Archives for December 2008

Marketing Delusions: Don’t Overdo It

Any successful business owner knows how important marketing is.  Even if you have a miniscule budget, it’s important to make sure that people know about your business.  If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to make any sales.

It’s easy to overlook marketing altogether – But it’s also easy to overdo it.  Business owners who have “marketing delusions” face problems as well.  Overspending on marketing can eat into your profits, possibly even destroying your business.  And it’s also possible that if you market too heavily, people will begin to tune you out.

There are several possible reasons for marketing delusions:

Market Share – Business owners become overly concerned about market share – Having a good amount of market share is great, but it’s not the be all and end all of being in business.  You don’t have to crush the competition to make profits and grow your business.

They believe that more is better – Whether it’s running full-page ads in the newspaper every week or buying numerous commercial slots on the radio, some marketers feel that the more they’re seen and heard, the better.  Name recognition is a wonderful thing, but your market could get tired of hearing the same message over and over.

Too Much Noise – Business owners believe that every new product, price change, display rearrangement or procedure improvement needs to be shouted from the rooftops.  While it’s smart to use discounts and exciting news about your store, service or website to gain recognition, there is such a thing as overkill.

Targeting Efforts – Marketers aren’t targeting their efforts to the right market segment – If you’re not marketing to the people who want and need what you have to offer, you might as well be whistling in the wind.  But some do not realize this and simply throw more money into advertising without thinking more carefully about who they are advertising to.

Leads – They go after the same leads for too long – While it’s important to make multiple contacts, there comes a point after which you’re just wasting your time.  Rather than continuing to spend money pursuing leads that have shown zero interest, why not find some new ones with potential?

Measuring Results – Marketers may not be measuring the results of their campaigns properly – It’s essential to evaluate the success of every campaign so that you can adjust it if needed, and so you’ll have information on what works and what doesn’t for future reference.  If you don’t, it’s easy to overspend on campaigns that aren’t doing well.

Expenses – Marketing madness can result in unnecessary expenses and burnout – By carefully evaluating all of your marketing endeavors, you can avoid wasting money on things that do not work and get better results for your marketing dollars.

Sometimes it pays to market smarter, not harder.

More On Article Submissions

Article SubmissionsI’m going to be sharing more about article marketing due to the fact that I’ve literally done nothing for this site here, so it will be a good case study. It’s also more to prompt me into ACTION and getting it done on a regular basis. Hopefully it will help you also to get going.

Good articles can find plenty of homes at article submissions websites.  Here are the basics for getting that article ready and submitting it to an article site.

1.  Write about what you know
– This goes for anyone who wants to write articles and have them accepted by a submission site.  For the business owner looking to increase traffic and revenue, the topics will pertain to your business in general, business products that you sell, and/or business services that you provide.

2.  Aim for an article length of at least 400 words
– Some sites will accept articles with as few as 250 words, but it will take at least 400 words to flesh out an idea and gain the interest of the reader.  Check with the sites you will submit to for word count requirements.

3.  Proofread the article
– There is nothing worse than an article with typos and grammatical errors.  Good articles have been rejected because of simple errors that could have been avoided.  Use spell checker or a second pair of eyes to be sure the article is ready to go to a submission site.  Even if you use a ghostwriter for the articles, give the work a once over to be sure it says exactly what you are trying to convey to the reader.  Don’t forget to use keywords for a more SEO-friendly piece.

4.  Check out the sites where your article will get the most coverage –
Popular article submissions sites with high marks will work the best.  If you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket or even a few baskets, use an article submission service.  They submit good quality articles to hundreds of sites for you depending on the subject matter of your articles.  You submit once on their site and that’s that.  Be aware that there are sites that don’t accept submissions from article services.  For those you will have to submit one by one.

5.  Some sites require registration – Even for the free ones, the registration comes with a profile page.  This is where you will post links to your business and talk about it.

6.  Keep a running list of article submission for your records
–  This way, you can track when the articles are published, the upfront payment, and how business traffic and sales change as a result of the articles.

7.  Wait for news that the articles have been published and are being viewed – Submit more articles as you have time.  It is a good idea to keep making regular submissions.  If you gain a following you don’t want to lose them.

How To Snatch The Golden COIN!

COIN – Circle Of Influence Networking.

On a regular basis, I am on the look out for new opportunities for companies and individuals within my circle of influence. Whether they are located within my immediate market, across the continent or around the world, I am keeping their best interests in mind. As you might imagine, I speak with CEO’s from many different types of companies all the time. If for instance, I speak with a manufacturer, I immediately curious as to who supplies their pallets or wood packaging? I have a client contact who does that. What about corrugated packaging? Looking to tie the knot, perhaps it would benefit you to speak with Atlanta’s ONLY Intimate Bridal Salon? No matter what the situation, I love the idea of my clients doing business together.

