Accessibility is important to your prospects and customers. So few marketers are truly open to hearing from their customers and when it happens, word spreads and you cultivate the right kind of reputation.

 

Many marketers put up a wall between themselves and their online audience. They don’t engage in blog comment discussions once a post is created. Even Seth Godin himself doesn’t even allow comments on his blog anymore – and he’s always talking about developing a loyal tribe.

 

So it’s good to see marketers who are there for their audience and who take time to interact with the people who need and want their help. There are even some marketers who create a help desk so that tickets are opened, rather than a simple email sent.

 

Of course that’s an option for you, and it might even be necessary if you have a lot of technique elements to your site, but it means a lot when your reader can just contact you – and get a response from you, not a virtual assistant that you’ve hired – or worse – made up to make it look like you’re more important than you really are (it happens).

 

The best way to be accessible as a leader in your niche is to do the following:

 

  • Respond to people on social networks like Twitter, G+, and Facebook.
  • Respond to blog comments whenever you go in to approve them.
  • Reply personally to your emails.
  • Open comments up on things like YouTube videos to show you care about feedback.

 

All of these things take time, yes. But that’s where you can really put a personal touch on your usually sterile online business. Going the extra mile can serve you well as a niche leader. It shows you care.

 

You don’t have to incorporate all of these elements in one day. It will take some time to integrate them all into your business, and you may have to outsource in some other areas. The point is, be open to finding ways to engage with your audience whenever you can.

 

When you’re a real leader, you’re never running solo the entire time you spend growing an online business. The top marketers understand that you work individually, but you stay connected with a team of like-minded leaders on the ‘net.

 

Don’t be afraid of your competition – embrace them. They can be guest bloggers or invite you to guest blog on their site, they can co-create products with you, and they can cross-promote you whenever you sign up as an affiliate to promote one of their products.

 

Don’t just look to people who are bigger in status than you are, either. You want to keep an eye out for rising stars in your niche and help make them well-known, too.

 

It’s not just competitors who you should align yourself with, either. It’s anyone whose products or services are related to your niche in some way. Let’s go through an example.

 

Suppose you run a wellness blog that teaches people how to embrace a healthy lifestyle through nutrition. You want people to adopt lifelong eating habits that improve their lives.

 

You can certainly promote other leaders in the wellness niche – like someone specializing in juicing, for example – but you also want to connect with someone whose information is relevant, if not directly identical.

 

An exercise and fitness leader would be a good example of this. People learning about proper nutrition often want the whole body approach, which means moving your body and getting fit.

 

You also might want to align with:

 

  • A parenting leader so you can help their audience learn about good nutrition for growing kids.
  • An aging leader so you can teach good nutrition for senior citizens.
  • A job success leader so you can offer information about staying alert and energetic during a long workday.

 

There are endless possibilities for someone if you think about the target audience who needs what you teach and then consider who else they might be learning from. Here are some more examples:

 

  • A smoking cessation leader so you can help smokers quit their habit without gaining a lot of weight.
  • An Amazon affiliate who runs a site about desserts so you can provide information on healthier dessert options.
  • A skincare leader so you can teach proper nutrition that helps your skin maintain its youth and appeal.

 

Make a list and then make it a point to reach out to those other leaders and form a bond with them so that you can help each other out as you both grow your online business.

 

Stay tuned for our final installment in this series, coming next week.

 

When you first started marketing online, did you have dreams of waking up in your pajamas, setting up a little bit of content that you carefully crafted with just the right keyword density – and then watching the money roll in?

 

Well, it may have worked that way once upon a time, but thanks to automated tools and scummy spammers, search engines cracked down on that minimalist work strategy, and now you have to go to a little bit more effort.

 

You might be nervous about being a leader in your niche. You might have these common feelings:

 

  • Who would want to listen to me?
  • I don’t have anything unique to say.
  • I’m nobody, and there are already leaders in this niche.

 

These feelings are normal, but they’re not accurate. Be honest. How would you like it – as a consumer – if you only had one choice for a restaurant, a salon, a clothing line, a music style, a grocery store, etc.?

 

You probably wouldn’t like it much, right? It’s the same way with leaders in a niche. Consumers connect with leaders in different ways. Some people might love sarcastic, hard-selling individuals – and you can’t fathom why – because you prefer sweet, motivating people.

 

Everyone’s different. And whatever you have to offer, it’s going to have an audience for it – your style, your voice, your message – it’s unique to everyone else even if you’re talking about the same niche topic.

 

You don’t have to be an expert already. People love following along with someone on their journey from start to finish – so share where you’re at and work from there.

