Tag: blog

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

Fifteen Ways to Build Trust Using Your Blog

Are you looking for more prospective clientsto build a relationship with prospects and converting prospects into clients, increased trust among current clients, to gain referrals, build your brand or gain awareness for you firm? Then get a blog.

Wow, can a blog really do all of that? Yes it can and so much more. It can help position you as an expert in your industry, help build an audience, gain attention, and grow your business.

Continue reading “DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?”

HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS

HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS

Hubspot surveyed 3339 marketing professionals in 128 countries about the current state of inbound marketing.
Continue reading “HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS”

ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?

ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?

Focus Your Marketing Activities so they Don’t Overwhelm You

I see it all the time when I talk to small business owners. When I ask them about how they are marketing their businesses, their eyes roll and they act as if I blasphemed or something. Marketing seems to be the last things want to talk, think or do when it comes to their business.

Continue reading “ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE MARKETING JONESES?”

THE SECRET TO TURNING OUT MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CONTENT

THE SECRET TO TURNING OUT MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CONTENT

Have you ever wondered how one blogger is able to turn out massive amount of content without hiring others to write for them or accepting guest posts?

I did.

Wondering how they did it, lead me to this secret…
Continue reading “THE SECRET TO TURNING OUT MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CONTENT”

KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS COMING BACK WITH A CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM

KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS COMING BACK WITH A CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM

5 Easy Ideas for Creating a Loyalty Program for Customers

In today’s economic climate has small business owners are stretched thin trying to find new customers and retain current customers at the same time. Customer service has become a full-time job for most small business owners. How do I reach new customers? What social media tactics should I be using in my business? How do I keep my current customers from going somewhere else? How do I get my current customers to refer my business to others?

We all have customer loyalty or reward cards in our wallets, whether is it CVS, Best Buy or some other retailer, but how can a service provider, solopreneur or small business create a customer loyalty program?

  • Use your email provider: Instead of having customer sign up for monthly newsletter, have prospects sign up for a customer loyalty program though your email provider.

Send out email offering free reports, webinars, podcasts, articles, discounts and other promotions available only to subscribers.

  • Use a Membership Widget on Your Blog or Website: Add a membership area to your blog where only members will have access to premium content.

Add special webinars, teleseminars, ecourses, seminar events, discounts, articles, eBooks, and other promotional items.

  • Facebook Fan Pages: Create a Facebook fan page for your company and offer members content that is not available on your blog or website.

You can offer events to attend, videos, articles, promotions, discounts, information on seminars, ecourses, webinars, podcasts and much more.

  • Points Program: Create a program for customers where they are rewarded points for each purchase or referral, think frequent flier programs. Create a catalog where they can redeem the points for valued gifts.

You can offer free webinars, workbooks, books, teleseminars, consultations, promotional items, tickets, magazine subscriptions, whatever you can think of that will be of value to your current customers.

  • Blog Commenter’s: Use blog commenting software that gives points to readers when they leave comments. Let the reader’s know at the end of each posts that you will be sending a free gift to the commenter with the most comments each week, month or whatever deadline you choose, just don’t make it to infrequent.

You can give away free reports, eBooks, consultations, white papers or whatever item that related to your business that can be delivered electronically. Don’t forget to announce the winner.

How can Businesses put Customer Loyalty Programs to Work for Their Businesses?

Let’s look at a few ways that professional businesses can use loyalty programs:

Professional Coaches: You run a professional coaching business and decide to set up a free customer loyalty program. You begin by creating a landing page explaining the loyalty program to prospects and a sign-up form. You tell them all the benefits of signing up for the loyalty program which could include such benefits as free coaching sessions, discounted coaching sessions, free eBooks and workbooks, free worksheets, articles, webinars, and discounts on books, eBooks, and special reports. You send members an email monthly with links to the specials that you are offering and not available to general readers of your blog or visitors to your website.

Financial Planners: You decide to set up a membership site on your website or blog. Prospects sign up to become members to receive special member benefits. You offer members access to site by logging into the restricted area for members only where they read industry reports, company research, worksheets, educational information and forums. You then notify members though email that new products are available at the membership site.

Author: You decide to set up a Facebook fan page for your books. You are about to release a new book and you want to promote your book and get others to promote you book. You can add sample chapters, podcasts of you reading from your books, post book signing events, hold a contest to win a free book, and hold a contest to people to name characters in your next new book. The possibilities are endless, you could create an online novel where once a week you add a new chapter or create a novel where you begin the novel and have people submit the next chapter every month. You could post the winner’s chapter or you could also have members vote on the chapter that they like the most and post the chapter with the post votes as the winning chapter and ask members to post the next chapter.

