Yes, You Need a Website

Are You Hiding in Plain Site?
Enhance your online presence with great niche-related features

These days, any serious business owner with a brain in their head has a website or blog to help market their business. A website with your own domain name (URL) establishes a professional online presence and offers a central hub for all of your online and offline marketing efforts. However, if you have not updated your website recently or posted fresh content to it, it’s time to enhance your online presence to improve your chances of succeeding in a competitive niche.

If your website is more than a few years old, chances are it might not be mobile-friendly. With the boom in Smartphones and tablet computers, this should be your first enhancement.

Second, do you have a blog? A blog is a fun and interesting way to present fresh niche-related content on a regular basis. Write the content, or commission it, upload it, and set the publication date.  Your blog will be updated regularly without you having to work on it every day.

If you are working in a small company or are a solo entrepreneur, you might be thinking that you have no idea how to do either of these task and have no budget to hire anyone. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone with a completely free program WordPress.

There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to set up a free blog at WordPress.com. This basic version of the program is mobile-friendly and will show you just how easy WordPress is to use.  Link to your site and vice versa to drive more traffic.

The second way to do this is to download a copy of the free program at WordPress.org and upload it to the main folder of your website, or to a subfolder, such as one called blog.  Install the program and start adding content.

The full version of WordPress includes 2 key items that can really help your niche business take off. The first are themes and the second are plugins.

Themes set the overall appearance and functionality of the site, such as a text-based blog versus a photo blog. Search through all the free professional-looking themes available to find the one that is right for the look and feel of your business.

Plugins are little mini-programs that add a range of functions and tools to your pages and site.  These can range from social media links that will let you promote your site on all your accounts and allow your customers to promote your site as well to a number of exciting niche options that will make your site a magnet for customers, such as:

– Auctions
– A forum or discussion board
– Top niche products lists with links to buy
– An article directory
– A membership site, free or paid
– A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) portal

And much more.

If your site isn’t getting the kind of traffic you want or enough repeat visitors, update your site/blog, add functionality, and see what a difference it can make to your profits.

Don’t know where to start?  I can help, contact me.

8 Mobile Marketing Tips

phonerhumbIgnore mobile at your peril.

Mobile isn’t about you, your product or your brand.

Mobile is about reaching your prospects, customers and audience where, when and how they want to interact with you.

Mobile marketing success requires contextual relevance. Specifically your audience expects to get easy-to-find, useful-to-current-need-and-location content fast. They want instant information gratification.

1. 2016 Mobile usage

Mobile, specifically smartphones, is our constant companion. It’s where your audience spends its time.

  • 73% of people always have their mobile device with them (October 2015 Facebook research).
  • People pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day. Result: Almost 30 billion US mobile moments per day total. (Forrester)
  • Mobile sessions average 1 minute 10 seconds or 177 minutes per day. (2014 Google data)

We’re approaching a Mobile Tipping Point when mobile usage exceeds that of all other devices combined. Global Web Index predicts this will happen in 2018.

Your mobile connected and savvy customer  demands a quality mobile customer experience.

  • Roughly 50% of US consumers expect to find the information they want or need based on their context on their mobile device.
  • Only 14% of companies Forrester surveyed use mobile to transform their customer experiences. Examples include Apple Pay, Starbuck order-ahead, mobile boarding passes.

Make marketing mobile first to reach your maximum potential audience.

  • Only 25% of companies will fully integrate mobile into their overall business strategies to transform their customer experience (Forrester Research).

Actionable 2016 mobile marketing tactics:

  1. Focus on people, your target audience in particular. Reach them when and where they’re ready to engage with you. Concentrate your marketing on your audience not devices or channels. You need a seamless process. Be prepared to track and attribute customer interactions cross channels.
  2. Understand your customer’s buying process With a variety of devices and channels available, most prospects no longer go from initial connection to purchase. Research and shopping often occurs across devices or channels.
  3. Plan for thumb action. Appreciate how your various potential audiences will use their mobile device to find, research and purchase your product.
  4. Be present on mobile so people can find you when and where they’re ready to engage with you.

