Make Your Prospect Want You – Part 2

Prospects will seek you out if you become the magnetic solution to their pain. Positioning yourself as the ‘guru’ in their niche is a sure way to draw them to you.

Entrepreneurs, who shout with pride and joy that they simply ‘declared’ themselves the expert, often omit to recount the hours, the expense, the discipline and mindset of acquiring the specialized knowledge which must be in place before you proclaim yourself as the expert.

If you proclaim yourself the leader and no one is following then you are either out on a limb or out for a walk – pick your choice.

Evidence of your expertise will come from:

  • The ideas you communicate as you put out your content in various forms.
  • Evidence of the usefulness of your specialized knowledge in terms of providing solutions to real contemporary problems
  • Testimonials from raving fans and
  • Buzz about you from other experts and thought leaders

The new rules of media and PR, especially with the advent of web 2.0 give every entrepreneur, small business owner or professional the opportunity to place your expertise directly in front of prospects.

In part 1, we looked at blogging and I encouraged you to craft a deliberate strategy to closely link your content to identified pain or passion points of your target niche and optimize title tags and keywords of your blog in a way that allow prospects to easily find you.

 

Other Ways To Showcase Your Expertise

Ezine Articles – Publish your own and duplicate/modify the content for your blog. Make sure your blog is registered at technorati.com and link your blog and ezine. Register your ezine with the ezine directories and repurpose your articles for submission to sites such as idea marketer and ezine articles.

 

Press Releases – media coverage means legitimacy and expert/trusted source. Monitor PR sites to get a feel for their focus, angle and reach. Frame your content into newsworthy angle that the media is looking for, use their guideline for submission or get some coaching help. Leave a trail that can lead prospects back to you by ensuring that PR service allows tags and links.

 

Teleseminars – Any body can do this. There are countless courses and programs to refine your skills here if necessary. The key is to know your objective. A formula I use is to state my promise in the opening grabber, have 35-40% content have 30-35 % testimonials/stories of the application of that content 10 -20% audience interaction/Q&A, 10-15% call to action.

 

Publish a Book – a book is the ultimate expert tool and it much easier to do that you may think. Today you can literally “speak your book into being’. Entrepreneurs and small business owners do not get confused about awakening their literary genius. They get clear that the objective of a book is as a direct marketing piece. Develop and objective and an outline, using a digital or telephone recording service, speak your book into being one idea or one chapter at a time. Have the audio transcribed, edit it and get help from a reputable ‘Done For You’ book publishing service to get your book out.

 

The process of developing your own expert status may take time, if you desire to go faster add the following strategy.

 

Start Speaking Regularly  – ‘become almost famous’, signal your local media, radio stations, journalist, trade associations of your availability to comment on news and trends in your area of expertise. Feed them with articles and sound bites of your won or from your personal archive.

Develop a signature talk and signal industry players, and associations that you are available for keynote presentation at meetings or conventions or special events. Before long the buzz and referral will begin.

 

Now that you have their attention you must have a Call To Action that:

 

Monetize Your Expertise

 

Develop at least 3 levels of products that prospect can access.

 

Level 1 – Information/awareness

This could be an e-book, a MP3 recording, a self assessment or skill development workshop. Any product that could be an impulse type purchase designed to get the prospect oriented to paying money for what you have to offer.

 

Level 2 – DIY/Home Study systems.

Many prospects often assume that their current skill sets can easily be transferred into other areas needed to make their business a success. They want to be able to test their comprehension and implementation ability and a DIY system aka your home study courses, gives them this opportunity at a price point they may feel more willing to invest at initially.

 

Level 3 – Personal Service Delivery

This genre is reserved for your seminars, consulting and coaching programs and is designed to yield big income surges

You can make your prospect want you. Find ways to position your self as the expert provider of creative solutions to their problem and have products or programs that allow them to choose their level of involvement with you.

 

Steer clear of both the ‘copy cat’ and the ’empty bucket’ syndrome and thrive in any economy.

 

I am currently interviewing a panel of marketing masters who will be providing numerous examples of how they positioned themselves as the one and only choice their prospects should desire. Join us any Tuesday up to May 19, 2009 to interact and learn directly from the masters.

Distributing Reprint Articles For the Best Results

There are many writers who are utilizing article distribution services to get articles published in ezines and newsletters and on websites. These articles always have a link back to the website of the writer in the article’s Resource Box — the About the Author information which typically follows an article. This has always been one of the best methods a webmaster could use to generate web traffic to his or her site.

