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Posted by: Pat Sutton | on May 27, 2013
It’s not easy to make money online with your website or blog but it is possible.
Here are, what I believe to be the most important things you need.
1. Products that sell.
2. An opt-in box on your website with a sign up gift like a useful e-book.
3. A great opt-in mailing list.
4. An easy to use e-mail marketing system.
5. Good affiliate partnerships.
6. Good publisher partnerships.
1.) Here is a list of items that sell quite well on the Internet.
- Tangibles – items like mobile phones, gadgets and other IT stuff. The reason that people buy these things online is that they are usually cheaper than on the high street and sometimes difficult to find. The problem with selling tangible items is that you would either have to risk a lot of money to buy stock or you would have to use a drop shipping company. Drop shipping companies hold the stock and you merely showcase the products and set up a good shopping cart. When you make a sale they then ship the item to your customer.
- E-Books, any electronic device that features a controllable viewing screen can be used to read e-books. You can buy e-books to give to people who opt-in to your newsletter or you could even sell the e-books on your website. It is important to choose great titles and well written books to sell. We at “The Business Woman” sell our e-books for just $1 each to cover administration but you could sell them for much more. It is important that you buy e-books that give you reseller rights, as ours do, or you would not legally be allowed to sell them on. Take a look at our bookshop.
- Internet services, if you were looking for digital services like website builders or domain name registrations then you would automatically go to the web to find them.
- Normal books and DVDs. Amazon do very well selling paperbacks and hard cover’s as they have a massive infrastructure in place. It would not be a good choice for you as a start up for obvious reasons. Can you imagine how many books you would need to stock.
- Tarot readings and esoteric goods. There are so many Tarot reader hosting sites. The readers wait at the end of a phone for your call and you pay them for the reading by the minute. As a professional Tarot reader myself I am a little skeptical that one could read for someone they have never met. I believe that there is no replacement for a comforting, inspirational reading, face to face, but many people swear by these telephone services.
What ever you are selling there is one thing that is paramount….give them a risk free call to action! In other words make them feel safe buying from you.
Think of all the things that could be going through their head at that moment before they buy.
Is there a catch?
If I don’t like it, can I have my money back?
Can I hear from someone who has used this?
Do I trust this person?
Will my hair fall out?
Remember a busy website with the right money making products can actually make money for you while you sleep but you need to work very hard at marketing the website when you’re awake!
I have made a pact with myself, I will only sell products that I firmly believe in, like Darren Rowse’s Bloggers Workbook. This course actually helped me to change my blog into a great little business.
So my advice to you is to only sell the stuff that you would use yourself, that way you have more conviction in your sales pitch.
2.) and 3.) The mailing list is your life’s blood. Always have a sign up box on your website. If you can give something away as a sweetener then that is even better. Make sure that it is something worth having.
I would like to E-SHOUT an important point at you….do not abuse your mailing list. If they have signed up to receive a newsletter then that is what you should send them. Your marketing can be inside your newsletter.
If they have signed up to a general mailing list then you have a little more freedom but the content of anything you send to them should be, value, value, value, you can add a subtle sales pitch but then give more value.
4.) There are many marketing systems out there, the one I use is Aweber, I find them the easiest to use and one of the cheapest. There are many more like IContact, Constant Contact, Getresponse.
The marketing system works by allowing you to set up e-mail campaigns. So when your visitor registers to be added to your mailing list it automatically generates an e-mail from you. You will have already been in to the system and prepared your follow up emails, all you need to do is tell the system which ones you want sent and when.
It’s as simple as that!
The beauty of this system is that any new subscriber, no matter when they join, will receive the first message and then the second and so on.
You can actually configure your sign up box within the system too! Here is a link to Aweber, take a look and see what they have to offer.
5.) Affiliate partnerships. Most online businesses have affiliate schemes nowadays. If you like a product, either you have used it or have bought it then search their website and see if they have an affiliate scheme. The other option is to join Commission Junction or one of the many other Affiliate management companies. Once you join you can search and apply to many different schemes.
6.) Good publisher partnerships. I am a publisher for a company called LinkLift. They are a link placement service. I would write a blog post and they would ask me to include keywords and phrases that would link to their client’s website. You see having external links is a great way to encourage Google to spider their site so people pay LinkLift to pay me to host the links in my posts. You would need to have a relatively busy website to become a publisher so that leads me to the last on my list….
7.) and 8.) and 9.) and 10.) Traffic.
We would all love to be seen on the first pages of the search engines and if you are selling something unique then you will probably be there after a couple of days. But there are many thousands of blogging sites out there, all trying to get to the top spots so the competition is fierce for us.
My answer for you is to do what you do best…blogs, blogs, blogs and more blogs.
“Blogging is a lucrative source of profit and blogs are easy to set up and maintain. Imagine a life where you are paid to write on stuff that interests you, whenever you want, wherever you are. The mere flexibility of blogging makes it easy for you to just kick back, relax and go on a vacation whenever you feel like it.
In my ebook, we look into the profitability of a blog and how to set up a blog of your own at no cost! Interested? Read The Blogger’s Bible. You can get it free by signing on to our mailing list.
When you write your blog post on your website you need to also upload it to the best networking sites as well, sites like EZines, Ecademy, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
There is no easy way to do this, you need to work hard at it but the rewards can be great. To make it a little easier, make sure that you have social bookmarking share buttons at the bottom of your blog posts so that you and your visitors can syndicate your writing out across the web.
