Posts tagged ‘marketing’

Book Review: Marketing Your Small Business For Big Profits By David Mason

I have no idea how many books are crammed onto bookshelves all about the subject of marketing, there must be many millions. It is a subject well understood, how do you make someone buy your Widget as opposed to the other guys Widget? Marketing is the answer, but, marketing comes at a price. How much can you afford?

I have a friend who is a retired BBDO exec, and in his mind, marketing that widget should cost the same as the national debt of a small country. Most small businesses can hardly manage to pay the rent and other expenses, never mind a TV spot on The Superbowl.

David Mason has done a very fine job of encapsulating the important aspects of marketing into a very short read. While I am not sure that he has introduced anything new, he has put it on paper that even the most book ‘resistant’ company owner could manage, at a scant 121 pages this should not scare even the skittish book reader.

Of course there is a downside with using such a short format, in a word ‘lists.’ My wife knows me very well, and she always has stuff for me to do. But she also knows that giving me a long ‘To Do’ list makes my eyes glaze over. If the list has less than than 5 items, the chances are good that I will at least attempt a few of them. David Mason prefers longer lists, I believe one was 16 items long! That I found a little of a turn-off, my wife knows better than to try a list that long on me!

On the plus side, he makes very convincing arguments. Arguments that make sense. It is important that every business has a ‘slogan,’ David Mason calls it the USP (Unique Selling Proposition), but slogan or banner is what we are talking about.

How do you attract customers? You have your slogan, but if it only exists on your computer or in your head, who is going to hear the message? Many people have small companies, some sell niche products, some sell niche services, how do you sell your idea? Newspaper Ads might work, but only for the day, a Magazine might work for a month, radio and TV spots last for seconds! How about the internet?

David Mason explores all of the potentials, all of the advertising mediums have their up’s and down’s, cost, effectiveness, even the number of eyeballs that you get your message in front of are important considerations.

The last part of the book I found really helpful, he has included some samples of headlines and opening lines that the small business owner could use in his advertising campaign, and some simple worksheets to assist in customizing the slogans to your own specific needs.

Marketing You Small Business For Big Profits is small enough to be a quick and easy read, but large enough to contain the vital elements important to run an effective advertising program. The author also takes a very down to earth approach in offering advice on implementing the strategies. ‘You don’t have to do them all, just start with one and see what happens.’ In other words you don’t have to do everything, just do something.

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5 Tips To Start Selling Your Self-Published Book

You’ve spent hours researching, writing and self-publishing your book. Now, you want to reap the benefits of selling it yourself, but where do you begin?

Here are five simple tips to help you get started.

1. Figure out your market.

“Bookstores are lousy places to sell books,” says self-publishing guru Dan Poynter in USA Weekend . “Find the places where your audience gathers and sell directly to them. If your book is about cats, go to pet stores.”

To start selling your book, take the time to research your target audience. Who will be interested in purchasing your book and sharing it with their friends?

Once you know your target market, look at the places they shop and spend their leisure time. What media venues do they watch, read and listen to on a regular basis?

Create a list of all potential organizations, business and groups. This will give you a good understanding of the online sites and brick-and-mortar locations where you need to focus your marketing efforts.

2. Spread the word.

When you are ready to start selling, don’t be shy. Talk about your book, carry a copy around with you and look for every opportunity to mention it. Also be ready to give copies away to influential people who will build buzz about your business.

If you are a good speaker, try to give presentations to groups catering to your target audience. You can partner with various organizations to promote your appearance and build word-of-mouth. This may include issuing a press release, giving books away during radio or television interviews or getting involved with charitable activities.

“Speaking to local, target audiences is a great way to start building buzz about your products and services,” says Melanie Rembrandt, small business PR expert and owner of Rembrandt Communications, http://www.rembrandtwrites.com. “But in order to build credibility, you need to offer valuable information pertinent to your book’s subject without being sales-oriented. You can always have a book-signing after your presentation to sell your books and meet potential customers.”

Another trick is to leave a copy of your book at your local bookstore or library. If visitors pick up the book and read it, they will ask for a copy of it. Then, the person at the counter may contact you to purchase additional copies.

3. Venture outside your target market.

After you’ve pursued all venues focusing on your specific audience, start marketing your book to other groups outside your target market.

Look for secondary sources that may be interested in purchasing your book as a gift for a friend, co-worker or family member. Perhaps you can partner with a business, charitable organization or hobby-group related to your book-topic?

