While there may be others, and there are, added to this list these are almost crucial to success. Can success be had without all, or any, of these? Yes, it can. These are the most common, high reward components which should not be easily discounted.
ANCHOR SITE www.yourname.com
Have a site you control, not on some free service or social network. Do your business here. Think about user experience and conversion ratio on this site as your most important tasks. Keep you blog separate or in a separate directory. Blogs have a tendency to overpopulate the index page and with today’s necessary trend toward flat and mobile design this is crucial to conversion success.
TWITTER ACCOUNT twitter.com/yourname
Having a Twitter site that matches your brand is one great way to push out relative content, build a following, and listen to the Internet on your topic. Learn to monitor Twitter with third party tools like Hootsuite and your life, and results, will be much better.
FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE facebook.com/yourname
While Facebook should never replace your anchor site not having a custom Facebook business page is a big mistake in today’s world. The content and design should emulate your brand and serve as a giant handshake to encourage people do to business with you.
I have no idea. Thank you for stopping in. Good-bye.
That’s not fair of course, and in reality, I do have an idea. Together, in fact, we can probably come up with a realistic, working number for you right now. First you’ll need to know some things about your own business. I will give you the numbers to work with later but for now be thinking of the following:
- How much are you willing to spend to get someone to buy your product or service?
- How many new customers do you need, per month, to reach your goals?
- What amount have you budgeted to new customer acquisition?
Now that you have those numbers in mind …. what’s that? You don’t know how much you have budgeted? Well, consider yourself Jane or John Average. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs are in the same position. So, let’s begin with that first question, “How much are you willing to spend to get someone to buy your product or service?” Continue reading
Real estate professionals are constantly barraged by “great marketing ideas for real estate agents” from just about every direction. This 360 degree assault includes everything from very expensive video production and website development to recurring fee subscription services for “exclusive real estate leads” and more. After time the excitement of being a new agent and having all this attention from companies looking to be at the top of the marketing budget list wains and too often the agent simply gives up and does what they can, on their own.
Be sure to watch the short animated video at the end of this post!
Real Estate Calendars
Calendars are a perennial favorite of real estate agents, plumbers, chiropractors and insurance agents. The idea is these calenders last for a full twelve months – and it is true. Calendars cease working as a marketing tool when they are placed in a drawer or the trash can. If they remain on the wall or refrigerator the lifespan may indeed be 12 months and this obviously creates more opportunities for engagement with the branded company.
Real Estate Closing Gifts
Getting a nice bottle of wine with a photo of the home on the label is a great, novel idea. Lifespan about 1 meal or stuck in the wine rack to be forgotten. While this idea, at a cost of around $45 including shipping, ignites all those good emotions it is short lived in market reach and is offensive to some. Do not send a bottle of wine to a recovering alcoholic or a teetotaler or you’ll alienate them forever.
Who needs a framed copy of themselves signing the closing documents? Sure it sounds good and, as with most other closing gifts, the emotions wane after the first couple of payments, the first roof leak discovered, the first call to the electrician or plumber. Frankly these end up in the trash pretty quickly. The same goes for that cute “golden key” with the purchase date inscribed on it, the gift certificate to Lowe’s or the Home Depot or even a favorite restaurant. None of these gifts provide real usefulness or longevity.
Fully customizable this gift is of the highest value and continually provides important information to the new home owners.
The Custom Home Owner’s Guide
When moving to a new home there is a lot of research to be done and this adds to the stress of buying the home. While the listing agent may know who provides utilities for the existing owners the odds they have found if there are other competitors or if there are any special offers for new clients. Having a list of schools which service the address is easy though it is unlikely anyone took the time to ask if the buyers have school aged children and then gathered more information from the local schools like the principal’s name, Board of Education members, number of students, etc.
Title Analyzer Results
Let’s face it. Most of us are small business operators, advisers or entrepreneurs. We wear many hats – often too many. For the majority of us having our message stick out from the masses is very important and vital to our continued success and growth. Far too often we are forced to work our own miracles and many times that ends with less than desired effects or even abject failure. Failure, as is said, really is not a viable option.
One Solution: Hire a Content Manager
Hire a copy writer or a seasoned content manager. It may not be as pricey as you think and you may also hire one just to review your content and make suggestions. Just about any reliable copy writer with SEO knowledge can quickly craft powerful titles based on your subject matter. Likewise a content manager can scour your writings and come up with titles geared to appeal to both the human reader and the search engine robots and algorithms.
Another Solution: Use A Title Analyzer
There are a few title analyzers available online. The image to the right is from the title analyzer at The Advanced Marketing Institute. Try it with the actual title of this article “Proven Results For Writing Powerful Titles Immediately“. This one actually compares the words in your title to their secret sauce database and provides a score for reference. I like the idea even though I am not necessarily sold on it because I do not, yet, understand fully what they are evaluating.
It is important for the search engines that your title fit certain parameters and it is important to the human that your title appropriately convey the content of your article or post. Nothing is much more disappointing than seeing a great title which has no relevance to the content. The worst offenders to this, so it seems, are on YouTube.
I have realized several times without ever writing it that most people who say they are SEO experts are actually keyword users. Now there is certainly nothing wrong with appropriate use of keywords and, in fact, it is and essential factor in SEO. The problem, if you want to call it so, is many SEO professionals end at keywords. They don’t know how to really break down how a domain, site, page, article, or sentence actually work with or against the algorithms which result in higher ranking on the search engines.
By Danard Vincente
One big example I recently encountered was a client who had contacted a “competitor” about doing SEO for their site and the first thing the SEO company suggested was they change their domain name because their domain does not contain their keywords. Really? That’s the best you can do and that’s the punch you lead with? In reality had the client changed their domain name and done so the way the SEO expert suggested they would have tanked and may never have been able to get back their PR5 on Google.
