Expanding Your Business Online

The invention and eventual widespread use of the Internet has forced businesses to recognize the necessity of having a little corner of their own on the World Wide Web. Keeping these websites active requires a website hosting service, and there are many types to choose from. More and more individuals, however, are realizing that dedicated servers are the way to go. Different servers will benefit separate companies, but after fully understanding hosting services and specific dedicated servers, many business owners opt for the dedicated server route.

Expand-Online
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seoplanter/7460436606/

Important Aspects of a Website

There are several factors that can make or break a website hosting service. Some of the most important considerations when choosing a type of hosting service are uptime, security, speed and reliability. Free hosting companies are cheap, but all of the aforementioned important factors are seriously lacking in these free options. Shared servers are better than free servers, but since the server in question is being used by multiple companies, the speed and reliability can often be compromised.

Some business owners also opt to host their own servers, but this leaves them susceptible to huge drawbacks if their server crashes. The sad fact of the matter is that a business owner will have to be a full-on computer and networking expert to run their own server. Luckily, dedicated servers avoid many of the issues related to self-hosting and the gamut of other server types.

Benefits of Dedicated Servers

As already mentioned, dedicated servers solve many of the issues that other server types leave wide open. Dedicated servers, for instance, have only one website on them. This means that lax security on another website that shares the same server will never affect the website on a dedicated server.

In addition, dedicated hosting services ensure that all space on a server is dedicated to that one site. This means that large amounts of traffic visiting another website on the server won’t cause any downtime issues for the website. Also, shared servers have an inherent constraint on space. Dedicated servers, on the other hand, have plenty of space for the website that it’s hosting. This means that if a business owner decides to expand their website, it’s extremely simple.

Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Servers

Many business owners are left with the tough decision of choosing between managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. They both have their own advantages, but for companies that are still growing, unmanaged hosting services are likely their best option. Managed dedicated servers come prepackaged with certain attributes. Security capabilities, for instance, are chosen by the company hosting a managed server. Unfortunately, these can sometimes provide too much or too little security for a website, but this problem doesn’t exist for unmanaged servers.

Unmanaged servers still have the basic infrastructure support that managed hosting services provide, but business owners with unmanaged servers can pick and choose exactly what they need and only pay for those features. They can expand these features at any time, but while waiting for this need to arise, they can definitely save money. Businesses can even choose their own easy to manage control panel and companies like www.roboshift.com sell full cPanel licenses at a cheaper price than they can get when buying direct from the manufacturer.

In addition, business owners can use the exact programs and procedures that they want on unmanaged servers. This means that they can upload their own control panels or the exact right amount of security. The options are almost limitless, and the unmanaged tag keeps the price reasonable.

Selecting the right type of server is absolutely essential for any business owner who hopes to run a successful online campaign. In fact, the lack of a great Internet presence can sometimes be detrimental enough to cause a company to fail. Luckily, dedicated servers allow individuals to get reliable service for their website, and unmanaged servers give them incredible leeway over how their website operates and how much it costs. Understanding all of these things is essential for every company, group or organization out there.

About the Author: Researcher Shelby Warden writes articles to help businesses compete in a digital world. www.RoboShift.com is an authorized cPanel partner that sells the full range of external cPanel licenses at low prices and backs them up with their friendly customer service and support. cPanel/WebHostManager is the leading web hosting control panel used by Web Hosting companies and Internet Service Providers.

5 Top Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally

Marketing is central to the success of any business, but the size of a business substantially affects its ability to reach its customers. Small businesses often have a limited budget for marketing activities and generally confine their marketing activities to advertising. When advertising, all businesses must seek a cost-effective medium that provides a suitable number of exposures to the greatest number of customers for the least amount of money.

This One's Going to Stay Up Here

1. Sponsorship Banners: Promotional sponsorships like vinyl banners can be a valuable tool when advertising to the local community, and are remarkably low cost to produce. Sports programs at local schools will often allow businesses to display these types of advertisement at games in attempt to raise money. Advertising at local academic institutions allows businesses to improve their local community and raise brand awareness at the same time. Local game advertisements allow businesses to target individuals who live within a specific school district and maintain a captive audience for the duration of the sporting event.

