Saturday, November 22, 2014

Promotional Items - The Excellent Marketing Tool For Your Business

Whether you are just starting a business or you have one running, marketing is one of the most important things you will need to do. Without proper marketing, it can be hard for your brand to be recognized hence you will find it very hard to put up with the competition that's all around you. Even the most recognized businesses need regular marketing to keep the brand fresh in the minds of the customers. The marketing strategy that you take should be in line with the financial abilities of your business. Promotional items are some of the best for small businesses or startups.They are cost effectiveWith capital limits, the promotional items such as promotional pens are a great way to go. This is because they are inexpensive and by using the right printing services, you can have beautiful marketing pens at a cost that is most appropriate for your business. Items such as pens are cheap to buy especially in bulk and having them printed or personalized is nothing compared to what you would have spent on TV, radio and newspaper ads.They are flexible advertisements The promotional items are basically walking advertisements and this increases your brand visibility. Items such as pens are used in so many different settings and every time that pen is drawn to write down something, your business will stand the chance to be seen more. The best thing about the items is that you have the freedom to include all your business contacts so that every person who comes across them and is interested in your services or products can find it easy to get in touch with you.

They are usable Choosing promotional items with high usability is always a better choice compared to items that are only used for a short period of time. This is why personalized pens make some of the most effective items for any business. You can also choose other usable items like bottle openers or t-shirts among others. The more usable the items the better it will be for your company since it means that the users will constantly be reminded of the existing business. Even if they might not be interested in what you have to offer currently, they might be in the near future and the practical usable items will serve their purpose in guiding the potential clients your way.When choosing items for your marketing plan as a business always consider items that will fetch you amazing results without stressing you financially. Printed pens and pencils can be some of the best and you can choose them in different colors and designs to match with different preferences of your target market. You can also keep them uniform in one color and design, but making sure that the most important business information is included on the pens. However, you also want to avoid over-printing the pens since they can become too busy and unattractive to the eyes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

3 Smart Ways To Market Your Business

If you own a small company, you know that you need to market yourself effectively in order to stay in business. It is important to attract and retain enough clients to maintain a steady and healthy business growth. Marketing is a good way to attract new clients to your company and spread your message to people who may be interested in the services you are providing.While there are many things that you can do to market yourself, it is important to focus on the ones that will bring you the best results and most revenue. Especially when you have a small business, it is important to use your time efficiently. Wasting time by working on ineffective marketing strategies can severely hurt your company. If you can only do three things for marketing your business, make sure these are the ones that you choose.Use the 80/20 RuleThe 80/20 rule was created in 1906 by an economist in Italy. He noticed that most of the money in a society is held by about twenty percent of the people. This concept can be applied to the business world, as well. Typically, approximately twenty percent of your clients will produce eighty percent of your company's income. Similarly, twenty percent of the products or services that you offer may generate eighty percent of your revenue. It is important to make sure that your marketing and programs focus on this vital twenty percent. Without your core twenty percent of clients or products, your business will likely fail.

Pay Attention to Where Your Target Market IsIt is necessary that you know how to get your message to your target audience. If you sell fitness equipment, you should be focusing your marketing strategy on health clubs, fitness webpages, health and fitness magazines and social media groups relating to working out. By knowing where to reach your target audience in the largest numbers possible, you can efficiently market yourself.Know How to Delegate TasksYou need to learn to assign responsibilities to other members of your team. This frees up your time to work on the most important business matters. You are the public face of your company, so your time is best spent building relationships and strong bonds with people who bring your referrals or new business. Generating leads is vital for any business to succeed. Let the less important tasks fall to someone else in your company.By making sure to market your small business effectively, you can ensure that it will survive and prosper. Many marketing strategies don't work well, so focus on using these to best market your business. You will quickly see results and know that you are focusing on the right areas.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Online Marketing: Rise of Video Production Companies

Any business organization that doesn't have videos on its website or lacks a social media presence is considered backward these days. According to a research, 92% of all large businesses in the world use videos as a means of promotion, marketing or customer care. Most of them are beginning to accept how videos and internet have grown in their reach and dominate as a medium today. Newspaper, radio and TV have become obsolete in the field of marketing and no longer remain an effective medium for businesses to reach their customers. Video production companies are living their dream and are catering everyone's creative needs, from small businesses to large corporations. Videos have grown larger in their reach and smaller in their length. Video production companies have travelled a long and successful way so far and have a lot to conquer further. Here is why.1. DigitizationVideo production used to be a big deal a few years back when nothing was digitized. Film production needed bulky rolls, huge production equipment, a big crew and high end editing tools almost cost insane amounts. Nevertheless, today, even a hand held mobile device can record high definition videos. Digital videos are smaller to store and cloud computing makes storage of GBs and TBs of data effortlessly. With advanced graphics and animation, it is now possible to express impossible ideas on screen and 3D technology has made videos unbelievably interactive.2. InternetWith the internet the world has transformed itself into a global village and everyone is connected to each other. Business organizations cannot find a bigger and more over a connected audience anywhere else and that is the reason why online marketing is everyone's favorite today. Research says that 85% of people who watch videos on the internet about some product or service are more likely to buy that product or subscribe that service. Videos create an instant relationship between the consumer and the product attributing to their compact and effective storytelling. Over 72 hours of videos are being uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 3 billion hours of video are watched every month on YouTube. With everyone so closely connected with social media like Facebook and Twitter, the phrase 'word of mouth' has a new definition. With sharing options available, everyone shares everything that is found interesting. Innovative and creative videos of short length from video production companies gain a wider acceptance within hours and go viral. Here, the word is spread from one person to hundreds and thousands of people almost instantly. The internet is a wide, free and well-connected media and currently, the best for businesses to market their product and for video production companies to showcase their creativity.

3. Cost EffectiveWith the advancement in the world of electronics everything is getting compact and cheap. People have moved from large television screens to handheld devices with crystal clear display. This technological advancement is the reason why companies no longer look for big production houses with outdated ideas for their creative needs. They are turning more towards video production startups who come with offbeat ideas that can connect with people. In addition, production equipment is cheaper and editing tools are available for unbelievable prices. These production companies produce quality corporate videos for a lower price. The internet is a free medium and business organizations do not need to invest millions to buy media space anymore. Hence, there is a win-win situation created for both of them, when the videos are going viral in the background!Videos have revolutionized the world of information and internet drastically in a very short span. Video production companies understand this trend and aim at producing creative videos that are of a short span but highly effective. With marketing campaigns embracing videos more than ever before, and technology making video production more simplified, video production companies definitely have a long way to go!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Custom Uniforms Make for a Memorable First Impression

Uniforms do not have to look outdated and boring. Define the image of your staff with custom uniforms. They are an integral element of your brand's awareness and presentation.Many employees of an organization are regularly seen by customers. Once the staff has uniform apparel, they make the brand come alive. Having the staff uniform enhances the brand's visibility and brand awareness. Custom apparel has a powerful effect on the experience of the customers.A company that does not utilize uniforms can lose customers by giving them a confusing shopping experience. Whether a customer is shopping or looking for assistance, the process needs to be easy and employees need to be easily visible. A uniform makes employees not only visible, but it gives customers a way to remember what the employees of your brand wear.According to Entrepreneur magazine, there are more than 32 million U.S. workers who go to work each day wearing a uniform. There are plenty of benefits that come with utilizing custom uniforms for employees. Besides the fact that uniforms are a great brand marketing strategy, they allow customers to easily locate someone for assistance. It is advised that you dress your staff to reflect your product or brand.In 2011, Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University, in Boston MA, conducted a research study to find out if uniforms were indeed effective marketing tools. They highlighted the importance of advertising and creating a brand identity in competitive marketplaces. A positive experience with an employee in a branded uniform projects a positive attitude onto the customer about the brand. The positive attitude about the company results in positive responses, influencing the customer's decision to make a purchase.

The research proved that for all industries that were surveyed, the average response indicated that the use of uniforms were more effective marketing tools when compared to the top 6 popular forms of advertising. When compared to internet advertising, which is considered to be an extremely effective marketing strategy, uniform programs still showed to be more effective!Developing a brand identity is crucial to any brand's long term success. There is no better brand identity and recognition than uniforms. Uniforms are also a great form of "walking advertising". Unlike online advertising, your uniform will continue to advertise your brand long after it has been paid for.When selecting uniforms for your company it is best to involve the employees in the process as well. A lot of the negative stigmas about employee uniforms can be solved with direct participation from employees. In larger companies this can be done efficiently by having each tier of management reach out to their subordinates to gather opinions for uniforms.If you are looking for a cost effective way to promote your brand and make a memorable first impression on potential customers, than employee uniforms are the best choice for you. Research has clearly shown that uniforms outperform other media such as billboards, radio, internet, and printed press!

