Viral Marketing – YouTube Optimization Strategy

This is a straightforward 5 step process to upload videos to your YouTube channel and rank them highly on Google in the shortest time.

  1. Do your keyword research
  2. Set up your video platform accounts
  3. Create your videos
  4. Upload the video
  5. Generate Traffic

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1. Accurate Keyword Research

Main keyword with LOW COMPETITION and DECENT global monthly searches

  1. Use the Google Keyword Tool to select a phrase on match types.  Use the settings for All Countries, English language and run the search.
  2. Select an appropriate keyword idea and browse the results for keywords with low competition and at least 1,000 monthly searches
  3. Find 3 – 10 other keyword ideas with the same criteria – low competition and decent searches
  4. Save these keywords to a list in a spread sheet
  5. Go to Google Search and type the keyword without the last letter so Google shows all of the current recommended searches that start with this phrase.
  6. Write down all of these keywords and add to spreadsheet
  7. Back to Google and scroll to the bottom of the first page of search results and save the keywords in the Searches Related section to your list
  8. You should now have a list of core keywords that will give you specific topics to talk about in your videos.
  9. Create a video for each of these keyword phrases and incorporating at least 5 of the other keywords in each video.
  10. Like writing an article you surround the main keyword with all of the supporting keywords.
  11. Using the core keyword and the five or more related keywords write a short description of each video

2. Set up your video platform accounts

 

Name URL Rank
YouTube www.youtube.com

3

DailyMotion http://www.dailymotion.com

83

Flickr http://www.flickr.com

89

Vimeo www.vimeo.com

143

MySpace https://myspace.com

458

Metacafe http://www.metacafe.com

830

Ustream http://www.ustream.tv

1161

Veoh http://www.veoh.com

2020

BlipTV www.blip.tv

4887

Blinkx http://www.blinkx.com

13577

Viddler http://www.viddler.com

13762

MeFeedia http://www.mefeedia.com

14642

 

  1. Use at LEAST 10 different platforms
  2. You want to reach as many people as possible
  3. Some of these platforms will rank your videos very fast
  4. Optimise each account for keywords
  5. Create a new account WITHOUT Facebook. Use your main keyword as your channel name.
  6. Sometimes the name is taken so you need to juggle the name a little to find a useful phrase.
  7. There is also a description where he places main keyword twice and one to three related keywords
  8. Add your website URL – your website should also be named in this way
  9. Apply to all channels

3. Know what you are talking about

 

  1. Create great videos with great information
  2. Choose keywords from your list and make a video about that
  3. Write a script – the exact words
  4. Memorise script and present on camera OR Make a power point presentation and do a voice over reading the script
  5. Repeat the process for each keyword
  6. This way you are creating an arsenal of topics that will make you an authority

4. Upload the video

 

  1. Pay ATTENTION to the video name.  You need to name the video BEFORE you upload it.
  2. The name should include the keyword
  3. Place your main keyword at the start and a secondary keyword at the end
  4. Make sure the name makes sense
  5. Click Upload
  6. Select File
  7. YouTube will use your name of the video for the title
  8. You may want to modify the title – especially the modified keyword if there is a better one
  9. Enter your full description. The first two lines will be displayed in Google and YouTube so make these count.  Start the description with the main keyword you are using.
  10. Don’t put the Website URL at the start if it does not contain the keyword
  11. If the Website URL is the main keyword then put that at the start
  12. Mention as many benefits as possible
  13. Add as many calls to action as possible
  14. IF you want to see how (benefit) then click here … (article link)
  15.  Mention any gift you are giving away and link to the opt in page on your website, your Facebook account or YouTube channel.
  16. You can use up to 1,000 words although YouTube are reducing this.  It used to be 2,000.
  17. Use as many keywords and URLs as possible
  18. Use a tracker to monitor the clicks
  19. This is where you support the main keyword with the supporting keywords
  20. Add as many tags as you can, after about 20 or so the tag line will become too long so save and add a few more and save again.
  21. As soon as video is ready go to video and copy and paste the URL to the end of your description
  22. There are people looking for fresh content to embed and they use robots to locate the video and go to the video to capture the information – you get back links and more exposure for free.  DO This RIGHT AWAY before the bots do their first scan of the content.

5. Building Traffic

  1. Post something on your Facebook fan page and post the video URL
  2. Do the same on all your other social media accounts like Pinterest and Twitter
  3. Go to your autoresponder list and send a broadcast email with the URL of the video
  4. Create some back links from other video platforms – do it from oneload.com for free.  It asks for a URL you want to promote – put your YouTube video URL – NOT your website URL- If your video ranks well you will get the traffic. Remember not to upload
  5. Embed the video in a post on your blog – DONT copy the link EMBED the link
  6. Go to Pingler.com and create an entry with the same title as on YouTube. IN the URL place the website blog and ping that then replace with the video URL and ping again
  7. Go to FaceBook and create a $5 advertisement and allow it to run for 1 day only so you get some traffic to your video – select optimise for Impressions
  8. Go to virool.com – they play all of their ads on YouTube so you can set up a campaign about 12 hours after you upload the video on YouTube, It is IMPORTANT TO OBSERVE TIME GAP.
  9. You can leverage other people’s videos to boost traffic using YouTube Playlists

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Social Networking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about knowing where to focus your efforts for the biggest payback.  The best strategies are constantly changing as the Search Engine algorithms change. This article describes the current (November 2013) most influential areas for marketing activity and should remain relevant for some time, bar any major changes in Search Engine strategy.

