Up selling Strategies for WSI Internet Consultants

Posted by on Oct 27, 2009 in Business Opportunity, Online Marketing | Comments Off on Up selling Strategies for WSI Internet Consultants

I met Marvin Himel 3 weeks ago in Toronto where we were working on new a new training curriculum for WSI Internet Consultants. We have developed an exciting Digital Media Professional’s training that will leapfrog WSI Consultants ahead of their competitors. Marvin is our sales trainer and mentor to many ICs and 2 years ago he put me through the paces in his ‘train the trainer’ program. I must say that it was stressful but well worth the experience. Anyway Marvin invited me to present at his Power Hour session where he invites guest speakers. He calls the session “Lessons from the Masters” Examples of up-selling by Francois Muscat. I am flattered to be called a master. I presented my overall strategy on how I run and grow my WSI franchise. My business model is one of recurring revenue and the way to achieve this is to provide ongoing Internet Marketing services that achieve measurable results. I like my clients to recognize me as their online marketing partner who adds value to their business. So one way that I demonstrate this is to work on a month to month basis, with no contracts for any of my online marketing services. I guess that is my way of putting my money where my mouth is. No results, no pay. I believe in simplifying the Internet for businesses and my approach is: Every business needs credibility and an online brand if they want to increase their chances of a visitor doing business with them All businesses need lead generation and they need it right now. So I recommend strategies and services the achieve immediate results and provide them with a roadmap going forward Most importantly, all businesses should have a list, or develop a list of clients & prospects that they can educate and provide relevant and interesting information to help build credibility, do lead generation and provide ongoing support & information. This trusted list will generate future business. I then discussed the top questions that I ask so that I can propose the best and most cost effective solution. Next, I showed my sales folder where I have real live examples of the results that I get for my current clients, all with references, case studies and testimonials. This is where I build my credibility so that people will engage with me. My killer solution for any business is the competitor analysis report. This is an analysis of my client’s top 3-8 competitors. I reveal their online strategies and develop a cost effective game plan that produces rapid results. Eventually we got to the main part of the presentation where I role played the way I interact with my clients during our monthly/quarterly reviews. I shared examples of my reports, meeting minutes and presentations. Finally the best way that you build credibility and generate quality leads is to do small educational seminars. I have found this to be a great way to develop my business as there is no hard sale. The prospects choose you based on their impression of your ability. I love using mind maps as they help to display information in logical way and it helps show the connectivity between the presentation subjects. It was a great hour and I received some wonderful testimonials. Here are some...

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Content marketing strategy

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in Content Marketing | 4 comments

A content marketing strategy is the core foundation for any internet marketing campaign.  Optimized informative content can connect you with your readers enabling them to interact and ultimately convert them into a follower or a customer.  Good content is what connects you with the search engines. All forms of online marketing requires a content strategy to reach your targeted audience and to communicate your message.  The more complex your marketing campaign is, the more important it is to develop a unified content marketing strategy.  Your content marketing campaign should should consist of blogging, social media, press releases, video postings, article marketing, email and traditional media as the channels to publish your content on. Good quality content should always be developed for two audiences; search engines and visitors.  Search engines helps to attract readers and is a great source for website traffic.  Once your visitors arrives you need to keep them reading on, take action, engagement, provide value and guide them towards certain goals. Find below a couple of tips to help you with your content strategy. Your content should have a clear message and purpose Your content should not just consist of basic information.  Include your values, voice, tone and legal or regulatory concerns on it.  What are your business requirements, branding, communication and conversion goals? Targeted demographics The easiest way to target a specific market is to is to look at their needs and to break them up into groups.  This will also help you visualize how to best communicate and reach each niche seperately.  What topics and answers are being search for by each group? Distribution Select the channels you will be using for the distribution of your content. Usually, each channel will have a different purpose and will reach a different demographic as stated above.  Blogs and social media are meant to be informational and branding while websites are expected to promote and sell. SEO Include all the relevant keywords you want to target in your content.  Also include a linking strategy to promote your blog or website.  You can integrate images and video into your plan.  Social media links are powerful in driving organic search engine rankings. Your organic SEO effort will be much more effective if you apply SEO across all media channels. Content marketing is still considered one of the best ways to promote your services, products and values. Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding content...