    • Anticipate your prospects’ mobile needs and provide appropriate information.
    • 29% of visitors immediately switch to another site if they don’t get what they need. Every second counts!!!
  5. Reduce steps. Mobile owners may use voice search or have trouble with a small screen. Also, offer other options such as phone.
  6. Make calls-to-action easy-to-see and respond to. Think fat fingers.
  7. Mobile email. Email can be a filler activity. Translation: Employees read email and other content during their daily commute or other non-work hours.
  8. Check email readability and rendering on mobile devices. Often this depends on your email provider (I use Aweber.) Unlike other aspects of your 2016 mobile marketing, this service shouldn’t require additional work on your part.

Unlike PCs, your 2016 mobile marketing must be dynamic. It depends on where and what your audience is doing at that specific time and location. Their content matters. You need to deliver the right message at the right time based on your audience’s location and needs.

To tap into the 30 billion US mobile moments per day, Integrate your mobile and desktop marketing plans to respond to your audience on their terms, not yours.

What do you think will be the key 2016 mobile marketing trends and why do you think so?

7 tips to Get Your emails Opened

mailbox2Do your emails get  opened?

Frustrated because your emails go un-opened?

Use these  tips to improve your results and make your business stand out so that your emails are read.

1. Give readers a reason to open your email

Otherwise your email is trash. Literally. Don’t forget to tell your audience: What’s In It For Me (aka WIIFM)?

Don’t limit your email communications to sales push. Even though your content isn’t focused on making a sale, you’ll lay the foundation to develop relationships with your community by making them feel that they know you.

2. Show your personal side

Why? It’s like talking to a good friend. So they can know. like and trust you.

Include a personal note in your emails and newsletters as these communications can resonate with your readers. They make readers feel like they know you personally.

Note this doesn’t give you permission to over share. Don’t make your private life public.

3. Take the time to thank your audience

Here’s another traditional form of correspondence to which any newlywed can relate. Write a note. Tell your customers: thank you!

I’m not talking about auto-responders that check up on whether you’ve received the product or are willing to review it.

Write an email message that your customers will open. Give them help to make their purchase more useful to them.

4. Figure out how to break into your reader’s inner circle

Attention remains your audience’s scarcest resource. You have to earn the ability to appear in your subscriber’s inbox with every email.

Remember there’s LOTS of competition to get into the email inbox. Don’t forget, it’s not just your competitors! It’s every other person or business that wants your audience’s attention. 

You must earn your audience’s trust. This means don’t just add people to your list without their permission.

5. Move your readers to take action

This doesn’t mean buying. It can be sharing on social media or via email. Remember it takes multiple impressions before people purchase.

6. Resend your unopened emails

A week after you email your list, resend the email with a different subject line. Don’t forget to suppress people who opened it. This increases your reader rate with limited incremental effort.

7. Optimize your content for mobile use

Email is one of the biggest activities people do on a smartphone, especially people who have work email addresses.

Remember to think mobile first. (Here’s the lowdown on 2016 Mobile Marketing.

The email content marketing bottom line: Offer your email subscribers more than just promotional push communications.

Where possible, get personal by showing your readers insights from your personal side.

What email content marketing resonates best with your readers and why?

 

How to create a sales funnel

suesmarketingtips.comsales funnelHave You Ever Wondered How to Create lots of  Revenue and Online Subscribers?

The concept of “creating customers” may at first seem to be an odd one. Don’t you find customers, not make them? Well, yes and no. While it is extremely hard to turn someone into a customer if they have no interest in your product/service or don’t have the money to make the purchase, with a proper sales funnel, you can create fans out of people who never even knew you existed (or at least never realized how much they needed whatever you’re selling). A sales funnel can also turn an “on the fence” customer into a raving fan who refers even more people to you!

Moving people down the sales funnel is called lead nurturing.

