All posts by Richard Thurman

20 Step Webinar To-Do List

There is a lot to do to host a successful webinar. But, if you arrange to do each thing in advance and have a cheat sheet or a to-do list to help you not forget anything, then you'll run through it with no problem. Let this be the start of your cheat sheet.

  • Choose Software - Write down the functions you want the software to have so that you can run a smooth webinar. Try out some different types of software, and then choose the software you want to use.
  • Define Your Audience - Who do you want to deliver your message to? It might seem weird to choose your audience first, but doing so will make it simpler to choose the topic. If you know who you're talking to then you can customize any topic to fit them.
  • Write Out Descriptions - When you know who your audience is, it will help to write down exactly who they are down to descriptions of them as individuals. Choosing two or three specific personas is very helpful moving forward.
  • Develop a Narrow Topic - Your topic should be something that solves one major problem for your audience. For example, perhaps your audience consists of home-based service providers like virtual assistants. What is one big problem that they have that you can solve? Summarize the topic and the event so that you can market it to not only attendees but also to potential JVs.
  • Set a Date - Setting a date early in the planning process is essential to getting it done. If you wait too long to perfect everything, you won't do it. Set a date, and then work your way backwards in your calendar setting everything up. The least amount of time you need to put on a successful webinar is six weeks.
  • Choose a Title - Using this information, develop a working title. You can also use the working titles to tease your audience a bit. You might develop a poll to let them choose one of the titles.
  • Set Your Goals for the Event - Set specific goals for your webinar, such as adding 100 targeted subscribers to your email list, or selling five new memberships to your exclusive inner circle club. Write it down so that you can look at it each time you start to develop copy.
  • Create an Email Autoresponder Series - When people sign up early for the event, it's great to have them on a list with an autoresponder series plugged in to keep them informed and excited about the coming event.
  • Build a Landing Page - Using your title and the summary of your event, add on to that and create a landing page that makes people want to sign up for your event. Make it as simple as possible; don't ask too many questions of attendees or they'll run away and you will miss out.
  • Develop Any Forms You'll Need - Both your JVs and your attendees are going to need forms. You'll need to use forms to collect information on everyone from both sides of the fence. You can use something like Gravity Forms or even Google Forms.
  • Invite Joint Venture Partners - Once you know the focus of the event, you can invite JVs to do the event with you. Decide on the rules and the speaker responsibilities ahead of time, and then invite about four times as many as you think you need to apply to be speakers.
  • Craft the Web Copy - Get to work on writing the copy for the event, or have someone do it. Even before the rest of the work is done you need to start marketing your event as soon as possible.
  • Get Art Created - Find someone to create graphics for the event. Consider graphics for the sales page, for the speaker information, for attendee gifts and more. For example, wouldn't it be useful to have a graphic to say an attendee is attending, which can easily be tweeted after they purchase their ticket?
  • Prepare an Event Page - Using that information, make your event page with all the information on the speakers, the topic, and benefits of attending.
  • Collect Speaker Information - As speakers turn in their information, which needs to have a strict deadline, add it to the event page.
  • Send Out Press Releases - As soon as the date is set, the title chosen, and the event is scheduled, you need to send out a press release regarding your event.
  • Invite Everyone - It might seem like something you'd think of, but invite everyone you know on your lists, and have the speakers invite people on their lists. Create a deadline by which to start doing that.
  • Create a Bonus for Attendees - Everyone loves unannounced bonuses and opportunities. You can use these bonuses as they come in to tease your audience that has not signed up, but keep them secret from people who have signed up.
  • Collect Speaker Slide Shows - You never know what can happen, so it's a good idea to collect the speaker slides. They are also great bonus material for webinar attendees who may want to download them to follow along with a speaker.
  • Practice - Have a practice run with the speakers about a week before the live event. Make it private, and just have each speaker show up, share their screens, check their volume and just take five minutes to make sure everything works.

Successful webinars are possible with the right advanced planning and with specific goals in mind. You can host webinars and add another income stream to your business fast.

8 Reasons Why Press Releases Are Worth the Time and Effort

One of the oldest marketing ploys around is the old-fashioned press release. But, do they still work? The short answer is that if you have a newsworthy reason to issue a press release, then by all means you should do it. Press releases still have great value for many reasons. They still get results, although not always the types of result you might expect.

Low Cost

Press releases are still relatively low-cost ways to get the word out about a new product, service, or event. This is true whether you do it yourself or hire a service to do it for you. If you are choosy about when you send a press release as well as to whom it is sent, the cost will be a lot less than other forms of advertising.

