Category Archives: Marketing

Know, Like and Trust

That becomes a familiar mantra when you are networking for your business, especially if your business is service-based. When people are thinking about how to spend their money the actual decision making is often very emotional, in spite of any time spent doing research.

It is human nature to prefer to do business with those they already know and who they already like and trust. This is often at odds with whether or not they know the same person is competent. This is why the brakes go on when someone they have just met immediately launches into a sales pitch. It is always important to be authentic — people can tell when you are not, and it only serves to undermine everything else you might have done.

The current wisdom is that on average it takes seven to nine “touch points” before someone feels you are trustworthy. (A big reason to congratulate yourself if your average is less!) Possible ways to accomplish this include:

  • Email — newsletter, informational articles (tips!), personal message
  • Phone
  • In person — coffee or lunch, invite to a networking event
  • Blog post
  • Tweet, Facebook post or any other form of social media
  • Direct mail — no, it’s not really dead. It has become so rare that now when you send something it can really stand out.
  • Webinars or teleseminars
  • Coupons and other special offers

Mixing your methods up has two advantages. It allows people to choose the option that works best for them. It also means that for those who are more engaged, they get some variety, keeping their interest up.

To your business success!

What is a squeeze page? (and does this matter?)

When you go to a website and are greeted by a page with the sole purpose of making an offer of some sort, that is what is called a squeeze page. There are two types— “hard” and “soft.” With a hard squeeze page the only way past it is to give your information. These are generally reserved for signups for events or classes. The soft squeeze may be a popup or a whole page. It asks relevant questions to get the visitor’s attention and then gives them a choice of either signing up or bypassing it.

Many marketers are resistant to using a squeeze page, thinking they are sleazy or too “sales-y” but the bottom line is that they work. One of the most important assets to your business is your list.

In an earlier Tip I wrote about the value of having a “freebie” to offer to website visitors. This is your appetizer, an “ethical bribe,” if you will, to offer in exchange for their contact information. The purpose of this is to build the list. You are trying to start a relationship with people who have given their permission because they would like to hear what you have to say and learn more about what you can do for them peut on se procurer du viagra. This all goes back to the “know, like and trust” factor that can turn prospects into fans. The squeeze page helps to tie this all together, increasing the likelihood of someone giving you a chance.

To your business success!

Mobile Apps and Websites—Two Different Birds!

When the names are used interchangeably, there is bound to be confusion viagra dans la pharmacie. They can look the same, but under the skin they are very different. The majority of small businesses don’t need an app, but should consider a mobile-friendly website to be an essential.

⁃ Apps can’t be seen by search engines, although some like Yelp’s are really vertical search engines on their own.
⁃ Mobile websites are favored by search engines and intended to be found by them.
⁃ Depending upon their purpose, apps can function without the internet.
⁃ Like desktop websites, mobile websites require the internet.

Apps can be extremely expensive to develop. They also need to be something really special—functional, entertaining—something that people will want to use repeatedly and hang onto. The sad truth is that the average lifespan of a mobile app is one month. People install them, give them a try, and if they don’t work well or are boring, out they go with the trash.

This is where small businesses should think long and hard, and then look at their budget before committing to an app. Games are popular, but does it have anything to do with the business? Is there a cool tool that could serve as the company mascot in the app world? If neither is true, spending thousands of dollars on the development of an app may not provide a good return on the investment.

Who do apps work well for? A real estate agent would be a good candidate. Since their clients are often out where internet service is unreliable, an app could fill the gap and deliver pre-loaded information about listings, serving as a mobile sales aid.

To your business success!

Attracting More Flies With Honey…

Are you offering visitors something to encourage them to opt-in for your services, mailing list, or…? Giving site visitors some incentive to return and/or view you as a trustworthy expert is an important factor in converting them into clients. With busy schedules and the overcrowded inboxes of today, there really needs to be something that makes your viewer say “I want that” to get them past their resistance over taking the time to opt in.

This is commonly referred to as your “offer” and should be something quick and easy for you to fulfill, and not something that would be a financial hardship. This of course varies with the business, but some possible ideas include CD’s, a special report on a related topic, a free session, a discount on a product or service, an inexpensive solution to a pesky problem, or a ticket to an event—or perhaps free admission for a guest.

Thus a “win-win” solution—the offer makes your visitors happy because they get something cool for free, while you are rewarded by a growing list of prospects to nurture until they are ready to become clients and customers.

You can also have more than one offer. For example, when I wrote this my offer was for the Web Clarity tips series, but at some point I plan to offer a contest with a much juicier prize. Use your imagination and ask yourself what would be easy for you to give that your people would want to receive.

To your business success!

Social Networking and your Tribe

Where does your tribe socialize? Every business is concerned with their target market and getting to know them really well obtenir viagra sans ordonnance. This knowledge makes it easier to focus marketing dollars, as well as in making decisions about what products and services to offer.

