Online Marketing Tips for the Entrepreneur

Online Marketing Tips for the Entrepreneur

Over the years I have compiled a wide and varied list of marketing tips. Online marketing is a challenging and ever changing business that can often feel overwhelming for the lone entrepreneur. For this reason alone I usually recommend that you outsource much of this work. Being a serial entrepreneur myself, I know that even with this advice most of you won't listen 😉 With that knowledge I will now divulge some of the most important online marketing tips you need to know and implement if you want to have any chance at success via the internet.

Here are a few of my favorite Marketing Tips

Online Marketing Tip 1) Social media is your "friend". Never forget that Social Media is about person-to-person activity. You are not speaking as “the company”, but as a person. In any conversation it is important to pay attention in Social Media it is equally important to be a good listener. All companies say they listen to their customers, most actually don't. Let people know that you are listening by engaging them in conversation and responding.  Be patient. It takes a long time to develop strong relationships transforming your company, one person at a time. Be opportunistic. Start small with the people who are most passionate about your business by building relationships with existing customers. Be flexible. You never know what’s going to happen so you have to constantly adjust. Be collaborative. Most importantly, be humble. Remember that you are not as powerful as the community at large. If you ever forget this, they will let you know. This sounds more like PR than a marketing tip, and in a sense it is, but online these two things are closely related.

Online Marketing Tip 2) SEO is not just one and done, it is a long term commitment. Search Engine Journal has a great article with 55 SEO tips, read this article now. Here are a few of the easy to remember SEO tips. Be bold. Use the <b> </b> tags around some of your keywords on each page. Do NOT use them everywhere the keyword appears. Once or twice is plenty. Multiple domains. If you have several topics that could each support their own website, it might be worth having multiple domains. Why? First, search engines usually list only one page per domain for any given search, and you might warrant two. Second, directories usually accept only home pages, so you can get more directory listings this way. Titles for links. Links can get titles, too. Not only does this help visually impaired surfers know where you are sending them, but some search engines figure this into their relevancy for a page. Deep linking. Make sure you have links coming in to as many pages as possible. What does it tell a search engine when other web sites are linking to different pages on your site? That you obviously have lots of worthwhile content. What does it tell a search engine that all your links are coming in to the home page? That you have a shallow site of little value, or that your links were generated by automation rather than by the value of your site. One of the greatest marketing tips I ever received was to SEO every page as if it was your only one.

Online Marketing Tip 3) Article Marketing is free PR with the potential to create thousands of inbound links to your website. Article exchanges. You've heard of link exchanges, useless as they generally are. Article exchanges are like link exchanges, only much more useful. You publish someone else's article on your site with a link back to their site. They publish your article on their site, with a link back to your site. You both have content. You both get high quality links. As simple as this sounds it is one of the more powerful online marketing tips you will find, but it can also be very time consuming to create all of the content for the articles. Article marketing as a concept is quite simple; You write articles. Your articles include a link to your website or to an affiliate page. You submit articles to free online article directories. Other site owners publish YOUR article on their site. People read your articles online and click the link to visit your website.

Online Marketing Tip 4) Give away value with no strings attached. Giving something of value away for free is a great way to attract website visitors. Thanks to the web, distributing freebies is in itself, free. You don't have to spend a dime to pass out freebies left and right. By creating value and giving it away freely you give your audience a reason to share you with their friends and colleagues. Go "viral" with your freebies. Viral strategies allow you to multiply your marketing efforts without actually doing more work. Take that example above. You offer a great freebie like an ebook or tutorial. Now, let others give it away for free at their site too, as an incentive, bonus or just for the heck of it. Why not? It adds value to their offering and it creates more visitors to your site as your freebie spreads. This site is a venue for Innovocus to give away tremendous value with articles and podcasts like this one with all these great Online Marketing tips.

Online Marketing Tip 5) Offer an affiliate program. If the product or service you are promoting is your own, adding an affiliate program to your site is a great "pay for performance only" method of increasing website traffic and in turn sales. It's no wonder that thousands of websites now offer to "share the profits" with their customers. Having a generous affiliate program is one of the fastest ways to increase your online sales with very little or no upfront costs. It is like getting a whole slew of sales people and endorsements without spending a dime. This one marketing tip alone can be the basis for your entire online sales strategy.

I could probably write an entire book full of nothing but online marketing tips. It is a wide and varied topic, much like any other media. In my experience spending you energy on any one area is energy well spent, and will pay off in the end but there is a base from which you must start. No tricks or marketing tips will guarantee success, and some rely on others to work. For example using affiliate marketing or article marketing will matter not in the least if you do not take the time to SEO your landing pages and site thoroughly first. Take the time to research and plan your online marketing endeavours.

