out over 95% of what they see or hear. More money is wasted on bad marketing strategies than almost any other part of business, so for young start-ups, it's best to test with free marketing methods.

One free method of marketing is to affiliate yourself with a business network such as your local chamber of commerce. When there are events, you can share your business cards and brochures with all the other members present. They in turn will likely give you their information, but you may be just what one of these people is looking for or find a partner to joint venture with that will give you leverage to get more exposure for your product.

A second free method of marketing is to write and submit press releases. The internet has made this method so easy, cheap, and fast that offline papers often turn to the online databases to find news. The announcement of your new product and how it solves a problem is definitely newsworthy. Never write them to sound like commercials, it should always sound like news or it won't get published. Once you've written it, you can send it to any of the many online press publication sites, such as OpenPR.com.

Free marketing method number three is to participate in online forums and utilize your signature line to talk about your business. Never openly talk about your business in a forum unless it's to directly answer somebody else's question, and never post garbage like 'me too' just to get your signature seen in a thread. Contribute good quality and choose a forum that interests potential clients so you'll know you've got a winner.

A fourth and one of the best ways to market for free, is to simply offer some free incentive for people to try your product. This can be entry into drawings for hot prizes, gifts that bear your company logo or message of some sort, free memberships, consultations, information, or bonus additional products with purchase.

Giving things away for free tends to enhance the perceived value of what you offer while at the same time winning the trust of your clients. As people see your interest in delivering real benefits and not just taking their money, you will see more buyers and more frequent action from the same buyers.

Marketing doesn't have to cost big money, often the best solutions are very inexpensive. Test your strategies for free as often as you can until you are sure of the market's response, so that once you know how much it costs you to get a buyer you can spend that amount over and over while always gaining more and more profits.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

7 Factors Of An Effective Advertising Campaign

You've probably heard the old saying - I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted, if I only knew which half! Although it's not possible to know all the factors that go into effective advertising, there are a few elements that are crucial to an ad campaign that is profitable. If you strive to achieve as many of the following 7 factors as possible, you can be confident that you'll have a winning campaign.

1) Choose an appropriate medium to convey your message. This is so obvious, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't use common sense when buying media. If you're trying to reach a 14 year old, don't buy an ad in the daily paper - buy the radio station that plays hip hop music! Try to target your advertising as much as possible. Think about the person you're trying to reach with your message. The more you know about that person, the easier this will be.

If you're selling clothing to working women, buying TV is probably not a good idea. They're probably so busy doing household chores and taking kids to various activities, they probably don't have time to watch much TV. But billboards and radio are great because she's probably on the road a lot and those media fit for that audience.

2) Don't believe that everyone uses media the way you or your spouse does. Just because you don't like a certain program on TV doesn't mean that your potential customer doesn't like it - they may be big fans and never miss an episode.

Don't assume that everyone reads the newspaper because everyone you know does. Ask for information about the medium's audience - let your rep show you exactly who is watching/reading/listening/driving by/surfing their medium.

3) Don't judge the price of the ad by the dollar amount alone. Just because an ad is expensive doesn't mean it isn't a good buy - and the opposite is true also. If an ad is cheap, but no one reads or sees it, it's worthless to you. If an ad is reaching tens of thousands of people for $1,000, it might be a good buy if those are the people who are in the market for your product.

Try to gauge the real value of an ad by the cost per thousand or cost per rating point (for TV, radio & cable). If you're not familiar with those terms, ask your ad rep - they will be happy to fill you in. (And if they aren't, find a new rep.)

4) Develop a relationship with your customers and prospects. This is another thing that should be obvious, but very few companies actually do this. Proctor and Gamble has found that this is what makes them money. And it makes sense. If people trust your brand and feel that they know your company, they're far more likely to buy your products. This is actually easier to do as a smaller business than a large one - and many local businesses have done this for years.

It may be schmaltzy, but when the local furniture store owner is on camera for all his TV commercials, people develop a relationship of sorts with him or her. They feel like they know that business. Anytime you can link a personality - even if it's not a celebrity - to a business, that makes that business stand out. This is an important element that there's not nearly enough room to cover - so think this one through for your business and come up with ways (and they can be very simple) to develop a relationship with your customers and prospects. An email newsletter is a simple, cheap and very effective way to do this, by the way.

5) Have a hook. Give people something that makes them remember you. Big companies spend millions on this - and for a good reason - it sells stuff. Whatever you do, don't say "for the best in service and quality" - no one will believe you! If you want to convey that message, have one of your customers give a testimonial on camera - have them describe how you provided them with great service and quality. Give details.

A hook needs to be simple, memorable and if possible, fun or heartwarming. The Taco Bell Chihuahua is a good example - the Pillsbury Doughboy is another one. Do something different and let people know about it. Give them a reason to choose your company over your competitors.

6) Be relevant. Talk to your prospects in your advertising - let them know that you feel their pain and are going to help them make it go away. If you're talking about something they can't relate to, they'll ignore you. There are way too many advertising messages in the world today - and people have learned to tune them out unless they click with something that is important to them. You know how this works - you do the same thing.

