blogging

Too Much Blogging in Real Estate

 

What Is Real Estate Over-Blogging?

In this breathtaking world of technological advancements, there can be a time where too much comes too fast. Indeed, at times the wealth of information made available online can be overwhelming and indigestible in its sheer bulk, especially when the same topics become regurgitated over and over. Surely one can detect that there has been a lack of unique information available online lately, mostly because the standard filler article is almost identical to it’s contemporaries.

As a result of this, people are not learning what they want to learn. For example, someone looking to dip their feet in the real estate game may find themselves falsely confident in their forays into the field. As unfortunate as it may be, the market for articles and information in general has become saturated.

WHY IS IT LIKE THIS?

Content is King

Its true that Content is King – but it MUST be good, qaulity content if you want it to attract readers

ANYONE CAN DO IT

Indeed, social media and the internet culture in general has hammered out some pretty sharp double-edged swords. The ease of online access has led many brilliant minds to put ideas out into the world that would have otherwise remained secrets. Conversely, the fact that almost anyone can become a voice on the web means that an inevitable percentage of erroneous opinions and statements will hit the public sphere where they can be misconstrued for truth in real estate articles.

FACT CHECKING HAS BECOME LAX

There is a certain comfort and affirmation that comes with seeing information online that reaffirms ones beliefs and inherent biases. If someone looking to buy a home simply cannot accept that it may be wiser to wait a couple of years, all a series of bad financial decisions requires is one article stating that yes, the time is nigh to start buying. Fact checking is no longer the pillar of society that it has once been regarded as, and has emboldened people to publish advisory articles without regard for the veracity of the piece.

APATHY PART 1: ARTICLE FARMING

When it comes down to it, the saturation of the real estate blogging market is largely due to the success of the article mill. This is a two-part problem, one that highlights the consequences of making journalism a business. In an article mill, there are authors and clients. If a client demands a series of articles written about real estate, the author may churn out an acceptable but none-too-informative piece that ultimately does not teach enough.   Anytime you post something to your site, you need to use quality, original content.

APATHY PART 2: SEO GREED

The other half of the fault lies in the clients. It is an unfortunate truth that when dealing with Search Engine Optimization, making sure certain keywords are prominently displayed takes precedence over the actual content of the article. The aim of SEO marketing is to nudge these web pages to the front of all search engine results in an effort to drive traffic.   Whether or not the article is of valid merit or not is ultimately inconsequential.   Truth is, the article needs to be of enough quality to naturally acquire back links from other real estate sites.

SOLUTIONS

So what can be done? One thing is hiring the right real estate agent who is trying not to copy the rest. The internet may seem like a morass of nebulous run-around pseudo-facts, but the key to actually obtaining the necessary information needed for specialized searches. Adding a layer of specifics to the title of the web page may help generate traffic, as consumers as of late have learned to associate broad article titles with a lack of substantial information. The following 4 article titles are about has explanatory as “Here’s what you should do about the thing”, and should be avoided at all costs so as to maximize traffic to the blog post.

HOW TO BUY A HOME

Most consumers have the general idea of how to buy a place. What they may actually need help with (the reason they’re checking out ones company website) is far more complex than just “How To Buy A Home”. Online users may pass similarly-titled articles with a cluck of disdain, as the thought of teaching something that sounds so simple comes off as insulting to the intelligence. Specifics matter, and the article title in question should be equipped to tackle the root causes.

HOW TO SELL A HOME

The reasons to avoid this title are pretty much identical to those of the first. There is no way an adequate amount of information related to the various and numerous intricacies of selling houses can be summarized neatly in a single article. Indeed, perhaps a first time seller may read one of these lists to get the most basic gist of a new foray, but eventually the time will come to read up on the specifics of each bullet point, a time that necessitates precision and diligence. Articles with titles such as “How To Sell A Home” may be useful.

ACCESSORIZING THE HOME

Even the blind have their own ideas on how to decorate their houses. The general idea of laying out a house is as simple as thinking “I’d like to put this over there”. To a certain extent, everyone knows how to decorate a house. What some may need to learn, however, is how to decorate it properly for a potential open house or client meeting. As with any of these other points, tacking specific problems is the quickest and most reliable method of actually teaching.

AGENT PROMOTIONS

As an agent of the real estate world, selling oneself comes as second nature. After all, the agent is an extension of the property, and will cause it to be judged as such. On the other side of the coin, it is important not to bluster on about oneself for too long, as it may cause potential buyers to wonder if perhaps the verbosity about the agent him or herself may be hiding deficiencies in the property. It is important to go light on an agent’s promotional pages, letting the property speak.

seo firm company

4 Ways to Position Your Agency for Growth

4 Ways to Position Your Agency for Fast Growth

If you own a marketing firm, SEO consulting firm, or an agency, then you know that competition is fierce for signing up new clients.  All you have to do is go to an industry trade show in your area to realize just how many competitors you have right in your geographic area.