Other Online Marketing Tips and Resources

Marketing Tip - Knowing Your Ideal Client
Unique Positioning – Standing out From the Competition – Marketing Tips

25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips

Weekly Online Marketing Tips

"Website or Blog: 10 Fast and Easy Tips & Tricks That Massively Increase Sales and Profits..."

Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves

Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online

Hopefully you find these online marketing tips useful, and please, if you have your own tips or advice to share, leave a comment.

Entrepreneur Beware Your Own Success

Entrepreneur, Success can be Hard

Success as an Entrepreneur can be it's own challenge, and we are hitting those challenges today. We are working on a great many new things for Success U, tools that will help you succeed. But using these tools ourselves, we have been flooded with, opportunity and this has taken our eyes and time away from you. It has been so busy around here that I have been unable to even get out another podcast, that is already recorded. I am taking a half hour break for the first time in two weeks, just to give everyone an update.

Innovocus and Success U have had many irons in the fire for some time. You need to have a constantly full pipeline with new opportunities, because not all deals will close. So we have had many, many projects lined up.

Several of them came through at the same time. I am currently sitting in a fortune 100 clients conference room at their World HQ, where I will be for several months, Ben has taken up residence in another clients office for the foreseeable future. After the normal 9-5 we both go to our home offices and work on other client projects... Then there are all of the internal projects, such as IplayedThat.com and several others in the skunk works that we work on over the weekends. Right now things would be chaotic if not for our shared understanding and experience with these types of situations.

Entrepreneur Marketing Tips Podcast

The Success U Entrepreneur podcast will resume next week, but will only be once a week on Wednesday's for the next few months and the format will change a bit. We are going to focus on online marketing in all forms, and open up the opportunity for our listeners to ask questions or talk about their product in our podcast. With these changes we we will also be adding new features and a few products to Success U that should help you in your quest to succeed as an Entrepreneur.

Tools for the Entrepreneur

I am creating a series of daily tasks and tutorials that should allow you to radically increase the traffic to your website, legally, ethically and sustainably. Each day will take a couple of hours, and after 90 days you should sit on top of your keywords in google, long term. Most of these tasks you can outsource for about $5 a day but they are easy enough that you can do it yourself.

We are creating how-to video's and daily tips and tricks tutorials that will get the traffic flowing to your website. We are starting to heavily focus on mobile and location based advertising and will show you how to maximize your results for the least cost. We are creating a traffic exchange system that will help all of our members gain a huge amount if inbound links. We are creating a referral network for all our members to raise all ships on a rising tide of success. Our goal is to create a huge, valuable resource for the Entrepreneur who wants to make money online and doesn't want to spend every waking moment doing SEO. We want to make it simple for you to find your success, and allow you to focus on your business.

Books for the Serious Entrepreneur

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition

Remember the difference between a successful entrepreneur and a failure is often only determination and focus.

Marketing Tip – Knowing Your Ideal Clients… Where are They?

Play

Another top Marketing Tip

In this Success U podcast we discuss another very important marketing tip, or more specifically part of the marketing process that Murray Smith decided to share with us. One of the biggest mistakes many of us entrepreneurs and online marketers make is misunderstanding our clients. We don't know who they are, where  they are and most importantly their actual value to us as a customer.

So what is the Marketing Tip?

Listen to the podcast... seriously 😉 This discussion flows around making sure you know the value your ideal client actual represents to you in hard dollars. With this bit of knowledge you can determine your budget for acquiring new customers. You better know your distribution channels, according to Murray there are only 7 of them in the world, and 23 strategies to get new customers. Far more detail is available at Access Main Street.

What, Why and How, this is the meat of the knowledge you must determine with your clients. So the marketing tip is really learning how to find this information.

Another Marketing Tip - Collaboration

Collaboration with seeming competitors is a great way to increase your client pool. We like to partner with other businesses. It is a strong part of our marketing for Innovocus. Find businesses that parallel your own, partners who strengthen your offering, and sell their services or products and encourage them to sell yours.

Quite Marketing to Fear

Hope, collaboration and working with each other is the future of all small business. In a rising tide all boats are floated. Try to build up not tear down. You can not stand alone especially in a global marketplace. main street cannot compete with Wall Street if we compete head on. It is only by joining forces, working together that we can compete.

