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Small Business Lead Generating Sales Funnel

Small business lead generating is a big deal over here in our marketing world! We are really good at helping you fill your sales funnel, but if these leads never follow through to a conversion and a sale then it is a wasted effort.

While working with  small business clients, we often hear that they have gotten “no leads”. Huh, that is weird since I see leads coming across the email, in blog comments and as requests for info on Social Media. I think what they are saying is that they have gotten no “sales” or new clients. This can happen because of a breakdown between leads and sales.

Today we are going to look at all the pieces that go in making a successful lead to sales transaction.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel (also known as the sales pipeline) is the term for the process by which we add A LOT of leads into the top of the funnel and sales come out of the bottom, losing some along the way. The parts of the sales funnel can be called a lot of different things including prospects, suspects, and customers; leads, visitors and pre-qualifications.

We are going to look at some of the normal sales-funnelly things, but then we are going to talk specifically about where your process may be failing your conversions. It can be VERY easy to get caught up in the labeling and not look a the practical aspects of going from propects to sales.

The Practical Sales Funnel

Leads – Opportunity

Leads can look like many things. They can be a message sent through Facebook asking about your services, an email info request, a response back to your email newsletter, basically any time someone talks to you about the goods or services that you sell. THE FIRST THING you should do after getting one of these messages is to add this person to your database, CRM (customer relationship management software), or spreadsheet of prospects. Make sure to note what kind of service or product they were interested in.

This is the first step of your sales funnel and just consists of collecting their contact information so that you can communicate with them on an ongoing basis.

Sales Call – Connection

The first time that you contact this prospect (whether it be by email or phone), your goal should be to set an appointment. An appointment for a formal phone call or in-person meeting where you can talk over your offerings at a time that is convenient and when the prospect will be receptive to listening to you.

I think that this should be over the phone as you have not pre-qualified this person enough to know if they are a good fit. Can they afford your product or service? Are they ready to buy within the next 30 days? Have they researched any of your competitors?

These are all vital things to know and you are just wasting time meeting with someone who is not ready, willing and able to buy your product or service.

Follow Up – Timing

I am going to tell you something that you may find shocking. Most prospects do not buy right away, gasp. Honestly, I have asked some of our clients how many times they followed up on a sales lead and they say that they never followed up because the person did not buy after the first contact. This is what we in the business call BURNING LEADS. The prospect raised their hand and said they were interested, but probably did not have enough information to take out their credit card and buy.

You should follow up a phone call with an immediate personal note or email, thanking them for their time. You should then reach out with offers of additional info at least two or three times more over the next couple of weeks (put it in your calendar). After that, make sure they are on your newsletter list so they receive ongoing communications from you, which could remind them why they called you in the first place!

If you are a typical small business owner, you are probably a TERRIBLE salesperson. If this is the case (as it is with me) you are going to need to hire someone to follow up for you. You can pay this person a fixed rate or “spiff” them an amount for each appointment they set for you. DO NOT skimp on this, a good salesman can make you more money than you ever imagined possible!

Conversion – Obstacles

Okay, you have a lead and they want to buy BUT they have not pulled the trigger (ie paid you yet). This is the most frustrating part of the sales process and one you need to look at very closely because it is probably your fault that the sale is not moving forward!

First off, make sure it is VERY easy for your prospect to pay. Just this week we had a lady call and say she had been waiting for us to send her a link for payment. Now I KNOW that we sent that link over a week or so ago, BUT what matters is that we re-send it to her right away while she is paying attention to us.

Another great example about how a process can fall apart is one of my bookkeeping clients. She takes her prospects, sends them to her salesperson to follow up, gets them excited about her services, they say they want to buy and then…NOTHING. In my opinion, the sale is falling apart because she expects them to gather their receipts, bank statements and other financial documents together themselves. To me it feels like, if they could do all that themselves, what would they need her for?!?!?! We suggested that she make a part of her services a two hour, holding-your-hand and getting your documents together startup meeting. This way, she will get the client on board AND she will be losing less of them due to the fact that they are terrible at accounting tasks.

Sale – Persistence

Overall, sales takes persistence and can be absolutely, soul-killingly hard if you are not geared to enjoying being a salesperson. BUT, if you make it a game to see how many people you can move down your small business lead generating sales funnel, removing speed bumps along the way, you WILL make more sales. This in turn will make it much more likely that you will want to do it again and and again! www.marketingartfully.com

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Emerging Experts ™ presents Creating and Communicating a Visionary Brand, a three-session workshop to transform your passion, your power, and your message.

Join branding/spiritual business expert Ellen Melko Moore and social media specialist Amber Irwin as we help you create a brand that speaks for itself and a social media structure that allows everyone to talk about you.

Whether you’re just starting a new venture, or considering a renovation/revolution for an existing or established business, this uplifting yet extremely practical series will set you on fire with the knowledge and tools to burn brighter, stronger, and truer than you have ever dared before.

You are about to Become Visionary.

Dates: June 8th, July 13th, and August 10th

Time: 8:30-11am 

What Is a Visionary Brand? 