The Economic Value Of Distributing Articles

When comparing the cost of preparing an article and distributing it to publishers and webmasters, your overall articles costs are still really small… Especially when you compare that cost against the cost of buying advertising in the same ezines, newsletters and websites that will publish your article. On top of that, when a website publishes an article that you wrote, the article will usually remain on the website for years to come. But, when you buy an ad for your business at a website, you need to pay that advertising rate every single month for as long as your want your ad to remain on that website.

When you want to measure the effectiveness of an article, you should measure the cost of advertising in the ezines and newsletters where you were published, plus the cost of advertising on the websites where your article was reprinted.

If you invest the time and effort to calculate the value of the advertising earned from a reprint article versus the cost of creating and distributing that article, you will quickly realize why so many people recommend this promotional technique.

Traffic is a Two-Sided Coin with Reprint Articles

When we first got into writing articles for promotional purposes, we were entirely focused on getting our articles published in ezines and newsletters. The all-important link back to your site can reach thousands of publishers, and through the publishers, you can quite possibly reach millions of readers. And these are not just ordinary readers either; they are members of YOUR target audience.

The ezines and newsletters that will publish your articles have already told their readers that they will be providing information on the topics that you have written about. And, the readers have all taken a pro-active step to add their email address to the mailing list of the ezine that is publishing your work.

While most ezines have a subscriber base in the range of ten to twenty thousand, there are still some really large ezines with subscribers in the hundreds of thousands out there that will be happy to share your materials with their readers.

These days, it is all about the search engines. Webmasters want to add fresh content to their websites regularly, so they can improve their search engine traffic. And, writers want to see their articles on third-party websites, so that they can build their link popularity and improve their own search engine positioning.

The Nature of Getting Your Articles in Ezines AND Websites

Once, you have taken the time and effort to create your reprint articles, you will want to send them to the largest number of publishers and webmasters who have expressed an interest in publishing what you have written.

Many writers who are just getting started will try to do all of the distribution work themselves. They will search high and low to find the sites that accept reprint articles and they will look for the article distribution mailing lists that other writers are using. Then, they will commence the task of distributing their articles to the various sites and lists that accept reprint articles.

The entire process can be very time-consuming and frustrating for the writer. Most lists will only permit you to distribute your articles if you are willing to accept other writer’s articles as well. If you find yourself subscribed to one of the bigger mailing lists, you could legitimately get hundreds of articles a day dropped into your mailbox. Add to this the fact that most writers are subscribed to up to seven different distribution lists, and then that one hundred articles a day could become seven hundred articles per day. Some people want out of the distribution lists the day after they start.

Then you have the added challenge of remembering what the posting rules are for each mailing list that you will join. Pushing the rules to the side and forging ahead could get you banned from participation in many of the article distribution lists.

Keeping everything straight and muddling through all of the incoming messages is tough enough for the average marketer. But, then you add the challenge of getting your article into the article databases that offer reprint articles to publishers. Each article archive directory generally requires for you to login and to follow their unique posting rules to get your articles into their database. This requires even more of the writer’s time.

Most writers end up making some type of compromise in order to get their articles distributed. They will either set aside half a day to a full day for the distribution of a single article, or they will limit their distribution range to the mailing lists and article sites that make it easy for them to accomplish the greatest results in the least amount of time.

What many writers fail to realize is that some of the article distribution lists where they are trying to submit articles, are not accepting their articles. Others aren’t accepting anyone’s articles and haven’t done so since 2000. Some are still accepting articles, but only from those people who were approved for unlimited posting privileges prior to the disappearance of the list moderator some time ago. These writers, who already feel pressed for time, are wasting more precious time submitting articles to lists and reprint article directories that are not accepting their article submissions.

Sometimes It Makes Sense to Employ a Service Provider

There are a handful of well-established and experienced distribution services that can get your article to multiple publishers with very little time investment on your part. The distribution services will do this for a small fee and send your article to targeted publishers of ezines, newsletters and websites. Rates vary from service to service.

Many writers use a number of article distribution services to distribute their articles. The reason is that all services use SOME of the same distribution outlets, but all services also have unique outlets not available to the other service providers.

The writers who use a number of services do so to increase the overall reach of their articles, to maximize their results.

The Changing Marketplace

Recently there have been a number of new distribution services popping up who claim to be able to distribute your articles to publishers at a lower cost. These new distributors are offering bargain basement rates such as $40 for three months and unlimited article submissions. Sounds like a great deal right? Well there are a number of problems with using a cheap service such as this.

The primary problem with these cheap service providers is that you will put all of your articles into their database at your convenience. Then, the service will turn around and distribute all of the articles you have put into their database, on the same day that you put them into their database.

Here is the problem. Nearly every article distribution mailing list in existence has a limit of one or two article submissions per writer per day limit.

