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Archive for the ‘Business Tips’ Category

Valuable Lessons for How (Not) to Market on Facebook

October 05th, 2012

Ever since its initial public offering in May, Facebook’s life as a public company has been scrutinized, analyzed and commented on by the hour. During the lead up to their public debut, everything seemed rosy for the social media bandleader.

Even General Motors pulling out of their $10 million ad campaign the week before the campaign didn’t do much to slow the company’s initial roll up to $38 a share. Unfortunately, the gaping problem that GM pointed out hasn’t gone away. Facebook’s sidebar ads suffer from a dismal click-through rate. Although the internet average is just .1 percent, Facebook’s click rate settles around a pathetic 0.051 percent.

So is marketing on Facebook worth it? Of course! But not in the manner you might have previously thought.

Social media is all about engaging. The point is to start a dialogue with customers. Just like your blog, the posts on your Facebook wall, Twitter feed, or Google+ page should be insightful, thought-provoking, and most of all, useful.

Whether you’ve had success or failure in the past with social media (or you’re just getting started), remember these integral lessons whenever you’re launching or updating your campaign:

Don’t Be a Broken Record Player

Although tools that allow businesses to aggregate all their social media accounts in one place are useful, recycling a post across different platforms, this isn’t always the wisest approach. If a consumer likes your post on Facebook enough to follow your Twitter account as well, they might soon unfollow you if they’re bombarded with the same messages from multiple outlets.

Of course, some outreach is best shouted from the rooftops. In general, however, treat each platform as its own.

Make Each Post Unique

The broken record player analogy works individually within an individual outlet like Facebook, as well. A week-long sale shouldn’t be touted in the same way each day (3 more days! 2 more days!). Try to think of a witty or relevant post to highlight the sale each day. If you’re a shoe store, post a photograph of yourself in a favorite pair and solicit follower feedback. Or, if you own a spa, reward followers with a Facebook-only giveaway for users that ‘Like’ your post that day.

Don’t Over-Market

Facebook recently launched ‘promoted posts,’ allowing business pages to pay a small fee in order to maximize the number of their existing followers they reach with a status update. Although this tweak can be highly useful when you’re hosting an event or a major sale, it doesn’t change the rules about what you post. If your update is a blatant and boring marketing pitch, it won’t convert the extra views into further sales. Use your website to promote your products directly, and use Facebook to talk about them.

This spring, Facebook even launched a paid post beta program for regular users in New Zealand, allowing posters to make their updates ‘stickier’ on their friends’ news feeds for an extra dollar or two. If these become a regular option around the world, it could change the way our news feeds work, increasing the pressure even more for marketing content to be of a high quality that stands on its own, sales pitch aside.

Stay Engaged

Many businesses make the mistake of devoting themselves to a social media marketing plan and committing to a certain number of posts each day or week. But is it better to post three posts each day that get zero comments, or one post that results in a long stream of back-and-forth between followers?

Ask questions in your posts and invite followers to ask questions in return. Be quick to reply when they post, helping to foster a conversation that will promote you as an expert in your field, building trust that translates into sales. Not to mention, the more comments and ‘Likes’ a post receives, the higher it ranks within Facebook’s news feed algorithm.

Sometimes You Say it Best When You Say Nothing At All

Are you totally unmotivated to post to your Facebook account today? If you simply can’t think of anything good to say, keep your mouth shut. The last thing you want is to lose followers due to boring posts or updates that shamelessly try to sell product. If you’ve got a case of ‘poster’s block,’ just log out and don’t post anything. Something good will come to you later.

With Facebok struggling to further monetize and convince investors that it’s worth more than $20 a share (where it’s been hovering for most of August), there’s no telling what changes may be in store. Whatever alterations Facebook does make to its marketing options for businesses, the rules offered here are universal — with social media, start a conversation, establish yourself as an expert, and trust that the sales will follow.

Blog Post Courtesy of: Senior executive Anita Brady is the President of 123Print.com.   They are a leading resource for high quality customizable items like business cards, letterhead and other materials for small businesses and solo practitioners.

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Basic Steps to Creating an Effective Google AdWords Campaign

August 30th, 2012

Hi All!