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There are four main categories that most influence the ranking of websites on search engines.

  • social networking
  • Backlinking
  • Content SEO
  • Technical SEO

2/3rds of SEO influence is off-site through the social networks and backlinks from other websites.

Social Networking (42.1%)

Search Engines are continuously trying to identify quality websites and their best guess at the moment relies on the activity a website stirs up in the social networks. These networks should be your primary focus for advertising and promotion, aside a quality website of course.

There are 4 main social network platforms that dominate SEO rankings.

Facebook Shares, Totals, Comments & Likes
Google +1
Pinterest
Twitter

Facebook is still the social networking platform of choice but the Google plus platform is becoming more important, if nothing else because it is Google. That said, Google Plus is very impressive once you look into it in detail. It has not grown up in public like Facebook and a lot has been added in a short time so it is still not properly understood by many people and is not as intuitive to use. However, if you have not yet started to grow Google circles then you are seriously missing out.

Pinterest and Twitter are useful in certain market places but not in others though neither can be ignored. Pinterest is fairly versatile but Twitter is hampered by continuously changing rules and regulations aimed to control its users, rather than going with the flow, so innovative marketing strategies can be risky.

Backlinking (23.5%)

The influence of backlinks has reduced in recent years and rightly so as it is has proven the easiest method to manipulate and distort good quality search results.

Marketing activity here focuses on guest blog posts, writing articles, creating video channels, forum posts, website comments and building relationships with other websites in your community.

I have heard ‘building backlinks’ described as grunt work but it is really your Public Relations. Backlinks are important and you should be generating these by default. Participating in forums, issuing press releases, writing articles for blogs, journals and article sites are all part of your PR activity.

Content (20.8%)

If an article, post or page is well written then it should contain everything that you need to rank well.  In practice this is often not the case as it is quality content that search engines seem to get most wrong.  The focus has been to weed out fake and misleading websites and this has worked very well. However, identifying true quality has mostly eluded the major search engines and the result has been a dearth of mediocre repetitive content.

For general knowledge and education Wikipedia is still the best place to go, but its scope is limited. Like a public library, Wikipedia is not the best place to research anything topical or ground breaking.  Innovation and information with a premium attached, falls to the online marketers.

Technical (13.6%)

Knowing what you need to include on a web page is essential and fortunately there are a lot of free and paid for tools out there to help you to analayze and fix any omissions or errors.

  • Google Webmaster Tools to find technical errors
  • Browseo to find more technical errors
  • Xenu to find any broken links

You must deal with the following basics:

  • Know the difference between:302 and a 301 redirects - and their importance in transferring link authority
  • Understand the importance of adding an XML sitemap to your site
  • Remove the infamous disallow: / from your robots.txt file
  • Know how best to handle pagination issues for SEO

This subject will be dealt with in detail in a later post.

The following table breaks down these four areas into its most important parts.  From the top down this should be the basis of your SEO strategy.

SEO-Spearman-Correlation-of-Google-Results

Google +1

Not surprisingly Google moved into the Social Networking sphere a short while ago and has been quietly building an impressive platform.

If you haven’t already created a Google Plus presence then the following 4 or 5 steps are essential. NOT optional.

  • Create a new Google Account and Email address for your website
  • Create a dedicated Google Plus page for your website and other subsidiary pages that tackle related subjects that are not part of the main subject
  • Install Google Analytics
  • Install Google Webmaster Tools
  • If you are using WordPress as your website platform (which you should be) then install the plugins Google Analytics for WordPress and SEO for WordPress on your website.

The number of times that a Google Plus profile shows up in a circle is an indicator of how engaged a profile is with the Google Plus network. Quantity is not better than quality but profiles with thousands of followers will draw more visitors than those with only a handful of followers.

Google Plus users will only see posts after they have added you to one of their circles. The more times that your profile shows up in circles, the greater the chance of your website posts being noticed. If your profile is in a large number of circles on Google Plus will give your profile a higher PageRank with Google. Google Plus profiles that have achieved high PageRank through continuous engagement pass SEO benefits to all of their managed pages.

Interact with people who are already on Google Plus. Enough activity will help grow your circle count organically.

  1. Mention them using a + sign on your posts
  2. Give their posts a +1
  3. Add comments to their posts

Create shared circles that list people who have a common interest with your profile and promote the shared circle to your peers. We all like to be part of a club that directly involves us in a joint project or interest. If this is done well then the circle grows as people share it and draw in new members.  Think Facebook or Linkedin Groups.

Mention Google Plus in your posts and articles. This seems to work very well as people can see the benefit as Google, like any organisation, likes to be talked about.

Post regularly to your Google pages. You can link your WordPress feed directly to a Google page with HootSuite which is free if you have a couple of feeds going out to 5 or fewer social networks.

Use Google Plus Ripples to learn who has been influential in promoting your post.  Studies into consumer behaviour shows that certain individuals are key networkers who love to share.  Get to know these people and thank them for their participation, they are important members of the community.

Facebook Shares

Any Facebook post can be shared and any image tagged. Both of these activities will post to your timeline. This is the Search Engine’s highest rated action on Facebook. It is seen as an truly authentic vote by the search engines as it is very hard to manipulate..