Monday, November 10, 2014

5 Things You Can Do This Month To Increase Online Traffic

When the quality and value of your product speaks for itself, making sales are easy. However, even with the best product or service, getting the word out to build awareness and educate the public about your amazing business is of critical importance. When it comes down to it, you still need to increase online traffic and develop a steady stream of visitors, you need to follow a few important tips. Here are 5 methods for increasing traffic.1. Long Tail KeywordsFor brand new sites, targeting your search engine campaigns around popular and obvious keywords right away can yield few results. Instead, write your article and blog content around highly specific long-tail keywords. Long tail simply means that the keyword or phrase contains 3-4 individual words. For instance, "buy roses" vs. "buy long stemmed red roses". There are a number of great software applications that allow you to find highly competitive long tail keywords.2. Persistence is KeyThe longer you stay in business and continue to produce high quality, engaging content. Over several months or years of creating content and tweaking your website, you will start appearing higher and higher for search results for your targeted keywords. While setting up blogs and creating a lot of content in the short-term is easy, making it a daily or weekly habit of creating content for a year or more can be difficult.3. Optimize Blog Posts and ArticlesWhile search engine optimization sounds like a complicated and scary topic, there are really only three primary components to successfully optimizing any webpage or blog post: the meta title, description, and keywords. The meta title are the words that appear at the top of your browser while on any webpage. The description is what appears in the search result right above the link to the page. Optimizing these for your target keywords is a great way to increase traffic.

4. Link BuildingThere are a couple of ways to go about link building, but the important thing is to build all of your links in an ethical manner. This means avoid scammy backlinking practices like plagiarizing or posting the same content in multiple places. One great methods are to create free websites, fill them with content, and link back to your site. The other, is to create even higher quality guest posts and articles and pitch them to high-traffic websites with the understanding they will link back to your site.5. Provide Value to Your AudienceFinally, the most important component to website success is to consistently provide value to your audience. The way you do this is up to you, but most marketers either create informative, engaging, entertaining or useful articles, videos, or blogs. These can be how-to videos, or buying guides for expensive products. Some marketers prefer to offer these items for free in exchange for their audience taking specific action, such as entering an email address to get on the newsletter.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Customized Coffee Mug: Powerful Marketing Tool For Your Business

Whether a business is a newly created start up firm or ten years old established company which has created a position in the market, every successful business group needs intelligent and effective marketing and advertising to add value to their brand. Successful marketers are always on prowl of an ideal medium to facilitate result driven dialogue to persuade buyers to purchase their products and services.Since times immemorial, businesses are using some staple products such as key chains, pens, pen stands, coasters and t-shirts for their marketing campaigns. There is no shortage of promotional tools for marketing these days but contemporary marketers must select an impressive as well as meaningful item which adds a "wow factor'' to the success of their marketing campaign.Let us explore why it is wiser to invest in a promotional coffee mug for the success of your business:-a) Wide Use:- People use coffee mugs across the world. It can be seen in homes, offices, shops, crowded marketplaces, trade fairs, exhibitions etc. People use it at least once a day to drink their favourite beverage. Coffee mugs remain in the eyes of people. It is used throughout the year in all seasons. Coffee or tea ritual is the standard way to welcome guests at home. Chances are good that guests may find a printed coffee mug intriguing and ask questions about it.b) Availability of ample space:- A coffee mug is usually bigger in size compared to a regular tea mug. Since there's plenty of space available on a coffee mug, you can customize it easily and plan to customize it in different ways. You can print thank you messages, congratulatory messages, name of a new product or your company logo or tagline. All you need to do is uniquely customize it with your message, make it look fascinating and distribute it at different places.c) Emotional appeal:- People form emotional bonds with physical objects. Sipping your favourite drink in an amazing coffee mug gives a person a sense of comfort, peace of mind and enthusiasm to maximize his or her day. Effective marketing is all about forming an emotional connection with people. Great looking coffee mugs can be very effective in building an affinity between your customers and your products or services.

d) Long time benefit: Promotional coffee mugs can be used over and over for a long time. Businesses spend huge amount of money on television commercials which last for just a minute. It does not stay on the mind of customers forever. A coffee mug will work over and over to let new people know that the business exists.e) Economically cost effective:- You can save a good deal of time, money and energy by shopping for customized promotional mugs online. One can choose from a variety of mugs available. Online shopping websites usually run various weekly, monthly or end of the season discount offers, just cash in on the opportunity and save huge money. If you can not think of a unique idea to customize coffee mugs, you can take the help of product designer in an online shopping store.f) Perfect giveaways: Be it celebration of a new product launch, an employee's retirement party or birthday, a press meet or any other occasion; you can distribute coffee mugs printed with your marketing message at any occasion. An amazing coffee mug designed in different colours of your company will look beautiful on your client's work desk.To conclude, drinking tea or coffee is a part of modern-day life style around the world. People share their thoughts, ideas over a cup of coffee. To market effectively, you just have to unlock the path your buyers take towards a purchase. Select a right tool and make sure you remain in their conversations over a cup of coffee.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Custom Promotional Products, The Most Cost Effective Form of Marketing

When it comes to marketing your brand, there are several avenues you can take and all of them can lead to certain degrees of success. However, some are more effective than others. Choosing the right method for your company can mean the difference between your company growing, and your company sinking like so many others over the recent years.So exactly which one is the best for your company to use? One of the most cost effective forms of marketing available today is by using promotional items to send your message to your clients and prospects. The effect of these items on consumers is very positive. In fact, 83% of consumers that surveyed in a recent study, stated that they like receiving promotional products that contained a message from the company that sent it. Additionally, 38% said these promotional items served as a constant reminder of the company that sent it.Making It Useful Makes It EffectiveConsumers that were offered free promotional products while at an event, tradeshows or malls for example, said they would take one if they found it useful. Ensuring that you are using items that are found to be useful by your audience is the key to cost effective marketing when using promotional items as you medium to deliver your message.The average consumer is flooded with advertising on a nearly daily basis. One of the challenges you are going to face is cutting through all of the marketing clutter your target audience deals with and make your message stand out from the pack. Promotional items and corporate gifts are great tools for helping you to achieve this. With your brand professionally imprinted on a high quality promotional gift, it will bring more attention to your company while at the same time, setting it in a positive light. This method is so effective, in a recent study, a staggering 76% of those that had received a promotional item, could remember the company, the item, and the message the company was communicating to their audience.

Residual EffectBecause they possess great staying power due to their usefulness, promotional items have an outstanding residual effect on your marketing campaign. Your high quality promotional item will be integrated into the life of your clients or prospects, professionally, personally, or possibly both. In another study revolving around the subject of promotional products, 91% of the participants involved, stated that they had a promotional item in their kitchen, 74% had one in their work areas, and 55% had at least one promotional item in the closet in their bedroom or in a storage area.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Marketing Formula: EDUCATING Your Prospect Is Key!

In sales our team members often look for the 'quick win' or 'low hanging fruit'. But the reality is that in order for these quick wins to occur, someone - likely marketing - has been nurturing your prospect.What really does this mean?Education of the prospect is a critical function for a marketing team. In fact, it is at this point that the company builds enormous credibility with the prospect.Education is not about talking about all the bells and whistles on your particular product. Nor is it pointing out why someone should do business with you or talking all about your company and how you are unique (which is rarely true anyway). I'll tell you a little secret. Your customers care more about their own situations than they do about your service or product.Well if educating the prospect isn't about product specification sheets, the wonderful services you offer, or the wonderful PowerPoint that shows all the companies you work with, what is it?Put simply, education is taking the time - with no expectation of return - in sharing solutions to customer's problems. It is information - freely given - that adds value for the customer and helps them understand both the dynamics of the problem they are facing and the potential benefits and pitfalls of many different solutions.

This education is not a one time event either. Your marketing team should be planning a series of educational pieces that continue to share information that is relevant to your customer. It won't always be solution centric either. At times you may want to share specific information about your industry. Or share special case studies that detail solutions to problems that other customers have faced.Why would you bother doing this, you ask? Isn't it just easier to hire more salespeople and send them 'knocking on doors'?Let me share some psychology with you. There is a psychological law called the law of reciprocity. If you and your company are the ones sharing information in a non-pressurized environment and you continue to do so over several months (or in some cases years), then when the customer decides to buy something that you offer where do you think they will go? Will they buy from the fresh faced salesperson knocking on their door from your competition? Or is it possible that they will take a closer look at your organization? Remember, you have been training the prospect. You have proven yourself as the expert.Educating your prospects is likely the best way to keep your prospects active in your sales funnel.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

7 Marketing Reporting Metrics That Really Matter

Marketing data reporting is one of the newest and most effective areas in the field of marketing. Through analytics, massive amounts of information can be gathered. It can be specific to any aspect of a channel, such as location, time of day, device, clicks, and keywords. That data can then be pulled into a variety of reports to indicate the health of the overall marketing campaign, or a specific channel. It is made even more efficient by using organizational tools, such as software for a marketing dashboard, that allows easy and regular views of all results. While the reporting can be robust and answer a number of questions, there are key metrics that have a bigger impact on the company, and should be monitored more closely. Learn a few of those options, so they can be implemented today.1. Cost per leadThe way to find the cost it took to get each lead in a determined period is a fairly simple method for marketing data reporting. First, determine the total expenses it took to bring in all leads, through all advertisements, salaries (including commissions and bonuses), overhead, and marketing costs of a particular time period. Then, divide that number by how many new clients were gotten in that time period. The cost per lead lets the company know how much they've invested in each new lead for the year.2. Total conversionsTypically, the term refers to the number of leads that entered the company as a new customer that made a purchase. However, it can also be narrowed to reflect the success of a specified campaign, such as one targeted at increasing the mailing list, or to increase usage of a social media site. Marketing data reporting can be used to track a variety of project sizes. Tracking total conversions is important to know the success of the campaigns.3. Conversions attributed to marketingThe ability to provide quantifiable results for the efforts of a marketing department are essential to any business owner or Marketing Director. The number of marketing conversions is typically an accurate indicator of how effective marketing methods are.

