onlinemarketing manager Magazine Volume 1, Issue 1 October 2013
online marketing pioneer
11 Information Marketing Business Mi s t a k e s
inside this issue
Marketers report strong doubts about their skills, effectiveness and ability to measure the impact of their campaigns according to recent research released from Adobe
Online Marketing Manager
Certification Launching November 2013
News, Resources, Tips, Tricks & How-Toâ€™s for the Online Marketing Manager
Volume 1, Issue 1 October 13, 2013
Some Of The Newest Gadgets Available Now Or Soon
Sms Still An Effective Means Of Consumer Engagement
Written By Pam Ivey
Anyone Can Tell You What’s Happening Now… Here’s What’s Going To Happen In The Next 6 Months…
Written By Elayne Whitfield
Adobe Study Shows Marketers Lack Confidence
Written By Pam Ivey
11 Online Reputation Management: How To
Make Sure Your Online Presence Is First Class
Written By Jamie Turner
13 Social Influencer: Marketing 101
Written By Pam Ivey
14 How Is Your LinkedIn Etiquette?
Written By Melonie Dodaro
17 Pinterest vs. Facebook: What’s more
important, Referrals or Performance?
Written By Pam Ivey
18 Email Marketing: Dealing With Changing Consumer Behavior
Is One More Important Than the Other? Written By Pam Ivey
22 Branding - Link To Online Video
written by Pam Ivey
24 How to Write a Great Product Sales Page Headline
Written By Pam Ivey
26 Convert More Through Marketing Transparency
Written By Pam Ivey
30 Internet Prophets: The Power of Alliances
Written By Steve Olsher
32 Top 11 Information Marketing Business Mistakes to Avoid
Written By Adam Urbanski
34 My Sneaky Little Money Maker: How $6K Turned Into Multiple 6 Figures
Written By Kristin Thompson
35 The Three Indicators Your Small Business is Under Resourced
Video By Chelsey Marie
Written By Pam Ivey
25 Hook Prospects with a Promising Subtitle
Written By Pam Ivey
21 New Google Adwords Ready Image Tool
Written By Pam Ivey
19 Social Media Marketing & SEO:
Written By Melanie Benson Strick
23 How to Design a Landing Page That Converts 37 Top 5 Criteria for Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Written By Pam Ivey
Pied Piper 39 In the Footsteps of the
to Creating Perfect Purpose Driven Content
written by Andrea Kalli
Written By Howard “OutSourcerer” Tiano
Internet Pioneer & All-round Nice Guy,
Joel Comm written by Pam Ivey
ver since I began working in the online world in 2001, I’ve been aware of a lack of overall marketing vision in the support community. Parts and pieces of the marketing pie were done very well but when it came to integrating everything completely and seamlessly to reach overarching goals, it has been glaringly obvious that cohesion was lacking. So, I’m working to create a new movement that will change all that. One that will delight online business owners the world over, and create great opportunity and higher income possibilities for support professionals who take on the challenge.
The Online Marketing Manager Certification program launches in November, and is poised to launch a brand new industry with great potential for certified individuals. And this new publication, Online Marketing Manager Magazine that you’re reading right now, has been created in an effort to raise awareness of this new movement in both higher-level support professionals and online business owners (end-users) alike. It’s also been created to provide a regular compilation of up-todate online marketing information, as well as tips and advice from experts to grow our businesses. So, what exactly is an Online Marketing Manager (OMM)? • An online marketing manager has a deep understanding of online marketing principles. • They are managers of marketing goals, strategy and implementation. • They have the ability to see the big picture, yet are able to manage details. What an Online Marketing Manager isn’t: • They are no implementers of all things online marketing. • They are not an Online Business Manager (OBM), although they can work alongside one very well) – they simply manage the marketing facets of the business.
What does an Online Marketing Manager oversee? • Marketing of the business from end-to-end: o Overall business goal development (jointly with the business owner) o Current market analysis o Marketing strategy – how to get from where the business is now to where the client wants it to be. “Publishing a Magazine” has been on my bucket list for several years now and I’m thrilled to see it to fruition. I’m also excited at the lineup of well-known and accomplished online marketers and personalities who have contributed to this first issue. Joel Comm has been right up there on my list of “Professional Crushes”, and it was fun to get to chat with him for this issue’s Industry Spotlight interview. How fitting, one of the Pioneers of Online Marketing is featured in our inaugural issue. I hope you enjoy this first issue of Online Marketing Manager Magazine and plan to make it a part of your ongoing business resources. We would love to hear from you too! Let us know what you think of the new magazine, if there’s anything you’d like to see or something you disagree with. Letters to the editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
online marketing manager october 2013 | 3
shiny objects Nest: Meet the Next Generation of Thermostats Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it. So Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and Nest can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%. $249 from http://store.nest.com/us.
iLogic Sound Hat The iLogic Sound Hat features a pair of built-in speakers which can be placed over your ears when you wear the hat. It connects to your iPhone, iPod or Mp3 player via a 3.5mm audio jack. About $25 from www.iwantoneofthose.com.
As a loop, time has no beginning & no end. Like in space, it’s all about periods and trajectories...
The juice pack reserve micro is a compact external battery made for smartphones and micro USB devices. With hidden cables and cased in an aesthetic fit for on-the-go style enthusiasts, you’ll be sure to travel light.
Not yet available to us regular folks, Google Glass is sure to be a coveted device when released to the general public. The Android-based smart glasses allows wearers to perform actions such as answer emails, take pictures and video, get directions and translate text hands-free – all viewable on a micro-display. Take a test drive at www.google.com/glass
In space a period of revolution is the time taken for a star to complete its trajectory, or revolution around another star. Revolutio is a simple and modern watch that brings a new time perception through a new architecture. By FU Design Factory. www.fudesignfactory.com/Revolutio
Give your smartphone extended battery life. Its lightweight, compact design with a convenient key ring means you’re always ready for a quick charge whenever you need it. www.morphie.com
4 | online marketing manager october 2013
SMS Still An Effective
Means of Consumer
ith the proliferation of smartphone technology, some marketers are bowing out of SMS marketing in favor of display advertisements. However, marketers should be aware of a new study that shows that nearly half of mobile users will share their location information for relevant offers from brands that they are familiar with. This is very useful and important news for marketers.
The survey, sponsored by mBlox and conducted by Millward Brown, sampled 500 users in the United States with about 150 users from each of six other countries. They found that 68 percent of consumers who received SMS messages from companies with whom they are familiar and opted in to receive said information, were happy to get it and found it to be valuable. Further, most said that the message encouraged them to make a purchase over other forms of marketing such as display advertising. There is something to be learned from this study. The key here is that the consumers who found the SMS valuable are those who opted in, which is required for SMS messaging. Whereas display advertising works differently and may be more likely to be ignored. This means that SMS messages are still, and maybe even more, effective in many cases than display advertising. At least, it seems from the study that it’s worth it to continue using SMS for push marketing means. Having the ability to gather location-based information from consumers, then push out marketing to them based on their location is an invaluable means to encourage more sales. Now certainly, mBox is interested in marketers continuing to run text marketing campaigns, but the results are clear. Consumers who have opted in to receive information from a company that they know, like and trust respond favorably to receiving SMSbased messages and will offer up location-based information if it pays off for them to do so.
To ensure that your SMS campaigns work well: Ensure Consumes Have Opted-In The study makes it clear. Make sure that your market has opted-in to receive your messages. Consumers open messages they’ve opted-in to receive and they act on them.
written by Pam Ivey | photograph by Jhaymesisvi Photography What’s more it’s a very low cost way to interact directly with the consumer.
Keep it Simple Keep SMS messages short and to the point. With 160 characters you don’t have a lot of room to incorporate unnecessary embellishments. Keep it short, sweet and simple. Have a clear goal in mind when creating messages to send to your market.
Never Forget the CTA Your call to action (CTA) is the most important aspect of your SMS message. With such a short character limit, it’s necessary and important that your message be the CTA. Use keywords such as Buy, Purchase, Save, Win, Give, etc... in order to make it clear what you want the consumer to do when they get your message.
Timing is Everything Most consumers read their text messages right away, so you should know what your demographic is doing at the times you’re sending them. By being aware of when your market is ready and able to open messages you’ll get a higher response rate. Work hours might not be the best time to send them. However, if you have a lunch time business, lunch time is perfect. By incorporating the knowledge that SMS still works, and works better than display ads in some cases due to the optin factor, you may want to reconsider dropping your SMS campaigns. As always, study your metrics to make the right decision for your company. online marketing manager october 2013 | 5
Anyone can tell you what’s happening NOW… Here’s what’s going to happen in the next
written by elayne whitfield | photograph by victor
Dedicating resources to social media has/will transition from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ for businesses.
You must allocate resources to social media. (That’s a period there.) Period. Sure, you can try to do it yourself. But why would you hire an amateur and then pay them more to do a sub-par job? Do yourself and your business a favour and recognize that you need an expert to get the results that you want. 6 | online marketing manager october 2013
Businesses are coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue. If you want to compete, you must get on board. I truly believe that as companies see their competition reaping the benefits of social media they will have no choice but to transition from the ‘do it yourself’ or ‘ have an employee handle the tasks’ to hiring a social media strategist or full-time social media or online marketing manager.
infographics – what are they and how are they significant?
Visual marketing has seen a massive boom in the past year, not only with (good old) Facebook but especially with the proliferation of the emerging Pinterest. Photo sharing is not only a huge trend but will become an integral part of retailers’ marketing strategies. [See my next point]
Linkedin is it for b2b!
LinkedIn will continue to be the #1 social networking site for B2B. With the addition of the contacts feature that allows you to bring all of your contacts into a single place, coupled with the ability to mention contacts in your posts, LinkedIn is positioning itself to dominate this market.
Google+ is and will continue to be a social media force to be reckoned with.
While Facebook continues to lead in terms of the number of active monthly users (somewhere around 1.15 billion is the latest I’ve heard), Google+ is quickly gaining momentum, and in fact, now has the second highest number of monthly users @ over 500 million registered users. 50% of all Internet users have a Google+ account but don’t forget that a Google+ account is mandatory when you create a gmail account. According to Simply Measured, 70% of brands have a presence on google+. While users and businesses attempt to figure out how best to utilize this social network in their online marketing plans, Google is collecting personal information (think demographics, location, etc.). Google+ should not be considered ‘just’ another social network as it proves itself to be an key part of Google’s master plan in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience. Look for the emergence of Google Authorship as one of the key components to Google’s search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014. I believe that businesses who are finding themselves spread thin with their social media efforts will increasingly turn to Google+ as the closest thing we have to a ‘one size fits all’ social network.
elaYne whitfield is a recognized Virtual Assistant Trainer, Speaker and
Coach as well as the co-author of How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business which is used as the textbook in Virtual Assistant college courses such as the Virtual Assistant Certificate program at Red Deer College in Alberta, Canada. Elayne Whitfield-Parr began Executive Assistance in 2000, transitioned her company to a successful multi-VA practice offering a full complement of business support services in 2002, and then incorporated Executive Assistance Business Solutions Inc. in 2006. In 2007, EA Design was formed to handle the website and graphic design component of the business. Learn more at www.elaynewhitfield.com OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013 | 7
going into 2014 and you can even take things one step further
Your company’s website must be responsive (mobile-friendly)
• Approximately 937 million smartphones and 215 million tablets were shipped in 2013
by mapping out a strategy to create content and promote that
• Average # of times per day that users look at their phone: 150
ad. Statistics reflect that people are responding well to sponsored
• Percentage of global web traffic coming from mobile: 28% (Pew Research)
content on Facebook and other social media networks, even if
onlinemarketing manager Magazine is a rich resource to help online marketing consultants and other service providers step into their power with confidence and know-how. Do you have a story that demonstrates a way forward and could be just the information or insight they need when they reach roadblocks or feel like giving up on their business dreams? Connect with us at email@example.com with your story idea. 8 | online marketing manager october 2013
content using a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn sponsored story
(especially if?) they’re on their mobile phones.
adoBe studY shows marketers laCk ConfidenCe
esults from Adobe’s research study, “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” are in. The results are, how to say this? A little distressing. Apparently, marketers are so slammed with continuous change that they don’t know what they’re doing, or whether or not what they’re doing is even working. That’s quite a sad state of affairs. Adobe surveyed 1,000 marketers in the USA, including marketing staff, marketing decision makers, digital marketers and marketing generalists. They collected the data from August 26th through September 11th, 2013, using a company called Research now that has been around for over 10 years conducting online research for companies.