By its purest definition, a visionary brand is a brand that inspires people to act.  It inspires devotion and communication in its audience, clients, or consumers.  Its customers speak and act and advertise for the brand, spreading the word because they love associating with its power, possibility, heart, or “sexiness.” In some way, large or small, those who participate feel transformed, and they want to share that transformation with others.

If you are part of the “tribe” interacting with a visionary brand, you want to talk about it, to share it, to debate its merits or flaws with others who care about it. You take pleasure in introducing it to the uninitiated.

A visionary brand can be big or small, profit or nonprofit, can be a large corporation or a single person.  Some famous examples of visionary brands that have changed our lives might be Facebook, Starbucks, Tom’s Shoes, Oprah Winfrey, Netflix, and The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

How Does a Brand Become Visionary?

Big brands and big names can inspire us.  But it’s also important to look at the inspiring people and companies all around us.  If you think about it, you can probably identify several visionary brands in your own circle, your own neighborhood.   

 It might be a painting company who donates a free paint job to a neighbor facing foreclosure, a bakery who celebrates Wednesdays with free éclairs, or a friend who rallies a community to serve a returning injured veteran.

It may be an artist whose paintings take our breath away, a computer store whose top priority truly is the customer, or a garage band who collaborates with a tattoo artist to clean up the local skate park.

Whether large or small, traditional or totally unprecedented, commercial or compassionate, an emerging visionary brand compels us to look, to notice, to talk, and to act.  And most importantly, to spend our money!

 And you can bet your boots that with a good strategy of playfulness and perseverance, that brand won’t be a beginner for long.

Build a Killer Brand and Give it a Voice.

So, a visionary brand inspires action, and that inspiration begins with you. 

Are you inspired by your own idea, your own business, your own way of showing up in the world? Are you so excited that you can’t stop talking about what you are doing, learning, selling, experiencing?

 Or is it perhaps time to open the doors of your mind and soul and let some fresh air down the corridor?

Our three part workshop focuses on the three essential ingredients of the visionary brand: the Creators, the Participants, and the Collaborative Process (otherwise known as the brand, the customers, and the sales relationship!)

In each session we will devote equal attention to BOTH the visionary spirit of our brands AND the powerful tools of technology that allow us to share that spirit in unprecedented ways.

Ellen will lead us as we create, pitch, and examine the Inspirational Ingredients of all who play in the sandbox of our brand.   Amber will guide us through the exciting (but often intimidating) waters of Facebook, Twitter, Twello, and Hoot Suite.

Between sessions, we will support and inspire each other in small groups using our new-found social media skills (gaining first-hand experience with innovative email, free conference calls, YouTube, and Blog Talk Radio!)

Our Vision for You.  And our Promise.

 

No matter where you begin, whether as a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran, by the end of session 3 you will take home:

*a recipe and road map for your own visionary brand, including new pathways for money to come to you

*a support team who believes in your dream

*a tribe that loves to talk about you

*a working knowledge of the most important components of social media and a system for using them powerfully

*a rejuvenated sense of your life’s purpose and a renewed enthusiasm for getting out of bed, even on Mondays

You could pay thousands of dollars and spend hundreds of hours for this coaching and training.  Like many of your friends may be doing.  Just think how jealous they’re going to be when you say you did it in two months for $147! That’s okay, though.  Next time they’ll know where to go to Become Visionary.

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1597505181

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How To Get Facebook Fans: It’s Like Attracting Moths To A Flame!

Having a Facebook fan page can really drive traffic to your website and equal revenue for your business, but only if you know how to get Facebook fans. Facebook fan pages can work miracles for your brand and visibility if you have enough people liking and sharing your page.

Create Your Circle Of Promotion

The goal is to create a circle of promotion so that you have people coming to your fan page and then to your store of business. To increase Facebook fan and start the ball rolling, you have to put the word out about your page, what it has to offer and what kind of special advantage your fans will get by liking and following what you are doing there.

Be Creative

With just a little creativity, you can figure how to get them using all kinds of promotional tools. One way is to write articles for some trade periodicals, or more general article distribution sites that will get your name and a link to your Facebook fanpage out to a desirable audience. While steering potential fans to your page, you will also be establishing your knowledge and expertise in the industry. Then, people will feel like they are gaining at least the value of your shared knowledge when they become a fan on Facebook.

It also makes the relationship with customers more intimate. A Facebook fan page is a place where there can be more extensive conversations, with a community with your business, website and service in common. To mix the media, you can make a video about your fan page and why people should ‘like’ and share it. Then post all of your articles and videos on all kinds of sharing sites, social networking sites and more, which open your page to whole new audiences.

How Do You Get Fans?

Once you add links, you still have to know how to get Facebook fans. The people who click in and go to your fan page then need a reason to like, stay or come back. You can point them to your newest deals, or have a code only on your page that can be entered on your site for a discount. A weekly contest for fans or a coupon just for liking, are just some of the ways to get more Facebook likes, or increase your Facebook fans.

Also Use Other Social Media

Other forms of social media and online interaction can also help you get more Facebook fans. You can post YouTube videos on your Facebook fan page and then tweet the link to the videos. Ask all of your followers to retweet. Take a couple minutes and select followers for whom you retweet as well, they will likely return the favor. Most people will retweet or share if you simply ask.

