Showing posts with label marketing strategy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marketing strategy. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2015

Goal Setting: It’s Not About Ideas – It’s About Making Ideas Happen


“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” —Scott Belsky

We’re into the second quarter of this year. It’s time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re heading. It’s time for ideas.

According to Business Dictionary, an idea is “a thought or collection of thoughts that generate in the mind.”

They’re usually derived from intent, but they can also be unintentional.

Ideas are the foundation of all advancements. And, they’re at the foundation and growth of your business.

While ideas may be the initiating force behind success, they’re powerless without action.

Action is the implementation of an idea. Action is taking deliberate steps toward an end. Action is what makes dreams a reality.

So, how do you turn an idea into an actionable plan?

Four basic steps you will need to take to get started.

1. Create a plan.

First: Take that idea and actually write it down, don’t just type in your laptop or computer, actually write down what you’re idea or goal is. Then you can put it in your computer.

This idea should be considered your long term objective.

Second: Divide your long term goal into short term goals with actionable steps you can take to reach your objective.

Suppose your objective is to boost your social media marketing in order to build a large and loyal following with conversion potential. Divide that into sub-categories. They may be:

• Two to three social media channels to devote more time and effort into
• Who will handle this strategy (if you’re a solopreneur, it’ll be you)
• Time to be allotted to this new strategy
• Budget for this new strategy
• Create user engagement and connections
• Actionable steps needed to accomplish this new goal

Why write your goals and action steps down?

According to an article in Entrepreneur.com, “Warren Buffett has described writing as a key way of refining his thoughts.” And, “Richard Branson once said, ‘my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,’ which he uses for regular writing.” (1)

Along with this, another article, 5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing, explains, “Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.” (2)

Writing goals down takes more thought than typing away. This makes you more conscious of what your goals are. It adds, if you will, emphasis to what you want.

So, it’s easy to understand that writing your ideas / goals down is a key to fulfilling your goals.

Finally, keep your goals and action steps front and center. You need to see them daily (throughout the day) as a reminder of your intent.

TIP: Make sure your action steps are realistic and doable. Nothing will squash your motivation and efforts more than not being able to fulfill your action steps.

2. Implement your plan.

Your goal and actionable steps are on paper and in your computer. Now it’s time to actually take action. Follow through and post more to the social media channels. Engage with other users by Retweeting, Following, Liking, Sharing, and so on. Take all the actions you’ve listed in your plan.

3. Keep it up – persevere.

Whatever action steps you do, do them wholeheartedly and regularly. Don’t give up because you don’t quickly see results. Give it time to determine if the steps you’re taking are the right ones for you and your business.

4. Analysis and Revise.

While you do need to give your actions time to generate positive results, you also need to test what you’re doing.

Determine what’s working and what’s not. Then revise your plan accordingly.

Don’t waste time on efforts that aren’t working. Try a different approach or marketing strategy.

Your time and effort will be much more productive if you regularly test your results.

There you have it, four basic steps to creating and implementing a business plan. Take the time to write your ideas / goals down and create and implement actionable steps to help you achieve them.

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References:

(1) http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234712
(2) http://michaelhyatt.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-commit-your-goals-to-writing.html

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Small Business Marketing – Meet Your Customers’ Wants


By Karen Cioffi

 This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Series.

You just started your own business and you’re creating a small business marketing plan. You may already have created a great product. At least you think it’s a great product. But, is there a customer base for it? Or, is your product name effective? Do you know what your target market’s ‘wants’ are?

Marketing studies are showing that in order to sell effectively, you need to know what’s motivating your potential customer to make the choices he does. This means you need to know what your potential customer wants.
   
People buy what they need, want, or desire. But, ‘when push comes to shove,’ people buy what they want, rather than what they need.

So, you need to determine what it is your potential customer wants and craft your small business marketing strategy around that.

Suppose you’re selling a book on ‘alternative health.’

Many people may know they should look into alternative health options, maybe find an acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor, but if you don’t promote your product to their ‘want’ it won’t motivate the prospect to buy. 

So, what does it mean to promote to a customer’s want, rather than his need.

Well, instead of promoting your alternative health book by explaining that Western medicine may not meet their health needs and that it’s important to address the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms of illnesses, tell the potential customer that alternative options will allow him to regain his health and vitality. Tell him how this product will actually alleviate his problem.

Do you see the difference?

Please be aware though that the above example is just that, an example. In your small business marketing you must always be honest and never, ever make guarantees in regard to someone’s health. Your product or service must to be of value and it must fulfill your marketing claims.

As the example demonstrates, people buy based on feelings: Will the product or service make me feel, look, or smell better? Will it help me learn something, or earn more money? Will it get rid of my pain?  Will it make me a better golfer? And, it’s your job to answer the relevant questions effectively.