Some of the main ways to turn leads into customers include:

  • Make your leads feel special. No one likes to feel like a number.
  • Find a connection with the person, such as liking the same sports team.
  • Respond to questions quickly. When someone asks for more information, they want it now so they can make a decision, not three months (or even three days) later.
  • Communicate often. Don’t get annoying, but make sure you stay top of mind.
  • Incentivize. What bonuses or special deals can you offer if they make a purchase right now?
  • Be extremely helpful. Become an expert in your industry, so you’re seen as an authority. That way, your recommendations mean more.
  • Do research so you’re making the right recommendations to each person. What can your lead afford? What are their biggest pain points?

Sales Funnel Overview

Here’s the who, what, when, why, how of sales funnels:

  • Who: All businesses should have a sales funnel in place to help them turn leads into customers.
  • What: A sales funnel is a plan to allow a person to become aware of your company, learn about it, and make a decision on whether or not to buy.
  • When: Start funneling people into this process from day one, so you can slowly move them toward a sale.
  • Why: Sales funnels allow you to track your ROI and work on better customer retention practices.

how:  If you want more information on creating a Sales Funnel check out my SlideShare presentation

The Best Times to Post on Social Media

smtines copyJust found this great information about when to post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Your visitors and followers prefer using social media sites during specific hours. So if you start sharing your content when your users are on these social sites, you’ll not only gain more shares, but you’ll also notice an increase in traffic.

When sharing your information it is necessary to get it seen by the most people and to do that you need to know when they are on their social media sites.  So here is the data so you can plan your day and make sure your content is viewed.

1) Best Times to Post on Facebook

People log in to Facebook on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it’s used depends heavily on the audience.

The best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Other optimal times include 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. On Fridays, Facebook use spikes by 10%. Since people tend to be happier on Fridays,  post funny or upbeat content to match your audience’s mood.

The worst times to post on Facebook are weekends before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m,

2) Best Times to Post on Twitter

Like Facebook, people use Twitter on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it’s used also depends heavily on audience — but people often treat it like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.

The best times to post on Twitter are weekdays from 12:00–3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

3) Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by professionals, and they tend to use it during the workweek, during working hours, just before the workday starts, and just after it ends.

The best time to post on LinkedIn is midweek from 5:00–6:00 p.m. Other optimal times include Tuesdays from 10:00–11:00 a.m., and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:30–8:30 a.m., at 12:00 p.m., and from 5:00–6:00 p.m.

Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares, especially between 10:00–11:00 a.m. Mondays see lower engagement rates than the rest of the workweek, likely because people are catching up from the weekend. Friday may see lower engagement rates too, as people are wrapping up the week and even leaving early for the weekend.

The worst time to post on LinkedIn is during the night, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

4) Best Times to Post on Pinterest

Pinterest users are usually female, ( but have notices lately there are quiet a few men pinning boards) and are most active in the evening.

The best time to post on Pinterest is in the evening any day of the week, especially Saturdays from 8:00–11:00 p.m.

Other optimal times include every day from 2:00–4:00 a.m. and 2:00–4:00 p.m., and Fridays at 3:00 p.m.

So there we go. What days and times have proven to be the most successful for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

4 ways you can automate your business

If you want to be successful and make money online without giving
up all of your free time then you need to automate your business.

Putting your business into auto-pilot is one of the most profitable
things you can do. First, it means you still make money when you
are not working. So it’s OK for you to go on holiday… or get
ill without losing any income… but much more importantly, once
you have set up a fully automated system and it is making money you
can rinse and repeat!

If you want to make money online working from home then doesn’t
it make so much more sense to have several income streams?

Let’s look at 4 ways you can automate your business, so that
you can work from home (without having to actually do any of the
work!)

1. Set up a squeeze page to capture email addresses
A squeeze page is special page that is designed to capture email
addresses. To do this you need too things. First you need a form
where the visitor can enter their details and second, you need a
reason for them to want to give you their details!