Improves SEO

Today, one of the biggest benefits of a press release lies in the SEO value. Google Search still places a press release at high value in term of content. This is mostly because scammers don’t typically spend a lot of time, money and effort on producing press releases, so if your business does then you must be legitimate.

Potential for Wider Exposure

Even when you target your press releases they can be picked up by others, and often are if they fit a news story someone wants to tell. Therefore, you have a large potential to reach so many more people than via normal advertising methods.

Becomes Part of the Record

Press releases, especially delivered online, become part of the record and can be found long after the opening, product launch or other newsworthy event. In this way, someone who is looking can find a record of your business.

Establishes Expertise

The record and combination of releases will help establish you and your business as experts in your niche. They help get your name or the name of your business associated with a professional business.

Enhances Credibility

People who don’t take their business seriously don’t send press releases. So by sending them out you are establishing that you’re a serious contender and business entity, which will give you credibility with your audience.

Improves Branding

Any way that you can regularly get the word out about what your business is doing, through blogs, articles, and press releases, will improve your brand’s image, especially if you make it part of your normal marketing efforts.

Viral Potential

Every press release you send out has the potential of going viral if you send it to the right people at the right time. Be sure to not only send them out, but also to share the online version on your blog, website, and via social media accounts to help the process.

You should send out a press release any time you open a new business, add a new product or service, or have anything that is newsworthy to report about your business to the world. In addition, it’s imperative that you learn how to target where your press releases go so that they get in the hands of the right people.

Eight Ways to Use a Book to Market Your Business

Marketing your business with a book is a great way to prove your knowledge and develop some credibility within your niche. The act of publishing a book sets you up with expert status almost automatically. Of course, the book needs to be good too, but the idea is that the book is not the main product. The book is just a way to market the main product which is you, or your business.

Sell It Inexpensively on Kindle

You can give it away by signing the book up exclusively on Kindle, and then allow it to be given away. Alternatively you can sell it for $2.99 or even more. It's up to you. If the book is good, and you want to make money off it, it doesn't exclude you from using the book as a marketing tool. This only works if you also include links and information about your website and other information inside the book.

Collect Leads by Giving It Away

As mentioned above, you can give it away on Kindle. You can also give it away as lead bait or incentive to your customer to sign up for your email list. Still include links in your book because your audience will want to buy what you suggest, and come back to your website if they know where it is.

Use It to Get Speaking Opportunities

A book's topic is a great platform to get speaking engagements. When you're a published author, people will want to know what you know, and speaking is a great way to market your business.

Publicity through Authorship

Just becoming a published author carries some clout. And, don't let anyone tell you that self-publishing is "less than" any other type of publishing. Self-publishing is actually more lucrative today than finding a publisher unless you are already famous and want to outsource some aspects. Publishers will not do much to help someone who is not already known; therefore you may as well self-publish and use the proof of your knowledge (your book) to market your business.

Viral Marketing Campaigns

An eBook can be a great way to "go viral" if you know how to promote it. Use social media, book trailers, and excerpts of the book to market on social media to get the word out about the book and your business at the same time.

Create a Book Trailer Video

A great way to both market your book and your business is to use the book to make a book trailer video to post on YouTube. This video can then be posted on your website and social media networks as a way to promote the book and also your business.

Put Links inside Your EBook

This is the most important thing outside of marketing your eBook. Ensure that you include links inside your eBook because this is how the people who buy or download your eBook (or even if they steal it) will give you business from it.

Promote It on Social Media

Don't forget to market your business and book on social media using all means available, such as infographics, the book trailer, memes and infographics.

Using a book to market your business is an excellent idea. It's something that's been done long before online marketing. A book can be a great calling card for your business with proof of your expertise.

Are You Setting the Best Marketing Goals for Your Business?

Goal setting is an important part of doing business. You have to set goals for every aspect of your business and that most certainly includes marketing. You’ve likely heard that goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. The reason this is a good plan of action is that it gives you a place to start when it comes to setting out your goals. You might think that the goal of marketing is always selling, but it’s not.

Know Your Purpose

You may have goals for various purposes for your marketing such as spreading awareness, building your email list, getting more social engagement or something else entirely. The important thing is to understand the purpose of the marketing that you’re doing.

Where Do You Stand Now?

If you don’t have much of a list or a social media following, then it’s important to access what you should do first. Should you build more of a following and if so, exactly how will you accomplish it?

Where Do You Want to Be?

Look toward the future of when you meet the goal that you set for yourself based on where you currently stand.