Targeted Facebook advertising is about the best way generate new Facebook shares. You need a post that people would be proud to share for all the usual psychological reasons. No-one will recommend anything that will put them in a bad light, especially in front of their friends.  The priority is to learn how to write and submit ads properly. Facebook advertising should only cost a few cents for a click through to your Facebook page.  I would highly recommend Armand Morin’s training on this subject. Click here for an educational video (also a sales pitch but interesting content anyway).

Facebook shares are good for SEO but Facebook is not a direct selling platform. Posts linked to sales pages do not do well as people are not primarily on Facebook to buy.   [Aside: You can now (since April 2013) place direct eBay listings on a Facebook page and effectively create a mini eBay search page. This is probably a move by Facebook to introduce the idea of sales pages in their mainstream website away from the Facebook MarketPlace].

Advertising effectiveness has to be tracked carefully as Facebook page shares (and likes) are still one step away from your website sales activity and may not contribute to any sales.  Measuring the cost-benefit of a Facebook share is tricky; if anyone has tested and measured this in any way then please feel free to contribute in the comments section.

Facebook Comments

Exactly like Shares these are harder to come by. The best way to improve comment scores is to actively reply to all messages and comments to get a conversation going on your Facebook page. This applies equally to your blog comments.  The fastest way to lose people is to ignore them, so reply to everyone.

Facebook Likes

Easier to get than Shares and easier to manipulate, so worth less in SEO terms. Similar to shares the best way to get Likes is through brute advertising.

Never be tempted to buy Facebook Likes through some outsource service.  This will hugely decrease the effectiveness of your advertising as ads will be served to people with no real interest in your product or service. You can opt to serve ads to people not connected to your pages but it is not as effective as targeting those people already engaged in your page.

Pinterest

A recent study from Semiocast shows that Pinterest currently has more than 70 million users on the site and 30% were active in the month that users were polled. Pinterest now the third most popular social network in the United States according to Mashable. Back in February, comScore reported that Pinterest had 48.7 million users globally so there has been a large growth spurt this year.  There are still only 500,000 business accounts mainly in the USA (no surprise) and China (surprise).

Pinterest went nofollow in March 2012 so links from images no longer count towards SEO ‘link juice’.

Look at the most popular Pinterest walls and they are almost works of art.  The visual impact can be tremendous and is a great brand building tool. Active participation is key, like Google Plus or any Blog being part of the community is what works. For the first time you can see Pinterest Specialist showing up in job descriptions so the big brands appear to be employing dedicated people.

Pinterest is all about images and there is no better place to source them than Dreamstime as it has a big resource of free high resolution images as well as some great deals for monthly bulk downloads that give you high resolution images for less than $0.20 each.

Twitter Tweets

Twitter users that retweet others, participate in tweeted discussions and engage with followers are vastly more successful than the Twitter users who only tweet their own links or randomly follow hundreds of users every day in the hope of gaining followbacks.

One of the most interesting studies found that Google has threshold levels of tweet activity that count towards Page Ranking. The first threshold is 50 tweets and the second is around 5,000 tweets. So, getting to 50 tweets is essential but after that it takes a lot more work to improve the SEO effect.

Note that tweets from different users count a lot more than the same user tweeting the same website link.

Coming Soon:  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Backlinking

Please subscribe (top right) and we will keep you posted

 

Outsourcing Your Online Business

hOne of the most common obstacles in the growth of owner operated small business is the inability to delegate and let go of some of the control.  The do it all yourself ’control freak’ personality profile is the most common to fail in business.

Habits are hard to break but they are easy to form, so delegate from the start.

 

In a world where an office full of highly paid workers is a big liability, delegation means outsourcing.

There are 4 basic types of outsourcing

1.    Piece Work

You can outsource an enormous number off tasks very cheaply but the problem with this is that you are micro managing and spending a lot of time placing these orders and monitoring them.  The big upside is that it is also incredibly cheap as you outsource individual tasks for $5 – $15 which could be tasks like a 2 minutes audio overdub, a short video review or blog article writing.

This is often how online marketers start out and it is certainly useful to get those tasks done that you cannot do yourself or lack the equipment to do.

There are a number of online services offering these low rates:

2.    Larger Projects

If you are looking to build software, create a website, have an ebook written or even create entire products then there are various online sources to find these skills. Sources.  You negotiate rates based on a guide price or you can put a project out to tender and see what prices you are quoted.  These projects do need managing and payments and delivery should be staged so you can monitor the quality and progress. Also, you need to get a feel for the marketplace to see what you should be paying for a particular job and this can be time consuming.

When you are posting your project on a jobsite, do take some time to check out similar projects that are posted by other people. This will give you a good idea of what you should pay. Equally importantly, you must keep your own budget in focus when posting the project.

These are the main outsourcing websites currently available:

Paid Tweets

Paid Review Blog Brokering Sites

3.    Full Time Employee Employed Directly

When you think you can afford $300 – $400 / month to get yourself a full time employee then DO IT. In the current economic conditions this is simply a gift and the best thing you can possibly do for your business.

However, you will be employing a real person full time with their family and commitments and so you must take your responsibility seriously. You will be responsible for somebody’s livelihood so this is a long term commitment.

What is equally important is that you will be getting a graduate educated, loyal, fluent English speaker that will make a huge contribution to your business.