Here is a screenshot of Google, notice how my blog, “6 steps closer to monetising your blog”, had actually got three….not just one spot, on the front page of Google and that’s not paying a penny in advertising.
One last word:
“The baker puts bread on your table, not to feed your family but to feed his own“.
Posted by: Pat Sutton | on January 11, 2013
How would you like a blog post written by you syndicated to our
thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many
other social networks?
Come on, take advantage of this fantastic, FREE, marketing opportunity!
Sign up on the left and start blogging.
1. If it is a “how to” post then formulate it into a list, like this one,
it keeps it neat and easy to read.
2. Put a lot of thought into the title of your blog post,
it needs to catch the readers attention.
3. Keep the introduction and conclusion short.
4. Don’t try to include too much info, keep the tips clear,
clean and concise and to the point.
5. Keep one post focused on one topic. If you have
several things you want to talk about then try writing
separate posts for each topic.
6. Write with a sincere desire to help your reader.
7. Don’t write an article that is basically just a
sales letter for your company. You can promote yourself,
un-ashamedly, in the signature at the end of the post.
8. When writing a good signature make sure it is good enough
to entice your reader to go to your site or request more
information from you.
9. Don’t forget to mention the subjects of any future posts
to encourage them to click through to your website where they may
even subscribe to your blog.
10. If possible, on your website, offer a free gift such as an eBook, newsletter or email course.
This will enable you to capture their email addresses but make it clear to them that
they will be added to your mailing list in return for the gift.
In your post, tell them about the free gift, it is a strong motivator to entice them to follow the
links to your website.
Make sure you have many clear links back to your website in your signature.
Posted by: Pat Sutton | on December 12, 2012
Then sign up for my internet marketing tips and tricks, it’s a FREE win win.
Posted by: Jolly | on September 24, 2010
Know your target and stay focused.
There are so many ways to network and so many places to network. But the most common complaints I hear from people about networking are:
- You can’t possibly join that many associations – it’s too costly.
- I don’t get any business from that networking group, so I am dropping out.
- I don’t like that group.
I was very lucky to work with a marketing coach early on who advised me to do several things to avoid the above pitfalls. However, I do believe there is a lot of hard work involved, which can result in a lot of busy work if you don’t stay focused. Busy work does not produce revenue, business work does.
Here are my suggestions for purposeful networking:
1. Identify your target clients. This sounds easy, but take some time to work with someone who can help you know your market. Be specific. For example, if you ran an in-home non-medical caregiver business, your ideal target client profile would be: A working mom in her 50s who has the responsibility for an aging parent. We’ll call that target client Kathy, and we’ll use Kathy as our example for the balance of this article. (Details matter when describing your target audience.)
2. Where do your target clients hang out? Or to use another term, who are your market makers? Market makers are an entity or person who hangs out with your target clients. For example, Kathy likes to hang out in her professional associations and garden clubs. So join the places where Kathy hangs out. Here are some samples of market makers:
a. Business trade associations. i.e. NAWBO, eWomen, WPO.
b. Fortune 500 companies. i.e. Bank of America, Duke energy, Mecklenburg County School system.
c. Non-profit organizations. i.e. Goodwill, CharlotteSave (or AmericanSave), United way.
d. Hobby clubs. Rose and garden clubs, poker clubs, bird watching clubs, running clubs.
e. Strategic Alliances partners. Hospital, nursing homes, CPA’s, financial advisors.
f. Religious groups. Church, Bible study group, Buddha study group.
g. Form your own group. i.e. Heart Link network.
It really depends on who your target clients are. Choose your market makers wisely, because you’ll invest a lot of time, energy, and money into the group. Some may not turn out as well as expected.
3. Examine why you are doing what you’re doing. People don’t care about WHAT you’re selling. They want to know you and why are you doing what you’re doing. I find this is most difficult for people to define, including myself; work with a coach to form your answer. If you can articulate a story, it’s an instant connection for people. For example, Roberta Franum, owner of the HomeInstead Franchise, provides non-medical in-home care. She tells people that her 92-year-old mother-in-law Eleanor lives with them. She started her business because they had an aging parent to care for and didn’t have a solution. Today, Eleanor has been cared for by HomeInstead for over 10 years.
4. Clarify your 1-minute commercial with benefits first. Tell people the benefits of working with you. For example, benefits for Kathy; it will give Kathy more time to do what she wants and must do without the worry of taking care of her parent 24/7.
5. Create connections to Kathy. You’re not going to meet Kathy in your networking meetings. But you’ll meet lots of people who know Kathy. Your job is to make connections.
6. Get involved in active groups. And since you have to be there on regular basis for networking purposes, you might just get involved or even serve on the board or on a committee. Be your personal walking brand and showcase your capabilities through volunteering.
7. Follow up within 48 hours after any networking event. People have a very short memory of whom they meet, so follow-up within 48 hours from your event. You can follow-up with a call or email – which ever works best for your business.
8. Be consistent in showing up. Once you decide who your market makers are, be consistent and show up with intention. Your intention is not just to build awareness of your service, but also to form valuable connections. And don’t just show up at the meetings, but stay in front of the group with updates on your business and valuable tips that may help theirs.
After so many years of networking within my defined market markers, I’ve personally found the most effective way of networking is to be involved with a non-profit organization that I’m passionate about. If you follow that passion, you may find yourself on a committee working on projects which showcase your capabilities and who you are. Everyone involved in a non-profit organization shares the same reason to be there – passion about what the non-profit is doing.