One thing most marketers do agree on strongly is that without a cohesive digital marketing approach, companies will not succeed in today’s marketplace. The results are astonishing. It seems that marketers are lacking serious confidence when it comes to their ability to navigate the constant change happening in the digital marketing world. Most of the change has come about due to the advent of the online marketplace, social media, and the proliferation of Internet-ready devices and media “on demand”. Face it, advertising and marketing just isn’t the same as it was in the days of “Mad Men.” It’s all changing, and the change is coming fast. Due to all the change afoot, marketers are lacking confidence in their ability to affect consumers as well as their ability to even know whether or not they did. In addition, even though they have no idea what they’re doing, they are being pressured
writteN by PAM ivey | PhOtOGrAPh by POrsche brOsseAu OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013 | 9
enormously to be able to show a constant return on their company’s marketing investment. What’s more, they’re mostly doing this without any training whatsoever. They’re learning on the job, without anyone to lead the way or anyone who knows what they’re doing either.
well, even though most agree that metrics are important. Knowing numbers are important clearly doesn’t translate to understanding which numbers to look at.
Knowing numbers are important clearly doesn’t translate to understanding which numbers to look at.
One thing most marketers do agree on strongly is that without a cohesive digital marketing approach, companies will not succeed in today’s marketplace. Due to this, and the lack of marketing education that focuses on the digital marketplace, marketers are feeling powerless to influence their business’ approach. In fact, according to the study, only 44 percent of marketers feel like they have any influence over business strategy at all. Never mind that the two should work hand in hand. While they realize this, there is no cohesion between business owners, CEOs and marketing departments
Being proficient in digital marketing is key to having a strong business today, but most businesses don’t even know if their digital marketing is working. In fact, according to the study only nine percent of respondents believed that their digital marketing is working. This may be due to the fact that about 29 percent of marketers don’t think they are measuring results
When only 40 percent of marketers surveyed think that their company’s marketing is effective, it’s time to take a deep look into why this is the case. The study shows that marketers understand that metrics can be used to study the value of marketing to the business, but that marketers just aren’t positive which metrics to study, nor how to get out of the continuous cycle of trial and error that is digital marketing today.
is a tireless champion of the online business industry and considered a Thought Leader in Online Marketing and Outsourcing. Known for her warm and engaging manner and wide-ranging, comprehensive skills and experience, she has inspired countless entrepreneurs and other professionals to achieve greater heights in their businesses. Always at the ready to help, she taps into the Think Big Mindset by offering training programs for ‘newbie’ to seasoned VAs, online marketing professionals, freelancers from all industries, as well as online solopreneurs and entrepreneurs. Her flagship program, Online Marketing Manager Certification begins this November, as does the new International Association of Online Marketing Managers. Learn more at www.OMMCertification.com.
group of companies
10 | online marketing manager october 2013
online reputation management: how to make sure Your online presenCe is
first Class writteN by JAMie turNer
hen it comes to online marketing, reputation is everything. The goal is to be seen as a trustworthy and respectable leader in your field, and a bad reputation makes that impossible. Managing your online reputation is imperative for a number of reasons. First, potential employers and coworkers will or will not want to work with you depending on your reputation. Second, customers will or will not choose to shop or work with you depending on how they see others reacting to you and how you are presenting yourself. Lastly, possible collaborators (book publishers, societies, conferences, educational institutes, etc.) will or will not want you associated with their endeavors because of your reputation, good or bad. Your reputation can fluctuate, but believe it or not, your online reputation is something that you can and should monitor and manage. You could be seen as a flake, as easily aggravated, as fun to work with, or as an absolute expert. However, you have to know where to find what people are saying about you in order to manage their perceptions. Here are seven steps to ensure that your personal and professional brands are seen in a positive light:
gOOgLe yOuRSeLf: Start your online reputation management process by Googling yourself (or your brand) to see what comes up. That’s a quick, easy start.
uSe SOCiaL MenTiOn TO gain DeePeR inSigHTS: Social Mention is an excellent (and free) tool to help you get a sense of your online reputation. Better still, they provide sentiment monitoring, which lets you know what percentage of the people are saying positive, neutral or negative things about you or your brand.
uSe gOOgLe’S keyWORD TOOL TO RevieW ReLaTeD SeaRCHeS: Here’s a great way to check your online reputation — use Google’s keyword search tool to see if there are any negative search terms that you should know about. For example, if you put “ABC Company” into the keyword search tool, it might show that one of the top related search terms is “Bad ABC Company Reviews.” If that term is the second-most searched term around your company name, you may have a serious online reputation problem.
RevieW yOuR PROfiLeS: Is there anything in your online profiles that might shed a negative light on your personal brand? For example, did you do a short stint at a company with a terrible reputation? (Hey, it happens.) If so, perhaps that company shouldn’t be included in your online profiles.
BiD On yOuR naMe: If you’re trying to combat a few negative reviews on page one of Google, you might consider including paid search as part of your online reputation management program. By buying your company (or personal) name using Google, Bing or Yahoo, you can knock some of the negative comments about your brand down the page a bit. OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013 | 11
Buy Domain Names: Here’s another great way to manage your online reputation — buy related domain names. As a company, you might want to create a website called ABCCompanyReviews.com so you can share (accurate and real) reviews about your company. If you want to protect your personal brand, you might consider buying FirstNameLastNameCity.com so that people doing a search for “Jamie Turner Atlanta” (as an example) will find a website you’ve set up yourself.
A unique training program to uplevel your game and allow you to work in a lucrative and exciting industry.
Link to Positive Content. Do you have a blog, Twitter account or Facebook page? One way to protect your online reputation is to link to positive comments or mentions about you or your brand. Better still, if other people share or re-Tweet the information, Google will rank that content even higher on their search pages.
At the end of this process, you should start to see an increase in positivity toward your brand, even if there wasn’t any negativity to begin with. Your online reputation is manageable, and it is influential. For this reason, you should be doing everything you can to uphold it.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency based in Atlanta, GA. He is also the founder of www.60SecondMarketer.com, an online magazine that provides tips and techniques for marketers around the globe. Jamie is a regular guest on CNN and HLN on the topics of social media, mobile marketing and branding. He has worked with brands such as AT&T, CNN, Motorola, Cartoon Network and The Coca-Cola Company. In addition to the 60 Second Marketer blog, Jamie writes for Mashable, HubSpot and Social Media Examiner. He has been profiled in the world’s best-selling marketing textbook and is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” which was the #1 best-selling mobile marketing book in the U.S. Jamie is an internationally-recognized keynote speaker at trade shows, events and corporations around the globe. He is known for his ability to provide relevant marketing insights in a light-hearted style that keeps audiences engaged and entertained. You can follow Jamie on Twitter @AskJamieTurner and via his blog at www.60SecondMarketer.com/blog.
12 | online marketing manager october 2013
Social Influencer Marketing 101 written by Pam Ivey | photograph by David Spinks
ocial influencer marketing has been around since the beginning of time. People listen to and follow the advice of people they respect and trust to decipher information for them. In the marketing world these people are termed: Influencers. They might be talking heads on news programs, or they might be political pundits. They might be company, product or charity spokespeople. They might even be really prolific bloggers. The thing influencers have in common is that they are often listened to and followed. Influencers are simply those individuals who are usually well connected in some way, and whom others regard as influential, at least within their niche. Online marketing affords a unique opportunity to get involved in social influencer marketing. To do this, simply focus on identifying key individuals within your niche who you believe have the attention of your market and the ability to influence a large number of people on their buying decisions. Then work toward strategically marketing to, through, and with these influencers.
Social Influencer Marketing Strategies Get the Influencer’s Attention • Let the influencer know you exist by simply starting to build a relationship with him or her. Blog about them as important individuals, call them out on social media, share their information, comment on their content, use their blogs as discussion points taking the opportunity to point out how much you respect them and trust them.
Ask the Influencer for Advice • As you build your relationship with the influencer(s), try asking for advice about
an important topic, ask for insight into a problem you have, quote them often within content that you write. Ask them if you can interview them and post the podcast or Youtube.com video or transcript for your audience on your blog and social media accounts.
Give Influencers a Reason • Like most people, if you want an influencer to promote your product by mentioning it or talking about it, you’re going to have to let them know what’s in it for them. Perhaps you can offer them something unique, money, free products or simply indulge their lust for fame. As long as the influencer is happy with the exchange, they’ll talk about your products and services. You can find and reach influencers via social media like Twitter, networks such as LinkedIn.com, search, and by locating those people who identify themselves as influencers within a particular niche. You want to double check to ensure that the influencers you choose have a large enough audience and actual influence on their audience to provoke action. You don’t even have to limit yourself to online when looking for influencers depending upon your products, you can find them locally and at in-person events too. As you seek to draw influencers into your marketing mix, try to be consistent, cross-promoting through your various marketing channels while engaging in a meaningful way. You want to be aware of making an influencer feel used, so be restrained. You also want to make darn sure your products are ready for prime time when going down the route of influencer marketing. Have your products ready to go, your landing pages perfected, your elevator speech prepared and practiced. Be laser-focused on each effort to incorporate social influencer marketing in order to reach your goal. online marketing manager october 2013 | 13
How Is Your LinkedIn Etiquette?
any business people and professionals are afraid of making mistakes on social networks and this prevents them from taking full advantage of all that social media offers This article will help to demystify how to use LinkedIn for business by outlining some of the most tried and true methods that I’ve used to consistently generate more than 70% of my business on the network. In this article you will discover the important Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn etiquette and the mistakes you absolutely want to avoid making.
10 Things You Must Do On LinkedIn
Personalize Connection Requests
It’s important to personalize all connection requests and avoid sending the default message like it’s the black plague. There are many people on LinkedIn that don’t appreciate random requests without a personal message. These are the example people who are likely to hit the “Report Spam” or “I Don’t Know This Person” button.
Have A Profile Picture
Don’t start connecting with people until you have a professional photo of yourself. Your profile picture should be a nice clean and professional headshot. 14 | online marketing manager october 2013
written by Melonie Dodaro
Personalize Your Recommendation Requests
Sadly, there are many people who get in the habit of simply requesting a recommendation without adding a personal message. If you want to successfully receive recommendations from those who you know it’s important to provide a personal note telling them what you are looking for one and always offer to reciprocate when appropriate.
Keep It Professional At All Times
Do not talk about anything that isn’t relevant to business on LinkedIn. Ever. LinkedIn is a business social network and people expect everything to be professional at all times.
Turn Off Notifications When Updating Your Profile
Profile updates can get a bit annoying for your connections if you decide to make a lot of changes to your profile in one day. It’s best to disable notifications when doing any profile updating for this reason.
Send A Welcome Message That Provides Value
One of the most critical steps in my LinkedIn marketing process is sending a “welcome” message to new connections to open up dialogue. Aim to provide them with some sort of value if you want to increase your odds of getting a response. You may want to offer an article that you or someone else has written that you know would provide value to your new
social media connection. The important thing to remember when you are learning how to use LinkedIn effectively is that if it doesn’t provide clear value, it is spam!
Regularly Nurture Relationships
Make an effort to reach out to your valued connections whenever it makes sense to nurture the relationship. It can be as easy as leaving a positive comment on their recent update, sending them useful content specific to their profession or even a simple “congrats” for a promotion or a new product launch in their business.