Here are some of the direct links that Murray has referenced during the many podcasts we recorded with him; The free PDF’s downloads (see below), links to the business growth makeover contest with millions in prizes, and Get the Answer site that references more about Murray and the business growth system he built called Attract more Clients. This system is the summation of 30 years of his life’s work and everything he learned about growing business put together in a simple, user friendly format.

- http://gettheanswer.com

- http://www.businessgrowthmakeover.com

- http://accessmainstreet.com

- The Test your EQ button on the Mainstreet website has the following Free PDF Downloads for all Success U listeners:

  • Unique Selling Proposition Examples from many industries
  • Client Profile – Match what you want with what your clients want
  • 3 Ways to make money in business
  • Map the Gap – Helping business owners map the distance from where they are to where they want to be
  • How to think like a Business Millionaire – Vision, Focus and Action


 

The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life

Additional Marketing tips and resources

ADVANCE DIRECT MARKETING: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Do-It-Yourself Secrets for Creating a Profitable Website or Blog

55 Twitter Tips - How to Maximize the Benefits of Using Twitter!

Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day

25 tips For Marketing Your Blog

Online Marketing Blog Tips

Unique Positioning

Generating Great Unique Content

Play
A vox pop interview
Image via Wikipedia

The most difficult aspect of running a blog or podcast is generating great, unique content on a regular basis. This issue is the primary reason most bloggers eventually fail. In this podcast I give you several ways to create more ideas than you can handle.

You'd be surprised by the sheer amount of great concepts you have during the day if you just keep tabs on them, and the simplest way to do that is to keep a notebook. In mine I jot down any random thought that seems interesting at the time. I write down magazine articles that I came across, or radio interviews or conversations I have. Just quick notes that remind me later.No need to keep a detailed account of every moment in your life.

Interviews and questions from your audience are also very helpful. In fact this topic is a direct result of a question from one of our listeners. Of course you have to have an audience, already, to get questions from them, but interviews on the other hand, are simply a matter of asking questions of others. It helps to have an existing relationship, but you'd be amazed at how open most people are to being interviewed. Especially when it is on a topic they are selling themselves as an expert on.

Freemind - This is the open source software I mention, that will help you generating and organizing your great content ideas.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What Would Apple Do?

Play

We started the conversation discussing how to determine the best price point for your product and then went into a wide variety of tools you can use to drive sales online in the first part of this podcast. In this podcast we continue the conversation by looking at one particular company that has done it right… Apple.

There are many ways to look at driving your sales and a plethora of tools to use in doing so. Apple is the prime example of a company who has used many of these tools to develop a unique and profitable brand identity with an almost cult like following. How have they done this? We talk about some of the techniques they use, and we found this great post “What Would Apple Do?”.

Here are several more resources for developing your brand:

First Steps to Developing a Brand Identity

Personal Branding 101

Creating a Brand

Creating the Brand: Halo Effect

Creating a Brand on a Budget

In our next podcast we will put the pieces together for you and walk through the process of developing a unique Brand ID and how to drive sales using this new brand.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Driving Online Sales

Play

Part one in a two part series on generating sales by using several simple and effective tactics. In this podcast Ben and Christian debate how pricing will effect your online sales and how several other factors such as affiliate marketers can radically increase your sales.

Creating exclusivity for your product is a major driver for sales. By creating the sense of urgency you help a prospect come to a decision rather than delaying. Your goal is not to force them into action but to give them an incentive to do so. Exclusivity can be created in several ways, higher price point, limited availability, limited duration, limited quantity.

Here are a few other resources:

Tips for Maximizing Sales

8 Ways to Attract Affiliates

15 Reasons Your Affiliate Campaign is not Working

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Content is King

Play

Take the time to create value with your content. Optimizing your content to provide the maximum value will have many positive long term effects, and is well worth the effort put forth. Keep readers coming back by giving them a reason to. Post quality over quantity.

It still amazes me how often I find a site, that obviously had some money and time spent on the design. They also took the time to SEO the site and chose relevant keywords. And then they did nothing with it… They wasted all the effort by providing no value in the actual content.

A major mistake many bloggers make is thinking that quality is less important than quantity. It gets compounded by the fact that the search engines see quantity as valuable. it might even increase your traffic to post constantly. However it dos you no good if the traffic you gain simply comes once, never to return. Instead make your site important to the viewer by adding real value.

Social Media 101

Play

In this podcast the Innovocus team explains the basics of using social media for your business. By creating value for your readers and followers you gain prestige in the community. By doing this you actually create a demand for your expertise.