Determine What Is Next

Always knowing what you’ll do next when you reach a particular goal is helpful to setting the best marketing goals for your business. It’s always first things first – build your blog, build your list, market to the list. Repeat.

Map It All Out

Creating a map of where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to go will help you succeed in the marketing goals that you set for yourself. It will also enable you to see gaps in your choices so that you can fill them.

Don’t Jump the Gun

If you haven’t tried content marketing yet, don’t drop a grand on banner advertising. You want to start where you are now, and work your way up to where you want to be.

Understand Your Audience

All marketing starts with your audience, and without knowing who they are it will be difficult to create a marketing plan that will work for you.

Know Your Products and Services

Understanding how your products and services benefit your audience will also help you know where to start with your marketing efforts. Does your audience know that they need what you have, or do you need to educate them?

Do the research you need to do in order to know your audience, learn your products, and to evaluate where you stand today. This is necessary to ensure that you choose the best marketing goals for your business today and in the future. What works for you today will not work for your business tomorrow.

Content Syndication – How to Do It Right

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ne way to increase your reach with your content is through content syndication. Content syndication licenses your content, or parts of your content, to be published on other platforms and can help lead new audiences to your website or blog. Content syndication can help you build a larger fan base, bring more publicity, improve SEO, and allow for more widespread sharing of your content on social media.

Choose the Right Syndication Partner

Syndication isn’t about duplicate content; it’s about forming a relationship with a partner that will help push your content out to their audience while providing a link back to your website, giving you more credibility and perhaps also putting you inside an advertising network of sites so that you can share revenue. Some examples of sites that do this well are SheKnows.com, StyleList.com, BlogHer.com and WomensForum.com.

Know Your Niche

Part of choosing the right syndication partner is to understand who your audience is, and what your niche is. If you have a technology blog, you don’t want to syndicate on a food network and vice versa. Ensure that you choose a popular, legitimate, and well-run network so that it will pay off for you in terms of increased traffic and revenue.

Syndication Networks Legitimize Your Content

There are syndication partners in every niche that accept applications for participation in their network. One popular one is outbrain.com. Outbrain is focused on finding great content for their audience. It revolves around using the content on your site to recommend other content to your audience that resides on your site and other people’s sites, depending on which plan you choose. When you sign up you put the code on your site, as others have it on theirs, and you each have an equal opportunity of recommending the others’ content.

Syndication Offers Monetization Opportunities

As you can tell if you’ve looked at some of the recommendations, these syndication sites are advertising networks. While recommending your content to others and sending them deeper into your site, you will also share in ad revenue that the network sells based on having thousands of smaller sites banded together. This makes advertising sales more lucrative for even the small publisher.

Build Your Traffic Up First

To syndicate your content, work hard to build up your traffic. The more traffic you have, the more leverage you will have with the networks you apply to. In the syndication game, traffic is currency.

Know Your Syndication Goals

Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to provide education? Know your goals so that you can choose the right network that will help you reach those goals.

Work on Your Content Strategy

To be accepted by legitimate syndication networks your content needs to address your audience, be honest, not be spam, and look professional. Professional content has compelling headlines and benefits for the reader whether they choose to sign up for your list and buy from you or not.

Understand the Different Types of Syndication

There are free and paid syndication. An example of free content syndication is SlideShare.net. Then there are advertisement-supported networks as mentioned earlier. Finally there are licensed syndication networks like Outbrain.

Once you have worked out these issues and understand your goals, you can work on your syndication strategy. Before joining any network, read all the fine print. You want to ensure that you never break the rules or contracts to make the most of a syndication network.

Why Facebook Ads Work

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acebook ads are inexpensive, effective, and something any small business owner should consider getting involved with. The reason you should be running Facebook ads, whether they are sponsored posts or other types of ads, is that they do work. Here is why.

People Live on Facebook All Day Long

People use Facebook on PCs and on their mobile devices, and keep it with them all day long. They take Facebook with them to dinner and some people never turn it off. This is a real chance to connect with your audience that you cannot pass up.

They Are Relevant Due to Extreme Targeting

Facebook allows you to target your individual audience down to their interests and gender, and you can even provide email addresses for the exact people you want to target.

Easy to Include a CTA

The tools that Facebook offers the people who want to run ads help to create compelling CTAs that your audience will be more likely to answer, whether it's as easy as liking your page or downloading your app.

It's Easy to Make Professional-Looking Ads

The tools that Facebook offers let you create professional Facebook ads without having the ability to make ads. They lead you through it with their system to make it simple, so you're more likely to repeat the process.

