All posts by Rich Thurman

Facebook Ads Best Practices

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acebook ads are a great way to get the word out about your products and/or services. Facebook offers PPC and CPM ads. A PPC campaign is a pay-per-click campaign that you only pay when people click, while a CPM ad means that you pay a set amount for views. Both are good ways to run ads, but you’ll see that using CPM is a little better and easier.

Set Your Goals

Knowing why you're running a Facebook advertisement is important. You need to know what you hope the results are. Do you want to build your email list, sell an actual product or service, or something else?

Learn Facebook's Ads Manager

Facebook has a wonderful editor so you don't need to use any outside sources to create your ads. Use Ads Manager. It allows you to manage many different variations of the same advertisement and is very useful. 

Target Your Audience Carefully

When running any type of advertisement, it's important to understand who your audience is and what they want. On Facebook ads you can target your audience down to the exact person you want to see the advertisement; this is a huge leap forward in marketing for any business. Even though you're a home business, you can compete with bigger businesses due to these features.

Segment Your Audience for Different Ads

The power editor allows you to duplicate ads, and then edit them to change the demographics. Doing this serves a couple of purposes. It allows you to conduct an A/B test to see who responds better to your ad, but you can also change the images, headlines, etc. to fit each segment of your audience better.

Use Custom Audiences

A custom audience allows you to reach people who have already been to your website but are now surfing on Facebook. This is called remarketing or retargeting, and it is a very powerful way to market to targeted people and get a high rate of return.

Use Facebook's Optimized CPM

This is an amazing thing because it makes it easy for you to get views for your advertisement. CPM stands for cost per thousand impressions. Facebook's algorithm knows what's best in terms of this set-up, so let Facebook choose for you. It will really work better and save you money too.

Build a Responsive Website

As of April 21, 2015 Google is ranking responsive websites higher than those that are not responsive. A responsive website is one that works on all mobile devices as well as PCs. It's best that your websites are responsive. You don't need one for mobile and one for PCs - you need one site that works regardless of the platform your audience uses.

Get Professionally Made Graphics

Don't skimp on graphics, but you don't have to spend that much. You can do it yourself too and have them look professional if you use Youzign. Try using Fiverr to save a little money on finding someone to help make your ads. ​

Another amazing resource is Design Pickle.  Rather than hiring a full-time designer or spending a lot of time messing around with learning a design tool and doing it yourself you can subscribe to Design Pickle and have access to a full-time design staff that works 24x7.  

Hire a Copywriter

Writing content is different from writing copy. Copywriting is a specialized skill. Let a copywriter take what you've done and improve it. If they start with something you've written and then fix it to work better, you'll save a little money on the copywriter. And overall you'll save a lot of money on running the advertisement because you'll get better results from professional copy.

Using Facebook to run ads is a great way to get involved in online advertising. Pay-per-click and CPM campaigns can be overwhelming, but Facebook has it set up so that you can do it without even being a professional. It's a great way to put your toe into online advertising for your business.

Making a Lean Budget for Your Business

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ou need to create a budget for your home business in order to know whether or not you’re making a profit, expanding your business, and achieving the goals that you want. Budgets help you plan for the future, manage cash flow, and even secure financing if you should need it in the future.

Research Your Business

When you've decided upon a business and a business, there are tools of the trade that you may need or want. See what is available so that you can research the tools and choose the ones that offer the most value to your business.

Avoid Traditional Office Supplies

It can be tempting to run out and buy a file cabinet, paper, printer, ink and so much that you relate to an "office," but today you don't need those things. Instead "think green" and avoid most of that stuff. You don't need it, and you're not ever going to need it. Even when it comes to printing, unless you have a position that requires it, you will save money buying a second monitor instead of printing things out.

Use What You Have

What items do you already have? You likely have a laptop, a desk, and other things that you can put into service already for your home business. There is no reason to go out and buy all new things when you are first starting out. Using what you have will enable you to spend money on things you don't have.

Keep Your Budget Simple

Don't get carried away in the beginning with adding extra phone lines, a new internet connections and things that you're not even sure you need yet. If you only add things when you're certain that you need them, you'll keep your budget lower and controlled.

Question Every Expense

Before you add a new expense to your business, ask yourself if the expense will create a return on investment or not. If not, ask yourself why you really need the expense. Does it play an integral part of your business to help it keep running? Do you really need it? You do have to spend money to make money, but you should be smart about it.

