Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Marketing on social networks requires more of a focus on the human element since its more about building relationships then it is your technical knowledge. There's no way around it, social networking for business requires building trust with others which requires time and interpersonal skills. You notice I did not say effort since making 'friends' should be more an act of enjoyment and not regarded as labor!
In order to get the best results when social networking for business here are 3 things you will need to do.
Take off your selling shoes and pull up a chair so you can get to know people. Building relationships is an absolute must to even get notice on any social sites and as you know this takes time. Even if you are only social networking for business time must first be taken to develop some type of bond with others or you will be invisible to them and useless to your business!
The bonds you do develop need to be meaningful insofar as maintaining a knowledgeable, professional and always helpful profile. For any marketing attempts to be successful people must first have some confidence that you know what you are talking about and that your intentions are good and not all business. Your best results will come ONLY after you have taken the time to develop this good reputation with others.
The most important 'component' of the reputation you develop is trust! As touched upon above your reputation must be a positive one that reflects credibility but building trust is just as, if not more important. If people can not trust in you then any efforts you put into social networking for business will be wasted. People can not be expected to part with their hard earned money if they lack faith in you so obviously building trust is a priority. The best way to achieve this trust is to make a habit of being helpful or freely offering any type of information that may be of use or interest to others. Do so without any expectations of receiving anything in return and people will quickly regard you in a trustworthy manner. Besides, it feels good to be helpful to other!
There is no need for technical skills when marketing on social networks just simply be willing to pull up a chair and stay for a while. Tapping into the viral potential of these communities will require building relationships with others first and this will take time and patience. By building trust with people in this way simply makes it easier to effectively promote to them in the future. It is very important to remember these are in fact social communities therefore your acceptance MUST precede any marketing efforts. Once this acceptance is earned by following the 3 suggested steps above it will make social networking for business a breeze for you!
About The Author
TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out of North Carolina.
To learn more about marketing on social networks and to also receive a free instructional manual that teaches valuable niche research techniques for your online marketing needs simply visit:http://blogbrawn.com
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
By David Leonhardt
From the obvious to the "Hey-I-never-thought-of-that-great-idea-before", here are 10 of the top 52 tips on how to optimize your website for its turbo-charge rocket ride up the search engine rankings.
Be bold. Use the tags around some of your keywords on each page. Do NOT use them everywhere the keyword appears. Once or twice is plenty.
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. Here is an example of deep linking, in this case to my personal happiness workbook.
Become a foreigner. Canada and the UK have many directories for websites of companies based in those countries. Can you get a business address in one of those countries?
Newsletters. Offer articles to ezine publishers that archive their ezines. The links stay live often for many years in their archives.
First come, first served. If you must have image links in your navigation bar, include also text links. However, make sure the text links show up first in the source code, because search engine robots will follow the first link they find to any particular page. They won't follow additional links to the same page. You can see this in action at the link to the home page on this web site monitoring page
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. Why not a site dedicated to gumbo pudding pops?
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 the history of pudding pops with a link back to their site. They publish your article on the top ten pudding pop flavors in Viet Nam, with a link back to your site. You both have content. You both get high quality links. (More on high quality links in other tips.)
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.
Not anchor text. Don't overdo the anchor text. You don't want all your inbound links looking the same, because that looks like automation - something Google frowns upon. Use your URL sometimes, your company name other times, "Gumbo Pudding Pop" occasionally, "Get gumbo pudding pops" as well, "Gumbo-flavored pudding pops" some other times, etc.
Site map. A big site needs a site map, which should be linked to from every page on the site. This will help the search engine robots find every page with just two clicks. A small site needs a site map, too. It's called the navigation bar. See how the second navigation bar at the bottom of Last Minute Florida Villas is like a mini-site map?
David Leonhardt is an effective, professional seo consultant and a website marketing consultant. For a free quote, call 613-448-3931, or send us an email.
Posted by :: Ezahaiza ::
By: Jason Kay
Whether you are planning to start a brand-new business, expand an existing company, or get financing for a business venture, you will need to write a business plan. A business plan not only lends your business a sense of credibility, but also helps you to cover all your bases, increasing your chances of success.
Although writing a business plan can be a lengthy, intimidating project, it is not necessarily difficult. Here is an overview of how to write a successful business plan.
What to Include in Your Business Plan
Your business plan needs to demonstrate that you have thoroughly considered all aspects of running your business. To that end, the standard business plan has nine major sections, covering everything from your business’s mission statement to a detailed financial analysis.
The first – and most important – section of your business plan is the executive summary. This section is so important that it should literally be the first thing the reader sees – even before the table of contents! However, it should also be written last, as you’ll have a better understanding of the overall message of your business plan after you’ve researched and written the other sections.
One of the most important parts of the executive summary is the mission statement. The mission statement is only three or four sentences long, but it should pack the most punch out of everything else in your business plan: Those four sentences are responsible for not only defining your business, but also capturing the interest of your reader.
The rest of your executive summary should fill in the important details that the mission statement glosses over. For instance, your executive summary should include a short history of the business, including founder profiles and start date; a current snapshot, listing locations, numbers of employees, and products or services offered; and a summary of future plans and goals.
This section is a candidate for a bulleted format, which allows you to list main points in a manner that is easy to scan. Avoid using too much detail – remember, this section is a summary. A page or two is usually sufficient for an executive summary.