2. Direct Mail: Direct mail is one of the most common forms of advertising for local businesses. Direct mail campaigns involve sending advertisements directly to customers in order to communicate the marketing message. Direct mail advertisements have the advantage of being highly customizable in terms of both content and format. Sizing, laminates, length, and even thickness are all variable. Businesses can produce small flyers or send entire catalogs. Unfortunately, direct mail campaigns present problems of clutter, where the recipient is so overwhelmed with marketing messages that any one particular message is likely to be lost. Additionally, many advertisements go directly into the wastebasket, thus losing any repeat exposures that a permanent advertisement might ordinarily provide.

3. Radio Advertising: Radio is a valuable advertising medium for local businesses. Radio advertisements are inexpensive to produce, offer businesses a high reach, can be targeted at listeners of specific programs, and airtime is inexpensive to buy; this results in a low cost per thousand exposures. The limitations of radio include a highly variable reach depending upon the station, the region, and the time of day, and the fact that many people rarely sit and do nothing other than listen to the radio. Listeners are often completing other tasks while listening to the radio, such as driving or working. This reduces comprehension, which necessitates additional exposures.

4. Newspaper and Magazine: Print media is a classic source of advertising. Newspapers and magazines offer businesses the chance to present their advertisement to a highly targeted demographic. Nearly every town has its own paper and every hobby has its own magazine. Businesses can create and place advertisements in such media at a low cost. It is not perfect; the limitations of modern print media include a potentially low circulation and clutter. However, for businesses who can produce eye-catching advertisements and identify publications with a high circulation, print advertisements are worth including in any advertising campaign.

5. Television Presence: Television advertising is highly effective at presenting a message to customers. Unlike most media, television advertisements allow the business to provide both visual and auditory stimuli; even if the viewer is not looking at the television or if the viewer has the television muted, the business can present its brand and its offerings to the potential consumer. Using both auditory and visual stimuli, businesses can present far more information in a television advertisement than they can in other media.

Unfortunately, airtime is expensive relative to newspaper or radio advertising. It is also less precise than other media. Confining the advertisements to a local market is always possible, but if the business specializes in a particularly narrow field, there is no guarantee that the audience is even interested in the products or services. Producing television advertisements is also more challenging than producing other forms of advertising. Creating brand awareness requires a refined touch and businesses with no video experience may be better off hiring an expert, who will usually be expensive.

When advertising a local business, the direct costs are important but targeting is critical. Advertisers must seek out media with a low cost per thousand exposures. These exposures must be aimed at a targeted audience. The advertisement should not blend in with clutter. Finally, the advertisement itself should not be excessively expensive. While every medium has its limitations, local businesses will generally benefit from community-based advertising.

Photocredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luahiwa/4915540290/

 

 

Business Marketing on a Budget

Even the most inexperienced entrepreneur will recognize the importance of marketing for business success. The problem, however, is that marketing can be rather expensive. Many small companies find themselves incapable of doing the right kind of advertising due to the high cost.

Creativity and internet will help you do amazing marketing on a budget. Sometimes, a great idea can be carried out free of charge. The following marketing techniques are perfect for businesses that are trying to do promotion on a tight budget.

The Power of Internet

Internet marketing is one of the best options for you. The web is one of the most inexpensive channels and it provides the added benefit of a highly targeted audience. No other communication channel will help you reach such a demographically appropriate group of individuals.

Social networking brags high efficiency, while it typically happens free of charge. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter are perfect for marketing on a budget. Even sms marketing software can have great returns for minimal start up costs. Even if you decide to pay for the campaigns, the sums will be minimal in comparison to other kinds of promotion.