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The Four Ps of Persuasive Copywriting

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in Copywriting | 2 comments

In order to create persuasive, compelling copy you need to have a concrete structure. Disorganised writing inhibits understanding, and without understanding, you’re not going to get a positive reception when you ask for action. There are plenty of accepted writing structures. One is the inverted pyramid that some journalists favor, which is fine if your goal is to allow the reader to leave mid-story, but not so good if you want people to stick around while you make the case for your call to action. A popular copywriting structure is AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action), which dates back to the early days of mass media advertising. AIDA is a useful framework, but it leaves some with too little understanding of what each element is intended to include. The 4 P Approach to Persuasion The 4 Ps structure consists of Promise, Picture, Proof, and Push in place of the four elements of AIDA. The 4 Ps provide more expansive elements than AIDA, which is why it’s a favorite of many top copywriters. 1. Promise The promise you make is designed to catch attention, but here you’re told how to catch attention, unlike AIDA. I’m sure we’ve all seen attempts to catch attention that we’re easily immune to, because it’s something ridiculous instead of beneficial. That beneficial promise is made with the headline, perhaps elaborated in an initial subhead, and carried over into your opening. This is the most important part of the piece, because if the reader stops here, it’s game over. This promise is “what’s in it for them.” Yes you want their attention, but the promise is the only reason the reader is willing to give it to you. 2. Picture Instead of the vague notion of “interest,” here we paint a vivid picture for the reader. You’re fleshing out the promise and beneficial payoff using vibrant descriptive language. One way to do this is to get the reader to imagine themselves enjoying the benefit or desired outcome. Then you get very specific about how your proposed solution or idea makes that benefit happen. The Picture phase suggests using storytelling (testimonials) and descriptive imagery as a way to hold the reader’s emotional interest while you assist them down the path to decision-making. It also keeps you focused on communicating the benefits associated with the features or facts that you need to get across. 3. Proof In the preceding portion of your copy, you’ve communicated the foundational information you want readers to accept in a brain-friendly manner. Now you’ve got to back it up with supporting proof. Statistics, studies, graphs, charts, third-party facts, testimonials, a demonstration that the features of your product deliver the benefits you’ve promised—these are all part of the Proof section of your piece. Now’s the time to play it straight and appeal to the reader’s logical mind to support the emotional triggers you pulled with the Picture. Rhetorical arguments and promotional pieces fail when Proof is missing or lacking in credibility. While your relationship with the reader hopefully carries trust and authority, asking people to accept your assertions without supporting evidence is an easy way for your writing to fail. 4. Push Now we come to the all-important action phase of the piece, which incorporates and expands desire. While “push” can carry a negative connotation,...

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Market and Measure on the World Wide Web

Posted by on Oct 23, 2009 in Online Marketing | 2 comments

Marketing and Measuring ROI On-line marketing has come of age and is rapidly becoming a dominant medium. Traditional business marketing is very specific, however when it comes to the Internet you are literally reaching the world. I guess that’s why they call it the World Wide Net! What are some of your options are if you are depending on foot traffic to your door. Networking is pretty much a necessary event in the normal course of business. We all need to network, unless you are actively trying to keep your business a secret. Every time you open your mouth you are networking. Please do not confuse networking with selling. Networking gets your name out there, puts a face to your business name and your Web site should be providing the rest of the story. As part of your web strategy you should have your Web address on everything you present to the public. Every advertisement you place in every single medium, all the business information that is handed out should have your Web address on it, including cards brochures and flyers. Television and radio commercials should make it part of your tagline and by using a specific url you can also then measure the success of that particular medium. Driving traffic to your site Once you have the public visiting your “electronic salesperson,” what then? Specials can be created that can only be found on your Web page and can be downloaded and brought into your establishment and once again measured. This will drive traffic to your door and there is nothing like warm, breathing and hopefully buying bodies to lift the spirit of a business and boost the bottom line. What the Web has done is give an owner different ways to reach the public. Offer an ongoing competition or reward in exchange for getting your customers to recommend your products and services and share potential new customers e-mail information, in this way they are buying into your efforts to expand your customer data base. What’s more, in order to collect their prize they must come into your establishment to collect. Use your Web site to brag about what you have done for your community, or to talk about your ongoing projects that could involve your customers. They might even be interested in helping, too, which in turn creates an entirely new kind of loyalty. Get recommendations and testimonials as 70% of customers are still using the web to research the products or services that they are wanting to purchase What do you do once you have a website? Once you have a site, you will need to be sure it is easy to use. You are not the best judge of this because you know what’s on the page, and often, designers and managers egos can get in the way. If you are not your own Webmaster, then your Webmaster is not necessarily the best person to ask, either, because his/her ego is definitely involved, so who’s left? Ask a few impartial colleagues to go onto your Web site and look around (not your closest friends). Don’t give them your Web address; let them find you the way they would normally look for a business. Get feedback of their first impression. How easy was it to find...