Wages run from $200 – $800 / month depending upon the calibre of employee you need. The average wage in places like the Philippines is just over $300 /month and would be the entry level; graduate salary.  An experienced mobile app developer or designer would come in at the top end of that range

If you are going to employ someone then one of the best recruitment platforms is www.onlinejobs.com, but before you visit that site I must recommend that you watch an excellent introductory video here.  ReplaceMyself is a complete management package geared at finding outsourcers on the openjobs.com network. It costs $99 /month and gives you access to openjobs.com and provides a full library of training videos and support materials to help you as an employer and to take away the burden of having to do any training yourself.  Click here to watch the webinar video and find out why this is such an indispensable service.

4.    Full Time Employee Employed Through An Agency

If you do not want to build your own team with the associated responsibility then you can buy into someone else’s team.  This is the idea behind 123Employee.  They recruit and train from the same pool as ReplaceMyself, but they take on all of the management and training responsibilities and you buy a slice of their time every month.

It works out more expensive as a full time employee works out at $900+ /month but you can buy just a set number of hours per week and you have the option to cancel if it does not work out for you.

Royalty Free Images – Free High-Res Downloads – Great Resource Website

dreamstimefree_1116661

This image was free to download in high resolution ( 2532px x 1868px ) from DreamTime

There are a lot of photo libraries on the internet like iStock but when you are posting regularly you need a lot of images and the costs can mount up.  However, DreamTime have a ‘fremium’ business model that really works. You can download a lot of free images and sometimes pay for the ones that you really like but carry a cost.  You can also bulk download at THE cheapest rate anywhere on the internet.

2 reasons why the DreamTime photo library is recommended

1. You can get some fairly decent free images in case your budget is tight
2. Later, if you find you need a lot of high resolution images then there is a $140 option that allows you to download 25 high resolution images every day for 30 days so you get 750 images as long as you remember each day.  This works out at $0.19 each (12p) which for high res images, some of which sell for $10, is the best value on the internet.  Lots of professionally shot images to be had. You do have to download every day so if you forget one day then you do not get that chance again. Even if you forgot half the time this is still a great deal.

Spend some time gathering some images.  Buy credits if you need them.  For websites, you only need the low res images (approx. 480 pixels wide) which is the cheapest option.
Gather images that reflect what you are offering, not where your potential customers are now. For example, if you were selling a product to help with depression you do NOT want images of depressed people, you want good lifestyle shots showing happy or at least contented people.  Remember you are selling a dream or a solution.

Every article you post to your blog will need an accompanying photo so try and plan ahead for what you need.

Remember if you use the free images to post an acknowledgement to the photo library. In fact, turn it into an affiliate link, there is commission to be earned from every link away from your website.  You can sign up for the Dreamtime affiliate program once you are a signed up member, just go to the About Us page look for the Referral link.

 

The Rules of Social Media

rules-of-social-media

Pause for a moment and think about something for a minute. Is there anything you can really be successful at without following some “rules”? I know what you are thinking, entrepreneurs are meant to “break rules” instead of follow rules right? Wrong! In my opinion there are just some times when you have to follow rules and Social Media is one of those times. When it comes to Social Media, you simply have to follow in the footsteps of people who have gone ahead of you and been successful. These footsteps are what I refer to as “rules” in this article and they will certainly lead you to a degree of success. As with anything in life, we might be following the same recipe but results will differ depending on more personal characteristics.

Rule #1 it’s not about YOU

The only radio station everybody tunes in to is WIIFM FM (What’s in It for Me). If you have a Social Media account for your business then it is not about you, but what your connections will benefit from association with you. This could either be Facebook fans, Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections. Talking all about yourself and your business is a sure way of losing everyone’s attention and they just stop listening. To have a successful Social Media presence make sure you talk none stop about the benefits your visitors will get from association with you. It’s all about THEM.

Rule #2 Content is KING

Break this rule at your own peril. A Social Media page lacking in content is like going to a party and you are the only guest there, who wants to go to such a party. This is where the 80:20 rule comes in. Spend 20% of your time creating great content and the rest delivering it to your audience, engaging with them, listening to them and talking about THEM. At no point are you ever expected to reverse this ratio, this amount to shooting yourself in the Social Media foot.

Rule #3 Do not be a One-Hit-Wonder

Social Media success is 24/7 business. Just because you have thousands of fans or followers does not mean you can sit on your haunches. It is a fulltime occupation to make sure those fans are being fed and you have to work at keeping their attention. Just because you made one killer post that got them in does not mean you can sit back and relax. Your fans are hungry monsters, keep feeding them and they will keep bringing their friends in.

Rule #4 Reply to EVERYONE

This is one rule you must never break. If someone posts a comment or engages with you, you MUST respond and reply to them. There is no faster way to lose fans or followers by ignoring their message or comment, and then replying to the one after theirs. It is therefore imperative that you look after your audience; it generally costs more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one.

Rule #5 Remember Social Media is about PEOPLE

This has got to be one of the most important of the 5 rules. Sometimes when we are exploring the Social Media jungle we see “people” as prospects and forget that it is all about creating lasting relationships. As the adage goes, no one wants to be sold to, and if you treat people in real life as we see some being treated in Social Media, then you wouldn’t have any friends. Also remember people are more likely to react more to something that stirs their emotions. Appeal to people’s hearts and they will love you forever (well considering that a tweet has a half-life of 6-7 minutes and good Facebook post only lasts a couple of hours.)