Make Your Contact List Open To Your Connections
It’s important to open your contacts list up to your new connections, hiding them will have you seen as self-serving. When you connect with someone new you can see all of their contacts. What do you think they will feel about you if they see you have hidden your contacts?
Introduce Your Connections To Each Other
The best way to eventually gain referrals is by giving them to others. Be proactive with your business matchmaking and do the best you can to connect valuable connections with each other if you sense that there could be some synergy.
Respond Promptly To Messages
I like to treat LinkedIn etiquette similar to email in this sense. 1-2 days for a response is perfectly acceptable but any longer is pushing the envelope.
Melonie Dodaro is founder of Top Dog Social Media, an agency that helps business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. To learn more about LinkedIn, attend Melonie’s free webinar 3 Quick & Little-Known Secrets For Harnessing The Power of LinkedIn by visiting www.LinkedinTrainingWebinar.com.
online marketing manager october 2013 | 15
10 things You must never do on linkedin 01
DOn’T SenD SPaMMy MeSSageS TO yOuR COnneCTiOnS
The old saying “Slow down the sale to speed it up” fits well here and this means to not pitch by sending spammy, selfserving messages to your connections. Everything must always be positioned for their benefit, not yours.
DOn’T OveR POST
Avoid posting more than one status update per day on LinkedIn and definitely not more than two.
DOn’T aSk PeOPLe yOu DOn’T knOW fOR ReCOMMenDaTiOnS
You should never ask for a recommendation (or give one) to someone that you can’t personally vouch for. If someone with a poor reputation gives you a recommendation it will be put right on your profile linking back to theirs. Yikes!
DOn’T CRiTiCize OR COMMenT negaTiveLy in gROuPS
LinkedIn groups are a great place to make new connections but only if you don’t turn them off with negativity.
DO nOT POST SeLf-SeRving COnTenT in gROuPS
LinkedIn groups are not for spamming your content. If you want to share your content then you need to craft it for the forum you want to post in and ensure that the goal of the content is to provide value first. Are you noticing a pattern yet? ;)
DOn’T SenD MeSSageS TO MuLTiPLe PeOPLe WiTHOuT unSeLeCTing THiS OPTiOn
If you are going to send a single message to reach multiple people, you need to unselect the option that says, “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses”. Nobody feels special getting a message that was carelessly sent to a bunch of other people.
DOn’T aSk PeOPLe TO Like yOuR faCeBOOk Page
One of the biggest LinkedIn etiquette mistakes I see regularly is new, random connections begging for “likes” on their Facebook page. It’s totally different if after building a relationship with someone if you also choose to connect with them personally on Facebook, but don’t send a message saying: Please like my Facebook page.
DOn’T aSk neW COnneCTiOnS OR PeOPLe yOu DOn’T knOW TO enDORSe yOu
Just because random people endorse you all the time doesn’t make it okay to ask for endorsements if you don’t know the person. I often get people that I don’t know send me messages saying “I just endorsed your skills can you endorse mine now?” If they want to endorse you after they receive a notification you endorsed them, they will, don’t ask for it unless it’s someone you know well.
DOn’T SenD MeSSageS WiTH, “i See yOu vieWeD My PROfiLe…”
In a word: creepy. If it’s someone you want to connect with, go ahead and send a personalized connection request that does NOT include I see you viewed my profile.
DOn’T TReaT Linkedin Like faCeBOOk OR TWiTTeR
LinkedIn etiquette is very different from Facebook and Twitter. It’s important to know the appropriate etiquette for each network as they are often different. Aka nobody wants to see what you ate for lunch on LinkedIn.
iT’S nOT aBOuT yOu, iT’S aBOuT THeM The biggest mistakes on social media come from the misconception that people care about what you have to say. That’s simply not the case. They care about ﬁnding solutions to their problems, that’s it. The golden rule of LinkedIn etiquette and social media marketing in general is to always provide undeniable value that speaks to the exact type of person you are trying to connect with.
16 | OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013
Pinterest vs. Facebook: What’s more important,
Referrals or Performance?
t’s been clear for some time that Pinterest is a huge source of traffic for very particularly focused businesses. Businesses, whose primary target is women, that offer content rich in visuals such as recipes, home, garden, fashion, and even health and wellness have found a clear winning source of traffic with Pinterest. But, the question is, does that traffic perform? Apparently not. A study of Yieldbot’s, metrics reveal some startling information about referrals from Pinterest. Yieldbot serves over 1.5 billion page views each month through its publisher platform. What they found via their own metrics is that consumers who click through from Pinterest don’t click on ads as often as Facebook referrals do. In fact, Pinterest referrals are 45 percent less likely to click on ads than Facebook referrals. This is a problem. After all, the entire point of building up traffic is to convert traffic to ad views, or sales of your products and services.
Does this mean you should shut down your Pinterest social media account and solely concentrate on Facebook for referrals? Not so fast. What it means is that marketers need to look at whether or not their landing pages are appropriate when considering the traffic source. The ads on the landing pages need to be made in consideration of from where the traffic is originating. If marketers can tweak ad placement and ad content for social referrers, they might see a rise in click through, even from Pinterest users. The huge traffic numbers are opportunities, marketers just need to figure out how to grab it.
written by Pam Ivey On the flipside, this finding does mean that marketers need to focus more on encouraging traffic from Facebook. Since their click through rate (CTR) is already higher, it makes sense to focus on sending more traffic from that source now. Look at your Facebook metrics to determine what is working to send traffic to your online real estate. Then do more of that. Focus less on what is not working and more on what is working to see higher results. When reading a study like the one Yieldbot did, it’s important to think realistically about how this affects you. After all, your own metrics matter more than Yieldbot’s metrics. If something is clearly working for you, keep doing it. According to their metrics, Twitter and Tumblr are virtually useless sources of traffic. Does this hold true for you? Do you know? This just goes to the fact that understanding how to ask the right questions and find the answers based on numerical data can go far in making your business more successful. What is true for one business might not be true for another, however, with 1.5 billion page views it’s a pretty big statistical chance that what is true for them may very well be true for you. You won’t know until you study the numbers. As a marketer it’s important to always pay attention to key indicators that let you know what is working, as well as factors that might be huge opportunities in the making. Clearly, the amount of traffic being sent from Pinterest, 85% of the traffic in Yieldbot’s data for women’s verticals, is a huge opportunity for smart marketers. online marketing manager october 2013 | 17
Dealing With Changing Consumer Behavior
f one thing is certain in today’s marketing climate, it’s change. Marketers must understand the subscriber experience and why it matters when promoting their brand. What is thought of as fact today, may be completely untrue tomorrow when it comes to consumer behavior, especially as it relates to email and technology. As the technology changes, consumer behavior changes, and if they’re smart, marketer behavior changes. Marketers need to keep up with this evolution, it’s the only way to deal with changing consumer behavior.
If you make it a practice to study marketing metrics you’ll discover insights into your audience that might surprise you. The only way to deal with changing consumer behavior is to know what their behavior is to start with. You must be studying all the following metrics regularly: • Where and why did your subscribers sign up?
written by Pam Ivey A good example from a study by Return Path called: The Email Subscriber Experience 2008-2013: How Email Tactics and Consumer Behavior Have Evolved in Five Years, is that back in 2008, marketers often asked for a lot of information from consumers prior to allowing them to subscribe to their email lists. Information such as snail mail addresses and more were common then. Today, most marketers only ask for an email address, and a few more ask for a email address, name and zip code.
Why did marketers make that change? Marketers have learned through hard knocks that consumers are more comfortable giving up less information, at least at first. As the relationship builds, brands can gather more information from a portion of their market, because the technology exists through surveys and polls to get to those who have signed up easier. In other words, marketers learned from the consumers what works and what doesn’t work for information gathering. Back in 2008, brands didn’t even include a newsletter sign up on their home pages, according to the study. But today, virtually all brands include a newsletter or other type of sign up right on the home page. Again, the reasons have to do with marketers studying the behavior of their consumers who have signed up to get information. They discovered that the easier they make it for consumers, the more likely they are to not only sign up, but engage. If you make it a practice to study marketing metrics you’ll discover insights into your audience that might surprise you.
• How many click throughs result in your call to action being answered?
A really shocking revelation in this study is the fact that 91 per cent of brands do not use a confirmed opt-in strategy any longer. This might seem like a risky thing to do, but according to the study, brands who did ask for a confirmation to opt-in didn’t receive any added benefit other than a reduction in the number of spam complaints. For very small businesses this probably should come with a caution. You probably should not stop your double opt-in process just because the brands in this study no longer used the procedure. But, it is something to think about when, according to the study, despite the opt-in policy, consumers still read the messages and acted on them at the same rate. This may be a sign of consumers evolving to expect to receive messages that they signed up to receive.
These are all questions that can be answered through your email subscription service. If you’re not regularly answering these questions, you can’t possibly improve upon your email marketing, nor can you evaluate whether your subscribers are changing their behavior. By finding out this information, you can better focus your email marketing on what is working and get rid of what isn’t.
If you want to improve your email marketing results and take advantage of these lessons, be sure to study the metrics that are available to you regarding your subscribers’ behavior. In addition, keep up to date on marketing studies and statistics. You might be surprised at what you find, and you just might develop better ways to communicate with and engage with your market, even as their behavior changes with the times.
• When do your subscribers receive the first message? • How soon are follow up messages sent? • When do your subscribers receive messages? • How are messages timed? • Are your messages personalized? • Do your messages incorporate a call to action? • What are your open rates for each type of message? • What are your click through rates for each type of message?
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Social Media Marketing & SEO
Is One More Important Than the Other?
wo of the most important factors for any growing online business are SEO and social media marketing. But is one more important than the other? Should you put more time and energy into one and not the other? Which can make a bigger difference on your bottom line? Let’s explore some of these questions.
SEO Is More Important for Raw Traffic SEO will get you more traffic up front than social media will. Though social media is gaining more and more traction every day, they still don’t come close to what a number one ranking can do for your site in terms of raw traffic. On the other hand, top search rankings are hard to achieve. They can often take months, even years. They take a lot of time investment and often a lot of monetary investment as well. SEO is a longer-term strategy than social media. You might get more traffic overall than social media, but it takes more effort and has a randomness factor as well. You don’t know if it’ll actually work.
Social Media is More Important for Reputation On the other hand, social media is free. It’s easy to manage and doesn’t take months before you see results. That said, you won’t see the same kind of traffic that you’d get from a number one ranking search listing. Social media has a lot of side benefits that go beyond the raw traffic stats. Prominent social media figures build a strong
written by Pam Ivey | photograph by family mwr reputation in a space, which often increases their conversion rates because of their reputation. Likewise, they’re more likely to get invited to speaking engagements, where many profitable business deals can be made. The key to good social media marketing is to provide something your users want, consistently. If that’s a weekly how-to video, then make sure you provide that video every week, without fail.
The Real Answer: The Two Are Merging Most SEO experts agree that search engines are taking many social media factors into account when ranking pages. In other words, instead of just looking at backlinks and PageRank, the search engines now look at your Facebook likes and reposts as well to help determine rankings. When it comes down to it, the secret to successful SEO and social media are really the same. Provide good content, consistently. It’s what people tend to pass on and it’s what the search engines are looking for. One may be more or less effective for specific businesses, but if you focus 90 per cent of your efforts on creating a great user experience and 10 per cent on marketing techniques, you’ll have a great chance of succeeding with both. Is one more important than the other? “Yes,” in the sense that one may work better than the other for your business in the short term. “No,” in the sense that in the long run, they’re more or less the same. online marketing manager october 2013 | 19
Marketing Results written by Pam Ivey
any marketers don’t much like numbers. They like the feel of the “fun” aspects of creating marketing messages, pretty landing pages, and beautiful marketing materials – but they often fall short when it comes to measuring marketing results. They often place focus where it should not be, which can defy the underlying reason for marketing: More Leads More Sales More Money.
