Archive for April, 2010
I personally believe we do a dis-service to the industry and ourselves if we openly state…or even allude…that NWM is easy. It’s not. Nor is any business….WAH or brick & mortar. Anyone who does say different is not being wholly truthful. I find that to be a shame.
NWM requires 3 main ingredients….time, effort, and yes – money. Time is just a matter of redirecting your habits. Not easy but doable. Time directly impacts your efficiency. Effort is entirely controllable by the individual….and directly impacts your effectiveness. Money is self limiting and directly affects both efficiency and effectiveness. An individual must find the best combination of the three that works for them. Someone else can’t tell you what that combination is….but can help you find it (for example a good sponsor).
The new mlmer faces a daunting task…and competition…when it comes to “advertising”. Finding that “best combination” of time, effort, and money is a growth experience. Rarely will it just appear… education (self and provided) plus mentoring (if available) are important factors and hopefully a fact of life. However, “advertising” is not impossible.
In my mind advertising is just whatever method you choose to “reach” people. It might be the traditional newspaper or ezine ad or the simple greeting and sharing with a friend. How you “advertise” or “share” can take many forms.
There are free and inexpensive methods that do work. It’s a matter of finding those that work for you.
1. Writing and submitting ezine articles is an excellent method. It requires time & effort…but no money. The benefits include increased link popularity for the url used in your sig box (important for search engine ranking), branding, and reach (you can “reach” more with an article than an ezine ad). Plus it’s viral. Often your article is archived by publishers and directories…..available well after it was originally offered. Plus publishers and web masters will often “pick up” your article…again well after you originally submitted it.
2. Business cards are always a good method…and more inexpensive than one realizes. You can even make your own. Just pass them out like candy….stores, church, ball games, local events, restaurants (leave 1 with your bill), businesses you frequent, networking meetings, local Chamber Of Commerce. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
3. Flyers, posters, post cards, brochures, etc. can also be done very inexpensively. You can make your own on your PC or purchase custom or ready made templates from numerous online providers. You could even strike up a joint venture with a local community provider. They print it for you and include their “advert” somewhere…you distribute. You both win, you pay less, and maybe influence that partner to be involved in your business.
4. Web decals on your vehicle(s) is another inexpensive method. I have one on each of our family cars (back window) with a short “catch line” and my url. Cost was ~ $40 each but the visibility is priceless.
5. Newspaper/magazine ads can be found that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. Local publications are a good place to start. http://nationwidenewspapers.com is an excellent source. For some of my services I’ve found College student newspapers and alumni magazines to be good performers.
These are just a few examples.
Of course there are the traditional ezine ads, leads programs, Forum participation (sig line – branding reputation), search engines, “3 foot rule”, etc. Most of these will cost you money…all will cost you time & effort.
The key I believe is in being creative and sticking to what best fits your time, effort, money combination. It is and should be a personal choice. If the dollar “cost” doesn’t give you the dollar “value” you hope for….keep looking. But don’t EVER give up.
Plus…diversify. Use multiple methods. Why limit yourself to just “one path”?
Should we just sponsor those willing to waste $1,000′s advertising? Heck no!! We should sponsor anyone interested and teach them how to advertise in a manner best suited for them. Don’t mislead them with false expectations or pressure them into uncomfortable actions. Lead them to solutions which best fit their expectations & abilities (time, effort, money).
John Milton Fogg’s answer to the question is priceless……”It is simple, but it isn’t easy.”
Captures it pretty well I’d say. That’s the message. It’s not hard to understand…should/is fun…..but does take some effort.
Sending any message to prospects that denies effort is involved or necessary….misleads folks into becoming part of the “failed or quit” statistics.
It leads to false expectations.
They start to think they can sit on the couch with beer & potatoe chips watching Oprah on TV all day….and the money will roll in by itself.
Lays, Coronas, and Dr. Phil aren’t going to build your business.
In my mind (OK…my opinion)….that’s the core of any message they should receive.
If you really care…that’s what you’ll tell them.
What do YOU think????
When planning your first small business website, there are three essential questions you should ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- How will your target audience find you?
- How will you convert your visitors into sales?
These questions sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many people don’t bother…and then moan that “our website doesn’t bring us any business”.
1) Who is your target audience?
Give a great deal of thought to your target market. Who do you want to attract to your website? Why? The answer to that is more than likely to sell them something – a product, a service, or an idea perhaps.
Claiming that your market is anyone and everyone is far too vague, and your website will lack focus, and fail to maximise its potential. Ideally you should be aiming to create a niche.
2) How will they find you?
Creating a niche will also help you with the search engines, and drive hot leads to your site.
Consider what keywords your target market might type into a search engine to find you. Actually do the searches yourself. Who comes up in the top 30? Because that’s where you need to be. Are your competitors there? Look at their sites. Do they work? How can you improve on them? Identify something unique about your business that sets it apart from the rest.