4. Customer retentionCustomer retention is important because it means a high return on investment for the company. Marketing data reporting proves that the initial time spent to attract the client and acquire their business is paid down and earned over again through repeat business that requires minimal effort from the marketing team.5. The value of each customerIt is necessary to determine how many and what kinds of customers to target. A customer's value is the estimated sum of all the revenue they will generate over the course of your relationship. It is good to have an understanding of your average, top, and low, customer. With that information, the marketing and sales team have a better understanding of how to structure their efforts when working for a conversion.6. Total visits to a websiteAn effective and healthy website should be the biggest focus of any business. Too much of today's business is gotten or lost due to a website. A smart, easy to navigate, and pleasing design can mean a lot of time and money, but the likely return on that investment is high. Website optimization, integration of key search words, and formatting for mobile-friendly use all lead to increased sales through the website.7. Project ROIEvery single activity by the marketing department has a cost and a return. The goal is to track those numbers through marketing data reporting, so that attention can be put on those things with a high return and less time spent on the sometime necessary tasks that have a low return. With metrics built into each project, the ROI can not only be tracked, but with real time reporting, immediate changes can often be made to increase the effectiveness and decrease the cost.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Can Product Managers Be Too Clever When It Comes To Pricing?

How much does your product cost? I'm willing to bet that you have a price sheet / guide somewhere that took a big effort to create. You probably had to study the market, study your customers, and study what the other guys were charging in order to come up with your prices as a part of your product development definition. Once you had done this, you then had to get a bunch of people to approve your prices. Whew - finally you were done, the prices were set in stone, and you moved on to other things. However, is this really the best way to price your product?A Better Way To Price A Product - The Uber ModelSo let's think about pricing for your product for just a moment. What would the best way to do this be? We all know about supply and demand. The more that customers want a product (think snow shovels when there is a big snowstorm forecasted), the more that they are willing to pay for it. Every product has a similar model. Your product is probably more desired by your potential customers at different times of the day, week, month, or year.Given this knowledge that your product becomes more desirable at different times, shouldn't you be adjusting your price? Wouldn't you want to raise your prices when customer demand goes up and lower them when there is less customer demand? For that matter, what would your customers think about this? Get this right and you'll have something else to add to your product manager resume.Uber is a relatively new service. They provide a free mobile application that anyone can download. In a big city, when you need a ride from one location to another, all you have to do is to use the mobile application to request a ride. When you reserve a ride, you pay using your mobile phone so there this no need to pay the driver. Very promptly a car will show up for you. You'll end up paying roughly 1.5x what you would pay for a standard taxi ride, but you don't have to hail a cab - your ride comes for you. Needless to say, Uber offers a product that is very popular with their customers.Problems With The Uber ModelNow the thing about taxis is that although people may not like them that much, they at least know what they are getting when they get into one. Taxies have existed for so long that they have become highly regulated. This means that it is always going to cost the same amount to travel from point A to point B.

Uber's pricing doesn't work this way. Instead, during events such as a snowstorm or on New Year's Eve after midnight, Uber's prices go up. Sometimes significantly - 8x in some cases. As you can well imagine, Uber's customers are not pleased about this. Uber points out that they need to raise their prices to make it worthwhile for their drivers to be out on the streets in these adverse circumstances. They also make the point that if you have a problem with their price, then don't use the service.From a product manager perspective, Uber has a publicity problem here. They are using supply and demand to offer dynamic pricing for their product. Customers are always going to complain when Uber prices shoot up. However, what the Uber product managers need to do is to start to educate their market. Sure, an Uber ride during a snowstorm might be very expensive; however, if somebody is using them to get a pregnant lady to the hospital during a snowstorm then the price might actually seem fair. Documenting stories like this and sharing them with potential customers will serve to balance the complaints the next time demand exceeds Uber's supply!What All Of This Means For YouPricing a product has always been a challenge for product managers. Price it too low and you are leaving money on the table. Price it too high and you won't be selling very many. All too often we have a habit of "setting and forgetting" our product's prices because they are too hard to update. Knowing how to set the right price for your product is a key part of your product manager job description.Over at the mobile application developer Uber, they've come up with a better pricing model. The cost of a ride increases when there are fewer cars on the streets: during snowstorms, on New Year's Eve, etc. However, customers who are used to fixed prices tend to push back when they see the higher prices.As product managers we want to maximize the amount of profit our company can get from our product. Incorporating dynamic pricing would be a great way to make this happen. However, we need to take the time to educate our customers so that they know what to expect.

Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Approaches To Create Activity On Your Website

Web. Business. Benefit. To completely coordinate these words into a fruitful uniting you will require activity and traffic. Each article you will discover about making your site or organization effective would dependably incorporate the significance of producing movement.In this way, we all realize that in the center of everything, activity is the most key thing to a fruitful web based business organization. Aside from guaranteeing that you have an extraordinary item to offer, and you have your organization's inner association well taken center of, it would be time to get to the bare essence of things, producing movement.In the event that you as of now have a site and you need to believe that you're not getting the movement that should be getting, then now is the ideal time to rethink. In the event that you are fighting in these extremely focused businesses, you ought to dependably be a venture in front of your rival, expanding your movement stream ought to have been carried out beginning yesterday.Timing is crucial, that is an old aphorism known to everybody. Yet with creating movement, you ought to dependably be on your toes and be a day in front of everybody. Never consider today and tomorrow as a beginning stage for making your site movement laden, it ought to dependably have been yesterday.To bail you out in creating more activity for your site, here are practically seven surefire approaches to expand your movement beginning from yesterday.1) Put resources into great promoting with web indexesGoogle's AdWords gives extraordinary publicizing plans that are genuinely mainstream and guarantees incredible movement. In spite of the fact that with this surefire approach to build your activity would cost some cash. While some would bashfully far from using cash to expand activity, it is basic for this situation to do so in light of the fact that AdWords is the top surefire approach to build your movement.You could see for yourself the achievement this web search tool publicizing routine has procured prizes for such a variety of organizations. Loads of site's peculiarity, these publicizing frameworks and numerous have marked on to procure the profits. Don't be deserted. Each penny is worth the trouble with utilizing Google publicizing.2) Trade or Exchange Joins with different localesWith trading connections with different locales, both of you will advantage from the endeavors both of you do to improve your destinations movement. At the point when one site characteristics an alternate locale joins, they could give each other the activity one site produces. The exertions are doubly valuable on the grounds that no doubts like both of you are attempting to create more movement. The more connections exchanged with more locales the more movement could be normal.

3) Use Viral ShowcasingViral showcasing permits you to spread the saying about your organization and item without any expenses or if at any point low expenses just. This is a showcasing technique that can be truly tricky; you can join your organization's name, item or connection to a certain media, for example, an entertaining feature, captivating diversion, an intriguing article or a tattle or buzz. With this technique, individuals get tainted with the innovativeness and amusement of the medium that they will pass it on to numerous individuals.4) Hunt and use legitimate catchphrases or decisive word phrases for your locales contentInternet searchers search for specific pivotal words that they would indicate on their results page. In doing in this way, having the right pivotal word and catchphrase expression is a high necessity in positioning in high in web crawler results. You could compose your substance or you could enlist somebody to do it for you.5) Compose Articles that can lead activity to your siteSubmit articles to destinations that would contain the same subject that your site bargains in. On the off chance that you offer auto parts compose press discharges and articles about autos and auto parts. Connect your destinations portrayal and administrations toward the end of the article and also the connection.6) Join discussions and structure online groupsCatch a business and demonstrate your ability and validity. When you discovered a decent establishment for your site, individuals will believe you and your site and will pass on to numerous individuals their trust. Activity will be surely incremental in light of the fact that they realize that you can give what they require.7) In conclusion, Offer newsletters.In the event that numerous individuals recognize what you are about and your presence is imparted to numerous others, you will discover an unwavering movement that can furnish you with more activity by the proposal. In the event that you stir the interest of your clients they would be pushed to help you with your traffic.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reasons To Hire A Professional Video Company

In case you are a company on the move, then you simply cannot do without hiring a professional for your videos. Even though inbound marketing has its own benefits, but there are certain things to be kept in mind while doing video marketing. The fact remains that a lot of videos are being watched all around the world, thanks to the Internet. And a bad video can be worse than no video for your business.Even though your employees may be good at making videos, but the fact remains that they would simply not have the professional equipment to do so. And there is no point in your company investing in expensive professional equipment for doing video marketing. After all, your company is not really a video marketing company and home made videos simply cannot compete against videos made by professional video equipment.Anybody can make out if a video has been shot by amateurs or professionals. In order to make a positive impact, make sure that your video has strong content along with impressive presentation and you know your product best. So you must make the content. And then you must hire the services of a video production company in order to convey the message across in a positive and effective manner.