Be purposeful in your networking. Your time is priceless, so use it wisely.
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; helps women entrepreneurs to convert their business into meaningful personal wealth. She is the author of Show Me The Money and columnist for WomenEntrepreneur.com & Fox Business online. She is available for consulting, speaking engagements and workshops. She can be reached at www.chialichien.com or email@example.com.
Posted by: Jolly | on August 16, 2010
Digital marketing for small business
7 mistakes to avoid in directing a small business marketing team
In 2006, I hired a strategic branding firm to help me with a branding slogan, consistent messaging, collateral materials, website, etc. And while it was a sizable expenditure, it was worth every dime. Why? Because their expertise strategically moved my business in the direction it needed to be going, along with timely implementation.
Now, we are moving more and more into digital marketing. Small businesses often have a limited budget for marketing, if any budget at all. Most small businesses don’t budget for marketing or advertising and often become reactive to the newest trends instead of creating a marketing plan.
Being a small business owner, I procrastinated integrating new digital marketing trends into my existing marketing strategies. And one thing I have learned about myself over the years is that when it comes to new marketing ideas, I either I take out a checkbook to pay someone to do it for me or I sit in the classroom and learn. I’ve done both and I can honestly recommend either. You must decide which one suits you and your marketing team best.
I was told years ago that advertising is not effective for consulting or advisor types of businesses. I agree to a certain degree, yet, I still see many advisors who consistently advertise in their target market with great results. The key here is consistency. No matter which channels you use to push your message out, you need to do it consistently, over a long period of time. This is true for digital marketing as well. Although I am an advocate for Pull Marketing or In Bound marketing, the reality is you need to integrate push marketing consistently before you’ll get any pull or inbound results.
Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when directing your small business marketing team. Yes, I said TEAM. Don’t expect to be able to market your business on you own, unless are a marketing professional yourself.
Mistake #1: No clear objective or message to communicate – Have a clear target market – know who your audience is. Don’t try or expect to be all things to all people. Once that target market is well defined, find out what they care about, or their challenges, and help them. Without exception, all your communication efforts speak to that target audience. Your team also needs to know your audience and messaging to them clearly.
Mistake #2: Jump at the latest and greatest tools too soon – It seems human nature is to react. Long term planning or strategically looking at things is not our nature. So before you jump into social media, SEO, or even on-line marketing, be sure you understand and know what you’re buying into, or most importantly, that it will produce the results you’re looking for.
Mistake #3: Nothing is integrated – Your message is inconsistent from brochures, flyers, website, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You say many things, and your messaging comes across as inconsistent or not integrated. Without integration and consistent messaging, you will not create a pulling effect.
Mistake #4: Doing It ALL yourself – For many small businesses, budget or cash flow is tight, so you end up being the CFO, CEO, CMO and janitor. Find out how much your time costs and look at your ROI if you manage your own marketing. For example, most social media tools offer free accounts, but your time is not free! Unless you are able to make very good contacts and form valuable networking groups, you may need to examine whether your time might be better spent closing deals or scheduling more appointments with prospects or servicing existing clients IRL (in real life).
Mistake #5: No ROI or measurement of all marketing regularly – After all marketing plans are in place and set, implement a method to measure your campaign results. Set your goals at the beginning of your campaign with percentages and numbers that are trackable, such as aiming for a 20% increase in prospects calls or a 30% increase in inquiry of services. Your campaign could be daily messages on a social media account. Those efforts may drive traffic to your website, but do they result in more click conversions? You’ll want to measure every aspect.
Mistake #6: Not setting favorable sales conditions – I get very confused when marketing or technology firms tell me that we’ll increase traffic on your website or we’ll get you on the first page of a Google search. Okay, that is nice, but does it create a favorable sales condition? Take Zappos, which promises a 365 days return policy plus free shipping both ways. That guarantee sets a favorable sales condition, because as a consumer, you know you won’t risk losing money in the online transaction. Offers and promises of satisfaction also work in this way.
Mistake #7: Not implementing regularly – You may have already made the deadly mistake of implementing a tactic only once and then moving on to the hottest and latest tools out there. If you’re spending money, time and energy in marketing, implement regularly. You gain momentum by doing little by little, and over time, you accumulate results. Regular implementation helps you improves your marketing efforts.
I’d like to invite you to participate in our Biz Value Drivers study to receive a sample chapter from my book, Show Me the Money, Chapter 20 – Doing Nothing is Not an Option – Get serious about creating the value you want to get out of your business in the end. Upon receipt of your assessment/survey, I will email you the link to the chapter and schedule to talk with you about your assessment results. It will help you grow your business in VALUE – not just in revenue!
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; helps women entrepreneurs to convert their business into meaningful personal wealth. She is the author of Show Me The Money and columnist for WomenEntrepreneur.com & Fox Business online. She is available for consulting, speaking engagements and workshops. She can be reached at www.chialichien.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by: Suzanne Saxe-Roux | on July 22, 2010
Starting your day with a great cup of coffee or tea is, of course, a must, but then what do you do once you settle into your desk at work? For most people, the answer is that they comb through their emails. They respond to what is important, click on a few items of interest and then spend another 15 minutes checking out a few blog posts, twitter discussions, and other social networking sites.
For the next month I urge you to try something different and see if it increases your productivity, creativity, visibility, and helps you to achieve some major marketing goals you have established for yourself.
Use the First Hour of Each Day to GET VISIBLE – DO SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR #1 MARKETING GOAL.