Another bit of talk I hear from people who have spoken with someone either before speaking with me or who speak with someone else after speaking with me about Search Engine Optimization is this: They told me I need at least 4% saturation on my keywords but no more than 6%. Okay. If we’re looking at keyword density chances are that’s not an unreasonable range but where are those keywords and how do they flow with the conversation? Are those keywords in the footer in font designed to blend into the background? Are those keywords in the meta keywords tag? (I know, that was snarky.) Or are those keywords in the headings and body text in a natural flow for human readers?
Have you ever been to a business lead meeting or a meet and greet where each person was given “about” 30 seconds to stand up, tell what they do and then sit down? Have you ever heard how hard it is for most people to get it out and still get out the message including enough information to relay enough about what you do to interest the right people.
The actual notes from the meeting.
Remember the good old days of the “Website Under Construction” banners? That is actually how I used to find a lot of clients. I would use my spider to go out and look for “construction.gif” and a short time later have a small business website client ready to go. It was almost like, well – you know, fish in a barrel. Only clients aren’t fish. Clients are people and they have the same personality traits as the rest of us. Heck, you’re a client to someone.
Almost every day the question is asked why some old school technique doesn’t work anymore. The answer is some actually do work – they just don’t work on new buyers like they work on old buyers for the most part. Don’t throw away decades of sales psychology just take a look at the mechanism and process by which you are delivering. The buy decision is still a function of the human mind – it’s the form of engagement that has changed.
Here are just a few examples which come to mind – please add to the list in the comments. I know you have more!
OS: I speak you listen
NB: You address our concerns and acknowledge us or we’re done – and by done I mean I’ll tweet about my experience with you, Facebook about my experience with you, Yelp about my experience with you, blog about my experience with you, make a YouTube video about my experience with you …
OS: Our product tests and focus groups are all the information you need to make an informed decision
NB: I’ll Google everything you print and check some trusted blogs to see what they say about you and alternatives to you
A few days ago Jeremy Blanton, a friend and regular contributor to Social Media Edge, was telling me about a new way he had discovered to put a little more change on the table without too much effort. Interestingly enough I have had the same conversation with a few others I consider “inside the industry” when it comes to online and social marketing. These ideas ranged from creating accounts as ad resellers, marketing Amazon products, reselling web hosting, and many other ways I know from experience can put a few hundred dollars in your pocket every year even if you don’t push them to hard.
While he was visiting my office I showed Jeremy my Google AdSense account for one of my account names and it averages about $50 per month without me ever touching it. The account I showed him goes back to 2008 and I literally sat it up on a semi-popular site and never touched it again. What if I did touch it again? What if I did decide to really work my Amazon account and up the numbers from a few dozen dollars per year to a few dozen dollars per hour?
The companies I have associate accounts with include Amazon, HostMonster, Commission Junction, Google AdSense, and Cafe Press. I have others but these regularly result in enough to buy my gas, a few meals and pay some hosting fees. What is missing is that I am not really pushing any of these. Occasionally I log in and check to see what my balances are or I notice a small deposit of $150 or so into my bank account. So am I inspired enough to actually put my skills to work, trim back a few clients – mostly the ones who hire someone else to set up their WordPress account then come to me bitching about how much it cost and that they don’t get any support after the fact – and see how well I can do? Research … show me the numbers!
The first article I found is from a trusted connection, Darren Rowse, written nearly 5 years before today - http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/02/08/how-i-make-money-from-blogs-my-top-earners/ and Darren revised his blog about 6 months later here. Darren’s income at the time? “Well over six figures per year.” That’s doable, eh?
The second link was to an equally aged “List of Highest AdSense Earners” posted on 12-1-08. With five entries at the time earning over $100,000 per month I needed to know more because now we’re getting into the price range of replacing what I had been able to earn in the mid 2000′s. Now we’re talking a serious income.
Let me insert here that almost every penny I have earned since 1995 has been a result of online marketing. Where I did the best I was generating leads for others and profiting from there efforts to the tune of more than seven figures and never a year from 2001 through 2008 less than high six figures. From 2009 through 2011 it has been a different story and with 20012 here now is time to explore the need for changes. What I like about these methods is you do what you enjoy (although it’s still work) and benefit from the efforts of others.
One of the tools I see most often referred to is LinkShare and you can find more about them with a free membership. “Enjoy the benefits of partnering with 400 top online merchants.”
Have you tried Google+ (Google Plus) for your small business? While there are many reasons to do so this one jumps out from the others in a couple of notable ways. First of all let’s say what Google Plus is for those of you new to the name. If you are in small business marketing or simple want to market your own small business this can be a powerful, free tool.
Google Plus is Google’s new social networking division which incorporates a re-invention of some of the best of Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. It is fast-moving like the Twitter stream or the recently modified Facebook stream but in the stream it allows videos, photos, long posts, short posts, links with thumbnails, and +1′s which are similar to Facebook Likes and Twitter re-tweets. If you don’t use those social networks I would be very surprised to find you reading this article!
With me and my readers the question always is, “how can this be used or leveraged for or by small business?” Really the full answers are yet to be determined but the chat feature is something we really have been waiting for. On Twitter you can chat with anyone. It should also be understood that everything on Twitter except Direct Messaging is completely public. To Direct Message with someone you have to be “following” them and they have to be “following” you.
On Facebook you can also send private messages and to almost anyone but you cannot chat with them unless you are “friends” or in the same group together. Being friends on Facebook is not always the most ideal situation and let’s face it, getting to be a member of far too many groups on Facebook is way too easy to accomplish.