Always go through your bills and examine the internet marketing reports that you receive in the end of the month. Stick to reputable websites because you may otherwise fall into a scam trap. Forensic accountants can help you figure out the best online promotional tools for your business.

words of mouth
photo credit: Pricklebush via photopin cc

Word of Mouth Promotion

Happy customers will be willing to spread the word. Provide a stellar service and your clients will do the promotion for you.

Word of mouth promotion is highly efficient. Most often, people remain skeptical about marketing messages and commercials. When they need a service or a product, however, many people are likely to turn to friends and relatives for recommendations.

Support Events and Fundraisers

Participating in community events and fundraisers will help you increase brand awareness without spending a fortune on it.

Support causes and charities that are of paramount importance for the community. You will be creating an image of a socially responsible business. People like such initiatives and they will be willing to check your company out in the future.

Help for the organization and the popularization of the event. You can donate a sum to the charity, as well. It does not have to be a large amount. People will still notice you and remember your company.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is one of the newest and most efficient forms of online promotion.

In its essence, article marketing is the creation of content for popular websites and blogs. In return, you will get a link to your corporate website.

Writing useful articles about the topics you are knowledgeable in will help you establish yourself as the authority inside a particular niche. Clients will be more willing to turn to a well-established business. Article marketing takes place free of charge but you will have to spend some time thinking about interesting and informative content.

Participate in Conferences

Being a guest lecturer will help you increase corporate awareness, as well. You can easily get invited to participate in conferences and seminars. Work on your biography, increase your portfolio and contact the right people in order to benefit from this kind of promotion.

Participation in conferences and seminars is the perfect form of business-to-business marketing. You will get to make a presentation in front of industry specialists. The B2B sector is exceptionally important for corporate success and you should make use of such opportunities.

Local Online Marketing

Google+ and Foursquare have added a local dimension to online promotion.

Create a Google Places page dedicated to your business. These pages are used by people looking for products and services in their city or neighborhood. Local marketing is the most practical form of online promotion because it translates in the biggest number of actual sales.

Business promotion is all about making use of the available channels, even if you have a very limited budget. It will require time and effort but you will easily increase your popularity without spending too much on marketing campaigns. Take your time, think about it and be original – this is the only way to set your business apart.

Author Bio: This guest post is written by Nick Anderson an experienced finance writer.

The Benefits of a Viral Video- Besides Money

Marketing has changed substantially over the past few decades. Advertising has stepped out of the traditional arena of television, radio and billboards and infiltrated the all reaching world of the Internet. Marketers can use methods like social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and many others to get their message out there. One of the most powerful marketing tools to have emerged, however, is online video marketing.Philips Casting für Youtube-Web-Soap "Nigel and Victoria"The Power of Video Marketing Blogs

It’s an absolute necessity for every business, corporation, entrepreneur or anyone else hoping to gain exposure to have a video marketing blog. Some individuals ask why it’s simply not enough to run television ad campaigns since they’re making videos anyway. The answer is quite simple: exposure. Television commercials are now easily skipped using digital video recorders (DVR), but this, of course, isn’t the only reason.

Most traditional marketing techniques, such as television advertisements, are referred to as “outbound marketing”. This means that marketers are throwing their advertisements out at absolutely everyone with the hope that a few will pay attention. Online marketing blogs, on the other hand, are a type of inbound marketing that entices people to seek them out. A person who actively searches for a company’s content is much more likely to convert than one who just happens to catch a commercial.

Video blog marketing also helps a company build authority, but it’s important that they’re posting the right types of videos. The majority of people are most captivated by videos that offer value. These marketing videos are usually educational. A bait and tackle shop, for instance, could post a video entitled: How to clean a Catfish. This type of video is informative, not overly zealous and even has the potential of going viral.

How Videos go Viral and their Benefits

One of the most powerful factors involved in video marketing is the opportunity to go viral. One company, for instance, that sells blenders decided to start a sort of video marketing blog. It is an ongoing series entitled “Will it Blend?” and showcases their blenders blending several different types of objects (ie. iPods, and other blenders). The campaign skyrocketed the company to success, and their latest video produced over 160,000 views in only four weeks.