There is much more to a video than just filming some action or people using a product telling about its features. It needs to be interesting, crisp and in the local language. In fact, you need to contact professionals to do the required editing and to add images, colours, movie clippings and so on. In fact, you may even need to translate your video in local languages in order to cater to a larger market. This means that video production is much more comprehensive than what you may have been thinking.For all these things, you would require professionals. Video marketing companies already have contacts and know people who have such skills. Once you are in touch with a professional video marketing company, you can be assured of getting all these services too. Hence what you would be getting in the end will be a complete finished product. So you will have to make no effort while you would be getting a completed end product. This will save you a lot of hassle and resources. It would allow you to focus on your actual business while you leave the video marketing with the professionals.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Marketing That Speaks From the Soul

As a change agent you need to express your ideas in a way that inspires others to take heartfelt action, whether purchasing your services, funding your invention or signing a petition to change the way things are done.How do you touch the hearts and souls of those you are meant to serve, in the midst of the information overload they experience every day? How do you stand out in the crowd while still honoring the integrity of your values?The answer is to bring forth language and branding that speaks from your soul.When your marketing speaks soul to soul, it acts as a lighthouse cutting through the fog with a powerful beam, sending your message directly to those who are called to the higher purpose of what you offer.Without the anchor of your soul, you often find yourself running up and down the beach trying to flag down the passing boats in a race against others with a similar message. Imagine instead the fulfillment of simply beaming your radiance with a homing signal to those who are qualified to receive it.How do you approach marketing from the soul?The first step is to be clear on the radiant qualities of your inner essence, the being aspect of your purpose. What transformative qualities do you bring to a room? Does the room get more peaceful, more playful, warmly heartfelt, full of clarity?These qualities inform a purpose-based brand so that the look and feel of your promotional materials and the tone of your language give others the same experience as if you were right there in the room with them.One of my clients discovered from her inner wisdom that her essence was "the warm glow of light at dawn." Choosing rosy pinks and golds for her website, she was thrilled that the colors felt just like her. In contrast, consider what someone with the essence of "the clear diamond of truth" might choose.Though it takes courage to step away from marketing trends and display the essence of who you really are, doing so serves as a powerful screening function. Those who do not resonate with your style will know it right away and not take up your valuable time.Next, clarify the unique transformational impact your offer or proposal will bring if your audience follows your call to action.In the second example above, the client with the essence of "the clear diamond of truth" discovered that she has the impact of cutting to the heart of complexity with the light of clarity and truth. This gave new insight into her work with organizations to create clear values and actions that align with these values.Notice the difference between the following positioning statements:

"We help clients identify core issues and then devise value-added solutions in an efficient and cost-effective manner."

"We cut to the heart of your complex issues and shine light on the core values that align your organization with its greatness."
The first statement is focused on routine problem-solving, and could be said by just about any firm offering values-based consulting. This positions the service as a commodity, where the lowest price is likely to win the contract.In contrast, the second statement expresses the essence of what my client's values-based consultancy does, with evocative imagery that inspires the bigger why underneath any organization's search for help. And, it's not just any imagery, but a metaphor which describes the unique essence of the consultant.

Putting it all together:Once you've clarified the essential qualities and the transformational impact of your offering, the last piece is to understand the "before" state and "after" state of the transformation.The "before" state is the condition, whether a challenge, curiosity or longing, that your audience is experiencing before they've been transformed by what you bring. The "after" state is the condition they experience having been transformed by your offer.For example, with the consultant we've been following, before her clients work with her they are feeling frustrated, stuck, and out of alignment. It's likely that there are mixed messages circulating in their organization, even competing projects, causing inefficiencies and lack of engagement.After they've benefited from her work, her clients are operating with not only clarity of vision, alignment and efficiency, they are engaged and inspired by the future as well.With this information you can speak to the heartfelt condition any prospective client, potential member or investor is living with before finding you. You can then paint the picture for them of how they will enjoy the shifts provided by your result.Call out to them heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul. Invite them to move from the discomfort of the "before" state and join you in the "after" state of your gifts.Here are two examples:~~~~~Public speaking with ease and impact in front of any group:Imagine standing in front of any audience, feeling absolutely at ease and enjoying their rapt attention.Whether you have public speaking anxiety or simply want to express yourself with greater clarity, Relational Presence and Relational Stillness practice at a Speaking Circle® program will guide you in effortless authenticity.~~~~~Do you feel called to increase your impact and play an essential part in the global shift that's emerging? If you're like most of us, you also feel a bit daunted at how to tackle this profound task.Even with success at living your calling, something larger calls you. You won't be satisfied until you embody the truth of your deepest wisdom, boldly touching more lives than you can imagine, and making the full impact that you are here to make. How do you fulfill this vision in the face of all the challenges that stop you?It's time to heal the wound of separation between your inner truth and your outer expression.Join with like-minded others at the Gathering for Change Agents, where by sharing a similar mission, we can accomplish much more together than any one of us can alone.~~~~~Once you take the leap to marketing from your soul, the results will reward you in ways you couldn't have imagined, and there's no going back.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to Stretch Your Association Marketing Budget

As the final quarter of the year approaches, it's time to take a look at your association's marketing budget.Are you on track to end 2014 as planned? Or are you trying to figure out how to make do for the remainder of the year?Here are three ways you can stretch your dollars while still getting fantastic marketing bang for your buck.Market More OnlineCompared to print, television and radio advertising, marketing online can be a budget friendly option. Google ads, Facebook ads, and placing ads on websites potential members frequent are all more wallet friendly alternatives to expensive full page print ads.Another benefit to internet marketing is being able to push your message to a highly targeted group. Internet advertisers allow you to segment your audience based upon demographics such as age, industry, interests, location, and more.Reuse and RecycleRecycling and reusing physical products is the Earth friendly thing to do. But have you ever considered applying this mentality to your association's digital assets?Sales presentations can be shared on Depending upon the licensing agreement, stock photos purchased for brochures or your website can make an appearance on social media posts. Notes or presentations from association meetings can be turned into blog posts or articles.

You get the idea. Make use of the information you already have available to you before spending time and money to create new items.Consolidate Your Service ProvidersYour association probably started paying for service providers one as a time, as needed. Does this scenario sound familiar?First, you created a website. Then, as the association grew, you paid for an email service to manage your newsletters and group emails. Next, members wanted to pay for dues online, so a shopping cart service got added. And finally, your association added the ability to RSVP to events via the internet.Now your association is functional, but there are so many different monthly bills to pay it can feel overwhelming.Using a membership management tool can be a real help for your association. Do your research to find a tool that offers all the features you are currently using. Membership management software services usually offer a complete suite of services your association needs at a price less than using multiple providers.Get your marketing budget back on track by using these three money saving tactics. Has your association adopted any of these ideas?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sales Funnels Advanced: Get Traffic Like a Boss

"Here's How to Get Traffic Like a Boss & Get a Ton of People to See Your Offers"You can have the best product in the world... you can have the best marketing funnel in the world... you can have the highest converting sales pages in the world...... but, if you don't get any traffic... you're most likely broke.We will be posting future articles to cover the finer details of each traffic generation method... so stay tuned.The traffic generation methods are as follows:Advertising - You have to pay to get your message seen. The advantage is that you can start an ad campaign and get traffic to your offers within just a few hours.Space advertising
CPM/CPA - Cost per thousand impressions or cost per action.
Google Search - When someone goes to search for something in Google, your ad will pop up.
Facebook ads
Magazine & Newspaper ads
Banner ads - the ads that are seen on various websites in different sections on the page. Look for words like "Sponsored by Google" or something similar.
Blog advertising
Email ads - You can rent someone's list or pay them to promote your message to their email list.Disclosure - Start with Google Search and learn world of advertising WITHOUT spending a few thousand dollars on an ad campaign. You can start with Google Pay Per Click and test out different ad ideas to see which one works the best and THEN graduate to a bigger campaign.Article Marketing - Write helpful and value filled articles and syndicate them online to raise awareness for your expertise and to generate free