Work in Flexibility

One of the most awesome things about working from home today is the cloud-based technology that is available. You can essentially rent software instead of buying it outright, which means that you can deduct it fully each month from your income, and then if you no longer need it you can stop. Plus, most cloud-based software allows for flexibility in terms of features that you may or may not need.

Know Your Break-Even Point

Your break-even point is the amount of money you need to make just to keep the doors open without actually earning a profit. It's your cost of doing business. This is an important number to note because it will help you determine your fees in the future.

Reassess Yearly

Always take the time to look at your budget each year to make sure that it fits with your goals to maintain a lean business. Being lean with a home office is a lot easier than if you had a bricks and mortar business.

Your lean home business budget is an important part of running a home business. You have something a bricks and mortar business doesn't, and that is lower overhead and much more flexibility surrounding the costs to do business.

9 Tips on How to Save Money on Content

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very business today needs online content to help market and promote the business. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a plan for your content based on the products and services that you offer. Once you set up an editorial calendar it will help you come up with content on a regular basis. There are several ways that you can save money on content.

Hire a Writer

That might sound like you're spending and not saving, but a good content writer can be a life saver. If it takes you an hour to write one blog post, and you could earn more doing other work during that hour, it only makes sense to let a writer do it for you.

Buy and Use PLR

Private label rights articles are very useful to use and very inexpensive. If you choose well, you can use PLR for a lot of your content. When you use PLR it's important to update it and change it around to make it your own first, but that will take minutes to do.

Write It Yourself

If you think you can't write, you're wrong. If you know a topic well, you can write about it. Just write how you talk, and act like you're just telling someone who would be interested the information. In fact, using voice to text on your computer might help you.

Repurpose What You Have

Every piece of content you create can be used again; you will just need to change it up a little bit to use it in other places. You can use a blog post in a newsletter, compile them together into a book and more.

Refresh and Update What You Have

This is a little different than repurposing in that you will take older content that has what is now wrong advice, due to changing technology and so forth. Updating it will make it new again.

Curate Content

In addition to your own content it's important to tell your audience about other people's content by curating content. The way that works is that you find excellent content that would be of interest to your audience, write a short blurb about it, add in your thoughts and link to the content.

Make the Most of the Content You Have

When you already have content, you can make the most of it. Turn a blog post into a video. Turn a data-centric blog post into an infographic, turn several newsletters into an eBook - if you keep a plan in place it will see as if the content you have multiplies.

Mix It Up

As mentioned, creating different types and forms of content is really a great way to expand how much content you have. A newsletter becomes an eBook; a blog post becomes a video and so forth. Use many types of content to keep your audience's interest.

Promote Your Content

Promote each and every piece of content that you spend time creating. If you aren't willing to promote it, then it's probably not that good.

Creating content is one of the best ways to market your business inexpensively. Saving money on the content that you create is essential because you need so much to stay in the game today. But, it doesn't have to break the bank to be effective.

Great Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing

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acebook is truly a boon to savvy online marketers. Using Facebook for marketing your business is honestly a no-brainer. You can do so much on Facebook, mostly free, that you just cannot pass it up as a great marketing opportunity for your business.

Set Up a Business Page

In order to set up a business page on Facebook, you first need a personal page. But once you do have that, you can set up your business page. The business page enables you to promote your business actively while a personal page is not supposed to be used for that. It's free to set up.

Set Up a Community

A Facebook community is very useful in terms of being able to discuss things with your customers, or potential future customers. You can easily set up a community in the same way you set up the business page - just choose "community." A community has more communication ability between your likes and followers than a business page.

Set Up a Private Group

A private group is a great way to run a small mastermind group without having to invest in the technology to have one of your own hosted on your website. You can make them private and even secret. If you have a secret group, you'll have to actively recruit people to join; you can even charge people money to join.

Promote a Post

On your business pages you'll have the capability to post things and you'll get a button that offers you to "promote" the post. You can bid a certain amount and choose your audience too. The capability to narrow down who you want to see your promoted post is genius and will enable you to truly target your audience with posts you want them to see.

Run a PPC Advertisement

Even without a business page you can create advertisements via your personal page on Facebook. It's wonderful because you can narrow down your target audience in ways that you may not have realized that you could. You can target with age, sex, location, groups and affiliations. It doesn't get much more niched down than that.

Join Groups and Communities

A great way to market your business on Facebook is to join other groups that consist of your target audience. Then, simply help others without an agenda. Do not market yourself or break any rules of the page owners. Instead, just be helpful, and share when requested to do so. Let your reputation speak for you.

