93% of all buying decisions start on Google! That is an astounding number in this day of online fragmentation in the marketplace. How much are you willing to invest in your organization, business enterprise or franchise to ensure your product or service is discovered by your core client? According to
Ingrid Abood (online marketing guru) HubSpot conducted a little experiment of their own and results showed that the average company that blogs has:
55% more visitors
97% more inbound links
434% more indexed pages
The numbers can convert to revenue if the webmaster and business owner are monitoring their blogs, email, responses etc. I am not suggesting you eliminate your static site but when the percentages enter the 90s for inbound links and buying decisions, I have to ask the question why have you not considered developing a blog for your organization?
According to BlogPulse, there are about 151,570,276 (and counting) blogs on the internet today and over 49,000 of them were created in the last 24 hours. And those numbers increase every minute! Overwhelming data to say the least!
Blogs are actually the fastest-growing medium of personal publishing and are the preferred method of “individual expression and opinion”.
(If this is too complex for you, contact Melody Marketing. We will build your blog and host for a nominal fee)
“Social Media and blogs are becoming marketing powerhouses. They are the fastest growing category in lead generation budgets and they continue to be ranked as the lowest cost lead-generation channel…”
The State of Inbound Marketing 2010
What will it cost your firm?
A blog on WordPress will cost less than $30 with features such as
Your own business domain name (Cost $7.99)
Hosting ($4.95 mo Hostgator)
Videos from YouTube (Free)
Email subscription to the blog (Free)
Content loaded as easily as using Microsoft Word
Links to other content and websites
Menu across the top
Polls and surveys for your customers
Traffic statistics for the Blog/Website
Moderation of comments
Plus many other free features provided by plugins at no cost
So with that in mind here are the 10 simple questions to assess your marketing IQ.
Do we have a web presence (website or even a blog)?
Are you still spending money on advertising in the Yellow Pages?
Are you still spending a majority of your marketing dollars on direct mail marketing?
Are you marketing by fax broadcasts?
Are you still “thinking” about having a website for your company?
Have you heard of social media for business?
Do most of our reps still cold call?
Do you use print media for most of your advertising dollars?
Are our carrier pigeons still alive?
Do we have our milk delivered by horse and cart?
The bottom line is this – if you have not embraced web 2.0 or web 3.0 then you might as well open your window and throw cash to the next stranger on the street. Blogs assist in targeting your core customer and encouraging your target audience to buy, share or commit to your service or product. Blogs are much more personable than a static website. The writing style is conversational in tone which often encourages your reader to respond, link and share your site. Readers will like you on Facebook, follow you on twitter, Digg your site and search LinkedIn to join your cause. In the end, everyone benefits because you are sharing information your “niche” is interested in hearing about and they will gladly share it with like minded enthusiast.
Note to business owners – In spite of all the advancements in technology, social media, online marketing, SEO and meta tags, people buy from people they like. The fundamentals of business remain the same. People buy you before they buy your product. Why not talk to them and relate to them via your blog? Its a win/win combination.
Tweet much? What role should it play in your marketing? As most of you know my view of marketing is a tool we use to inform consumers about our products, who we are and what we offer.
The marketing industry is one which depends so greatly on having its finger on the pulse, it came as no surprise when people recognised the benefit of using Twitter as a marketing tool. If you think about it for a moment, the presence on the Internet of a site that allows you to speak to a wide range of people for free and place a link in the text has obvious and extensive marketing benefits. Not least of these is the fact that it cuts your marketing spend right back if used properly.
When it comes to marketing effectively, one of the phrases used most frequently is “we need to speak to the customer”. Although this is in many ways just a metaphor – you really need to catch the customers’ attention as broadly as possible – Twitter does allow you to speak directly to each customer if you have the time to do so. By means of @replies, you can answer a customer’s question. By using the search facility it is possible to see who is talking about the niche in which you are marketing – and whether they might be a qualified lead you can sell to.