Suppose for example that you put 100 articles into the service’s database in the same day. Then the cheap distribution service will turn around and send all 100 of your articles to the article distribution mailing lists on that same day. Your first or second article may get full distribution. Your next 98 articles will be deleted from the groups without ever having been posted. And, you will likely find yourself banned from future participation in the article distribution groups.

So, if you think that you are saving money by using a bargain basement newcomer, you really aren’t. That $40 you spent will only get two of your articles into circulation. The other 98 articles you put into the cheap service’s database will never reach beyond that service’s website.

Professionals Can Make a Difference

A major article distribution company understands the intricacies of the world of article publishing, whereas a cheap newcomer is simply looking to make a quick buck off of you.

If you want your articles and links to reach the targeted publishers and targeted audiences that would be interested in purchasing your goods or services, then you should seriously consider spending a little more money to use a well established distributor from the outset. This will also save you the time and hassle of posting articles that will never see the light of day.

In the end, you want the best bang for your buck.

Sometimes the best bang for your buck requires that you spend a little more money upfront. With an established and experienced article distribution company, you might just find that you can get better results from each article, and you will still have an audience for your articles two weeks or two years from now.

You can make the most of your advertising when you use an article distribution company who will put your needs first — always keeping in mind what will help YOU to generate the best results for your investment.

4 Amazing Tips on Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Historically, small businesses have been slower in adapting to content marketing methods and / or strategies that are utilize by corporate marketers. However, as (SEO) Search Engine Optimization practices have evolved considerably in the last couple of years – it’s become more than obvious that small businesses need to add eBooks, comparison guides and how-tos, as well as other content strategies to remain in competitive rankings.

It doesn’t matter if content is outsourced to an agency that offers content management servicesor done in house – ideas for creative, informative and engaging content more than often becomes scarce.

Regardless of that fact, we have 4 amazing tips on Content Marketing for small businesses. Check them out below:

1. Develop a Calendar for Content Marketing. Developing a calendar for content marketing will allow you to document content strategies and methods. Also, it’s an awesome way to ensure that content creation is done in a timely fashion and remains on schedule. This amazing method for content creation is often neglected and overlooked by many small businesses.

Approximately, 61 percent of content marketers have said that their greatest issue when creating content is that it’s too time consuming. Only 44% of marketers have reported to keep a calendar with documented content marketing methods and strategies.

Developing and putting together a calendar that’s designated for content scheduling for the month is the 1st step in setting aside time to brainstorm, strategize, create and finally publish content.

2. You Need to Find Out What Works For You!Before you go on a scavenger hunt for inspiration on other websites you need to have a good understanding of the features and components of past content that has been beneficial to you and your small business.

We advise you to utilize Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to check on the leading, trafficked web pages and queries, so that you’re able to identify what content has worked the best and which keywords have been used to find your content. Furthermore, it is recommended to use Social Statistics, as they can also, give you insight on content that has done really well.

You can check out Social Media performances by using services, such as – Add This, which embed buttons to share on blogs and also, have tracking info. These are user friendly dashboards, which offer information on an array of click backs and shares.

3. Comprehending Social Media Trends for Topics. Social Media networks and/or platforms are extremely helpful in getting new idea topics. Creating content revolving around trending topics will give you invaluable content ideas, which people are actively searching for on real time.

For instance, Twitter has now had trending topics accessible for quite some time. Earlier this year – Facebook introduced trending topics as well… If you need or want to view trending topics on a more local scale, then you can utilize Trendsmap, which offers users a close and intimate look on trending topics and news that’s over laid on a map with information from Twitter’s social media platform.

Amplify content by covering different aspects of a story. Take a stance that’s controversial in nature or supplement it by using an array of media options, such as – infographics or videos.

4. Use Content That’s Visual. Although, the majority of SEO practices tend to focus on text that will be digested by different search engines – now, visual content has become a lot more appealing and interesting for your fellow, human readers. People seem to be naturally wired to be more attracted and more likely to engage with visual content. Ninety percent of the info that enters the human brain is acquired visually.

With that being said, content that uses images receives an estimated 94% more views than content without any visuals.

A recent survey on marketers from Marketing Sherpa observed that visuals were the simplest form of content to create. Develop infographics utilizing research that’s been done already for content or you can outsource image and/or visual creation to add on to your blog posts. You can easily keep your users and visitors engaged and scrolling through your website pages by simply adding interesting and eye catching GIFs and still images to your written content.

If you’re running a small operation or business it is still essential that you remain in the loop. As always, content is vital to the success of your SEO campaign. Start incorporating these tips to your current and future content and you’ll notice that you’ll experience less difficulties coming up with new topic ideas and/or interesting content for your users and visitors.