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3 Keys To Online Marketing Explained

Posted by on Oct 22, 2009 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on 3 Keys To Online Marketing Explained

The three keys to any online marketing campaign are acquisition, conversion and retention. Acquisition focuses on generating traffic to your website. Conversion is the percentage of online visitors who take a desired action while retention entails the processes associated with maintaining relationships with your existing clients. 1. Ways of acquiring visitors to your website Search engine optimization – in simple terms, this is the process of making your website appear at the top of search engines for various keywords that are related to your products and services. If your website is properly optimized and appears on top of search engines like Google then you are most likely to acquire more visitors. Banner and text ads – This is a form of online advertising that entails putting an advertisement into targeted web pages. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser. Banner ads can help you acquire a substantial number of visitors if they are placed on the right network of web pages. PPC – Pay per click (PPC) is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay their host (Google, Yahoo, MSN e.t.c.) only when their ads are clicked. This is an effective way of looking to acquire online traffic in the sense that only targeted people who are interested will click on your ads. Affiliate marketing – This is a revenue sharing agreement between a website owner and an online affiliate. The affiliate marketer purpose is to sell on behalf of the website owner or to direct visitors to a specific landing page or website. 2. Converting your online visitors This is the percentage of your online visitors who take a desired action. Examples of this desired action include buying online, downloads, signing up for a newsletter or membership. It is the dream of every online marketer to have a high conversion rate. However, conversion rates are determined by various factors which include the attractiveness of your landing page & the placement of call to actions within your landing page. Therefore to have high conversion rates it is essential to have well designed landing pages. 3. Retaining your online visitors Email marketing & Newsletters – If you send these on a regular basis then your recipients will be kept informed of any developments within your business. The other way to do this is by enabling automated blog feeds. Reward your visitors– It is essential to reward some of your most loyal website visitors. This will keep them coming back to your site in anticipation of getting rewarded...

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Misconceptions you might have about blogging

Posted by on Oct 22, 2009 in Blogging | 8 comments

Blogging has grown after the past 10 years to a tried and true marketing tool.  Blogging started as a simple experimentation – the same with most of the popular online trends today. Blogging has grown to a business necessity.  By having a blog for your company is most likely the easiest method to start engaging in social media.  Some even believe that blogging started the whole social media marketing craze even though it has been around for far longer than blogs. Blog marketing is a core tool in social media marketing (SMM).  According to Technorati, they are tracking over 110 million blogs.  What a number!  By having a blog and by continuously participating on it could have great benefits for yourself and your company.  You can get tremendous web traffic to your website from your blog and increase your visibility and reach every corner on earth. Even though there’s allot of blogs covering almost every niche on the internet, misconceptions about what blogging is and who should be using it are bound to be found. Find a couple of FACTS regarding blogging below. It is easy This is first on the list as successful blogging isn’t easy.  Doesn’t matter what anyone has told you before – to have a successful blog is real work. It is also fun and rewarding as you develop a following that is interested in what you have to say.  With a blog, you can be the expert in your niche and industry.   By writing original informative material takes research and this can help the writer to learn and increase their expertise as well. Blogging isn’t for everyone This is true but almost everyone has subjects and topics to talk about that someone would find interesting.  These topics could be anything related to your industry, real life experiences or even hobbies you might have.  Good blogging takes time, commitment and discipline to write regularly. Blogging is a slow process Blogs are a powerful way to communicate your expertise and they are given a high importance by the search engines.  Most often you will find that your blog topics will be indexed faster than the normal “static” content found on your website.  This could be that the search engines places high importance to “real time” information.  Most searches on search engines starts with a question.  What if you could answer that question as it happens?  Think about it.  You are providing “real time” solutions and answering queries that people might have. Your blog can allow you to listen what your customers and future prospects are saying about their needs and ideas as it happens. Who will read my blog? Blogs are a common place today for discussion and you might have noticed that they are scattered around most of the search results found on popular search engines…really talking about Google here. Many people read blogs to find new and current information about their industry. Negative comments will ruin my company’s reputation This is also false.  Discussions about your brand and company will take place online with or without your blog.  What will you do if someone leaves a negative comment about your company on their Facebook profile.  The answer to this question is how you will respond to that negative comment. With a blog you...