The following Guest Blog post is another good one courtesy of Craig Robinson, an online Marketing Expert and the Editor for Qwaya, a Facebook campaign tool that runs through a web interface.

In this article, Craig is going to take you through the basic steps and tips to create a winning AdWords campaign. It’s loaded with great info, so let’s jump in!

Basic Steps to Create an Effective Google AdWords Campaign by Craig Robinson

When you’re ready to take the big step into online marketing, you will undoubtedly be creating an AdWords campaign with Google. Of course, there are many other ad services out there to choose from, and you should always spread your eggs out instead of putting them all in one basket, but Google is the biggest service around and it demands your attention.

However, only the best campaigns on Google are going to succeed, or at least have a greater chance of succeeding. But there is an endless amount of competition using AdWords campaigns, so you have to create great material or else your competition is going to bury you.

So let’s discuss how you can get ahead of your competition, and improve your branding and sales through an AdWords campaign…

Steps & Tips:

Target Your Market

This is the first step in the process and perhaps one of the most important. You want to ensure that you have the proper market targeted if you’re hoping to use AdWords to generate sales.

When you’re creating your AdWords campaign, think about whom to target both from a keyword and geographic perspective.

Your keyword portfolio decides when and where your ads will show. You need to balance great reach with high relevance, so think about the market you’re targeting and play to their needs.

Best Ways to Write Copy

This is something that can seem rather difficult at first. The goal is to command the reader’s attentions with your copy, and there’s a careful mixture of art and science involved here. For instance, you may want to ask questions that appeal to the users. You can also hand out simple instructions, tell a short story, offer up a teaser, etc. You want to create an air of intrigue, but you also want to come across as trustworthy.

Although good copy depends a lot on what you’re advertising and to whom, the key is always relevance. How can you make the ad as relevant as possible looking at the keywords you’re buying clicks for?

Here are examples of quick-hit messaging you’d want to follow when writing your ad copy:

  • Current promotion: “Right now only $50”
  • Specific product: “iPhone 5 in stock”
  • Review: “Best in test”
  • Your unique selling point: “Largest phone retailer in the US”

A Strong Call to Action

With a call to action, you’re looking to entice someone to click through on your ad and act on your offer. You’re not trying to order them to do something, however. So save those multiple exclamation points, the huge promises (i.e. lies), and other gimmicks used.

If your copy is written well enough and if the ad is relevant for the chosen market, a simple “Purchase online today” or something similar is as “strong” as you need for a call to action.

Creating Relevant Search Phrases

For Google’s particular system, this is an incredibly important part about effective marketing. You need to make sure that your keyword portfolio matches search phrases that are actually searched by people. There’s no “best guess” feature with AdWords.

You’re going to be paying the freight here, so make sure that you do your research.

(Note: It helps to have a service delivering these ads that will help out in search term generation.)

Lowering your CPC

Yes, playing the game with Google AdWords is going to cost money. It’s worth it if you have an effective campaign. You’ll receive a nice ROI. But if you’re interested in lowering your cost-per-click number, you need to focus on three main areas: long tail keywords, uncompetitive themes, and relevancy.

Long tail keywords are far more descriptive and thus have less competition. The same goes for the uncompetitive category. You should be able to find some really popular phrases, relevant to your ad’s message, which aren’t “over” competitive.

Lastly, make sure that your ads are using keywords that are as relevant as possible. Nothing lowers costs like actually making money!

Doing things the right way with Google can make your campaign a huge success and can help your business to grow exponentially. The above guide isn’t as thorough as it could be, but it does give you a general run through in terms of creating effective ads. Expand on each tip as you need it. And if you’d like more tips on search engine marketing, visit keybroker.com.

Thanks, Craig, for contributing another helpful article. And I hope all of you learned something here to make YOUR AdWords campaigns more successful…done right, they are a great way for small business owners to not only increase sales but build awareness for their brand, too. So I don’t care if you’re selling books online or want to promote your services, try some AdWords campaigns in your marketing plan.

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

 

 

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Ten Tips for Writing Articles to Build Your Brand, Book Sales and Web Traffic

August 01st, 2012

Hi All!