There are a few things involved in making a video go viral. The most important factor is that the video must be shareable. This means that someone who watches the video must be tempted to share it with all of their friends. It’s also important that these videos target the right audience. This can be done by using social media and SEO (keyword targeting is especially important). Both of these methods will help increase a video’s exposure and move it up on search rankings.

Viral videos have numerous benefits for a company that’s lucky enough to produce them. The most obvious benefit is exposure. Many viral videos end up having millions of views. An often overlooked benefit, however, is the low investment cost that viral videos and video marketing in general have. The amount of exposure that a viral video can get makes the price of producing them negligible.

Anyone out there with even a small amount of advertising knowledge knows that online video promotion is an absolute necessity in any marketing campaign. The sheer reach that the videos can have is astonishing. With minimal investment, an individual can enlist the services of a marketing video production company and have promotional material that will consistently show a good return on investment (ROI). Plus, if a video is produced well and manages to go viral, the sky is the limit on how much profit the company will turn on their investment.

An art business owner, author Ann Bailey relays these viral video tips for those looking for the best strategies for their advertising.  The Washington DC metro firm of 522 Productions acts behind the scenes to help businesses with a video marketing blog by working out all the design, shooting, and editing steps.

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebluewig/5775583280/

 

Marketing with eBook – a Comprehensive Strategy

Do you know the bottom-line of running a business successfully? No, it is about being proactive or possessing a go-getter and killer attitude. It is about generating leads.

If you are incapable of generating leads for your business, your business is not going to make it. And probably for this reason, business owners go extreme and start doing weird things when they fail to get their business going.

They send their over-confident marketers to attend seminars to rub shoulders with marketer leaders with a desperate hope that they will be able to seal some crazy deals. Nevertheless, it rarely works. However, some others go extra miles. They invite affiliate marketers and try to make them believe that their product is going to change their lives for once and all. But this is not the way you should be marketing your business. This is definitely not going to help you generate any leads rather it will diminish your prospect.

newsweek
Image Source – http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/2048264201/

Rather than chasing your customers, you need to know how to provide value that will eventually draw more customers and businesses. And this can easily be achieved with eBook marketing. It is simple, cost effective and of course, it is environment friendly. However, before you jump onto the bandwagon, you need to know the rules of ebook marketing otherwise all your efforts will go wasted.

ebook app
Image Source – http://www.flickr.com/photos/epw/4857693316

How eBook work as a lead generation machine?

When you pay a visit your nearby shopping mall, I hope you have certainly seen shop owners trying to sell their products by offering some samples to try. By doing so, they are trying to provide instant value to their targeted audience and thereby making a huge stride to get them converted them into customers. Now, you can apply the same tactic while promoting your service. Since there is no option available to let your customers ‘taste’ your service, you can offer them a small eBook that will help them come to term with your offer or service.

And you know eBook is being considered as a powerful marketing tool because people do not consider them as a marketing tool. They usually take it as a source of information and therefore, you would not have to persuade them.

digital lifestyle
Image Source – http://www.flickr.com/photos/benoitmeunier/3769104218

The Obvious Benefits of using eBook

eBook comes with a unique benefit. Since traditional forms of marketing are proving less effective, ebook marketing is capturing the attention of all. As I have already said, it does not even look like a form of marketing. However, ebook does not need to be informative only; you can change the tone to suit your purpose. Just do not overdo things because it will defeat the purpose of launching the ebook.