Disclosure - Article marketing is a great way to generate SEO links to your site while getting high quality traffic. The websites listed above are all some of the highest traffic ranked and page ranked websites on Google, so to get your article on their front page means getting thousands of visitors to your website... for FREE.Press Releases/ Public Relations / Public Relations - Anytime that you launch something new or do something new with your business, write a press release and syndicate it
NewsWire.comDisclosure - The key to writing great press releases is all in the news-worthiness of your PR. An excellent book on this topic is "Trust Me, I'm Lying" by Ryan Holiday. Highly recommended.Video Marketing - Creating entertaining and value filled videos and syndicating them on video hosting
Vimeo.comDisclosure - Video is a quick traffic generation method. You can create and publish a video and within just a few hours, you can generate traffic to your website.Phone Calls - Make prospecting calls and send the prospect to your website for more information on your products and services.Business Cards - Put your website and any other credibility-generating links on the back of your business card and refer your prospects over to those links to help you with your sales process.Stay tuned for future posts that will go into the finer details of each of the strategies listed above.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

6 Disadvantages of Using Free Business Cards

The option to print free business cards is available these days. You can find free templates online, have them edited a little bit, and print them out to have copies of your business card almost instantaneously. But there is a price to pay. The disadvantages will be discussed in this article.Design and layoutOne of the most obvious disadvantages is evident on the design and layout. Cards that are free often have limited options available and you can only choose among templates that are already pre-designed. No matter how many templates are offered on the site, there is still a tendency that someone has already downloaded the same design you did. Worst, you may even share the same template with your competition. Thus, it is still better to create a unique and all-original one even if you have to pay for it.Paper and material usedAside from the design and layout, paper and material used also matter when it comes to the effectiveness. Free cards are often printed on a low quality type of paper or material. These are easily soiled and crumpled. In some instances, high quality material may be used but you won't expect exceptional finishing. Only professional printing services can items with matte, glossy, and smooth finish. You can also apply foil, spot, raised print embossing, and UV coating.Text and contentAs much as the design and layout are limited, the same applies to text and content. Predesigned layout only allows you to edit the text and content which are already pre-defined in the order and arrangement as they appear on the card. You can't create your own set of textual content according to what your profession or brand needs. You can't rearrange the layout as well.Professional and paid cards at least allow you the liberty to choose where specific text will be placed. These include your personal or company information, products or services offered, contact details, and more.Cost effectivenessMost users have the impression that using free materials is more cost effective since most printing services only charge you for shipping and handling. In some cases, it can even be offered completely free. But since the material used are of lesser quality, they may not even last long enough for you to distribute them. You may have to spend money again, whether it is for shipping and handling only, in order to have a new set at your disposal.

In terms of distribution, there's still no denying of the fact that free products are of lesser quality. As mentioned earlier, they get soiled or crumpled easily. This leaves an unfavorable impression on you or your company. You or your brand will soon be forgotten the moment that the cards are disposed of.Thus, it is still more cost effective to shell out money for original, professionally designed business cards made of high quality material. You'll discover that the long term result will be worth your money.Impression and attentionWhen it comes to first impressions, free items are not competitive enough when compared with high quality prints. Obviously, any potential customer will be impressed and will become more attentive towards cards printed with the best quality over those which are cheaply printed out.Most are not actually completely free. There is a corresponding cost which is often an advertisement at the back of the card. Your possible clients will be distracted by the printing company's logo or slogan. Their attention will be diverted from the card's actual content or the message you want to convey.Brand and professionIn relation to impression, free business cards do not offer a professional look for a personal card. Neither do they promote brand awareness for a company card since they are co-branded. High quality cards on the other hand can provide a professionally looking card with your personal brand or company's logo, slogan, mission, and other details prominently displayed.Business cards represent who you are as a professional or what your company is all about as a brand. Thus, it is important to make an impression by presenting only professional looking business cards made of high quality material, with original and attractive design, and enticing content which promotes your personal or company brand. All these advantages will prove that spending money over highly effective business cards will be worth it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What You Want!

I don't need any help! How many of you, as entrepreneurs, are still carrying this core belief? If you are, it's going to kill you and your business. Seriously.No one can succeed on their own. No one! But, if you were raised in a household anything like the one I grew up in, then I can totally and fully understand where this thinking comes from. I was always told to learn whatever I needed to know so that I could handle things myself.That was a very strong core belief of mine as I stepped into the world of entrepreneurship. And let me tell you just how difficult and lonely that made things for me in the beginning. My saving grace? Buying and reading the book, 'The Aladdin Factor' by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. It had been recommended to me by one of my mentors - and, while it has incredible content, the true value came from implementing what I learned.'Asking for What You Want' is one of the greatest lessons you'll ever learn says John Gray (who endorsed the book). I totally agree and, in this article, I want to give you some of the key lessons I took away and the impact they had on my business when it came to understanding the barriers to asking, how to ask and so much more."Ask, and it shall be given to you;Seek, and ye shall find;Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth;And he that seeketh, findeth;And to him that knockethIt shall be opened.'- Matthew 7:7-8
BARRIERS TO ASKINGIn the book, it is explained that there are 5 barriers to asking - Ignorance, Limiting and Inaccurate beliefs, Fear, Low Self-Esteem and Pride. For me, the major barrier was Ignorance. As an entrepreneur, there were many, many times when I didn't know what I didn't know. I just didn't know what questions to ask! So, I started to hang around successful people and listen to their questions. I would watch interviews on TV and pay attention to the questions. I would listen carefully to my coaches and my mastermind colleagues - and pay attention to the types of questions they were asking. I believe asking good questions is a skill and one I want to get very good at. It's by asking questions that we learn. What is it you need to ask?
HOW TO ASK"Don't wish it were easier - wish you were better!" - Jim RohnIn the book, there are many different explanations on 'how' to ask. It all stems from what they reference as 'the ground of being' - for me, that translates into your intention What is it you want, exactly? How precise are you in your thinking? When you are clear on your intention, you stand in your confidence and you speak in clear language - chances are your request will be fulfilled. The second part to this is WHO you ask! You want to ensure (to get around that fear of rejection) that you are asking the people who can actually help you out. So, be discerning when you approach people with your 'ask'. It was interesting to me a number of years ago when I was approached by a representative of the local United Way - they were wondering why I had not participated in the fund-raising campaign. My reply? Simply. I told them that no one had asked me. Think about this. How does it apply in your business?
ASK A HIGHER POWER'Let your request be known unto God." - Philippians 4:6I totally, and absolutely, believe in the power of prayer. 'Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a dream. She told her superiors 'I have 3 pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage.' 'Mother Teresa,' her superiors chided gently, 'you cannot build an orphanage with three pennies. With three pennies, you cannot do anything!' 'I know,' she said, smiling, 'but with God and three pennies I can do anything!'

Again, I ask you, where do your beliefs hold you back? And/or, where do your beliefs move you forward. I very much believe in the power of prayer. I very much believe in God's grace, love and support. In my business, God has been my partner - at times, when I felt very alone and challenged, I quickly recognized that I am not alone."When I pray, coincidences happen. When I don't, they don't!" - William TempleThe reason for this article today is to encourage each and every one of you. Reach deep inside. Reflect. Consider what it is you want and need in order to grow your business - in order to grow yourself - in order to best serve the people you want to serve with your gifts and talents.Recognize that you cannot do it alone. Commit to improving your 'asking' skills - and watch the difference in makes. It really is those who ask the questions who grow and succeed.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What Magic Happens When A Business Marketing Plan Comes Together?

For most business owners the key to success lies in a solid marketing plan with strong marketing tactics.A marketing plan is a blueprint that outlines a company' overall marketing efforts.There are a ton of plan templates readily available on the internet.Taking advantage of these plan templates and marketing calendars can help determine the success or failure of your business in 2015Now, what happens when a marketing plan comes together?1. You will discover who your best most important audience is and what your clients want from youHopefully you are creating and offering products and services with a specific target audience in mind.However, you may find that clients, customers and patients other than your targeted audience will also been able to benefit from what you have to offer.Understanding who your audience is a key component in marketing, sales and improving your services and/or products.2. Increases awareness of your companyMost people won't pay any attention to your company, unless they need you. They only care about themselves, it human nature.A marketing plan enables you to formulate a way to help future clients see the benefits of using your product or service. When done right, this establishes your credibility in the marketplace and hopefully solidifies your business as a reliable source.3. You will be prepared. When you have a good marketing strategy you'll be surprised at how fast your company will be able to respond to unexpected marketing and developments from your competition.