On Twitter, use Follow Friday hashtags to pick out your followers and they will return the favor, increasing your fan base and helping you to get more Facebook likes. Post on industry forums and include a signature that links to your Facebook fan page and offers a great deal.

Figuring out how to get Facebook fans is just one more part of your brand building and promotional campaign that together, drive your traffic and revenue. If done well, you will see an increase in fans and business!

Want to know more great internet marketing tips? Then visit this website.

Also check out these awesome FREE videos that show you how to generate endless leads, attract traffic, use social media, create multiple streams of income and much more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_J_Scott

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6074693

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Grow Your Business with Social Media

This was a great post from HubSpot.com

Social media and blogs are a key part to any inbound marketing strategy. Here are 6 ways they help grow your business:

  1. Quick to Start. You could launch a Facebook page today or get a blog going in a few days.
  2. Low Cost. You can get started in social media and blogging for very little or no money. They are among the most cost-effective methods of reaching your audience.
  3. Instant Interactivity. Both blogs and social media can give you nearly instant market feedback – good or bad. We get all kinds of feedback through the comments on our blog; people also leave reviews and other comments for us on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels.
  4. It’s the Search Engines, Silly. Surveys indicate that 90% or more of people begin their purchasing process in search engines. Blogs and social media make it more likely that your prospects will find you online when they search.
  5. Inbound Marketing. If you read our blog, you know that we’re big fans of inbound marketing at HubSpot. Outbound marketing is telemarketing, direct mail, cold email blasts (not lovely nurturing emails like this one to you), TV and print ads – all the things that buyers tend to block out more and more.  Social media and blogs are essential inbound marketing tools.
  6. First Mover Advantage. For blogs and social media, there is an advantage to moving first. If you don’t jump into the conversation, your competitors will (if they have not already) and then you’re fighting an uphill battle to become influential in these online conversations. Start now to claim that first-mover advantage.

How are you using social media today? Learn how you can build a successful inbound marketing strategy that combines social media, blogging, lead conversion, and marketing analytics. Get a complimentary Inbound Marketing Assessment from HubSpot.

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Are You Using The Power of Video to Promote Your Brand

Why is Video for Business so Powerful?

The business climate today is all about how to make your marketing message heard above all the “noise” of competing marketing messaging in an age where we are all faced with “information overload” to the nth degree. Business owners are always looking for ways to maintain a competitive advantage and to be able to connect with their customers and potential customers in an effort to create a personal connection.

With the increased usage of the latest technologies, if also becomes a challenge for the business owner to figure out how to use all the technology that is available to increase brand exposure and deepen relationships with customers and potential customers.

Online video is the future, the latest trend, and continues to rise in popularity. Key indicators point to corporations embracing online video as an essential marketing tool. In a 2008 Interactive Marketing study, Forrester Research predicted a compound annual growth rate of 72% through the year 2012 – the most robust of all interactive investments. Online video is expected to grow significantly more than search engine marketing, display ads, and email marketing.

When you see an interesting video on the Internet, you tend to post the link on Twitter, Facebook, or share it by emailing it to friends. They pass it on to their friends and the effect multiplies spreading your message quickly, resulting in massive exposure. This is called viral marketing and carries tremendous power via brand exposure at very little cost. Using video helps others connect with your brand because it now has a face that others can identify with and adds that personal touch that is so important in establishing, maintaining, and enhancing relationships.

Online video is going to increase in popularity according to a study by eMarketer that reported 152 million people were watching online video in 2008. By 2012 that number, according to the study, is expected to soar to 190 million.

Video adds a new dimension to the written word. If one uses videos of themselves speaking their message, they are able to use humor, physical expression, and eye-contact adding a totally new layer of personalization. If one chooses to use an animated video, the element of entertainment is added and with a musical background, adds an emotional effect as music brings out emotions in people.

Using video turns a static website into a dynamic, interactive destination. Video requires the viewer to use more of their senses making your message more memorable.

You can use video to demonstrate a product that will educate your customers, show your product or service in action, save time and money on customer service by being proactive, train clients remotely saving time and money on travel expenses, and expand your target market beyond your local geographical area

Businesses who use video to promote their brand are giving a human face to their corporate website. You can include a short video welcoming visitors to your website, introduce yourself and other members of your company, or record a customer testimonial to show your value to others.

Using videos encourages engagement with your brand and in this day where relationships carry so much weight this is a very important aspect of video marketing. If you regularly provide valuable video content, you will be encouraging repeat visits to your website.

Even though the use of video is increasing and studies indicate it will continue to increase, there are still many industries that don’t use video as a common practice. If your competitors don’t yet use video, you’ll be able to set yourself apart by using video on your website.

In this age where people want instant gratification and easily accessible information, videos provide an easy method of relaying information to others. At the click of a button, you can promote your brand, advertise a special, make an announcement, sell your service, etc. rather than requiring your target market to read text.

