Commit to Your Plan to Create Success

I was recently listening to a panel discussion made up of several well known marketing experts and one of the panelists said something that really jumped
out at me.

The panelist was Jay Conrad Levinson who is known as “The Father of Guerilla Marketing.”  He said that he believed “…a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes it happen.”

As soon as I heard that I knew he was right… but I was not really sure why.  So I thought about it for a while and came to a conclusion.

Commitment is when you—

Create a marketing program – good or bad – and then commit to it.

Include the message in all your communication.

Know everyone in your organization follows the program.

Give your customers the same marketing message from you over and over for a long period of time.

Send regular emails, or a newsletter, or have a blog.

Then something happens…You create consistency. This consistency then creates a feeling of trust for you in your customers.

A few weeks ago in my post The “Oprah Factor” and how you can create your own “ X Factor” I talked about the trust that Oprah’s fans feel with her and how this led to very strong and deep emotions they felt about her and this in turn led to the tremendous influence her opinions have on her audience.

Let’s face it.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  Your customers are craving consistency and dependability.  They are looking for people to do business with they can rely on.

What you need to do is to develop a strategic marketing plan and commit to it.

If you haven’t created one, or I you’re not sure where to start with developing a marketing plan, I always suggest of course surveying your customers.  Even a very short questionnaire with one or two questions about what they are worried about, what keeps them awake at night, or struggling with right now in their business, will give you a great starting place to build your marketing plan.  Here’s where you can get more info and examples about surveying your customers.  www.createamazingsurveys.com/replay.html

And if you need more help, this is what I do with my clients— create marketing roadmaps/plans for them so they can have a more successful business.  Click here for more info. www.marketingimplementer.com/uploads/Find_Hidden_Money_Article_App.pdf

Whose Shoes Are You Walking In?

Your customers, (this includes those that have not bought anything from you but who have read your blog and subscribed to your newsletter or visited your website) look to you for help, motivation, advice, entertainment, and valuable information.

To really do this effectively you have to walk in your customers shoes.

Everyday I encounter businesses that really miss the mark on this.

One way to really get this is to BE your customer.  Go to your website, cruise it like a potential customer, sign up for your optins. Even better, get your friends, colleagues, and those that work for you to do the same.  Have them document what they see and how they feel during the experience.  There’s a lot to be said about doing this. In fact there’s a huge business that focuses just on that and it’s called “mystery shoppers,” having someone pose as a potential customer and they document their experience. This works well in bricks and mortar places like dentist offices or doctor’s offices.  By doing this, you will be very surprised by the results.  In fact, you could take it one step further and create a short survey for anyone to answer who you ask to go to your website, your newsletter, etc., and get them to document their experience on your survey. For more information about surveys and how to use them to make more money in your business— www.CreateAmazingSurveys.com

What I would recommend is that you start paying closer attention to your own everyday encounters with other businesses, colleagues, bosses, or clients that are either less than satisfactory or extremely pleasant. Really be aware of your own thoughts and reactions when you are annoyed or frustrated or if you find yourself very impressed.

Anytime you encounter something that starts to make the little hairs on the back of your head stand-up, stop and think about why.  What is causing your reaction?  It could be something that seems to be very small but is in actuality significant.

Maybe you are trying to download a free report and you are being asked to fill out a lengthy form to get it.

Or you sent and email to someone and they only responded back with one or two words because they are on their mobile device.

Or you get asked for your zip code at a particular store every time you buy something, even a pack of gum.

Or you visit a website for the first time and immediately get a popup asking you to rate your experience before you even have a chance to look at the site.

Now think about what the other party could have done to make the encounter better for you and really make you eager to return or do business with them again.

Could they have given you just a bit more information that would have been helpful?  Could they have answered your question themselves rather than just pointing you to a document
or FAQ?

Could they have listened to you more carefully to better understand your situation?  Could they use less jargon on their web page to make it easier to understand?

Now go back to your own business and look at every place you interact with your customers, colleagues, bosses, employees, and others.  Really pay attention to how you present
yourself, your information, and advice.  Are you really providing the best possible experience?  Are you really avoiding the mistakes and behavior that annoy you when you are the customer?

Don’t make yourself difficult to do business with.

Let’s face it.  Standards seem to be dropping everywhere you go.  The real key to creating a successful business is paying close attention to what your customer’s experience is with your business…  This is a real opportunity for you to shine and create an amazing experience for your customers.  That is the best way to stand out from your competition and create a much more successful business.

Are You a Guest Blogger?

