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The complete internet marketing guide

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Onlinecreativespace.com
Onlinecreativespace.com
2 | P a g e
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All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or tran...
Onlinecreativespace.com
3 | P a g e
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The complete internet marketing guide

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Running a business that relies on another company, such as Google, to do something such as give you a good ranking, is not running a business at all – that’s simply placing a gamble and hoping that websites, which are outside of your control, work in your favor.

When you run a real business, you control the variables, not some other company, website, social media platform, or search engine. In this course, we are going to teach you all of the steps and provide you with all of the materials that you need to build your business online.
This training is a very high quality, 10-Part training that will teach you as a business owner many different ways to attract new customers, while lowering your customer acquisition costs in the process.

Running a business that relies on another company, such as Google, to do something such as give you a good ranking, is not running a business at all – that’s simply placing a gamble and hoping that websites, which are outside of your control, work in your favor.

When you run a real business, you control the variables, not some other company, website, social media platform, or search engine. In this course, we are going to teach you all of the steps and provide you with all of the materials that you need to build your business online.
This training is a very high quality, 10-Part training that will teach you as a business owner many different ways to attract new customers, while lowering your customer acquisition costs in the process.

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The complete internet marketing guide

  1. 1. Onlinecreativespace.com
  2. 2. Onlinecreativespace.com 2 | P a g e Copyright Notice All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, including: electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval without express written, dated, and signed permission from the author.
  3. 3. Onlinecreativespace.com 3 | P a g e Disclaimers ANY EARNINGS/INCOME STATEMENTS AND/OR EARNINGS/INCOME EXAMPLES ARE ONLY ESTIMATES OF WHAT WE THINK YOU COULD EARN. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU'LL DO AS WELL OR EARN ANY MONEY AT ALL. ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS, ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AVERAGE EARNINGS. THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT ANY PRIOR SUCCESSES OR PAST RESULTS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS, CAN BE USED AS AN INDICATION OF YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS OR RESULTS. MONETARY AND INCOME RESULTS ARE BASED ON MANY FACTORS. WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW WELL YOU WILL DO, AS WE DO NOT KNOW YOU, YOUR BACKGROUND, YOUR WORK ETHIC, OR YOUR BUSINESS SKILLS OR PRACTICES. WE DO NOT, THEREFORE, GUARANTEE OR IMPLY THAT YOU WILL MAKE ANY SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF MONEY. AS WITH ALL TYPES OF BUSINESSES, INTERNET BUSINESSES HAVE UNKNOWN RISKS INVOLVED TOO AND ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE. MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON ANY INFORMATION PRESENTED IN OUR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, EMAILS, OR WEBSITE SHOULD ONLY BE DONE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU COULD EXPERIENCE SIGNIFICANT LOSSES, OR MAKE NO MONEY AT ALL. ALL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED AND RECOMMENDED BY OUR COMPANY ARE FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. USE CAUTION AND SEEK THE ADVICE OF QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS. CHECK WITH YOUR ACCOUNTANT, LAWYER, OR PROFESSIONAL ADVISER, BEFORE ACTING ON THIS OR ANY INFORMATION. USERS OF OUR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND WEBSITE, AS WELL AS SUBSCRIBERS TO OUR EMAILS, ARE ADVISED TO DO THEIR OWN DUE DILIGENCE WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING BUSINESS DECISIONS. ALL INFORMATION, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED SHOULD BE INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS. OUR INFORMATION, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED AND EVALUATED BEFORE REACHING A BUSINESS DECISION ON WHETHER TO ACT ON THIS INFORMATION. YOU AGREE THAT OUR COMPANY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF YOUR BUSINESS DECISIONS RELATING TO ANY INFORMATION PRESENTED BY OUR COMPANY, OUR COMPANY'S PRODUCTS OR SERVICES, OR THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES WE RECOMMEND.
  4. 4. Onlinecreativespace.com 4 | P a g e Table of Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 Step #1: Introduction and Overview of List Building ………………………………….7 Step #2: Creating Effective Outgoing Messages to Send Subscribers ………..11 Step #3: Building a List / How to Get Subscribers……………………….……………..22 Step #4: How to Use Social Media to Attract Customers…………………………..29 Step #5: Leveraging Authority Sites to Generate Viral Traffic ……………….....39 Step #6: Protecting Your Company’s Online Reputation ……………………….....47 Step #7: How to Write and Submit a Press Release for Free Publicity ………57 Step #8: Search Engine Optimization & Tracking Website Traffic ……………..71 Step #9: Pay Per Click Advertising ………………………………………..…………………..82 Step #10: Highly Targeted Offline Marketing……………………..……………………..99 Conclusion:………………………………………………………………………….…………………...108