  • The biggest benefit of using eBook as a source of marketing is that it is highly cost effective. Compared to its physical counterpart i.e. print magazine, ebook will not cost you an arm and leg. And the best part of ebook is that it does not necessarily have to 100 pages long. In fact, if you make it 100 pages long, no one is going to read this. The shorter, the better. Since people do not have much time in hand to go through a 100 pages long ebook these days, you need to make it short and sweet.
  • eBooks can be made a bit more interactive. Rather than making it another book with dry information, you can add videos, cool graphics, interactive pie charts and more. And if this is not enough, you can email your customers if you happen to update the ebook that will give a nice feeling to your customers that you care for them.
  • Since all things digital can be tracked or at least to some extent, you can measure the success of your ebook marketing campaign quite efficiently and precisely. If you have added links of your website in the ebook, you will be able to track how many visitors are actually coming to your website via ebook and how many of them are making the purchase thanks to the powerful tracking application – Google Analytics.
  • You can include call to action in the middle of texts in your ebook and believe me it can help you see some conversions. Since here the readers do not have to memorize the coupon codes or the long URLs or any other complex thing. They have to do far simple thing. Yeah, all they have to do is to click on the link and there they go. They will get landed right on your website and if the lady luck favors you, you will see more conversions and more business.

However, just publishing an ebook is not end of the task. You need to make sure that it is well written and the presentation is good enough otherwise it will not click. Here are the few things that you need to be careful about to make the ebook acceptable to your audience –

ebook reader
Image Source – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tscherno/194189530/

  • Quality of images should not be compromised. Since most people are going to scan the pages, your ebook should look presentable with loads of interesting images. As the ebook is going to be your brand ambassador, you have to make sure that the formatting, writing, presentations etc are at par with market standard.
  • You are free to add logo or other brand-based images in the ebook but make sure that they are not making it look like a promotional pamphlet.
  • Do not ignore the difference between a traditional book and ebook. For say, if you are converting a slide presentation, you should not ignore the importance of incorporating images with the texts so that the readers can have the feeling of seeing the presentation. And the same goes with when you are converting spoken content. The conversational tone should be kept intact.

So, if you can manage to follow these simple tips, you will be able to make the most of ebook marketing campaign. It is powerful and highly effective and all you have to learn is to how to use it.

Author Bio
Stark Jensen is a passionate writer and he has written several articles on web hosting. You can check his latest articles on Hosting Review: iPage.

The value of Outsourcing your Marketing

One foot here and the other foot there can’t help you in achieving what you actually deserve. Hire a marketing consultant and get back to focusing on YOUR areas.

outsourced marketing
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87860178@N03/8041789493/

As they say serving and satisfying an old and important client is not expensive as is going out to seek a new one in the market. Focus on taking care of your immediate business needs that you have taken charge of and divert your mind from the things that can be delegated to someone you can trust. One of the most important tasks that can enhance and widen your business (and should be the top item on your list) is hiring a marketing consultant. You need to take care of your acquired clients, but you can’t rely on them only. Here is an important business rule: never put all of your eggs in one basket. You can’t rely on that one client or those few to give you a large percentage of business; you need diversity!

Before you use outsourced marketing, you need to ensure the following points are considered;

  • How do you want to expand your business – geographically, product-wise, age-wise, by number of sales?
  • Do you need a marketing specialist, day-to-day consultant, or a general representative?
  • Do you want to set a deadline to achieve a certain target ie/ increased sales revenue
  • Do you want them to work remotely, or work in-house?

Fortunately, much of these answers are provided by an outsourced marketing consultant. But make sure that person/company has the qualities that you really need. A good consultant should have the following traits:

  • analyzes things well, thinks creatively and markets effectively
  • comes from a varied and experienced background to provide a wider scope of your business
  • can extract data from past trends, understands consumer behavior and identifies the medium through which your products can be easily approached by your targeted audience
  • can help determine pricing, packaging, distribution, advertising, to appeal and cater to therequired demographics of your customers
  • can also help build and implement a turn-around strategy.

It is always a better choice to outsource a marketing consultant as it frees up your valuable time and cuts down on your expenses. A full-time employee requires extra expenses such as allowances, promotions, year-end bonuses and perks, but this is not the case here. You can instead allocate resources on product development and promotions, as your consultant advises how to make the strategies work. This will in turn increase revenue and thus profitability over time.