Let’s take a step further and talk more about a terrific technique for developing content – it’s guest blogging on other sites and inviting guest bloggers to your site.

This technique allows you to get fresh content for your site without taking up a big amount of your time. It’s all about leveraging other peoples content.  At the same time if you are guest posting on another blog you can repurpose a post or article from your archive.  You are in front of a new audience so to them it will be a brand new post.

Guest posting shows that you are connected to other experts in your field and also helps build your credibility.

When you bring in a guest blogger you bring in new insights and points of view and this will often be enough to wake your readers up and move them to reply and interact with you.  And if you can get one or two people who are fairly prominent in your field you can really hit a home run.  Not only will your readership go up because they will promote their guest spot on your blog but your credibility level will go up.

So how do you find places to guest blog?

You probably already know people from events and networking that have blogs that would be appropriate.  Or do a search and find a blog that is similar to your business niche.

Then call or email the blog owner and request permission to write a guest article.  Be sure to send them a link to your website so they can easily review your site. If the blog owner agrees, make sure you can have one link to your website. The key though is to place your website link at the end of your article, preferably below your name, and not in the body of the article. And this alone will drive traffic to your site.

Of course if you like the blog you are requesting to guest on it would also make sense to offer that blogger a guest spot on your site as well.  Then you have immediate fresh content for your blog.

I really love this technique and I have gotten my biggest bumps in traffic on my websites immediately after I have been a guest poster on other blogs.  Just being a new entity creates a lot of curiosity and you will see a lot of people clicking your link to check you out.

So now you will have many people viewing your great content.  You will grow your list and ultimately add new customers to your business!

You created a blog… Now What?

The beauty of blogs is that you don’t need to invest in software to maintain it.

Blogs are maintained online and so you can access them anywhere and at any time, as long as you have an Internet connection. You just sign in to your blog account and you can create a post, edit post, change blog template, customize your blog and change blog settings easily.

It is also very easy to add a lot of cool tools to your blog like an opt-in or subscription form so if you don’t already have a list it is a great way to start.  If you already have a list it’s also a great way to continue to build your list.

Ideas of things to put on your blog besides articles:

  • Video is really easy to publish on your blog and is another great way to get noticed by the search engines. Google loves video.
  • Go to blinkx.com and find a video on a topic that’s in your niche that you like and insert the video with a commentary on your blog. You can also go to YouTube.com and do the same thing.
  • Have a guest blogger write an article one week for you.
  • Review a product or service.
  • Do a frequently asked questions.
  • Search ehow.com or ezinearticles.com for some ideas.

Another cool thing about blogs is each post you create is assigned with different URL address which means they each will have their own and separate web page. This is just one reason blogs are great for getting noticed by the search engines.

Position yourself as an expert! Plus not only does a blog help you get attention and traffic.  Your blog positions you as an expert and builds your credibility.  Plus a little human touch goes a long way to building trust.  See my previous posts about Oprah to learn why that is important.

Let me know when you have your blog up and running.  Post a link to it in response to this post and share it with everyone here.  I would love to see it.

What is a blog, really?

I’ve had this blog for 4 years now, which is totally hard to believe… and it’s been a terrific tool for me and my business.  So I thought it would be helpful to give you some tips about what a blog is and how to best take advantage of it in your business..

Blogs have gained a lot of notoriety in this techno world we live in because in an instant you have access to information on almost any subject or question you might have. And I know you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet but it’s all about adding value and giving terrific content.

What is a blog? Blog by definition is a shortened form of weblog (“web” as in Internet and “log” as in journal). So basically it is a diary of sorts of words, pictures, audios, and videos for public viewing.

Why blog? Businesses use blogs to share ideas, concepts, expertise, knowledge, experience, help, support and ultimately to help promote their business on the World Wide Web.

But as you might guess, not all blogs are successful. You have to have good content that people will actually want to read about. But this content above all can’t be boring or be to over promotional or too salesy. You need to add a splash of humor, show your personality, and use real life personal stories to capture your audience’s attention, as well as even entertain them.

So your blog posts are about your business, tips and tricks, techniques and good advice sort of things that are specific to your niche. In doing this you need to carefully choose keywords to describe these posts so they will rank high with the search engines.

Here’s a free tip for you.  One of the most frustrating things about blogs I find is figuring out what to write from week to week. Ideally you want to have at least 1 post a  week and at most 2 to 3 posts in a week.  So figuring out what to write can be cumbersome and you could wind up with the blank page syndrome.