Spend the first hour on making yourself visible to your customers. A few suggestions include:
Write a blog post and then tweet about it. Make sure it is linked to Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites.
Research, write, or edit an article. Use the article for a free giveaway, a blog post, an ezine. After one year you will have 52 articles if you do one a week.
Comment on a blog post, a tweet discussion, or articles. Your focus is to get your name out there as someone who has something important to add to the conversation.
Comment on blogs who are authored by people you admire, can help you in some way, or are your target market.
Yes, you can do this any time of the day and yet we never seem to find the time to consistently make ourselves as visible as we would like.
Try it for a week or a month, if you can, and let me know the results as you will surprise yourself.
Posted by: Suzanne Saxe-Roux | on April 20, 2010
Blogging, writing, speaking are all ways for entrepreneurs to develop a following, increase their email marketing lists, and eventually acquire new clients. The two burning questions that I hear from clients in this regard are:
When do I have time to blog?
What do I blog about?
Let’s take the first question, having time. Blogging has to be seen as a marketing tool, not just a nice thing to do or a creative outlet. Yes, it might be the only time you get to spout your words of wisdom uncensored, but more importantly are you providing something that is meaningful to your clients? If so, the time you spend writing a blog entry is a great use of your time. However, if you still feel like you are short on time, consider these five options:
- Speak your blog into a digital recorder or an online recorder such as audacity.com. Driving or maybe even taking your daily walk might provide great ideas. Record these ideas and buy a translator program such as Dragon Naturally Speaking and turn your voice into a blog. Editing once it is transcribed is fast and easy to do.
- If you work with a team, ask them to contribute to the blog. No one said you have to do all the writing or provide all the ideas. Enlist your team to help you.
- Include your customers, associates, and partners in blogging with you. Invite key people to contribute to the blog. Possibly ask them questions in which they respond or link your blog to something insightful they have written.
- Set a schedule for your blogging. Decide if you will blog once a week, once a day, or every two weeks. Your readers will want to know what to expect from you. Allow yourself to write drafts of different blogs as ideas pop up and once a week pull one out, edit it, and voila you have a blog post completed in 15 minutes.
- Subscribe to a photo service such as dreamstime.com and you will have easy access to inexpensive photos to support your blogs. Pictures tell a thousand words. If you are an amateur photographer, feel free to include your own photos as well. This is a great way to show the human side of yourself to your customers.
Now, what you say and what you blog about needs to be considered in the following ways.
- What type of blog you are presenting to the world. Strategically, you have to decide if you are sticking only to business issues, mixing business and family, or business and personal anecdotes, or just personal. Who is your target and what is of most interest to your target reader. Answering this question will provide you with parameters for yourself and others on your team.
- Make a file on your desktop that is entitled “Blog Ideas.” Every time you read a blog, an article, an rss feed and it spurs some new ideas for you, copy it to your folder. This becomes a reservoir for future blogs. Once you use the idea, file it to another folder entitled “Blog Ideas Used.” You may want to recycle them at another time, but for now, it keeps your blogs fresh and makes sure you don’t repeat yourself too often.
- Once a month or once a quarter make a list of topics you will blog about in the next 4-8 weeks. You may choose to focus on a theme a month or vacillate between business and pleasure for example.
- Something hits you. From time to time a new idea, something you heard on the radio, or something you read will spur your creativity. Jot down the idea and allow yourself to write free flowing. If you don’t have time to reread, research and edit the article, put it in a file to revise later. These fresh ideas can be some of your best blogs and the most fun to write.
Posted by: YvonneW | on February 15, 2010
Facebook has become a way to keep in touch with people you meet and may not see on a regular basis. Ten Top reasons to use Facebook are the following:
- You can invite your friends to your business events you are holding or attending.
- Once your friends are invited you can see who is attending your event.
- You can stay in touch even after a networking event by using the Chat option.
- Facebook is like a brochure, flyer or billboard. You can advertise your products or services and give your contact information.
- Your followers can join your mailing list or purchase your products without visiting your website.
- You can advertise and increase traffic to your blog, articles or website.
- Bring increased traffic to your videos or use the video application to advertise your products/services on Facebook.
- Using applications like polls promotes interactive communication among followers and other Facebook users.
- Advertise your promotions.
- Create or join groups that are in your chosen target market.
Do you need help setting up your social media profile? Are you thinking of calling Facebook 911? Would you like to learn more about how to use Facebook?
Watch my Podcast Video Facebook For Beginners.
Watch me on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=309214867
Posted by: BBR Marketing | on February 12, 2010
Many business people are suddenly starting to show some interest in the phenomenon that is social media, much to the thrill of their marketing personnel. But there is still a lot of confusion about this new medium, and objections abound. Below I take on a few of the most common ones.
Recruiters will poach our people. I hear this a lot. And it’s pretty easy to overcome. First of all, if your employees are that easy to poach, you need to look at your policies and see why they are so willing to leave. Secondly, there are many other ways for recruiters to find your people, and don’t think they aren’t getting calls from them on a regular basis. If you create a culture where people want to stay, it won’t matter if recruiters have another way to reach out to your staff.
We don’t have time. This is a valid concern, because if social media isn’t done correctly, it can be a huge time drain. However, if you manage your presence correctly, you can reap the benefits with a minimal time commitment. There are many tools available that can help you manage your various social media outlets. Hootsuite and SocialOomph are two great ones that allow you to schedule your tweets for a future time. So when you read something you think your audiences will find interesting, schedule an update. I find this allows me to maintain a connection with my followers without taking nearly as much time.
