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Hello Blog Readers – and all ships at sea:

When fall bursts into color, and the leaves are changing, you can’t beat the Northeast.  This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US.  I’m sure we have competition, but everyone should see it once in a lifetime.  My family took a drive around New England this weekend. After a long ride we found ourselves in Salem Massachusetts. Wow what a madhouse, but it was a great example of marketing. There were thousands of tourists there.

As Halloween approaches I’m sure you’re thinking of ideas how to scare up new business.   (Just to let you know I’m adding more Halloween puns and metaphors – I can’t help it – it’s just so much fun). My suggestion, follow the Salem example, and start some major buzz about yourself by embracing marketing for maximum return.

Rule#1 – Salem knows their target market inside and out.  Anyone who has an interest in Witches or the paranormal knows Salem.

Rule#2 – Timely promotions – October is their MAXIMUM exposure month.  I’m sure you know the buying cycles for your market.

Rule#3 – Highly visible promotions – Reaching a maximum audience they used Radio & TV advertising along with traditional Word of Mouth on social networks.

Today I’m thing about another hot technique for marketing -  writing monstrously good articles.

People trust the printed word. Yet most business owners won’t take advantage of writing blogs, articles or white-papers. One common fear is information would appear trite, irrelevant, or too self-serving.   Hypnotize yourself  and repeat after me “This as my opportunity to share what I know.”

Still wondering what to know what to write about? I’m here to give you the 5 magic formula questions of writing an article.

1) People are interested in learning what new trends are happening in your industry.
2) What questions does a prospect ask when they call you?
3) What questions are you asked in social situations about your industry?
4) What information does your family or friends ask you about your job or profession?
5) How is technology changing your line of work?

Write down everything that comes to mind in a notebook. Don’t throw anything out. This brainstorming will become your magic writing spellbook. The key to this exercise is open your mind, and let the creative thoughts flow to the paper. You’re channeling your inner spirit, so avoid censoring your thoughts.

Look over your brainstorming session – pick one big idea which jumps off the page. Write it onto the header of a piece of paper as a question. That question is your topic for your first article.

Next put together a quick outline indicating two or three points you want to cover. Your article will have an introduction, two paragraphs about the topic question, an external experts opinion and your conclusion. Remember in the conclusion make sure you indicate who you are, a link to your website, and how to contact you by phone or snail mail. That’s it!

Mirror, Mirror on the wall – hope this helps explain article writing once and for all…

If this hasn’t helped you can always call in the marketing experts. Using a company like mine will help you carve out a killer PR plan. We also help you find content for articles. You can hire a ghost writers to pen an article or two.

Now you know another big marketing secret. My favorite way to reach more customers, and improve your website ranking, is writing articles. Next blog post I’ll touch on a Thanksgiving theme. I’m not sure how well that will work out, but we will see. I’m thinking of carving up Turkey SEO ideas.

Until I blog again – have a good month, and market well.

Christine

About the author: Christine Vilmur Cavaliero is the owner of First Degree LLC .  With 20 years of consulting experience she writes and manages two websites decided to marketing consulting services – LadyInRedMarketing and BestSEOintown. Her company specializes in results oriented marketing services for small business owners.

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Hello Blog Readers and all ships at sea – Welcome to my new reader in Italy. Cool I’m going international.

Today as I drove home from the gym thoughts of developing a USP ran through my head. USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition.

This blog idea stemmed from a prospect evaluation I had last week. Following the initial conversation I contacted a colleague for a second opinion. We both agreed the prospect’s website had a ME-TOO identity crisis. He is a book author. He wants to sell books about financial planning. Yet his website sounded just like every other “financial guru” on the market. Not too hard to see why his one and only book failed to sell. People didn’t realize what made his message unique. No AIDA, no call to action, nothing to “ask for the sale” just a lot of “ME-TOO” writing.

Fear of missing out on a sales opportunity drives some small business owners to do two really strange things. First they want to be bigger than they are. They use ME-TOO talk, call themselves a corporation, publisher, CEO, etc. Just little ‘ole Joe business owner isn’t good enough. Second they are “jack of all trades, master of none.” They do a smattering of everything. Speaking with them sounds like a political ad full of big promises and half baked ideas. They can cure cancer, negotiate world peace, save your business, triple your revenue, and do everything yesterday. You get a gut reaction they are full of BS, and run for the hills.

While my colleague and I came up with the standard suggestion. Rewrite his website with a re-branded message we realized we don’t know his audience. People who want to “achieve a financially stable retirement” is too broad, and there is just too much competition. He needs to reach a specific subset of that audience. So I sent him along with a task. Who is his “true target audience?” Until we identify that buyer we can’t do the website rewrite.

Now look at your website or sales literature… How much writing sounds like industry babble? Too much blah-blah-blah we’re #1, we’re great, blah-blah is a message killer!