 

There are several ways you can position yourself as a leader – in a way that’s comfortable to you. It doesn’t mean you have to get out there and brag about how wonderful you are – it means you do the right thing and your audience automatically lifts you up to authority status.

 

Be a Researcher and a Sharer

 

No matter what niche you’re in, there’s news that needs to be shared. There are new:

 

  • Breakthroughs
  • Trends
  • Strategies
  • Products
  • People

 

You want to share all of that with your target audience. Yes, even share who your competitors are! We’ll get more into that in future posts. If you’re in the anti-aging niche, for example, you might share a medical breakthrough that helps plump up crow’s feet.

 

Maybe you’ll see a news story about how women are flocking to plastic surgeons to get rid of their “Madonna Mitts” – which is what the industry termed her aging hands.

 

You can share things like which anti-aging treatments people can do at home that you’ve tried and feel work best. Stay abreast of top manufacturers’ or sellers’ product releases and then talk to your audience about it.

 

Your blog or your email subscriber list will be the place where your subscriber feels they can go to gather all of the information they want. They don’t want to have to go all over the Internet and buy a bunch of different products to see what works best – that’s what they’ll love you for!

 

Whenever you blog about something with a cutting edge slant to it, you increase your worth in the niche. Your readers will bookmark and share your site with others; they’ll trust your recommendations whenever you want to promote something, too.

 

The lazy (unsuccessful) marketer does nothing but looks at keyword volume, outsource their content to ghostwriters without injecting any of their personality, and copycats the real leaders who are out there working for their audience the way they should be.

Our next post will cover how you can align yourself with the best people.

hustle to survive

 

Hustle to Survive

Those who have had to struggle in life generally make excellent, successful business owners. Do you wonder why that is? When you’ve struggled in life, you learn a lot about who you are, and what you’re made of. These life lessons translate exceptionally well to business.

Those who have experienced struggle know how to hustle. They have a sense of urgency in everything they do. One business owner put it this way: “I think of my success as if there is always someone waiting to take it away from me.”

When you know how to hustle, enough is never, well, enough. There is a desire for more – not from a selfish perspective, but because you never know when what you have will be unexpectedly gone. To ensure that never happens, you always strive for much more than you have. This perpetuates the extreme success that most individuals who know how to hustle will experience.

So can you experience this same level of success if you haven’t truly struggled in life? Of course you can!

The key is in not settling for enough. They key is in always realizing that your success could be gone in an instant – and with it, everything you’ve worked for. When you internalize that, you realize that you can’t ever become complacent – and therein lies the hustle mentality.

Learning how to focus properly will enable you to work more efficiently and take actions that lead directly to your goal. Learning how to change direction quickly will help your business as your goals change due to things you can’t control. Learning how to prioritize will allow you to utilize your focus and direction- changing the ability to your business’s advantage. All of these make up the hustling mentality.

In business, it can be difficult to keep your eye on the prize sometimes. And this is where those who know how to hustle really excel. The prize is always in front of them, always present in their mind, always just beyond their reach. And they like it that way. It’s what keeps them going. Re-creating that mentality for yourself is a solid way to keep the success rolling in your direction.

Give yourself time in your business to develop a hustle mindset. Follow those mentors around you who clearly have this mindset and use it to their advantage. And never, ever settle for mediocre. Learn to hustle, be a survivor, and watch your business grow!

Use Cross promotion for Strategic marketing

 

No doubt, you’ve noticed that on the back of your grocery store receipt, you will find a number of businesses that are advertising in this space. This is a good example of cross promotions. Even larger companies, with huge marketing budgets, will take advantage of opportunities to be involved in lower cost cross promotions. These cross promotion campaigns are effective in reaching customers. Here’s why.

First, a word about cross promotions, and what they are. A cross promotion is when two or more companies make use of each other’s materials or marketing promotions on the same ad piece, like the receipt example mentioned above. Obviously, the grocery store customer had to have a receipt for their purchase of groceries, and so the advertising company—maybe Planet Fitness, for example—used the valuable “real estate” space on the back of the receipt. Planet Fitness has the advantage of having a ready-made means of free or virtually free distribution of their promotional materials, as well as increased reach for their brand. The grocery store has the advantage of receiving advertising revenue from Planet Fitness.

Now that you know what cross promotions look like, you can most likely recall a number of cross promotions that you have seen recently; they are everywhere. From huge companies to small mom-and-pop businesses, and everything in between; all types of companies use cross-promotions because they have historically been very effective. Cross promotions work, plain and simple.

Part of why cross promotions work so well is because they are cost effective. They save you money. Because distribution is free or very low cost, as mentioned earlier, this takes care of the most expensive component of advertising. Now, the costly process of getting your message into the hands of those that may potentially act on it — has been taken care of.