When tweeting, remember a marketing fundamental lost on so many business owners embracing social media. Tweeting is all about relationships. People buy from people they like and trust. Social media is an important component of marketing plans and branding in today’s web savvy environment. Embrace facebook, tweeting, google platforms, etc but remember to “be you.”
Social media does that. Here is how:
We can use social media to provide an identity to who we are and the products or services that we offer.
We can create relationships using social media with people who might not otherwise know about our products or service or what our companies represent.
Social media makes us “real” to consumers. If you want people to follow you don’t just talk about the latest product news, but share your personality with them.
We can use social media to associate ourselves with our peers, that may be serving the same target market.
We can use social media to communicate and provide the interaction that consumers look for.
As you can see social media carries with it a lot of value, but how do you do it right?
You cannot just depend on social media, you must integrate it with other vehicles of marketing. While social media will create awareness, I’m not convinced that in the beginning it will sell a million dollars worth of product. That’s not to say that one day once you’ve built up your social media “stardom” that it won’t, but it probably won’t happen tomorrow.
Be yourself, reflect personality. There are no written “right” or “wrong” rules when it comes to social media, only you can determine what will work for you.
Be consistent, if you do not plan on being consistent don’t do it at all – it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Success stories are abundant when it comes using social media from headhunters that find job applicants to new businesses that want to introduce a new product as well as already established Fortune 500 companies that want to strengthen their brand. The role of social media in your marketing is to use it as a communication tool that makes you accessible to those interested in your product and makes you visible to those that don’t know your product. Use it as a tool that creates a personality behind your brand and creates relationships that you otherwise may never gain. This creates not only repeat-buyers, but customer loyalty. Fact is social media is so diversified that it can be used in whatever way best suits the interest and the needs of your business.
I fire clients. Yes, you read it correctly, I fire clients. As I prepared to write an article on this topic, I stumbled across another article online by a writer. She cleverly entitled her article 7 surefire signs of clients to avoid.
Based on the content of the article, both of us had experienced the same transition in our business with clients. When most entrepreneurs obtain their first client, they are so excited for the business that they gladly accept the job and the pay. As time goes by, entrepreneurs realize “everyone” is not your target market for business. As I have told my daughters in their music business, all money is not good money. I guarantee there are times when an entrepreneur will hand a referral over to another associate remarking, please give this guy a call.
Please enjoy the article below. If you are an entrepreneur, it will assist you in accepting the next client. If you are a client it will inform you how not to get fired. Read, learn and obey.
The 7 surefire signs of clients to avoid
by FABIENNE on SEPTEMBER 3, 2010
You’ve heard me get on my soapbox several times about needing to really hone in on your target audience BEFORE you go out there and market yourself extensively. One of the major reasons this is so important is that most people make the mistake of trying to market to EVERYBODY, fearing that if they niche themselves too much, they’ll narrow down their prospective client pool too much. As a result their marketing is less than compelling and doesn’t pull ANY clients in.
We now know that being a generalist is not Client Attractive, quite the contrary, because EXPERTS make more per hour than generalists, the media is ONLY looking for experts and not jacks-of-all-trades, experts stand out in the marketplace and it’s much easier to market to a specific group than it is to a whole bunch of different people. Otherwise, our message isn’t compelling enough and we don’t catch anyone’s attention.
Today, I want to take you on a different spin of your “ideal client.” I want to talk to you about the surefire signs of clients to AVOID; at least in my point of view. If you’ve been to my website www.clientattraction.com, you know that I am very selective about whom I work with privately. I cherry-pick my clients and go so far as to state exactly who I work with (personality-wise) and whom I don’t, right there on my website.
I talk about working best with “high achieving go-getters who are super-ready to get going and just want to know exactly what steps to take to get clients” and that “I don’t enjoy working with whiners or skeptics or people who make excuses because the results aren’t the same.”