Remember when your marketing sounds exactly like everyone else (ME-TOO) people tune you out! They’ve already heard that message before. A business owner needs to find their unique voice – something which will stop the prospect in their tracks. Something that bonds the audience to you for life.

One of my favorite examples of bad braning was a small community bank that had a blatant ME-TOO message. While the financial crash of 2008 was unfolding they refused to give up the “big bank” persona. It wasn’t until the big competitors started to say “we care about our customers” did they follow suit. The missed millions of dollars of new business because they refused to change from the ME-TOO message. The lesson – even large business’ have ME-TOO blinders on.

Final thought today, you can’t be everything to everybody. Express your unique qualities, be who you are, and spell it out. People who plan to buy your product, or hire you, will respect your candor. Don’t write your marketing message trying to please everyone. That will only lead to “ME-TOO” statements, and ME-TOO marketing is a nail in the coffin of your business.

A “specific target audience” allows you to be the big fish in your small pond.

Have a good week and market well-
Christine

P.S. – As the holiday season approaches I’m working on a special project. These books are dedicated to personal, business and financial success. A bit off topic for my Shark Tank blog, but if you want to be a big fish in the pond of life it will be worth a look. just whetting your appetite for more.

P.S.S. – Keep those comments coming, and as I said before if you have a project you want me to evaluate please contact me. I’m evaluating a few products and services that help fellow business owners accelerate success.

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Hello all blog readers and ships at sea…

I have one housekeeping note for my readers. I am all for sharing the latest tools of internet marketing, but PLEASE don’t use my blog comments as a place to advertise. I will just delete, or mark your posts as SPAM. When you have a JV opportunity which you want to share contact me offline. Enough said.

We’ve been having some really rough weather here in Connecticut. Bad rain last week, and third day or watching the rain fall this week sparked thoughts of traffic. Not the crappy traffic on I-95, 84, or any other major highway, no I’m thinking about website traffic.

Many prospective customers ask “how can my small business reach more customers on the web?” Technically there is the fast lane method and a slow lane method. You really need a mix of both to get effective website marketing success.

Slow Lane methods are institutional advertising – branding marketing. Yellow Pages, Newspaper, Mailers, Snail Mail, Signage, Brochures, Business Cards, etc. All valid but a much slower way to reach customers.

Fast Lane Marketing – hit the customer where they are looking for a product or service…right on the web. This is why you need to be ranked on Google. Statistics prove people don’t look past the first three pages of Google. This is why ranking high on search engine traffic (for keywords) are so critical.

There are several different ways to get your website recognized on the web. First consider the age of the domain. Let’s say for arguments sake you’ve been on the web for five years. Google will give you more rank recognition than someone who just got onto the web last week. Really this isn’t something you can control, so it “is what it is.”

Second – how many people visit your website from keywords on the browser? This is where my business (and other competitors) enjoys a love/hate relationship with Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Obviously we know the insider secrets of the HTML code and what the big dogs at Google are looking for.

Back to the traffic conundrum (for my fellow readers a conundrum is a question without an answer).

Third you should have content that people want to see. Let’s say you put together a website that is static. This is something that stays the same year in and year out. BORING! Don’t change your website look and content every day, but have some interesting content to lure your visitors back. Website surfers (and Google or other search engines) have the attention span of a 2-year old. They get bored and move on to another site if you don’t have something new to say.

Last, share links with other website. Google loves links, especially links with educational or civic organizations. Link building adds legitimacy to your website. This is the equivalent method of being recommended by a friend or colleague.

Now let’s focus on local versus global traffic. When you are a Brick and Mortar business focus on local website marketing. A civic organization like the local Chamber of Commerce usually has a website which is linking tool. Use the local website marketing techniques especially if your business comes from a small circumference from your front door. Now if you’re service is delivered electronically you may have to compete on a global level. That means you’re going to look at global traffic such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Adwords and possibly PPC campaigns.

When you are reviewing your 2011 marketing plan do a quick market research project, think Show Me the Money! Review your 2010 revenue and sales. Once you’ve determined who those customers are, and where they live, and how they found you, adjust your marketing plan to reach more of the same type of people.

I’ll close with this…focus your energy on running your business. I found that when you are a small business owner you can get distracted. One of my favorite authors about personal development and time management is Dr. Steven Covey. Currently I’m reading “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” for the 30th time. My advice is balance your time and commitments. Pay someone to get you on the right road with website marketing. Consultants can move you much further ahead than doing it on your own. As always contact me if you have a website marketing project – BestSEOintown

Market Well To Enjoy More Profits!
Christine

P.S. – check out my friend blog (Daily Marketing Tips - http://www.dailydirectmarketingtips.com). You’ll uncover a treasure trove of information about marketing

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