I wrote about this last year but felt it was worth doing again. Why? Because a great strategy for building your Topic Expert brand, and for increasing traffic to your website, is to write articles.

By doing this, you can immediately be positioned as an expert in your field. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and this can attract clients to you, as well as attract media interviews for you. But, if you’re not a great writer, relax! Hire a ghostwriter (inexpensively) to do them for you. All you have to do is provide them with the topics you think will appeal to your target audience and they’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

And, for any of you Authors, writing short articles with content from your book, even AS you’re writing it, is a way to also generate interest in your book and increase your book sales! It’s also a way to continue interest in your book topic even if it has been out for a few years.

That said, here are 10 quick tips for making them compelling and using them as a valuable marketing tool:

  1. Grab The Reader’s Attention Fast: Make sure to create an interesting title for your article, and you can even make it a thought-provoking question. Also, in your opening paragraph set-up the “pain point” you’re going to solve and why it’s important to them. Writing articles that will solve a problem for your target audience is a great strategy for the angles you develop.
  2. Keep the Articles Simple, Short and Easy to Understand Quickly: People want to read quick-hit information that they can grasp fast and benefit from. So make sure the articles you write provide good, helpful information and are written in a succinct style. A good way to achieve this is to use bullet points or numbered points so that your key messages and tips are easy to reference and follow. Having your key points “buried” in paragraphs will make it frustrating for your readers.
  3. Add Keywords for Online Search: Your articles will be posted in numerous ways online and will often be found by people doing keyword searches on your topic matter. So you want to make sure that you use the Google keyword tool that I mentioned back in the chapter about writing an effective Press Release, and add those popular search terms in the body of your articles. I know many experts who rapidly increase their search rankings because of writing articles, and oftentimes their articles start ranking higher in search results than their main websites do. Therefore, you want to implement this strategy!
  4. Don’t Pitch Your Services and Products: When you write articles it’s only about providing helpful info to your target audience. It is not about making your articles big infomercials to pitch yourself and/or your products. If you write good articles that people truly learn from, they will typically want to learn more about you and they will visit your website. The fastest way to kill your credibility and lose a potential “fan” is by trying to sell them on something in your article content.
  5. Be Yourself in Your Writing Style: Conveying yourself as likeable is important! If you’re a fun person, be sure to bring out your personality in your articles. This is the same advice I give to clients who hire me as a coach and consultant to launch their speaking careers! Don’t be one person on the stage and another person off stage. People can see through that because you’re not being authentic. And when you write articles, it may be the FIRST contact anyone has with you; even before seeing your website. So you want to make sure who you really are comes through in your writing.
  6. Don’t Quote Other Experts: The purpose of your articles is to showcase you; not someone who could be a competitor. You normally only want to quote other people in your articles if their information really adds to your message and content quality. Sure, you can quote stats and research results from studies you find, but try to avoid quoting or mentioning other experts who are similar to you.
  7. Offer Your Articles on Your Website & Submit Them to Online Distribution Services: When I submit articles online, I also add them to my website, in Word, so that people can download them to use as content on their blogs, ezines, websites and newsletters. And, on my article web page, I clearly state they can use my articles as long as they are shown in their entirety, and the short bio about me provided at the end of each article is included. I also ask that they send me a link to it when it’s used. Millions of people are constantly seeking for content and understand they have to source the author who wrote it. This is great for driving their traffic to you!
  8. Write Them Consistently: If possible, try to write and submit at least one article per month online. I know experts who do one-per-week because they receive so much benefit from doing so, but that may be tough for many of you. Start by writing a few, and after you get the hang of it and start developing a “formula” for cranking them out (or hire a ghostwriter to do them for you), you can start to increase how many you publish monthly.
  9. Share Your Links: Many article distribution services will create a web page for your article that will be found through online searches. You’ll have a unique url for your article’s page and can share that link to drive traffic to your article on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and in emails to your contact database.
  10. Embed Links in Your Articles: When you write an article, make sure to have certain words or phrases that have hyperlinks to pages on your website, your blog posts, Twitter page, Facebook page, and/or to other articles you have written and that are posted online. Just make sure the links take them to info that is relevant to what you’re writing about and to points you are making.