Retail Store: You own a small online and offline women’s boutique and you want to increase your customer’s loyalty and get them to spend more often. You decide to set up a customer reward card and customers can swipe the card in the store or enter their customer number when they purchase online. You can reward customer by offering customer only sales, discount coupons, free shipping, in-store events and promotional items, the possibilities are almost endless.

Why set up a Loyalty Program?

Loyalty programs allow you stay top of mind with clients. By offering rewards that are of high value to customers you will give them incentive to due business with you and not your competitors. Don’t forget to offer referral rewards to encourage customers to refer others to your business.

Loyalty programs offer your business these benefits:

  • Targeting: Loyalty programs offer businesses the opportunity to target people are willing to become active participants in your marketing programs and helps moves the prospects through the sales funnel into becoming clients.
  • Engagement: Loyalty programs allow businesses to engage members and learn what they are interested in learning and buying. Engagement allows business owners to target prospects with offers that will appeal to them because they have creating an ongoing community involvement with the prospect. Engagement helps the build trust and loyalty among members.
  • Conversion: Loyalty programs that build trust and loyalty among members leads to increased sales conversion among members. The members already know and trust your products and are more willing to purchase your products.

All you have to do now is decide on what type of loyalty program you want to create. What you want to accomplish and how you will implement the loyalty program.

Your Turn:

Do you currently have a loyalty program for your business?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PICTURE PERFECT IDEAL BLOG READER

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PICTURE PERFECT IDEAL BLOG READER

Do You Know Who Your Ideal Blog Reader Is?

You have created a blog for your businessbut how much thought have you given to what your ideal blog reader is like? What they want? How they will feel after reading your blog posts? What you want them to do after visiting your blog?

How would you describe your ideal blog reader?

When it comes to attracting your ideal readers to your blog you should be able create a picture in your mind as you describe them. You should be able to tell if they read your blog at work or home. How much time do they spend learning about the topic? What they are looking for when they reach your site and what is their current knowledge level?

Do you know?

When creating a description of your ideal reader here are some questions to answer:

1.) What is your reader’s demographic information?

  • Where do they live?
  • Are they married?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they have children?
  • What is their education level?

2.) What is their job and level of seniority?

  • In what industry to they work.
  • Are they the decision maker?
  • If not, do they influence the decisions maker/s?

 3.) What does a day in their life look like?

  • What brings them joy?
  • Do they spend more time at work or home?
  • Who are the people in their life that matter most?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What TV shows do they watch?
  • What radio stations do they listen?
  • What publications do they read?
  • What type of clothing do they wear?
  • What associations and social networks do they belong?
  • Are they involved in their community?
  • What do they do online?
  • Are they involved in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn?
  • What time of day do they read your blog?
  • Are they religious?
  • Are they conservative or liberal?
  • Do they have special hobbies?
  • Do they travel, where, how often?
  • Do they have pets, if so what kind?

4.) What are their pain points?

  • What do they worry about?
  • How do their problems affect their day-to-day life?
  • What challenges do they face?

5.) What do they value most?

  •  What are their goals?
  •  What are they striving to attain?
  •  What does it mean to be successful?

6.) Where do they go for information?

  • Do they go online when looking for information?
  • Do they talk to co-workers, friends, family or industry experts?
  • Do they read reviews, testimonials or case studies
  • How do they like to consume information, articles, books, audio, or video?
  • Whom do they trust the most?
  • What blogs do they already read?
  • How much knowledge do they currently have about your topic?

7.) What experience are they looking for when reading your blog?

  • What do they hope to gain from your blog?
  • Do they expect to be entertained, informed or educated?
  • Do they know what they are expected to do after reading your blog?
  • What topics are compelling to them?
  • What type of articles thrill them?

8.) What are some common reasons that readers do not return to your blog?

  • Are your blog posts too long or short?
  • Are they having a hard time trusting your authority on the subject?
  • Are there other blogs that are providing better information?
  • Are you not providing the information in the format that they most desire?
  • Does your blog lack uniqueness?
  • Are you speaking their lingo? Are you too casual or technical?

9.) How will I know if I have reached my ideal readers?

  • Look at your blogs analytics. How much time are they spending on your site? How many pages are they reading?
  • How many comments are you receiving on your blog?
  • Are they sharing your content?

