Category: Marketing

Confidence Beats a Path Through the Forest

Self Promotion

Have you ever wondered how to get something done?

One step at a time, will carry you through the forest, but what if you don’t know where to go? Or where to start? Or where to place your foot? Or what shoes to wear?

On a daily basis I’m faced with these kinds of questions about marketing, and then the response.

I’m going to share one of these encounters in a moment, but first I want to share something else… The basic concept of how to beat that path through the forest and what you should be doing. This is a step by step concept basis of how to get things done… First.

You have a great idea.

Write it down. Write it down, and put some serious detail into your idea. Create within it a goal that you can easily achieve within the next week, and then another 5 year goal, something you can reach for. But write it down.

Did I say WRITE IT DOWN? Do that. Write it down.

Your idea needs encouragement.

Everyone needs a mind-blowing mentor who can visualize their new ideas… Such mentors are readily available and easily found, when you know what you’re looking for. Many are available for the price of a cup of coffee online. Someone who has a good grip on business, marketing, and development of ideas will be able to give you some solid guidance, or even a quick – no, it’s already overdone – but more likely, such a person will ask questions that drive you to creating a more profitable outcome by thinking openly about how to apply your idea and make it  a doable concept.

Don’t skimp on this part. You really do need someone to encourage you to think bigger, better, and more effectively. Maybe even someone to plot out the options that might be available for you, to market your project.

Your idea needs research and direction.

Do your due diligence now. Don’t push this aside, take a few hours, a few days, or a week, and do what you have to do to find out if your idea has any marketability, a niche to fill, or any promise of ever becoming profitable or not. Write this all down. You’ll need a specific record of what you find. Either in a file on your computer, or a spiral notebook, keep access to links, markets, what people say, and any other detailed information you find.

Plan out the directions you’ll take your idea…

  • Is it a service?
  • Is it a product?
  • Do you need a manufacturer?
  • Will you do the job yourself?
  • Will you hire others?

Sort out all these details and any more you come up with so you can determine exactly where you go next.

Your idea needs focus and support.

This is the part where your message comes in handy. If you already have a message and a tribe of people who believe in you, support you, and help you market your ideas and businesses, connect with that tribe of people. Set up a round table for discussing your idea and to build your focus, gain support, and build a network of supportive ‘assistants’ who will help you promote your idea once it’s ready to send out into the world.

Now… Onward to the Forest!

I promised I’d share the basis of this story. And I’m going to share it right now…

Case Study of the Client Unwilling to Enter the Forest

I’ve had a client for more than six months, going close to a year now, who has hired me to do his marketing. I spent a lot of time and effort marketing for him based on his website (it had a story to tell and appeared to be a story of success), and his words. He said all the “right things” indicating that he had at one point been successful.

As time wore on, there were other indicators, including but not limited to his constant search for ‘outside approval’ of his business. He was always spending more and more money to do the same things that were being done, and ultimately overlapping his marketing efforts, with non-profitable results. On several occasions, I mentioned that I was a consultant and would be glad to help him format a plan for his marketing efforts, but each time, he said, “I can’t afford to pay you for that service.”

Within days, he would hire another marketing service that had a higher cost and no results.

Then, in a freaky discussion about his past, he revealed that he’d actually made a few random sales, and those had encouraged him to continue working the business, but he was working it from a trust fund. And the dire revelation: The trust fund is about to run out of money.

I’m not a mathematics whiz or anything, but my years of accounting told me that if he’s been running his business from a trust fund, he’s not making a lot of money from his marketing efforts. So I asked specifically how many [of his product] had he sold in the past year?

Three.

Now if we’re talking million dollar houses, or million dollar deals, or even six-figure deals where his commissions are noteworthy, he’s made some money. So, I tenaciously as how much he makes per deal. No response. I ask how much his product sells for on a base line (lowest/highest). His response indicated that he’s making annually, less than most of my clients make monthly. And… he says, I’m living off the principle of my trust fund.

Whoa! Say what? That’s BAD business. You’re spending a lot of money marketing and I know you RECEIVE CALLS, so what then?

Sometimes I sell, but more often, they’re just too cheap to buy.

Let me step out of the case study for a moment and give you some basic details:

  • His products are 30% cheaper than other products in the same market.
  • His products are readily available without the ‘middle man’ scenario.
  • He offers absolutely NO VALUE to the package as a ‘middle man’.
  • His marketing effectively draws in a strong niche market.
  • He’s getting 5 – 10 hits a day, and at least 3 per week of those hits, becomes a contact.
  • He’s doing nothing to build relationships with the contacts.
  • He offers no contingency, or next step plan to promote another product.
  • His funnel doesn’t include keeping connections or building relationships.
  • All customers are one time customers and gone.