Okay! There are 10 quick tips to get you started on writing articles to build your brand, revenue, credibility and online traffic!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

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How to Create Unique and Encouraging Facebook Ads

June 02nd, 2012

Hi All!

The following Guest Blog post is courtesy of Craig Robinson, Editor for Qwaya, a Facebook campaign tool that’s run through a web interface. If you’re a small business owner who currently runs ads on Facebook, or plan to, you do NOT want to miss the incredibly useful tips and strategies he, as a Facebook Advertising Expert, outlines to make your online ads much more effective!

So…let’s jump in to Craig’s article!

With so many different software options out there for you to choose from, you can realistically churn out ads by the hundreds every single day if you wanted to. You’re only limited by your imagination and the speed of your software. However, as most advertisers ultimately learn when dealing with Facebook, quantity never bests quality. One original, inspiring ad from one source can get 10 times the conversions of an entire army of shoddy ads.

People left places like MySpace for Facebook because Facebook was of superior quality. No jumbled mess of advertising for porn and dating sites and other garbage. So, to make the most out of this social media giant, you need to post high-quality ads. Below, we will go over a few great ways in which you can hone your ad-making skills.

A Five-Step Guide for Creative Ad-Making:

1: Emulation is Not Theft

You can think of emulation like trend-watching in this context. The idea isn’t to steal ideas from anyone; and it’s definitely not to outright steal ads. But you need to keep up with trends. As you’re operating a business, it’s difficult to know what groups of people are liking on Facebook these days. You might decide a humorous Rage Comic ad would create a social context buzz, but you may be two years late for that if you’re not keeping up with the trends. So when we speak of emulation here, what we’re really speaking of is keeping an eye on the competition to make sure that you’re not missing the ball.

2: Text and Context are Different Things

You can’t always type your way to social context and high conversions, so remember that leaning on text too heavily isn’t how you create an original ad. You want your text to be very specific to the purpose and to provide a call of action without making bold promises and guarantees that cannot be matched. But you don’t want to only rely on the text for a creative ad. For example, a press release style of ad is good, but it’s even better with an image(s). Trying to type your way to popularity isn’t nearly as efficient as going with a blended approach.

3: Target a Complete Niche

A lot of advertisers make the mistake of not targeting a large enough niche. Did you know that women over 50 years of age click at higher rates than anyone? Yeah; it’s true. You don’t want to only cater to 18-35 or whatever popular demographic you read about. You want to cater to all inside of the niche. Expand on your main keyword (for instance: stereo equipment) and think of every instance in which it can be used, regardless of age and even of location. Expand, expand, expand!

4: Visualizing the Goal

Optical illusions and humorous images and the like are all big draws for people. Remember, the Facebook expert advertises in the realm of social context. The amateur advertises dry business slogans to a narrow niche. Be very visual with your ads and entice attention by causing people to actually focus on what they’re looking at. Your main goal is conversion, but that’s not your only goal. Popular, enticing ads will catch on.

5: Always Test Your Ads

The best part about advertising is that you’re never going to rely on one ad and you’re never going to leave an ad out there that doesn’t perform well. As long as you’re testing, you will know which areas of the ad to tweak and how to proceed with a successful campaign. You always need to test what you’re doing.

It’s not a complicated thing to advertise with Facebook. Just make sure that you’re always adapting and are always looking to be creative.

Thanks, Craig, for those helpful, quick-hit tips for improving your branding and sales using Facebook advertising!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

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5 Key Strategies for Effective Facebook Advertising Campaigns

April 24th, 2012

Hi All!

I came across this extremely helpful article written by Melinda Emerson, The Small Biz Lady. Melinda always provides great content and info so you should follower her on Twitter @SmallBizLady and read her blog posts.

Many clients come to me either confused about Facebook Advertising, or have never even considered running Facebook Ads. And I typically find most of them think Facebook Ads are probably really expensive. But, that’s NOT true!

Not only can you choose the exact audience you want your ad to appear on the pages of, BUT you can also control how long it runs and how much you spend. Also, ads are great for promoting your events! You can run a Facebook Ad campaign leading up to your event and then stop the campaign once it’s over. Cool stuff! Again, you’re in total control of your campaigns and budget.