How to Find Information about Your Blog Readers:

  • Send out a survey to your email subscribers and offer a free gift to those that respond
  • Read the profiles of people who have liked your Facebook page
  • Read the profiles of the people in your network on LinkedIn
  • Ask them on your blog to tell them about themselves

In order to create profiles of your ideal readers you need to understand as much about your ideal readers as possible. The answers to the types of questions above are not always available, but answering as many of the questions as possible will help you to build a relationship to your ideal reader and understand what they are interested in reading and how to connect with them.

Once you have obtained as much information as possible, add a real photo to represent your ideal reader. You may need to create several reader profiles, but not too many, 2-4 should be a good amount.

When you begin to write your blog post, write with one of your readers in mind. Make sure to reference some of the things that you have learned about them. If you know that this reader loves dogs, include a dog story, reference or picture.

Your Turn:

Do you know who your ideal blog reader is?

Have you created a profile of your ideal blog reader?

Image via Flick by Seng1011

DEAR BLOG AND READERS: I KNOW IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, SORRY TO HAVE LEFT YOU

DEAR BLOG AND READERS: I KNOW IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, SORRY TO HAVE LEFT YOU

I missed my blog, but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write another post. I couldn’t take on another client. I felt dead in the water.

It felt like I was losing my mind. My mind was in a fog, like I was wandering around lost in the wilderness. Bewildered. Stressed.

One of my goals in life is to live as stress free as possible and I was failing.

The stress was getting to me.

I was becoming hard to live with. Hell I didn’t even want to live with me.

I couldn’t sleep, my head hurt, my patience was short. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and  bordering depression.

Oh the long nights of getting no sleep, listening to NPR, dreading the next day.

When the next day arrived, I didn’t want to get out of bed.

What a horrible way to live.

I felt like screaming.

So stressed out I could scream…too much marketing

Why?

Marketing.

Plan and simple, it was marketing. I was giving to much of myself to my clients and couldn’t get marketing off my mind.

I had taken on too much and it was beginning to drive me crazy. The more my clients asked for, the more I did, seemingly unable to say no.

It’s true. I was on the verge of losing my mind.

What was I going to do?

One thing for sure, I had to take a break, before I crashed and burned.

So I said to myself. Self, what do you want to do now.

I have been marketing for the last 15 years as a profession. So, I decided maybe it’s time for me to look for a job doing something else. I began looking around on the Internet for available jobs and I begin applying to jobs that sounded interesting but were not in the marketing field.

What I found out is that corporate America is even more demanding now that it was when I first left. They actually have nerves to want more education more experienced and pay even less money than when I was being paid when I left corporate America many years ago. The demands on employees is ridiculous, companies offer less benefits, less pay while asking employees to work more hours. There were jobs for administrative assistants that wanted a bachelor’s degree. If I have spent all that time and money to get a degree, I do not want to be an administrative assistant; I want to be an administrator. Maybe it’s just employers taking advantage of a tight economy. That’s my guess and it’s a damn shame.

This was out of the question for me.

I decided I needed to rethink my business and the services that I offer to my clients. I needed to keep from getting burned out and spreading myself to thin.

What do I really love?

I love blogging.

I’ve decided that I will focus on working with clients who want to blog and utilize blogging as the foundation for the online marketing.

I must not allow myself to be pulled into areas that I do not enjoy.

I must remain focused on the services that I am offering my clients and not be afraid to say know what they want services that do not offer. While this can be scary, saying no clients it something that I must do to be able to provide excellent services to my clients and not become stressed out by providing services to my clients that I do not enjoy.

I’ve decided to focus on just blogging services and not all blogging services.

I will concentrate on offering only two services to clients who are already blogging.

1. Blog audit: The client will determine what their goal if for their blog and I will provide a blog audit telling them how well they are doing and suggest what changes to make to reach their goals.

2. Blog Audit and Plan: After I have accessed the client’s blog, I will then provide the client with a plan to help them reach their goal.

That’s it!

I will not help you set up a blog or write blog posts for you. I will help you to access your blog, decide on the goal for your blog, determine if your blog is meeting your needs, figure out what changes are needed and offer suggestions  to help you improve your blog.

I will also help you create a plan that will help you reach the goal that you have for your blog. If you want to reach a goal within a specific period, I will help you create a plan to reach that goal. I will also help you to track you progress, that’s it.

I will not be writing blog posts, EBooks, articles, emails, blog set-up or anything else. If the client is in need of these services, I will help them find suitable candidates to provide these services.

