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Stretching Your Online Marketing Dollar

What tool do you currently have in your tool box that has the capacity to reach hundreds or thousand of prospects that costs you pennies a day? The answer: Your Website. Most Websites have a one time fixed upfront cost and a monthly or annual hosting fee. Once your site is up and running, there is little in terms of financial investment that is required to keep it working for you. There are many tools freely available on the internet that will help you to spread your message and get you noticed. First, look at organizations that you are already a member of, Chambers of Commerce, Professional Associations and Industry Associations. Check out their Websites and see if they have a member listing page. If they do, make sure your Website is listed there and if it is not, contact them and have them put it up. Any activity that you participate in online must have your Website address attached to it. Look for industry related forums that you feel comfortable participating in. Join in and make sure that every post you put up has your Website address in it. Similarly, make sure your Website address is on your email signature. If you like to read blogs that pertain to your industry or even just as a hobby, leave a meaningful comment with your name and Website address in it. Create profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, start a blog, do something that gets you into a conversation with potential customers. The conversation is the most important part of the process. Customers want to talk to you, the business owner. When something goes wrong or they have something to share with you, today’s consumer wants to [...]

7 Non-negotiable Social Networking Rules

1)  Profiles are Personal - Facebook, LinkedIn, etc... profiles are about you.  Use a picture of yourself, talk about yourself, whether it's related to work or it's social.  Your logo is not you - your business is not you.  You may be there to network and promote your business, but people want to do business with people. Image by elycefeliz via Flickr 2)  Stop selling me- Don't talk about how good your "widget" is.  Don't pitch me or tell me that your service can gross me $10,000 a month.  Talk to me, share with me, teach me and I'll listen.  If I like what you have to share, I will come to you for the sale. 3)  I don't NEED your product/service - I need air to breath, food & water to sustain myself, and people to love and love me back, that's about it.  I'll decide if I WANT your product or service based on the value of the conversation we have. 4)  Truth and Transparency - be honest in your opinions and insights.  Own them - show me the real you and you will win my respect and earn my trust even if I do not agree with you. 5)  Move out of "Spam-a-lot" - If I haven't said yes yet, you can stop emailing me, really.  I'll ask you to stop sending me stuff once, if you don't listen - I will remove you as a connection. 6)  The Opt-In is Mine:  Did I opt into your mailing list or did you add me on your own?  If I didn't opt in, there was a reason, do not ever make that decision for me. 7)  Strive to make Connections not Sales:  You and I [...]

What does your LinkedIn Profile say about You?

Image via CrunchBase Take a good look at your profile and at the profile of some of your friends.  Does your profile give your visitors a real sense for who you are, how you run your business, you philosophy or is it nothing more then a resume?   Quick peruse my LinkedIn Profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/newward.  As you can see I blather on not just about what we do but we include the how and why.    The WHY is the critical aspect.    The why is what makes you different from your competition.  The why is what makes you stand out in a crowd.    Let’s face it, you can throw a rock out your front door and hit a web developer, but I believe that NewWard operates differently then the rest.  So our philosophy, our “why” is what I focus on.   What’s your why and how do you convey it to your connections?  

How is Social Networking going to benefit my Business?

During yesterday’s seminar one theme that kept cropping up is “How is this going to benefit my business?”  The key to online networking lies in being subtle.  When you are there to offer your information for the benefit of the community, people start paying attention.  The “in your face”, let’s make money, “I made $30,000 in a month” sales tactic does not work.  Today’s consumer is too suspicious and extremely cautious about how their dollar is spent. Don’t get bogged down in the plethora of details on how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like – they are only tools.  The mechanics will come with practice.  The real question is:  What is your intent?  If you are here to build relationships, make real connections and share your expertise, then you will succeed.  There is a lot of “noise” online – and most users of social networks filter out the noise to find the real pearls of wisdom.  Those are the people you want to make authentic connections with.  I know I sound like a broken record… but I can not stress the point enough.  People want to do business with real people, people want to donate to not-for-profits they see making a difference.  So, share your stories, offer up your knowledge and let your prospects come to you.   Don’t you want to attract the people into your business that already see the value?  It is so much easier to sell to a person who already perceives your product / service as a valuable asset then it is trying to convince someone they need you.  It’s easier then it sounds and I know it’s also risky.  You are putting yourself out there for better or [...]

