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.

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.

it's in the list (1)

 

It’s in the List

There are two types of email list systems available for every business out there. Depending on the type of business you have, you can choose to utilize an announcement list or a discussion list.

Announcement Lists: Letting Your Clients Hear From You

This is also known as a “one-way” list since it is only the list owner or authorized senders who can send messages, alerts, and publications to the subscribers.

Whether you are running a small business just taking root or a well-established firm, you would benefit well by using announcement lists to send any of the following to your present and would-be clients:

  • Newsletters
  • News alerts
  • Product announcements
  • Press releases
  • Promotional offers

Discussion Lists: Letting Your Clients Interact and Grow

This list is exactly the opposite of an announcement list since this allows both the list owner and the subscribers to send messages.  As such, even subscribers will be able to interact with each other.

A discussion list not only builds the owner-client relationship but the client-client relationship as well. This is much beneficial for enterprises along the lines of the following:

  • Online forums
  • Technical support forums
  • Interest groups
  • Social networking sites

This type of email list also works best when trying to get feedback from clients, or working with a team in a collaboration project.

The use of an email list can help propel any business forward, helping you and other businesspersons realize your aspirations of a successful and thriving enterprise.

 

 

In general, there are five major benefits that one can enjoy once the use of an email list is employed.

Full control of the List

One of the benefits of an email list is that the list owner has the freedom to choose which data to send to their subscribers. In addition, you can control most aspects of the list like moderating messages, subscribing and unsubscribing people, archiving messages and many other features.

Send Messages at Lightning Fast Speed

Whenever you come up with a totally irresistible offer or promo, the first thing you would want to do is to send them out to your clients as quickly as possible.

With an email list, you could send messages, promotional items, special offers, and whatever you want to in minutes.

An Automated System

One thing that you will surely appreciate is the fact that this system is fully automatic through the use of an AutoResponder.

Here, you can choose and organize which objects you will send your subscribers and leave it like that. For example, you can arrange that this week your clients will receive a newsletter, then next week it’s a free video, and then the week after that a free coupon.

The AutoResponder keeps sending these things automatically and all you must do is add more of the stuff that you know your subscribers will love.

Check on Your Clients

Another great thing about email lists is that you can employ the services of tracking companies to help you monitor your clients and subscribers. This allows you to gain better insight about what links they click, what offers and promos work for them, how many of them open your emails, and so much more.

By knowing what your clients and subscribers want, you can come up with different ideas and platforms to give them what they came looking for.

Remember, if you don’t know what your clients want, then you won’t be able to give it to them. And if you don’t deliver, you might as well say bye-bye to your business.

 

How To Use Videos To Effectively Market Your Business

 

 

mailing list with incentives
 
One of the most important things you can do to build leads online is to create a mailing list. This then allows your visitors to demonstrate their interest in your brand and products by subscribing, which takes them from being ‘cold leads’ and turns them into ‘warm leads.’ These are now people who have demonstrated their interest in your business and who are showing a willingness to receive correspondence from you.
But to create those leads, you need to be able to convince people to sign up in the first place. Why should someone willingly accept more junk in their inbox?
This is where your ‘incentive’ comes in, and it’s an important tool to grasp if you want to maximize your success.
What is an Incentive?
 
An incentive is exactly what it sounds like – it is something you use to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. One of the most common examples of an incentive is a free PDF report. This will contain some kind of extra insight not available through your website and some additional information and in doing so, it will encourage people to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for that freebie.
So for the incentive to work, it needs to be unique and exciting or informative enough that people would want to read it. Other popular incentives include ebooks.
How to Get Incentives Right
However, there is a problem with the way that a lot of people use incentives. The problem is that they see incentives as a way to persuade people to subscribe who would otherwise not be interested in doing so. This is a mistake – those aren’t warm leads; they are cold leads who just wanted freebies. That means they aren’t likely to want to buy from you and it means that they aren’t highly targeted. This undermines the value of your list! You’ll have a ton of people on your list who don’t belong there and who don’t want to be on your list.
Instead, your incentive should be seen as just an added encouragement to convince people to sign up who were otherwise on the fence. That means your incentive shouldn’t be too convincing.
Better yet, why not make your incentive something that qualifies the leads? For example, if your incentive is a discount on your products, then that suggests they are interested in buying from you if they sign up! Likewise, why not make the mailing list itself the incentive? This won’t qualify the leads, but it ensures that they’ll be looking out for your messages in their inbox!

give it away (1)

If you are new to list building, you may not understand why everyone gives something away for free in exchange for joining their list. You may be concerned that building a list of “freebie seekers” will lead to weak sales and profits. By the way, that is a valid concern, it can and does happen.