Those keywords – or keyphrases to be more accurate – need to be incorporated into your pages of your site – in the page titles, in the headings, and in the internal links.
Be specific with your keyphrases. They will be less competitive than the more general single word searches, and will more accurately target your market. You may have to localise or specialise to get in that top 30 – and the top 30 is where you need to be to drive traffic to your site. As I am sure you are aware from your own experience, if you haven’t found what you are looking for in the first 3 results pages, you look elsewhere.
The key to achieving high search engine rankings is building inbound links to your web pages – that is pages on external websites that link to pages on your site. Crucially this link acquisition should be a natural growth – where inbound link count increases at a gradual pace. The pages that link to yours should be relevant, on-topic and ideally contain the same keywords – especially in the linking text. Search engines rank pages based upon their reputation – your ranking will be determined by what other (preferably high ranking) pages say about your page.
3) How will you convert your visitors into sales?
Don’t just tell them what you do or sell. Tell them why they want it (yes, want – not need). Offer incentives, freebies, discounts – anything to get that dialogue started.
Current research indicates that the human brain makes a judgment about a web page within a twentieth of a second! That doesn’t leave you very long to make an impression. So, make sure that you have your Unique Selling Point (USP) clearly visible on your home page – and preferably prominent on every one of your other pages. After all, it’s not a given that the home page will be the first page that the visitor sees, particularly if they have found you via a search engine.
Then make sure that you list your bullet-pointed guarantees. Visitors have to understand why you are different from the rest, and why they should deal with you and not your competitors. And as we’ve discovered, they have to understand this pretty much instantly.
Lastly, make sure that your site has a funnel-like structure. Identify your important pages – usually the “call to action” or purchase pages – and make sure all roads lead to those pages. Your internal links – like their external equivalents – should describe the target page. If you sell blue widgets, don’t call your products page “Products”, call it “blue widgets”, and make sure that the links pointing at this page also say “blue widgets”. This will not only help the search engines identify and rank the most important pages in your site, it will also lead your visitor to that all important conversion.
Now that 2010 has arrived, it is the habit of many people to make a resolution for the New Year. While many people focus on self-improvement, some opt to make resolutions about their business. Usually this involves a resolution to increase their revenue for their online business.
But did you know that it is actually quite easy to increase your online revenue?
The trick is to drive more traffic to your Internet business(es). As you know by now, more traffic generally means more money.
No matter what type of site you have, your success hinges on getting as much traffic as possible. But like many online business owners, you have probably exhausted many sources for increasing traffic.
Recently I have found three incredible ways to drive more traffic to your site. The good news is that all these methods are not being done by many webmasters.
So if you want to increase traffic for 2010, be sure to use each of the following three traffic-building mechanisms:
1- Data Feeds
Do you like the idea of creating hundreds, even thousand of pages of legitimate content?
With a data feed, this is possible.
Many online businesses utilize data feeds as a way to help their affiliates. If you are not familiar with this concept, a data feed is file that contains a list of products, descriptions and prices for individual items that are sold by a company.
With a data feed, you can create a specific content page for each product. So if an affiliate program has thousands of products, then you can create thousands of pages of quality content. As you probably know, the more content usually leads to more traffic.
Data feeds are great for getting natural search engine traffic because they list specific products that people are looking
for. If you can find a data feed that is related to your specific website, then you can easily generate more natural traffic for your online business.
2- Viral eBooks
Another tool that can dramatically increase your website traffic is a viral ebook or report. Most of the time, a viral ebook is a PDF that people send to their contacts, which contains your marketing message. It is called viral because every person that receives the ebook is given a reason to pass along your material.
Before starting a viral marketing campaign, it is important to create a reason why people will want to pass along your marketing message. Some of the best reasons can include simple greed or a desire to provide entertaining information to their friends. If you can develop a hook that will take advantage of either of these, then it will be easy to create a successful viral marketing campaign.
What I usually do is create a special 5 to 10 page report on a specific topic. Then I find an affiliate program that is related to the topic. Then I create a mechanism where people can easily brand this ebook with their own affiliate link.
This type of viral ebook is valuable because you can place a mini advertisement or sponsorship on every copy. In addition,
you can let the reader know that he or she can make money by offering this viral ebook. As a result, there is a chance that every person that reads the book will click over to your site.
By now, you have probably heard about the power of blogs. If you haven’t created one, then you should use the New Year to take advantage of this traffic pulling tool
With blogs, you are providing your audience with fresh new content about your topic. People love to read them, because most
blogs contain new information in an entertaining and easy-to-read format.
The best part about blogs is how much they are valued by search engines. The majority of search engines consider any information on a blog to be important current news, so they pay special attention to articles listed there. As a result, you can use blogs to drive a larger portion of traffic to your Internet business.
For 2010 you should make a resolution to get more traffic to your site. By implementing these three tools into your marketing mix, you will discover that your web traffic (and income) will dramatically increase.