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What Social Media Marketing is all about

Posted by on Oct 21, 2009 in Social Media Marketing | 4 comments

Trends on the web changes quite fast. What was considered good a couple of years ago (frames), is now considered old school.  Search engines change their algorithms frequently and it has become necessary to constantly research changes on the net and new trends.  Especcially if you are into internet marketing. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is at the forefront of internet marketing and it is quite an exciting trend to be part of.  It is a worldwide phenomena.  Social Media Marketing focuses on marketing communication, branding and the social interaction with your target market. SMM fosters two way communications rather than a one way broadcast of your marketing message like in the old days.  Social Media Marketing makes use of online tools such as De.li.cio.us, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg, Blogs, Forums, etc. To get the best results from SMM takes time and dedication.  It’s really not a quick and easy way to conduct business.  It’s all about building  lasting relationships that later can result in business deals or sales leads.  Social Media Marketing makes use of multiple venues and multiple media types found online.  These media types can include audio, videos, content and even images (Flickr).  The goal of these online tools is to engage and interact in many places and in many ways. SMM gives people and businesses a chance to ask questions, talk, learn, network, bookmark, vote share information and opinions, give feedback on other social activities around a given topic, etc.  It’s not about marketing directly or selling. Social Media Marketing can be used to: Create a buzz online Use Blogs, Twitter and YouTube videos to attract attention to a product, service or an event.  The key here is to make it fun and interesting.  Not about sales. Build a following Use Social Networking tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace to build a loyal fan base that you can reach out to.  LinkedIn is more focused on professional relationships (connections) than Facebook or MySpace.  Youcan also build your fan base by Blogging. Engage Interaction and conversation is at the heart of social media.  The best way to start the conversation is by blogging and listening to what other people have to say. Social Media Marketing is not advertising.  It is also not fully controlled by the organization.  It strives to interact and it encourages participation. It is a marketing campaign not built on control but rather on honesty and respect. Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding Social Media...

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Write Content with a Voice

Posted by on Oct 20, 2009 in Copywriting | Comments Off on Write Content with a Voice

Many people who publish their writings on the Internet lack the grammatical flair needed to keep a fleeting audience interested. In addition to this, a lot of the articles on the Internet are so heavily edited that any personality contained in the original draft has all but disappeared once the proofreaders and editors have had their way with it. In this post I suggest tips to keep your web copywriting clear, coherent, engaging and enjoyable. Web Content Writing Tips Don’t be a perfectionist and try to be less formal in your content writing. The best way to do this is to focus on writing the way you speak especially if you’re writing persuasive copy. Relaxing and writing with an informal tone and a less structured style will be beneficial for both you and your audience. Being completely informal to the point of being incoherent is missing the point. However, good writers have “a voice”, a distinctive style that helps them communicate quickly and accurately and helps you understand their thoughts and ideas. Basically you’re aiming for a ‘one-on-one’ conversation between yourself and your readers and if that means loosening your prose to lose your formal voice, then so be it! It results in a far more intimate and effective style of communication and helps to cut out incessant rambling. Putting Content Writing Tips into Practice One of the best things you can do to practice writing in a more informal tone is to read what you write out loud as opposed to just sub-vocalizing it as you write it. This way you’ll be able to pick up sentences that are too long and awkward. It’ll also give you the opportunity to correct your article with appropriate punctuation. Bear in mind that basic grammatical structure, matching verb tense, spelling and punctuation are all important and can be damaging to your cause if...