The way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by highly qualified prospects is to create a unique position for your firm.

There are three huge benefits to position yourself:

First, you will know exactly who your ideal is so that you don’t waste time with individuals who aren’t a good fit for your services.

Second, you will establish yourself as an authority figure in your niche or domain.

And third, your firm will realize extremely fast growth.

Below are four ways that your agency can position itself so that you can experience fast growth.

Solve a single problem

It’s very tempting to be everything to everyone.  How many firms tout themselves as a “one stop shop for all of your social media needs” or a “full service marketing agency”.

Zack Linford, the founder of Conversion Voodoo took the exact opposite approach.  Instead of doing everything, his company does exactly one thing:  optimize landing pages.

In order to build a fully optimized landing page, you need a team of at least four specialists:

  • A designer who understands how to lay out the page and which colors to use
  • A copywriter who can get visitors to take action
  • A software developer
  • An analyst to ensure that the landing page is optimized and can run the appropriate tests

With that kind of talent on his team, Zack can do pretty much any type of marketing that he wants.  But there are a couple of advantages to only specializing in conversions.

It’s more cost efficient:  Sure, Conversion Voodoo can also build websites, or blogs, or Web Apps, but specializing in landing pages keeps costs down.

By only doing one thing, the team becomes skilled at it.  They know the intricacies of building great landing pages.  And the better they become at building landing pages, the quicker they can crank them out.  So each page becomes cheaper and cheaper to build, increasing their profit margins.

Become an authority:  If your business is struggling to convert traffic into sales, who would you turn to:  The full service agency that also does SEO, Facebook marketing, blogging, and website design or the company whose entire staff is dedicated to converting traffic into sales?

It’s a no brainer.  You are going to hire the company whose entire focus is solving your specific problem.

Your Take Away

By focusing your talent on solving one unique problem, you will be able to keep costs down and become an authority in your domain space.  This will lead to more clients at a much higher profit margin than being yet another full service marketing agency.

Serve a specific niche

It’s really hard to serve everyone.  Even just narrowing it down to B2B or B2C is still a bit too broad.

For instance, in the B2B space, it takes two different skill sets to sell a $100 item and a $10,000 item.  If you are a marketing agency, you need to have a great understanding of the sales cycle involved in both of these transactions.

Likewise, it takes two different skill sets to help an ecommerce site sell more products and help a Dentist grow his practice.

When you work in one specific industry, you will know exactly who to target when you are prospecting for more clients and you will know exactly how to help them.

This will drastically reduce your learning curve when you are trying to get brought up to speed with the intricacies of their business and their customers.

Your Take Away

Find a specific niche where you can leverage the skill set of your team.  This will help you understand exactly where you should be spending time trying to sign up new clients.  For instance, the folks at DDS should hit every dentist trade show that they can find.  Why?  Because that’s where Dentists looking to grow their practice will be.

Guarantee

Guarantees have long been a staple of positioning companies, but in the marketing space, it seems far too rare.

The above image was taken from the Conversion Voodoo website as was the following quote:

“If you don’t see at least a 15% rise in your online profits… we work for FREE. We don’t get paid until our services pay off for you! So we both win!”

As a marketing agency, you might not be able to make a performance guarantee like an increase of online profits.  At times, you simply have no control over your client’s sales process, or the quality of their products.

But there are other guarantees that you can make.  For instance, my company guaranteed sales leads in 30 days.  At the beginning of the working relationship, the client and my team agreed on what was a sales lead.  However, we never put a specific number on the amount of leads we would get for them.

If your company makes Facebook fan pages, you can guarantee a fully customized fan page in 2 days.  Or you can guarantee that you can get the client at least 100 fans using the Facebook advertising platform.

Your Take Away

A money back guarantee of some kind always eases the barrier to getting someone to work with you.  Any time an agency or consultant can use a guarantee to position their company, they will immediately stand out from the crowd.  Most of the time the prospective client is more concerned about wasting their money on bad marketing than they are about the price of your service.

Free Trial

Working for free for a month like Quick SEO Results does is an obvious option to attract prospects, especially if you have a retainer based service like SEO.

So instead of trying to sell you on this, let me talk a bit about the pit falls.