When compared to traditional methods of promoting products like text ads, banner ads, and printed promotions, videos are more cost effective and provide a much more valuable and memorable experience for the end-user.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5838810

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Using YouTube Videos to Increase SEO and Brand Awareness

YouTube videos can be an excellent tool for entrepreneurs and marketers when launching an online campaign. Upon setting up a YouTube channel, use the steps following to increase brand awareness online. It’s also possible to gain an advantage in terms of increasing brand visibility using this method. YouTube videos are a helpful way to share with online communities and search engine users alike.

1 – Choose a Video Topic

There are many options in choosing a topic for video marketing on YouTube. Consider if focusing on new or innovative ways of using products as a possible topic. Or demonstrate your expertise as an entrepreneur to gain credibility and a following. You can also get a lot of mileage out of testimonials. The topic and how you choose to display it in video, you are only limited by your imagination.

As an online marketer, you will want to begin thinking of a series of videos that will continually bring viewers back to your website time and again. Over time, your brand will develop through this medium.

2 – Video Recording

Once you have selected the topic and format of your video, you can plan out some scenes, your dialogue and then start recording. What technology you choose to do this is not as important as the information you convey. Some online marketers have recorded effective videos on their mobile phones, in contrast to others who have used high definition video recorders.

Keep your videos direct, focused and below 2 minutes for the best results. Once you have recorded everything, use a photo editing software to clean it up.

3 – SEO Video Tactics

Once the video is ready for viewing by a broader audience, upload it to your YouTube video channel. Optimize it for SEO by including the best keywords into the title, metadata and feeds. Be sure that a link of your website is displayed prominently to encourage plenty of organic traffic. By doing this, you will generate back linking and encourage others to share the video on their websites and blogs.

4 – Earn More Video Views

In addition to creating new YouTube videos, entrepreneurs should be on the look out for complimentary videos shared by other online marketers. Post your own video feed or link in response to their videos to generate more views of your video in the comments section. You can also try promoting your videos on social networking sites like Facebook and twitter, which attract millions of viewers daily. Ask that friends share your video links with their networks for even more traffic.

While video marketing is somewhat more challenging than other forms of marketing, it’s also a lot of fun and can reach a much larger audience. As an entrepreneur, you have much to gain by using video marketing to improve your brand’s visibility and influence online.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6142081

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Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Huge Disclaimer, it is no wonder that I say you SHOULD outsource your social media, I have a social media marketing company!

 What Is A Social Media Marketing Expert

A true social media marketing expert is actually a marketing expert who is using social media as ONE of the tools in their marketing arsenal. Every bit of marketing touches the social media platform including branding, sending a cohesive message, targeting the correct prospect, lead follow-up and more, all the way through the sales cycle and onto a sale. Okay, so a social media guru is actually an expert marketer. I get asked the question a lot which social media outlet do you like the most and if you could choose only one to use what would it be? Well each of them have a unique way of helping to grow your business. Such as Facebook builds an online community and is an easy way to reach out to people, Twitter is a huge traffic driver to your website, LinkedIn a wonderful online resume tool and a way for people to see what your experience has been also to connect to ideal clients, YouTube is such a popular tool people use and allows people to see your personality, also allowing them to learn from you while driving traffic to your site, Blogging is great because you are staying in front of Google and you show people why you are an expert in what you do.

Who Is NOT A Social Media Marketing Expert?

I am on A LOT of mailing lists and get all kinds of come-ons from people wanting to sell me get rich quick schemes. One of the biggies right now is to sell either social media marketing or local marketing and start raking in the dough. An expert has NOT taken a class called anything like this:

  • New Webinar! Become a Local Marketing Expert
  • 10-no-4 Days to Become a Social Media Expert
  • Make money as a social media strategist
  • How to become an internet marketing expert in a short time…
  • This came in when I was writing this post, “The real kicker is that: most of your revenue is pure profit! Stuff we consider “basic” is mind blowing to most, if not all, local business owners.”

Should You Outsource Your Social Media Marketing Or Keep In In House?

So now we have established what a social media marketing expert is, the next question is should you outsource it to an agency or company or keep it in-house?

  • If you are not looking at hiring someone who has just left college, the kid who types really fast or a 10-to-4 day “expert”, you are looking at paying that person between 60K and 80K a year. We have some great horror stories from the trenches about how “the kid” set up the whole business network under his own name, left the company and reeked havoc for the next few months. Hiring a reputable company to do your social media eliminates this problem.
  • You are going to have to provide benefits and taxes for that employee which would not be necessary if you outsource.
  • If you are hiring a marketing guru, you are still probably going to have to get them some admin help. I can tell you this from experience, the person who is creative and has a brilliant marketing mind does not always have the best admin skills like the everyday tasks that go on in a business. We hire people  who implement the marketing plans that we work out with our customers and make sure the daily tasks get done for your business needs.
  • There are economies of scale for a business to buy the latest software and attend the high level trainings needed to stay up-to-date. When you are spreading the cost of these items over multiple clients, it makes sense to keep to the cutting edge! We are always keeping up to date with the new software, tips & tricks. Remember that is what we do for a living!
  • We have programmers and others resources to help when the Social Networks change what we need to do. The easiest example of this is Facebook eliminating the FBML capabilities that we used to use to make pages. I got our programmer on it and he sent over the two page document on how we should do it now!