Easy to Include Great Value

You can easily include enough information in each ad that shows the value of your offering. With just a few clicks you'll have an awesome ad that your audience can see the value in.

They Offer Disruption with Significance

In many cases people are blind to advertisements, but on Facebook the disruption is noticeable and your audience will want to check it out. This is due to the ability to target the ads so closely to your target audience.

They Are Simple to Create

The ads are easy to create and it gets easier all the time. As Facebook makes the ads work better for business owners, and easier to do with a click of a button, they become more relevant, more valuable, and more useful to you as a business owner.

Easy to Run A/B Tests

Due to the ability to duplicate an ad and then easily edit to change one part of the ad such as the title or the image, you can run ads simultaneously. You can even target different audiences to find out which works better.

Facebook ads work for a variety of reasons. However, they will only work if you plan them out and spend the time ensuring that you run relevant ads. They must be of value to your audience, grab the attention of the viewer and include a compelling call to action.

Use the Tools Facebook Offers

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sing the tools that are already offered in Facebook is important because they are really great. They are set up to help make it as easy as possible for you to market your business online. They are pretty much foolproof because they are made for Facebook.

You can learn straight from Facebook what works best for marketing your business on their platform. You can learn new skills, study fast or slow depending on how you want to do it, and you can access your courses from anyplace. On a side note, if you want to offer services for your clients on Facebook, getting these skills is in demand.

If you really want to get to the next level of learning how to succeed with Facebook on Facebook's platform, learn how to make the most of your Facebook page, how Facebook ads work, how to measure results, and exactly how to create ads that target your audience.

Free Analytics Apps

Using the analytics that Facebook offers is important because it gives you the real insights that you need in order to know whether or not your efforts are working on Facebook or not. You can measure views, clicks, sales and more.

Facebook Segmenting Tools

Facebook allows you to look at different groups of people according to their demographics and other segmentation modes. You can market directly to people who are on specific platforms, and even in particular states or in certain groups on Facebook.

Create Funnels

When you use Facebook to create a funnel, you can see how people move through your funnel and become customers. It will give you enormous insights into what your customers are doing once they enter your funnel.

Business Pages

Facebook allows you to create a business page for free. Once you create your business page, you'll have new tools opened to you to help you promote it. You can create a call to action, put your newsletter sign-up on there, and more.

Communities

Using communities to market your business is a great way to use Facebook for marketing. You can not only communicate in a new way with your customers, but you can also promote the posts and more in the communities.

Facebook is a wonderful platform to use to promote your business - whether it's a bricks and mortar business or a digital business. It doesn't matter because you can use it to market internationally or hyper locally when you use the tools they make available to businesses.

Are You Leveraging the Right Resources to Grow Your Business?

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arketing your business with online content is the ultimate way to bring traffic to your website. You can use articles, newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, FAQs and more to help bring traffic, but there are ways to do it so that you can grow your business the right way. Having a lot of followers isn’t indicative of success. Earning money is. So, if you want to grow your business you have to know which resources to leverage.

Content Is Still King

Everything revolves around content. Content is needed for every aspect of your business. If you create information products you need even more content. However, even if you sell other types of product or service you still need a lot of content in order to educate, engage, and encourage your connections to buy from you.

Forms of Content

There are many different forms of content that you can use, such as blog posts on your website, guest posts and articles on other websites, inside print publications and online newsletters. Content can be text, audio or visual in nature. Having a combination of different forms of content will ensure that you reach more of your audience.

Have a Plan of Action

The other key to ensuring that you are leveraging the right resources is to have a plan of action. Don’t just create or have content created without a point of view, voice, and the goals for the content in mind.

Create a Publication Calendar

When you know what content you want to create, it’s important to spell it out in a calendar so that you will do first things first. For instance, if you are launching a new product in three months, you can start whetting the appetite of your list now.

The Email List Is the Most Important

They say the money is in the list, and that’s as true today as it was five years ago. Social media marketing hasn’t replaced email marketing; it has created another way to lead people to your email lists. Leverage your social media to build your list.

Develop Incentives to Collect More Email Addresses

The point of your blog posts, social media updates, and even webinars is to collect information from your target audience so that you can market to them within your email lists. Host webinars, ask for sign-ups on social media, and incentivize lists with free give-aways or low-cost entry products and services.

All Content Should Work Together

Starting with the product, service or event that you want to promote, work your way back to today to decide the different types of content that you will use to get more email subscribers to whom you can market and promote your wares. Decide what type of content they need to become educated and informed about your products and services so that they will purchase.