A well-written plan that covers all bases will include a projection on possible threats and detailed ways you can respond or capitalize off them. 4. Obtaining FinanceCompanies, including small businesses often need to acquire extra financing.A well-thought out business plan along with detailed marketing is evidence of good planning which could be extremely helpful in obtaining loans.Without a solid business plan and marketing strategy, even the most profitable business would have a difficult time getting financing. Free sample marketing plans are readily available online, they can serve as good examples while saving you time creating your documents.5. Save MoneyOne of the biggest benefits of a marketing strategy that your business is more likely to save money.The average marketing plan includes a set budget that will be used in your marketing efforts for the year.Yes, by outline your marketing plans, and specifying how much money is going to be used to support various marketing efforts it helps your company save a lot of money on unplanned marketing campaigns.If you and your team hasn't sat down to develop a marketing plan for the year, it's time to do so now.Start off with a marketing template to help outline your company's marketing strategies the expand from there.There are so many benefits from having a marketing plan that it would be insane to start 2015 without one.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Evoking Trust and Curiosity With Your Story

It's not a secret that the best coaches and marketers use stories to sell themselves and their services. Some resistance can show it's ugly head when we talk about developing your story. Why would anyone want to hear my story, it's boring, I'm embarrassed to share, etc. Let me share the deeper reason the pro's use not just their personal story but stories about their customers.Stories have to be the easiest way to evoke trust and curiosity to attract new clients.Stories also:Stir people's emotions
Assist in the selling process
Increase rapport
Relax your customers with humor and connectionRegardless of how you decide to connect with your new clients, the most important connection tool you have comes down to telling good stories. I share stories for so many reasons, but my favorite reason is to show my clients that I am human as well. So they can relate to where I started, where I have been and where I am headed.I'm going to share with you how to incorporate your stories. Even if you think you don't have much to share I promise you that you do. I want to share with you that stories can be used for so many things, not just personal your story, but those of your clients, and even family and friends. One of my most powerful stories that connect me to my clients, is the one where I share that there was a point a couple of years into my business that my husband asked me to go back to work. He saw me working crazy hard and not getting anywhere fast, plus he knew that I could make great money if I just went back to a corporate job. Family and friends try their hardest to protect you from the unknown. People can connect with this. The pressure was on, it would have been very easy for me to just go back to work and give up my dream completely.If I would have gone back to work at that moment I wouldn't have experienced what I call the tipping point to my success. In just a short two months from when he asked me to quit, I made my first $5,700 sale, then $6,700 then $7,500. 2 of them paid in full. It was very emotional, very moving for me. It was a game changer as well on how I teach my students to leverage their own business.Stories allow you to connect with your clients at a much deeper level but, but the #1 reason they purchase from you is based on emotion. Your story, your content, must stir some emotion (good, bad, happy) or no one is going to be moved to take action. When they are moved to take action, this is when they'll buy a good "stuff" that you offer.There are so many limiting beliefs around people not having enough money. It's an overused excuse that you may even be giving to your clients or allowing them to give up their power by saying, "Oh they just don't have any money." I want to point out that this is just an excuse as well, a smoke screen for their real problem. If someone wants something bad enough, they'll find the money to purchase it. It's your job to assist them with this. (That's another module for another day!)If you can evoke enough emotion and connect your client to the experience they desire, they'll do anything to purchase what you have.Stories also allow people to connect with you because many times your story will show your vulnerability.Communicate your story effectively and people will remember you. This is how you stand out amongst others in your field of expertise. It's part of your Unique Brilliance.Where can you fit in stories to build your business? 1. When you set the appointment2. When moving your client into purchasing3. Creating rapport4. When handling objections5. When asking for referrals6. And, most of all when you are sharing the benefits/results of your serviceWhat stories should you tell?1. Tell your personal story2. Tell your company story - why/how it developed

3. Tell stories of your happy clients4. Tell stories of clients who chose not to buy from you and now regret itHow to use stories:A great way to weave the stories into your content, website and teleseminars is bylabeling your stories. What I mean by this is this:This is where the client/customer was before they worked with me.
Here is the challenge they had ________
The service/product they purchased was ____
These are the results they have produced ______
By producing these results they have been able to ______ (Benefit of the benefit)Example of weaving a story into your sales talks:[Overcoming Objection Story] - Let me share a story about a client I worked with that had the same concern you do.
[Problem] - When I met ________ as a healer, she had a resistance to sales. She was just kind of wing it and honestly avoided it as much as possible.
[Action took -She purchased my Passion, Purpose & Profits program and dived in deep to the Connect & Serve selling section.
[What she experienced] -By being involved in the program, she overcame her resistance to sales. As a result she was able to more than quadruple her sign ups, and double her pricing making connecting and signing her clients fun and transformational.
[Result] - As a result of improving her sales skills, she was able to leverage her business, pay for her first LIVE event and move into a new home.There are many different types of stories, here are just a few:Handling Objections: Let me share a story about a client I worked with that had the same concern you do.
Rags to Riches Story: Read my personal story on my website for a great example
Story to address an objection: My client Sherry used to think that she couldn't afford coaching, but soon found out that "I can't afford it" is just an excuse for an underlying deeper fear. This is what she did to overcome...Let's talk about developing your personal story:Your personal story magnifies the power of you as a coach. "Look how far I've come!"The problem with this is that if you are not connected with your story and how powerful it is, it can come across pretty boring, which means that people can tune you out. You want to capture their attention and intrigue right from the get go.If you don't have the full attention of your guests or listeners, they may end up missing out on a big opportunity for you to help them. Your story will also connect you and your prospective clients at a much, much deeper level.Crafting your story in a way that is not only complimentary, but empowers you and creates a connection to your client is a vital piece of your marketing and is much bigger than you just sharing a part of yourself. It evokes trust and curiosity within your clients.Share your personal story and tie in the solution to the pain, paint them the rainbow, but don't give them a pot of gold. Customers are savvy people, if it's too good to be true, they'll know, so stick to what you know and just remember you only have to be one step ahead of your client to grab their hand and lead the way.I go into crafting your story in a much deeper way within my Passion, Purpose &Profits course, but this should give you a great start. Just remember, every time you speak to someone, get testimonies and comments.Have a breakthrough session, send an email instantly thanking them and ask for their experience. This is how you begin to build more stories for other areas of your business.Enjoy telling stories for anything and everything to grow your business!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Why Your Ad Spend Is a Waste of Money

It's the all-important difference between just reaching customers and actually touching them. For most of us, it's not so hard to remember the time when TV, radio, print ads, and even (God forbid) telemarketing calls were the only way to get the word out on your business. Successful marketing relied much more on the amount of money businesses are able to spend, rather than what they're trying to say - and all they kept saying was how great their products were. Being on the receiving end of these ads, you'll know it doesn't really work. Gee Ranasinha of Kexino points out, "We don't care about marketing because most marketing doesn't care about us."So, why are businesses still making the same mistake today?So many companies today, especially the "big players," spend ridiculous amounts of money for little to no return. What's more, these big spenders invariably lose to others that spend a fraction of the amount on their advertising. As Mahesh Murthy of India's Economic Times puts it, "Increasingly, a big ad spend is not a sign of brand health, but of brand illness. If your brand needs to pay to be on media and can't earn its way there by its own remark-worthiness, then you're simply not being smart enough."This isn't limited to traditional advertising media, either. With the infinite possibilities presented by the online universe, many migrate online just to keep making the same mistakes. There are countless pop ups, banners, and so many other types of ads - all being ignored, or worse, actually driving people away despite initial interest in the site.

Today, we live in what is often referred to as "The Age of Transparency." This means that whatever your marketing message, people will know the truth of it, and quick. Moreover, this also means that if you are somehow targeted by a smear campaign, you should damn well be able to prove your innocence. An article by The Guardian's Scott Monty cited the "pink slime" scandal to hit McDonald's not too long ago. In response to the alleged gross disregard to the sanctity of human food, McDonald's Canada actually posted a YouTube video showing the entire process in creating their signature nuggets. This not only disproved the smear campaign, but has so far earned almost 4.5 million views and 9,000 likes.The moral of the story?Marketing is no longer about tricking people into thinking your product is more than it is. It has returned to its proper place as a mere component in your business's overall 'machinery' (sorry for the pun). The most important aspect of your business has always been and always will be the product or service that you offer. Make it good, make it sincere, and make it something that people will want to buy. Everything else is just gravy (again, sorry).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

To Write Better, Start In The Middle

I earn my living doing something that many people regard as sheer torture: knitting words into sentences and paragraphs. Unfortunately for those people, nearly every job or business endeavor demands a certain amount of that torture. However, there's a simple trick that can make your writing easier and more effective.That trick is starting somewhere in the middle.I hear it all the time from people who have to write reports, promotional emails, performance reviews, white papers, blog posts, or any of the other kinds of content that play critical roles in the business world. "I just don't know how to begin" is a common plaint. "I hate staring at that empty screen and that #%#^$% blinking cursor" lament others. "I know exactly what I want to say, but I can't get started" some moan.Written materials do tend to be arranged in a linear fashion. There's a beginning, middle, and an ending. In school, most of us were taught to write in just that order. Remember learning about outlines and paragraph structure? Open your paragraph with a compelling sentence, use the next two or three sentences to provide support, and then conclude with some kind of summary?That kind of structure is an excellent objective, but there are no rules demanding that you develop it in that order -- except for the self-imposed rules in your head (and those your seventh-grade English teacher cemented there). When you have to write something, you should do it in the way that makes you most comfortable.When I recommend that you start writing the middle, what I'm suggesting is that you begin with the main point (or points) that you want to convey. You don't have to make them fancy or even grammatical -- all you need to do to get started is get them on screen (or on paper, for the traditionalists out there).Back in the days when we wrote on typewriters, starting in the middle was very difficult. But the advent of word processing software makes it very easy. Suppose you're writing an article about income taxes, and you want your reader to come away with the importance of planning, keeping good records, and filing tax forms in a timely fashion. You then enter these three sentences, with plenty of blank space between them: "Planning is a critical component of any tax strategy," "Keeping and organizing the right records will save time and trouble," and "Create a calendar that lists upcoming deadlines."