Think “outside of the box” and try to let as many people know about your book as possible. You can issue a press release, offer special discounts and create newsworthy events to draw attention to your book. And these activities don’t need to cost a lot of money. You just need to think of some ways to stress the unique benefits of your book and take the extra time and effort to plan, coordinate and follow-through with your ideas.

4. Take advantage of business relationships.

If you used an online publisher in developing your book, advertise on their site. If you used a local printer, ask if you can leave a couple copies at their front desk.

Visit all of your local establishments and leave some kind of information about your book. If you are a regular customer, most of these businesses will be happy to help you and the local economy.

And when preparing these “leave-behinds,” think about the benefits for the business and customers. Perhaps you can print up small calendars, checklists, quick tips, bookmarks and other items that advertise your book while offering something of value to potential readers.

You may even be able to partner with various businesses to offer special joint coupons and discounts. Use your imagination, but always keep the benefits for the customer in mind.

5. List your book online.

This may be obvious, but you really need to list your book online to reach the broadest possible market and increase “buzz.” Review your target audience and try to get information about your book posted on all of the pertinent sites they visit.

Also create a simple website. And don’t worry. Today, there are many services that offer cost-effective or free websites to self-published authors. You don’t need to be a technical genius or have a lot of money to take advantage of these services and create an online presence.

However, in your online copy, be sure to stress the unique benefits of your book and provide customer testimonials (for credibility). Also include some information about your background to help you stand apart from others in your genre.

Once your site is up and running, research free, press-release posting sites. Also look for online organizations that may be willing to post reciprocal links to your site to help build search-engine optimization.

These are just a few, simple tips. There are many ways to sell your self-published books. But you can start by focusing on your target audience, work the business relationships you already have and be creative. And soon, you’ll be well on your way to being a top-selling author!

Search Engine Optimization And Why You need It

The web is a cut throat business. You have to arm yourself with the proper know-how and the tools to make your site a cut above the rest. Each day, more and more sites are clambering to optimize their rankings in websites and if you lose your guard, you may just get trampled on and be left in the abyss filled with so many failed e-commerce sites.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a term widely used today by many websites. For the past few years and the next ten years or so, search engines would be the most widely used internet tool to find the sites that they need to go to or the product or information they need.

Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. Making it to the first page, more so to the top three is a barometer of a sites success in search engine optimization. You will get a higher ratio of probability in being clicked on when you rank high. The more traffic for your site, the more business you rake in.

But, it is essential to grab a hold of that spot or make your ranking even better. As I aforementioned, each day is a new day for all e-commerce sites to make them selves rank higher using search engine optimization. It is imperative to make your site better and better everyday.

So just what is search engine optimization and do you have to use it? The answer to why you have to use it is an easy one. You need search engine optimization to be number one, or maybe at least make your site income generating.

With search engine optimization you can get the benefit of generating a high traffic volume. Let’s just say you get only a turn out of successful sales with 10 to 20 percent of your traffic. If you get a hundred hits or more a day, you get a good turn out of sales already. If you get only twenty to ten hits a day, you only get one or two if not any at all.

So once again, what is search engine optimization? Search engine optimization is utilizing tools and methods in making your site top ranking in the results of search engines. Getting yourself in the first page and better yet in the top half of the page will ensure that your site will generate public awareness of your site’s existence and subsequently generate more traffic, traffic that could lead to potential income and business.

Search engine optimization requires a lot of work to be fully realized. There are many aspects you have to change in your site or add as well to get search engine optimization. These will include getting lots of information about the keyword phrases that are popular in regards to your sites niche or theme.

You may also need to rewrite your sites contents so that you could get the right keyword phrases in your site without making it too commercial but light and informative. There are certain rules and guidelines to be followed with making your site’s content applicable and conducive to search engine optimization.

You will also need to collaborate with many other sites so that you could get link exchanges and page transfers. The more inbound and outbound traffics generated by sites among others are one of the components search engines uses to rank sites.

Try to search the internet for many useful help. Tips, guidelines and methods for search engine optimization are plenty to be found. Read many articles that can help you optimize your site in search engine results. The more knowledge and information you gather the better. This will all help you in getting those high rankings. This may require a little time and effort in your part but the benefits will be astounding.

If you can part with some money, there are many sites in the internet that can help you in search engine optimization. There are many sites that help in tracking keyword phrases that can help your site. There are also some content writers that have lots of experience in making good keyword laden content for your sites that have good quality.

Myths about Selling

Your online commercializing conflict will include a number of dissimilar methods in different arenas of the Internet. You may have a web site, use an auto responder, post classified ads, post articles, place banner advertisings, sponsor lists and newssheets, circulate press handouts, and much more. Keep in mind, though, that when you are first commencing, it is vital that you concentrate on one facet of your merchandising crusade at a time and elevate it to its fullest degree before proceeding on to the next.