The next section of your business plan focuses on market analysis. In order to show that your business has a reasonable chance for success, you will need to thoroughly research the industry and the market you intend to sell to. No bank or investor is going to back a doomed venture, so this section is sure to fall under especially close scrutiny if you are looking for financing.
Your market analysis should describe your industry, including the size, growth rate, and trends that could affect the industry. This section should also describe your target market – that is, the type or group of customers that your company intends to serve. The description of your target market should include detail such as:
• Distinguishing characteristics
• The needs your company or product line will meet
• What media and/or marketing methods you’ll use to reach them
• What percentage of your target market you expect to be able to wrest away from your competitors
In addition, your market analysis should include the results of any market tests you have done, and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
After your market analysis, your business plan will need to include a description of your company. This section should describe:
• The nature of your business
• The needs of the market
• How your business will meet these needs
• Your target market, including specific individuals and/or organizations
• The factors that set you apart from your competition and make you likely to succeed
Although some of these things overlap with the previous section, they are still necessary parts of your company description. Each section of your business plan should have the ability to stand on its own if need be. In other words, the company description should thoroughly describe your company, even if certain aspects are covered in other sections.
Organization and Management
Once you have described the nature and purpose of your company, you will need to explain your staff setup. This section should include:
• The division of labor – how company processes are divided among the staff
• The management hierarchy
• Profiles of the company’s owner(s), management personnel, and the Board of Directors
• Employee incentives, such as salary, benefits packages, and bonuses
This goal of this section is to demonstrate not only good organization within the company, but also the ability to create loyalty in your employees. Long-term employees minimize human resource costs and increase a business’s chances for success, so banks and investors will want to see that you have an effective system in place for maintaining your staff.
Marketing and Sales Management
The purpose of the marketing and sales section of your business plan is to outline your strategies for marketing your products or services. This section also plans for company growth by describing how the growth could take place.
The section should describe your company’s:
• Marketing methods
• Distributions methods
• Type of sales force
• Sales activities
• Growth strategies
Product or Services
Following the marketing section of your business plan, you will need a section focusing on the product or services your business offers. This is more than a simple description of your product or services, though. You will also need to include:
• The specific benefits your product or service offers customers
• The specific needs of the market, and how your product will meet them
• The advantages your product has over your competitors
• Any copyright, trade secret, or patent information pertaining to your product
• Where any new products or services are in the research and development process
• Current industry research that you could use in the development of products and services
Only once you have described your business from head to toe are you ready to detail your funding needs. This section should include everything a bank or investor needs in order to understand what type of funding you want:
• How much money you need now
• How much money you think you will need over the next five years
• How the money you borrow will be used
• How long you will need funding
• What type of funding you want (i.e. loans, investors, etc.)
• Any other terms you want the funding arrangement to include
The financials section in your business plan supports your request for outside funding. This section provides an analysis of your company’s prospective financial success. The section also details your company’s financial track record for the past three to five years, unless you are seeking financing for a startup business.
The financials section should include:
• Company income statements for prior years
• Balance sheets for prior years
• Cash flow statements for prior years
• Forecasted company income statements
• Forecasted balance sheets
• Forecasted cash flow statements
• Projections for the next five years – every month or quarter for the first year, with longer intervals for the remaining years
• Collateral you can use to secure a loan
The financials section is a great place to include visuals such as graphs, particularly if you predict a positive trend in your projected financials. A graph allows the reader to quickly take in this information, and may do a better job of encouraging a bank or investor to finance your business. However, be sure that the amount of financing you are requesting is in keeping with your projected financials – no matter how impressive your projections are, if you are asking for more money than is warranted, no bank or investor will give it to you.
The appendix is the final section in your business plan. Essentially, this is where you put all of the information that doesn’t fit in the other eight sections, but that someone – particularly a bank or investor – might need to see.
For instance, the market analysis section of your business plan may list the results of market studies you have done as part of your market research. Rather than listing the details of the studies in that section, where they will appear cumbersome and detract from the flow of your business plan, you can provide this information in an appendix.
Other information that should be relegated to an appendix includes:
• Credit histories for both you and your business
• Letters of reference
• References that have bearing on your company and your product or service, such as magazines or books on the topic
• Company licenses and patents
• Copies of contracts, leases, and other legal documents
• Resumes of your top managers
• Names of business consultants, such as your accountant and attorney
Writing a Successful Business Plan
Despite the quantity of information contained in your business plan, it should be laid out in a format that is easy to read. Just like with any piece of business writing, it is important to craft your business plan with your intended audience in mind – and the bankers, investors, and other busy professionals who will read your business plan almost certainly won’t have time to read a tedious document with long-winded paragraphs and large blocks of text.
Business plans for startup companies and company expansions are typically between twenty to forty pages long, but formatting actually accounts for a lot of this length. A strong business plan uses bullet points throughout to break up long sections and highlight its main points. Visuals such as tables and charts are also used to quickly relay specific information, such as trends in sales and other financial information. These techniques ensure that the reader can skim the business plan quickly and efficiently.
Think of your audience as only having fifteen minutes to spend on each business plan that comes across their desks. In that fifteen minutes, you not only have to relay your most important points, but also convince the reader that your business venture merits a financial investment. Your best bet is a well-researched business plan, with an organized, easy-to-read format and clear, confident prose.
About The Author
Jason Kay is a former professional business plan writer and provides business start up advice. He contributes to business magazines and websites such as http://BudgetBusinessPlans.com, which provides business plan writing services and business plan samples.