I subscribe to a service that looks for news sources. Whenever I spot a topic that a reporter is looking to research and one of my clients would fit the bill, then I pass it on. I consider these efforts part of my overall marketing strategy. One thing that it helps to spur is additional business. It keeps me on their radar. We are referring each other. Much of my new business is from referral. I see it as a two-way street.

Don’t forget that branding is all about the relationship. Take a look at your typical week. I’ll bet that you too trip over situations where your customers could benefit. Take for instance a retailer – if you’re smart and you’re building a customer database, find out what they do. Imagine if you were able to link them up with an opportunity? How golden would you be to them?

If you send out a monthly html newsletter to your list, feature a customer. It’s the little things that make a huge impact. When you’re in their company, pay close attention to what they’re saying about their daily lives. An irritant might possibly be addressed by someone within your circle of influence. What you will definitely find happening as a result of this, is that your customers will start looking out for you.

None of us are any different – we are all looking for new business. Ask your customers what they’re looking for?

Make COIN pay off for you!

Utilizing Articles For Your Business

This article was inspired by my recent Christmas Giveaway – I actually first sent an email just to all of my subscribers giving each one a chance to email me and grab a free 400-600 word ghostwritten article from me. At the same time, I did a post on the blog for the first 10 people to post a comment would get a free article.

At the time of writing, Only 8 people responded to the blog and about the same emailed me directly. A bit perplexed as to why this is I was thinking about why this might be.

Honestly I was sitting there sweating before hitting that send button because I thought for sure I would have tons of subscribers responding to my free offer. This simply just did not happen.

I got to thinking about all of this and came to the conclusion that maybe people don’t realize the power of one article. So I figured I would put together something for you to help you realize the potential one article can do for your business.

Submitting articles to relevant websites, online magazines and article directories is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website.  It’s a low cost method with a fairly high return on investment.

For example, if you pay to have a writer create an article, you publish the article on a relevant website you will increase your exposure automatically.  Additionally, readers will click through to your website and buy your products or services.  Depending on the price of your product or service all it takes is one purchase to make the article investment worth the cost and effort.

There are three basic locations to submit your articles.  They include:

– Article directory
– Magazine (online or print)
– Relevant websites

The benefits for each are the same however the process varies depending on the medium.  For example, if you’re submitting to an online or print magazine you’ll need to query the editor before you write the article.

If you’re submitting to an article directory, they usually have their specifications published on their website and the process of approving your article is typically swift and painless.  Let’s take a look at each of the article mediums you may want to submit to and discuss the benefits and the process.
How To Submit Your Article

Article Directories – Article directories are the easiest tools to drive traffic to your website.  The good news is that there are literally thousands of article directories to choose from.  That’s also the bad news.

Deciding which article directory is right for you and your article marketing purposes can be a bit of a headache.  There are two basic types of article directories:  Niche directories which only publish articles on a specific subject and broad article directories which offer hundreds of article categories to choose from.

These typically range from business to pet care, gardening to investment banking.
You may decide to publish in one niche directory and one broad scope directory to see which produces the best results.  Niche directories may have a smaller more targeted audience however the broad directories will most often have a larger audience.

When submitting your article look for the following things:

  • Word count
  • Signature box – you must be able to place a link to your website here.
  • Are text links allowed?
  • Categories – do they provide categories which will accurately represent and describe your content?  It’s important to make sure your article will be easily found
  • Do they provide tracking statistics?  You want to know how many reads, publications, and click throughs your article is receiving.

Magazines – Submitting to a magazine is a bit more labor intensive however publication in this format will provide you with more credibility than publication in an article directory.

Step one is to explore your online and offline magazine possibilities.  If you’re in the pet care industry you obviously don’t want to be submitting article proposals to a magazine devoted to investing for retirement.

Step two is to choose one or two publications and find out what their submission or querying procedures are.  Some magazines welcome article submissions while others prefer that you query them to see if they’re interested in your article topic.  If it’s a publication that allows submissions find out what their submission procedures are.

  1. Can you email your submission?
  2. Does it need to be formatted a specific way?
  3. Do you send the entire article or only a portion of it?  Whom do you send your submission to?
  4. What subject line do you put in your email?

If they do not accept submissions but would rather see a proposal or query first then it’s time to create your one page proposal.  Identify what your article would be about, why their readers would find it beneficial and why you’re the one to write it.  Again, read their procedures to make sure you’re querying the correct person and following their specified protocol.