And now back to the case study.

Obviously, he can’t afford a consultation, and I’m working on the “process” so I can offer some discussion, interaction, for free, and give him the basics, plus some advice about building his contingency market, so he’s got a continued marketing plan for building those relationships that will bring his buyers back for a second purchase from him when needed.

Outcome:

After spending several hours, exchanging comments and discussion, he sent me a message accusing me of being full of myself, because I ‘self promote’.

Understand:

Advertising, marketing, and websites are all SELF PROMOTING. You have to know what you offer to make it available to others. If you don’t know what you have to offer, and don’t offer it… They’re not going to buy it. They won’t care what you offer. They won’t buy it.

Self Promote – it’s how business happens.

Your confidence will take you past the trees into the forest, and out the other side, because you’ll take that first important step.

Trivial Adulation, Frustration, and Anger Management

social media marketing

OMG, there’s no SHARE button! The frustration was palpable on FB this morning. That tiny little five letter word that fills the space after “comment” on the “what to do bar” under a post, picture, or video appears to not be there sometimes. But just sometimes. So, we have to have long winded discussions about why it is there on one post, yet not on another.

I tried. I offered several explanations (all the same, but worded differently, for those who weren’t picking up on the nuances of the game plan). And then there was the graphic I created for the express purpose of proving the point, that it wasn’t FACEBOOK removing the button, but the poster who determines that nobody but their own friends should SEE what they post. Well, that didn’t work either.

Instead of being angry at Facebook for removing the button, that whole list of posters were now angry at me for explaining it. One – bless her sweet heart – informed me that “if you’re not an IT professional, you don’t know what you’re talking about” and I didn’t bother to tell her, I am. Why bother?

More and more often recently, I’ve noticed people are offended, adulated, or frustrated by less and less. Really, a SHARE button?

Share Button

Last night, I was visiting with a friend online, and she went off, totally blowing up over Facebook adding an option to schedule an event, when she used a keyword “Tomorrow” in a private message. In the end, she asked, “Why does Facebook care?”

Facebook is a for-profit business.

The objective of providing a FREE place for people to communicate with each other is for Facebook to sell ads that people click on, to make money. Facebook wants you to spend your time creating more and more pages, events, groups, and posts, so they can sell ads. Yeah, kinda brilliant, isn’t it! Wish I’d thought of that!

Does this mean I reject the use of Facebook, because they appear to manipulate me into doing what they want? No. It means I’m a little more selective about what I do. And I try to make sure it’s really something I want to do – before I spend my time doing it.

If the act benefits ME, I’m more likely to play along than if whatever Facebook is encouraging me to do offers me no benefit.

Selective reasoning works well.

Just because Facebook offers up a new option, or takes one away, doesn’t mean their service is less appealing. It means they’ve found a way to streamline their services to meet THEIR needs. IF you don’t like it, adjust it to meet your needs, or create your own “Facebook” and don’t worry about them anymore.

In simpler words… Get over it!

Why get upset that Facebook is a self-serving business model, just like almost every other business model? Use it, find ways around their ‘reprogramming’ and move on… Change is part of the program. Instead of making a big deal out of what Facebook does to confuse users, why not find ways to make money from Facebook?

Social Media Marketing Business Models are PROFITABLE!

If you’re on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn – or any of many other options, I believe you have an opportunity in your hands. I believe this, because I’ve applied this Business Model over the past several years, and it works.

By learning a social media platform and then finding clients who want to pay you to share their business, you could be making money on social media.

Click below to find a Social Media Marketing Business Model that works. And sell your services.

 

$7 Business Model

3 Blog Tactics for Driving High-Volume Traffic

…and getting better conversion than EVER before.

When I started this website, I wasn’t sure what ‘online with Jan’ meant, other than an opportunity to connect with a different audience than my usual web-development clients. Then one day I realized there was a key value, and important difference between the average person online who might be looking for someone like me, and the chaotic adventure seeking marketing crowd who sought out my web-design business.

actionable contentThe key component of those who seek out online with Jan over the web-designer has something to do with the bold glory of Grannies on the Internet doing what Grannies do. We show off our kids, and share our crafts. Only, my craft is web design.