Okay, Why SHOULD You Keep Your Social Media Marketing In House?

It comes down to CONTROL you want to have control over what that person is doing and how they are spending your money and time! That is a valid point and will have to be taken into consideration. I CAN tell you that with frequent communication with your marketing company, you can stay on top of this easily. There will always still be a personal responsibility you will have in your marketing.

No one loves my company like I do – If you are a small company or a start-up, the owner or manager can probably do a bit of social media marketing. My question to you is, I KNOW you love your company, but do you love marketing? Having the best intentions in the world doesn’t help if you do not have the technical and education chops to back them up.

I can get an intern to do it for free
– I have tried interns, you teach them, they work for a bit and then leave. Walking back the cat to figure out what they did can take your next marketing person hours or days to figure out! Additionally, you get what you pay for and when you are paying nothing it is hard to expect the kind of dedication that you can get from a real business. Remember they can probably take care of some easy daily social media tasks but they probably do not understand the marketing side of social media and internet marketing in order to get you a ROI. (Return on Investment)

What Types Of Business Should Outsource Their Social Media Marketing?

  • Business to consumer businesses do well on Social Media as they have a product that people would be interested when they are just surfing around having fun on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally there are neat ways to bring items to market that consumers look on favorably if done right.
  • Business to business marketing is trickier, as you need to position yourself correctly to find comparable areas to market in and be very careful to make sure that your offerings are social, not salesy. I see this done wrong all the time!
  • Local companies are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of social media because of the ability to target geographic regions in friending and following. These types of businesses fair VERY well in the social media realm.
  • Businesses with lots of “stuff” are great to promote. If you hold meetings with different topics, sell a million kinds of shoes or have a ton of different product offerings (like pawn shops and ebayers, social media can be a great way to get the word out!
  • Highly regulated industries. Okay I know that I am going to take heat on this one, BUT I have to say that a financial services guy who positions himself correctly would have a very bare playing field to compete on. This takes finesse and should work within the bounds of your state or federal licensing.
  • Restaurants and bars have fun people doing fun things. We have a couple of restaurants that we work with and they are the neatest peeps because of the activity and the fact that they are inherently social anyways!

There you have it, multiple reasons to outsource your social media marketing. If you are interested in finding out more about social media marketing, give us a call 720-338-6996 or email us with questions YourMarketingVoice@yahoo.com

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How to get “Likes” on Facebook

Are you finding it difficult to get people to like you on your Facebook page?
There’s a way you can increase your following quickly . . . if you do it the right way. Yes, there is a right way to get people to like you and it is very much the same as making friends. This right way is where so many people go wrong because they treat it differently than they do when they make a friend in the “real world.”

Guess what? The Internet is the “real world” because it consists of the same people. Are you treating them differently? 

Get Likes on Facebook: Give People a Reason to “Like” You
People aren’t just going to randomly “like” your page.

First, you need to know who your ideal market is, you can do this by knowing their interests, likes, professional where they live and more. Introduce yourself. The best way to do that is to “like” them first and tell them you look forward to connecting with them or to seeing more from them.

Also, compliments go a long way. Show them you are paying attention to what they have to say and it is a two-way street.

Interact with the people who have “liked” the same page. An excellent way to say, “Hey, notice me” is to pay attention to the comments on the posts of the page you have liked and “like” their comment. This will show up in their notifications and it’s a way of introducing yourself to people outside of “pages.” It’s a way to expand your exposure to your target market.

It’s Not All About You (Hard to believe huh?)
The best way to get likes on Facebook is to realize that it is not all about you and what you can do for them or what you have done. It’s about giving to others first and helping others succeed. If you do that, people will have no option but to stop an notice you, and like your page!

Others that share the same niche are not necessarily your competition. In fact they may actually be your future business partners, cross promotion opportunities, or collaboration partners. The key here is to identify some excellent people, teams, or businesses that stand out to you and you truly believe are doing an excellent job. Remember everybody has a different niche or specialty.

Interact with these people, promote their relevant products or services. Promote them without any expectation of anything in return. Do it because you are establishing relationships with other people you respect in your area of expertise. You’re providing value to your readers and you’ll give yourself the opportunity to learn from other experts.

Get Likes on Facebook by Being Likable
A way to get likes on Facebook is to be yourself. People will sense it if you’re not being yourself and they’ll probably run in the opposite direction as fast as they possibly can. Be authentic and creative. Show your personality.

Allow for people to actually get to know YOU, not your business necessarily. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you are not well liked, it doesn’t matter if you have the best deal in the world. People will hide when they see you coming to avoid you and they’ll find what you offer from someone they like.

Ask yourself, “Would you do business with someone that introduced themself with a sales pitch? Facebook is NOT a place to sell, it truly is a place to build relationships and find people all over the world! Your reputation is created by the way you present yourself. You can present yourself as likable or as that person who keeps trying to sell something to somebody blatantly. Remember what goes up on Facebook represent who you are as a person, so if there are inappropriate pictures on your personal page, people can find them and may not want to do business with you or like your page. Regardless if you own your own business or work for a fortune 500 company, your reputation is all you have.