Consider Drawing a Workflow

Looking at how all your content works together to bring in buyers as well as encourage the purchase, may help you identify gaps in your content needs. Your content workflow might look like this: Email Subscription Bait > 7-Day ECourse > Webinar > Short Report > Long Report > EBook > Coaching > etc… Seeing it written out should help you decide what you need.

By knowing what your goals are for the content that you create, you’ll be able to use it more efficiently to grow your business far beyond what you thought possible.

Using Facebook Ads Effectively

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acebook is a wonderful tool to use when marketing your business, products and/or services. They make it really easy for anyone to do it, whether a large corporation or a small home business. You can run Facebook Ads effectively by setting a goal, and then taking the steps necessary to reach that goal. Test what you are doing, and check in on how everything you’re doing is working.

Build Your Email List

Using Facebook to build your email list is very effective because they make it easy with the ability to add tabs and a call to action to get people to sign up for your list. Plus you can put up a nice banner that points people to the CTA.

Get More Page Likes

Using Facebook Ads to get more likes for your business pages or to promote your communities is a great way to increase engagement. Make the ad truly relevant to your audience and you'll get a better response.

Segment Your Audience

You have a large audience, but you also have smaller subset audiences that you can use to narrow down who you're targeting from your audience. It makes writing copy easier if you have a small segment to think of as you develop ads.

Target Interest Groups

Facebook makes it easy to target people based on many demographics, including interest. This is wonderful way to target specific groups that will be interested in what you're offering.

Sell Your Product Directly

Using Facebook to sell your products and or services directly is a great way to use Facebook Ads; however, you want to ensure that they still sign up for your list.

Use CPM Instead of PPC

PPC means pay per click, and CPM means cost per thousand and is measured in views. Facebook has a good system that when using CPM it will do what works best and gets the most bang for your buck.

Include Pictures That Are Relevant

You want pictures that draw attention to your advertisement to your audience. Know what they like and choose those pictures, because you don't want to do anything that turns them off.

Promote Your Posts

hen you write a good post and share it on your Facebook page, it's important to promote it so that more people see it. Paying to promote posts will ensure that more people see it, and you'll get more engagement. Be sure to ask for a CTA.

The important thing is to have a goal before you start so that you know that you're being effective with the actions that you take. Without a goal you have no idea whether what you're doing is successful.

Nine Ways to Create Buzz about Your Business

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reating buzz about your business means that you do something to get people talking about you and your business. Today, creating buzz about your business is important, especially as there are so many people to compete with. But, if you can set yourself apart in this way, you’ll win a lot of new customers. Here are nine ways to do that.

Send Out a Press Release

Press releases are still viable and important ways to get buzz about your business, even in this day of social media and blogging. Press releases should be sent out to your contacts every time you have something newsworthy to share.

Create and Share an Infographic

Infographics are long, pictorial graphics that tell a story about the data and information that you have. These are great ways to encourage sharing, especially if you include data that is relevant for your audience that they'll enjoy.

Release a Free eBook on Kindle

Having a book launch with a free Kindle book is a great way to create buzz. Ask the people who download the book free to give you a review and feedback, which will help move your book up on the list that Kindle recommends to people.

Create Viral Videos

While you might not be able to just willfully create a viral video, if you create regular videos that are of interest to your audience then one of them is bound to resonate enough to go viral. Videos get shared more often than text, so you're off to the right start when you create videos.

Have a Facebook Contest

Contests are great way to create buzz about your business. You can have them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog... however you want. Just follow the rules of the platform and make sure your prizes are relevant to your audience.

Conduct a Blog Tour

A blog tour is where you plan to place a guest post that is original to the place where you put it, and which is about something you're promoting. The way to set that up is to contact people to join the tour and allow you to post your information on their blog.

Host a Webinar or Teleseminar

These are great ways to build your email list and get buzz about your business. A good way to do it is to ask other people to do them with you. That way you all promote to your own email lists too.

Start a YouTube Channel

A YouTube channel can be almost as good as having a television show if you plan out the content you want to do, post content on a consistent basis, and try to be as professional as possible.

Connect to a Charity

You don't want to do charitable things just because you want to create buzz. But, if there is a charity that you like, you can donate a percentage of proceeds all the time to it, or you can have yearly sales where all proceeds go to the fundraiser.

If you want to create buzz about your business, using social media is a great way to do it. Try these different ways and see what reactions you get. Keep doing new things as often as you can to keep the buzz going.

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