Well there you go 5 very powerful Social Media rules which will make you or break you. Now go and check if you have been applying these rules in your interactions, if not then it’s not too late to ring in the changes. Good luck.

Internet Marketing Relaunched – Armand Morin

Emails That Make Sales

email-addresses

Emails must contains good content!

Sending content that is interesting and sharable will make you more sales.

The following 5 email styles are usually the most effective.

1. Emails With Video Links.

Videos are without doubt the best sales medium out there right now and people love to share good stuff.

A study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of mobile users, reported that 92% share mobile video content with others. 92% share videos!

As about half of email reading occurs on mobile devices you have an audience of video sharers who will actively forward your video email message on to their friends, family and colleagues.

33% share video content by email. While 56% post the video to Facebook or similar social sites to share it.

What videos do people like to share?

* 66% share short and funny video clips

* 52% share music videos

* 35% movie trailers

* 31% share content created by themselves or someone they know

* 22% share how-to videos

Start making your own videos or search on YouTube for interesting videos to share.

Not only will video emails get you more shares, but links to videos in emails receive 2 or 3 times as many clicks as text links.

2. Emails Reviewing Competing Products

Look for products you can compare. Write comparison articles. Good cop, bad cop always works.  People like to buy knowing that they have a better product. It is human psychology and that internal reassurance that says – well it was better than the alternative, even if the alternative is just one other product.

Highlight the good points but never over sell, be balanced, never biased. Modern buyers can spot fake praise a mile off.

Comparison guides are rated highly by prospective buyers
as useful resource that encourages them to buy.

Include in your comparison guide:

* Price
* Benefits
* Other Reviews
* Negatives
* Questions & Answers

3. Email With Interesting Infographics

These appeal to the info-junkies out there

Studies show Internet users prefer visual content and that it works to drive sales.

People appreciate and share Infographics. They provide good information and they’re easy to understand.

An Infographic can explain concepts and situation at a glance where as a text explanation could take pages.

4. Emails With Promotional Offers

People like bargains and they like to shop online!

Don’t swamp them but every now and then dig out something of good value and let them know about it.  When you find a great offer or bargain online you should be running to your PC to spread the word. Hopefully it will be your products and services but don’t limit yourself, especially if there is a commission involved.

Prospects say that sales letters help them learn more about what your company does. The promotional email provides needed details about the products and services you offer.

Just email your complete sales letter or at least an interesting introduction with a read more button at the bottom (and the top)

5. Emails With Links To Current News

Let people know what is happening in your industry or market.

New = Interesting.

Pay attention to the news and studies related to your business when a brand new story breaks be the first to email out a link to your list with the update.

Sharing relevant industry news links with prospects in your email messages will increase the likelihood of a sale!

Send out short quick notes with a links to quality stories and you’ll keep in touch with prospects while building rapport. Before you know it you’ll be making more sales!

Video Marketing – Using YouTube To Boost Your Online Business

video-marketing

Billions of YouTube videos are watched every day.  Half of all internet traffic is from video.

YouTube is owned by Google and having a few videos of your own linked to your website or social media sites can massively boost your rankings.

Here are a few types of videos that you can create to promote your business:

1. Screen Capture

Whatever your product you can create a screen video demonstrating the benefits of your product and showing potential buyers how to use or apply it.

You can also review third party products for which you get commission, but this is a difficult line to follow and to remain impartial. Any attempt to unduly influence or dupe potential buyers is often very easily seen.  We have all seen those websites with completely biased reviews just plugging a few products and which have no credibility.

There are a number of video capture tools to record the computer screen in real time as well as recording anything you say through the microphone and then edit the result.

  • Camtasia
  • Screenflow
  • Quicktime

2. Outsource or DIY

You can go to fiverr.com and have somebody record a short video for you very cheaply. You can also get very good quality from mobile phone cameras although sound is often issue. A quiet place with good natural lighting works very well though.

3. Interview

Interview an expert or established figure in your field. You will be surprised how readily people agree.  A little flattery goes a lomg way and you both can benefit. The power of association by interviewing an industry ‘celebrity’ will help to build your own credibility.

4. Talking Head

This is a video of somebody talking about your product or giving some advice or extra information to your customers. Use this opportunity to connect with potential buyers so they know who you are and you can start building trust and respect for what you do.

YouTube videos must never be adverts. This approach works less and less now. These videos should be used to connect and share information with your potential buyers, to build more credibility for yourself.

 

Website Traffic Generation Through Forums

forums

Every subject you can think of has a dedicated forum where ideas and business contacts are exchanged. These are undoubtedly the best places to find people to connect with in your business. However, it’s not just about finding new customers, you can also find new suppliers and business opportunities.

The key to making forum marketing work is to join in and contribute to the hot topics so that you build some interest from the other community members,

Then get involved in discussions and offer your opinions on topics, rather than just advertising your product without building trust with the existing members first.

  1. You could go to Google to look for forums but first go to Big Boards at http://www.big-boards.com.   Big-Boards tracks the most active message boards and forums on the web. They currently have over 2,300 message boards in their list, which you can search and rank according to the subject or business area that you are researching.
  2. Write a general biography about yourself and your business
  3. Sign up on each forum and Complete the profile for each one ensure that you include links to your website and a photo of yourself – photos really help to build trust and gives you some credibility. You could also add a business logo, but not a logo instead of a photo.
  4. Create a forum signature that includes keyword specific links to your website so that every post you make on that forum automatically publishes your links.
  5. Become involved in discussions and contribute good value to the forum community and you will build trust, liking and credibility with people wanting to know more about you. With luck they click through to your website and become part of your social circle.