 

After all, if you spend a lot of time and effort creating a fantastic piece of content, why should you give it away? Why not sell it? The answer lies in how the human brain works when you receive a gift.

 

If you have ever received something unexpectedly from someone else, even a stranger, you probably felt a sense of gratitude. You are thankful for that person’s actions. Studies show that this also engenders a feeling of respect and admiration for the gift giver.

 

Your brain is hardwired to respond in a favorable way. Subconsciously, without even knowing it, your brain will start looking for opportunities to repay that person. This is called the Law of Reciprocity. When you receive something, either virtual or physical, without having to pay for it in some way, you automatically feel like you “owe” that person something.

 

This is why you absolutely must give away valuable content, or physical products, to build your email list. You are starting off the relationship by giving away something for free, without asking for a sale or commitment. This is why people are more than happy to join your email list in return for something they see as more valuable than their email address.

 

It is up to you to make sure that that resource, e-book, checklist or physical product is extremely valuable. Yes, give away for free, your best stuff. Make sure it solves a big problem in your prospect’s life. Your new list member will feel a sense of gratitude and respect for you and will be more likely to reciprocate with a purchase in the future when you offer a problem-solving resource for free.

 

Don’t worry, valuable free resources and pieces of content are easy to develop. Remember, you are viewed as the expert. You probably know more about your market or niche that 99% of your prospects and clients. In a text editor like Word or OpenOffice, create a checklist, beginners guide or short report.

 

Make it relevant to your area of expertise, and save it as a PDF. If you can shoot a short video (keep it under 2 minutes for high viewability), even better. Integrate this with your autoresponder and web properties, and there you have it – a new, free product to give away to your list!

 

 

share your story

 

Humans are hardwired for stories. People love stories. Think about the last time you heard a great story. But when was the last time you told a great story? If you are looking to increase your ability to influence others make sure you are always telling great stories. Storytelling is a great tool for influencing.

People relate to stories, so if you were looking to get your point across, do you think it would be more useful with a laundry list of facts, or with a story? Everything being equal, the story is going to win out. It allows those that you are trying to convince to connect with the people in your story.

Take a look at a long-form sales page on the internet. They are everywhere, so it shouldn’t take too long to find one.  Just do a search for a particular keyword and check out some of the top results. One of them is bound to be a long-form sales page. When you read through the sales page, pay close attention to the story that is being told. It often starts out with describing someone that was having a certain problem. This person tried everything to solve it and was getting discouraged. Then, a possible solution is being introduced but not yet revealed. First, the writer describes being in a similar situation and how it is not your (the reader) fault. The industry or some other entity is against you, and this is why you were not successful, etc.

Finally, the story shows how this incredible product will take care of the problem and how the person in the story used it successfully to solve the problem. There may be variations on the theme, but this is typical of a long-form sales letter.

You don’t need to sell something to incorporate storytelling. You may be simply trying to increase readership for your newsletter, as an example. Storytelling can go a long way in helping you connect with subscribers. When you relay situations that you or others have experienced, and you describe it using a storytelling format, you will find they will want more of these stories.

Storytelling can also be used to dissuade people from doing certain actions. Parents use this technique all the time. They tell their children about stories of individuals they knew when they were kids who suffered some tragic circumstance as a result of bad behavior. Ready for a challenge? The next piece of content you put out into the world, share a story!

 

9 Tips to Banish Business Sabotage

 

 

 

(1)  Develop a marketing plan. What’s your number one priority? Unless you said “develop marketing plan,” you’re incorrect. Do this first.

 

 

(2)  Write objectives. Write one objective that states what results you would like to achieve with your business over the next year.  Next, write at least one objective for every marketing activity you undertake, that states what results you would like to achieve from that activity over the next year.

 

 

(3)  Stay the course. Check in on your progress toward your objectives every three to six months, but give your plan a good nine to 12 months to work.

 

 

(4)  Don’t try to be “everything to everyone.”  Focus on a few specific benefits and a specific audience.

 

 

(5)  Track all of your marketing activities so you know exactly what is working and what is not working.

 

 

(6) One basket ≠ All Eggs.  Don’t rely on one marketing activity. Employ a mix of several marketing activities to reach more people.

 

 

(7)  Systems are your friends. Create a system to help you stay on track with your marketing activities every month and to help you plan ahead for future activities.

 

 

(8)  Budgeting is another close friend. Create a realistic budget based on a percentage of your projected revenue, or the dollars you have available for marketing and stick to it.  Marketing is an investment in your business.

 

(9)  Understand your environment.  The economy, competition, the strength of your particular industry, your prospects’ situation.  You have to understand them all so you can create an effective plan to either overcome obstacles or take advantage of opportunities.

 

 

All of these activities are part of a good marketing plan. Employ these activities to ensure your success.