When we were looking for clients to try our Sales Leads in Thirty Days marketing system, we offered free thirty day trials.  We were able to get quite a bit of traction and did quite a few free trials.  The problem was at the end of the month, many of the “prospects” never signed up for the second month.

In other words, we did all of that work for nothing.

It wasn’t necessarily that the work we did was bad, it was that we did a poor job qualifying the individuals who we gave free trials to.

It turned out that our Sales Leads in Thirty Days process was great for higher end software, technology, and service offerings, but not so much for everyone else.  The company selling a $10 per month software wasn’t really interested in paying for a $7,500 per month marketing service.  They just couldn’t justify the cost.

So, my warning is this:  Make sure that you know exactly who your ideal customer is, and make sure that you fully validate a prospect before offering them a free trial.

Your Take Away

A 30 day free trial is a great way to position yourself and sign up new prospects.  But you need to be careful that you don’t waste time doing free trials for prospects who have no intention of paying you after the free trial is over.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these are four strategies that your marketing agency can adopt today position itself to sign up new clients.  I have no doubt that there are other ways to do this, but just make srue that your firm or agency doesn’t sound like all of your competitors.

increase website traffic

The secret to generating more traffic to your website

The secret to generating more traffic to your blog and your website

If you are like me, then you are constantly scouring the web for more ways to learn how to drive traffic your blog and get more subscribers on your email list.

Heck, if you’re like me, you’ve probably spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars in courses learning how to become a better marketer for your agency and for your customers.

Just this past week, I’ve read or written these five articles.

  • Derek Halpern of Social Triggers tells you how to gain 2,281 RSS subscribers in 27 days with a podcast.
  • Elena Verlee of PR In Your Pajamas will show you how to get a following using PR.
  • Andrew Warner of Mixergy just released a course that will teach you how to get paying customer from Facebook, without spending a dime.
  • Neil Patel on Quicksprout.com writes extensively on SEO.
  • On this blog, I’ve revealed my 20 minutes a day Twitter strategy.

So, what’s the secret to getting more traffic to your blog and more leads for your business?

A Back Story

When I was growing my agency, I chased every silver bullet under the sun. If there was a course on Facebook, I bought it.  If there was a course on public relations, I bought it.  I was constantly looking for that one thing that would put my agency over the top.

Though my intentions were good, I was stretched too thin.  I ended up creating boring content on my blog.  I ended up with a Fanpage that I later abandoned.  And I had an unused Twitter account with about 500 followers.

I tried creating videos, and doing some PR, and guest posting, and optimized my Linkedin profile and dabbled in SEO.  I did all of the stuff that the experts told me that I should be doing.

And you know what?  I failed miserably.

The Secret: Do Less

The absolute best advice that I could give any agency who wants to grow their audience, and sign up more clients is do less marketing activities.

website traffic

website traffic

The truth is, every one of the articles listed above will help you reach your business goals.  But unless you have a lot of people or money, you can’t possibly follow the advice of everyone who gives it.

When you are first starting your marketing efforts, pick two or three activities that you can focus all of your resources and dominate.

It wasn’t until I scrapped everything that I was doing and focused on doing a few things incredibly well that my agency took off:  Guest posting, email marketing, blogging, and online press releases.

When I started the Sales Leads in 30 Days blog, I decided that I was only going to use Twitter and guest posting to build my email list and get the blog off the ground.

I want to focus on perfecting two strategies.  Once the blog is off the ground, then I can add other elements to propel the blog to new heights.

3 Steps to Deciding which Strategy is best for you

Step 1:  Understand Your Resources

I find that most agencies and companies in general skip this step and jump right into developing goals.

As I’m sure you know, launching a blog can be a long, grueling process.  How much time do you have to grow it?

Do you have any money to accelerate the growth of your blog?

Let’s say you also want to build a Fanpage.  Again, this requires a lot of time (or money) in order to grow a thriving community.  One of the worst things that can happen is that you launch your Fanpage and there is no activity on it because you don’t have the resources needed to grow and nurture your fans.

Before you choose your tactics, determine how much time and money you have to invest.

Step 2:  Define Your Goals

I subscribe to the SMART Goals strategy.

I’m going to share with you a goal that I have for this blog:

The goal of this blog is to have 1,000 people working in marketing agencies, SEO consulting firms, etc, subscribe to my mailing list by July 1st.

This goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant to my business strategy, and Timed.

Determining your resources will allow you to determine just how attainable a goal is.  For instance, I plan on achieving this goal with just me doing the labor and no money.  It would be completely unrealistic for me to set a goal to get 1,000 people on a mailing list by February 14th.