 

Why Email Is Still Such An Important Online Business Tool

email-success

It turns out we all crave a good surprise.

Scientists at Emory and Baylor when conducting studies with
MRIs discovered that surprise is addictive to human beings.
What’s more researchers found a good surprise improves one’s
outlook and heightens emotions.

When you combine happiness with surprise, you make your
customer’s and/or prospect’s day. Those individuals remember
you and appreciate you much more!

Take your email marketing to the next level by trying
something new, different, or even surprising.

Surprise is an easy, hidden secret for email success.

In fact, I was recently surprised to learn that on average 50%
of a typical workers day, is spent on email. A total of 111
workdays in every year is used dealing with email. The reason
workers invest so much time in email is simple -

* Email is Trusted
* Email Satisfaction is High
* Email is Considered the Best Tool for Collaboration
* Email is used as an Easy File Storage Systems

A new Harvard Business survey of 2,600 workers in the U.S.,
UK, and South Africa
revealed some surprising statistics about
email that are worthy of review:

An average user receives 11,680 emails in a year. 74% of
email is junk that never reaches the in-box.

Email that arrives in an inbox is as follows:

14% Critical Work Email
28% Essential Email
24% Functional Work
16% Low Level Work
10% Personal
8% Spam

Overall people are satisfied with email and trust it.

25% Very Satisfied
45% Satisfied
23% Somewhat Satisfied
4% Somewhat Dissatisfied
2% Dissatisfied
1% Don’t Know

Email was selected numerous times as the best tool for
collaboration out of 10 different options.

60% Email to Individuals
34% Email to Lists
23% Email to Teams
19% Tele-Conferencing
8% Facebook
6% Business Collaboration Tool
4% LinkdIn
3% Twitter
15% Video / Web Conferencing
10% Instant Messaging

Email is still predominately accessed by workers on a
PC or Laptop.

60% PC / Laptop
11% Home PC
8% Mobile
5% Home Laptop
3% Home iPad/Tablet
13% Other

Email is used for more than just communication. Workers also
store important documents and communication using email.

Email is used to accomplish these tasks for workers.

76% Exchange Documents
69% Send Information to Groups
61% Improve Communication Across Time Zones
60% Account-Ability
59% Search for Information

When 93% of people indicate trust and satisfaction with email,
plus they spend 50% of their day in their email box -
it clearly shows emails dominance as a communication tool.
Make sure you’re using email to communicate with your
prospects and customers too.

Abbie Drew
DEMC Editor

http://hbr.org/product/e-mail-not-dead-evolving/an/F1306Z-PDF-ENG

 

46 Ways to Start a Business With No Money

start-a-business

Most people who want to start their own business don’t have a ton of money laying around and it’s probably one the most common questions I get emailed about: How can I get started without a lot of cash?

Well I’ve put together a list below of the best ideas I’ve heard and personally used. I hope you find it useful!

The three basic strategies to starting a business without much money are:

  • Delay the normal “business starting” activities like incorporating, hiring, renting office or retail space, etc until AFTER your business has started earning money. This is known as bootstrapping.
  • Doing everything yourself and spending your personal time instead of hiring an expert. (Takes longer but costs less.)
  • Using some neat tricks and little known deals below.

Start With The Easy Stuff: Eliminate Expenses

  1. Don’t rent an office! – work from home. Or better yet work from the best free office with locations everywhere: Starbucks. If you need to meet with a client and are worried about seeming small time without an office, don’t be. Just meet them at a restaurant for a lunch meeting. This is what people with the nicest offices do anyway.
  2. Don’t hire any employees! – do it all yourself until you have some $ coming in the door.
  3. Don’t hire lawyers, technical people, graphic designers, or assistants (see below)

Legal Stuff and Incorporating

  1. Get a free lawyer and legal advice from the mentors at Score.org
  2. Find a website with a similar legal document and modify it to your needs
  3. An LLC is probably the best business structure, but don’t worry about incorporating until you’re earning money, just do a sole proprietorship, you can always incorporate later (you can get it setup with the IRS in just a few minutes by calling them at 800-829-4933)
  4. Learn how to do your own financial statements for your business in Excel instead of hiring a CPA or bookkeeper (again you can do this after you’re making money)
  5. Take a Quickbooks class at your local community college

Make a website for your business

  1. Don’t pay a premium for a top end domain name, there are plenty of good ones left
  2. Test out your ideas by writing to a blog, you’ll get feedback on what people like and don’t like
  3. Get a free business website at www.wordpress.com or tumblr.com. It won’t be your own domain (it will be something like yourbusiness.wordpress.com) but…
  4. When you’re ready to have your own domain, register it at domain.com and add this as a custom domain to your WordPress or Tumblr site.
  5. Get a professional website design for free with a wordpress theme that you can install with a few clicks (no programming knowledge needed)

Getting a Logo

  1. Don’t hire a fancy graphic designer. At least not yet. Use LogoYes to create your own logo (or at least get ideas that you can recreate on your own for free)

