Tag Archives: online marketing

All the World's a Stage: Secrets for Building a Platform for Success 31 Oct

All the World’s a Stage – Build Your Platform for Success

What is a Platform? Shakespeare wrote,

“All the World’s a Stage”

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy WorldMichael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, puts it this way in his book, Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World

Very simply, a platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform built of people. Contacts. Connections. followers.

Your platform is the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.

You think you’ve got a great product or service, and that it will sell itself. Nope. Here’s why:

  1. Competition has never been greater. (Related article: What’s Your Competition Doing Online?)
  2. People are more distracted than ever. (Related article: Social Media Competition)

Why should YOU build and nurture your platform? Michael Hyatt offers 4 main points:

  1. No one knows your product better than you do.
  2. Nobody is more passionate about your product than you are.
  3. No one has more skin in the game than you do.
  4. Nobody is likely to do it if you don’t.

A platform is your online following. Your fans (Likes) on Facebook, followers on TwitterGoogle+ and Instagram, and connections on LinkedIn.

So, does that mean that you have to do everything yourself? Well, not exactly. However, you need to educate yourself before you hire an “expert” or “specialist” to make sure that the expert does everything correctly. What you don’t know can hurt you! (Related: Outsource or Hire: What Makes a Good Social Media Manager)

You probably find social media marketing overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s today’s media and most of it is free! And it can be very powerful when you know how to leverage it properly and effectively. (Related: 10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy)

The secret is you need to plan everything out.

  1. Set Goals.
  2. Put a Strategic Plan together on how you’re going to accomplish those goals.
  3. Put a Tactical Plan together on how you’re going to implement the strategy. It’ll either be a to-do list and calendar for the solopreneur or a game plan for a staff or team.

A SCORE mentor can also be of great assistance in every stage of your business and they don’t cost anything! You can search for a mentor with experience in your particular industry or just general business experience.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping small business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution offering online, on-demand, easy-to-understand social media marketing tutorials. Helping the little guy get social savvy! You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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Why you need to use Google Plus to help with SEO

Why you need to use Google Plus to help with SEOI recently read a blog post by a supposed social media expert that stated that Google Plus does not help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and to not bother with it. I discovered that this is wrong.

Anything posted public in Google Plus gets indexed in the Google search engine and that absolutely helps with SEO!

I was doing research for a client on the economic overview of leisure travel and I click on a search result on the first page and it took me to a Google Plus (G+) post. Later, when I mentioned this in one of my boot camp classes, a student says, “I don’t see any posts coming up.” I thought that odd and continued with the class. I found out why.

On my office computer, I use Firefox as my main browser. On my laptop I use Google Chrome. I did another Google search on Chrome and I got a G+ post in the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Then I did the same search on Firefox and that post didn’t come up. I then realized that…

Google Plus posts only come up in Google searches done on the Chrome browser!

OK, so how important is this fact? How many people use Chrome compared to the other browsers: Internet Explorer (IE), Safari, Firefox and Opera?

Turns out that 69% of Internet users us Chrome!

Why you need to use Google Plus to help with SEO

In fact, the other browsers are losing users and Chrome is gaining!

Proof positive that Google+ is a crucial tool for search engine optimization (SEO)!

What are you waiting for? Get social savvy!

You need to understand how social media, content and SEO all work together. We can help. Check out our upcoming classes!

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. She recently launched the Social Savvy Solution helping the little guy get social savvy! You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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Getting Social for Business

Get online, get found and grow your business with social media

By RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

Getting social for businessSocial media has long since taken the leap from an ever-growing collection of forums and apps to enhance your social life to the realm of valuable business tool. If you’re still waiting to join in, here are some reasons why you should.

First, everyone else is doing it. Regardless of what your mother said, sometimes this does matter. Granted, it’s still not wise to jump off a cliff. You can trust her on that one. But if you are a small business trying to reach critical mass you need to get your message in front of potential clients. Today, that means being where they are. And that is on social media.

So, what exactly is social media for business?

Isn’t it just a bunch of egotistical people posting selfies on Facebook and Instagram or snapping pics of themselves on Snapchat using apps to add silly pig noses?

Isn’t it just for kids or those who cannot be bothered express themselves in more than 140 characters on Twitter?

What about all those people going crazy trying to catch imaginary creatures using the Pokѐmon Go app on their smartphones?

And Periscope, isn’t that just a place where users gather to watch whatever someone else is willing to broadcast?

Yes, but each is so much more.

Here are some real-world social media business applications that might make your life better.

Buy the numbers

Still the big daddy of social media, Facebook as of June 2016 reported on average of 1.13 billion active users daily. While using Facebook is free, access to those users is for sale. Because Facebook has so much personal information on its users, targeting your demographic sweet spot is completely possible.