This may sound like a bit of work however imagine the credibility you’ll have when you can say, “Published in Money Magazine.”  It opens up a whole new world of clients and audience awareness.
Relevant Websites –  The third and final place to submit articles to are relevant websites.  For example, let’s say you have a consulting business where you help small retailers choose the right point of sale software for their store.  You could publish articles on your own site about the selection process.

You could publish articles in magazines and article directories.  However think for a minute about your client’s selection process.  Many retailers visit the websites of point of sale software manufacturers as they’re doing their research.  This research process can take days, weeks, and even years.  The decision process is difficult because it is often an expensive and sometimes very technical product.

Now if you place your article about how to choose software on the websites of selected software developers now you’re capturing the attention of people who are knee deep in this process and probably need your help. 

Great idea, right?

The trick, however, is to convince these software developers to publish your articles.  In order to stay unbiased this may involve some careful tap dancing.  In the case of the POS software you could swap and give them the opportunity to publish an article on your website.  You can make sure you list them in your choice of software options you provide your clients and so on.

The benefits of article publication are ENORMOUS.  When creating your strategy, decide what your goals are, determine a budget, and then start writing.

So are you up for the Power of One Article Challenge? What are some ways do you think you’ll utilize to grow your exposure for business with articles this year?

Merry Christmas to All SBB Readers

How Could it be The Holiday Season Without Gifts?

Happy Holidays to you from Small Busines Branding! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we know how busy you  must be, and we want to provide you with some items.

Here come the gifts!

Gift #1 – I am giving away one free article for the first 10 people to comment after reading this blog post today. You simply have to say you would like to receive the free gift and include your contact information (name and email address) and you will receive one free article written by Get Content Results. Articles range from 400-600 words on the subject of your choice.

Gift # 2 – Buy one get one free! From now until the end of the year, buy one article from Get Content Results and receive a 2nd article on a topic of your choosing for free. All articles are between 400-600 words That’s a savings of $9.97! >> Order Here

Gift #3 – Buy a bundle, get a bundle! Get Content Results offering from now until the end of the year a bundle package of articles with 10 articles of 400-600 words for the huge discount price of $79.97.  That’s a savings of $20.00! What a fantastic way to get your business noticed for the upcoming year! >> Order Here

Members on our email subscribers list have actually already received their super holiday gifts
from us if you don’t want to miss out in the future, be sure to sign up to our newsletter list, we also just uploaded a brand spanking new report for you to help you with your business.
With these gifts you can take your business to a new level. Remember this is only valid until midnight Pacific on December 31, 2008, so grab them while you can!
PS. Don’t forget to sign up here to the newsletter for our new List Building Report.

Nurture Your Brand With A Giveaway

Alot of us are good at receiving payment for services or products. We’re good at getting new clients and getting the work done. But how often do you give something away? I remember I think it was Ed that said to keep an expense account of sorts for your clients of all the extra free things you do for them. Then at the end of the year give them an invoice and say it’s already paid. I love that!

Another way to nurture your business is to do a giveaway, it helps your relationship grow AND people will become more loyal to your business. My good friend Kelly McCausey hosts a WAHM Christmas Wish every single year. She reinforces her kindness and Christmas Spirit every year due to this wish list.  She has work at home moms submit their wishes and then she does her best to fulfill each wish. I love that she does this!

Well this year one of the wishes were for Yaro’s Blog Mastermind Program.  Kelly shot me an email and asked if I could ask Yaro for her to fulfill the wish. Of course I whole heartedly said Yes and emailed Yaro.  I was thrilled that Yaro took the time and gave his entire program FREE to Angie Newton.  Thank you Kelly for the great idea you had to do Christmas Wishes each year, and thanks to Yaro for your kindess and giving your program away for free.

There were also more wishes that were granted and I was happy to see others giving something away to Moms who work hard to be home with their kids… And in the spirit of giving, I’ll be glad to give away a little something here also for Christmas. THAT will come in my next blog post. 🙂

Going Mobile – Part Two

A quick note if you’d like a fast way to get your blog on mobile phones.

First off, I bought the domain, “TheBrandCorral.mobi over at goDaddy.com and then forwarded it to the feedburnerlink of my existing blog.

Now when a reader enters www.TheBrandCorral.mobi in their mobile phone, up comes a list of my articles. Clicking on an article (in my BlackBerry) gives them two choices. View Description or Read Article. Choosing Read Article, gives a terrific mobile friendly version of my blog including graphics and all my side bar information.

That’s it.

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