It is more effective to slowly become profitable by concentrating on one event at a time, than to hardly be gainful because you are attacking all of the events halfhearted.

Broaden and spend little sums of money on advertisement for the first time. If you apply a conservative approach, you will not be exhausted financially if an ad doesn’t return the sales you were going for. Just keep trying out advertisements as your fund permits until you discover the one that works most effective; then you can roll it out and be positive that you are going to earn money rather than lose it!

If you have a lot of contest, state that you will respect all of your competitions’ vouchers and/or rebates; use “their” advertisement to your advantage.

An antique problem in business sector is accumulating final payment for services delivered. As a business possessor, you need to be tended for “difficult” customers and “mooches” by exercising such matters as…

In your contract or sales arrangements, state the interest rates and late fees that will be assessed if payment is not received within 30 days of completion.

Compose form letters to be used for accumulating the remainder. There should be three letters in total — one after the payment is ten days late, another after twenty days, and a third that lets the client know that you’ll be turning their account over to a collection authority (or taking them to small claims court).

The third letter should not be sent until 45 days after the payment is late. And of course, never bluff. If you say you will turn it over to a collection agency, do so.

The best way to protect yourself is to take payment thru credit card. State to your customer that you will bill their credit card one third of the entire cost as an initial down payment, another third just after you have passed the 50% closing period, and the final third on delivery. Or use the two-payment system – half at the introduction of the task and the balance upon completion.

One more thing. You are free to use this article on your website provided that it stays unaltered and the links in the resource box is live, search-engine friendly links.

DO NOT STEAL. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

Maximize Your Sales with the 2 Step Auto Responder

Maximize your marketing and sales with some auto responder Improvements. Try some of these marketing promotional pieces, the tryed and tested 2 step mailing process. Guaranteed to boost you profits.

1. Collect vital customer satisfaction information by publishing a survey to send via auto responder to those who sign up on your site in exchange for a free eBook, software or trial period at your membership site. This type of information will help you understand their needs, likes & dislikes better.

2. Publish free reports to send via your auto responder. The reports should be related to your business or web site & contain info, ads and links to your sites. People love getting freebies.

3. Instead of publishing all of your customer testimonials or endorsements on your website, publish only a few there. And set up an auto responder form that invites visitors to receive a complete list via your. Give them a power-packed list; it’s more effective to include all of them.

4. Instead of answering each customer question that is e-mailed to you, publish “Frequently Ask Questions” and make them available via auto responder to those who sign up. To save time and support headaches.

Mix and match. Change your auto responder strategy to change your auto responder results! Also top sales pros confirm that it often takes seven or more communications or sales messages before prospective customers make a purchase. They also confirm that it’s generally easier to sell to a referral, because someone they know gave positive testimonial about their products or services.

What would happen if you combined both of these powerful ideas? A nifty and thrifty two-step. Try this two-step tip:

1. Publish a price list of all the products and services that you offer in an insert, direct marketing package and / or .pdf to be made available via auto responder. You could also include order forms, product descriptions, and other sales material. Then send to the people in #1 above with monthly updates, announcements of new sales and products / services, and a request for referrals.

2. Collect leads with your auto responder. Ask for mailing addresses and telephone numbers, too, for additional ways to follow up with each person. When you download the e-mail digest of everyone’s e-mail addresses and other information from those who requested additional information from your auto responder, follow up multiple ways. Send postcards. Call. Mail sales letters and other promotional pieces.

So why not improve your closing ratio and reach out even farther at the same time?

Communication Par Internet Entre Franchiseurs Et Franchises

Cette communication entre franchiseurs et franchisés peut donc se faire aujourd’hui via Internet ou câbles de d’interconnexion reliant les franchises via leur réseau et permet de rentabiliser le travail des franchisés par le gain de temps en recherche d’informations si ce dernier est correctement utilisé.

Les franchisés peuvent alors passer leurs commandes en ligne et contrôler les dates de livraisons. La plus part des grandes franchises utilisent le système “à la minute”, qui permet de connaître au moment précis l’état des stocks ou encore les livraisons effectuées à leur franchisés. Cela a donc réellement permis d’activer le processus et signifie également que le franchisé peut mieux réorganiser ses stocks sans être à court au moment X.

Les systèmes les plus pointus permettent également aux franchisés de s’approvisionner auprès d’un autre franchisé si le franchiseur est à cours de stock.