Accepting Credit Cards

  1. Don’t bother with a full merchant account to start off with, they are complicated, come with monthly feeds, and require programming expertise. Instead try a simpler (and much cheaper) solution like Google Checkout or Paypal
  2. For a more professional look and a complete shopping cart for only $5/month use E-Junkie, its great and I use it on this site
  3. If you have lots of physical products, try a Yahoo Store

Starting a service business where you consult, coach, teach, etc

  1. Create several pages on your wordpress site: one for your experience, testimonials, rates, availability, etc
  2. Pick a domain name with your #1 keyword in it! (Assuming it isn’t a very competitive keyword you’ll rank on the first page of google within a month or two for that keyword which means customers!) here’s some more info and an example

Creating Info Products

  1. Use an ebook template like these from Eben Pagan
  2. For print books, self publish it at www.lulu.com and use print on demand (they don’t print a single book until someone buys it which means you have zero up front cost for inventory!)
  3. Use a $20 webcam or digital camera to create educational video products
  4. Use camtasia ( $200 for PC) or iShowU ($20 for Mac) to record your screen and make great videos like this one. Or record powerpoints and do the voiceover to make great educational products. Update: even cheaper use ScreenToaster.
  5. Use a mac to edit your videos (iMovie is free) and you can even produce DVD’s

Before investing in a retail location…

  1. Go to a local fair or festival and rent a booth to see if anyone buys your product. Talk to potential customers and get feedback.
  2. Try selling it on ebay

Always be learning about business

  1. Go to a meetup.com groups in your city related to business/entrepreneurship
  2. Read all the best business books by getting them from the library
  3. Get 3 of the top 10 books on building wealth for free in PDF
  4. Make friends with other entrepreneurs and share material
  5. Install the stumble upon toolbar and choose business/entrepreneurship as one of your interests to find all the best videos and talks out there (this is literally like going to a free semester of business school, you get to see all the best speakers and thinkers of our time, and those of the past)
  6. Read blogs like this one in google reader

Marketing, free website traffic, and getting your first customer

  1. Get 250 full-color business cards for free to hand out to people you meet
  2. Post an offer on craigslist
  3. Post videos on youtube with links to your website
  4. Post the same video to all video sharing sites (Google Video, Yahoo Video, MySpace, Revver, etc) at once with TubeMogul (this is some of the best free marketing you can do)
  5. Generate leads by offering an incentive on your website for people to give you their contact info (some incentives that work well: Top 10 reports like the top 10 myths about…the top 10 thing you should know before…etc, videos, audio interviews, one page cheat sheets, free ebooks)
  6. Write a good article and send it to more popular websites (include your byline at the bottom). This is also known as doing guest posts and is the #1 thing I used to grow this blog when it first started out.
  7. Learn how to use google adwords and spend $10 and see if it brings in at least $10 (if so keep going!)
  8. If you can’t afford to get links from expensive directories like Yahoo ($299) use Directory Submitter to get links from hundreds of smaller directories for free
  9. Pick a good domain name with your keywords in the domain (use hyphens if necessary). This will help you rank in Google for that keyword and get visitors to your website.
  10. Do some basic on page SEO
  11. Research what keywords will bring you the most traffic (and are least competitive) with keyword discovery, Wordtracker’s Free Service, and (probably the best option) WordTrackers free trial of their full service (just have to remember to cancel within 7 days to not get charged!)
  12. See which keywords are likely to bring buyers (instead of tire kickers)
  13. Get more incoming links to your site by creating a Squidoo page (these rank very high in the search engines for some reason!)
  14. Send an email to everyone in your email program’s contact list with a short friendly note letting them know you are starting a business and ask if they could forward it to just one or two people who might be interested. Offer something free for the first 10 people. This has an exponential effect because it not only reaches who you know, but everyone who knows who you know (an order of magnitude bigger group of people.)

brianarmstrong.org/blog/46-ways-to-start-a-business-with-no-money/

Product Launch Check List

Writing-Headlines

This is a product launch check list developed over several years. Identifying customers and product creation are huge subjects on their own The emphasis here is on the sales letter/sales web page as this is often the most neglected part of the process and where most people fail.

  1. Identify a Target Audience.
  2. Define These Target Customers – complete demographic
  3. Find or create a product that they want.
  4. Build a Product Package (Including Bonuses)
  5. Create photos and sales graphics like CD and book covers
  6. Write Main Product Descriptions
  7. Create a Keyword List
    1. Start with words from the product description
  8. Assess Competition
    1. Create a list of websites selling competitor products
      • Start by typing in your product descriptions on Google, Yahoo and AltaVista
      • Expand the search to other important keywords
      • Pay careful attention to any product comparison sites and the Google Ads
    2. For each competitor record the following information
      • URL
      • Product Price (including Postage & Handling & Tax Details)
      • Google PR
      • Alexa Traffic Ranking
      • Keywords – any useful ones can be added to your keyword list
      • Page Description
      • Page Title
      • Product Description
      • Sales Strategy – up-sells, complementary products, discounts, bonuses
      • Support availability
      • Are they successful? Are they really selling?
  9. Pricing – setting the price for your product.  Test different prices.  The best way is to run two web pages with paid traffic to each to measure the response.
  10. Research Customers
  11. Write Benefits List
  12. Derive New Benefits From Benefits List
  13. Write Features List
  14. Derive New Benefits From Features List
  15. Identify Unique Selling Points
  16. Define Most Wanted Response and Backup Responses.
  17. Write Headline
    1. Base it on the major benefit
    2. Ask a question
    3. Solution to a problem
    4. Cite a testimonial
    5. Give a warning
    6. Flag your target customer
    7. News announcement
    8. Guarantee
    9. How To
    10. Specific
    11. Command
    12. Boastful
    13. Emotional
    14. Information
    15. Offer
  18. Write Sub Headers – these will be the list of all of the benefits (sales) and features (reason justification)
    1. Keep it to 20 to 40 words in length.
    2. Keep to two lines maximum.
    3. The sub headers highlight and reinforce all of the benefits.
    4. Inset them every 3 to 5 paragraphs to break up the text.
    5. Keep pressing the readers ‘hot buttons’ to maintain the emotional power of the copy
    6. Highlight the most important parts of the text
  19. Write Body
    1. Write the copy as if you are talking to a friend on the phone.
    2. Write with passion.
    3. Write a quick draft, don’t worry about the content, just get the words written, you can work on it later.
  20. Reasons
  21. Collect testimonials
  22. Write Offer
  23. Write Pricing Justification
  24. Write Guarantee
  25. Write Free Bonuses
  26. Write Summary
  27. Write Call To Action
  28. Write Postscripts
  29. Assemble Letter