  5. 5. Onlinecreativespace.com 5 | P a g e INTRODUCTION Dear Friend, First, thank you for your purchase. Your decision to invest in this course is something that we take extremely seriously. Providing you with value is a Responsibility that we don’t take lightly. Onlinecreativespace.com is a digital marketing agency that endeavours to present simple systematic, easy ways to understand and implement effective online marketing strategies to entrepreneurs or small businesses in a cost effective manner. We have been in the digital marketing industry for over 8 years now and over the years we have seen that the biggest challenge by far that small businesses have is growing their revenue. We’ve put this Training together because we truly believe that people, of all experience levels, have the greatest opportunity to build a solid business online, with no experience and starting from scratch with the information we are about to share with you. Before we get going, though, we want to make sure that you understand a few critical things. First, the business model that we are about to teach you is not a magic potion that will shoot money out of your computer screen, when you get to the last page of the training. This is a business that will take some effort on your part, or on the part of anyone you might choose to hire, to do the work for you. The second crucial point that needs to be made is the following: The general concept itself is not a “top secret” internet marketing method that an enlightened monk whispered into my ear, high atop a mountain in Nepal. This might sound harsh, but we need to make sure that we’re all operating in reality, before we get into the meat and potatoes of this business model. The majority of people who are making substantial amounts of money online are just doing fundamental things that work, not “secrets that they stumbled upon” or “loopholes” that only they know about.
  6. 6. Onlinecreativespace.com 6 | P a g e Specifically, we wanted to show you a business model that is solid, that works, and that other people are successfully doing each day. More importantly, though, we wanted to ensure that you didn’t have to invest hundreds of dollars into running expensive ads or hiring content creators. We also didn’t want to provide you with an opportunity that would require you to have advanced technical skills or expertise. Additionally, We wanted to make sure that We provided you with an opportunity that will still work 10 years from now, which also has tens of millions of potential customers for your business. Additionally, this is not a business that will require Google, Facebook, or any other highly influential website to rank you well or look favourably upon you in order to succeed. Running a business that relies on another company, such as Google, to do something such as give you a good ranking, is not running a business at all – that’s simply placing a gamble and hoping that websites, which are outside of your control, work in your favour. When you run a real business, you control the variables, not some other company, website, social media platform, or search engine. In this course, we are going to teach you all of the steps and provide you with all of the materials that you need to build your business online. This training is a very high quality, 10-Part training that will teach you as a business owner many different ways to attract new customers, while lowering your customer acquisition costs in the process.
  7. 7. Onlinecreativespace.com 7 | P a g e Step #1: Introduction and Overview of List Building Welcome to the customer acquisition training! When it comes to properly harnessing the power of the internet, most companies and business professionals go about it all wrong. Specifically, most businesses put up a basic website and consider their work done. This common approach does not even begin to utilize the immense power of the internet, within the context of bringing in new customers and maximizing your profit potential. One of the most powerful ways of attracting new customers and maximizing the lifetime value of each customer is to build an email list. An email list will enable you to send out special offers and communicate with your customers on an ongoing basis. There is an incredibly inexpensive tool that can automate the entire process of sending out emails to your customers and people who have requested to receive emails from your company. The tool that automates this entire process is known as an “autoresponder”. While it may have a funny-sounding name, an autoresponder has the power to generate revenue for your business, each time you send out an email to the people on your autoresponder’s email list. In a nutshell, autoresponders collect the email addresses of people who would like to receive your emails, they send emails to everyone on your list or to “sub-lists” that you can choose to create within your autoresponder (e.g.