We don’t want our employees wasting time on social media. Again, a valid concern, but one that can be easily overcome by establishing a clear social media policy. Social media is like any other marketing tactic – it should be strategic and align with all your other marketing activities. Create a policy that allows you to gain the benefits from it while still maintaining a modicum of control. Train your employees on your policy and have it available for them to reference as needed. If they are busy with work, they won’t have time to spend chatting on Facebook. I personally think that the occasional visit to these sites has become the cigarette break of days gone by. It’s a quick moment to rest your mind and take a breath between tasks.
This is just a phase. Technology is always evolving. The current social media sites may not be here forever, but the concept is here to stay. (See my article entitled, “If the Pope is on Twitter…”) At one point email was considered to be a phase, but now you wouldn’t even think of not having an email address for each of your employees. The beauty of many of these social media sites is they allow you to establish a community of people – clients, prospects, colleagues, press – and create and maintain relationship with them. It simply makes it easier to reach people you’d never have access to through other methods.
LinkedIn is only full of people looking for jobs. There certainly are people who use LinkedIn to find jobs, but there are a lot more who use it to connect with colleagues, prospects and others in their industry. It is a treasure trove of information for anyone in business, regardless of what you are seeking. Don’t fall into the trap that many do and just set up a profile and leave. Create your profile with accurate information, and indicate whether you want to get job requests or not. Use the many tools on the site too. The advanced search feature can help you find business prospects more easily than any other traditional method. Join groups of like-minded people, and watch the connections start to form. It can be incredibly powerful.
In the end, the benefits far outweigh the concerns. You just need to do it in the correct way. Establish a plan and an owner for your company’s social media presence and make sure you are consistent. I’ve personally reaped the benefits of being on LinkedIn and Twitter, and know you will too.
Posted by: BBR Marketing | on February 7, 2010
My client base consists primarily of attorneys and accountants. This is not an early adopter group of most new technology, and for good reason. They are saddled with all sorts of regulations that most businesses are not, and have to worry about anything they say being construed as advice.
Also, in their defense, Twitter was not marketed very well as a business tool in its early stages. Twitter is still seen by many as an egocentric medium where people are always posting about what they had for lunch or how great (or horrible) their date was last night.
With that said, it’s time for my lovely professional service providers to quit rolling their eyes every time I mention Twitter in a presentation or meeting. Social media is here to stay, and Twitter is rapidly becoming (or has already become) an important marketing tactic that everyone should have in his or her toolbox.
When I read this article http://bit.ly/aewjUg, I wasn’t sure whether to gape in surprise or be impressed. Either way, when the Pope is on Twitter, and encouraging his priests to reach out to parishioners with tweets, it has definitely hit mainstream.
So, you say, “I just don’t have the time to learn it or to ‘tweet’ all the time.” The beauty is that you don’t have to. First of all, it’s incredibly easy to set up a page and join the Twitter universe. As Geico says, “Even a caveman can do it.”
Just click on “Join the Conversation,” enter your name and password, and you are up and running. Look up people and companies that you are interested in and follow them. Post a “Follow me on Twitter” link on your Website so visitors can easily follow you. Add your Twitter link to your outgoing email signature. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build a following with little effort.
So now you are up and running, but don’t know what to say. I’m sure you read particular trade publications or Websites that contain information of interest to you and your industry. Post a link to the articles you think your followers would be interested in reading. Post links to your own articles (you are writing articles, right?) to reach an entirely different audience. Re-tweet interesting content from those you are following. You’ll find it’s rather easy to find things to post, and you won’t be stuck with “not sure what 2 say, but going 2 post this anyway” sort of babble.
TIP: Go to www.bitly.com to shorten URLs for posting. It will take up less of your 140-word count, and also show you which articles are the most popular and getting the most readership and re-tweets.
So, now for the main objection, “I don’t have the time!” Admittedly, Twitter can be a serious time-sucker, but if you do it right, you can get the benefits from creating your own online community without it taking hours of your day. To misquote Apple, “There’s a Website for that.” There are many sites – both paid and free – that allow you to schedule your Twitter posts, so you don’t have to be on there all the time. www.hootsuite.com and www.SocialOomph.com are both good ones, and they are free. By using one of these Tweet aggregators, you can dedicate an hour or so a week and get all the benefits of Twitter without spending massive amounts of time on the sites.
So what are you waiting for? Dip your toe into the Twitter water and see how you like it. You’ll soon be an expert with hundreds of followers, people that you would have never met in any other way. Come on in, the water’s fine!
Oh, and follow me on www.twitter.com/bbrmarketing, and let me know how you like it.
Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk is the president of BBR Marketing (www.bbrmarketing.com). She has nearly 20 years of marketing experience working with a diverse range of industries and people, most recently as the marketing director for a mid-sized accounting firm in Atlanta. Her creative thinking and distinctive approach allow her to bring unique ideas to her clients that differentiate them from their competition and give them the tools they need to reach their audiences. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted by: LadyBizBiz | on January 12, 2010
When as a child I laughed and wept,
When as a youth I waxed more bold,
When I became a full-grown woman,
When older still I daily grew,
Soon I shall find, in passing on,
(These lines appear on an old clock in Chester Cathedral, England UK.)
I think all of us can relate to these words. I’m advocating that immediate action should be taken by all those sole proprietors and business individuals who would like to make a difference to the success of their business enterprises in 2010.