While I am capable of providing many of the services that a client needs, I believe that it will best serve me and my clients if I remained focused on one area: blogging.

I have chosen blogging, because I believe in blogging and the benefits that it can bring a business. I also believe that a blog is the hub to successful online and social media marketing program.

According to Hubspot research 57% of businesses who blog, gain new business. I can attest to this, because my business brings in 85-90% of its business from my blog.

So that’s the skinny of it.

My goal is to help my clients become better more efficient bloggers and to utilize their blogs to help them meet their business goals.

My goal is to start at the beginning. I will try to help my readers build a better blog. I will try some new things on my blog and tell you how they go. I will offer from time to time my blog as an experiment and let you know what I am trying and how things work out. I will put to test ideas that others have and let you know how things go and put to test some ideas that you offer.

My approach will be casual, because I am a casual type of person. Through reading my blog, I hope that you will get to know me and I will in turn get to know you.

I hope is that along the way we will all learn a lot and build great business blogs.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Jenn

STOP WRITING BLOG CONTENT AND START PROMOTING YOUR BLOG

STOP WRITING BLOG CONTENT AND START PROMOTING YOUR BLOG

In the past the belief was that you write lots of content to help your blog rank well in search engines. This is becoming harder and harder, especially with the constant changes with Google, the top search engine.

I am going to present a different approach. Instead of spending your time trying to put out content every day or several times a week, scale back your output.

If you are a new blogger, I am suggesting that you only write one good blog post a week. Assuming that you have already taken the steps to determine your topic, niche and audience, now you can concentrate on writing. If you are not a new blogger and currently post more than two blog posts a week, scale back to two posts per week.

Concentrate on writing a blog post that resonates with the audience that you are trying to reach. Information what they will find important and useful, and then write a good in-depth post. I am not talking a short book, but a few thousand words are good.

This is simple, if you are an estate planner targeting the LGBT community, you can write a guide to estate planning for LGBT individuals and couples. You write a beginners guide to estate planning and it covers about 2300 words.

Summarize the guide down to about 500 words of quick tips and advice for your blog post. Turn the full guide into an EBook or PDF Download and include an offer for the guide in your blog post.

After you have written your blog post, spend the next week promoting that blog post and guide. Get your post in front of as many people in your target audience as possible.

Promoting your blog post:

  • Get involved in groups and forums, promote your blog article and guide. Attach a link to all outgoing comments
  • Send a quick tips release to online publications promoting your guide that reaches your target market with a link back to your blog, preferably a landing page if you are going to build an email list.
  • Send a similar tip release to associations and organizations targeting your audience with a link to your post included
  • Write out 20 tips and tweet them out to your network with a link back to your blog post
  • Share your blog post on Facebook, Google, Stumbleupon, Digg, LinkedIn and any other social networking that you are involved
  • Turn your guide into a slideshare presentation
  • Any other way that you can think of to get your post read and guide downloaded

Recap:

Step 1: Write one in-depth article per week of at least 2000 words.

Step 2: Turn your in-depth article into an EBook or PDF for download

Step 3: Write a summary of your in-depth post of approximately 500 words.

Step 4: Promote the hell out of your blog post and in-depth article.

Why am I suggesting that you cut back your writing opposite of what all the blogging gurus and I have told you in the past? It is too damn hard to keep up with the changes that Google constantly makes and hard as hell to rank on the first page of Google these days.

So Stop It. 

SEO is not what is used to be, things have changed.

Social networking and sharing allows you to stop concentrating all your time writing thousands of posts to rank well on Google. It is all about getting what you have written in front of readers, where they hang out most often. It is about becoming involved in their groups and presenting them with information that they need.

Competition is fierce and it comes from all over the globe. Now is the time to focus on the audience you are trying to reach, penetrate and dominate before you expand to additional audiences.

It doesn’t matter how many blog posts your write, how great they are if nobody ever reads them. You can’t afford for Google to find, rank your blog hoping your readers find you. You have to get out there and promote the hell out of your blog posts.

Have Your Say:

What do you think about writing less often? Are you scared it will hurt your traffic? Do you see the benefit of spending more time promoting write and less time writing?

Would You Date Your Blog?

Would You Date Your Blog?

trange questions right? Would you date your blog? What as if you thought about your blog as someone, you were dating. After the initial date, would you go out with your blog again? Some questions to ask about your blog.

Your Blog as a Date

The first time a reader hits your blog is like going out on a blind date for the first time.

  • What will be their first impression?
  • Will they be impressed?