Now, if I had $5,000 to buy ads in industry publications and blogs, then I could build my list much faster.

Step 3:  Build Your Strategy

Once you’ve determined which tactics you are going to use, you need to determine the strategy for each.

For instance, Facebook is a great means to create videos in order to engage your fans.  This will help differentiate you over the thousands of fan pages that just use text.

Or perhaps your Twitter strategy will be to answer questions publicly that your prospects have.  This will force you to engage your audience a lot more than I do on Twitter, but that can be a very good, and profitable undertaking.

If you decide that you want to use Google +, you may want to host a Hangout once or twice a week.  If I were growing my agency right now, that’s a strategy that I would definitely use.  There is no greater way to promote your agency than to be face to face with multiple decision makers at the same time.  It’s like going to a networking event whenever you want to.

The point is, you can’t just throw up a Facebook page or a Google + page and expect your audience to join in droves and sing your praises.  Each medium that you choose to leverage will require a strategy unto itself.

Step 4:  Leverage Your Platforms

You can be sure that once I have reached enough traffic here on this blog and attracted a large enough Twitter following, I’m going to extend my reach into other marketing efforts.  Right now, I don’t know what those will be.

But imagine this, if I reach my goal of 1,000 people on my list by July 1st, and have a Twitter following of 10,000 or so, I will be able to hit the ground running with whatever I decide to choose.

I will be able to have a vibrant Facebook Fan Page on day 1, or a community of people eager to listen to my bi-weekly podcast.

I won’t have to work nearly as hard to promote these endeavors as I would if I were starting from scratch.

You too, can do the exact same thing.  Once you’ve dominated the two or three platforms that you’ve chosen, you can leverage that traffic and engage with them in other mediums.

Conclusion

If you are looking to drive more traffic to your website and sign up more clients, then chances are you should be doing less, not more.  Start focusing on two or three marketing tactics that you can dominate.  By doing this, you will be able to leverage a finite amount of man power and money and build a thriving community that will pay dividends in both revenue and engagement.

5 Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

5 Critical Mistakes that I hope You Never Make

I started a now defunct blog called More Caffeine Please a little over three years ago.  The goal of the blog was to promote my services as a copywriter to small and mid-sized businesses.

The blog failed miserably.  Poor execution led to poor results which eventually led to neglect.

If I had to start that blog over, here are five mistakes I would have done differently.

Get Readers to Subscribe Before Launching

The first thing that I would do is try to get prospective readers on my list before launching my blog.  I spent four hours on my very first blog post, hit publish, and the only person who read it was me.  Yes, I emailed it to a few friends and wound up with 25 or so readers, but it’s not exactly the kind of traffic that makes you want to get up in the morning and do it all over again.

Here’s what I should have done.  First, I would created a landing page to promote a webinar so that I could capture email addresses.  I find that webinars usually have higher opt-in rates than ebooks, and this form of event based marketing would have been the perfect kick-off to my blog.

Once I had the landing page up and optimized, I would have guest-posted on 7-10 blogs to build awareness and gain credibility.

About two weeks from the date of the webinar, I’d write a press release and distribute it via PRWeb.  I don’t think that my press release would be news worthy, but distributing a press release via PRWeb usually gets 50 – 70 targeted sign ups to a webinar that promises to be information packed.

Finally, I’d run Facebook ads to promote the webinar.  There are a lot of other ad platforms out there such as Linkedin and Google, but Facebook is still quite inexpensive.

If I had done this for two months, I would have launched my blog to about 500 readers instead of starting from scratch.

Stick with One Marketing Strategy

When I look at the key players in the marketing industry, I notice that they all have one thing in common.  They picked one strategy to promote their blog, and stuck with it.

For instance, Chris Brogan was predominantly a Twitter user.  Sure he dabbled in Facebook and Linkedin too, but Twitter was clearly where he spent his time.

Mari Smith dominates Facebook.  I recently attended a Facebook marketing webinar of hers the other day that topped out at 5,800 viewers.

And Lewis Howes is one of the few people talking about how to drive massive amounts of traffic and build your business through Linkedin.

One of the things that I did, and I think a lot of us do, is spend far too much time looking for the magic elixir.  Which platform is in vogue this week that promises to drive massive amounts of traffic?  The answer is all of them.  What separates the top marketers from everyone else is they stick with one or two strategies and dominate them.

Be More Consistent

I started blogging back in 2008, and I was extremely inconsistent with my posts.  I did what all beginning bloggers do, start out with a bang and posted every day.  Then I fizzled out after a few months until I quit my first blog.

When I look around at the blogs that started around the time that I started, I can’t help but wonder how much further my career and my business would be.