For more info on all the general stuff about “how” to run ads, visit the Facebook Ads page.

Okay…back to the purpose of this article! I’d like to share 5 tips Melinda offers once you’ve decided to run ads.

“5 Areas to Focus on When Setting Up Facebook Ads” by Melinda Emerson. Please note this is just an excerpt from the entire article she wrote, so click here to read the whole thing!

User Destination: Figure out where you want to send the users that click on your ad. There is a strong benefit to sending people to a Facebook Business Page, as well as sending them to a company website. It all depends on the marketing goal you are hoping to achieve. Costs per click will also vary based on where you direct people to go. A CPC landing page can make or break an ad campaign, but the landing page doesn’t necessarily need to be offsite. Facebook Business Pages allow for creative opportunities for landing pages including a contact form or a Facebook store among other options.

Ad Type: Determining which ad type to choose can directly impact the success of a campaign. Facebook Ads are a common ad type that is structured most similarly to traditional CPC ads. Sponsored stories, event, post, and application ads can also be successful for brands but focus on more specific content. There is a strong social advantage for running ads that highlight a brand’s status update or event because they show “likes” and shares associated with that post. These ad types often see increased click through rates because of the social association.

Targeting: You not only have the opportunity to target your current demographic, but can also connect with an audience that you would like to target as customers. Facebook allows you to target users based on every profile feature that they enter. Likes and interests are a feature that businesses need to take advantage of. If a business sells fitness products they have the opportunity to show their ads to anyone that “likes” fitness, health, working out, yoga, etc. The specific targeting allows for leads from a very qualified user group, which makes the Facebook Ad conversion rates much higher than traditional CPC campaigns.

Reporting: In addition to the basic reporting that Facebook offers, there are other ways to track your user’s activity after they click on your ad. You can setup goals and conversion tracking in Google Analytics that can assist in determining the success of the ad campaign.

Optimization: Continuously managing your ad campaign is vital to its success but knowing how to optimize it is what can really drive results. Knowing which ads are performing and why is what you’ll need to know to carry that success to the other ad campaigns.

I hope her tips take some of the mystery out of Facebook Ad campaigns for you! Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, coach, consultant, entertainer, book author or speaker, Facebook Ads are a great way to generate traffic to your Fan Page (Business Page), website, events, products and BRAND…and it’s highly targeted and cost-effective for lead generation!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

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Google: Solid Strategies to Rapidly Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

March 30th, 2012

Hi All!

The following article is a guest blog post courtesy of Kelly Marsh, a freelance writer and blogger. You’ll see that she provides great strategies to improve your search engine rankings on Google, so if you want to get on page one of a Google search, keep reading!

Here is the blog post Kelly provided:

If you are a small business owner, or own an online business, you know the importance of first page ranking in the Google search engine. Some believe that well done SEO can bring the desired result. However, this is not the only thing that helps one to get the top ranking. Moreover, Google maintains a top-secret and complex algorithm to decide on the websites to be displayed on top. No one has the exact information about the ways in which search engines give priority to websites. Still, it can be said that the well optimized and highly relevant web pages would get good ranking. Find out the easiest ways to get top page ranking in Google below:

Keyword Research

Start with keyword research. Find out the keywords relevant to your webpage that have the highest number of searches. You can do keyword research in the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Choosing the right set of keywords is half work done.

Proper Optimization of Meta Tags

Use the keywords in your description tag, title tag and keywords tag. You can also use the keyword phrase in the image ALT tags. In this way, Google shall be redirecting traffic to your website. However, ensure that the webpage is relevant to the keywords searched.

Keyword Density

Always maintain the keyword density of 1-5%. If you exceed this limit, it would be considered as spam as per the rules of search engines. Hence, keyword stuffing should be avoided at all cost.

Domain Name

The domain names that have the keyword phrase have more chance to get a higher ranking than those without the same. However, this can only happen if your website is properly optimized and possesses high number of quality backlinks.

Backlinks

Create as many backlinks as possible to redirect traffic to your website. Video marketing, article marketing, social media and social bookmarking are some of the ways to create backlinks to your website.

Anchor Text

Use of anchor text is also another way to get backlinks to your website and high page ranking in Google.

