Archive Monthly Archives: July 2017

How to Turn Affiliates into Marketing Powerhouses

One of the very best ways to market on-line is to create a legion of loyal cheerleaders and fans, who at your command tell everyone they know about your products, services, sales, and information. Word-of-mouth marketing has always been the very best form of marketing and creates better and longer-term relationships with customers. Keeping customers long term saves money. Here’s how to get affiliates to help you with your marketing.

Use Well-Known Affiliate Tracking Software – If you use unknown affiliate management software, you may have trouble getting strong affiliates to sign up to promote your products and services. Currently, Infusionsoft is very popular systems. Don’t try to get by with a free program because you will not be taken seriously.

Provide an Excellent Product – Super affiliates aren’t going to promote a poor product because they are marketing things to people that trust them. They are seen as experts in their niche and promoting a problematic product will make them look bad.

Give at Least 50% Commission – This is especially important if your product is low cost. It takes work to promote products so it needs to be worth their time. It needs to earn them enough to entice them to promote your product. Also, ditch the minimum sales; pay your affiliates for every sale in a reasonable amount of time.

Offer True Lifetime Cookies – One poor habit of those who want affiliates is not offering true lifetime cookies. That means that once they attract the lead to click through, they will always get the credit for sales from that lead.

Provide Top-Notch Tools – Graphics, content, reviews, and more should be available to your affiliates so that they can promote your products as quickly as possible. They shouldn’t be charged with creating graphics as well as promoting. Give them all the tools they need and they will work harder for you.

Have Contests with Prizes – Encourage your affiliates to make more sales by offering prizes and having contents where you share the leaderboard and who is doing best during the time of the contest. Offering prizes like iPads if the market is right is a good incentive to most affiliates.

Provide Excellent Customer Service – If someone buys the product and has issues, it is important to address those issues right away. Word gets around if you have a bad reputation for not taking care of your customers.

Provide Product Information and Training – You can use videos, PDF files and more to provide product information and training to affiliates so that they can use the information to market to their audience better.

Offer Affiliate-Only Webinars and Calls – Affiliates really appreciate the opportunity to talk to product creators. What’s really great is that you can get more feedback about the product and what their customers think about their recommendations. Plus you can use the feedback to help you make your affiliate program more effective.

Finally, be sure to pay your affiliates on a regular basis. It is reasonable to wait to pay until after potential returns go through, but it is not reasonable to hold a certain amount of money to require payments. Affiliates will work harder when they’re seeing results. If you want your affiliate marketers to be marketing powerhouses, treat them well.

How to Stand Out Online

There are billions of people online and you need to stand out. The good news is that there is only one you. Therefore, the best way to stand out online is to be you because you are the only one who can do that.  Here are 8 ways that will get you started today:

Create a Detailed Profile – Do not leave out any information for your profiles on social media. You do not want each profile to be an exact replica, but you do want to use every single bit of space the social network allows you to in order to create a profile that stands out. The best way to stand out is to keep your target audience in mind as you create your profile – because yes, even when it is about you, it is really about them.

Get a Professional Profile Picture – It does not have to cost a lot to have a professional photo shoot four times a year. That way you have images appropriate for each time of year ready to share with others. You can also create memes with the images if you get a variety of shots. Seek out photography students who need to build their portfolio. Get your hair and makeup done professionally and wear clothing that represents who you are (or want to be).

Share Amazing and Relevant Content – Online it can be easy to get carried away and go against your niche, but if you stay relevant and only share content that is interesting to your audience you can not go wrong. Whether you created the content or someone else did, it needs to be something your audience needs to see and know about before you share it.

Be Controversial – Okay you do not want to go crazy with controversy but you can go against trends, disagree with gurus and let people know what you really think about things without worrying about the world blowing up. The important thing is to be yourself and be true to who you are, and not to worry too much about what others think. Just be able to back up your ideas with facts.

Respond Relevantly – Do not use every response as an excuse to talk about your offerings. People do not like that online. Instead, make sure that your responses make sense based on the post. Seek to help people instead of hawking your products.

Under Promise and Over Deliver – In everything you do, build a good reputation by always giving more than you get. When people learn from others about you via testimonials or just comments about you on social media, it is remembered.

Share Your Opinion Strongly – When you have an opinion about something that you can back up with facts (even if it is contrary to what others say and do), as long as it fits in with the narrative that you want to accomplish with your audience, go for it.