I constantly have to remind myself that building a blog and a business is a marathon.  There is no one thing: customer, guest post, social media platform that is going to transform my business over night.  It’s about doing the little things like writing guest posts on a consistent basis until my momentum carries me forward.

Systemize Everything

Every business, whether you are selling a product or service, or trying to get people to click on ads, needs three key systems to thrive:

  1. A customer acquisition system
  2. A product or services delivery system
  3. A collections system

As your business grows, you will add other systems such as human resources and new product development.

Even if you are a single person operating out of your bedroom, make sure that you document all processes and procedures.

Strong systems will allow you to scale your business.

A customer acquisition system will allow you to hire a marketing team and sales force so that you can acquire more customers.  I have a sales script that I can hand over to any new sales person who joins the company and know with reasonable certainty that he will be able to close a good percentage of sales.

A product or services delivery system will ensure that each customer receives the same quality work.  Can you hire someone to replace you and still deliver the high quality work that your customers have come to expect?

And a strong collections system ensures that you get paid.  When you have one or two customers, you might not think a system to collect money is necessary.  However, when you have 20 or 30 customers at the same time, it becomes difficult to keep track of accounts receivable.

Stop Procrastinating

marketing mistakes

marketing mistakes

Finally, I regret that I spent far too much time reading, and not nearly enough time acting.  If you are looking to build a Facebook page and have absolutely no idea how to get started, then you should absolutely purchase a book.

However, when you feel like you need to start reading two or three books before you become “comfortable” launching your page, then you are just procrastinating.

I spent too much time procrastinating.  I needed to realize that mistakes were going to happen and learn from them.

If I had spent more time trying out new ideas and less time reading about them, my business would have been in far better shape.

Conclusion

I can’t help but wonder where I would be right now if I had known what I know now.  Lessons like getting readers to subscribe before you launch only come with experience.  However, I greatly regret my inconsistency and lack of perseverance.

I’m in the process of taking my company in a new direction and have launched a blog that will hopefully spark interest, and serve as a powerful marketing tool.  I’ve also spent quite some time applying these lessons that I’ve learned to ensure that I don’t have the same regrets three years from now.

6 Ways to Kickstart Your e-Mail List

6 Fast Ways to Grow Your List and Kick Start Your Blog

The most frustrating part of blogging is dedicating so much time to writing quality content on your site, only to have absolutely no one read your articles.

I’ve been hearing the same advice for the past few years on how to grow a blog.  “Write good content, post on Facebook, post on Twitter, post on Linkedin, and watch the magic happen.”

For the rest of this article, I’ll assume that you’ve already seen that advice and are convinced that posting your articles on social media channels is a good idea.

But what if you don’t have a lot of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or Linkedin connections?  Posting in social media isn’t going to get you very far.

You need to increase your subscribers, build credibility, and drive traffic to your blog some other way.

Enter webinars.

A 2009 study by Business.com found that 67 percent of business leaders who rely on social media for business information seek out relevant podcasts or webinars.

Now you just need to get people to your webinar.  Below are six tactics that you can implement to get traffic to your webinar sign up form.

So to quote the Black Eyed Peas: “Let’s get it started”.

Interview Industry Insiders

Find 7-10 companies in your niche that you greatly admire.  If you admire the fan page of a particular company, find out who is in charge and ask for five minutes of their time to interview them.  These 7-10 interviews will be the foundation for your webinar.

email listsOnce the webinar landing page goes live, alert each company and tell them that their interview is an integral part of the webinar.  Chances are, they will be more than happy to help you promote your webinar on Twitter or Facebook.  This will give you more exposure than if you just promote it to your own network.

Guest Post

The single best way to gain credibility with an audience, drive traffic to your landing page, and help with SEO is through guest posting.

But, if you want to double the effect of your guest post, write your guest posts around your interviews.  This will build “street cred” with the bloggers who are allowing you to post, and it will make you a hero to the company that you interviewed.

Here’s what you do:  find 7-10 blogs in your niche that would be interested in hearing about your slant on a company’s Facebook page.

(This is why I suggested you interview 7-10 companies.  Now you have 7-10 different interviews to build your guest posts around.  It’s a simple way to provide unique content to each blog.)

After you’ve written your guest posts, the by-line is going to be the place where you get to direct people back to your blog.  It seems that most blogs allow somewhere between 25 to 35 words for the by-line, which isn’t that much.  So you have to make the most of it.

I find that the best bylines have a call to action.