Another reason why cross promotions are so great is because they are efficient. There is very little waste with a cross promotion since the item carrying the message is valuable to the holder in more than one way. Further, they are efficient because you can control who does or does not receive your materials; you have greater control using this method than you do in most any other means of marketing.

Several great arguments for using cross promotions have already been mentioned. There are others, such as the fact that they can build trust; remember, someone is willing to have their name and their brand paired with yours. Another reason to use cross-promotions is that you are giving your potential customers real value since your ad is highly targeted. Also, cross promotions can be just plain fun; you receive an item for one purpose, only to discover it has value to you in yet a second (or third or fourth) way. Hopefully, you’ve found at least one or two of these reasons to be convincing enough to use cross-promotions in your own campaigns. So, how do you plan to approach another business for a cross-promotion?

 

 

 

4 Tips for Creating Winning Facebook Ads

4 Tips forCreating Winning Facebook Ads

No matter where you look for advertising opportunities, Facebook is ranking in at number one. Why? Well, it’s more efficient and the potential just keeps increasing by the day. Most advertisers take full advantage of using the platform to reach millions of active users on a regular basis, to grow their businesses and increase sales.

Think about it this way, it takes a person an average of seven times to view an ad before taking action. And recent studies show that when an audience is frequently seeing an ad for just three seconds several times a day, there’s a good chance of that ad grabbing their attention to the point where they actually click on it. The frequency in seeing ads pop up is of course
based on certain factors such as demographics and bidding, but overall the potential is there.

So, the question is: How do you get in front of your audience with a winning campaign? Truth is, you have the opportunity to get even the smallest piece of the pie no matter what niche or industry you’re in. You might think the market is saturated when it comes to your competition, but the more the merrier. What grabs people and gets them interested is far more important than anything else with ad campaigns.

Here are some ideas for getting noticed and winning with Facebook advertising.
1. Lean into your market. Facebook is global, no question about it. And even though your potential reach is huge, you can’t be everything to everybody. If you take a look at some demographics
such as ethnicity, age, sex, gender, and location, you’d have a ton of work on your plate if you tried to serve all of these people. We’re talking millions of people here. Breaking this down so that you are targeting the right people, is the key to having success with advertising.

2. Have a solid objective. You have to make a decision about what you’ll be paying for. Is it brand awareness? Is it website traffic? Is it page likes? Have your goal in mind before creating the ad so you know what your budget will be used for. Create multiple ads if you need to do some testing. Target different pages that are in the same or similar niche as you to reach that audience The possibilities are endless. Sometimes people don’t know they need what you have to offer until they see it. Make your ads enticing and interesting enough for people to click!

3. Keep tracking your progress. You don’t want to waste your advertising dollars. Track your ads’ progress or lack thereof by checking in on them daily. You don’t have to watch them like a hawk, but make sure you’re getting some kind of engagement. If you’re not getting any action takers, you might want to think about tweaking your ads minimally. It doesn’t hurt to change a word or two and see if that helps. Give yourself some time. Two or three days of an ad not working for you is enough to make some changes or kill the ad altogether.

4. Stand out from the norm. With tons of ads rolling through your feed every day, you know how competitive it can be. There are a lot of advertisers in the same niche, so it’s bound to happen. The good news is, it’s ok. There’s enough room for everyone, but everyone won’t stand out. Use this to your advantage. Look at what your competition is doing and figure out how you can do something different. The more original you are, the better. Your goal is to be noticed and visible in the eyes of your target market. Do what it takes to make a difference.

As you can see, there are many things to consider in advertising on a platform such as Facebook. Hopefully, these tips were helpful in guiding you on how to advertise with a winning campaign.
Remember, the most important thing you can do to make your amazing offer shine is to make it noticeable and attractive to your audience.

Building a List through Retention

Building a List through Retention

When it comes to list building effectively, you should broaden your thinking. Instead of thinking, “I need to find many, many subscribers,” consider whether focusing on “net subscribers” might constitute the best use of your time. That is, think about the number of subscribers you’re gaining minus the number of subscribers you’re losing, and try to maximize that number. Now, you might think, “that sounds great, but what can I do with the concept?” Well, you can start by changing your thinking. If your list is losing dozens of subscribers each week, think more about retaining them, rather than stuffing more of them onto your list. That is, find out why they’re dropping off of your list, and implement strategies to prevent that from happening. Here are a few things I suggest you try:

 

1. Administer an incentivized survey to people who are leaving your list. Try to find out why they joined, why they’re leaving, and what could possibly change their minds. Additionally, offer them a gift or perhaps $5 for taking the survey. The information you collect from their answers will be well worth the expense.