 

How to succeed on Facebook – Video

This is a recording of a webinar from the SMB team at Facebook.  Even if you think you know all there is to know about setting up a Facebook account and pages, there are continuous updates and this video has some excellent suggestions as well as an interesting case study.

The Online Business – An Introduction To Starting Up Online & The Importance of Google

online-business-networking

Building an online presence is critical for growing your business using e-commerce sites, review sites and social networks.

Creating a website for your business can attract new customers and encourage revenue growth.

Your website directly influences how potential customers view your business. The three important setup

  • Good domain name- include important words to identify your business – do not be cryptic or clever.
  • Design – the design must impress your customers and match what they consider to look good.
  • Content – Must be interesting and convincing as well as search engine friendly so your website ranks highly with the likes of Google.

Google

Google is a powerful marketing tool that can help you grow your business.

  1. There are billions of web searches on Google each month.
  2. You need to understand how to design your website and write copy that will be found easily by customers searching for your product or services.
  3. Choose the right words to describe your business
  4. One in five searches on Google is for a local business or service.  People search by typing “city or town + something they want.”
  5. Use Google+ pages to build a website that is local-friendly. This encourages reviews and ratings.
  6. Build a relationship with customers through your website.  Your website is your “virtual salesperson”.  Encourage interaction and comment.  This will serve as both advertising and valuable feedback.

IMPORTANT

Go to Google and sign up for the whole raft of free Google+ resources on offer; blogger, gmail, webmaster tools, adsense, adwords, G+, Google local ….

Then read everything Google provide on their websites to build your online business.  If you do then you will be at a big advantage to 99% of people that simply get their knowledge second hand. Information that is often out-of-date and misleading. Always go to the source for your best information.  This goes for Google, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media site out there. Google spell it out for you and 99 out of a 100 websites clearly ignore even some of the most basic rules, which is why they languish far down the Google results pages.

Online Marketing

Use online marketing methods which must include

  • Search engine optimization (SEO),
  • Social Media
  • Online Advertising,
  • Web Analytics

There are three easy ways to get your business on Google and drive customers to your website:

  • Organic results
  • Local listings
  • Search advertising

Find out how to get noticed by potential customers in paid and unpaid search results as well as on local sites and social media to grow your business online. Explore marketing options and figure out which techniques work best for the time and resources you have available to you.

Google Accounts

Learn how to get your products and services listed on Google. Promote your business and connect with potential customers by appearing in search results, local listings and paid search results.

Learn The Marketing Language

Before launching an online marketing effort, it’s important to have a grasp on the terms and concepts that make up the language of the trade. Start getting up to speed with a quick glossary of some of the most important words and phrases used when creating and maintaining online marketing campaigns.

The Online Marketing Plan

Learn how to create an online marketing plan to achieve your business goals. Get tips on how to set marketing goals, write a plan of action, and define a marketing budget.

Local Marketing

Remember, 1 in 5 searches so spend 20% of your time focussed on local marketing.  It will help you reach customers in your area. Develop a strategy for bringing locals through the doors of your business using search engines, social media sites and review sites.

Setup An Adwords Account

Learn how Google’s powerful online advertising tool can help you reach new customers who are searching for products or services like yours. Make sure that you do your maths correctly. And don’t overspend (as many do) on wasteful advertising.  You can grow sales and earn more by targeting your ads to relevant customers on the search engines, blogs, websites and mobile devices.

Manage Online

You can manage your business more efficiently with online applications. Use products like Google Apps for Business and other web-based applications for handling tasks like email, document management and file sharing.

Google Apps

Online tools can help you grow and promote your business more effectively. Read all you can about Google Apps for business, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, Google Sites and Google Video.

Here are some additional tools and feature that may help you as you use business products and solutions from Google.

Search Tools

Google Insights for Search
What are the latest search trends? Find out on Google Insights for Search.

AdWords Tools

Google Keyword Tool
Visit the Keyword Tool to see what people searched for, and get keyword ideas.

AdWords Traffic Estimator
Receive search and cost estimates for your keywords.

Ad Preview Tool
Visit the Ad Preview Tool to see what your ad looks like on Google.

Magic Submitter
Professional Tool for improving Google ranking.