If you're sick of how your car is nickel & dimming you lately, you suddenly are much more aware of ads for cars. Find out why people buy your product and talk about how you will give that to them. It's really pretty simple - but an overwhelming majority of businesses totally miss this.

7) Make sure you know what you're trying to get your prospect to do. Do you want them to come to your store and buy a specific product? Or do you want them to call your business to get an estimate on a project so your sales person can close the sale in person? The more specific you are in your call to action (please make sure to include one!), the more likely your audience will do what you want them to do.

All of the elements that go into your advertising - the media, the creative, the copywriting, the call to action - create a synergistic result. The more focused you are with any of those elements, the better your results will be. It's always crucial to measure your ad results. Determine what you want to achieve and include devices that will allow you to determine whether or not you achieved your goal. Then you can tweak results from there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's is in the BLOG

If you're looking to grow your business, then a BLOG is a great tool to add to your tool chest. In this article we will discuss BLOG basics and how you can use them in your business.

1. What's a BLOG?

What's a BLOG you ask? Well, let me tell you. According to Wikipedia.com:

A blog (short for web log) is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order [newest entries are at the top].

So, its really just an online journal or diary that is written by anyone who wants to tell the world what's on their mind. (Side note: When I say "the world" I really mean it, so be careful what you write.)

Ok, so how can this help you grow your business? Great question. To understand the answer you have to know just a bit about how search engines work.

2. BLOGs and Search Engines

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and all the others use what they call "spiders." Spiders are software programs that "crawl" the internet looking for new content, and rank it based on its contents and its relevance to a certain topic. This is all done by some very complex math, but the important thing you need to know is that if you write often and/or discuss topics that are getting searched online a lot (i.e. topics in the news), the search engines will consider your site "relevant" and if you include "key words" (popular search terms) in your content, that you know your potential customers are searching for, there is a much better chance that they will actually be able to find you.

So to recap, my 3 Principles of BLOGging for Search Engines are:

1)Write Often
2)Write Relevant
3)Write Using Key Words

3. What makes a good BLOG?

This is a rhetorical question. The only thing that really matters is the opinion of the audience you are trying to reach. So here are a few tips that will help you stay on track.

1. Know who you are writing for
a. If your audience is 13 year olds, writing about retiring next year probably isn't going to get you a lot of return visitors

2. Keep it short and to the point
a. 100-300 words is all most people will have the time to read, so keep your articles short and to the point. Over time this will build a great deal of credibility with your readers.

3. Write actionable content
a. "How To" and "Top 10" lists are great. It gives your readers action steps they can take to use your content in their everyday lives. Think about ways to use these to point out how you are different from your competitors.

4. Don't be afraid to tell some of your secrets.
a. People love to hear about how to make something happen, then they love to pay someone else to do it. Let's be honest, even though you just told me how I can edit my html code on my website to make it stick out like neon lights in a search engine, that doesn't mean I want to do it myself. Just give me a way to contact you to hire you. After all, you just showed me that you are the expert.

5. Allow Comments
a. Consider allowing people to post comments about your BLOG. In fact, you should be the first one to post a comment after each blog, pose a question or comment to simply getting a discussion started. If visitors are interacting and writing comments about your BLOG, they are actually adding relevant content that the search engines are going to like.

Well, there you have it, BLOG basics.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Building A Customer Database

One of the most important parts of a home business is certainty that you always have
enough work to keep the income flow steady. Doing that means that before you ever start
your business, you have to begin an advertising campaign so that you have someplace to
begin. Do not quit your job and go in with blinders on your eyes or you will fail and be
right back working for someone else. You should have a constant flow of potential
customers or repeat customers, depending on the kind of business you operate. Some
types of home businesses have guaranteed repeat business, while others are usually just
occasional jobs.

In order to assure that you always have a constant flow of work, make sure that you
always have a database of customers. You do not want to spam anyone but if you
have someone who has contacted you in the past about a project or you have worked with
someone in the past, you can drop them a short email to see if there is anything else they
need you to help them complete. The key is always keeping your contact list up to date
and staying in contact with people you assist. You may get into the habit of offering
bonuses for referrals that ultimately become one of your customers.

Although advertising is an important part of your business, some fields do not require it
simply because of the nature of the work. Transcriptionists, for example, do not require a
large database of customers since most of that work will come through the courts,
doctors, or lawyers, depending on the type of transcription you do. In most cases, these
fields will not require advertising because your credentials alone will keep the clients
coming back again.

Even if your business does not require ongoing advertising, you will need to do some
initial advertising in order to gain the momentum you need to get your business operating
efficiently. You do not have to spend a great deal of money on advertising but you must
keep in mind that sometimes the free internet sites do not afford the same success rate as
those that require a fee. Even if its a small fee, you will have more success than with a
free advertising site.

Other ways of advertising include signature lines in your email, link
exchange programs and making sure that your website is submitted to as many of the
search engines as possible within your budget. Some free submission services are
available but your site will not reach as many search engines as those charging a fee.
Remember the old saying that it takes money to make money, so you have to invest a
little of your own money if you expect to make your business the success that you want it
to be.