What is an Ezine? A Brief Introduction

Although it can be defined in many ways, an ezine is basically an electronic magazine publication distributed via the internet. The term is often used interchangeably with “newsletter” due to their similar methods of delivery and overall purpose. Generally speaking, it can be centered around any topic the publisher chooses and obtains readers through consensual subscriptions. It is estimated that thousands of ezines are currently circulating throughout the internet everyday.

Benefits of Ezine Publishing

An ezine can help you establish an online presence and maintain continuous communication with your audience. More importantly, it can be a key revenue driver that enables you to enjoy a profitable and successful business. It makes a great way to build a quality list of subscribers and keep them informed about your offerings or whatever is happening in your field. Because you have complete control over your publication, you have the power to customize an ezine with the styles and features that give your content the maximum impact. You also have the option to offer advertising space to interested marketers, a factor that could provide you with a consistent stream of revenue should your publication become a success.

Ezine Topics

As we mentioned above, an ezine can be centered around any topic you prefer. Keep in mind, however, that it is best to focus on your area of expertise. For example, there are publications based on day cares, Information Technology, and simply general topics. While this should go without saying, it just would not make sense for a publication to offer tips on web design when your business involves selling mortgages. Creating an ezine based on a topic you specialize in or enjoy tends to make writing the content much easier. Several markers choose to create publications that coincide with their website since it is where the bulk of their subscribers are obtained.

Ezine Publication Releases

Just as you have control of the content, you also have the freedom to publish your ezine as frequently as you would like. Of course the frequency depends on various factors, but if you only have a small number of subscribers, you may want to consider only publishing once a month. This way, you do not come off as over aggressive and scare away the few readers you have. As your list of subscribers grows, you may feel comfortable publishing on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. The most important of aspect of ezine publishing is consistency. Do not get your subscribers hooked with a few good issues and then hang them out to dry when they are craving for more.

An ezine can be a powerful marketing tool that supports your entire business. While promoting one takes a lot of dedication and hard work, the rewards of building a successful publication is worth every bit of it. Because you are provided with consent from your subscribers, you can send out company news, announcements, advertisements, discounts, or what ever works best for your audience. With the right approach, you can make an ezine a viable solution for your business.

Choosing Your E-Zine Topic – 3 Hints for Making Your Decision

Choosing the topic of your ezine is no light decision. I have put together 3 hints to take some of the strain off your brain and get you going in the right direction.

1.Share your passion.

What are you passionate about? If you’re publishing an ezine for your business, then I hope it’s your company, product or service that holds your passion. But those aren’t the only motivations for ezines.

Whatever your passion, writing about it will make your ezine strong. Passionate writing, whether it’s about tying flies for fishing or piecing together heirloom quilts, is powerful writing. When you write with passion it ignites the page and excites your readers, making them want to read more.

2.Research the competition.

Get on the internet and search the ezine directories for other ezines with topics that are similar to yours.

There are many ezine directories with free access; all you have to do is put in the time and effort to research them. To find out which ones are free type “free ezine directories” into the search engine on your computer.

What will you need to research once you find your ezine competition?

oLayout – Which layout was appealing to the eyes as well as user friendly?

oContent – Did you find any of the content of value to you? Was it presented in an appealing way?

oLength – What was the average length of the ezines that you liked the most?

oArticles – Were the articles of interest and in keeping with the ezine topic? Were they well written and engaging?

oWriting style – What type of writing style did your favorite competitor’s ezine have? Was it a friendly, conversational tone or a preachy, soapbox one? How about your least favorites?

oAdvertisements – What was the ratio of advertisements to articles in your favorites? In your least favorites?

By studying the competition in this way you will get a strong idea of what you want your ezine to include or exclude and thereby sidestep potential setbacks.

3.Research reader interest.

There is a big difference in need to know and want to know. Most people read very little because they need to know something, they read because they want to know something.

Someone who needs to know something will only read enough to get the bare facts. Someone who wants to know something will read like a sponge, absorbing everything they can about the subject.

Find out what your subscribers want to know about your topic and you’ll have a loyal following that can’t wait to see your next issue in their inbox.

How do you find out what potential subscribers want to know about your topic?

oSearch the blogs – There are hundreds of blogs on every topic imaginable. A quick search of popular blogs in your topic will show you what people want to know about that topic.

oWeb traffic reports – If you have a website pertaining to the topic of your ezine, read your traffic reports. They will tell you which of your pages is most popular, thus giving you an idea of what your potential subscribers want to know.

owordtracker.com – This site accurately tracks what people are typing into their search engines. This will give you up-to-date information on what the hot topics are.

If you follow your passion, research your competition and research reader interest you will be head and shoulders above the crowd in publishing an ezine that gives your subscribers just what they want. And, I know that’s just what you want.