The Grannies who seek me are searching for information about their websites, the details about marketing their products and crafts online, and the excitement that comes from knowing people who make a lot of money doing what I do. Those ladies know that to make money themselves, they have to rub elbows and knock knees with folks who do make money online. But they don’t necessarily want to hang out with the college crew techies who generally make up that notable sector of society.

It isn’t that we don’t like the college age boys and girls, we love them! But we’re not cougars, and we prefer tea and crackers over GMO cakes and designer coffees – well, they do. I still like my designer coffees.

The thing is… I have a lot of techie experience, and I can write about that, but I prefer to give credit where credit is due, and write what is of interest to ME while sharing the techie information of my young buddies who have put a lot of thought and effort into building their tech business. With more than 20 years of technical background, web design, graphics, and getting to the bones of marketing online, I understand the important aspects of tech, and what it takes to be successful. I want it all!

Web Design

#1 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

When you write your blog posts, write what you know. There’s a new fad going around where people try to write about things they don’t know about, and want to give advice in areas where they have no expertise. Trust me, that will be short-lived, and won’t accomplish much. In fact, those lovely folks will probably forget to update their websites at the end of the year, and they’ll all be available for someone else to manage next year.

Write about what you know and drive traffic that is truly interested in reading what you write. 

This is a key component to driving high-volume traffic and making solid buyer conversions from that traffic. When you’re writing for people like you, who like what you like, they won’t have to hunt for an expert in their area of expertise.

Some key elements of writing what you know come from these questions, below. Take a moment and read through them, then answer them, honestly. You’ll notice a thread of interest flowing through them, and that interest is YOU, and people like YOU.competitive advantage

  1. What kinds of food do you like to eat?
  2. Where do you spend your down time?
  3. Who do you hang out with in the afternoon?
  4. What do you do when you want to kick back and relax?
  5. What movies and television shows do you watch?
  6. Who do you call when you want to talk?
  7. When do you feel the most energetic?
  8. What kind of music do you listen to?
  9. If you could do anything you wanted for 3 weeks, what would you do?
  10. Where would you go if you were given a vacation – to anywhere?

Write about those things and see who finds you! I bet the people who find you will become good friends, and will like several of the things you like to do. In fact, they’ll probably enjoy so many of the same things that they connect through your blog, leave you messages, and share your blog posts with their friends.

#2 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

make money onlineWrite something you’ve already read, BETTER. I get about half of all my traffic from organic SEO. That’s search engine optimization for those who don’t know. People search something on Google, or Bling, or Yahoo, and the first page that pops up is my page, with an article I’ve written and shared. Almost as often as I have one hit the top of the Search Engine Pages, I realize that I’m not the only one who wrote about that topic. And my article may not even be the longest, but it’s the BEST. It’s the best because I’ve used keywords, added content that adds more value, and increased the readability of the article with sub-headers and bullet points. These come natural for me, and I use them in almost everything I write. But the best part is that those sub-headers and bullet points also add searchability, and bring my content to the top of the page.

Include plenty of optimized graphics in your content as well. The more graphics you have with searchable keyword titles and alt-text, the more likely people are to find your content.

Don’t hesitate to use ads that drive traffic to specific items in your content, and add qualifiable alt-text titles to those graphics, because they help move your traffic where it need to go.

#3 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

$7 Business ModelPeople get to your site one of five ways:

  • Direct (type in the URL)
  • Email (clicked from an email)
  • Referral (clicked a link from another site)
  • Social (saw it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • SEO (sent from a search engine)

And SEO blows all of the other 4 out of the water for creating sustained traffic. Let’s go one by one.

SEO is a great way to be found, via search engine. When you create a baseline for searches using keywords, meta tags, and comprehensive descriptions of your page, the next step is easy. Optimize the titles and sub-headers of all your content. People look for ideas, topics, concepts, and when you write articles with titles, sub-headers, and keywords that use the same long tail phrases as the concepts, topics, and ideas people search for, the search engines refer them to your website.

I’ve been called an SEO Hustler because I capture concepts in titles and use long tail search phrases to identify my content. That’s okay with me, because it works great. My readers find me on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines, because I’m readily available, showing up with the same phrases they seek.

  • Most people won’t know your URL.

This is a key concept, because many can’t spell your name, they won’t know exactly what your URL is, and they really won’t know to search for you at a .net, or .org. So you really need to focus more of your content on keyword phrases.

  • Your Email list won’t hold everyone interested in what you offer.

Even at 100K people on one of my lists, I still don’t have EVERYONE who might be interested in that particular topic on my email list. They’ll need another means of locating my content, finding my website, and buying what I offer.