Comment on Pages, Groups and Communities

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, a good use of your time is to make smart, intelligent and useful comments on posts that the owner of the page or group post, as well as being helpful to others who post.

Share and Like

If you want people to share what you are doing, be sure to share and like what they are doing. When it comes to online marketing, people like helping others when they are helped too. It's a very generous community when it comes down to it. You'll find competitors sharing each other's work most of the time, instead of bashing each other. Although that does happen, it's not likely.

Using Facebook to market your business is an excellent way to market online. You can do so many things including contests, share images, videos, blog posts, memes and more. Don't be shy; get started using Facebook to market your business today. But, be warned, you need to follow Facebook's terms of service in order to continue.

Tracking Your Niche Marketing Success

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here is a lot more to tracking your niche marketing success than tracking your net income. In fact, it’s imperative if your want to improve your income that you track metrics outside of income. It’s the one way that you have to improve your marketing efforts exponentially. If you know where you are, you can figure out ways to get where you want to go.

Set up a system that enables you to track various metrics. It will work better if you have a good schedule. Calendar it in, because if you don’t schedule in the paperwork it won’t get done. If this seems hard, consider whether or not it’s so much easier to just keep shooting in the dark, wasting time, and waiting for money to come into your PayPal account randomly, or if you want to build a real business that endures over time.

If you want to build a real business, you need to track metrics, and then adjust according to the results. Your best bet is to use a spreadsheet of some kind to input results that you track on a weekly basis, so that you can spot trends in what’s working or not working over time. It will help you do better in all your niche marketing. You’ll be able to do more of what’s working, less of what’s not, and troubleshoot and find solutions to issues.

Traffic Acquisition

Knowing when and from where you are getting traffic to all of your online real estate, and even direct contact such as phone calls, is an important part of tracking your niche marketing success. How many new people are you getting each week, how many are returning and why?

Email List Sign-Ups

You should look at why people sign up for your various email lists so that you can do more of what works to get more sign-ups. How many new sign-ups are you getting each week from each possible place?

Email List Engagement

While getting email lists sign-ups is important, what’s more important is whether or not those who sign up actually engage with you, answer your CTAs and buy from you.

Social Media Connections

How many new social media connections are you acquiring each week from each place where you are active? If you’re not going to track one place, and stay active on it, don’t bother to set up the account.

Social Media Engagement

You can have a million followers on social media but if there is no engagement, what worth is it? Interacting with your social media followers is an important part of making social media work. What percentage of your followers and connections are engaging?

Article/Guest Blog Post Submissions

Track where you put guest blog posts and guest articles, as well as the response you get from them. It’s the only way that you can determine if your efforts are working.

Blog Traffic

How is your blog traffic? Is it going up each week? What type of blog posts seem to work best to bring in traffic?

Blog Engagement

What percentage of your blog traffic comments on your blog posts or answers the call to action that you included?

Webinars and Teleseminars

If you choose to have webinars or teleseminars, it’s imperative that you track many elements such as where your audience came from, whether they attend after signing up, and if they answer your CTA.

Keyword Results

Which keywords are drawing the most traffic that converts to a sale or an action on the part of the visitor?

CTA Conversion Rate

Every piece of content that you send out, whether it’s on social media, a blog post, a guest article or an email, you need to have a call to action of some kind. It doesn’t always need to be “buy me” but whatever it is, you should track it.

Tracking all these metrics will help you increase your niche marketing success in a big way. The information that you collect can be used to improve each effort. It might even be used to discontinue something you’re doing that’s not working. Use systems like Google Analytics, and the metrics that social media networks and email autoresponders offer within their system, to track your metrics.

Eight Tips for a Successful Webinar

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ebinars provide a way for you to work with your audience on a more personal basis. You can use them to build your email list, and to make connections with new people. There is also a wide range of technology that you can use to run your webinars. Having a successful webinar is dependent on just a few things.

Determine Your Goals for the Webinar

Do you want to build your list, teach something new, promote a product or something else entirely? Write down what your goal is for your webinar in one sentence. It's best to have one main goal for each webinar.

Define Your Audience and Topic

Next you need to define your audience. Who are they? What are their desires, fears and needs? Once you understand that, you'll have an easier time choosing a topic or creating a product on which to base your webinar.