For instance if you do Facebook marketing, your byline might be something like:

“[Your name] is hosting a webinar that will show you how to get 1,000 fans in 30 days, even if haven’t set up a Facebook account.  Sign up here.  Space is limited.”

Press Release

About two weeks from the date of the webinar, you can write a press release and distribute it via PRWeb.  Chances are, your press release won’t be news worthy, but distributing a press release via PRWeb usually gets 50 – 70 targeted sign ups to a webinar that promises to be information packed.

Here’s how I structure my press releases.

Headline:  Have a catchy headline that will draw the reader in.  Just like in blogs, “How to” and “List” headline formulas are quite effective.

Opening Paragraph:  The first paragraph is going to announce your headline.  At the very least, it should contain the title of the webinar, the day and time, and a link to your landing page.

Tips:  Next, you should spend a paragraph or two being educational.  This will help with your credibility.  Remember, you are asking total strangers to take an hour out of their day to listen to you.

What they will learn:  Once you’ve given them tips that they can apply immediately, now you just tell them what they are going to learn.  This should be three to four bullet points demonstrating how their lives will be improved after spending an hour listening to you.

Call To Action: Finally, end with a call to action.  Again, this should be a sentence or two stating the title of the webinar, when it is going to be held, and a link to the landing page.

Barter

Let’s say your webinar is going to be about creating fan pages for businesses.  One of the things that you can do is work for free for a blogger in return for an endorsement for your webinar.

Here’s what you can do.

Find bloggers in your niche with large audiences who could benefit from both reading your blog and your fan page service.

I’ll assume that if the blogger has a large audience, he also has a fan page.  Chances are, even if the fan page is good, it’s probably not perfect.

Send the blogger an email pointing out a few ways that you can improve the performance on the fan page.  Share with him the results that he can anticipate with his improved fan page.  And then tell him that you will fix it for free, in return for an endorsement of some kind.

This will make your expertise incredibly obvious to a large audience and build trust for your business and your blog.

Run Ads

There are several advertising platforms that you can use.  Whichever you choose is going to be dependent on your audience.

For instance, my target audience is marketers.  I know that I can reach them in almost every ad platform.  Since Facebook offers the cheapest ads, I would probably start there.

If your target audience is the CEO or president of businesses doing at least $20 Million in revenue, you should consider Linkedin for your advertising.

Just a caveat, advertising can get very expensive.  You should have a very specific budget and a clearly defined goal for what it is that you want to accomplish with your ads.

Ask Subscribers to Forward

The last tactic is the most obvious, yet often the most overlooked.  Once someone signs up for your webinar, you can ask them to forward the information on to their friends.

Simply set up an auto-responder that explains that you are looking to find attendees who are interested in what you have to offer.  Then ask the subscriber to do you a favor and send a link to the landing page over to any friends who might be interested.

You can even offer an incentive.

If they send over five friends, you can give them a free 30 minute consultation.  If they send over ten friends, you can give them an hour long consultation.  Simply take the material in your webinar and customize it for their business.

Conclusion

If you are looking to gain more subscribers and more readers for your blog, then you need to have a plan of action.

Chances are, only two or three of these six tactics are going to work for your business.  My suggestion would be to build out your marketing plan incorporating all seven tactics and test and measure

Discover Some New Ways to Get Clients with LinkedIn That You aren’t Using

Discover Some New Ways to Get Clients with LinkedIn That You aren’t Using

Discover the Most Effective Way to Get Clients with Linkedin That You aren’t Using

For a marketing agency, using Linkedin could very well be the most profitable social media tool that you use.

Most marketers think of Linkedin as another tool to drive traffic to their blog like Twitter or Facebook or Google +.  And to some degree, it is.

However, the most profitable and effective way to use Linkedin, and probably the most forgotten, is to use the phone to call connections.

Before I get into a script for you to follow, let me tell you why this works.

Unlike Facebook where people want to connect with their friends, and unlike Twitter, where people are usually looking for cool stuff to share, Linkedin’s audience is looking to make business connections.

People on Linkedin are looking for consultants, looking to hire employees, and looking for customers.  And that mindset is to your advantage.

But let me give you a word of caution.  It is very easy to spam your connections with this tactic.  You must, at all times, have the best interest of your connections in mind, and not sell them a single thing until the moment feels right.

Introductory Email

The first thing that you need to do is send them an email to get them on the phone.  This isn’t a typical email where you try to make a sales pitch.  Remember, you are just making an introduction.

Hey ____

I try to make an effort to get in touch with all of my Linkedin connections on the phone if possible.

It seems like we have some overlapping interests and can help each other out.

Are you free for 10 minutes this week?

Regards,

Typically, I get a 20% response rate with an email like this.