Marketing may seem small to you when there are so many obstacles in the business world, but once you actually hire a marketer, you will soon realize how much you can increase business in so many ways that you couldn’t before.

Your Viable Service: Maximum vs Minimum

The way in which you market yourself is obviously an integral part of your business. You can’t rely on jobs just falling into your lap of their own accord, you need to go out there and pull them in. There are plenty of different techniques and styles of marketing, but there is an underlying choice you have to make first before bombarding the world with your amazing adverts and website. This is all based on the viable services you are able to offer. Do you want to stick to one specific part of your field, or do you want to be able to offer as much as you’re able to do. Let’s look and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

wedding photography niche
Wedding photography – an example of minimum viable service. Image by Mike Baird / Flickr

Offering a minimum viable service can easily be summed up by a photographer who chooses solely to do wedding photography. Essentially, rather than being a something (copywriter, filmmaker, composer) you are a type of something (product copywriter, documentary maker, film music composer).

One of the benefits of this is that you’ll find it much easier to build a portfolio. If you’re concentrating on one field then you don’t need to show a wide range of examples. Get a few jobs and your portfolio will already be looking great. It is a lot more focused too. Prospective clients will be able to get a much clearer picture of your style and vision this way.

You’ll also find it much, much easier to market yourself. Your website and adverts will concentrate on the one thing you offer and that means you can target your marketing much more efficiently. Rather than advertising across a broad selection of sites and publications, you can now just pick out the ones that are relevant.

Of course, there are some downsides. First up is actually deciding on the specific service you want to offer. If it isn’t something you’ve thought about, it may take some time to really decide. There is also a bit of trial and error in this too as you try out services which just don’t work for you. Time is valuable and you can end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out what you want to do.

Once you have decided on what you’ll offer, prepare yourself for letting jobs that you can do pass by. You might see an advert on Gumtree for something you know you could do really well, but as soon as you show your client a portfolio concentrating on something else, they’ll be put off and consider you unfocused. On top of that, taking on other types of jobs defeats the whole point of offering a minimum viable service.

On the other side of the coin you could decide to other a wide range of services. This means, for example, that as a photographer you will make yourself available for any kind of job you can do, be it band, sport, nature or press photography.

One advantage is quite obvious. Advertising yourself as a photographer with wide-ranging skills means you have a bigger pool of clients to attract. This should mean more business for you and the ability to build up a very varied portfolio. Another little positive is that you might be able to get those more niche or obscure jobs that appear from time to time. The people advertising these jobs are likely to more interested in someone who has a varied skill set.

There’s a phrase that is quite relevant to this. “Jack of all trades, but master of none.” Simply put, some people will want a specialist for their job. To them, this is paramount, no matter how good your portfolio is. They don’t want to take any risk so they want the person they hire to be a safe bet. They won’t see you as a photographer, so much as an ‘all-round photographer’ which, unfortunately, just doesn’t sound good.

Have a good think about how you want to approach your marketing. Both ways have their pros and cons and it is simply down to your preference. Choose wisely!

About the Author: Joshua Danton Boyd is an in-house copywriter for the online accounting firm Crunch. He also regularly contributes to Freelance Advisor and Urban Times.

Promoting Your Small Business On A Budget: 5 Tips For Success

As a small business owner, you’ve probably struggled with ways that you can promote your business without a huge amount of outlay. While “traditional” methods such as advertising in print directories and magazines are still viable today, there are several other options you can promote your business, especially if you utilize the Internet to your advantage.

social media apps
Image by Jason A. Howie

Tip #1: Using Social Media

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter and various other social media outlets – many businesses both large and small have seen the advantage of being able to readily connect with new and existing customers online. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, you can easily push out updates to your audience by using a quick Facebook update or tweet to announce a new product you’ve just released or a deal you’re offering. If customers like or retweet your updates, that’s even more advertising for your business since they’re likely to have friends or followers who will see the update, resulting in a potentially unlimited chain of exposure for your business.