When it comes to studying metrics, it’s important to choose only a few key metrics to study. Make sure these metrics follow the idea of M.O.R.E. In marketing the things that matter are Money, Outcomes, Results and the overall Effectiveness of any particular campaign. To ensure that your marketing metrics focus on the idea of M.O.R.E. remember to measure success, look for trends, recognize contributors and then do it all over again.
In business, there is nothing that is more important than profit. (OK values are important too but without profit you can’t live your values.) If your efforts aren’t leading to higher profits, then there is hardly a point. Smart business owners want a return on investment (ROI) for their marketing dollars. Marketing is not a straight line expense item. It’s one of the biggest investments most businesses will ever make. Understand your business’ financial metrics and how the entire marketing process relates.
Some marketers, when choosing metrics to study, focus on thing like “hits” and traffic or how many people showed up at their event. The fact is, it doesn’t matter how many people visit your website, landing pages,
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or come to your events. If the wrong audience came, and no one buys anything, and the outcomes don’t correlate to the effort, something is wrong. Studying these numbers can keep marketing on track.
When you start any marketing campaign you have an idea of what your goal is, or you should. If your marketing efforts aren’t producing results, try not to feel too good about just doing something. Feel good about getting results. Going on Facebook or Twitter, sending out messages that produce results is what you want. Figure out the results of your actions before celebrating them.
If your sales and marketing software works great, but you’re not using it effectively there is no point in rejoicing in its efficiency. Learn to use every tool at your fingertips to get the most bang for your buck. If it’s effective and efficient so be it, but efficiency without effectiveness is not going to convert sales or improve ROI. As you study the metrics that show what worked, and what didn’t work, keep a record. As you record what worked, what produced the best ROI compared to what didn’t, you’ll develop a blue print for all your marketing campaigns that will get better and better as you recycle them into new campaigns -keeping only what worked, and tossing what didn’t. Without measuring your marketing results you couldn’t accomplish that. The final realization of measuring marketing metrics is that marketing becomes accountable for producing a ROI like never before. The business improves exponentially as you place your marketing focus on M.O.R.E.
Adwords Ready Image Tool written by Pam Ivey | photograph by Heisenberg Media
s a marketer, it’s important to be on the cutting edge of technology, always looking ahead to the future. What’s working today to engage customers might not work tomorrow. But, we know how important ads are to help build awareness and drive sales. Without creative advertising, most businesses can’t get their message out to their audience. Businesses spend a lot of time and money creating just the right type of ads to bring their brand to their market. Creating responsive ad campaigns just got easier. At the end of September, Google Adwords made it all possible with their new Ready Creatives innovation. This ground-breaking feature consists of two tools: Ready Image Ads and Ready Ad Gallery. Never before has it been so simple to create awesome ads that are viewable on any screen.
Ready Image Ads This is the tool that allows you to enter your URL so that it can scan your site, pulling images and information from your site to put together an advertisement. You’ll be able to customize the results fully once it’s done scanning your site including removing or adding new images, replacing colors,
changing the layout, as well as adding text for a completely professional looking advertisements in minutes.
Ready Image Gallery You know as a marketer, the importance of telling a story that relates to your target audience. This tool makes it easier. It prompts you to build dynamic, engaging ads that can include video, sound and more. You have more choices than ever before about how your audience will see and hear your advertisements.
To find out what all the hype is about, visit your Adwords account. These ads are fully customizable to include color, images, headlines, text, font, URL and more. You are the boss. Plus it’s easy to use and will only take you a few minutes to create your ads. You can use their images or your own images and elements from your website by simply entering your URL to pull images and information from your site to keep your brand consistent. You’ll be able to
create video ads, ads that are engaging, dynamic, and get your message to your audience like never before. To find out what all the hype is about, visit your Adwords account. Then select the campaign or ad group to add the display advertisement. You’ll be given a couple of choices of how to proceed. Choose their pictures, upload your own, or as mentioned above you can enter your URL and it will grab images and information from your website. Once you’ve done that you can further customize your ad by changing the headline, change the size, image, color, text and more. These are HTML 5 compatible sizes so they are fully responsive advertisements. These types of advertisements used to be only for those who had thousands to spend on ad creation. Now you can do this yourself, for free. With Google’s innovative and easy to use tools, you’ll create better ads for your market than you thought possible. If you’ve not seen the new tools yet, take a look and start creating today. You’ll be creating exciting display ads before you know it with Google’s new tools.
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does the Color You Choose for Your reallY matter?
olor makes up the world around us therefore it affects where we look and how we feel. When this concept is applied to branding it can increase your brand recognition by 80%.
What does that mean? It means that it will make your brand more memorable in the minds of your customers. Color, being one of the most important elements of your brand design because every color means something a little different and creates a different emotion. Watch the video to identify your brand color.
CliCk to watCh ChelseY’s video
videO by cheLsey MArie
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When choosing your brand color make sure you take into account your personal favorite as well as the ones that will enhance your message most. Remember, Paul Rand said “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” And he is absolutely right because design is what catches the attention of your customer. When you are creating your brand there are some core brand elements you need to have that will make up your design like style, font, imagery, color and word choice.
is a brand stylist and online business strategist who takes your personality, your passion and your inspiration and turns it into a daring online brand and a successful marketing strategy. Her mission is to create a community of entrepreneurs ready to make their online presence express who they are offline and make money doing what they love. Over the course of 2013, Chelsey’s community has grown to include a list of over 4,000 awesome entrepreneurs who live both locally and abroad. Chelsey is also the creator of an online course called “The Fan Page Transformation” with 800 enrolled business owners, and a weekly podcast on iTunes called “The Daring Entrepreneur.”
How to Design a Landing Page That
Converts written by Pam Ivey
ne of the most important weapons you have in your arsenal, aside from awesome products and services, is your landing page. You want to build awesome landing pages that convert visitors to buyers the first time. As a marketer, and let’s be honest here, no matter what business you’re in, you’re a marketer, your bread and butter is in converting leads to customers. Online, the way this is accomplished best is with effective landing pages. Many business owners fail miserably because they don’t even bother creating landing pages, they simply send visitors strait to their homepage and hope for the best. This is not the best way to convert visitors to buyers. Visitors are underwhelmed going to your home page, it’s not what they expected when they clicked through a marketing campaign message. So, how do you make highly convertible landing pages?
Your visit or will eit her see what he or she came to see wit hin three seconds or they’ll leave. Make Landing Pages Based on Location of Marketing Messages You may need to create more than one landing page based on where your audience is coming from. Your marketing campaign directed to customer A, as compared to customer B, even if in the same general target audience, may respond differently completely based on the landing page. If the landing page is not what they are expecting, they’re going to click away. You have mere seconds to convert them, so take advantage of it. Your landing pages need to take into consideration from where the leads are originating so that your visitor feels welcomed.
Don’t Reinvent The Wheel There have been numerous studies done by huge businesses that show the types of landing pages that convert. Don’t try
recreating something that really already has a perfect design and that design works if the message is right. Every landing page should start with a header. That’s the first thing that the visitor should see, and it should deliver what was promised in the marketing message. Your visitor will either see what he or she came to see within three seconds or they’ll leave. You have one chance. Next, the landing page body should allow for visitors to skim through the information. Provide information that reflects the header and explains the header information more clearly. Use headlines, lists, colors, and graphics to break up the content, highlight important facts and provide white space to make reading easier on the eye. Ensure that the purpose of your landing page is clear, whether it is a call to action (CTA) to buy or a CTA to sign up on a form. Make your forms and your buttons clear and make the text surrounding the CTA clear too. Your CTA should be obvious, you don’t want visitors looking at the page, having no idea what to do, they’ll leave.
Copy Should Elicit Trust Outside of the design elements, the copy should build trust. To build trust you can include various elements like testimonials, reviews, copies of certifications, personalization and more. Anything that shows the visitor that they can trust you to deliver what you say you will deliver will go far in helping the visitor convert. Landing pages that convert require all these elements combining the expectations of the visitor with the goal of the seller to create a bond that is strong enough that the buyer opens up their wallet. This is a science that you can learn. Finally, remember to test, test, test. Everything you do involving sales and marketing must be measured and tested to prove success and / or failure. But remember, failure is temporary, because only by acknowledging what is not working can you move on to success. Studying the bounce rate, visitor uniqueness, conversion rates, how long visitors stay on a page, and lead generation effectiveness are all important metrics to pay attention to. It’ll only make you a better marketer. online marketing manager october 2013 | 23
How to Write
a Great Product Sales Page
written by Pam Ivey | photograph by kurafire
our headline is an essential ingredient for the success of your product. Experts tell us you have about 10 seconds or less, to grab your prospect’s attention. Guess what they read first? Your headline. Here’s how to write a headline for your product’s sales page that attracts attention and helps sell your product.
Know Your Customer or Prospect
Before you can begin writing an effective headline, you have to know your prospect intimately. You need to identify their problem so you can craft a sales page that promises a solution. Ask yourself the following: • Who is your customer? • What is their biggest problem or complaint? • How will this product solve their problems?
Brainstorm headline possibilities by writing 20 or so potential headlines. Here are a few ways to write effective headlines: • State a benefit – For example, “Triple your income overnight and Live the Life You Desire.” • Use numbers and statistics – For example, “Triple your income with 12 simple steps.” • Make it newsworthy. Use words like “new”, “introducing”, or “announcing” – For example, “New Book Shows You How You Can Triple Your Income Overnight.” • Make a big promise. – “Triple your income overnight.” • Use a “reasons why” headline – For example, “10 Reasons Why You’re Not Earning More Money.” • Pique their curiosity – For example, “The Secret Investment Strategy Wall Street Investors Don’t Want You To Know.” 24 | online marketing manager october 2013
Make it Emotional
Use active and emotional language in your headline to grab your prospects immediately. We buy for emotional reasons, plain and simple. When you engage the emotions right in your headline, you’re triggering an emotional response. We’re talking about emotions like:
Pride Greed Frustration Envy Joy For example, “How To Finally Make the Income You’ve Been Fighting to Earn”. There are many emotions to tap into. What emotions is your audience feeling? Consider also including your keywords in your headline and also using a subheading to really capture your prospect’s attention. Your headline may be the single most important element in selling your product. And a well-crafted headline may make the difference between a 1 per cent conversion rate and a 10% per cent conversion rate. Spend time crafting the best headline possible, create a sales page that supports it and then test and track it for success.
Hook Prospects with a Promising
Subtitle written by Pam Ivey
etting ready to launch your product? Before you make that big announcement, take a look at the title for your product. Your title and subtitle have the power to make or break your product’s success. In fact, the right title and subtitle can practically sell your product.
What’s On Your Bookshelf?
Many business owners have a perfectly good product title. They understand the importance of appealing to the buyer’s emotions - of offering a benefit in the title and maybe even including a few keywords.
Here’s an example of three book titles and subtitles found on my computer:
However, where they go wrong is with the subtitle. It’s ineffective or worse, non- existent. There are many tremendous benefits to including a subtitle for your product.
Subtitle Benefits • A compelling subtitle enables you to elaborate on the subject of your product. • It provides you with the unique ability to use more keywords in your product’s title which helps with search engine optimization and traffic. • Your subtitle also lets you enhance the value of your product to your prospects by giving you more room to stress benefits, enhance credibility, and arouse curiosity. • Additionally, your subtitle lets you tap into those powerful emotions that cause us to make a purchase and those psychological buying triggers. • Finally, your subtitle gives you an opportunity to make a promise to your prospects.
Take a look at the books on your bookshelf, on your eReader and stored on your computer. Examine the headlines and the subheadings. Do they offer a promise? Do they include keywords? Do they add to the credibility? Do they imply a benefit?