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You, Social Networking and your business?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2009 in Social Media Marketing | Comments Off on You, Social Networking and your business?

Websites like Digg.com, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, Mixx, Stumbleupon and others, are perfect to accelerate the quick promotion or your blog or website providing you have very strong content. First, you need to submit your content to those websites, by including a SEO optimised description and the users will rate the articles they like, hopefully sharing them. A large social site such as Digg.com, can bring you hundreds of visitors in a less than 48 hours. Social bookmarking is a useful marketing tool for website promotion, internet marketing, blog marketing and viral marketing.   Thus, an informative and creative website will achieve a higher position in search engines due to the traffic generated. As more back links a website has, the higher it will be ranked by search engines. By using multiple keywords, you can tag multiple categories.   Other benefits of using social bookmarking sites are: People with similar preferences can find each other, creating communities  based on certain topics and interests; Social networking allows  specific groups (the members of an organization, for example) to send free to one another various resources of common interest; Social networking help people to discover new aspects of a subject they are interested in, by staying in touch with other online users;   Content is King It should be considered that those visitors don’t watch advertisements and don’t post the nicest comments if they are not comfortable with your content. It has been proved that 1% is the number of those who can become potential subscribers of a blog if they like and appreciate the things they read about;  On the other hand, when people like what they are reading, they send backlinks to your content by posting some interesting facts about your website/ blog. If you manage to write some articles good enough to reach Digg.com homepage, you can get as many subscribers as you’d get in 6 months without using this kind of promotion.  Search engines usually index the most relevant and recent information. The higher a website’s position, the more visitors it is likely to receive. When a larger number of websites link to the content submitted, Google’s algorithms will analyze it, establishing if it has strong and relevant content. Each social bookmarking website will link back to your website, so it’s recommended to submit it to several social networks or work with a social media expert and develop a well thought through interlinking strategy to make it work for you. Most people search for topics of interest by using both search engines and social networks.  If the content submitted is highly rated, it will appear on the front page, generating an incredibly large amount of visitors that search that page daily. Social bookmarking is free and public, so you can drive highly targeted ‘quality’ visitors any time, with no costs, only by taking advantage of the varied social media sites full potential. Each social network allows you to select the niche category that fits your content. For example, if you wrote about a certain business service or about a business product, you just have to select the “IT Business” category or the one related to IT services.    Firstly it is important to build a powerful social bookmarking profile through constant and varied activity, in order to gain more exposure and traffic.  Secondly, you must submit...

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How To Have Successful Company Blogs And Forums On The Internet

Posted by on Oct 16, 2009 in Blogging | Comments Off on How To Have Successful Company Blogs And Forums On The Internet

One of the easiest entries into online social media is through the creation and use of blogs and forums. Blogs and forums can create a channel through which you can communicate with your clients. The benefit of using blogs and forums is that they are usually simple to create and are a low cost approach to social media marketing. Here is how you can succeed in the use of blogs and forums; Making your company blog successful Use experienced writers with industry knowledge. Your blog posts should be written by individuals who have a full understanding of your products & services. Have an administrator – You should always have a blog moderator. An administrator will be responsible for the management of the blog e.g. approving and declining of comments. Hold Contests and giveaways – This is one good way of generating interest for your blog. Holding competitions can provide an incentive to your blog followers to talk about your business and frequently visit your blog. Offer RSS technology – Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds allows your readers to keep up with your blog in an automated manner. RSS feeds will also make it easier for your blog readers to access your content. Interview Experts – It is crucial to always interview industry experts. Industry experts usually have a huge following. Making your company forum successful Allow users to post questions – You should always allow your forum users to post questions. This is a good way of getting feedback about your products and services. Evaluate client feedback – Evaluating feedback from your clients will help you to improve your company’s initiatives. Set rules – It is essential to have a set of rules that govern your forum. Clear policies should be outlined for instance you must forbid your competitors from posting advertising messages on your board. Dedicate time & resources – Creating a successful forum requires a serious commitment of time and resources. You need not to spend more than 10 hours a...

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