For now, don’t worry about the form side of things, the
mechanics of setting up a squeeze page are a lot easier than you
might expect. Your squeeze page will be used to add people to an
email list, so you need a company or software to manage your list.
I recommend using Aweber, I’ve been using them for many years
and have found their services to be excellent. The good news for
any technophobe is that aweber will supply a form that you can pop
onto your squeeze page in just a few clicks.

The important part that you need to think about is the incentive
that you are going to offer people in exchange for their info. You
might like to offer a free book, audio download, access to more
information or whatever. Basically you are just looking for
something that has value for your target market.

Once you have set up a squeeze page you can start to build a list.
Which leads us nicely onto step 2:

2. Create a series of emails for an auto-responder
Aweber (the company I recommend you use to manage your lists) also
provide an excellent auto-responder service. This is a system which
allows you to pre-write a series of emails and select when each one
will be delivered. For example, you might have a welcome email sent
out as soon as a person is added to your list, then some free
information, followed by a promotion or an offer a week later.
After another week you might have an email sent out to anybody that
didn’t buy the offer and offer them a discount. Or you might
send out an email to the people that did buy the offer and offer
them another product or service.

Good email management software will do this all for you
automatically. You can have people moved from a prospect list to a
buyers list when they make a purchase and taylor your automated
emails to suit whatever stage of your product funnel your prospect
is currently at.

3. Promote affiliate products
Once you’ve set up your auto responder to promote all of your
own products and you have nothing left to sell, find affiliate
products that might appeal to your market and promote those.
Selling affiliate products is one of the very best ways to make
money online as you don’t have to do any of the work yourself!
You also don’t have to write any of the sales copy (which is
often the most difficult part of selling online)

All you need to do is send people to the merchant website, and when
they buy, you get paid.

With a little effort it’s very easy to set up a fully automated
business using auto-responder email. Once you have one up and
running you can then repeat the process over and over until you
have multiple passive income streams all feeding money into your
bank account on auto-pilot!

Done for You Option

If you don’t want to set up your own system for making money
online, you don’t have to. For a very modest investment you can
use a ‘done for you’ system that is ready to start making
money for you on auto-pilot immediately.
The system is called Big Commission Blueprint. You can access it here

Press Release- Must Have To Publicise Your Business

Press Releases – Don’t Ignore Them

An online ‘press release’ can be used to publicise anything related to your business. It can be used to announce a new website, new web pages, a series of tutorials, reference documents (containing links to your products or services) new services or new products.

A press release should be no longer than 400 words, be written in an informative style, usually in the third person and contain a quote from ‘a company spokesman’, real or otherwise. The quote is important as it lends credibility and provides another opportunity to use the company name, which should be published as a link to the main website.

Forum seeding – without spamming

Online forums related to your business or products can provide a rich vein of potential traffic, as they allow contributors to include their own website URL in their forum ‘signature’. There are literally thousands of forums devoted to every subject you can imagine. You can surely find several related to your business niche simply by using a Google search. There are however a few points to bear in mind when using forums to ‘seed’ new traffic:

  • Find posts that ask a question and then offer a solution
  • Don’t post more than two links in any particular thread; instead, find another thread
  • Ensure that your offered solution is genuine and works
  • Don’t blatantly advertise your business; just include the website URL in your forum signature
  • Use as many different forums as possible; some have limits on the number of individual links that can be included

Forums can be really productive in terms of traffic and, because the forum is directly related to your business niche, any traffic from that forum will be highly targeted. A truly valuable source of new website visitors.

Web Pages That Generate Traffic

Web Pages That Actually Work!

If you want your web pages to generate free, targeted traffic, there are certain rules that need to be followed. These rules are simple and work every time:

  • Page content should be of the very best quality
  • Include the relevant keyword in the content
  • Keep paragraphs short – 100 words at most
  • Use graphics and enter the keyword into the ‘alt’ tag of the image
  • Ensure the keyword is in the title and first paragraph of text

Remember: Informative, Accurate, Unique!

