Monday, September 28, 2009

If Your Marketing Needs Help, Go Back to Basics

I've learned there are no "magic bullets" (or quick fixes) when it comes to anything in life. Whether it's athletics, relationships, or business... the answer can almost always be found by making sure your fundamentals are sound; said an easier way, getting back to basics.

If your website or offline marketing isn't doing as well as you think it should, go back to these business basics:

1) Know exactly who you're marketing to. It may sound like an odd question, however, it's the foundation for your business marketing. If you aren't crystal clear on this point, it's about impossible to market effectively. Maybe the demographics of your market has shifted, and they want different products and services than they used to. If you aren't sure, then ASK them! Make a quick, free survey at, and send it out - be sure to offer something in return if they complete the survey.

2) Communicate with folks on your list frequently. It doesn't mean pitching them every time - you must provide valuable, usable information in addition to the occasional (and also valuable) offer. Outlook is OK to use for your e-mail list, however, I'd recommend you use a good e-mail management system like aWeber. It allows you to send out e-mails at different times of the day (or night), and provides tools that can track your e-mail marketing, and make it more effective.

3) Make sure your website captures a visitor's attention, provides value, and gives a clear call to action. A lot of websites nowadays are well-designed, and look professional. However, what they don't do is give people a reason to stay at that site. The average website visitor takes between 3-10 seconds to decide if they'll stay or go. You should provide "opt-in bait" to make sure you capture a new visitor's name and e-mail address. This is very important to building your e-mail list, which is THE most valuable asset your business has.

4) Make sure your offers are what your customers really want. Go back to point #1 - if you aren't sure, make a short survey at, and send it out to your list. Offer something valuable in return if they take the survey.

5) Make the focus of your website, marketing and business on your customers - not you. It's an easy trap business owners fall into, because its human nature - everyone loves talking about themselves. Read through your website and marketing... if you see the words "me," "I," "us," or "our company" more than 2 or 3 times - you need to make some changes.

If your website or business is struggling, and you aren't sure why; go back to these business basics, and you should have a pretty good idea.

If you go over these 5 basics, and you still aren't sure - then contact me at: with the phrase "Business Basics" in the subject line, and I'll be glad to conduct a Business Marketing Evaluation (a $297 value) for no charge through October 15th, 2009.

We're almost to the 4th quarter of 2009, and time is flying. Block out time in your schedule to do this; if you don't have time, contact me @: with the phrase "Business Basics" in the subject line, and I can do it for you. Time waits for no man (or woman) - take action today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seth Godin on Social Media

Kevin Thompson re-posted this YouTube video of Seth Godin answering a question at a live event on whether social networking is valuable for business.

In less than two minutes, he shares more wisdom than most of the self-proclaimed "social media experts" combined. He explains the difference between fake and real networking, and it's great advice every business owner should take to heart.

You'll have to watch the video to hear Seth's answer in full - it's what I've always suspected behind the hype and buzz about Twitter, Facebook, etc.