Video Marketing

This is also a great way to redirect traffic to your website. You would have to make small videos about your business or products and upload in several video sharing websites. Google would surely put your website in the top rank if it has a video. However, ensure that the video is relevantto the item searched.

Social Media

This is the fastest growing way to get traffic to your website. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are some of the social platforms from where you can expect traffic to your website. This is because once you share your url on your profile, your fan and followers would re-share the same with their friends. In this way, you would get traffic to your website.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is also a great way to attract traffic to your website through search engines. You need to submit articles relevant to your business to several article directories with a brief bio about your company at the end of the article and backlink the same to your website. The work is as simple as that.

Google Map Listing

This is the best way to get visible on the first page of Google. Google would surely keep you at the top spot if you use Google Map Listing. Moreover, this favors you from your customers’ base as well. They get to know about your location in an instance that helps both of you in several ways.

These are some of the ways to increase your page ranking. The more techniques you use, the more your chances to get top position in Google search engine. Using all of these would make you dominate the first page leaving your competitors perplexed.

About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on trek bicycle attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on landscape architecture.

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How A Boomer Executive Got Fired and Launched a New Life

March 17th, 2012

Hi All!

I have 2 rituals that I perform prior to boarding a plane if it’s a morning flight: Buy a Vitamin Water and a USA Today newspaper. No matter what city I’m flying out of, if my flight is before noon local time, you can find me doing this in an airport store close to my departing gate.

There is absolutely no point in my telling you that, other than recently I was on a flight, reading my USA Today, and came across an interesting article about a new book that I thought was very interesting and inspiring. But, before I jump into telling you about it, let me take a minute to explain why the article about the author’s journey and his new book grabbed my interest:

Back in October of 2011, I published my third book, “Boomers into Business: How Anyone Over 50 Can Turn What They Know into Dough Before and After Retirement”. Basically, there are startling stats about how ill-prepared more than 47% of Boomers are to have enough money to retire (or to even cover their basic bills later in life!). So I wrote my latest book to provide career options that Boomers can consider to make more money now, on-the-side of their current job, if they’re employed, as well as what they can do after they “retire” from their current job or career to generate income past 65 years old. Again, almost 50% of Boomers are at risk of outliving their retirement savings so this is a serious issue…and will cause many Boomers to have to generate income, somehow, well into their later years.

Okay, now back to the book I read about on the plane. It’s called, “Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, FInding a Life”, written by James. S. Kunen (Lyons Press). In a nutshell, at 59 years old Kunen was fired from a corporate job at Time Warner, and found himself in what he, along with many other Boomers, describe as a place of: Too young to retire and too old to hire.

According to the article about his journey, 100 employees out of 500 were let go, and of those 100, 4-out-of-the-5 people let go in corporate communications were over 40 years old. He being one of the “oldest” at 59. So, there Kunen was, caught in that weird vortex many Boomers find themselves in where they find it hard to find a job, yet they’re too young to “stop” working because they don’t have enough retirement savings.

Now, I don’t want to give away the ending and how he survived this, so you’ll either have to read his book or read the article I read online in USA Today back on February 27, 2012 to get more details. But I will offer you this brief book description to wet your appetite:

The funny, insightful, and inspiring story of a 1960s campus radical turned corporate PR man who finds himself, along with his fellow baby boomers, in a place called “Too Young to Retire and Too Old to Hire”.

James S. Kunen—author of “The Strawberry Statement“, an account of the 1968 student uprising at Columbia University—chronicles his adventures on the road to finding meaning in work and life.

He traces his evolution from a rebellious youth who sees working as a kind of death, to a laid-off corporate executive who experiences not working as a kind of death, to a reinvented and reinvigorated individual who discovers something important and meaningful to do.

The experience of falling victim to America’s recession-ravaged economy (and the people who run it) leads him along a career path far different from anything he had planned. After years of making a living, Kunen finally learns how to make a life. “Diary of a Company Man” will be a revelation not only to baby boomers but to young people trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

Aside from publishing a book, what did he do to make a living? How did he reinvent himself? Did he become self-employed? Did he find another corporate job? If you’re a Boomer and find yourself in a similar situation as Kunen, let-go from a job close to 60, what can you do? Or if you still have a job but need to make more money for your retirement account, what can you do? Or if you’re looking for something you can do to generate income past 65 years old, what can you do?