You may think that all you did was list the key points, but you've actually started writing your article. Now go to each of those sentences and jot down rough statements that either add detail or explain why they're important. Again, you don't have to be fancy or grammatical. Right now, you're just trying to organize your thoughts. For the "records" sentence, those thoughts might include "Look at last year's taxes to see which categories you'll need," "Set up a basic filing system to organize receipts and documents," and "Check what you've gathered to identify any gaps."Once you get all those thoughts into place, you're ready to combine them into sentences and paragraphs. You'll be surprised at how easy it becomes to turn those assorted thoughts into a cohesive paragraph, and how the transitions and other surrounding words will begin to flow. It isn't magic; it's just a matter of freeing yourself from writing in that linear fashion. Instead, you're doing exactly what your brain does naturally: capturing and rearranging random bits of information.When the middle of your article is finished (or well on its way), you'll find that it's much easier to craft a compelling introduction and a logical conclusion. And then, when you've completed your first draft of all those pieces, read through them to smooth out any jagged edges or rough spots. Don't skimp at this stage. Most professional writers spend just as much time editing and rewriting their work as they put into developing a first draft.The example I used here was for an article, but the same technique will work as well in a proposal, an email, a report, a blog post, or any kind of written communication. The key is freeing your mind from limits and letting your thoughts and knowledge find their way to the screen or paper. Once you practice this technique, you'll find that

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Building Your Business With A Purpose

Building my business has been a fun yet challenging journey. My Business journey began in 1998 and 15 years later, I have discovered that the only way to build a successful business is with a Purpose. In fact, I believe that a business without a purpose is a business that is destined to fail.When I wrote my business plan, it was written with my purpose in mind and that was, "To provide High Quality Childcare." In fact, my purpose was the glue that held the business plan together. Moreover, as I completed each section of the business plan, it was completed with my purpose in mind.Building a Business on purpose, takes lot of planning, lots of energy and lots of focus. Most importantly, you must be willing to persevere... no matter what comes your way. Adversity seems to attach itself to every business with a purpose; however, you must stay focused and stay the course.I must say, it is an awesome feeling to write the purpose for your business and see it in action! Are you ready to build to discover how to build a business with a Purpose? Today I am going to share with you some of the strategies that I used to build my business on purpose.A business without a purpose is like playing basket ball without a 'Rim"... it's pointless!

Master Your Time. You must take some time at the beginning of every week and make a list of your business priorities. Be sure to add your most important duties at the top of the list. Delegate time wasters. As you do this... You will develop a sense of accomplishment for every week. Moreover you will become a master of your time.

Personal Development. If you are not growing as an individual, your business will suffer or if you have character flaws, it will show and could even destroy your business. I recommend that you read a personal development book 2-3 times a year, so that you are able to develop a mindset that will sustain not destroy your success.

Master Your Money. You must have a plan for how you will spend the money that comes into and leaves your business! Money is the life line of your business and you must learn how to manage it well. Only buy what you need, invest in your business on a regular basis and keep a close eye on your money.

Business Associates. Hang around other successful business owners. In fact, get an Accountability partner; someone who will hold you accountable for your business success. If you are hanging around millionaires... you will begin to think like, talk like, look like and eventually become, "A Millionaire."

Evaluation system. Be sure to create an evaluation system for your business, to evaluate if you are really operating based on your purpose or if you are even accomplishing your business "mission." As you evaluate your business, keep this in mind; Only use methods and systems that are working for you and stop doing what is not working.

Take some time for you! After working 5-6 days a week on building your business; take some time for you. I find that, the more rest that I get; the more productive I am on Monday morning. Also, plan to travel! I believe that travel is a great way to spark your creativity and give you new ideas for your business!

I challenge you to take a moment to reflect on the purpose of your business? Your purpose is your "why"; it is the reason you are in business, so be sure to never stop building your business with a purpose. In fact, as you focus on building your business with a purpose; you will attract to you what you need for your business and what you need for the business will come to you sooner than you think it will!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Online Versus Offline Marketing: Which One Is Better?

It's amazing how the world has evolved during the last 20 years.More than just the shifts of power across countries... more than just the life changing events like hurricanes, earth quakes and terrorist attacks... the advancement of technology has completely changed the way that we view the world.YouTube has virtually replaced television. Blogs tend to break important news faster than the actual news stations. And people are meeting their friends and significant others through social networks like Facebook and eHarmony.And probably the most significant change has been the way that businesses market themselves.If you go to YouTube and search for "Dollar Shave Club" you'll find a minute-long video that a guy made in his warehouse that ended up getting over 15 million views... for FREE. The purpose of the video is to get people to go to his website and subscribe to a monthly program where they send you a high quality razor every month for a dollar.Now, imagine for a second... if just 10% of those views convert into sales for him, he just generated sales of over $1.5 million per month... for FREE.If you wanted to get 15 million views from a TV commercial, you would have to pay thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands... AT LEAST.In another simple example... if you wanted to deliver a 15 page sales letter to 1000 people, and you were going to do it through direct mail, you would have to cough up at least $5,000 to send those letters out. And unless you hired a professional copywriter to write your letter for you, for all you know, you could have very well wasted your $5,000.Now, if you put that same sales letter on a website and drove pay per click traffic to it, you would most likely pay anywhere from $250 - $1,000 (dependent on the industry you're in). And the beautiful thing is, you can track everything. You get to see how many people saw your ad, and what percentage clicked on the ad.

You can also compare ads to see which one gets more clicks and you get these numbers in real time. If you wanted to compare two different ads through direct mail, you would have to wait weeks before you got any response and your tests would be relatively hard to track.There are countless more scenarios in which it is advantageous to deliver your message through online mediums versus offline, however, this doesn't mean that offline marketing doesn't work anymore.The most successful business people that I know use both online AND offline marketing tactics. They intermingle the two mediums to deliver their message.And probably THE MOST POWERFUL resource that comes with online marketing is the creation of the auto-responder. In its most basic form, an auto-responder is just that... an automated responding mechanism that follows up with your prospects automatically.As a basic feature of the auto-responder, you can send newsletters to your prospect list. If you had a list of 1000 people, you could email them on a daily basis at no extra cost to you. However, if you wanted to send a newsletter to 1000 people via direct mail, you would be paying AT LEAST $1,000 per day!It's THE most revolutionary invention in the world of marketing and business.In future articles, I will go into the finer details of each of the concepts that we talked about and will give you instructions on how to use them effectively.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Understanding The Holistic Marketing Model

We are operating in a world that is changing faster than ever. Your customers have become conditioned for change because it is in every facet of their life, work included. We have reached a point where, if something is NOT changing, there must be a problem. Technological advances are a prime example of this.If your company is small or medium in size, it has an advantage over many of your competitors. Your size makes it easier for you to adapt quickly. If you are too conservative, though, you lose this advantage. An open door can close quickly and an opportunity is lost. You are obligated to make educated decisions and act on them. You cannot be afraid to succeed."Holistic Marketing" is defined as the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs and activities that recognize the breadth and interdependence of their effects. The short definition is "In marketing, everything matters."Everyone employed by your company needs to recognize that ALL activities affect customer relations.In the "Holistic Marketing Model," there are four equally important components to consider. These four key ingredients will help to build the foundation that you need so that you are sure that you are doing the right things every step of the way, including adapting when you need to adapt.1) Internal Marketing - are you working together and truly thinking about the customers?Vertically, you must have the support at the highest level of ownership and senior management, as all successful companies do.Horizontally, your internal and external departments must be working in conjunction with each other. Departments such as Customer Service, Inside Sales and Marketing, and Outside Sales are obviously linked in that the customer has direct contact with these groups. What is not so obvious is the impact of the departments that have indirect contact with the customers. Customers don't usually engage with your company's Production, IT, Accounting, Shipping/Receiving, Human Resources, etc., but the activities of those departments is felt by the customer in one way or another. If we remember that we are all customers ourselves of many companies and product types, this concept of truly servicing the customer becomes more relevant.2) Integrated Marketing - the coordination of advertising, promotions, events, and channels (direct and indirect). Done correctly, this satisfies the customers' needs but also surpasses their expectations and keeps your company at "top of mind."Though you may sell through distribution, the practice of direct marketing is becoming more prevalent. End-user relationships are critically important because it is the end-user who is the ultimate customer. Think of it this way - if you lose a distributor for an end-user, you can find another. Your product still gets consumed. The only difference is that the reseller is different. If you lose an end-user, your product stays on your shelf. To be successful, you must develop and implement both PUSH (selling through distribution channels) and PULL (promoting directly to the end-user) strategies.Given the size of your company, you are likely not large enough to focus entirely on the PULL technique. You need the right distributors to help you create an awareness in the market. The role of the distributor has changed significantly, but they will remain obligated to act as an extension of your company.3) Relationship Marketing - when you hear "relationships", the natural tendency is to first think of your end-user customers. In commercial business, though, you have relationships with other groups as well, and they are important in keeping your company's brand healthy and thought of positively.