There is no time like the present to become involved in the world of social media in order to promote yourself and your business. I am going to cogitate here on the one social media platform that seems to be taking the whole world by the scruff of the neck: Twitter! There are of course many, many more to choose from.
I have to admit I lagged behind for months while the activity of others in my circle of friends and business colleagues, soared. All the while they kept regaling me with tales of tweets made by tweeps. What on earth were they talking about? They appeared to possessed a new language that meant absolutely nothing to me. There were times when I’m not ashamed to say ‘they drove me crazy’ as they really did appear to be ‘on another planet’ when engaged in tweeting.
It took place anywhere and everywhere, from PC’s, laptops and iphones, morning, noon and night. I even heard of one of my friends who would take the iphone to bed and fall asleep with it held firmly in his hand. He had also tweeted several broadcasts before leaving the warm cosiness of his bed the next morning. However I just had to draw the line at their tweeting habits around my dinner table: it was bad enough that when we were at a restaurant for an evening’s social engagement, one or another of them would whisk their iphone out from the depths of handbag or jacket breast pocket and stoke it tenderly – like it was a cherished pet! Bestowing total awareness on it’s tweets, links and tweeple, they were oblivous to our charming topic of conversation.
You get the picture! I told myself there was absolutely no way I was going to sink to those depths. How would I ever get any work done if I ended up like them, not to mention the possibility of alienating my friends and family?
Well I have bitten the bullet as it were, I am now tweeting too. Some of you already know me as @LadyBizBiz and we are getting to know each other slowly and surely. Why did I do it? This is why, I read a short paragraph written by Holly G. Green, CEO of The Human Factor, and highly sought after and acclaimed speaker, business consultant and author. It had the effect of switching something on in my grey matter: a thing which my partner and circle of friends had failed to do over a very long period of time. Here it is:
Embracing social media can be a real competitive advantage. In addition to instantly connecting you with customers, social media enables you to “mindshare” with industry peers, demonstrate thought leadership, recruit talent and more. Study the social media habits of your customers, and use the appropriate tools to make them part of your community.
I saw the point of it all. It was the phrase ‘mindshare with industry peers’ that thumped me in the head like a Neolithic club. Of course, ….. it all made sense, build up a network of connections, share thoughts and ideas, select only quality contacts, and the results will speak for themselves. It has placed me amidst some of the most stimulating and interesting individuals I have encountered in quite some time. Goodwill abounds between connections, and there lays the essence of engaging in social media: I would advocate any number of those individuals, if their services were sought by my peers and business colleagues.* Incidentally I have also benefitted from the short time I have spent in engaging in social media networking by gaining two new streams of business revenue in less than 4 months.
If you are a greenhorn rookie don’t learn the hard way, try to take some common sense advice, treat social media as a tool; a device; a strategy to control and implement progress in your business. It can save you bundles of time if you quickly become selective about the people you choose to follow on Twitter.
It really is an interesting exercise to engage in, and the success in terms of referred traffic to your business website, can be measured by keeping a regular eye on the statistics.
Finally, listen to the no-nonsense words of Sharon Hayes-Tucci, internet entrepreneur when she explains what not to do on Twitter.
* LinkedIn.com for professional business connections is used in conjunction with Twitter, here an indepth personal profile can be viewed and recommendations or testimonials can be recorded.
Posted by: Directions Coach | on December 26, 2009
This year has been an exciting and eventful year. I just launched a social network for women called Women Support Women. The site was created to supply a forum where various women could come together and create a support system. The site is not religious based, business based or any other exclusive theme. My vision is to bring women together to talk about the vast issues that face them. Of course there is marketing, religious propaganda and political views presented by members, but that’s okay. We are all individuals with different views but we can come together as a whole and make an impact on the lives of others.
Currently I’m in the process of creating information to post weekly on the site, since I’m a Life coach that won’t be hard to do. I just want to make sure that I don’t give everything away leaving nothing to market for profit.
I have a deep passion to help other women succeed in life and as the year 2010 approaches I want to have a Life Coaching Practices where I have to turn clients away. I’m not looking to get rich; you can tell that by my fees. My deepest desire is to make a difference in someone else’s life.
With that said I hope that you join me on my journey. Check out the site let me know what you think.
Have a wonderful holiday season.
Empowering Women: One lady at a Time
Posted by: A.Michelle Blakeley | on November 30, 2009
I am humbly honored to have been included on the Forbes.com list of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter written by Natalie MacNeil of She Takes On the World. It was a fantastic Thanksgiving surprise! Each of the women listed provide quality content and contribute useful information on their Twitter stream. I’m sure you will find these women and their resources extremely valuable.
Natalie states, “… Twitter has been an incredible tool for connecting with like-minded people from around the world….”. As small business owners, we can’t discard the effectiveness and efficiency of using Twitter as a viable tool to share information and connect with potential clients, other business owners and needed resources. Give. Take. Share.
Using Twitter is like telling someone a secret and seeing how you can get that secret to travel. However, there are a wide variety of other ways to make the most of Twitter.
- Ask a question, promote a sale, announce a seminar, share a tip, highlight an article, stay up to date, share your expertise, solve someone’s problem or join a discussion. Although Twitter is free, it does cost you time. Be sure to use your time on Twitter wisely and take advantage of Twitter applications that allow you to schedule tweets, tweet from your phone or connect your Twitter updates to other social media sites like LinkedIN and Facebook.