  8. 8. Onlinecreativespace.com 8 | P a g e customer lists, prospect lists, etc.), and they automatically remove people from your e-mail list if they choose to unsubscribe or “opt-out” of receiving future messages from you. Marketing professionals and experienced business owners commonly use the phrase “the money’s in the list”. This expression applies to online businesses as well as offline businesses. As you may have guessed, this common expression refers to the fact that a company’s profitability is often directly tied to their email list of customers and prospects. Conversely, businesses that do not communicate with their customers and prospects, through autoresponders, are leaving an enormous amount of profit on the table for their competitors. It’s absolutely vital to understand that the majority of people who reach your website are not going to do business with you the first time they visit your site. In fact, the majority of people will click away from your site, never to return again. Without offering your website visitors the ability to receive relevant emails and offers from your company, the people who visit your site and click away will be of no monetary value to your company. On the other hand, if someone who visits your site doesn’t purchase anything when they’re at your website, but they do enter their email address, to join your list, you now have the ability to email them special offers, which they might be interested in at some future point.
  9. 9. Onlinecreativespace.com 9 | P a g e In realizing that most people do not make a purchase the first time they visit a website or the first time they are exposed to your company’s products and services, it becomes apparent as to why it’s crucial to invite people to join your company’s email list. It should also be noted that having an email list of your company’s customers and prospects is considered to be an extremely valuable asset. If the time were to ever come, when you were to sell your business or simply have your business appraised, your company’s customer and prospect list(s) would definitely increase the overall value of your company. Savvy business owners and marketers understand that a customer list, and even a targeted prospect list, is basically the equivalent of having your own money machine, which can generate revenue whenever you sound out an email. Whether you have any plans to sell your business in the future or not, it simply makes good business sense to enable yourself to generate revenue, each time you decide to send out an email to the people on your list. Autoresponders are, in our opinion, the most cost-effective way to communicate with your customers on an ongoing basis. From a cost standpoint, you’d be hard pressed to find another marketing tool or advertising method that allows you to communicate with your customers and prospects, on an unlimited basis, for such a low cost. In our opinion, CLICK HERE for the best autoresponder for small-to-medium sized businesses.
  10. 10. Onlinecreativespace.com 10 | P a g e The ability to reach your customers and prospects, on an unlimited basis, for such a low cost, is critical for businesses that wish to retain or grow their market share. In the next lesson, we will be going over exactly how to use your autoresponder to its fullest potential, to maximize profits. In the meantime, though, we highly encourage you to sign up for your autoresponder by CLICKING HERE. There are a few simple sign-up steps when you set up your autoresponder. To ensure that you’re able to implement the steps we will be teaching you in the next lesson, we strongly recommend getting those sign-up steps completed now. Also, please keep in mind that we will be showing you some incredible ways to attract new customers, in many of the upcoming lessons. In order to realize the full potential of many of the methods that we’re going to reveal to you, it’s ideal to have a way to obtain your customers’ and prospects’ email addresses. Otherwise, you will only be gaining a small fraction of the benefits that you could realize, with the ability to collect the email addresses of people who are interested in your company’s products and services. We look forward to teaching you how to fully harness the power of autoresponders in the next lesson.
  11. 11. Onlinecreativespace.com 11 | P a g e Step #2: Creating Effective Outgoing Messages to Send Subscribers By this point, you should have signed up for your autoresponder service, so that you can begin to maximize your profits by simply sending emails out to your customers and prospects. If you haven’t signed up for your autoresponder service yet, CLICK HERE so that you can implement the steps in this second lesson. Today we’re going to show you how to craft enticing emails, to maximize your profitability and build strong relationships with the people on your List(s). Once you have these emails set up, we’ll be able to focus on showing you how to add customers and prospects to your list, so that you can communicate with them on an ongoing basis. Note: Before we continue, it’s best to have your autoresponder’s opt-in / sign- up form set up somewhere on your website. Please follow instructions in the video below on how to get started with the autoresponder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1011&v=hZjyenUNro4&fe ature=emb_logo If you personally do not have the time or inclination to set up your autoresponder form on your website, like the idea, but don’t have the time to do this yourself? When you set up your opt-in form on your website , be sure to give your website visitors a tempting reason to sign up to your list in the first place.