It’s a Snap

Meanwhile, Snapchat was reported as of June 2016 as having 150 million logged-in users. While its content is fleeting, new upgrades now allow users to save memories to create stories. Whether you use Snapchat to share pics of a live event, let people know about an event on deck, post a coupon or offer other perks, it also has the ability to target—now including geographically.

Instagram for Business

For those relying on a personal account to share Instagram images, it’s time to upgrade. The popular photo-editing and sharing app now offers accounts just for business. Unlike its personal accounts, Instagram business accounts allow you to run analytics. In addition to your own posts, you’ll also be able to purchase ad space when you make the switch.

Tweet it up

Twitter is heating up among teens and tweens who want to escape a Facebook landscape increasingly inhabited by their parents and grandparents. Its user base had reached 313 million by the second quarter of 2016, which can easily be targeted using hashtags.  While sponsored hashtags for specific topics or events are available, anyone can create one at no cost. All it takes is a hot topic, a good network of followers and your message can be retweeted around the globe.

Scope it out

Periscope, an offshoot of Twitter, is no longer just for virtual voyeurism. Kind of. You still get to watch whatever someone else decides to live stream. You still get to post comments in real time. Unless marked with the hashtag #save, content disappears within 24 hours.

Only now, in addition to people broadcasting random content, marketing-savvy business owners are using the platform to share content featuring everything from tutorials for hairdressers on the latest cuts and styles to messaging on how they can brand or marketing your business.

Of course, social media is ever-changing and constantly growing. Keeping current is a must. Unless you want to hang out alone.

Check out SCORE’s classes on Social Media and online marketing presented regularly.

About the Author: RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

Based in Arizona, RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publisher’s Syndicate, a published nonfiction author and a contributor to the GoDaddy blog. The recovering journalist occasionally breaks out her 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom Deluxe Silverburst rock ‘n’ roll guitar when she wants to let loose. A devoted fur mother, RuthAnn makes time to spoil all four of her Jack Russell terriers when she is not tweeting from @MyWhiptail or posting on Facebook @whiptailpublishing.

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How to market your business better one word at a time 29 Aug

It’s Not Who You Reach, It’s What You Say – How to Market Your Business

How to market your business better one word at a time…

Too many SBOs (Small Business Owners) fall into the trap of confusing marketing tactics for marketing strategy – often an expensive mistake.

Tactics, simply put, are the methods of communicating your message to prospects and customers. Important? Absolutely. Strategy, however, is the message itself. Important doesn’t cover it. The right message is critical to the success or even the survival of your business.

And here’s the kicker – Tactical Marketing usually takes upwards of 80% of a three-year marketing budget. So if you don’t have the right message, you’re often just throwing your money down the marketing rat hole and blaming whatever media you’re using at the time – TV, radio, postcards, Facebook Ads, brochures and your website.   But once you have a consistent, compelling, unique message, all your tactics will be more effective and produce superior results.

At SCORE’s September 15th workshop you will take a trip through the mind of former Madison Avenue copywriter, brand strategist and author, Alan L Tarr (www.MoneyWordsMarketing.com). You will learn how, with some information, inspiration and a few strokes of your pen (or pecks at the keyboard) to create a unique, winning message for your business or product and how to structure your marketing materials, website, advertisements, signage, elevator pitch, etc. to generate attention, interest and bring in more customers.

You will learn that “the beginning of greatness is to be different and the beginning of failure is to be the same.” By the end of the session, you may never look at marketing and advertising the same way again.

If you want more business without increasing your marketing budget, come to this workshop. If your sales force has had trouble closing, come to this workshop. If you are questioning the value of where you’re spending your marketing dollars, come to this workshop. I promise you will leave with answers – and information – that will help you reach your goals now and into the future.

About the Author:

Alan TarrAlan Tarr is a master copywriter and brand strategist. Author of Marketing Is…, The 7 Deadly Sins Of Marketing, Win The Marketing Game And Stop Wasting Money!, and Marketing Tips, Insights & Secrets From The MoneyWords Copywriter. Reach him at: atarr@MoneyWordsMarketing.com. http://www.moneywordsmarketing.com/

 

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Blogging helps drive traffic to your website 22 Aug

The Top 6 Benefits of Blogging for Business

Blogging takes too much time!

Blogging for Business works!That is the biggest complaint I get when I tell people that they need to blog 1-3 times a week for it to be effective.

However, if you don’t blog regularly, you risk having Google, the search engine completely ignore your website. Google wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.

Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Blogging for Business:

  1. Helps establish credibility and you can show off your expertise and knowledge
  2. Promote yourself or your business, product or service – build brand awareness
  3. Build a platform & a following – sharing your blog posts on social media gives people a reason to follow you
  4. Share opinions, how-to, reviews, advice – help solve peoples’ problems
  5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – it’s the fresh content that Google is looking for
  6. Drive traffic to your website which in turn helps build your email list and generate qualified leads

Blogging regularly continues to be a proven results-maker. Here’s what you need to do to get started:Blogging helps you grow a following

  1. Really get to know your target audience and give them the information that they need
  2. Set goals – how many visitors do you want to your site a month? How many conversions?
  3. Develop a strategic plan – how will you meet your goals?
  4. Develop a tactical plan – how will you implement the strategy? Use an editorial calendar.
  5. Get set-up properly with a website that has a blog integrated in it that’s yours and not on a “borrowed” platform. I recommend WordPress.
  6. Learn how to use the tools properly and effectively
  7. Implement – just do it!
  8. Monitor and measure – check your website statistics monthly to see what’s working and not working

What are you waiting for? Start blogging!

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and teaches once a month at SCORE. Join her on Wednesdays with the Wiz on Facebook Live at 4 pm MST every Wednesday.

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3 Tips to Help you get Paid like a Pro with your e-commerce site 1 Aug

eCommerce: 3 Tips to Help you get Paid like a Pro

Collecting payment online through an eCommerce site has never been easier!

Making sales online without a way to get paid immediately is like opening a corner market and asking people to mail in a check — then waiting for it to clear before they can take home their fresh tomatoes. They want their produce now, and so do people who want to download your eBook or buy your product or service.

In short, in an era of instant gratification, businesses need to be able to serve up what’s on the menu before customers leave your store.

That’s great, you might say, but just exactly how does someone who’s just starting out take online payments? Doesn’t it require a merchant account with a major bank? Well, yes—and no.

That’s because at times a merchant account is the perfect solution. We’ll come back to it shortly. First, let’s talk about how to get paid when you’re new to the eCommerce game.

The all-in-one solution

Let’s say you sell T-shirts. They come in various styles, colors and sizes. You know you can’t just post a list of what you have on a web page and ask people to send an email outlining what they want, along with a personal check. That might work for a limited, one-time distribution for a specific event. But it would not be a practical way to run your business.

Fortunately, many ready-made online store options are available, including GoDaddy’s Online Store. In addition to providing a place to showcase your T-shirts, you are immediately able to collect payment through PayPal and all major credits cards. Funds will automatically transfer into your bank accounts.

By using this type of all-in-one eCommerce solution, you get a seamless way to collect payment.

For those entrepreneurs who prefer to let someone else get their hands dirty in site development, look for a reputable company that offers professionally built eCommerce solutions that include baked-on payment process (like GoDaddy’s Web Store Design Service).  Either way, you’ll have an automated way to collect money — so you can get paid.

The point-of-sale solution

We get it. Not all sales take place online. Whether you set up shop at ever-changing weekend festivals or showcase your T-shirts at the same mall kiosk day in and day out, you need a dependable way to accept a variety of payment types. Enter the point-of-sale (POS) solution.

From mobile credit card readers and apps like Square and PayPal to robust online bookkeeping tools with mobile payment capabilities, you’ve got plenty of POS options. Just be sure whatever point-of-sale solution you choose includes the following features:

  • Affordable. Look at costs including monthly fees and swipe rates.
  • Easy to use.
  • E-commerce integration.
  • 24/7 customer support.

As a busy business owner you’ll likely also benefit from time-saving features such as inventory management and industry-specific functionality like bill splitting for restaurants. It’s worth a bit of extra time to settle on a solution that’s the right fit for your and your business.

The CMS solution

Maybe you want to sell products from a website built on a Content Management System (CMS)  such as WordPress. In that case, you’ll need a few special parts:

  • Reliable web hosting, where you can install your CMS software. Be sure to choose a hosting provider (like GoDaddy for Managed WordPress) that guarantees uptime, keeps a close eye on security, and offers outstanding customer support.
  • The right theme. WordPress, in particular, offers myriad eCommerce themes. You want to choose a well-designed theme that features the functionality you need. Again, make sure there will be solid support available if you need it.
  • The right eCommerce plugin. Most themes don’t have baked-in eCommerce functionality; instead, they’re designed to work with an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce for WordPress or Eshop for Joomla!.

Now, back to the business of getting paid.

In these types of cases, you’ll need to line up a merchant account or payment gateway. Stripe offers just such solutions for Joomla! and Simple Pay Lite for WordPress. Of course, there are others as well. The takeaway here is that before you can get paid, you’ll need to collect.

And with a store built using a content management system, you’ll need to integrate a way to do so.

Finally, you’ll want to secure your store with an SSL certificate to make sure your payments are accepted safely.

Before long, you just might be need to upgrade, and start the whole process over again to handle booming sales. We have a feeling you won’t mind.

About the Author: RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

Based in Arizona, RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publisher’s Syndicate, a published nonfiction author and a contributor to the GoDaddy blog. The recovering journalist occasionally breaks out her 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom Deluxe Silverburst rock ‘n’ roll guitar when she wants to let loose. A devoted fur mother, RuthAnn makes time to spoil all four of her Jack Russell terriers when she is not tweeting from @MyWhiptail or posting on Facebook @whiptailpublishing.

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