You will be amazed at how you’ll get likes on Facebook because of your personality and the way you present yourself. And if you can master that, you will then be able to introduce your business.

What’s your experience? Do you get likes on Facebook?

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Video Marketing

This article I found at http://onemarketmedia.com/blog/2010/08/7-habits-of-highly-effective-video-marketing/ Great information!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Video MarketingVideo is now on every marketer’s to do list. Why? Because web video and rich media engages, persuades and motivates like no other marketing tool. In deference to Mr. Covey I present seven ideas that if done well will help make your next video successful:

1. Tell a good story.
Sure it sounds simple, even trite, but good storytelling is just as important to video marketing and advertising as it is to film making. Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. They make us think. They make us feel. If told well, they inspire us.

At the heart of any good story is an emotional appeal – it may be subtle or it may be dramatic, but without that emotional connection, the story is quickly forgotten.

A good story has some or all of the following attributes:
Good stories don’t appeal to everyone
– your story should be targeted to the people that you are most interested in communicating with. (These are also the people most likely to socialize your story) if you try to appeal to everyone, you might end up appealing to no one. (B2N)
Good stories resonate
– they are familiar and strike a chord with the audience because they can relate to the story being told. Have you tested your video idea with selected members of  your target  audience before you start production? If not, why not?
Good stories are credible – the story teller, the content and the outcome of the story have to work together and all have to be believable, trusted – your audience can see through the lies (the hype and the exaggeration).
Good stories are usually simple – they can be grand tales or ripping yarns but in the end the best stories have a simple outcome and a simple message. Keep the razzle to a minimum and forget the dazzle.

The goal should always be to create engaging presentations that tell a good story. What’s your story?

2. Show them, don’t tell them.
A video of someone using your product and extolling it’s virtues is far more powerful (and credible) than animated text or a series of photos.  Educators and trainers have long known that the true benefit of video is that it generates much higher retention rates because it engages more than one of the senses at the same time. Retention rates can triple when what you hear is being reinforced by what you see. That doesn’t mean a talking head is necessarily more engaging than an audio podcast or a brochure ‐ you still have to present compelling content that engages your audience.
The ability to show your customers how your product works, how it solves their problems and how it is used by others is where video marketing is unsurpassed as a vehicle to engage and persuade your audience. A page by page walk-through of your software interface may be helpful – but it doesn’t demonstrate to prospects the benefits of your product or how it fits into their processes or business cycles. It’s not about you or your product or service – it’s about how your product or service can help solve your customers problem. Show your customers exactly how your product or service  solves their problem! (this is especially important in the early stages of the buying cycle.)
Video, animation and interactive flash programming can build compelling visual examples of exactly how your products work and why they solve your customers’ problems.
• Testimonials are more compelling when you see and hear a customer talk about their experience with your product.
• Case studies are more engaging when you can actually see how a customer integrates your product in to their process and how your product measurably improves your customer’s bottom line.
• Product demos are far more powerful when you illustrate (i.e. using video or  information graphics ) exactly how your patented process works and benefits your customers.
The power of video and rich media is in its ability to demonstrate the tangible benefits that a product or service can offer.

3. Choose your words very carefully.
There are many important components that go into creating an effective video: Using the right equipment, the proper location, 0n-screen presenters, motion graphics, and music are all critical components to the creation of engaging communications tools. None of these however, are more important than the script (either a formal script or at least speaking points that summarize what should be mentioned in the video.)

Some things to consider when developing a script or on-screen talking points outline:
•Do you understand the key issues affecting your industry?
•What are the top three messages that you have to communicate?
• Are you clearly outlining the benefits that will best resonate with your target audience?
•Are you speaking your customer’s language?

The script is the ‘what’ in the video development process. Everything else is the ‘how’. Far too many corporate videos simply focus on the ‘how’. It is critical that the video development company you engage has expertise in marketing writing and positioning. Style won’t count for much if your message doesn’t resonate with your audience. Deciding on the right thing to say is always more important than how that information is ultimately presented.

Unscripted doesn’t mean unstructured.‘ Spontaneous’,  unscripted videos are becoming more commonplace on the internet as this type of presentation provides a natural tone and authenticity that resonates well with viewers. This doesn’t mean a lot of effort and planning doesn’t go into what questions are asked, how people on-camera respond and how the final product is edited. Even if a formal script is not developed, the business objective, structure and desired outcome of the video should all be considered and coordinated during the pre‐ and post‐production stages. You should never start a video project without knowing EXACTLY what you want the video to communicate.

4. Build‐in Interaction (and ultimately, conversion).
The more interaction you can build into the experience the more engaged the viewer is with your brand. Interest, engagement and interaction should be the goals of web-based video . “Click here to…” is a good start. What do you want the viewer to do when they have finished watching your web video? How deep do you want to take your viewer in
an interactive presentation? Here is a short list of options to include when building your online presentations:
•Click here to find out more about this service
• Click here to read a white paper on this topic
• Click here to watch a related presentation
• Fill out a quick survey to discover if you are qualified for this promotion
• Take a quick poll to see how you stack up in the market
• Click here to have a technical expert answer your questions
• Please help us improve our communications by rating this presentation
• Sign up now for our weekly industry update
Conversion is the goal. Whatever your conversion mechanism is you want your customers and prospects to take the next step.