For starters, on Amazon you can pick up a copy of Kunen’s book, or my new book (mine is available in both Print and Kindle versions), for some ideas! Sadly, all of this is a reality for over 35 million Baby Boomers, and the time to start thinking about financial security in your golden years is now!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

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50 Qualities of the Best Business Blogs

February 24th, 2012

Hi All!

As you know, I’m constantly doing research for tips, trends and strategies that pertain the branding, business, marketing, social media, sales, PR, etc…basically anything that can help people build their small businesses and achieve success!

And today I came across this great blog post written by Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, entitled: 50 Qualities of the Best Business Blogs in the World.

I wanted to share several of the tips on his list here because SO many clients and people in my workshop audiences constantly ask,”What can I do to make my blog better?” Or, “I want to start a blog but don’t know what to do!”

And after reading Marcus’s post, I felt many of you could benefit from the info. So, here are 15 of the 50 qualities he shared:

1. They answer the basic consumer questions first and foremost.

2. They don’t suffer from the curse of knowledge.

3. They don’t try to impress readers because they know that happens naturally with great teaching.

4. They don’t brag about themselves, their company, and why they’re so awesome.

5. They are willing to have a conversation below the post (in the comments section) or behind the scenes via email.

6. They don’t waste words, and if they can state it shorter, they do.

7. The owner/CEO of the company is involved and also is a blog contributor.

8. They include at least one image on every post.

9. They make it readable by using short paragraphs, bullets, headers, etc.

10. They include video as much as possible.

11. They address subjects no one else in their industry is willing to address.

12. If they see something wrong in their industry, they tactfully call-out the action, person, or company doing it.

13. They leverage as many employees as they can in the content curation process, and see every member of their staff as a “blog contributor.”

14. They don’t have a bunch of frivolous red tape, filters, and stupid management teams holding up every blog article that’s written.

15. They have thick skin and don’t back down as soon as someone doesn’t like what they have to say.

To read the other 35 qualities he shared, simply click here!

I hope that all you small business owners, speakers, authors, coaches, entertainers and consultants find this info helpful for improving your blogging efforts. If you’re going to take the time to have a blog, you should at least do your best to make your efforts effective!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

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Beyond a Press Release: Two More Strategies to Get Media Interviews

February 05th, 2012

Hi All!

By writing and distributing Press Releases for myself, I have been interviewed by well-known media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and many others. And when you give them a great interview or sound bite, they come back to you. I have one reporter who has contacted me 3 different times in the past 6 months for 3 different articles she was writing. That is FREE publicity to the world!

Press Releases can also prompt the media to ask you to write an article for them. Why? They perceive you as an “expert”! In a short period of time I was asked by BNET.com, WomenEntrepreneur.com, and PersonalBrandingBlog.com to write articles for them – all because they received a Press Release from me and it put me on their radar as a “go to” expert in my niche.

But once you’ve crafted a newsworthy Press Release, and deployed it through a distribution service like PRWeb.com, what else can you do as a small business owner on a budget to get media interviews? Here are 2 strategies to consider:

Spoon Feeding the Media Segment Ideas

In addition to sending out “mass news” Press Releases, there is another strategy for getting publicity. I call it “spoon feeding” the media. The media loves it when you approach them with specific story ideas. This can be along the lines of topics like: “Is Your Career Suffering? 5 Unique Tips for Success”, or “Do You Struggle With Money? 3 Surefire Tips for Finding Financial Bliss”, or “Is Stress Ruining Your Life? 4 Proven Ways to Overcome It”.

The key here is you’re doing the “thinking” for the Reporters, Editors, Producers, etc. They are always looking for ideas, and appreciate when they get some! So focus on topics that fit within your niche as a Coach, develop compelling topics that would be great interview topics for print, online, radio or TV, find several media outlets that cover stories related to your expertise and that reach your target audience, and pitch them your idea(s). This strategy has worked very well for me, personally, and my clients!