There are a few things you need to understand in regards to social media for business.

1) It is more important to create a loyal following than it is to promote a product or service.

Long term you will gain more from providing real value to your followers by increasing their reliance on you for information in your field. When, you become an expert in the eyes of the community, you can now influence their opinions. At that point you can sell, but if you do it too often you diminish your value.

2) To gain a following you must create value.

How do you create value? By giving your readers, listeners and followers information that they want to know. If you are a celebrity, your fans are interested in every little move you make, so sharing your experience at a drive through is valid. However if your fans or followers find you to be valuable as a resource for SEO information, well then, make sure you give them access to even more. By doing this you increase your prestige in the community, and become yet more of an expert.

The Blues Keep Success Away

Play

Letting the negative things in your life interfere with your potential will stop you from reaching your potential. In other words, stay positive. Let nothing bring you down. It is imperative that you look for the good in all situations.

Easier said than done, right? Well in truth whatever you think is true. If you believe you can accomplish something, then you can, if you believe you will fail then you will. Saying “I can’t” and believing “I will fail” makes it a certainty.

No one who ever achieved success, believed they would fail. In fact, often the team or individual is the only one that has faith in their future success. How many times have you read the story of someone who has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve greatness? All their family and friends said they could not do it. But they pressed on regardless to all of the negativity from their associates.

Taking Your Idea to Success

Play

Every great invention or idea has run up against the same first roadblock… fear. The would be entrepreneur fears the unknown, fears to possibility of failure and fears the innate risks involved with a new venture.

So, what separates the entrepreneur from just some person with a good idea? The successful professional knows the steps to define the unknown and by doing so they eliminate fear.

Fear is the Mind Killer

It is the fear of the unknown that stops most people from attaining their dreams. The fear keeps them in their comfortable job. The fear stops them from taking the risks necessary to succeed.

Here are the 5 steps to help you get over your fears, and get the ball rolling on your new venture.

1) Do Your Research

Find out everything there is to know about your idea.  Who will be your competitors? Even if no one has the exact same product or service, there will always be competition, so get to know them. Google is your best friend. Use it to your advantage. Find the keywords your would be competition uses, search blogs, directories and every resource and media outlet.

This is a great time to define what or how you will be better than the competition. Find the answers to these questions: How will you take market share? Who is your target customer? Where are they? How do you get them? What is the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?

2) Define the Opportunity

Now that you know everything there is to know about the market and competition it is time to define your opportunity. There are a series of questions that are vital to answer: What are acceptable price points? How many customers are there? Is the market local, regional, national or international? What is the exact niche? You will want to know who you are targeting, why you are going after them, where they are at, when you will launch and how you will reach them (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How).

3) Entrepreneur Know thy-self

If you have done the first two steps, it is time to decide if you are the right person for this opportunity. What relationships do you have that could open doors in this market? Do you have the skill set to  fit the concept?  Do you have the tools, software and money to go full out? What essential skills, experience, knowledge or money are you missing?

By understanding how you fit the opportunity you can define the gaps in your own abilities, knowledge and finances. These gaps help you Define a team.

4) Build Your Team

So you have determined the skills, experience, knowledge or money you are missing to make your idea a success. Look around you at your friends, family and colleagues. Do you know people who can fill your gaps? Are they willing to work with you, especially  on speculative work. What are your financing options, do you have the money or do you know potential investors (Friends and family) that might be interested? You will need to be able to sell them on this idea. Often the first person I look for is a great salesperson, because they can help me sell the next person in the idea. The people involved can be contractors or freelance, you don’t have to look for the long term team at this time, in fact it is often best to keep the final team small early on. Find the people and fill the gaps.

5) Build the Prototype

There are a great many cliches to remember at this time, and all are valid. Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t get overly complex, just make it work. If it is a service this is a great time to do the work cheap or free. What you want is to get a couple of clients that will give you an endorsement and that you can use as a reference. If you properly defined the opportunity then you know what the M.V.P. for your prototype should be, build that.

Always remember that perfection is the enemy of profit. Build the MVP, get it into the hands of a few customers, let them define what more is needed, or how it should change. Your customer will know better than you what they really want, so let them tell you.

Incremental Perfection

Now that the customer has the product in hand and has told you what they really want. Now is the time to incorporate some of these changes. Add a feature, test again. The steps we have outlined here are actually a cycle that you should re-iterate through over and over until you have the final product. Often what you will find is that the initial idea and the final one are radically different.

Don’t be afraid to change direction .