  • Referral traffic may account for 1% of my overall traffic, even when I’m viral.

Viral promotion, the hit and miss variety of click and share on most social media is a form of referral, and EVEN with that, I’m only at 1% of my overall traffic. That 1% isn’t high-conversion, buyer traffic that makes me a lot of profit.

  • Social media numbers dominate no market, although Social Media Marketing.

Social Media Marketing adds incredible value to your business online, by driving return traffic, and yet — the traffic driven from social media, even when your content goes viral is of little overall benefit to the growth of your online business.

Primary traffic always comes from Search Engine Optimization, due to content development and the quality of content you share on your site. The overall VALUE of your website is based on the content you share and the traffic you incure on your site. Build content, drive traffic, improve your value.

Content Development

Hey, take a quick minute and visit my Author Page on Amazon.com and check out my publications. Below are book covers and links to specific books.
You Are Not Alone Influencer Auto Maintenance

Market Yourself!

market yourself

How do you represent yourself? Do you sell yourself short? Or do you manage to look really cool in a room full of strangers?

One of my best friends online comes across as a silly cheerleader with a room full of adoring fans on the internet, but she sells herself, her market, and her product with ‘glee’ appeal. She grows an audience based on her product, but the audience responds to *her*.

Occasionally, she posts a link to her product. But before she posts any links, she talks about all the fun she’s having shopping at the site, visiting friends at the site, spending days with her buddies running around, and asking people to share their ideas about what she’s selling. She markets herself before the site.

How can you make this work for you?

  1. Talk about what  you’re doing.
  2. Share where you are.
  3. Invite others to comment on products  you use.
  4. Bring your readers to the event.
  5. Share your thoughts.

These are just five things you can do with social media before you share the links you’re marketing.

Bring in the bright and shiny things, show those off, and move beyond that to the part where you share yourself. Don’t just share the bright and shiny – SHARE YOU.

 

What’s your Product Worth?

make money online

In your niche… Are you the absolute BEST person available to teach what you teach?

But… if you’re going to do a job, and you’re going to charge for your efforts, do you want to charge the minimum someone will pay for that topic, or do you want to charge the most? Why?

Make Money Online Business ModuleMy reasoning had always been pretty sound that I had a valuable product and offered it at an equitable price, something fair and low enough that people could afford what I do. I’ve always stayed busy and figured because my business was always growing, I should consider myself fortunate, because so many in this economy are floundering.

Over a period of several months I considered the pricing model that I’ve used for so long and wondered if I’d been giving too much away. But, there always seemed to be many who complained that they couldn’t afford the prices I offered. Recently, after a discussion with my coach (I love the fact that I finally made the jump and hired a coach for ME) I’ve gone over my pricing and I’ve raised the prices to match the quality (for the first time in years), partially because I realized that my closest competitor, both in location and quality is more than five times the (original) price and slower to deliver, AND moreover… doesn’t provide the continued service I’ve always provided.

My thoughts had always been to stay – middle ground – and about a week ago, I heard someone say “Middle ground is displacement for failure, you’re either moving toward WINNING or LOSING, you can’t stay in the middle for long. So if you want to win, pull harder.” The concept made sense to me, and I started looking at where I was on that line of succession. If I want to win/make more money, I had to be moving faster toward the high-end. I adjusted my prices and posted my July special day before yesterday. I’ve sold 3 July specials at literally 4 X my normal “regular rate” (and THAT is the discounted price. Regular price is higher.)and I’ve got more people calling me today, PLUS appointments for next week too. THIS is more business than I saw in the entire month of JUNE at the lower price.

Is this actual proof positive that I was underpriced?

The line “you get what you pay for” came up today as I visited with a new customer, who had just spent the price for her website and added to it for an additional separate site for her specialty products, an increase on the NEW pricing of more than 80%, plus a NEWLY set up high-value coaching program to teach her how to use the program, charged monthly. She didn’t hesitate to park her plastic on my subscriber list for a monthly fee that is double my original site cost, annual fee.

As of ten minutes ago, I received an email from her, referencing the little bit I’ve completed on her site, “Jan, this is at least ten times better already than any site in my genre. I’m so impressed, I feel like I should send you a bonus!”

No, friends it isn’t about the money. The money is just the transfer of value. The real deal is the value they receive and how much they perceive that value to be worth.

A workman is worthy his hire – Biblical principle to adhere to from this point forward.

— Jan Verhoeff

Make profits online