- Inexpensive (free) research can be conducted via Twitter. You can search for keywords, schedule tweets in advance, automatically follow and organize your followers. Use Twitter to access quick information on almost anything: current events, charities, business tips, travel, software, etc. Pose a question and you can see responses in minutes, often seconds.
- Twitter is borderless. It has no boundaries. You can connect with people from around the world. Use it as an opportunity to open doors and make warm introductions. All relationships must start with an introduction. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help or their thoughts. You will certainly get a wide variety of them.
There is a caveat to using Twitter, time passes by at the speed of light. Be sure to use your time wisely. Set aside a set amount of time to update your tweets or use Twitter. Otherwise, you may find yourself on there for hours with minimal productivity.
Twitter is your friend when used properly and with a purpose. 140 characters can change your business.
Here’s a link to Natalie’s article on Forbes.com, http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/24/twitter-forbeswoman-views-forbes-woman-entrepreneurs-natalie-macneil.html Be sure to check out the 30 women, their blogs and websites. Don’t forget to add them to your Twitter stream, especially Natalie (@nataliemacneil ).
Posted by: Pat Sutton | on November 30, 2009
A Retweet allows Twitter users to share their favourite tweets with their own followers.
So if someone has 10,000 followers and they like one of your tweets and they retweet it, then it will go out to all of their followers, good eh!
It is done by copying and pasting the original tweet and sending it out. It’s usual to put “RT” plus the originator’s username at the beginning of the tweet. Here’s an example:
RT@thebizwoman: How to monetize your blog!
Obviously, if you regularly tweet great content then people will pick up on it and retweet you. They will also retweet you if your tweets are relevant to them or even, dare I say it, complementary.
A good way to get people to retweet you is to to ask to be retweeted.
This works really well if your tweets are for a good cause or are likely to be helpful to your follower’s audience.
Here’s an example:
Entrepreneurs – learn how to monetize your blog PLEASE RETWEET ME!
This is only about 66 characters; very important if you don’t want retweets with clipped off ends as you are only allowed a total of 140 characters in your tweets.
It is always better to simplify the procedure for your retweeter.
There is a great little application called PleaseRT.me – http://pleasert.me/
You add your tweet and it makes you keep it short then it adds a plea for a retweet at the end of your message, (I’m saying “message” because I’m fed up of saying “tweet”), which your follower can then click on to easily retweet without all the copy and pasting.
You can try it out now by retweeting this post.
Let’s face it if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Pat Sutton – Official Blog, http://www.patsutton.com
Posted by: allie stewart | on November 26, 2009
Looking back I wish that someone had taken the time to sit down with me and show me there was a world of discovery beyond the bottom corner of Belmont Avenue. A three dimensional chat involving the mind body and spirit which would inspire and uplift and take off the restrictions of what I perceived possible for my life and which career path i could choose.
The fifties were a time of both freedom and structure. As a kid I could play in the street or go to the park by myself, even travel on the train aged 8 to meet my father in London – shock horreur – couldn’t do it now but this freedom came with some strange rules. No eating food in the street – including ice creams, don’t speak unless spoken to and certainly do not ask for anything for yourself and be nice to everyone.
These were the funny restrictive beliefs of my family , with grandparents who belonged in the Victorian age and had a certain dislike of anything which involved chatting with or playing with children. Children belonged outside or in their rooms. Those cold icy places with counterpanes as thick as mattresses, a little radio, a shelf of books and a onebar electric fire to be used on days when the ice was on the inside of the windows.No wonder I trained as a therapist in order to get rid of this madness of passivity and blow in fresh air.
If I had had a fairy godmother, then she would have helped me to see that I could find a pathway through the thorns and brambles and stayed by my side whilst I went on my journey. She would have informed, encouraged, motivated and at times where needed, waved her magic wand.
So thats what I do, I help you blow fresh air into your life, dust out the cobwebs, polish up your Aladdin’s lamp and let out the genie and with a sprnkle of stardust – off you go.
So, the New Year is in sight and in this blog over the next month I’ll give you some tips as to how to make your resolutions work like magic so you can become who you were meant to be rather than the result of your family beliefs.
Posted by: Pat Sutton | on November 23, 2009
I am not going to explain to you how to create an account, I am sure you are capable enough! Once the account is created with a nice profile and picture you can then start to add your “Tweets”.
You are allowed up to 140 characters and it is advisable to keep the tweets as short as possible, I will explain why shortly.
I know a lot of people use Twitter to talk about their latest night out or what they had for dinner but as a business person you can utilize Twitter to market your business.
The first thing to do is to find followers. You do this by using the search facility and searching for keywords that people, who are your target audience, would be using, either in their names or their tweets. As an example, “business”! You will have pages and pages of people talking about business and now you need to scroll down to choose who you want to follow.
Now, it is etiquette on Twitter that if someone follows you, you then follow them, not everyone abides by this rule but a lot do. As I am sure you have worked out by now; you will end up with people following you who are likely to be your target audience.
Be careful not to follow too many people all at once as, you must balance your follower/following ratio. So as not to bring down the wrath of the Twitter police, basically; you can’t follow 50,000 people if only 23 people follow you.
I would suggest that you follow 100 a day for a couple of days then wait until you have upped your following then you can go and follow more.
There is a great little website called, http://huitter.com/ where you can automatically un‐follow people who have not followed you. Don’t do this every day as you need to give people time to notice that you are following them but it is worth doing it about once a week.
OK, now you have a few followers it is time to do some marketing.
Obviously you can announce new items you are selling or services you are offering but the strength of Twitter is the relationships you can build.