I know it’s a little bold, and I’m certain it ticks off some people (usually though, it’s the people who recognize themselves as bad cases of whiners, skeptics, and people with a general bad or negative attitude about everything). The funny thing is; my IDEAL clients say they LOVE that part of my website and it strengthens their conviction that they want to work with me. Many say they have a “Go girl!” feeling when they read what I wrote.
So, if it’s a little bit controversial to some, why do I have this on my site? Because, probably like you, in the beginning, I took on ANY client that was breathing, had some cash, and was remotely interested in working with me, despite sometimes having a strong feeling in my gut that I was doing the wrong thing and might regret it. I was that desperate for clients.
Lo and behold, every single time I took on one of these non-ideal clients, I regretted it. I ignored all the signs, shunned my intuition, and later wished I hadn’t taken on that client. It was always a disaster. Either their attitude made me think “why is this person SO negative!?” or their credit cards declined, or perhaps they stopped working with me after just one month, blaming me for the fact they weren’t getting their work done.
These were the same people who became what I now call “heart-sink” clients. You know the ones. They’re the people you see on your client appointment schedule for that day and your heart sinks. Instead of being excited for the call, you dread it, drag your feet on preparing for their stuff and generally get in a bad mood knowing you’ll have to talk to them.
With an average of 10 clients a day, back-to-back, I can’t afford to have my energy brought down by ONE client who’s a chronic crankypants. It’s just not fair to the other clients whom I’m excited to speak to and work with, those I get off the phone with saying “YESSS! She is doing sooooo well.” (By the way, my practice is full of these people now.)
If you’re not having that “YESSS!!!” feeling with every client, you may need to listen to your intuition more and better yet, make a list of your own surefire signs NOT to pursue a working relationship with someone, no matter how much you want the money.
Here’s what I noticed as surefire signs, in my own experience, of non-ideal clients:
- People who don’t show up for the call and make up not-so-believable excuses for why they didn’t show up. (I take a no-excuses approach to getting clients and to life in general. I expect the same from my clients.)
- People who don’t fill out the paperwork or follow instructions sent to them prior to our first call. (I give a lot of useful paperwork during my coaching and if someone’s not going to do it in the beginning, they’ll probably not do it later either.)
- People who aren’t nice to my client relationship manager or my staff. (That is a HUGE no-no for me. If someone treats my team like less than equal from the get-go, they’ll have ZERO chance of working with me.)
- People who are rude to me too. (Not much more to be said here.)
- People who whine, complain, or resist everything, make excuses, or sometimes even lie. (I prefer to hang out with really fun, upbeat people, and people who are “up” to good things.)
- People who ask me if I offer a money-back guarantee before we’ve begun. (If they’re already thinking it won’t work for them, they’re right; it won’t work for them.)
- People who try to negotiate my fees, despite the fact that I offer different programs at different affordable price points, one for every budget level. (I don’t believe in de-valuing my services. It’s been my experience that people who take an inch will always try to take a mile down the road.)
Have you ever experienced people doing one or more of these things?Perhaps not yet. But it may happen over the years, and after a while, you’ll start recognizing the signs and their consequences.
How do I deal with these situations? If they’re a prospective client, I just don’t go further in the relationship, or explain to them that I’m probably not the right coach for them. If they’re a new client and I didn’t spot this behavior at the beginning, then I find a graceful way to end the relationship. It happens only rarely, but when it needs to happen, I do what it takes.
Let’s face it. Non-ideal clients will never give you referrals (and if they do, those referrals will also be non-ideal), will never write you glowing testimonials, and might even start spreading the word in the marketplace that you’re not that good at what you do. Stay away from them!
At this point in my business, being that it’s virtually always full and that I have standards for how I want to work, I have no room for people to “run their stuff” on me anymore. It may sound a little harsh, but whenever I talk about this in seminars, I see a lot of people nodding their heads, who know EXACTLY what I mean, and who wish they didn’t have heart-sink clients either. So, that being said, I’m probably not too far off base talking about this.