Phone Script

using linked in to get clients

using linked in to get clients

Below is a phone script for you to follow as a guideline along with the thought process behind each segment.  Remember to be respectful of their time, focus on their business, and be helpful.

Hey ___, it’s a pleasure to finally get in touch with you.  How are you doing today?

And really listen to their response.  Most of the time, the person is going to say “Good” or “Alright.”  But sometimes the tone of their voice might reveal exhaustion or frustration or excitement.  Make sure you pick up on that.

After they tell you how they are doing, get them to talk about their business.

I see that you guys have recently done/built/sold ____.  I absolutely love that.  How did you come up with that idea?

Again, truly listen to what they have to say.  They are going to be thrilled to be talking about their business and can do it all day long.  Let them talk.

After that you want to say:

Congratulations.  So what’s the coolest thing that you guys got going on right now?

9 times out of 10, the coolest thing that they got going on right now is about their product or service.  Either they are building a new product, introducing an existing product into a new market, going after a big customer.  And this is where you get to shine.

You are going to ask:

Have you thought about _____? (This is where you offer really good advice that they probably haven’t thought of.)

The prospect will probably have not thought about what you are proposing, and will want to know more.

Go briefly into how they can do what you are proposing, and then say:

Listen, I’ve taken up a lot of your time already.  Why don’t I do this?  I’ll put together a one page document on how you can do what I’m suggesting.

Why don’t we schedule 30 minutes next week so that we can sit down and I can show you exactly how to do this?

The biggest mistake that you can make is to try to sell your services during this 10 minute call.  All you really want to do is talk about their business, and offer to help them with no strings attached.

In order to get someone to hire you, they first need to get to know you, then they have to like you, and then they have to trust you.  Right now, you are in the “get to know you” phase.

The 30 Minute Call

Notice that during the phone conversation, you didn’t speak much about your business?  That’s because you will have plenty of opportunity to do so during your 30 minute call.

Not every call is going to turn into a new client.  But, if you keep an open mind, every call can be productive.

Because of these calls, I’ve been invited to write guest posts, speak at events, joint venture, invited to lunch with their friends, etc.

And the best part is, you don’t need hundred’s of connection.  Just a small group of the right connections.

makes made in business

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Marketing Their Product

5 Common Mistakes Made When Marketing Their Product

Ok, show of hands.

Who else has an awesome product or service that is not getting the attention it deserves?

You’ve been busting your hump for months only to see sales plateau since you launched, or even worse, flat line.

The past month was spent tweaking your product, changing your messaging, trying to promote on Facebook, and purchasing pay per click ads.  But nothing worked.

Many entrepreneurs lose faith and give up.

Others, like you, continuously search for answers.

But what should you do first?  Where should you start?

A Two Step Marketing Formula

Marketing your business can appear to be overwhelming, and I want to make sure you are in the right frame of mind.

So I want you to do me a favor and take a deep breath.

Relax.

It’s all going to be OK.

When you are trying to market your business online, there are only two things that you need to worry about.

The first thing is driving traffic.

The second thing is converting that traffic into sales.

Everything else is BS.

I know what you are thinking.  “If it were this easy, why can’t I figure it out?”  Well, it’s a simple formula, but it’s not an easy one to execute.

If it were, there would be a heck of a lot more successful startups.

Below, I’ve compiled five common mistakes that businesses make when trying to market their business online.

You Don’t Stand Out

There are two types of businesses online:  those that stand out in their niche, and everyone else.

The companies that stand out in their niche are the ones with the most popular blogs, most popular social media following, and the most customers.

These companies have a way of being written about by every business book, blog, and magazine published.

And then there’s everyone else.

The rest of the companies struggle to find a horde of customer consistently, have blogs that are largely unread, and are ignored by the press.

But the good news is it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can zig when others zag.

For instance, email marketing and list managing services have long been dominated by the likes of Mailchimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact.  Those are just three of the dozens of services to choose from when beginning an email marketing strategy.

However, that didn’t deter the folks at Campaign Monitor from building their own email marketing solution.  However, instead of competing with the dominant companies, they decided to build their product exclusively for designers.

If they had marketed their platform to small businesses like Constant Contact, Aweber and Mailchimp, they would have suffered the fate of being “Everyone else.”

You are Unknown

So, you have a great product, built a beautiful landing page, and are even getting a little traffic to your landing page, either by social media, paid advertisements, and SEO.

Now, you are just waiting for people to sign up for your 30 day free trial.  But to your dismay, nothing happens.

The truth is this:  people are more likely to buy from businesses they know.