Phrases that Sell
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords
The Ultimate Phrase Finder to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words
Notice that all three subtitles are incredibly powerful. The product titles are significantly less effective without them. If your product does not have a subtitle, get to work. Your subtitle may be the single most important selling tool you have. Include your keywords, offer a benefit or make a promise. Establish credibility and let your prospect know exactly what they have to gain when they buy your product. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling: book, ecourse, video series, teleseminar, or anything else. Your title and subtitle matter. Spend time crafting one that sells. You’ll be glad you did. online marketing manager october 2013 | 25
Convert more through
ne way to convert more leads into customers is to practice marketing transparency. Being open about where you came from, what you’re doing, and where you’re going -- and most importantly why you’re doing it -- you’ll connect to your audience in a way that most businesses simply don’t. By opening yourself up to sharing your values with others, and finding customers who share those values, you’ll create a customer base who doesn’t just buy from you, but customers who actually pass up other similar items so that they can buy the next thing you put out instead.
tell your story in More ways Telling your why is an important aspect of telling your story. People want to know more about why you do something than how and what. Sharing your values with your audience will go far in creating a bond of trust between you and potential and current customers. Being upfront about why you started your business and why you do what you do is often in the “about” section on a typical website today. Try moving it front and center. Try telling the story in different ways, through video, public speaking, a book, blogging, social media, microsites, marketing campaigns and more. Sharing your why can be a way to start true engagement with your audience that you may have never experienced before. Share your why in every way that you can for an effective way to connect with your audience, helping you inspire
writteN by PAM ivey | PhOtOGrAPh by Pure sOLitude each other toward fulfilling your “why” fully which is completely outside of the profit motive. When you are creating your marketing message, ask why before you answer how and what.
Ask for consumer input on Products/services Be open about the products you have and the ones in creation. In fact, not only should you be completely open about it, but you should also ask for consumer input about your products and services. Asking your current customers which product they want you to roll out next can be a very effective means to not only connecting with your market, but to create new products. It’s a win-win proposition and one of the best ways to bring to your customers exactly what they’re ready to buy. It’s the ultimate in problem solving.
Content is still, and probably will always be “King”. Admit to challenges Openly This goes back to focusing on your why. People want to buy from people who share their values. By openly admitting to facing challenges in your business, telling the story that you didn’t go straight from A to Z without many stops along the way will bring your audience closer to you. If consumers know that they
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can trust the information you provide, they’ll come back for more. They will trust you more, if you’re not perfect. Be transparent with issues, simply tell the truth, and you may be surprised at the type of success that flows from that.
commit to content Marketing through blogging Content is still, and probably will always be “King”. Use your business blog to talk about more than this product or that product. Talk about your why, the challenges you face, the successes and failures you’ve experienced as you do whatever it is that you do. Why you created a particular product matters more than what it is. It used to be that people didn’t talk about certain things in mixed company, but this is not the case anymore. Sharing your goals, those met and unmet, through your blog will connect you to your audience in a more transparent way. It’s okay not to be perfect, and it’s also okay to toot your own horn. Get a new certification? Fail to meet sales goals? Blog about it. Tell your audience what you did right and what you did wrong and how you’ll do it differently next time. They’ll be enraptured. Practicing marketing transparency can be a little outside of some people’s comfort zone. However, this type of marketing works. It’s one reason Apple is so successful. They start with their why, and they are transparent about how and what’s next.
In the Footsteps of the
to Creating Perfect Purpose Driven Content
ad he been real, the Pied Piper of Hamelin would have been one of history’s most successful marketers. He had a goal, took time to assess his target niche and created content that would meet its needs. Eventually, he developed such a rapport with his audience that they followed him without question. Purpose driven content works in the same way. It is the enchanted flute that creates a following for your products and services, and the link between you and the market. It encourages people to trust your recommendations, and constantly reassures those who’ve bought into your message. It is persuasive without being manipulative. To develop content that your audience can trust, you need to ask yourself these questions; what is your goal, what are your capabilities, who is your target, and what do you want them to do? If your plans intersect with the needs of your audience, getting them to follow your recommendations will be much easier.
Want to create purpose driven content? Here are some tips.
Focus on the Audience
Purpose driven content should, first of all, be audience focused. After all, it is the customers who pay your bills; employers only handle the money. Content generation goals should therefore be set from the point of view of the market’s needs. To keep your content relevant, constantly ask your audience questions, and listen to the answers.
written by Andrea Kalli
Develop your Capabilities
Content creators spend most of their time dispensing advice and recommendations. At times, this can cause feelings of infallibility. For this reason, some get surprised when they uncover gaps in their capabilities. This is, to repeat a popular quote, a blessing in disguise. These gaps are actually opportunities to improve the quality of your offering, so use them well. The discovery of these chinks has another positive effect; it encourages an attitude of humility. Content creators infected with a know-all attitude will struggle to listen, understand and effectively meet the needs of others. Ultimately, this will negatively impact their ability to attract and retain audiences.
Search Engine Optimization Comes Last
You should start by developing content for human beings, and then tweak it for search engines. Focusing on nothing else but pleasing search engines may result in content that no one wants. Since Google partly ranks search results by popularity, your page rank, even if initially high, will drop faster than you can say “Search!” Audience-pleasing content is more likely to go viral, earning you a higher page rank in the process.
Build an Audience First
Don’t be in a rush to sell. People may feel like you are trying to ram something they don’t need down their throats. Instead, take time to build a rapport with your audience. Listen to their problems, understand their aspirations, and find out what they need. Walk a mile in their shoes. People do not care about what you know until they know that you care, to paraphrase a popular quote. Once people trust you, they are more likely to follow your recommendations. online marketing manager october 2013 | 27
Building a Following Takes Time
There are moments when your content becomes the tipping point, causing someone to pay for a product or service. At other times, it is like a mole, slowly, and sometimes unconsciously sweeping aside objections, alleviating worries and whetting appetites. The process of convincing people to do something can take as little as a minute or as long as a year. Be patient and consistent, and you will eventually reap the fruits of your hard work.
It Should be Holistic
Companies have a tendency to put search engine optimization, content marketing and social media marketing into different boxes. That approach invariably leads to ineffective and confusing content that drives people away. Ideally, whatever is on the Facebook page should match what’s on the company’s website. That kind of coherence is only possible when content creation becomes a collaborative effort.
Educate your Audience
In order to be effective, content should enlighten. Why should someone pick your product over a competitor’s? Take time to educate your audience on the benefits of solving their problem your way. Do not just describe product features; explain their relevance. How will a certain feature make their lives better? Use your content to change people’s perspectives. One way of doing this is by using perceptual contrast. For instance, you can convince someone to buy a big-screen television by comparing its price to what a person would pay for movie tickets in a year; an expensive purchase will suddenly look cheap. In fact, people will start wondering why they thought it was expensive. Another approach involves briefly mentioning a competing but less desirable product, then describing the superiority of what you are selling.
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Tell the Truth
Purpose driven content convinces without having to resort to lies and manipulation. To paraphrase a popular quote, you may be able to fool people for a while, but you can’t fool them all the time. Lies will irreparably damage your credibility. Remember Madoff and Enron? Use reliable sources to conduct thorough research. Where necessary, cite facts and statistics to build your credibility.
Present Information in an Interesting Way
No matter how credible they are, stating cold facts and figures is not going to build rapport with your audience. You need to present information in a way that’s attractive. For instance, there is a very huge difference between these two statements; “It’s an inch thick” “It’s as thick as a cat’s leg” They present the same information. However, the last one is not only clearer, but is more likely to be remembered and, perhaps more importantly for a marketer, retweeted. Wherever possible, present ideas using the inverted pyramid model; important information goes on the first paragraph, not the body. In addition, break up blocks of text into short paragraphs. Sentences should be brief. Use active rather than passive voice, as it gives content more punch. It may be a cliche, but pictures are actually worth a thousand words. Use them in place of text where possible. Headings should be in big, bold text. Remember, headlines are a promise; the body should build on that promise, or your audience will feel cheated. Another approach is to add jokes and other humorous content. However, it should be relevant, or it will end up being a distraction. You need to be prepared to take advantage of the buzz that this approach creates, as it does not last for very long.
Use Failure to Your Advantage
In spite of all efforts to the contrary, mistakes will invariably happen. It may be a typo that slips by during the editing process, a mis-quote, or a misinterpretation of your content by some of your customers. Do not panic, as this may cause you to make bad decisions. Calm down, and think of ways to make lemonade out of the lemon. Admit your failure and apologize. Where possible, make amends by, for instance, giving gifts. These do not have to be expensive, as it is the thought that counts. Consistently remind your market that you are human, and invite them to help you make your content better. This will improve trust between you and your audience.
It is a Journey
Content creation is a journey, not a one-off event. Your audience will evolve, as will your knowledge of it. At various times, Google will change its search algorithm. If you do not want your message to be rendered irrelevant, find a way to adapt and take advantage of these changes. Refreshing content on a regular basis also improves its page ranking in search results. This long term view of content generation should be an integral part of every marketerâ€™s arsenal. It provides the fortitude needed to handle and overcome the challenges that are an inevitable part of the job.
Since 2005, is has been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs save time using laser-focused strategic marketing methods to grow their business. Andrea is an action-oriented virtual assistant who offers a variety of targeted marketing services for the online business entrepreneur, including: Highimpact Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing Action Planning and Support, Keyword Research and Website SEO Services, WordPress Business Sites and Content Marketing Support, Product Launch Support, Content Repurposing and Recycling Strategies, Audio and Video Products Editing and Support. Known as The Implementer, her primary area of focus is to work with entrepreneurs who want to take the next steps in their business to strategically build their platform, establish their expertise, and to create a movement around their passion. learn more about Andrea and her services at www.virtualassist.net. online marketing manager october 2013 | 29
affIlIaTes anD jvs
internet PROPHETS: the power of allianCes i
writteN by steve OLsher
n 1986, a second-year NBA player named Michael Jeffrey Jordan scored 63 points for the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The remarkable performance still stands as a league playoff record. At the end of the 2nd overtime period, the scoreboard read 135-131...in favor of the Celtics. Two games later, the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. In 1987, the Bulls once again met the Celtics in the playoffs and realized the same fate. They were swept 3-0 in a best of five series. By 1988, Jordan had established himself as the game’s most dominant player. Yet, the Detroit Pistons knocked the team out of the playoffs in three consecutive years. In 1991, under the guidance of third-year coach Phil Jackson, Jordan and his teammates led the Bulls to their first of three straight NBA titles. Moral of the story: No matter how talented someone might be, it is impossible for any single person to outperform a finely tuned, highly focused group of individuals committed to achieving a unified goal. Janet Bray Attwood, co-author of The Passion Test, understands the power of assembling like-minded people for the attainment of a singular purpose. Over the years, she’s developed powerful, close relationships with many of the world’s most influential people. However, there is a significant difference between establishing joint ventures and nurturing alliances. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Joint ventures Far too frequently, Internet marketers view business relationships as limited-scope joint ventures. Often, product A is promoted by company B and a joint venture is formed for immediate, mutual benefit. After the promotion, each moves in a divergent direction and, likely, do not work together again. This approach is shortsighted at best and results in tremendous effort being limited to a one-time gain. As an analogy, consider residential real estate developers. There are typically two types: apartment investors and 30 | OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013
condominium developers. Tremendous work is allocated for the creation of both for rent, and for sale, units. The condominium developer seeks an immediate return. The apartment investor seeks long-term dividends. Both have nails hammered into walls. The condo developer is paid once for the nail when the unit is sold. An apartment investor is paid for the nail over and over as they receive monthly rent for
affiliates and jvs decades. Joint ventures can be thought of as condominiums, and alliances as apartments. Joint ventures represent the antithesis of forging long-term alliances that create highvalue interpersonal relationships.