- Make a list of common denominators among your non-ideal clients (not every client has all of these, sometimes just one or two).
- Set standards in your business about whom you’ll work with and whom you’ll turn away.
- Then, follow those standards as if your business depends on it (it does).
- Even consider putting it down on your website, for all to see, as I do on mine.
You deserve a practice FULL of “A” clients, not “D” clients. The only one that can let them into your business is you. Even if you have a team like I do, you’re the ultimate gatekeeper. Besides, when your practice is filled with “D” clients, you become so cranky that you’re not going to BE client attractive. That’s not good for business. So take action on this and don’t break your own standards. You have the ultimate choice, so use it.
Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System , the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your in.come, visit www.clientattraction.com.
Are you friending, every person that ventures onto your page? 1,000 friends! 2,000 friends!! 3,000!!! You would think that the more Facebook friends you have the more friends you have in real life. (author – )
According to Ben Lang, less is more when adding friends or followers to facebook or Twitter. The Facebook user with over 1000 friends probably does not have a real relationship with 10 of the people listed as friends on their page. (Just my opinion. But this is my blog )
The most successful businesses base their success on their ability to establish a relationship with their core customers. How is it possible to establish a “real” relationship with 3000 online friends?
When I attended a recent Atlanta Ad club, a social media guru suggested selective use of “friending” on Facebook is really what the social network had in mind when it was designed. Ben Lang suggest the next time you click “add as friend” take a minute to think. Are they really your friend? Does adding +1 to you friend count really change anything? Does accepting some random persons “friend request” really make you more popular? As a business owner, you have to ask yourself the question, will my new friend ever send me a good referral or support my business. In fact, the first question one should ask is how can I add to my “friends” professional success because “networking” is really about giving.
Market research will answer the question as to whether your new friend will send a referral. Market research is any organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy. If your new friend does not fit into your “target market” then you have to ask yourself the question, should I friend or follow this person. Remember, you can tell the world about your product or tell someone who cares. Happy Marketing!
How Can a Press Release Help You Get Free Publicity?
What is a Press Release?
A press release or, news release as it is also called, is a condensed article that is written in a journalistic style. A press release is not a sales document, resume, or an advertisement. The purpose of the news release is to highlight what is interesting and newsworthy about your company or organization. This can include announcing product releases, new services, or drama within your market.
What are the Press Release Costs?
Press releases are relatively inexpensive to prepare and distribute. Compare the price of a full-page ad from a major news publication – generally tens of thousands of dollars. Even local papers typically charge several thousand dollars. For less than a few hundred dollars, you can receive better, more comprehensive coverage than paid advertising. Research shows that most news releases generate a higher return than even high powered ad campaigns.
When members of the news media feature your story pulled from your press release, free publicity is being generated. Frequently, your story can show up not only in one major newspaper, but in three, as well as in news talk shows carried on major networks such as NBC or CBS. If you are looking to publicize in local markets only, releases can be directed to those local publications and hit editor’s news feeds who write for your specific industry. If you are looking for global coverage, news releases are the best marketing tools. In a sense, a press release is a gift that just keeps giving.
News releases not only reach journalists but they also capture potential customers and/or investors which means that your products and/or services can be both funded and be made more profitable simply based on the media attention your release receives. Whatever your target audience may be, news releases offer you a way to become known to the public without a significant investment. Even large corporations who spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns continue to use news releases to maintain public interest which results in higher revenue.
Sample PR releases from Melody Marketing:
- Full Link, Pdf Version – Anointed Word Church – Lithonia, GA
<a href=”http://www.prlog.org/10281477-anointed-word-fights-poverty-with-free-clothes-free-meal-in-rockdale-and-dekalb-ctygeorgia.pdf”>Anointed Word fights poverty with Free Clothes & Free Meal in Rockdale and Dekalb Cty-Georgia</a>
- Short Link – Agape Love- 3 Girl Jazz Trio
- http://www.prlog.org/10448548.pdf – Agape Love