 

2. Offer them incentives to stay. After they hit the “unsubscribe” link, have it send them to a page where they are begged to stay and offered various products or services for free. Make sure you also include on this page an option to unsubscribe if they are not deterred.

 

3. Improve the quality of your content. Instead of trying to retain people who are on their way out, try to prevent people from exiting altogether. You can do this by making continuous attempts to improve your content. Incorporate interviews with experts, links to audio content, links to video content, ebooks, and reports.

 

So where can you go from here? Start by making some changes to your list content. Improve your content, make it more enjoyable to read, and fill it with higher-value items. After you do that, find out why people are leaving and offer them incentives to stay. If you follow these steps, you should experience a nice bump in your net subscriptions. And you’ll do it all without having to generate more traffic.

 

set and reach your twitter targets

 

Getting noticed online is only possible if viewers are clear on what they are viewing. Putting up ambiguous posts on Twitter will not help to ensure your target audience nor will it ensure a successful presence on social media.

 

Some Tips

 

Here are some points to consider in ensuring your posts on Twitter are clear and understood:

  • Deciding and designing the material to be published must follow one theme. When the content posted does not correspond with promotional tone then it can be rather confusing. Therefore, the theme should be decided even before the actual designing of the posting is started.

 

  • Understanding what the desired end goal is, contributes to the tools and formats that will eventually be utilized. When your goal is clearly identified, then you’ll feel confident in choosing the correct tools to get that content out to your public.

 

  • Besides posting content, it is also important to provide information on the actual supporting freebies, promos, possible back links, and any other content that would function as an advantage to the visitor to your site.

 

  • Your Twitter posts should also be very clear in the actual visual presentation style so that the viewer will immediately be able to identify with the content without having to resort to multiple clicks and long winded reading material.

Besides doing all the above using Twitter to get the posts to the target audience is also something that you should give serious consideration.

Your promotional plan and strategies should comfortably merge into the same theme. This should, in turn, have the overall focus of your primary goal, which is to increase your social media profile to increase your audience and then, eventually, your customer base.

 

 

 

3 key ways mindset affects your customer service

 

You may not realize it, but your mindset plays a crucial role in your customer service. It can make the difference between repeat sales and customers that never want to do business with you again. Here are three key ways your customer service is affected by your mindset:

1. How you approach customers

Have you ever checked out a big chain store with a cashier that didn’t talk to you? As a customer, you sensed the cashier was only serving you to make money. It probably didn’t make you feel great.

Contrast that experience with a cashier that pauses to look you in the eye and greet you. She may ask about your day or offer to help you if you didn’t find everything you were looking for. That’s good customer service and it starts with a willingness to serve the customer.

2. How you handle conflict

Customers that feel wronged will talk about their experience to anyone who will listen. Since profits can come down to word-of-mouth referrals, this can seriously damage your business.

An example of a business owner with a negative mindset – do you often feel annoyed by questions your customers ask you? Do you secretly wish you could ignore customer service (and the customer) altogether and just get on with the sale? But with a positive mindset in place, you’ll listen to what your customer is saying, validate their feelings, then offer a solution that works for both of you.

3. How you follow up

A sale isn’t the end of the customer service experience. It’s only the beginning. Smart business owners follow up with their customers after purchases. They ask if there were any problems with the transaction and double-check that their customers have everything they need.

Mindset plays a huge role in how you handle customer service. If you have a positive mindset, your customers are more likely to enjoy their experience with your product or services.

 

Top 10 mobile marketing tips

 

Top Ten Mobile Marketing Tips

 

  1. Everything that can be done on your website needs to be available on mobile.
  1. For mobile marketing, keep your messages short and to the point. Screen space is sparse.
  1. Don’t overlook email. Most people are checking email on mobile devices so consider how your customers are reading them before you format them.
  1. Remember: Social marketing is mobile marketing.
  1. Discover a problem your audience has that can be solved with a simple mobile app. Then you’ll always be with your customers.
  1. Incorporate mobile into your live events using a texting service like https://textus.com/.
  1. Over 70 percent of the population uses mobile devices. Because of this, you should delegate some of your advertising dollars toward mobile.
  1. Start thinking of mobile as your “go-to” media before you think of your website design on a desktop computer. Mobile first, everything else after.
  1. Even if you have a physical store, mobile is still going to be a factor in your displays. Most shoppers today have some form of mobile scanning device to check deals and prices.
  2. Google changed their algorithm to ensure that mobile sites rank higher in search results. Why? They did it because most customers use mobile.

 

 

Bonus tip

Brands need to focus more on mobile since more people are using mobile than are using desktops.