Watch just about any TV commercial. The marketers are selling an image. They’re selling to the viewer’s wants. Think of clothing commercials. Some don’t even have words; you simple watch a beautiful or handsome model wearing the product. You want to look like the model in those clothes, whether consciously or subconsciously. This motivates you to buy those clothes. The ad is addressing a ‘want.’

Just as a chef prepares a meal for both the taste and visual appeal of a dish, so must a marketer present his product or service in a manner that will be appealing on all fronts to the target market.

Your small business marketing must address your potential customer’s ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) question appealingly and effectively.

What strategies do you use to find out what your customers' wants are and to meet them?

Stay tuned for Part 2 on November 1st!

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-classes through WOW:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Marketing with Online Press Releases - eReleases September Special

If you're doing any kind of business online, you most likely regularly or occasionally find the need to write and distribute an online press release. I know I do. But, if you haven't thought about using press releases, let's go over what they're good for:

Online press releases, through distribution services, are an excellent marketing tool to increase your visibility and bring traffic to your site. And, they bring major attention to what you want to promote, such as a new product, a special you’re offering, a workshop, a new or revised book, new services, and so on.

Press releases also broaden your reach. There are tons of subscribers, including businesses and journalists, who look for relevant information they can use. In addition, press releases boost your chances of being picked up and featured on industry websites and even news stations.

If you have something new, or upgraded something, or revised something, or are offering a special, you NEED to get that information in a press release.

Being an affiliate for eReleases.com, an online press release distributor, I get updates on all the specials they have AND they're currently having a September Special, right through the 30th.

Get $25 Off on Any Service from eReleases.com by using Coupon Code: SEP8-Z25.

That’s a really great offer. If you have something to shout about, do it now.

Just CLICK THE LINK BELOW to get started. And, don’t forget to use the Special Coupon Code: SEP8-Z25.

Tell the World about Your Company, Your Services, and Your Products with eReleases! Get $25 Off on Any Service from eReleases.com by using Coupon Code: SEP8-Z25.

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P.S. Want more writing and marketing tips and special opportunities? Then subscriber to The Writing World (top right sidebar). You'll get weekly information plus updates on free instructional webinars.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Online Marketing - Commenting on Blogs is an Effective Marketing Strategy

Contributed by Karen Cioffi

You may be an author or writer who takes the time to comment on other websites. This is an effective online marketing strategy. It builds bridges to other blogging neighborhoods, it forms connections, and it helps increase your visibility.

But, after using this strategy for a short while, what if you don’t seem to see any difference in the traffic to your site or the comments on your posts?

Should you continue commenting on blogs?

YES, absolutely. Commenting on blogs is still an effective marketing strategy, in fact, even more so than before. Getting a ‘post conversation’ going and sharing content is high on Google’s list of what bloggers and marketers should be doing. Today, it’s all about creating optimized content that readers find valuable enough to share to their social networks.

Knowing the effectiveness of this marketing tool, I try to use it as often as I can. And, recently I left a blog post comment on a high-traffic, high-quality site. When I comment on a site, time allowing, I usually browse the other comments. On this particular blog CommentLuv is used and one of the post comments in particular seemed to be informative, so I clicked on the author’s latest post link. Doing this, it brought me to a site with great content and I actually tried to subscribe to the email post feed. Unfortunately, it seems the feed wasn’t enabled, even though the site owner had the opt-in for it. But, that’s another story.

Commenting on sites that offer the commenter’s last post link  is an excellent way to broaden your reach and easily bring visitors back to your site. Just like I clicked on that commenter’s link, based on an effective post title, the same can happen to you. 

 
CommentLuv is a commenting system plugin for WordPress. Simply click on ‘Plugins’ in your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Add New,’ search for the plugin, and install and activate it. That’s it.

This is a WordPress plugin; I'm not sure if it can be used on Blogger.  When this post was originally written, it could be. But 10 years later, I couldn't find any information on it.

Hopefully, Blogger will add CommentLuv to its gadgets to make blogging with a blogger site more effective.

In addition to the obvious benefits of commenting, such as broadening your marketing reach and making connections, the activity you create online is picked up by search engines. This includes comments.

Make commenting on blogs an important element of your online marketing strategy.
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P.S. To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi, Children's Ghostwriter, Rewrite, Coach, and Author Online Platform Instructor

 


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

6 Book Marketing Tips that are Sure to Increase Your Visibility

Having yearly, monthly, and weekly marketing goals are crucial to achieving success. With goals, you know where you’re heading and can work toward that end.

Marketing goals can be considered a marketing plan and it will have a number of steps or objectives that must be set in motion and accomplished.

Whether you’re book marketing or trying to sell another product or service, six of the bare basic online marketing strategies to increase you visibility are:

1. Create a presence and platform

Creating an online presence and platform is initiated by creating a website or blog. First though, you’ll need to be sure of your niche because the site name and content should reflect your area of expertise is.

Remember, plan first. Choose a site name that will grow with you. Using an author as an example, if you choose a site name, Picture Books with [Your Name], you’ve limited yourself. What if your next book is for young adults?