5. Chose the right format, structure  and style of video.
Abraham Maslow’s quote, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer – every problem looks like a nail’ applies well to video marketing. The number of web marketing service providers is growing. Many of these specialize in one specific format: ”business animation and information graphics” or ”only photo–based flash presentations.” Some proclaim that their presentation time limit (2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, etc.) is “the right one for the web” or that “their platform is the only way to be truly effective”. Of course none of them are necessarily right… or wrong. Every business problem is unique and there is a multitude of rich media tools and methods to solve your important communications problems. Consider alternative approaches and formats before committing.

The term ‘corporate video’ made sense ten years ago when most corporate videos were the same. Today there are  many different ways (here are 42 examples) you can use video to promote your brand.

6. Consider the only perspective that matters: Your Customer’s.
It’s not about you or your product. There are lots of  companies just like yours and frankly, it’s getting tougher to tell them apart. Posting canned videos of your executives or beauty shots of your facilities to your website won’t move the dial. And unless you are Apple or Victoria’s Secret no one is really that interested in your product. They are only interested in the comfort, status, utility or pleasure that your product conveys. These are the things that you need to be promoting. Like any purpose-built marketing material, your web video  should be developed with a single goal in mind: How do I communicate my companies understanding of, and solutions to, my customers’ problems.

7. Define business objectives (and outcomes) first.
As the use of web‐based video grows in popularity it’s important to remember that video marketing is a means to end, not an end in itself. There are far too many marketing articles that discuss how to get video up on your website without ever mentioning why.
Indeed, a well produced video is one of the most persuasive marketing tools available and building interactive presentations is a great way to engage your audience. But putting an unprepared executive in front of a camera, re-purposing old corporate presentations or having some guys from the mail-room put together a ‘viral’ video won’t bear fruit. Worse yet, bad video is even harder to ignore than bad print material.
Consider the following when planning to implement video on your website:
• At what stage of the buying cycle are you targeting your prospects? I.e. Product presentations (that highlight benefits – the customer’s perspective) are more appropriate during the consideration phase. Product demos (that highlight features – your perspective) are more helpful during the comparison phase.
• Who is your audience? If your answer is “…well, everyone really” you’re probably wasting your money. The vast majority of YouTube viewers are not your audience. There is a considerable difference between ‘views’ and ‘targeted views.’ Creating one broadly focused web video might add value but you should also consider breaking your web video into discreet pieces that speak to specific audiences. Successful marketing always starts with targeting.
• What are the measurable business outcomes? How do you measure success? You should be able to quantify the business value by measuring click‐thru’s, registrations, time spent watching the presentation or some other objective business metric.

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16 Tips for Successful Online Video Marketing

This was a great article I came across and wanted to share with you . . .

social media toolsThere’s no doubt that online video marketing is on the rise.  Numerous studies and statistics prove that video works.  In fact, Forrester Research found that videos were 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages.  That’s a pretty impressive stat!

Online video marketing is attractive to many businesses today for numerous reasons.  Making videos and posting them online is fairly inexpensive.  Plus, online videos stay online forever.  If you spend the money to record once, your video could still be getting views a year from now.

In addition, social media sites and video go hand in hand and most sites encourage video posting and sharing. The viral video opportunities are endless when you use the right strategies to create and post your videos online.

If you’re new to video, or have been thinking about flipping on your camera for the first time, here are some tips and strategies to get you going.

Six Quick Tips to Optimize Your Videos

Once you record your video, follow these tips to make sure it reaches your core audience and gets the views it deserves.

#1: Make your title count

Just like a headline to a blog post, video titles can pull powerful traffic.  There are two main reasons why the title is so important.  One, a great title can instantly grab a viewer’s attention.  Two, when you use the appropriate keywords in your title, you are more likely to show up on search engines when people are searching for your topic.  And remember Google owns YouTube, so there’s a story connection between video and searching.

#2: Provide excellent content

Take some time to think about your ideal viewer.  What do you know that they’ll find valuable?  What can you teach them?  “How-to” videos are extremely successful because not only do they offer great value to your viewer, but also you’re able to showcase your knowledge and skill, thus positioning yourself as an expert.  This is key as you continue to grow your brand.

Also, no matter how good your content is, it won’t matter if your video is too long and you lose your viewer’s attention.  Try to keep them short.

In late 2009, ComScore reported that the average video was 3.8 minutes in length.

#3: Include your URL in your video

When you edit your video, take advantage of the different editing features.  One easy feature is to add a text box to your video.  This is where you can display your website address and it’s a great way to get exposure.

Here’s a screen shot of Mari Smith’s YouTube channel.  Notice how she used a text box in her video to display key information, including her website URL at the end of her video.  Smart move!

#4: Take advantage of video’s branding opportunities

For branding purposes, have your company logo displayed prominently somewhere on the screen.  You can do this at all times, or during key times in your video.

In the image below, notice how the company logo is displayed in the upper-left corner.  You can display your logo throughout your video or only at key times.