linkedin swag
Image by Sheila Scarborough

Tip #2: Free or Inexpensive Promotional Items

T-shirts, bumper stickers and other small items like promotional coffee mugs are always a big hit with customers. This can be especially true if you tie them into another promotion you’re running, such as offering a free T-shirt to any customers who simply sign up for a free trial of a product or service you offer. T-shirts and bumper stickers in addition have the advantage of potentially being seen in public by thousands of other people.

business networking
Image by Jodi Womack

Tip #3: Connect With Other Businesses In Related Niches

If you offer a product or service in a specific niche such as home improvement, look at how you can connect with businesses that offer products or services that naturally complement yours without directly competing with you. For example, a home remodeling company might want to use their website and social media presence to help promote a building supply company that they personally use for tile and other related products, in return for the other company agreeing to promote them in turn. It’s a win-win situation for both sides and builds confidence in both company’s brands as well as exposure.

blogging
Image by Maria Reyes-McDavis

Tip #4: Guest Blogging

Guest blogging has seen rapid adoption in recent times and this can be a very handy tool for increasing your potential exposure to new customers. Connecting with other websites related to your niche and lending your expertise on a given topic is a win-win situation: The website you’re guest blogging for will have value added to their site, while you can demonstrate your authority and know-how about your products and services, giving you exposure for your company and often even a link back to your site that readers can follow if they want to know more.

google places
Image by Craighton Miller

Tip #5: Use Google Places

This is a free service that allows any brick-and-mortar business to set up a listing with Google that is specific to their local area. What this means is that when customers search for a given search term such as “car repair San Diego”, your business can pop up in the local Google Places listings for that particular search term – allowing your potential customers to find you much more easily and give you a leg up over the local competition. Google Places also offers the ability to include basic information about your company including hours, your physical address, services offered and your website address, should they need additional information about your company.

About the Author: Sara Fletcher is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from business, SEO, and social media. She loves to learn about small business tips, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.

Do not chase people – tips to persuade people to opt for your service

Everyone wants to have the gift of convincing people to do certain tasks. And probably this is the reason why people still go as far as trying black magic in the hope of controlling their future or getting a person under his control. But here I am not going to reveal the secrets of black magic. Sorry dude, rather here I am going to tell you some secrets that can help you convert people into paying customers. Ok, I can feel that you just cannot wait right? Ok here they go:

dont be shy

Do not be a shy Guy: I remember a saying – “When You cannot convince people, just confuse them”. Yup, this may sounds a bit naughty but this really works when you are into the domain of sales and marketing. When you are into the middle of audience who seem to disagree with what you are saying, you need to try a technique. You should be talking fast, giving little scope to them to disagree. When you are speaking fast very fast, listeners need to ignore obvious flaws in the argument. However, when you are talking to agreeable audience, you need to slow down, tone down a bit and give the audience some time to agree with your views.

Ok, ok you want to have the persuasive power right. Ok, in that case you need to master the art of talking with confidence. It may happen that you are not sure about the accuracy of a subject, but do not let that make you feel down. You need to show supreme level of confidence while speaking to prospective customers. Since you know your products very well, you should be speaking with confidence. To be able to persuade others, we need to communicate confidence to others. So, please do not be a shy guy. Get out of your closet and have some serious fun.

dont swear

I Swear: I personally do not believe in any such theory that swearing a lot can help you draw some attention but the thing is that they do seem to help in persuade people. But the word of caution – do not go overboard with this swearing thing because it will lead to the loss of credibility. Use of mild curse words while addressing an audience may help you but the intensity should be checked carefully. Don’t be offensive, speaking lightly and friendly way.

i agree

Make People agree with you first: If you want make people buy your theory and your products of course, you need to say something that they will agree with you. It is not necessary that you should be always talking something related to your products or service. You can start off with anything that people can easily agree with you and then move the topic smartly to something that relates to your product or service and you will see people, in most cases, will be agreeing with you are saying.