So tweet stuff like motivational quotes or links to great blogs or websites that you think will interest your followers. Keep these short and remember to always add your website address at the end of the tweet. If you have a long address you can pop over to Bitly.com and get it shortened. You just enter your web address then hit “shorten” and it will give you a short version that you can use when space is limited.
Now I am going to tell you a secret trick that is so valuable that we need to keep this between you and me alone!
Find someone who is tweeting and is following you and who has a whole load of followers then find their website and take a look at what they do. Then come back to your Twitter account and Tweet an exceptionally wonderful complement about them. With luck they will see your Tweet and will then re‐Tweet it to their whole follower base, they won’t be able to resist it; we all love complements and can’t resist telling people that we have received them!
This is the reason your original tweet needs to be short, to enable people to re-tweet your comments. People do it all the time.
Here are a few tips you can do to simplify Twitter.
You can automate a message thanking people who follow you thus creating those important relationships. You can set this up at TweetLater.
You can go to the Twitter Yellow Pages, Twello, to search for people to follow.
You can download Sesmic Desktop to keep an eye on everything including, tweets, messages and mentions.
You can set up an RSS feed into your tweets so that even when you haven’t the time to tweet, something is going out for you.
The list is endless and I could fill another book but I think we have touched on the most of the important stuff here.
How does Twitter work with “The Image Attraction System”?
When you write a blog you announce it on Twitter, say something like: Great blog about Viral Marketing see http://www.patsutton.com you could shorten this link in Bitly.com if it’s too long.
People will then click through to your website and see you, your great profile and your product. Clever isn’t it?
You can also set up a welcome message through TweetLater directing them to your blog or product page or better still your profile.
Excerpt from “The Image Attraction System” by Pat Sutton
Posted by: Pat Sutton | on November 23, 2009
I’m often asked how to make money from Blogging.
Not wanting to dampen enthusiasm, it’s not a get rich quick scheme.
But it’s not impossible.
To get you there you need to have these six crucial skills:
3. A great imagination.
5. The discipline to learn.
6. Multiple Income streams?
Why patience you say?
If you do everything right.
Join blogging forums, create networks of friends and acquaintances, got seen on social media websites and actively collaborate on other blog websites.
Then it can still take months, even years before your have any kind of recognition.
With a legible writing style and perseverance you will make it in the end!
By resilience, I mean being able to take it on the chin!
Being able to fail without labelling yourself a failure.
Being successful at something doesn’t make you a success. When that publisher or editor rejects you, pick yourself up and start all over again with even more resiliance!
A Great Imagination is imperative!
You need to be able to see outside the box.
Knowledge and information is widely available on the web but you need to have the imagination to create a useful blog from that information. When you compose your next blog you need to know who your target audience is going to be, then you need to work out ways of getting in front of them.
Your title, (absolutely essential if you want your blog to be read), needs to grab them and say, “READ ME!”.
It is all too easy for someone to claim to be an expert.
There’s no Internet police checking your credentials but I believe “what goes around comes around” so don’t copy, don’t pinch other’s stuff and don’t claim to be what you are not!
A lot of people will read other blogs and articles and do a good job of copying them by not copying them. But it is easy to recognise the fakers. Take a look at their other work. If the writing style is different every time then they are probably seasoned fake artists.
Don’t get me wrong, we all do our research, that’s what the web is for, but there’s a lot of difference between learning and passing that knowledge on and copying someone elses articles and changing a few phrases.
If I see something that excites me, then I print the article and read it and then do my report on it. This is a great lesson as not having it sitting there on your computer you are not tempted to copy and paste – you have to use your own words.
One more point on KNOWLEDGE. As is normal with a business, you must be prepared to invest financially – you could do worse than taking up a few subscriptions for products and courses on good blogger’s websites, you will be amazed how much you’ll learn.
The Discipline to Learn.
If you want to keep up with the times you need to be ever evolving. The Internet and Social Media changes on a daily basis.
What was a great strategy yesterday could be a waste of time today.
When I first started to market my blogs on Twitter, I was in-undated with visits to my website even though my followers were under a thousand. Now I have many thousand followers yet the response has not gone up that much in relation. I am afraid that we are victims of our own actions.
We know that most people who ask us to pop over to their website for some great stuff are almost certainly going to have a hidden agenda and alteria motives. But that’s Ok if what you get from then is of value!
If you are like me and you are always inquisitive to see if there are any snippets of information that you can pass on to your readers then you may well profit from these opportunities but many of you are probably far too busy, so the offerings are ignored.
The lesson here is, don’t be too hasty, if there is one thing that has come out of all this, it is that people know that if they give something of value then people will be attracted to them or their business so it is rare that the info is worthless.
Mutliple income streams!
Google AdSense on your website? You’re not going to get rich but you can make enough to pay for the odd evening out. Good affiliates? They may bring in a little more than AdSense, but you have to have a mighty busy website to make any real money from affiliates.
The most efficient way of getting closer to monetising your blog is to create a subscriber list. As they say, “The Money Is In The List!”.
Create a subscribe box on your website where they can get something worthwhile for free then once you have your subscribers you can start to work on the relationship. When they see you as a leader and as an expert in your field then you can start to market to them. The format is: give them good stuff, give them more good stuff, give them more good stuff then, when you have their attention, do the pitch then follow that with more good stuff. Be careful, gently does it! You don’t want them to un-subscribe.
Watch this space for my next article, “How to make big money from Blogging”.
Pat Sutton – Official Blog http://www.PatSutton.com