Choose the Technology You Like

It's imperative that you test out different forms of technology to find out which will work best for you. Everyone needs and wants different systems and features for their webinar software. Some people may want technology that allows for screen sharing, or offers people the ability to phone in.

Set Deadlines

Once you know the goals, audience, topic and the technology you want to use, set a date for your webinar. Using that date, work your way backwards, creating tasks to do in your calendar that must be done. Note what has to be done and who is going to do it. Outsource the things that you know someone else will do as soon as possible.

Plan Ahead

Using the deadlines, make your plans ahead of time so that you can work through each thing that needs to be done before the webinar date. This planning will be useful to help you pull off the webinar without too much added stress. If everything is broken up into little pieces ahead of time, it'll be simple.

Form Joint Ventures

One of the reasons that you want to do webinars is to help build your email list, and the best way to do that is to share resources with other people. Joint ventures are short-term partnerships that end after one specific project. Join up with people who have good email lists who market to your audience.

Give Them a Taste

Having a sneak peak shorty webinar is a great way to whet the appetite of your audience. For example, if you're having twenty speakers at your week-long webinar, throw out a quick 15-minute webinar in advance of the big webinar to help the visitors get used to the technology.

Hire Expert Help

There are virtual assistants who specialize in helping host webinars. They can do everything from finding your guests, to acting as moderator during the actual event. It can be a great way to break into webinars to have someone who handles all aspects of it other than doing your presentation or interviewing guests.

Following these tips will help you have a successful webinar the first time, and every time thereafter. Webinars can take your business to the next level. People love in-person events, and a webinar is about as close as you can get to having an in-person event without actually having one. It's the best of all words.

Tips to Making Your Videos More Professional

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reating videos for YouTube can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it. You can spend thousands making professional productions or you can spend little to nothing making barely presentable videos. But, you can also take the time to invest in these small efforts to make your videos more professional with very little additional work or money involved.

Set Them Up Correctly

hen you upload your video, take the time to include all the relevant information. Title, tags and descriptions, including links to your landing pages, should all be included in every single video that you upload.

Invest in Good Lighting

Good lighting doesn't have to cost that much. You can get a lighting kit from Amazon for about 150 dollars. Look for the ePhoto Digital Photography video 2400 Watt THREE Softbox Lighting & Boom Hair Light Kit H9004SB2. This is a good investment to make and will help your videos look better.

Set Up a Visually Pleasing Background

You can make a green screen inexpensively, but you can also just create a nice background by using a fold-out wall separator or room divider. Again, Amazon has a lot of good choices that you can choose from, but if you have a Tuesday Morning or other home décor store you can find this anyplace inexpensively. Add a plant and the proper lighting, and you'll have a great background for all your videos.

Include Closed Captioning

Including closed captioning is an added touch that will not only be appreciated by deaf people, but will also help your videos be picked up by search easier. You simply upload a text file as explained in this video.

Link to video - https://youtu.be/9K4WJs94FfY

Include Annotations and Subtitles

YouTube makes it easy to market your videos and your items off YouTube by allowing you to include linkable annotations and subtitles in your video. You can learn how to do that by using professional editing software like Camtasia.

Link to Camtasia - https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

Choose a Quiet Place to Record

One of the most irritating things about watching some videos is the background noise. Sometimes this is in the form of a busy street or a noisy room with a loud fan, but sometimes it's on purpose with the background music. Be careful about background music, and be sure that listeners can easily hear the important parts of your video without straining.

Invest in Good Equipment

You don't have to buy the most expensive equipment, and truly some mobile devices like iPhones work great for recording video for YouTube. So try out a few things and see what will work best for your type of videos. The equipment you choose depends on your audience, the type of videos you want to create, and your current budget.

Create a Publication Calendar

You should already have one for content for your marketing efforts, and now it's time to include a new format: video. Your videos should include the same type of content you need to promote, whatever you're promoting elsewhere. Every piece of content you put out should go together and all should lead to your landing pages, newsletter sign-ups, and products.

Making your videos as professional as you can based on your audience's preferences and what they expect is a good way to get more views. However, don't allow professionalism to stand in your way. You can start small and build over time as your income goes up.

SMS Marketing Ideas

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here are many benefits to SMS marketing such as increased customer loyalty, wider brand awareness, improved customer relationships, better sales, and the fact that as far as marketing is concerned it’s an inexpensive marketing method.