How is your blog dressed?

  • Is your blog crowded and confusing?
  • Do the colors go together?
  • Is it boring looking or exciting?
  • Is there shit all over the place and looks thrown together?
  • Does it look like you took time to plan the look of you blog, is it inviting?
  • Does it make a person want to hang out and get to know you better?
  • Are you titles catchy and make a reader say hum?

 How Does Your Blog Act on the Date?

  • Does it spend all its time talking about itself, how wonderful it is, how they are the best blog in town?
  • Does it talk about things that are not relevant to the date?
  • Does it ignore its date when the date is talking?
  • Does it respond is a timely fashion or takes its sweet time to answer?
  • Does it use words your readers understand or talk over their heads?
  • Does it always talk about the same topics?

Is Your Blog True to Itself or Phony?

  • Is your blog dry and uninteresting?
  • Is it trying to be all things to all people?
  • Does your blog show its personality and people get to know them for who they are?
  • Does it show up naked sometimes unafraid to bare it all or does it pretend that everything is just great all the time?
  • Is it perfect or imperfect and not afraid to admit it?
  • Does it like to have a good time and want others to have a good time?
  • Is it dull and boring?
  • Does it show how smart or helpful you are?
  • Is it afraid to show its interest and passions?

Would You Ask Your Blog out on a Second Date, Third?

  • Is your blog so interesting that readers would keep coming back?
  • Does it surprise readers shaking things up?
  • Is it predictable?
  • Does it know what is talking about but not arrogant?
  • Does your blog make your readers feel at home?
  • Is your blog presentable to their friends and family?
  • Are they willing to share your blog with others?

Give some thought to how your blog presents itself. How your blog presents itself to your readers are how readers are going to think of you. Your blog is the first place where they meet you, what impression are you giving?

Have Your Say:

What other things should we think about when creating our blog and the impression we are trying to create?

WHAT IF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WERE A BLOGGER

WHAT IF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WERE A BLOGGER

What if Martin Luther King Jr. were a Blogger

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and it got me to thinking, what if MLK were a blogger and social media savvy? The Middle East had the Arab Springs where they able to use social media to mobilize and take on their government. Would MLK be able to do the same?

Martin Luther King Jr. had the ability to mobilize millions to stand up for equality and stand firm in the face of harassment, beating and death. What if he thepower of social media and blogging behind him, how much more powerful could he be or has our society become too apathetic?

I can imagine MLK with millions of Facebook fans and twitter followers. Instead of looking down the barrel of guns or water hoses, he could mobilize his army through his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Sisters and brothers, we believe in the right of every man, woman and child the right to bear arms in our beloved country. We do not believe that ordinary citizens need to own military style assault weapons that shoot 50 rounds of ammunition. Let’s take a stand against military style weapons and tweet “Ban Military Style Weapons,” brothers and sisters let your tweets be heard.

Could you imagine the posts he would write that would bring you to tears yet galvanize you to take action, with a tweet this button next to profound statements.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (tweet this)

“Injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere.” (tweet this)

How about the power of Facebook, could he get is message across with images?

Like this picture if you agreeCivil Rights Movement by KaMario01

If you think this is wrong and need to be stopped, share this picture.

Would he have to write in short blurbs because of our lack of attention span? Could be compete against the likes of honeybooboo or the Atlanta housewives? Would he have to dumb down his prose to fourth grade level do to our poor education systems across America and nonchalant attitudes?

On his birthday, I wonder what he would think of America today. Would he be disappointed in all his hard work and what he died for to see us still fighting for the same rights? Would he be ashamed of the state of our society that cares more about TV stars than the rights that they continue to lose every day? Would he be sadden that our government has become so bad and corrupt that the citizens feel that they have no control and no matter what race they are they feel their votes don’t count. Would be horrified as he watched politicians buy, cheat and steal elections or that the Supreme Court has determined that corporations are people? How would he feel about Wall Street running our country, people losing their jobs and homes? What would he think of the mass shooting across our country? How about 9/11. pharmaceutical companies running our healthcare system, no-knock warrants, drones, cellphones plastered to our heads, terrorists, massive oils spills, global warming, warrant-less wire tapping, TSA, Homeland Security, body scanning machines, the first Black President?

I can imagine him never running out of topics to blog about. Up all night because there is always something new to say, something new to speak out against, fervently typing away at his computer posting on his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Would anyone listen? Better still, would anyone take action?

 

Have Your Say:

Do you think that blogging and social media would have helped Martin Luther King Jr.?