You may have marketing partners such as ad agencies, web design consultants, suppliers of premiums for give-away promotional items, distributors, and your own employee base. You must be building long lasting relationships with all of these groups.You choose those advertising vehicles that give you the best exposure to your target customers, and you need exposure to grow the brand. Your web design consultation is key to help keep your website at the forefront as being educational, navigable, and the face of your company to a large segment of customers. Distributors are important in that the customers' experience with your company depends on how your distributors respond and act. Many of your end-users' only experience with your company's brand is solely in their interaction with your distributors, so you need to spend resource marketing to this indirect channel. What is important to distribution? What motivates the distributor to promote your products?Finally, your employees must understand their role. To help with this, you are obligated to meet regularly with your employees of all departments to make sure they are kept abreast regularly with what is transpiring outside of the factory. "Town Hall" type gatherings are effective in fostering the desired goal of "Strategic Intent."You absolutely need to focus everyone's attention on winning by motivating them.You need to communicate not only the value of the target but also emphasizing to your team that what they think, say, and do matters to your organization's success.4) Performance Marketing - how are you actually performing? Is the balance between sales and cost of sales correct? Are you spending money appropriately on marketing initiatives? Is your Return on Investment in line with winning while satisfying the financial goals of your company?Examining what you may now have:- The products that you manufacture are among the best in the world in their category.- You can measure cost savings with credibility.- You are positioned to capture a premium price where it is deserved.- Being confronted with abundant, low priced competition has forced higher priced manufacturers like your company to come up with innovative products that lower customer costs. You have proven that you can answer successfully by being able to demonstrate a strong value proposition.- When premium priced products are not necessary for an application, you have other options for your customers.Count up these and other attributes that apply to your company and consider them as assets. That is what you have.Having won half the battle by creating tangible value for customers, the other half is in effectively communicating this value to the market. You probably do not do this nearly as well as you should be doing, given the story that you have to tell.One of your goals should be to spend only in those areas where value is created. For example, to advertise in a magazine that is not read by your target customer is of no value. Spend wisely be ensuring that you are capitalizing on the new and very real potential that has been created by your own investment in salespeople.David Packard, founder of HP, once said that "Marketing is too important to be left to the Marketing Department." If your company truly adopts the Holistic Marketing mindset, you will find this sentiment to be true. Everyone in your company will come to understand that they too work in the Marketing Department.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dentists Vs Doctors

Yesterday I had an 8.45am appointment with the Dentist. Definitely not my favourite place to go and definitely not at that time in the morning.My husband and I arrived for our check-ups promptly and at 8.45am exactly I was shown into the chair. After a quick look around and an announcement that everything was fine, I went back out to the waiting room.And that is when the magic happened.I don't mean literally here; Harry Potter did not appear or anything like that.But that is when the systems took over.Once I had paid for our check-up, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to book my next check-up in a year's time. To be honest, not really as I don't like the Dentist at the best of times, but I did recognise that once it was done, it was in the diary.We booked our appointments, and I put the date in my diary. We also got a printed card to remind us too.But more importantly, we also get a text message a few days before an appointment to remind us that we were booked in and also to give us the opportunity to cancel if we need to.I would imagine before this system was in place, the Dentist suffered a lot from people simply 'forgetting' about their appointments.After all, a year is a long time away and not everyone will put the appointment straight into their diary; or even have a diary come to think of it for the following year.I also wondered if Doctor's surgeries, hairdressers and many other companies could benefit from the simple art of these sorts of systems.

When I compare going to the Doctors with going to the Dentist, the difference is major and very noticeable. In the Doctors, everyone appears harassed and stressed with no time to do anything. However, in the Dentist things are very calm and serene and the whole atmosphere portrays that.When I am in the Doctors, if I happen to take five minutes over my scheduled appointment time, it seems to throw the whole system out. However, when at the Dentist I was told they do x-rays every couple of years and mine was due; they advised that they would do it on my next visit and they would book a slightly longer appointment.Even though yesterday my usual Dentist was off sick, it did not seem to faze them at all. I would imagine they had a system in place for that too.I have talked about systems before, but it is so lovely when everything comes together and just works! And there is always a difference between companies that have systems in place and the ones that don't.So, a question for you?Do you have systems in your business? Are there places where things can be sped up, made more efficient or just automated?Do you want your business to appear like the Dentist, calm and serene? Or harassed and stressed like the Doctors? Systems can definitely help with that. Tell me your experience of systems in the comments section below.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Promotional Products - How To Choose The Best Personalised Promotional Gifts For Christmas

Are you wondering what to give your clients for Christmas? Personalised promotional products might just be the ticket. But how do you choose the best promotional gifts, especially for the holiday season? Here are a few tips.Regular Promotional Items Versus Items That Are Perfect For ChristmasBefore getting into details, it's important to differentiate between regular promotional items and items that work particularly well as Christmas gifts. There are countless options when it comes to promotional items, but most of them aren't really the best choice when it comes to Christmas gifts. Here's an example:One of the most popular promotional items are pens - and they're highly useful because not only are they used regularly but they're also passed around from one person to the next, so you get extra mileage. But do they make great Christmas gifts? No.Why not? And what WOULD make a promotional gift item an ideal choice for Christmas? Here are three criteria to consider when you make your choice...1) Price And ValuePens and similar office items such as sticky notes and notepads tend to be inexpensive and don't really qualify as "gifts." At least they don't unless you give high quality pens that are quite a bit more costly. So one of the key criteria is price or value. Cheap items just don't feel like gifts.2) Enjoyment FactorPens and other office items also feel too much like "work." For Christmas, you want to give something that adds some pleasure to life. That could be something as simple as a pretty paperweight, or as complex as a set of wine paraphernalia.

One thing that's universally enjoyed is clothing, provided it's attractive and of high quality. Sure, t-shirts and sweatshirts are welcome gifts all year long, but they also work well for Christmas. People like getting clothing for Christmas.3) SeasonalIf you want to give something that's really appropriate for the season, you have two options. Either give something that enhances the Christmas spirit, such as seasonal items, including snow globes, ornaments, and other such things.Or you could give things that people buy during this time of year because they will need them come January 1st. And this, of course, means calendars and diaries.Why Calendars Are The Perfect Promotional Christmas GiftEverybody has at least a couple of calendars, and they go shopping for them towards the end of the year. If you gift your clients or prospects an attractive calendar, it might very well get a place of honor on their office wall or desk. They might also use it at home. Either way, they will see it daily, and they will be reminded of YOU every day as well.So if you're looking for the perfect branded Christmas gift, start with calendars or diaries. Pick one (or several) that are truly attractive, have your logo printed on them, include a personal note or Christmas card, and send it off.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Top 4 Reasons to Hire a Sign Writing Company

In the times we live in, nothing lasts forever, quite literally. What we see one moment on the television, or on an advertisement billboard, is forgotten in the next instant. How, then, do you make sure you leave an impression on the minds of people? After all, that is the best marketing strategy - to make sure your audience remembers you.People, in general, are visual beings. Pictures make a better impression on the human brain. So the logo, the colors, and the pictures you employ in your marketing campaign play a very vital role. This is where sign writing companies come in. And here is why you should let them in.1. They know what to do:Sign writing companies have been in the business of sign creation for years, and in some cases decades. They know the pulse of the market, and the tastes of the people in the respective areas. This makes it much easier to arrive at the right design for various products and services. It is also a surer way to reach out to your customers.2. They offer a variety of services:There is no end to what man can design. And sign writing companies stand as a testimony to this fact. When you take the assistance of a sign writing company, you begin to discover other areas of your business that could do with better sign writing, and little by little, bit by bit, you will watch as your business undergoes a beautiful transformation. Ultimately, you will be satisfied that your products and services are being advertised in the best possible manner.

3. They help you cut down on the costs:If you had to hire freelancers, or get your displays and posters done by a bundle of individual contractors who each take care of different parts of the job, the total costs will skyrocket. When you hire a sign writing company, these problems will not surface. Most sign writing companies offer package deals that take care of everything from bulk orders to emergency orders, and they do them for reasonable rates as well.4. You are assured about the quality:One of the most raised issue when it comes to outsourcing a part of your advertising campaign is the question of satisfaction. Most businesses and enterprises are apprehensive about allowing a third party to handle their trade. With sign writing companies, however, this need not be a cause for worry. They are trained to make whatever they land their hands on ten times more beautiful and appealing. So you can be assured that the work will be of the best quality.