Enter social networking. Is your tribe hanging out on Facebook? Perhaps they are more professional and more likely to prefer Linked In. What about Google+ or Pinterest? If they are up on the latest trends and conveniences they might be more likely to be on Twitter—unless your crowd refuses to get a SmartPhone.

The point is, especially if you are short on time and resources, rather than stressing about getting your business page up on Facebook because everyone else is doing it, first take a long look at whether that is where your people are. It is possible that local networking groups or specific industry-oriented forums might provide a more direct point of contact. Consider doing a survey of your current favorite clients. Wouldn’t it be great to have more just like them?

Start with one social networking site and get that one figured out so that you are comfortable with it as a part of your routine. Then pick a second one and work your way through your list of priorities one at a time. Remember that the objective is to interact with your tribe on a regular basis. If you are too busy to do this you should reconsider your strategy.

To your business success!

A Link By Any Other Name… Shortlinks & SEO

One of my clients is a prolific blogger and often shares posts with groups she belongs to. She told me that when she does this she usually gives them the shortlink for her post to make the link easier to type out viagra naturel net. Having said this, she then asked me if a shortlink or regular one was better for SEO. I had never thought about it, so I did some research.

The verdict? The original link with your website name is better.

  • People know what they are clinking on—wouldn’t YOU rather know?
  • Your website brand gets more exposure. When you use a bit.ly or tinyurl link, you are essentially giving up the promotion of your own brand, instead promoting theirs. The search engines have no way of knowing where it is going either.
  • Another point of failure. Everyone knows that things on the web are constantly changing. When you click on a shortened link, the click leads through another trip to a server (tinyurl, bit.ly or ?) If something goes wrong, it’s “page not found” with no hint of where they might go to get the content.
  • If your link gets picked up by another site to share, you miss out on another opportunity for your brand and increase the risk of your content being linked with a site that has nothing to do with you.

Considering that there are ways to shorten your own links while retaining your branding, it sounds like there are very few arguments in favor of the shortlink. I have left out most of the more technical reasons for this, but they are detailed at

To your business success!

Do you attend networking events for your business?

The Best of Intentions…

Do you follow up with the people you meet? This is where it generally starts to break down—and where differing thoughts about proper follow-up etiquette shows up. I have heard it pointed out that if you are not following up on these leads, it begs the question “Why are you networking?” I know I have been on both ends of this. People I have met who I have told “Please contact me, I am interested” who never followed up on my interest, and feeling overwhelmed and not taking action on my end by contacting my own “business card people.”

One practice that is generally agreed to be bad form is to collect the card, add them to your list and start sending them unsolicited emails, etc. This is a recipe for being considered a spammer. The compromise to this that I have adopted for now is to add them to my list, then send them a single email inviting them to opt into either my blog, newsletter and/or schedule a strategy session. Even framing it as an invitation draws an occasional complaint, so this will probably change. If they don’t opt in, that’s the end of it. They may get a call from me, but no email unless it comes up later.

There is no single right way, but having a system that you stick to makes a big difference. Be organized and sort your cards according to priority—hot leads within 48 hours, low priority within three weeks, the rest, such as referral partners, somewhere in between. Remember that it’s not a time to pounce and essentially say “buy my stuff,” but rather an opportunity to build a relationship, getting to know them a bit better and see how you might be able to help each other.

Doing some research and/or personalizing your follow-up is always a good idea. Also, don’t forget “snail mail” as an option. A handwritten note can make a strong positive impression.

Not everyone is going to be interested. One source suggests no more than three attempts, perhaps using two different methods. Don’t be a stalker! If you are making calls be prepared to have a conversation! This sounds obvious, but I have heard of those who purposely make calls at off-hours so they can leave a voicemail and not interact.

Relationships are the foundation of business success.

To your business success!

Back To Basics—What Is a List?

One of the reasons I offer business coaching as part of my services is that I have observed a lot of small business owners are missing some of the basics. In addition, when new developments like social media are added to the mix, it is easy to lose sight of those basics even when they are present.

There is a saying, “the money is in the list,” that I believe dates back to when traveling salesmen were commonplace. They understood that if they kept a list of all of their contacts, whether they were people met in coffee shops, new prospects referred by people they knew, current or past customers—any and all—and then cultivated them over time, that would be where their best and most reliable customers would be. It is difficult to emphasize this enough—the importance of taking the time to build relationships, giving others time and opportunities to know, like and trust us, because it is human nature to prefer to do business with those we already know.

When a client pushes back and tells me they don’t think they need a list it is generally because they have current clients and are taking the short view. They are missing the point that consistent business success is often dependent upon things like their list, permitting them to prosper during times when money is tight.

To your business success!