Alliances Alliances are inherently cyclical in nature and each party seeks to provide benefit to the other. Therefore, as one party succeeds, both are rewarded. Janet chooses to conduct business only with those she feels so much resonance with she considers them to be friends as well as business partners. Developing and maintaining strong alliances requires understanding the art and science behind the magic. The first step is to know yourself. Grant yourself time and permission to understand who you are. Devote focused, quiet time to identifying your WHAT—that is, the one thing you were born to do. In order to form powerful alliances, you must know who you are. The reason is simple: an alliance is predicated upon providing value to others. If you’re unclear about what you have to offer, providing meaningful value will be met with consistent incongruities. The successful know exactly who they are and how they can best serve the world. Before seeking to form alliances, understand who are the most likely beneficiaries of your knowledge and identify partners who can provide access to those who fit your
desired profile. Ideally, the more you choose to live like a sniper and takes aim for the center of the bull’s eye, the more success you’ll realize. The successful focus on forging alliances with perfect partners and bring tangible value to the relationship. Like marriage, creating long-term mutually beneficial alliances takes work—a lot of work. The time and effort required for this to happen represents the single biggest difference between a joint venture and an alliance.
Serve Before Being Served The successful first seek to understand and then be understood. This is the polar opposite of how most choose to operate. A core strategy for serving first is to gather ample information to assess how immediate benefit can be provided to one’s partner. Janet describes this process as identifying your partner’s “critical need.” What’s most interesting about providing service first is that, often, as you help others solve their most pressing issue you concurrently solve your own critical need. By helping first, you’ll likely discover you don’t have to ask others for assistance. If you provide significant value, their natural inclination is to reciprocate.
Life, like business, is all about give and take. When it comes to alliances, give and ye shall receive. Take and you’ll only get taken.
Steve Olsher is America’s Reinvention Expert and has taught thousands how to NICHETIZE!™ by identifying and monetizing their WHAT — that is, the ONE thing they were born to do. His singular approach for realizing permanent, positive change blends his own proprietary methods with ancient wisdom and revolutionary lessons from modern thought leaders and forms a proven system for ultimate achievement in business and life. For more information, visit www.SteveOlsher.com.
online marketing manager october 2013 | 31
11 InformatIon marketIng BusIness mIstakes
The key to building a successful information marketing business is to avoid certain costly mistakes. Let me explain...
writteN by AdAM urbANsKi | iMAGe cOurtesy Of sheeLAMOhAN / freediGitALPhOtOs.Net
f you’ve tried your hand at building an Internet-based business but haven’t yet reached the success you want, find out these 11 deadly mistakes and how to avoid them.
mistake #1 nOT TReaTing WHaT yOu DO aS a BuSineSS.
The difference between a hobby and a business is that a hobby doesn’t make you money - it costs you money. If you’re serious about starting a building a profitable online business approach seriously and focus on generating revenue. Treat your online business as if you would any regular business.
mistake #2 Being DiSTRaCTeD By TOO Many gOOD iDeaS.
You can light up a room with a light bulb, but you can cut through steel with a laser beam. The same is true with your effort and ideas. Too many Internet-Entrepreneur-Wanna-Bes lack the will power to stay focused. Chasing too many ideas at the same time often leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and with little results to show for their hard work. The key to success is to select one business idea and to develop it completely before moving on to another project.
mistake #3 nOT SeLeCTing a SPeCifiC niCHe.
Perhaps the biggest mistake of all is trying to be everything to everyone. You can’t - so stop! 32 | OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013
It’s very counter-intuitive to focus on a smaller slice of the market and most people are afraid to do it. But when you do, your business will grow faster, and you’ll more financially successful in less time.
mistake #4 faLLing in LOve WiTH THe WROng PRODuCT iDea.
Even the most experienced entrepreneurs fall into this trap from time to time and develop products without doing any research. Before you devote any serious amount of time and effort to developing your new ideas make sure there is a demand for the type of product, information, or service you want to launch. If you need help with selecting an ideal niche market for your business and finding out which products you should develop first, take a look at this fast track training program.
mistake #5 faLLing fOR THe “geT RiCH quiCk” SCHeMe!
Remember the old adage “if something is too good to be true...”? It’s alive and well on the Internet. Countless people buy into the idea of making millions online overnight. Sadly, they buy into programs hyped up with empty promises only to find themselves “out of cash and out of luck” a short while later. Be aware of spammers, illegal money-winning scams, and buying “ready to go businesses” that are “hot but will sell for cheap”!
Strategy Before you fork over your money investigate if those hot businesses have ever made a dime for their current owner. Doing your homework will save you valuable time, money and many sleepless nights!
Mistake #6 Going Into It, Instead of Growing Into It.
While the Internet makes it easier to reach your potential clients, you’re still building a business - and that takes time. Don’t tell your boss you’re quitting today because you started this hot new online business last night and you’ll be “rolling in dough in no time flat!” First make sure your business idea works and is profitable. That’s one of the advantages of Internet Business - you can start small and step-it-up as your business starts getting sales and generating profits. Just be sure you can consistently replace your current income before jumping ship and telling your boss to “beat it”!
Mistake #7 Being a Copy-Cat! Quickly - what is the most popular business on the Internet? You guessed it - it’s how to make money on the online! It seems that everyone who has bought a course on making money online is credible enough to teach this subject a week or two later! Don’t fall for the allure of easy money - because it’s only a perception. In reality your chances of having a successful online business are much greater when you are different from the pack.
Mistake #8 Wasting Time and Money on
Developing Pretty but Useless Websites.
A bad idea is a bad idea - no matter how pretty you dress it up. Many people waste precious startup dollars on expensive but needless graphic design work, pretty logos, and complex web design. In reality, many businesses can be simple and inexpensive to get off the ground. In fact, a simple site with little or no graphics will often make more money than one with all the latest bells and whistles flashing all over the page. Think what is the core concept of your business. Outline it on a single sheet of paper, then implement it fast in it’s simplest form. You can always give it a makeover and make it prettier if it’s successful and profitable.
Not Building Relationship
“Even though you don’t know me from Adam, I want you to take out your wallet and give me $20 - in exchange I’ll make you the King of the Universe!” What!? You don’t want to give me your $20? What a surprise! Most people think about starting a business online in terms of getting a quick sale - with no prior relationship with their potential clients at all. In reality, you’ll be more successful when you make your first goal to collect contact information from potential clients and follow up with them on regular basis. It’s much easier to “sell something for FREE” than trying to convince people to give you money at first. Make it your goal to prove your credibility online and make your business all about relationships with prospects and clients you’ll build a thriving online empire.
Mistake #10 Calling It “QUITS” Too Soon! If your new online venture isn’t making money at first don’t walk away from it too soon. Many entrepreneurs have multiple “failures” in their background - which in reality are lessons in what didn’t work. Evaluate your ideas and get help with gaining a new perspective on what you’re doing. With some new ideas you might find a new way to position your business differently and make it profitable. Or maybe you simply need to give it more time to gain the traction and momentum you want.
Mistake #11 Being too cheap! While it’s a good habit to be thrifty with your dollars, don’t confuse saving money with being cheap. Remember the price you’re paying for things isn’t always expressed in money. It’s also the time, effort, and lost opportunities you can’t take advantage off because you lack the know-how or are busy doing low-level tasks. Smart online entrepreneurs continually invest in their Education. They buy marketing training programs, time-saving software tools, and systems that allow them to grow businesses faster with less effort. The best news is getting good basic training in how to start your own information marketing business doesn’t have to be expensive.
Adam Urbanski, president of Marketing Mentors Inc., built a multi-million dollar business in less than 10 years starting with only $194 and a limited ability to speak English. Today Adam teaches Solo-Professionals and Business Owners how to attract more clients and increase their profits. For a free marketing guide, how-to articles and more marketing tips visit his website at http://www.themarketingmentors.com
online marketing manager october 2013 | 33
mY sneakY little moneY maker:
turned into multiple 6 figures
ere’s the deal... Math isn’t my strongest suit, but in business you’ve got to look at the numbers. And, recently, a look at my numbers revealed a story... a story I knew I had to share with you. Its gonna sound like the story is about me, but hang on, because its really its about YOU. :)
the case study: how can a little $6K product end up creating Multiple Six-Figures? If you don’t already know, Command Any Room is my flagship, entry level program. Its a 6 week online program that shows you how to turn your message, into more leads, cash, and clients. Here’s what’s interesting about it... The first time I opened Command any Room was Nov. 2011. I had an email list of just 700 people, and sold 20 people into the program at about $300 a person, and it generated just $6000. nothing to brag about i know. But over the next 12 months, this client magnet drew in $160,000.00 to the business through direct sales and residual sales. Now, we’re going to IGNORE all new sales for a moment. Pretend I never met any one new. With just the initial people who went through the program the first year, the $160,000 number turns into $235,000.00 just a year later. So that initial $6000 might not seem like a mind-bending number, but it’s the year long profit plan and the funnel my product created that made all the difference. One of the most common problems I see happening with my coaching clients is that they have no true profit plan, up-sell system, or funnel in place. They book a meeting but they don’t “prepare it” for success. They land a client, but they forget about their “life-time value”. They make one product, then they toss it out and create a new one. I have found in my own personal experience that the residual sales can mean the difference of thousands in rewards (or loss).
So, how do you get those residual sales? yOu COnTinue THe ReLaTiOnSHiP! It sounds easy, because it IS! When someone buys your product or joins your program, you MUST follow-up afterward. You can do this through follow up calls, customer service, additional offers, newsletter, articles and other educational pieces. One of the best follow ups I’ve ever seen is CD Baby’s thank you order email. I won’t reprint it all here but it starts like this: 34 | OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013
writteN by KristiN thOMPsON “Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the ﬁnest gold-lined box that money can buy.” The GREATEST ever. Love it. Its makes me want to raise my game, and I hope it does the same for you! And its just the beginning! The truth is that once you’ve created your core, signature product, you should learn how to leverage it into multiple six figures for your business... DON’T toss it and slave over creating a new one. Maximize the one you’ve got. Maximize the leads you’ve earned. And maximize the relationships you built. Consider upsells you can offer, one on follow up strategy sessions, VIP DAYS, or live intensive training. What can you offer AFTER someone has gone through your entry level program, so that their journey and success continues. Do you have a lead-generating, entry product? Then it’s time to get started leveraging your expertise into a hot product that rocks your biz! I’m so excited to see what you accomplish with this! It’s your year to build life-long business relationships, power up your results, and step your business into the spotlight!
Professional Speaker & Coach
Kristin Thompson’s popularity has skyrocketed as she’s gained recognition in recent years as a top speaker and coach helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants grow their business by speaking their mission and serving their purpose in a way that naturally transitions more prospects into paying clients. Using speaking as her top marketing strategy Kristin has built a multiple six-figure business working 3 days a week, and she wants to show you how to do the same.
The Three Indicators
Your Small Business is Under Resourced written by Melanie Benson Strick
very entrepreneur’s dream is to have a thriving, successful business. But what happens when you grow so fast that you can’t keep up? Maybe you try to hire help to plug the holes but you just can’t seem to get ahead of the curve. Often an entrepreneur makes the mistake of waiting too long to get the help they need. Whether it’s a “cost control” concern or a result of not keeping your eye on the right balls, waiting too long to expand (or hire your first) team can have a brutal impact on your bottom line, reputation and customer retention. Here are three of the indicators I see most often when an entrepreneur asks me to help them make their business run ten times better:
Your Email is Out of Control
You have thousands of un-read emails and you’ve decided there is no way to stay on top of it. So you gave up. But the problem is that opportunities keep coming in and now you are missing them. Clients and colleagues are frustrated since they never hear back from you. You might feel better not dealing with the emails but this strategy is bad for business.
It’s time to hire a virtual (or in person) assistant that stays on top of routine communications on your
behalf. At a bare minimum, set up an auto-responder that lets people know that you don’t check your email often and how to actually get a hold of you.
