Archive for 'Advertising'

Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media

David at Business Pundit has created a great overview resource about Social Media and how to go about using it for entrepreneurs. Visit “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Social Media” to learn more.

He also references “The Basics of Social Media,” a topic that has been on my radar of white paper creation for a couple of weeks.  Hopefully I can knock that out soon, but these basics are great for getting your feet wet.

How to Get More Website Visitors

If you’ve read much about Zing and some of the work we do, it goes without saying that we’re a marketing firm.  What we’re going to touch upon today is three of the better ways to increase website visitors.  Two of them are ways that you can begin immediately, and the other takes a little time to reap the benefits.

Search engine marketing (SEM) and an e-mail signature can be implemented within the next five minutes whereas organic search engine optimization takes a little while and is more of a drawn out process.   Let’s talk about each briefly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Organic search engine optimization is a process of elevating a website within the search rankings of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN by determining which keywords are searched for most then “optimizing” sections of a website for those keywords to attract more qualified visitors.  Part of the optimization process includes link building (external sites that link to your site), content generation and improvements (mixing in targeted keywords in an intelligent fashion within online content), developing a sitemap for your site, and focusing meta tag data on a solid mixture of profitable keywords.  A reputable search optimization firm will openly share their practices with you so be leery of those that refuse to do that along with those that guarantee top rankings—search engines are dynamic by nature so it’s nearly impossible for an external source to promise a certain ranking unless that source is the search engine itself (no search engine provides SEO).   

Online Advertising (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is frequently referred to as pay-per-click (PPC), and many organizations utilize paid ads on search engines to attract the type of traffic to their websites to fuel business growth.  Pay-per-click ads are generally the ads (sponsored listings) you see on the right side and sometimes at the very top of search results pages (SERPs).

E-mail Signature

An e-mail signature at the bottom of every piece of e-mail you generate or reply to can boost traffic to your site with little to no management on your behalf.  People are naturally curious, and you never know which piece of e-mail generated may become “viral” and spread through people forwarding it and having their friends forward it.  It’s a simple addition to your marketing efforts that can pay tremendous dividends.  Try not to abuse it by being long winded—keep your e-mail signature short and sweet for easy consumption. 

There you have three ways to draw more visitors to your website.  Do you utilize each in your current marketing mix?

11/29 Radio Show Preview: Rand Fishkin

This Thursday, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz.org, will be my guest on the Bauer Pauer Hauer.

As most of you already know, search engine optimization is one of the hottest marketing techniques out there today. Whereas old school advertising and interruptive marketing methodologies blast out a message in hopes that someone receives it and eventually takes action, SEO helps you strategically go where you anticipate your desired target audience to be in order to market to them in a fashion that suits THEM best.

Wouldn’t it be neat if we could dictate when and how we wanted to be marketed to? Well, SEO is one way to achieve that.

Obviously since my firm helps clients achieve higher rankings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN via search engine optimization, having today’s guest on the show is quite an honor since he is one of the “rock stars” of this particular industry.

Rand Fishkin is founder and CEO of SEOmoz.org, a search engine optimization organization and online community which is a Seattle-based SEO company that serves as a hub for search marketers worldwide, providing education, tools, resources and paid services.

SEOmoz’s vast community comprises more than 30,000 registered users interested in the search marketing field.

I hope you’ll join Rand and me this Thursday at 2 PM ET for another edition of “The Bauer Pauer Hauer” on VoiceAmerica.com.

Maximizing Success–Day 1 Report

Thanks to Debbie Allen‘s “shameless promotion” on my radio show last Thursday, I’ve had the privilege to attend her “Maximizing Success” seminar in Sedona, Arizona this weekend. The seminar runs three days (Friday-Sunday, November 9-11), but I’m leaving after Saturday’s session to return home to attend to some loose business ends.

First off, Arizona, as a whole, is beautiful! I had a trip out here slated to happen next year, but I guess the law of attraction is working its magic already. Those that know me fairly well know that I intend to live out here someday down the road. That or have a winter home in Scottsdale.

Anyway, here’s a recap of the first day of the seminar and some of the topics covered.

The seminar kicked off Friday morning with Dave Dee talking about “how to keep your phone ringing off the hook with hot leads.” The main crux of his story centered on a client (beautiful single mother named Alexis) that made $117k on one teleseminar call and how those in attendance could do the same. He talked about marrying offline and online marketing and how many of the top online marketers are also doing a lot offline even though they don’t tend to talk too much about that aspect. E-mail marketing is still effective although not as effective as it used to be–the key is to inject some of your own personality into the message.

Next up in the seminar was Joel Christopher who talked about “how to triple your online list and increase your profits in 99 days or less.” Joel is a super nice guy, and you could pick this up immediately during his presentation. A lot of SEO was touched upon throughout his presentation, and that made me feel validated that what we’re doing at SMB Consulting is high quality. Most of the recognized “gurus” preach many of the same things we’re doing.

My rhetorical question to myself after Joel and Dave’s presentations was “why am I not up there telling people how to do many of these same things?” So look for some of that in upcoming weeks–it’s time to get out there and kick some knowledge around.