Be a Good Resource to Others – You want to always be a service to others in everything you do. When you are online, everything you say and do lives forever. Even if you delete it, it is there someplace for others to see and judge. Keep that in mind and always be a good resource to them.

Standing out online is easy to do if you simply start with being yourself. No one else can do you the way you do you. Do not try to be fake and do not try to be something you are not. Do not brag and do not be silent.

 

What Business Is Right for You?

Starting a new business is the hardest and most rewarding thing that you can do in your lifetime.  When you determine you want to start a business, the next step is to find out which type of business is right for you. The way to do that is to participate in self-reflection that is brutally honest so that you can get started on the right foot with the exact right business for you. It can be a very difficult time to choose the right business.

Here are eight tips to help you.

There Is No Such Thing as a Sure Thing – No matter what anyone says, there is no business idea that is a sure thing. That is why one person can make a pizzeria into a million-dollar business and the other person goes bankrupt in the first six months.

Do What You Know or Can Learn – If you start with what you already know and where your resume leads, that is usually best. However, if you really want to change directions, take the time to learn new things instead of jumping into a situation where you have no idea what to do.

Study Other Businesses – When you get an idea about the direction you want to go, start looking at those businesses that are already successful to find out a common reason why. If you can determine what they are doing well then you can emulate that later.

Ensure There Is Sufficient Demand – With any business idea that you have, it is important to make sure there is enough demand to support your income requirements and needs. This is a mistake people often make when trying to turn a hobby into a full-time income. There just is not enough demand.

Develop a Business Plan – When you have zeroed in on something you like, try making a one- or two-page business plan which will force you to analyze every aspect of the idea. The business plan is an essential component of choosing the right business, and people make the mistake of thinking you only do that when you have already picked the business.

Ask for Assistance from Others – If you know people in the field, simply ask them what they would do differently, better, or if they would do it again at all. They are likely to be very honest with you about the mistakes they have made and the successes they have had if you ask.

Work for Someone in the Field for a While – One way to learn whether you even like a certain type of business or not is to work in it. Ask people you know to let you volunteer or work for low pay in their business.

Look for Market Trends – Match your skills with current market trends to see if you can find a good match that excites you. Do not let this be a substitute for ensuring there is a market for the trend today and in the future, but it is a good start.

Choosing a business that is right for you takes some work. But, if you do the work before jumping in, you will have that much more chance to experience success with your business idea.

 

Remember the Call to Action

When it comes to online marketing, nothing is more important than your “Call to Action” or CTA. The call to action tells the viewer what exactly you want them to do. Usually, when it comes to CTAs, less is more. You want your audience to have one or two choices of actions to take for each video, article, or whatever, no more. A Call to Action may be a request to buy, opt-in, and yet some will be share, some will be like, and you may ask people to just comment. There are different ways to do it all without seeming like a used car salesman.

You know that CTAs are important in all your written content, but you may not be so sure how to go about it with your video, or other content, or why it is so important.  But, the Call to Action is important in all your communication with your audience. Having said that, each piece of content, including video, will have a different purpose, therefore a different type of Call to Action.

Remember the Buying Cycle – Your Call to Action will depend on the part of the buying cycle that the content or video addresses. Some people will come to an article or video due to wanting to learn more information; in that case, they may want to “subscribe” so that they can learn more.

Use Specific Action Words – Instead of trying to be tricky when it comes to the words that you use for your Call to Action, let them know what they get if they opt-in, like, share or comment. For Example: “To get more videos or articles just like this please subscribe.” Another example: “If you want to enter the contest, answer the challenge question in the video below.”

Avoid Niche Jargon – It’s tempting to use words that are considered jargon within your Call to Action, but it is a mistake. You need to use CTAs that speak to your audience in a clear manner and that make no mistakes about what you expect from them.

Remember the Audience – Everything is always about your audience, and never about you. Everything you say and do needs to be something that shows that you understand their pain and can help them.

Think: One or the Other – When it comes to a good Call to Action, it is imperative that you do not give them too many choices.  You want to think in terms of “this or that” to ensure that they follow your CTAs smoothly.

Bumpers Work – A bumper is a picture or video added to the end of each video or content that gives them a Call to Action. The CTA can change depending on your purpose for the content or video. You can create various bumpers to add to the right video or content, depending on the purpose.

Have a Contest – A great way to draw attention to a Call to Action is to host a contest of some kind.  A contest can help encourage more shares of a video without even trying while drawing attention to a different CTA such as engagement via commenting.