Here’s a terrific idea that will totally help you — Get your readers to write your blog for you.  You can do what my friend and client Jeff Walker did when he was creating his blog. He used a survey to find out exactly what his customers wanted to read about. He got so many ideas I’m sure he won’t have blank page syndrome for a long time! How did he get so many responses on his survey? He had a contest. If you helped him name his blog and give him some ideas, the winner would get an iPad. This is a terrific tip that everyone ought to be using in their business— ASK your prospects and your clients what they want to learn more about, ask them what their biggest challenges are, start the conversation with them by doing a survey.

And blogs that are more recent and updated regularly are the favorites of the search engines.

Does your business have a blog? If you do, terrific, then why not get your list to help you figure out what to write. If you don’t have one, then check out Blogger.com (blog.com) or WordPress.com and start a free blog with them. This is also an awesome way that you can drive more traffic to your website by having a blog.

Keep in mind your posts don’t have to be long, just 200 – 400 words.

Here’s to happy blogging!

What is Information Marketing?

ebookHave you ever heard of the information marketing business? It’s a fascinating space that I stumbled upon three years ago. It’s really an interesting niche market, filled with people who sell information. This isn’t any old information though. Most of these folks are amazing experts in their field and hence have created products, courses, newsletters, and membership sites to share with their clients and prospects.

Why do these people get into the Information Marketing business?

There are several reasons, other than the obvious one which is making a lot of money. Here are some key reasons to get into this business:

1) You don’t really need a staff in this kind of business

2) Not a whole lot money needs to be tied up into inventory

3) People who buy your products will more than often buy more if they like what they see

5) If done right, you are truly able to multiply and leverage what you know

6) And of course – making oodles of money!!

What’s stopping you from getting into the information marketing business? Or have you made up your mind to get into this business and just don’t know where to start? Well on both counts, you are in the right place.

Stay-tuned in the coming weeks where I’ll reveal more about the Information Marketing business and why you might want to consider jumping in and selling some information of your own that’s locked inside of you…

Eben P Nov 08Here’s a great example of a very successful information marketer – Eben Pagan.  He has a pen name, David D’Angelo, and created a multi-million dollar information business with his product – Double your dating . I just attended his event in LA.  It was a Guru workshop for people who want to get into internet marketing and creating their own products.  His event was stellar and right on. Gave a great framework on how to start your information business and tons of great ideas!  So much more to share with you…be sure to stay tuned!

Now for something a little different…

Have you ever gotten a new technology “toy” to play with and find yourself using it a lot because it’s so easy and fun? And yes I did use the words toy, easy and fun all in reference to technology. This certainly could be an anomaly because most technology certainly isn’t easy, or fun, especially when it comes to computers.

Yet, there is a very cool shining star in stores right now that’s my favorite new, fun and easy technology toy. It’s called a Flip. Some of you may have already heard about it. In fact my favorite tech editor David Pogue from the New York Times just did an article and video about it. You can check out his article to discover more or just read on…

A flip is this sleek new and simple to use video camera. So with my new flip in hand, I’ve been videoing everything. (It takes 2 double AA batteries, holds 30 minutes of video and about $114 on Amazon.) Mainly I’ve been videoing our new 8 month old puppy Lily. (She’s a Golden Shepherd that we rescued.) OfThe Flip course everyone thinks their dogs are cute and funny, and of course she is! The best part of the Flip is its SO EASY to upload the file from my camera to my computer. It has a simple USB port and downloads in a snap.

In fact I was so excited and motivated (I also found I had Moviemaker on my computer.) that I created a Youtube account for the Lily and uploaded my latest creation. Warning, if you’re not an animal lover, don’t check out this video. Now here’s the best part- you can actually use this for your business! Yes, you can get one of these little cameras and start using it to tape your video testimonials or interview people for your website. Second warning- I’m no Spielberg, so don’t expect an award winning creation. Yet, I do promise you’ll smile.

The kicker, is you can go on Youtube right now and register a channel for yourself and start uploading videos . There’s so many things you can do with this to drive traffic to your website. I know many information marketers who have their own channel and have tons of videos up there that give lots of value for their clients for free. So go check out Youtube, have some fun with it and think of the new possibilities. In fact, after posting my video of Lily, it inspired me to get my own channel for my business. My next step is to upload some value added marketing videos, so be on the look out. In the mean time, go get this new technology toy, have some fun and maybe you’ll even think up some great new ideas to help you in your business! P.S. More Lily videos to come 🙂