Next up was Bill Walsh, not the deceased former football coach, and he really had a high quality presentation. Bill is a genuinely good guy who ended up buying us dinner later in the evening, but I digress. He imparted that we must have belief in our vision when nobody else does–how true! He also talked about the importance of having high quality materials for marketing (including suggesting visiting http://pkgraphics.com). “Always map out tomorrow, today” was one of Bill’s quotes and part of what he deems the “daily method of operation” or your DMO. Some other things Bill talked about (and I’m purposely being as brief as possible) included social networking, SEO, media relations, marketing plans, magazine ads (visit http://mediabids.com), and ask for the REM slots when trying to find low budget television and radio advertising spots.

Bill also talked about investing in your mind with daily positive content; starting a mastermind group (something I’m planning to do upon returning from Sedona); read books; attend workshops (if for no other reason, like minded people will be there). Also–surround yourself with successful people; always strive to provide 10X the value; perception is projection; auto-pay your favorite charity.

To wrap up the day, 14 time (something crazy like that) bestselling author Barbara DeAngelis spoke to the group. This was one of the most powerful speeches of the day, and it really seemed to move a lot of people within the group including me.

Admitted pigheaded stance pre-speech: I had to remind myself to open my mind because I was prejudging Barbara based on her “Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus” work with Dr. Gray because their relationship didn’t workout so it always seemed rather hypocritical even though that’s a dumb and narrow view on things. The advice and how to apply it matters more than the source, and I got over my stupidity very quickly into her talk.

Barbara is a dynamic speaker that has a message that will truly impact you if your mind is open and in the right place. She talked about how “the time is now,” and we’re seizing it. Many of the group has been experiencing what she calls “divine discomfort” where you know you’re supposed to be doing more, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Or maybe you have internally realized what it is you’re supposed to be doing, but breaking free to accomplish it is messing with you. We need to surrender control and let go–we’ll figure it out as we go. “You’re being prepared for greatness” Barbara told the group, and I’ve felt like this has been happening to me personally for about six-eight months now. Something internally is going on that I cannot explain, but I feel as though my life finally has purpose and I’m on a path to something tremendous. Barbara also said something I’ve found myself saying lately in that sometimes “we need to get out of our own way.” Amen!

This has been one very interesting day in beautiful Sedona. I am not sure what will come of me upon returning home, but I don’t believe I’ll be 100% the same. This has already been an incredibly enlightening experience. I can’t wait to see what Day 2 brings!

SMB Consulting: Change of Focus Imminent

During my solo afternoon bike ride before the rain hit, I was doing some thinking about the core competencies of my firm and what I could boil it down to in the simplest of terms. After some internal back and forth, I came up with “lead generation” is what everything falls back to. Search optimization is beneficial only when it generates more qualified leads. Same with advertising and marketing efforts–quality lead generation is the ultimate goal when a company engages in those activities. So that got me to thinking about some of the services we currently offer that don’t relate to that core of lead generation.

Technology consulting doesn’t really fit into the “new” mission of the business. Neither does strategic planning although there are strategic elements involved when trying to generate leads through marketing or advertising so it’s more of a complimentary aspect than part of the core. Same goes for business planning–it’s not critical to the core of lead generation although marketing planning is so I foresee a shift in approach coming there. Web design/redesign, however, is a precursor to lead generation because the web is a critical tool to utilize when trying to attract potential customers and generate leads so that is something to be more focal for us moving forward.

What all is really involved in lead generation?
Website Design/Re-Design
Copywriting (falls under website design & SEO if you break it down)
SEO
Marketing (SEO falls under marketing if you really break it down)
Advertising
Sales Training/Development

I’m sure I’m leaving some things out, but that’s a pretty good core list of services which doesn’t look all that related to the initial core list of services I envisioned when starting the firm two years ago. For some strange reason, I feel a sense of clarity after mulling through that during my ride today. I feel like the sense of purpose has now been defined and all future activities will have a greater meaning. Straying will be much more difficult, and it will be easier to make decisions about whether to take on a certain client, form a joint venture, partner, or offer another service.

In watching the first couple of DVDs of Mike Filsaime’s The 7 Figure Code, it talks about the “hedgehog concept” that is broached in Jim Collins’ bestselling Good to Great classic. I’ve read Good to Great, but I hadn’t revisited it in, well, two years so I was happy to have that topic come up again. My first “to do” after watching the first couple of DVDs was to figure out what I think this firm can become truly great at doing, and lead generation consulting is what I kept coming back to. Every business transaction starts with some sort of lead, and leads will never go out of “style” so this newly redefined mission could fuel the company for decades.

Moving forward, look for a shift in focus and offerings from our firm along with content that directly relates to the newly found focus.

What do you think of this approach? Good, bad, or indifferent–let me hear from you. I value all of the feedback I receive.

PS–So far, The 7 Figure Code has already stoked my internal coals to rethink everything from a more simplified place so it has proven invaluable after just 2 DVDs (16 total). If the next 14 provide as much thought provoking material, unbelievably great things are going to happen! I’ll post a more complete review of the package once I dig deeper into it–it just arrived yesterday (Thursday, 7/26/07).

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