Send Them to Another Video – A great Call to Action that is not often considered is to send them to another video or content via an annotation or link in the description. Sending your viewers to more of your content and videos is a great way to improve views.

The Call to Action is likely the most important part of your content and videos. Without it, people may not read or watch more, like your content or video, share it with others, or even comment. While it may seem like you are selling and yes, you hate selling, if you do not have a CTA in your content or video you will miss out on the benefits of having content and videos in the first place.

Common Networking Mistakes

As a business owner, you know that you need to network. You know networking will help you get to know people, build relationships, and even build your reputation as an expert if you know what you are doing. To be successful with networking, avoid these common mistakes.

Not Having a Goal – You should create a goal for general networking but also for each networking channel, be it online or offline. Before any event, write down the goal you want to achieve. For example, you want to connect with at least three new people, so that you know when you leave if you have been successful or not.

Not Being You – Many people think that because they have a business, they need to exaggerate and make themselves look bigger and better than they are. But the truth is, you simply need to be yourself because it is you that makes your business and offerings special. Be Self-Expressed.

Not Listening More Than You Talk – You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, therefore practice mindful listening. Repeat back to others what you heard, mirror their thoughts, and ask appropriate questions. They will actually remember you more this way.

Hanging Out with Competitors – While you do want to get to know your competitors, you will make more sales by networking with the people who need what you have. Commiserating with colleagues is useful, but it w increase your sales.

Not Pushing Your Boundaries – Going to events can be scary, but it is important to push your boundaries if you want to grow your business. You can start slow with online events, and then move slowly into offline events.

Acting like a Wallflower – Do not go to an event and stand in a corner all alone. Mingle and get to know people. A good trick to help you accomplish this without getting sick is to volunteer to be a greeter at the event, handing out name tags, or something else that requires you to speak to people.

Being the Last One Standing – At any in-person event, you want to make your exit before the last minute. Being the last one at an event can be a sign of desperation. Instead, leave people wanting more.

Having No Energy – When you speak to people, project your voice but do not yell, and show some likeable energy about you. You want people to feel good when you talk to them.

Common networking mistakes that business owners make can be avoided with just a little bit of knowledge and planning. You can be very successful with networking as a business owner. Today, most people do not have an issue working with someone who has a home office, so you can go into any situation with confidence. The important thing is that you can do what you say you can do and follow through.

Business Market Segmentation

Business market segmentation has some main variables which are used to separate the market. It’s not much different from dealing with personal segmentation, more commonly just referred to as segmentation but focused on consumers. It is a little more difficult to sort out. As you look at this list, you will note that there are similar points with personal (consumer) and business segmentation – with the exception of operational practices and business type.

  • Location – Which country and the region does the business operate, and how many offices do they have?
  • Business Type – What industry are they in? Do they have a staff? What size are they? What types of products do they sell? What type of technology do they use? Who owns it and what are they like?
  • Operational Practices – Who makes the buying decisions in the company? Are they loyal to a particular brand? How fast do they make their buying decisions?
  • Culture – Some businesses are early adopters of new technologies, and some are slower. How do they make decisions? Do they make decisions with emotions or data? Are they innovators?
  • Goals – What are their overall business goals in terms of growth, marketing and so forth? Do they want people to be loyal to them?

Knowing these segments is different from knowing how to apply the segmentation to build relationships and increase sales. Once you divide the market into similar groups, you can get started with the education of the market to boost sales and conversions.  Here are three things to keep in mind.

Segmentation Improves Business Decisions

Proper segmentation can improve customer acquisition, retention, response rates and more. It will help you evaluate the customer in a new way, including understanding the costs that will be incurred to market to them versus the potential earnings possible.

Segmentation Helps Identify the Best Customers

When you have the market divided, you’ll be able to determine exactly which portion of the market consists of your best and most promising customers. This can help you avoid wasting time with people who will never convert.

Segmentation Can Help Determine the Best Way to Market to Them

When you segment your market you can learn a lot about them, which will enable you to create marketing messages that are more targeted. Even though it’s all the same “market,” there are huge differences within each segment of the market. This makes it imperative to use different methods to send them information that is tailored to their demographic.

When you make segmentation decisions you need to know why you’re grouping them together. Ensure that you have some sort of marketing decision to make based on that segment before you go forward. Determine the cost of resources, including time involved in your decisions. Using business segmentation to help drive marketing decisions will inform your choices, and will allow you to gain a huge competitive advantage over your competition.

 

 

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