To get started with SMS marketing, you’ll want to get people to sign up. You can use all of the following ways to get people to do that:

Signage

If you have a bricks and mortar business, simply ask people to sign up, or put up a QR code that they can scan with their phone.

Billboards

You won’t need that many letters on a billboard to get your audience to view it and text you to get on your list.

Website Sign-Up Forms

Ask for mobile information on your web sign-up forms.

Newsletters

Do you send out email or paper newsletters? Use the distribution to get the audience to sign up for your text message list.

Radio

Yes, radio ads still work, and you can make it short and sweet by asking them to text you at a specific number that will opt them into your SMS list.

Email Messages

Already have an email list? Send out a message with a free offer that requires them to provide their mobile number.

Social Media Sign-Up Forms

Ask for mobile numbers on your social media sign-up forms, along with email addresses.

Contests

Have contests that require SMS information to enter, thus signing them up for your list.

Always remember that whatever method you use to get them to sign up, you should allow for easy opt-in and opt-out. Once you have collected the information, you can get into actually marketing to them.

Get to Know Your Audience

Researching what type of messages they want to receive will be the best way to figure out your next steps. Knowing who they are and the type of schedules they stick to will also help you determine the best times to message them.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can plan to send out text messages right before dinner time with a special coupon code. If you know your audience loves watching cooking shows, you can tie that into with your messages by having sales during those shows while your audience is hungry.

Conversely, if you own a cooking website you can send out an appropriate recipe two hours before dinner linking to tonight’s dinner recipe idea. The simple fact of getting to know who your audience is and how to trigger action is all you need to come up with more SMS marketing ideas.

Create Shareable Messaging

The more interesting your messages are, the more likely they are to be shared by the recipient - thus growing your list or growing the amount of people who answer your call to action. Messages like, “Get 20% off with six of your best friends at Downtown Pub from 8 to Midnight” is something that will be shared so that six people go to the pub. It’s a great idea to send something compelling enough that they’ll share it.

SMS marketing is a great way to retarget old customers and get repeat purchasing, as well as turn them into referrals for new customers.

Eight Tips to have Successful Videos on YouTube

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f you know who your audience is, and have information to impart, then using YouTube is a great way to proceed. If you blog, you can create videos. Start with re-purposing some of the content you already have by making them into videos. When you make your videos, follow these eight tips to stay on track for success.

Be Yourself

A lot of different types of videos become popular. Some look professional and others look like a kid made them in his or her mom's basement with old equipment. But, they are still popular because the person is being themselves. As long as what you're representing fits with your audience's expectations and needs, you'll be fine.

Make Them Short

For the most part, short videos from 3 to 5 minutes will be the most popular. Even one-minute videos are better than 10-minute videos. A 10-minute video is sometimes needed when you're teaching someone how to do something with a lot of steps. But, most of the time a 3-minute video will be perfect.

Keep to One Point

Sticking to one point during each video is also a good way to be successful. It will help you keep your thoughts organized, plus it will help you keep your video shorter. Shorter and to the point is always better than drawn out and confusing. People should reflect on your video after viewing and understand the point.

Don't Forget Your CTA

You do not want your video to sound like an infomercial; however, you do want to remember your calls to action. Usually you should do this at the end of each video. It helps if you know what you'll say. For example: "Subscribe and give me a thumbs up, and while you're at it why not visit my website at www.com - the details are in the description box down below."

List Your Video Correctly

Make sure that you put your video in the right category, and use all the tags, keywords, and other information that you can possibly use. Do not skimp on this process just to get the videos up. You need people to be able to find you when they type questions into the search bar.

Use the Description Box Wisely

The description box of your video is a very important place. You can include links to your website, links to affiliate programs, and more. Use it for everything it is worth for every video you post. Even if the viewers do not look at the description box (but they will if you tell them to), the search engine uses it for keywords to send people to your videos.

Post Them Regularly

At first it will feel as if you're talking to no one on your videos. But, when you post them on a regular basis (such as daily, a few times a week or weekly), you will build an audience. People start to count on you and if they know your video is coming out every Thursday, they'll look for it. Just keep posting regularly and the audience will build.

Promote Your Videos

It's also important that you promote every video that you publish. Promote via social media, on your own blog, and within your newsletters. Asking people to watch your video, and giving them some information about what's in the video, will increase views exponentially.

You can become very successful on YouTube promoting your business if you make non-sales videos on a regular and recurring basis that are targeted toward your audience. Plus, at the end of each video be sure to ask for likes, shares, comments and a thumbs up.

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