And you can approach the media contacts via phone or email. But, and here’s a key point, whether you send them a Press Release or contact them with a specific topic idea, you need to follow-up. Sending them one email or leaving one voicemail message is typically not enough. Try 3-5 follow up attempts before you give up. Most members of the media are approached with many news stories and topic ideas daily, so being the “squeaky wheel” is often necessary. And even if they don’t jump on the first one you present, continue to the send them new ones. Eventually you will get their attention!

Sharing Your News Through Social Media

Once you have uploaded and deployed your Press Release through PRWeb.com or another online distribution service, the services create a web page for it with a unique url. So not only post your Press Release on your website but also be sure share the link to it with all of your Social Media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc. You can also use the Press Release as a post for your blog.

And, when you start to get media interviews, be sure to add the links to the articles or appearances on your website. Plus, share links to those, too, with your Social Media communities. Please note, it’s not only totally acceptable to toot your own horn by sharing these things, it is necessary for building your business and brand!

OKAY! There is your crash course in how implementing effective PR strategies can benefit your business. Again, this is a key marketing tool for building brand awareness, positioning yourself as an expert (ie: personal branding), generating sales for events and products, attracting new clients, and landing speaking engagements.

Being persistent and consistent with your PR efforts can bring you substantial returns…and prospects will be impressed by the media coverage you post on your website. It really will build your credibility as an expert in your field!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

 

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Why Not Understanding Social Media Etiquette is Impacting Your Efforts

January 11th, 2012

Hi All!

Back in 2012  I wrote a blog post entitled “Do You Suffer from Social ‘Me’dia Syndrome?”. It was picked up by tons of other blogs and also led to my being asked to write variations of it for several online business communities and magazines. I bring this up because yesterday I spoke to a good friend of mine who was asking me about Social Media tips. After my chat with her I realized that it was a good time to revisit this topic in 2012. Why? Because MANY people are still clueless about proper Social Media etiquette!

Here’s the deal…you have to participate to make it work for you. If you make it all “about you”, you’ve lost the entire essence of what Social Media is about! I find that many new clients who come to me are not getting much out of their Social Media and online marketing efforts because they’ve forgotten ONE little detail…they forgot about the word “social” in their Social Media strategy.

Here are a few tips that will quickly illustrate my point:

1. Comment on other peoples’ blog posts. If you have a blog and want people to comment on your posts, you have to comment on OTHER peoples’ blog posts to start generating traffic to yours. It’s simple: If you read a blog post you like or have an opinion on, don’t just “keep it to yourself”. POST A COMMENT!

2. Retweet other peoples’ tweets: If you like a tweet from someone else, take a split second to click on the retweet button to share it with your followers. That’s why the retweet icon exists! To SHARE info with everyone and help cross-promote each other to help increase awareness for other people. It’s amazing how much more tweet-love and traffic you’ll get if you retweet, reply and comment on other peoples’ tweets. AGAIN…it’s part of being “social” in tweet-ville…and it’s part of Social Media etiquette!

3. Comment or Like other peoples’ posts on Facebook or in LinkedIn Groups: If you want more people to comment and/or click on the “like” button on your Fan Page or Profile posts, then do it more for other people! It takes less than one second to click “like” under someone’s post and sometimes just a couple of seconds to write a comment. Again, if you see a post that you like or find interesting, rather than just THINK to yourself, “That’s funny!” or “That’s cool!” or “That’s interesting!” or “That’s really helpful info!”, move your cursor up to the word “like” under it and simply click. Or type a short comment to acknowledge what that person posted!

This may all sounds like common sense BUT it’s NOT common practice…which is why millions of social media hobbyists and small business owners are involved in Social Media but frustrated with it. They constantly just focus on posting stuff about THEM, their businesses, their products or events, their books, their families, their vacations, their kids, the songs they like, food they like to eat, etc., but they rarely take the time to acknowledge what other people post and share online.

So…here’s my challenge to YOU: If any of this describes how YOU participate in the world of Social Media, make “improve my Social Media etiquette in 2012” one of YOUR resolutions in the new year! You’ll be pleased with the results and will truly be participating the way the world of Social Media was intended!

Cheers & Happy Marketing!

Lisa

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