You Miss Opportunities
When an opportunity crosses your path you either miss the information completely (because you aren’t checking your email) or you just don’t have the bandwidth to follow through on it. A missed opportunity is more than a revenue loss. When you miss out on high value opportunities because you aren’t on top of your game then you are literally telling the world
Another sign you are under-resourced is when unnecessary mistakes and breakdowns occur. you aren’t available to grow. You might rationalize to yourself that it’s okay but because you don’t respond, your leads start thinking you are unorganized, too difficult to do business with,
Melanie Benson Strick,
America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer, guides fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners to uncover costly profit leaks and implement simple strategies that generate exponential growth. Find out how you can accelerate your business results through leveraging other people’s talent at this complimentary virtual training at www.entrepreneursecretweapon.com.
online marketing manager october 2013 | 35
team or you just don’t care. Eventually your partners and prospects will stop asking you for your business (or to promote your programs) and the faucet dries up.
The solution: Have a team member field these requests and evaluate them against a checklist of “green light” criteria. This will help you weed out requests that are a waste of time while accelerating your response time to high value opportunities that will propel you forward. Once the opportunity is “green lighted” have your assistant schedule next steps in your calendar.
In the Build Your Dream Team program, one of the steps is to evaluate each role in the business operations and determine who owns it. If you have one person owning multiple roles you will most likely start to experience breakdowns after time. Consider getting the role owner a helper or give each person no more than 2 – 3 complimentary roles to work on.
Mistakes And Breakdowns Often Occur
Another sign you are under-resourced is when unnecessary mistakes and breakdowns occur. Typically a support team that is stretched too thin will make silly mistakes because they are moving fast trying to keep up with an ever-growing list of tasks. Quality is sacrificed for speed. Now everyone makes mistakes from time to time but there is a difference between a random mistake and routine problems. Be sure to evaluate if the breakdowns are a result of lack of training and systems or you have too much on your team’s plate.
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Each of these issues is easy to fix. For most entrepreneurs it’s just recognizing why the problems are occurring. The key is to focus on hiring capable, high caliber talent who frees you up to focus on the bigger vision you have for your business. What most small business owners don’t realize is the biggest opportunity cost in your business occurs when you spend time in the minutia instead of on your future growth.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant
iring a VA is an important decision for you and the success of your business. Hiring the RIGHT VA can be a tricky proposition if you’re not looking at it from the proper perspectives, and are in a hurry. They can just be acting as temporary project taskmasters, or they can become a true business partner and help you grow your business. Scanning the listings on Craigslist or oDesk is not enough to find that perfect fit. How do you know what you’re looking for? Here are my five criteria to consider before hiring your VA:
written by Howard “OutSourcerer” Tiano Image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What type of training will your VA need to have? How long have they been VAs? What software programs do they know? Many online business owners are seduced by the offshore rates in third world countries. Yes, you can find good workers there, however quite often they take four times longer to accomplish the same task as some of the higher priced talent.
Do you need someone with technical skills to help you with your website, site promotion and web analytics? Or maybe strong writing and research skills? I try to find someone with a combination of skills; for instance a writer that can manage WordPress and social media, or a webmaster with graphics capabilities.
Wit h a company, the VA may be managed to some extent, lightening the management load on you.
Having the ability to manage projects is also an important skill I look for. Assessing the skills you need will increase the chances of finding a VA(s) who can best suit your situation.
The lower wage contractors will also require more training and micro management from you, (or your VA), so factor that in
What skill sets do you need?
online marketing manager october 2013 | 37
team when hiring. Make sure to qualify your VA candidates with an interview and small test projects.
Ask colleagues and peers for recommendations. You may find their VAs have referrals of people they know who are available. Sometimes, you might come across someone who wants to share their VA with you for “x” number of hours per week.
Availability & Management:
What hours do you need your VA to be available? Remember, some may live in different time zones, and you may not be available during their work hours to answer any questions. Do they have a back-up?
This may take a little while to get them up to speed, so be patient. You may want to consider a company rather than an individual, so that if something happens to your VA they can provide a back-up to ensure your business runs smoothly. With a company, the VA may be managed to some extent, lightening the management load on you. If you can swing it, it’s better to hire two part timers than one full timer. You get better skills coverage and you have some
“insurance” if one gets sick or disappears, so you’re not left in a lurch. Hire in different time zones to mitigate risk in the event of natural disasters in one area. By interviewing the VA candidates via phone or Skype, you can get a feel for how easy it will be to communicate with the VA. I require they have a headset, so I can go over details verbally rather than email or chat. I find it more efficient.
The bottom line for your hires, is what can you afford? If you frame your business needs in terms of your ROI (Return On Investment), your VA should be able to pay for themselves with the increased revenue they generate. So consider the tasks and projects where they can expand on systems and processes that produce revenue, widen bottlenecks, and free you to focus on revenue generating tasks. This may take a little while to get them up to speed, so be patient. You will also realize savings by not hiring a direct employee (vacation time, benefits, taxes).
Once you get your VA trained and things are humming along smoothly, you can free up some time for family and friends, taking comfort in knowing how much more your business can grow by having a right-hand person take some of the day-to-day load off your shoulders.
a.k.a. the “OutSourcerer,” has been creating products and training on outsourcing for Internet marketers since 2007. He consults for local businesses, generating leads and sales via the Internet, through his company, Internet Marketing By Design, based in South Florida. Download a FREE copy of the special report, “Panning For Gold; Selecting Your Freelancers” at http://www.VirtualTeamCoach.com
onlinemarketing manager Magazine is a rich resource to help online marketing consultants and other service providers step into their power with confidence and know-how. 38 | online marketing manager october 2013
Do you have a story that demonstrates a way forward and can be just the information or insight they need when they reach roadblocks or feel like giving up on their business dreams? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story idea.
Internet Pioneer & All-round Nice Guy,
t was an absolute pleasure to spend some time with a man that I’ve been following for as long as I’ve had my online business, I’ve enjoyed being in the audience when he spoke at live events, and who is right near the top of my “Professional Crushes” list. Joel Comm is the New York Times best-selling author of The AdSense Code, Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs, KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 2.0. He has also written over 40 ebooks. Joel has appeared in The New York Times, on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, on CNN online, on Fox News, and many other places. As a public and motivational speaker, Joel presents a step-bystep playbook on how to use social media as a leveraging tool to expand the reach of your brand, increase your customer base, and create fierce brand loyalty for your business. Joel is also able to speak with authority on the various ways to harness the marketing power of mobile applications to explode profits. He offers an inspiring yet down-to-earth call to action for those who dream of obtaining growth and financial success. As someone who went from having only 87 cents in his bank account to creating a successful, multi-million-dollar corporation, Joel is uniquely poised to instruct and inspire when it comes to using the various forms of new media as avenues towards the greater goal of business success. Joel Comm is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, public speaker, social media evangelist, and mobile marketing innovator. The leading authority on new media marketing tactics, Joel’s current specialty is using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to help companies market their brand. He has also created top-ranked mobile apps, including the most talked about iPhone app of all time. Not just another
written by Pam Ivey social media expert, Joel has been building profitable and cutting-edge Internet ventures since 1995. With over eighteen years of Internet business experience, Joel has found success in multiple niches. Corporations, small-to-medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs trust him for sound, practical advice and creative thinking. He has consulted with, trained or developed strategic partnerships with Microsoft, IBM and Twitter, among many others. Whether you are seeking general direction or you require in-depth marketing strategy, Joel brings his varied experiences to you and is available for consulting by the hour or by the day. We started off the interview with a silly question:
Pam: Joel, did you change your name to match your industry? Joel: Nope, that’s my real name. God has an incredible sense of humour. In college, I was a speech comm major, and then I ended up getting into the dot coms, and I’m the real deal. It’s all authentic.
Pam: Can you tell our readers how long you’ve worked in the online world? Joel: Well, I started my first website way back in 1995, so as of now, it’s a little over 18 years but I was actually online and surfing the online world back when I had my TRS80 in 1980 using a 300 baud modem to dial into bulletin board systems. I was on America Online when it was still American Online before it became AOL, when they had floppy disks that you used to connect and that was when they had Compuserv and Delphi. So, I have pretty much been around since Internet service was new. Pam: My goodness, we’re kindred spirits. I had a TRS80 too. I used to program games similar to Dungeons and Dragons. [Joel] Sure! Oh, you’re a geek. [Pam chuckling,] I totally am! So obviously, as a pioneer in the Internet marketing space, what was one thing that you learned, maybe a game-changing moment for you that set you on the right path?
Joel: In 1994, I had created this magazine, a physical magazine – if you can call it that, it was more of a kind of online marketing manager october 2013 | 39
industry spotlight newsletter rag, that was 12 pages or so, called The DallasFort Worth Software Review, and I recruited people on bulletin boards and America Online to contribute articles to my next edition, which I was going to do as a disk-based version. Or that could be a download from the bulletin board services, and one of the volunteer writers who wanted to review the games for me, and exchange for the game (there was no money trading hands there), said, “why don’t you put it in HTML and put it on the world wide web on the Internet?” Well, I knew what the Internet was but I had no idea what the worldwide web was in 1994. And at that moment, I just kind of laughed and I rolled my eyes and thought, this guy’s a freak. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And it was January of 1995 that I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and that’s when the light bulb went on – that’s there’s only a few thousand websites in the world, at that time, and I realized, WOW, this is where this is going, I’m going to turn my magazine into a website where people can download and read articles on the site instead. So, www.worldvillage.com was born in July of that year. One of the first 18,000 sites on the entire web and that was the big turning point. That was when I decided, “I’m going to do this thing.” And even then, who knew how big it was going to get. Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 18 years already. I feel old even saying that, so let’s just move on to the next question…
Pam: You’re not old – we can all see your picture and you’re definitely not old. [Joel] I’m not? Well, I don’t look my age is what I’ve been told and I certainly don’t intend to ever act it. [Pam] Amen to that! So Joel, can you tell us a little about your business now? Like, what problems your business solves for your customers?
Joel: I’m so involved in a number of things. I always have been. But the main focus of my brand is myself, Joel Comm Inc. is my company. I’m the only Joel Comm in the world. I’m really easy to find. Pretty much when you Google me, everything that comes up is related to myself and after taking a couple of years sabbatical, selling off a couple of my properties, I realized that the gifts that I have are the gifts I have. You can’t really change who you are and that’s fine. So, embracing that, I’m an author, so I write books – I actually have a new book coming out this month and I’m working on another one for next year, I’m a speaker, so I have opportunities to get on stage and inspire audiences, equip them and entertain them along the way to make it all more digestible/consumable. It’s what I love to do whether it’s small conferences or workshops, a small room full of people or large gatherings or corporate events. I enjoy it all. And because I’ve got such a wide range of experience, I can pretty much speak to a dozen or so different topics about doing business in the digital age. And I consult with people individually or collectively as groups. 40 | online marketing manager october 2013
And I’m an entrepreneur. I’m still coming up with my own ideas for applications, sites, products and services that I want to offer. The goal is to inspire and equip people to follow their own passion with purpose.
Pam: Love it! Joel: Whether you do or not, that’s what I got. Pam: You said you have another book coming out in October. What’s the name of it?
Joel: This is a different project for me. It’s called So What Do You Do: Discovering the Genius Next Door With One Simple Question. And it stems from the…you’ve heard me speak before, you know I believe that everyone is created by God with innate passion, skills, abilities, personality and the very presence they carry with them that makes them very unique. And because we’re unique, we bring value to the world in a way that nobody else can. Frequently, it is the gurus, so-to-speak - I hate that word but I use it because everybody understands what it means - and the best-selling authors that get the attention, when the truth of the matter is, the people on our very street, we may not know what they do or who they are. They are the unsung heroes that are bringing value to people in their community and in their city and their region and their country. And many beyond to the world. And so this book is actually co-authored with 46 geniuses. Other people that could be our neighbours that are involved in a number of different industries and sectors in the marketplace, and they have an opportunity to share their story and inspire other people based on what they do. It’s a great question because it’s the first question we ask each other when we meet somebody for the first time. And it opens the doorway to some wonderful things happening. So the book actually launched on Tuesday, October 15 and is available on Amazon right now.