How to Use LinkedIn to Expand Your Reach

Image via CrunchBase As a member of LinkedIn you have the opportunity to connect with business associates, post a “resume”, solicit testimonials from clients and co-workers and position yourself as an expert by answering questions posted by other users.  I covered these basic topics in Getting the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile.  Take a look through one of your connection’s list.  Is there anyone there that you believe can benefit your business?  Better yet, is there anyone there who’s business your services or product can benefit?  Ask your connection for an introduction.  Once that introduction is forwarded, you have the opportunity to directly connect with that prospect and communicate one on one.  Think about LinkedIn as a virtual networking mixer.  People are gathered around with the purpose of making real connections; they interact, shake hands, ask questions and get answers.  Those that you connect with best are added to your list of contacts to follow up with at a later date.  LinkedIn has recently added some social networking applications to increase the connectivity of its members.   My favorite so far is the Wordpress application.  This allows me to put my blog posts on my LinkedIn Profile.  This gives my connections the opportunity to see what I write about and am an expert on.  It also drives more traffic to my web site.  I installed the events application as well, giving my connections the opportunity to see where I am holding a seminar or what events I am attending in case they’d like to join in the fun.   Other applications allow you to create a virtual workspace, share presentations, see who’s traveling where, add polls and keep track of the buzz about your company.   LinkedIn had to [...]

Using 3rd Party Web Sites to Generate Traffic

Traffic Tips There are several methods for generating traffic to your web site. One of the quickest ways to generate a traffic blitz is to use large, well-visited, highly-ranked sites to your advantage. Here are a few examples: About what? You’ve just put the finishing touches on your article about “How to Stretch Your Online Advertising Budget” or “The Coolest New Gadgets for Business in 2008” and you want to get it out to the public at large and generate web traffic from it. Take a look at “http://www.about.com,” one of the most widely used expert article sites on the Internet. At the bottom of the left hand column, click on “Browse by Topic.” Click on M for Marketing, you will see Marketing and the name of the guide who is in charge of the section. Click on the guide’s name and you will be taken to their bio page, from there you click on “contact” where you can now send that guide an email. In your email, properly introduce yourself, your business and contact information, then give a brief excerpt on your article with the article attached as a word file and the link to your blog (or wherever you’ve posted it) that contains the full article. Some guides post submission guidelines, so be sure to follow them. The narrower the topic of your article, the easier it is to get published on About.com. Each guide on About.com is responsible for their own little corner of the web and they often search for new outside sources to post interesting articles from. This technique works for About.com because there are real people going through real information and it is their job to make sure they [...]

How to Make the Most of your Linked in Profile

By Melissa Ward, Managing Partner of NewWard Development, LLC 518-899-5855    www.newward.com     Have you visited Linked in, www.linkedin.com?  Linked in connects you with people that you know, also known as your immediate sphere of influence.  Through those connections you can see who your friends, also known as connections, are connected to.  Linked in tracts your 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connections and shows you how your network of connections grows as you add more people to you list. What is important with Linked in is that you are only adding people you know, friends, business acquaintances, associates, people who are members of the same civic or business group, etc. As you look at the list of people that you know and they list of people that they know… and so on… you can see how your reach has expanded. On your home page of Linked in, you have a feed to track updates and changes with-in your network.  Anytime one of your connections adds a connection, you can see it on your profile (this varies with the privacy settings the user sets).  If one of your connections updates their profile, uploads a photo, lists a job or participates in other Linked in components, it is listed in your feed.    Recently I was contacted by one of my connections who requested an introduction to another connection I have.   She sent me a note making the request; with the note to be forwarded to the individual she was hoping I’d introduce her to.  I read the note and forwarded her request to the connection.  I have not heard yet, but I am sure they will be a good opportunity there for both Linked in members. [...]