upsell

Upsell Things but with Plan: If a customer has decided to buy something, he has already put faith in your service. So, this is the perfect time to sell more. But do not be in a hurry. Be nice to customers while giving him some awesome offers. Now, if a customer has bought a pair of shoes, you should be wasting your time persuading him buying another one (please, he does not have four legs to use them) rather you can offer some kind of especial discount for him on Socks or something of that kind. He will be more than delighted to redeem that discount. So, finally you will be able to persuade that guy into buying products and he will be happy enough to accept this since he is getting value for the money he is about to spend.

boring

Do not make people bore with data, tell a nice story instead: People love listening to stories and which is why you should be putting more weight to stories while persuading people to opt for your service rather than stuffing them with raw data. For say, if you are running a campaign for flood victims, you should be using only data to gather donation. Rather you should give the entire thing a personal touch. You may use image of a small girl in difficulties and asking for help of others. This will make people instantly attached to the campaign. Now, things may not turn in your favor, if you focus only on data and data. Help your audience get connected with the campaign emotionally and probably, this is the reason why you need to learn how to narrate a story.

vulerable

Make Leaders Feel Vulnerable: You cannot argue with powerful people, I mean you cannot make them buy your theory unless you make them feel less powerful. The only way, you can make this happen is by getting them outside of their areas of expertise and show some of your brilliance and you will see marked difference in their approach. They will be less aggressive and more amiable in approach. So, rather than showing your gentle side, you need to dominate while speaking and believe me you will be rocking.

Author Bio: Michael Evans is a passionate writer and social media addict. He is helping business owners having a prominent online presence. You can contact him if you wish to make a website with Site2You.

Social Media Essentials for Small Business Marketing

Most small business owners have started relying on social media networking for their internet marketing needs. It is a simple and effective method of reaching out to your target audience in a focused yet inexpensive form. The sheer popularity of social media has left it an indispensible marketing tool to incorporate in your campaign. Whatever be your target audience demographic, marketing through popular social networks will ensure that your message reaches out effectively and creates a buzz.

It is important to plan your social media presence and campaign in a detailed manner to gain maximum return. Let us list down five best practices which have been known to generate results for small business in the social media sphere.

twitter marketing sucks
Image by Pete Simon

Try to be Subtle

Social media does not come with the time limitation of more conventional advertising platforms like radio or television. One must respect this fact and try to inculcate their marketing message subliminally with content that your target audience is interested in. Social media is about information – Create your space and posts around interesting information related to your product or service.

Once you have the attention of your potential client only then should you go for turning him into a lead. Going social helps you build trust among your audience, but only if you let it build by offering content relevant to their interests.

Social Media is about Socializing

At times business owners fail to understand the whole purpose of social media which is to socialize with like minded people and communities. Your presence on social media should never be about ostentatious self promotion. Try to engage with your audience in an interactive way. Your business should come across like a brand personality which understands your audience and communicates like them. Be as interactive as possible, hold contests, ask questions, answer queries, be like a person.

Try to be a friend, there is nothing more trustworthy than a good understanding friend. Clients that you will be able to build like this will most likely remain clients for life.

Go Wide With Your Campaign

Social networks might have its high rankers and they command involvement in any sensible social media campaign but one must not ignore other platforms at any cost. There is a long list of networking sites and each one has some following. As a business owner or marketer you don’t want to leave any stone unturned.

Make accounts and gain presence at as many platforms as you know of. You may decide to prioritize your level of focus, that is acceptable, but do not ride on just one or two networks.

Work on Your Appearance

Just because you are a small business it doesn’t give you the right to look less professional than the big guns. In fact, many small business owners brag about their customization capabilities over big brands. All your content, designs and texts should go under a magnifying glass before being posted. Be aggressive in your strategies and let the world know that you mean business. You may not be able to match with the big players on size but you must equal their quality if not exceed it.

About the Author: ZK is an expert associated with WebTrafficROI, which is a web marketing blog aimed at people who are interested in web business and blogging. The blog also helps entrepreneurs, bloggers, companies and small businesses to make their business better on the online forum.