Pam: That’s great. We’ll make sure we include a link to that. And I love the topic of the book because there are just so many people and so many that I’ve met lately who are just following the “leaders“. Whatever they’re doing, they’re trying to mimic it and it’s just not working because they’re not working in their genius. So I love it. I’m very excited for your book to come out. Here’s a very interesting question and I’m dying to hear your answer to this. In an industry with so many “players”, these experts and gurus that we talk about, how do you ensure that you continue to stand apart from everyone else?
Joel: I think that if we’re following who we are, if we’re moving down the stream of our natural tendencies and following our natural instincts, then that’s going to come naturally. I’ve never looked at what I was going to do and thought, “well, how
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OnlIne markeTIng manager OcTObeR 2013 | 41
industry spotlight to I stand out?” I just did what came naturally to me. And I think when we over-think it and over-analyze, we get into that paralysis of analysis. And we start looking at what others are doing so much that we get hyper-focused on that. For me, I just do the next thing. What’s in my heart right now? What value can I bring and how can I deliver? And then I get creative and I find ways to do it. And when you’re creating, odds are you’re going to do something that’s a little different from what you’ve done before. When I have the most difficulty with is when I start looking at the competition and try to be like them. I don’t want to try to be like anyone else. I want to be me. And it’s very organic.
Pam: Very well said. Do you work with a team, Joel? Joel: For a time up until 2010 and 2011, I had 38 employees on my team that spanned all the different levels. Executive level VPs to administrative people to designers, graphic people, video, programmers and support team. And around 2011, I introduced a period into my life that included a lot of transition both personally and professionally. And over a period of a year, year and a half, I completely de-staffed. People moved on to other positions, and I became a company of one with a couple of contractors to help support me, working out of my home again. And I love that. I enjoyed the time in the office and I enjoyed having a team. We produced some really incredible materials. I had some fantastic people working for me. But I’m not cut out to run a company. I want to create more of a free spirit. The payroll, all the administrative stuff is just not for me. So working at home and being the sole employee and just having contractors do work for me and enjoy venture partners that bring together the pieces that I don’t have in my skill set is a lot more freeing. And I find myself to be a lot more productive.
Pam: Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for simplicity, isn’t there? You’re creating a Bill Gates – Joel Comm.
Joel: I like my commute. I get up and walk downstairs. I’m in my own office. Right now Sprite, our cat, is actually sitting in my chair, napping. So, I’m pacing as I speak because I don’t want to disturb her. But that’s life at home. I’ve got a large office. There’s a studio in here so I can shoot videos, computer set up so I can do what I need to do. Freedom to have people come here to do consultations. I don’t ever want to do the big corporate thing ever again. It’s not for me.
Administrative things like bookkeeping. Karen has worked for me for years as an employee and administrator and I still love her heart and what she does for me. So anything that deals with finances and payroll and bookkeeping. That’s somebody else. Don’t put me in charge of that. Graphic design. I’ve got some basic Photoshop skills. When I mean basic, I mean I can resize a photo and put a border around it. If I need an e-book cover done or a real book cover done, I’ll outsource that. If I need programming, I outsource that too. I can blog. I know some basic HTML. I can handle some things, but if I need a site built, I’m not going to be the guy to build it if I want something done professionally. The things I enjoy doing are writing. Whether it’s my own blog or creating content for somewhere else. Creating. Coming up with new ideas. I love working with people. So at any one time, I’m probably juggling a dozen projects. So that means a lot of phone calls. I do a lot of interviews. I record my own podcasts. I’m on the phone with partners and potential partners, discussing opportunities. And what I’ve discovered is there are a lot of people who have products and services that they want to put out there but they want someone like myself who has a higher profile, with the ability to facilitate, to bring it to the marketplace, and is connected with other people that also have influence. So I’m always on the lookout for something that’s a good fit. And I get quite a lot of proposals regularly, and the vast majority of them I turn away just because even though there is opportunity to make money there, I just don’t feel that it’s a fit for me personally. So I don’t want to do something just to make a buck. I want to do something that connects with my values, my heart, my purpose and makes a difference in people’s lives. So I’m working with a number of people on that level. That’s my day. I was looking at my calendar for yesterday and what I do, and there are so many different things and areas that I cover in a day. And it’s not so much one projects, it’s multiple projects. And I like to see myself as “alt-tabbing” through my day - just switching from page to page and project to project. A friend was telling me, “I don’t know how you do that.” And I said, “I don’t know how I don’t do that.”
Pam: That’s the true spirit of an entrepreneur, isn‘t it? Joel: Right. That’s the only way I know how to work and be
Pam: You sound very organic. I don’t want to portray you as simple but I see simplicity around you. So I’m kind of surprised that you went that way.
effective. And it’s great. For me, I don’t feel this tremendous stress at all times because I’ve got so many things going around. There’s freedom in flowing from one task to another. A lot of people are really big on time management. Now the only things that I schedule for my day on my calendar are things like this where I have a call, an interview, an appointment.
So what kind of things to you delegate then to your contractors and what kinds of things must you handle yourself?
Obviously I don’t want that to be free-flowing because we all have commitments and we want to make sure we line up. So
42 | online marketing manager october 2013
industry spotlight I schedule those things but the rest of what I need to do is in my mind. I don’t even have post-its and notes everywhere and lists telling me what to do. I just do…I kind of instinctively know. This needs to get done and so I’m going to flow into this. And now I’m going to work on this project for a little bit. And somehow, it all manages to come together.
Pam: Where your energy is at the time, right? Joel: Right. Joel: How well it comes together remains to be seen. I have a confession to make. There are flaws in that model and I think that I could be doing some things better but at what cost?
Pam:: Exactly. My style means a lot. Joel: It really does. Pam: I think you just coined a new phrase there. “Alt-tabbing” through life or a day. I love that.
Joel: That’s a Facebook post right there. Pam: That’s awesome. So as we’re interviewing
here for Online Marketing Manager Magazine, what do you feel are essential knowledge and skills for a truly valuable online marketing manager to possess? What we’re talking about here, is somebody who looks after all of your marketing so you can concentrate on your genius. You can do what you really enjoy doing and someone else picks up the marketing ball from A-Z and runs with it.
Well, obviously we’re looking at a detail person. Somebody that does makes lists, that understands processes and systems. You do this, then you do this. They understand, okay, we’re going to need a page. We’re going to need headers and the sub-pages and thank you pages. And we’re going to need processing and we’re going to need social media campaigns and affiliates. And we need auto responders. Now I understand that we need all that but I get overwhelmed with all that. A marketing manager can take all those tasks, put together a process and a flow for it and logically pull it all together, whether they’re doing each component themselves or they’re outsourcing it, they have all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. And that, for me, just warms the cockles of my heart. (I didn’t even know my heart had cockles. I don’t even know what they are but I love the phrase. And I guess I have to Wikipedia…) This is why I need help. And honestly, I’m always on the lookout for that type of partner. I have so many projects, so many things in the works that I tend to look for the people who can say, “This one project that you’re doing, I would like to joint-venture with you on that and deliver all these details to bring it to fruition.” So yeah, I think that’s the type of person that’s needed. They’re thorough. They’re also very personable because marketing is all about people skills. And while I have those skills from a creative aspect when it comes to the
technical portion of it, I just get aggravated with it. It’s not my giftedness. If somebody’s really good with people and connected, that can make things happen, It’s definitely a huge plus for that position.
Pam: Very, very well put. Joel: Why thank you. Pam: I know you have other things on your calendar today as I know you’re a busy guy. So I just wanted to ask you if you have any speaking gigs coming up? Where can our readers get a taste of Joel? Do you have anything coming up in November and into the New Year?
Joel: Yes. As I mentioned, my new book, What Do YOU Do, has just launched. People can pick up their copy at www.sowhatdoyoudo.com. And along with getting a copy of the book, they’ll be able to listen to the podcast and get bonuses from a number of the authors…a bunch of freebies. And apply to potentially be in a future edition, a second or third edition of So What Do You Do. I’m attending Author 101 University in Las Vegas on Oct. 24-27. If you’re a published author or you want to be published, this is the event to go to. I’m not even speaking. I’ve got a New York Times best-seller and a number of books already, and I’m still attending because there’s more to learn and there’s more networking to be done. And then JV Alert Live is going to be in Las Vegas in November, Friday the 8th to Sunday the 10th so there’s an opportunity to see me there as well. In fact, I believe I’m going to be doing a one-day intensive at JV Alert Live on Thursday, November 7th. And that’s going to be a very small group of people. We’re making it very budget-friendly for them to be able to spend a day with me masterminding, working on their business and picking my brain. That’s a pretty rare opportunity, and I would encourage people to come to Vegas and see me then.
Pam: Great! So people can find you at www.sowhatdoyoudo.com and www.joelcomm.com.
Joel: And everywhere that social media is perpetrated. On Twitter, I’m @joelcomm, Facebook, Joel Comm, LinkedIn, Joel Comm. Google+, Instagram, people can find me… Pam: I can’t believe you’re the only Joel Comm in the world. Joel: I believe I am he. I’ve not yet been able to locate another unless you count the impersonators who will pop up on Facebook use my name.
We always have those. Well, great! Thank you so much for your time. It’s been so enlightening. And you’re just delightful to speak to.
Joel: Well, thanks, Pam. I appreciate you as well. I’m sure we’ll connect soon. online marketing manager october 2013 | 43
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online marketing manager october 2013 | 45
upcoming events Dates Event Name Location URL About October 28 - 29, 2013
SearchLove London, UK London
http://www.distilled.net/events/searchlove-london/ Search Marketing
October 29 - 30, 2013
Performance London, UK Marketing Insights
http://performancemarketinginsights.com/london/ Digital Marketing
November 4 - 5, 2013
Conversion Berlin, Germany Conference Berlin
http://www.conversionconference.com/ Conversion Optimization
November 4 - 5, 2013
eMetrics Berlin, Germany Summit Berlin
SES Chicago Chicago, IL November 4 - 7, 2013
http://sesconference.com/chicago/ SEO, Social Media & PPC
November 6 - 7, 2013
Ad-Tech New York, NY New York
http://na.ad-tech.com/ny/ Advertising, Digital Marketing
November 7, 2013
IMF: Integrated Tustin, CA Marketing Forum
http://www.integratedmarketingforum.com/ Content Marketing
November 7 - 8, 2013 Web Unleashed Waltham, MA
http://fitc.ca/event/webu2013/ Front-End Web Development
November 7 - 8, 2013 SMX Milan Milan, Italy
http://www.smxmilan.it/ Social Media
November 12 - 14, 2013 Internet Raleigh, NC Summit 2013
http://www.internetsummit.com/ SEO, Social Media, PPC, Analytics, Mobile
November 20 - 21, 2013 SMX Social Las Vegas, NV Media Marketing
http://searchmarketingexpo.com socialmediamarketing/ Social Media
November 22 - 23, 2013 Marketing Czech Republic, Brno http://www.marketingfestival.cz/en Festival Digital Marketing November 28, 2013
Digital Cream Singapore Singapore
http://econsultancy.com/us/events/digital-cream-singapore-2013 Digital Marketing, Strategy
December 8 - 11, 2013
Search Insider Park City, UT Summit
http://www.mediapost.com/searchinsidersummit/ SEO, SEM
December 9 - 11, 2013 An Event Apart San Francisco, CA
http://aneventapart.com/event/san-francisco-2013 Web Design, Content
December 11 - 14, 2013 Email Insider Park City, UT Summit
http://www.mediapost.com/emailinsidersummit/ Email Marketing
46 | online marketing manager october 2013