Tutorials that actually teach

Free online tutorials (published as web pages) are great for attracting targeted traffic. Use all the web page techniques listed above plus the following:

  • Make the subject of the tutorial absolutely clear
  • Keep the tutorial to no more than 400 words/page
  • Use sub headings and break the tutorial into easily understood ‘chunks’
  • Assume no prior knowledge on behalf of the reader
  • Use graphics or images where appropriate – a picture can often clarify a point
  • Don’t leave anything out if it is a detailed (rather than a ‘general’) tutorial
  • Offer tutorials on your own services/products and also broader, related tutorials as well

Tutorials are among the most searched for items online and, assuming they have genuine value, are amongst the most successful devices for generating targeted traffic.

E-BooKs Give Away And Make a Profit

E-books and How to Give Them Away – Profitably!

An e-book makes a great giveaway. Creating a good e-book  is both an art and a science.  However, as long as what you write is (no apology for labouring the point!) informative, accurate and unique, your e-book will have genuine value. It should be relevant to your business or product, should include some kind of link to your website on every page (which will be regarded as back links when the e-book is open on a computer connected to the Internet) and should be reasonably short, easy to read and understand.

Your free e-book needs to be sold!

The subtitle above may seem to be a contradiction but, as you will see, it isn’t. The truth is, people value what they pay for and therefore tend to regard a free product as being worthless. As a result, free products have to be sold just as hard as paid products. If you want someone to download your e-book – and therefore signup for your list – that person must feel they’re getting something of value in return for their name and email address.

Assuming your visitor is interested, selling the features and benefits of your free e-book will generally persuade them to sign up for it. Imagine it were a paid product and use the same techniques as you would to sell any of your products or services. This includes having a ‘cover image’ of your e-book as part of your page content. The cover image, which should include the title of the book, a subheading encapsulating its content and the author, need be nothing more than a simple graphic. Remember however that it is the title that’s really important, as that is what people will take notice of. The cover image should also provide the very first page of the book itself.

Finally, always over-deliver on value. Whatever you promise those who download your e-book, always give them more than they are expecting; that way, they’ll come back to you.

Lists and Autoresponders

There’s an old saying in Internet marketing that, “The money is in the list.” It really is too and, if you want to make the most of the visitors that come to your website and promote your products or services to them on an ongoing basis, you’re going to need an autoresponder

The most powerful weapon of Internet war!

Attempting to generate targeted traffic to their website has been likened by some experienced marketers to fighting a war. The enemy is of course the search engines and, in order to defeat them, you need to have the appropriate weapons; this guide you’re now reading being one of them.

The most powerful weapon of all however, is the autoresponder.  An autoresponder enables you to place a signup form on your website. This in turn enables people to fill in their name and email address and be added to your list. Unfortunately, most people are reluctant to do this and as a result, they have to be either coerced or bribed into doing so; something that we will cover in the next topic!

It’s really beyond the scope of this short guide to explain in detail just how an autoresponder works. In basic terms though, when someone submits their name and email and is added to your list, in return they will automatically receive something that they consider to be of value to them. They can also be sent regular, pre-written messages, updates or newsletters, all of which is handled automatically by the autoresponder.

Free and easy

The major commercial autoresponder companies charge between $20 and $300 per month; autoreponders can therefore become a major expense. The good news is, there are free alternatives available.

If you host your site yourself and have a WordPress blog, as indeed you should if you want to generate traffic, there are WordPress plug-ins that provide efficient, if simple autoresponder functionality. There are several of these, some of which are free, one of the most popular being available at https://wordpress.org/plugins/bft-autoresponder.

For a complete, professional, first-class, hosted autoresponder service which is just as good as its commercial rivals, take a look at listwire – which is absolutely free!  This is what I use as my autoresponder.

The essential rule

There is an essential rule for effective autoresponder list building which must be followed absolutely:

Whatever it is that you’re giving away in return for the visitor’s name and email address, make sure that it is worth having. If it isn’t, they’ll never visit your website again.



List Wire - Get Your Free Autoresponder