And when you are starting out, you are largely unknown.

How do you get people to know you?

Most businesses do this by building an email list and dripping content to their prospects little by little.

I’m sure you’ve signed up for newsletters, downloaded ebooks, and attended webinars.

And every so often you get tips on how to improve your business, and case studies about how other companies are using a product.

Yes, creating ebooks, case studies and webinars take time and energy.

There are very few short cuts to building long lasting relationships, but it is the most profitable way to build your business.

Once you’ve become a known commodity and resource to your email list, it will be far easier to convert them into customers.  As long as you don’t abuse this power, you will never worry about finding customers again.

No Empathy

Do you know what your customers really want?

What keeps them up at night?  What do they dream about deep in the recesses of their brain?

Your customers don’t want your product; they want what your product does for them.  They want you to make their dreams come true.

There’s an old cliché in marketing:  “People don’t buy drills, they buy holes.”

For instance, you didn’t buy accounting software, you bought a way to easily manage your money.

But most entrepreneurs spend too much time selling the tool they built, and not the solution to a problem.

On the web, people have the attention span of a fruit fly.

We are updating Facebook, blogging, reading blogs, doing research, and a hundred other things.

In order to get their attention, you need to stop your potential customer dead in their tracks so that the only thing they think about is the problem they have and how you are going to solve it.

Too Much Clutter on the Home Page

One Saturday, Sheena Iyengar, a researcher at Columbia University set up a free tasting booth to allow customers to try jam. He had 24 flavors available for tasting.

The next Saturday, he set up six flavors available for tasting.

According to his book The Art of Choosing, when he had 24 flavors, 60% of the customers stopped by to taste, but only 3% bought something.

When he had six flavors, 40% of the customers stopped by, but 30% bought something. This turned out to be an increase in sales of 600%.

Unfortunately, most websites offer too many choices for their readers.

On the same page, a website will often want you to try their product free for thirty days, sign up for their news letter, follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook and read their latest blog post.

And in their paralyses, the prospect will simply leave.

If your goal is to get visitors to sign up for a free trial, then every case study, every testimonial, every word has to be dedicated to achieving that goal.

You spend far too much time, energy and money to get highly qualified traffic to your website.  Don’t waste it by sending people to Facebook or Twitter.

No Traffic System

Here’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

You could have the perfect product with the perfect home page with the perfect messaging.  But if you aren’t driving a consistent flow of traffic to your site, then none of that matters.

I’ve worked with numerous software companies and in so many cases, a lack of traffic almost kills the company.

Here’s what happens.

You get done building your product and launch it.

You start a blog, write really great content, and promote it on social media.  But your social media traffic is anything but exciting.

Here’s the reason:

You can spend hours crafting the perfect headline, the perfect tweet, and the most beautiful graphic, but unless you have a large social media following, you probably won’t get the traffic you are looking for.

Of course there are ways to buy followers and fans, but that can be really expensive, and there is an excellent chance that you’ll waste money on a large collection of untargeted bots.

Then you might try SEO.

But again, nothing happens.

You can find the perfect keywords, place them in the right spots, and still see no results.

Why?

Because unless you have a number of high quality links from trusted sources, no amount of on-site SEO is going to dramatically improve your websites ranking.

Getting traffic to a website is hard and time consuming.

Before you waste any time blogging or on social media, make sure that you have a proven marketing plan that will generate the traffic you need to sustain your business.

You are Not Alone

Every entrepreneur who has ever started an online business has made each of these five mistakes at least once.

The ones that are successful and make it are the ones who have gone to the school of hard knocks and learned these lessons the hard way.  They’ve spent years and a small fortune trying to figure it out.  I should know because I’ve been there.

And honestly, it sucks.

I’ve also seen a lot of good startups founded by smart entrepreneurs wind up in the dead pool because they were never able to overcome these mistakes.

And I don’t want that to happen to you.

So on Tuesday, I’m going to host a free webinar that shows you how to drive traffic to your site and generate 100 sales leads in the next 30 days, even if you have a brand new startup.

Simply show up with a pen and paper ready to take notes.

How’s that sound?

Here’s what to do next

Before you leave this post, I want you to do me a favor and share it with your friends.

Lots of startups are making these exact same mistakes, and so we need to make sure that they are able to attend this webinar as well.

So, do me a favor and Tweet it, share it on Facebook, email your co-founder and your friends.

After that register for the webinar because space is limited and I suspect it will fill up quickly.

Finally, if you have any questions at all that you want to ask, do so in the comments section and I will be sure to answer them in the webinar for you.

Sound good?

Great!  I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.