Les demandes peuvent être connectées au réseau et toutes les ventes peuvent être relayées auprès des franchiseurs. Cela implique donc que la plus part des cas des demandes d’ordres peuvent être retirées directement par le franchisé.

Pour le franchiseur, cela est fantastique car il n’est alors plus nécessaire de perdre du temps à rechercher le franchisé disposant de la quantité adéquate désirée qui pourrait répondre urgemment à la demande.

Les franchisés en tire un avantage certain car ils voient leur travail diminué et leur permet de passer plus de temps sur les problèmes marketings et la gestion de la relation clientèle.

Par ailleurs, les franchisés peuvent maintenant payer en même temps en ligne le franchiseur et les fournisseurs sans avoir recours aux carnets de chèques, enveloppes et postage. Une solution simple de payement en ligne donne de nombreux avantages que ne peuvent procurer les méthodes de payements classiques. En plus d’augmenter leur facilité de caisse, ce système leur permet également de réduire les risques de fraude.

Par exemple, une grande société de jeux carte possédant bon nombre de franchises. L’une d’entre elle se retrouve à cours de jeux que l’on vient de lui demander. Un simple passage sur Intranet et elle peut alors renseigner exactement son client quant aux délais de livraison du produit.

D’autres systèmes encore plus perfectionnés permettent de voir leurs comptes, rendant alors leur travail plus aisé grâce à une analyse plus objective. Le comptable est ainsi capable de voir en temps et en heure toute transaction effectuée et de récupérer les données des autres franchises.

Mais l’Intranet permet aussi à l’entreprise d’y déposer ses brochures, de visionner les dernières vidéos publicitaires de la société et éventuellement aider les franchiseurs en leur adressant un feedback sur la manière d’améliorer leur politique marketing pour le futur. Ils peuvent également tenir leurs opérateurs informés de façon régulière de manière manuelle.

Pour cela, un accès Internet haut débit est obligatoire, les franchisés développant habituellement leur business depuis leur ordinateur. Cela implique au franchiseur de devoir former son franchisé quant à l’utilisation et la maintenance de leur outil informatique.

es franchiseurs aiment adopter ce système afin de renforcer l’image de marque de la compagnie et faire participer activement leurs franchisés au cœur de cette dernière.

Toutefois, les dangers de l’utilisation d’Internet (ou intranet) sont nombreux. Si le serveur principal des franchiseurs tombe en panne et ne dispose pas de back up adéquate ou une facilité d’accès d’autres serveurs, tous les réseaux des franchisés peut être pénalisé.

How To Get Started Writing Articles

If you are a new or budding writer, then you may be wondering how to get started writing articles. The first and most important rule of writing is simply to write what you know. That is not to say that you cannot research subjects to get a better idea of the needed content, but it is always best to have some previous knowledge of the topic before you accept the job.

Many people are terrific writers, but still struggle with how to get started writing articles for profit. As a budding writer, you will likely have to contribute some free writing projects in an effort to get your name noticed. As time progresses and your resume becomes more defined, you will be able to find paid writing jobs without a problem.

Writers not only wonder how to get started writing articles, but also where to submit their completed work. There are plenty of opportunities for talented individuals who have a knack for words, including newspaper reporting, magazine features, website content, press release and newsletter content, etc. If someone were to ask an accomplished writer how to get started writing articles, they would almost always reply by recommending patience, perseverance and promotion. When you decide to become a writer, you will also become a marketing specialist. You will now be in the position of having to sell your work to editors and this can be a very challenging task, but very much worth the extra push.

The best advice on how to get started writing articles would include the recommendation of having a good resume. If you cannot write your own resume, editors will wonder how you will be able to write for them. So, first and foremost, perfect the resume, polish it and make sure that it is without flaw. This means no errors in spelling, punctuation, etc. With that being said, keep in mind that nobody is perfect, so if you notice a mistake after your resume has been submitted, don’t spend too much time worrying about the error. Simply correct the problem and move on to the next opportunity. Truth be told, if your resume looks great, an editor will not disregard it just because you misspell one word or have a punctuation out of place. The next step in how to get started writing articles will be to create a writing sample. If you have been published previously, this will work to your advantage because you can use this as not only a sample of your work, but lend to the popularity of your writing as well. If you have never been published, then write the best article that you can on a subject that is close to your heart.

Still wondering how to get started writing articles? The best way is to just start writing and see where it takes you. Everyone from editors to webmasters are in constant need of content for their publications and websites, so there is no shortage in the writing market. Always keep your expectations in check and don’t expect to get rich overnight. Like any career, it will take time to build and experience is a must. The more you have written, the more you will get the chance to write.

For further information visit http://www.real-articles.com