#5: Always provide an HTML link

When you post on YouTube, you have the option to write a short description of your video.  Always start with the link you want to drive your viewers to so you don’t miss this key opportunity.

Here’s a snapshot of the description boxes from one of my YouTube videos.  Notice the placement of my website URL (it’s the first thing you want to put in the box!) and the keywords I used in my title as well as the description.

#6: Go beyond YouTube

Most people post their videos on YouTube.  In addition to this, make sure to always embed your video on your own website.  This will increase the amount of time people spend on your website and help grow a captive audience.

Also, Google’s algorithms consider how many times a video is viewed, and embedded video views you receive get added to the ‘views’ tally on YouTube.  This is important for showing up in Google search results!

How to Supercharge Your Videos

To make sure your video stands out above all the clutter on the web, here are a few strategies that will give your videos an extra boost.

  1. Create a Campaign: To get noticed, think beyond stand-alone videos.  For greater reach and exposure, create a series of content-rich videos that you publish regularly.  Not only will this create a great synergy around your content, but it will also allow you to build upon your brand identity as each video is released.
  2. Always Include a Call to Action: Never miss the opportunity to ask your viewers to take some type of action at the end of your video.  You can ask them to sign up for your newsletter, go to a specific website, leave a comment about your video or visit your blog.  If your video is good, you’ll likely have their full attention; make sure to take advantage of it!
  3. Don’t Make a Sales Pitch: There is a lot of sales clutter on the web and you want to make sure you come out above this.  There is nothing wrong with selling your products or services, but use your video to define a problem, discuss solutions and support others—when you combine the three, your video will attract the right following.

Basic Keyword Strategies

There’s no shortage of information online for keyword strategies.  Here are some of the basics you will want to pay attention to as you create your videos:

  • To optimize your YouTube videos, make sure to use keywords in your videos’ titles, descriptions, and tags.
  • Use your website’s text pages as a kind of “map” for Google. To help the search engines figure out what your videos are about, embed videos into text pages on your site that are relevant to your video.
  • Target specific search phrases, not just search words.  For example, instead of using “cupcakes” as a keyword for an organic bakery, use “cupcakes with organic frosting” for a better chance of showing up on the front of search results.

Ten Ideas to Spark Your Video Creativity

#1: Educate

Tell people about your product or services.  Give the details on features and benefits.  Tell them everything they’ll receive once they make the purchase.

#2: Answer questions

What do you get asked most about your product or services?  Most of us can think of a list of at least 5 to 10 questions we get asked often.  Make short 2- to 3-minute videos clips where you state the question and then the answer.  These are easy to make and extremely valuable to your prospects.

#3: Do a product review

 Find a product or service that would be of interest to your niche and your audience and do a review on its benefits and features.

#4: Grow your list

If you have a business, you need a list of potential clients.  Make a video to encourage your prospects to give you their name and email in exchange for something you will give them.  You can give away an ebook, an article (tips, strategies and how-tos are always popular), a tutorial video, a free consultation, a type of assessment, etc.  Figure out what your prospects would find most valuable and create a giveaway around that. (Here’s a hint:  give away your best stuff.  Don’t hold back.)

#5: Talk about your case studies and results

Make a video about the results you were able to achieve while working with a client or talk about a case study and show what you did for them and how you can do the same for the viewer.  You can also show a case study of someone who did not follow your guidance or use the method you teach and failed. Another similar idea is to read testimonials from your most satisfied customers while weaving in key examples.

#6: Tell a story

People can relate to you when you tell a compelling story.  Weave a lesson into your story as a takeaway.  You can also tell about an event from your past that has shaped who you are or how you do business today.

#7: Debunk myths

Talk about the top three myths in your industry and give real examples to show why they are truly myths.

#8: Take your viewers behind the scenes

Take your viewers outside of your office and show yourself in your “natural surroundings.”  If appropriate, introduce your family and show things that are meaningful to you.  Tie in some of your business secrets—how you organize your business, what type of setup you use to get things done, etc.  Pull back the curtains and give tips on how you do business.

#9: Ask questions and answer them

Ask your viewers some key questions that will spark conversation about their wants and needs as they relate to your niche.  Personally answer the question yourself and then ask your viewers to leave their answers below in the comments section.  This will start discussion.

#10: Additional video opportunities

There is so much you can do with video.  Besides filming yourself, you can also do screen captures (ScreenFlow for Macs and Camtasia for PCs are great options), slideshows, and use Keynote or PowerPoint slides to tell your story.

Here’s a short video to show you how ScreenFlow works:

One more piece of advice:  Don’t try to be perfect! I can guarantee that you will not like your first take of any video you record.  And it is of course fine to redo it a few times.  But don’t let multiple video takes slow you down.  Make a promise to yourself that you will do your best, and then move on.  With each video you publish, your confidence will increase and you will get better with time.

Here’s my challenge to you. If you are new at video, make the commitment that you will record a video in the next 24 hours.  Just dive in and try it!  The longer you wait, the faster your competition will claim their video space and run with it.

Give it a try and report back to let us know about your successes.

What’s been your experience with video? Share your video making tips and experiences in the comment box below.

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