As part of your book marketing strategy, you need to create a ‘hub’ site that will act as the center to your offshoot sites, such as the individual sites for each of your books.

Leave room to grow; it’s always advisable to use your name as the site’s name or part of it.

In addition, with today’s gone-in-a-second attention span, it’s a good idea to keep your site simple. Marketing expert Mike Volpe of Hubspot.com points out that it’s more important to spend time, and money if necessary, on content rather than a flashy website design; simple works.

Google verifies this ‘simple is better’ strategy and notes that milliseconds count in regard to your page load time. In fact, Google gives a ‘poorer’ score to pages that are slow to load.

Sites that take a few seconds or more to load may also cause you to lose potential subscribers and buyers.

2. Increase visibility

Writing content for your readers/visitors is the way to increase visibility – content is definitely still King. Provide interesting, informative, and/or entertaining content that will prompt the reader to come back and, just as important, to share your post or article.

Also, be sure your content is pertinent to your site, and keep your site and content focused on your platform.

3. Draw traffic to your site

To draw traffic to your site, promote your posts by using social media. You should also do article marketing which will increase your visibility reach.

Another strategy is to offer your readers free gifts, such as an ebook relevant to your niche. This will help to increase your usefulness to the reader and help establish your authority.

This is considered organic marketing; it funnels traffic back to your site with valuable content and free offers.

4. Have effective call-to-actions

Your site must have call-to-action keywords that will motivate readers to visit and click on your links. Keywords to use include:

  • Get your Free gift now for subscribing
  • Subscribe to our Newsletter
  • Free e-book to offer on your own site
  • Buy Now
  • Sign up or Join Now
  • Don’t hesitate, take advantage of our expert services
  • Be sure to Bookmark this site

You get the idea, motivate the reader to want what you’re offering and give him/her a CLEAR and VISIBLE call-to-action. Make it as simple as possible for the visitor to buy what you’re offering.

5. Develop a relationship with your readers

It’s been noted that only 1% of first time visitors will buy a product. Usually, only after developing a relationship through your newsletter, information, and offers will your potential customer or client click on the BUY NOW button or other call-to-action you have in place.

While it will take some time and effort to implement and maintain these strategies, it will be worth it in the long run. Think of it as a long-term investment.

6. Create an ebook for increased visibility and opt-in enticement

This is an effective marketing tool and ebooks can be offered for sale or given away as a gift or 'ethical bribe.' Whichever you will need it for, it's important to get on board the ebook band-wagon.

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To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi
Award-Winning Author, Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter
Author-Writer Online Platform Instructor

Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform
Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scaling the Marketing Ladder in One Fell Swoop

Scaling the Marketing Ladder in One Fell Swoop

Guest Post by Holly Weiss

People waste a lot of time trying to decide what marketing strategy works. Are you trying to get your opinions, writing skills, or articles noticed? Do you spend hours a day reading advice from well-meaning experts on how to drive traffic to your blog? Don't waste your energy on what others tell you to do. Self-marketing begins with—that's right—you. Down deep, you know your own best marketing tactics. Find your talent and put it out in front of the public—consistently.

Here's what you do.

•    Pick one marketing skill you are good at.
•    Discipline yourself to do it on a regular basis.
•    Plug away at it for six months before expecting big results.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No. Effective? You bet.

Let's say you want to increase traffic to your website. The standard advice usually goes like this. Write a blog and ask everyone on your twelve social networks to read it and write comments. Would you have the time or patience to do that in return, even for a good friend? Other tired advice includes—watch this webinar, download a transcript for that interview, and read ten newsletters a week. Who has time for that?

When I was young and trying to gain some financial wisdom, I buried my nose in the stock pages of the newspaper. One day my uncle gently took the newspaper away from me and said, "Learn just one thing each day. But do it every day." I did it. Guess what? I'm pretty financially savvy.

Tired of scrambling all over advice blogs and posting empty responses on social networks just to get noticed? Try this plan.

•    Find out what interests you and what you are good at.
•    Make sure it fulfills you.
•    Do it consistently.

We only have so much energy. Don't spend hours a day with a scattered brain seeking the best marketing tool out there. Look inside yourself. Feed your purpose with your passion. Not only will you ultimately gain Internet recognition and website traffic, you will be a happier, more productive person.

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Author Holly Weiss (www.hollyweiss.com) released her award winning historical fiction debut, Crestmont, in 2010. One voice led to another when she transitioned from professional singing to writing. Her literary experience and love of reading have turned her into a cutting-edge reviewer of books. In addition to reviewing for Feathered Quill Book Reviews, she reports on pre-release books for The Book of the Month Club, and is a featured writer at EzineArticles.com. Weiss is a vocal instructor and member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She holds an MM from Northwestern University. A polio survivor, Weiss is an advocate for Eradicate Polio Now.

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To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

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