  12. 12. Onlinecreativespace.com 12 | P a g e Your offer could be a special discount on a particular product or service, a set of coupons that you’ll email them as soon as they sign up, or simply a free membership on your “VIP List”, which might include “early bird” access to new products and services, special VIP Member Discounts, or inside information that only your VIP Members will be told about. Just be sure to think of something special that your customers and prospects would want, when deciding on what to offer them in exchange for them signing up to your email list. OK, assuming that your autoresponder is set up and ready to receive subscribers at your website, it’s time to create some emails that will have your prospects and existing customers coming back to you, to purchase additional products and services. Keep in mind that there are two types of emails that you can send out to your subscribers: “Scheduled” emails and “Broadcasts”. A scheduled email, as the name implies is an email that you pre-load into your autoresponder. When you add a scheduled email into your autoresponder, you decide when your subscribers will receive the email, in relation to when they first signed up to your list. For example, you could specify that you want all of your subscribers to receive a particular, scheduled email 3 days after they sign-up to your list. Once you’ve loaded your scheduled email into your autoresponder and you’ve specified when you want the email to go out, you never have to do anything with that email again.
  13. 13. Onlinecreativespace.com 13 | P a g e From that point forward, all of your subscribers will receive that particular email, on the specific number of days after they signed up, as pre-determined by you. On the other hand, with a “Broadcast” email, all of your subscribers will receive this type of email at the same time, regardless of when they signed up to your list. Obviously, the main drawback to a broadcast email is that it will only go out the subscribers who are on your list at the time the broadcast email is sent. Subscribers who join your list after a broadcast email is sent out will not receive the message, unless you send out the broadcast email again. The only problem with this, of course, is that your current subscribers will then get the broadcast email a second time. With this in mind, it’s usually best to try and focus primarily on sending out scheduled email. It’s ideal to send out broadcast emails for things that are more seasonal in nature or “one-time” type offers. One question that often arises is how frequently you should send emails out to your subscribers. Of course, if you send out emails too often, many of your subscribers are likely to get annoyed by all of the emails and they’ll unsubscribe from your list. On the other hand, if your subscribers never hear from you, they’ll never be able to take advantage of any special offers that you send them. Many marketing professionals will attempt to make broad sweeping statements, suggesting that all businesses should email their subscribers “x”
  14. 14. Onlinecreativespace.com 14 | P a g e number of times per week or per month. In our view, this is a highly misinformed, blanket statement to make. All business types are different and their customers often have unique buying habits. Some businesses are seasonal, while others are not. Some businesses sell high ticket items that customers may purchase once a year, or once every few years, while other businesses offer lower ticket or middle ticket items that customers purchase all throughout the year. The best person to determine a reasonable number of times to email your subscribers is you. It would be foolish of us to try and tell you what makes sense for your particular business or your market. You should know, better than anyone else, how often you think your customers would want to hear from you. Just to provide you with a few basic guidelines though, consider the following: If your customers typically only make purchases from you once a year or every few years, they would not need to hear from you more than once a week or perhaps even once every couple of weeks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your customers make purchases from you on a weekly or monthly basis, you might want to consider sending them emails weekly, since they typically would make purchases from you on a more frequent basis. Once you’ve determined how often you’d like to send out emails to your subscribers, the next thing to decide is what to actually include in your emails.
  15. 15. Onlinecreativespace.com 15 | P a g e For the most part, all of your emails should include some “call to action” or some form of value that you’re providing to your customers. Obviously, this does not mean that you should try to “hard sell” your customers in every email you send them. At the same, though, you don’t want to send emails that lack a purpose, or else your subscribers will be confused as to why you’re emailing them in the first place. Don’t forget that your “cost” to email your subscribers is extremely nominal and you can contact them as often as you want, for the very low monthly cost of your autoresponder service. In consideration of how relatively inexpensive your autoresponder service is, you don’t need to factor in expensive advertising or marketing costs, when deciding on the type of deal or special to offer your subscribers. In other words, the low monthly cost of your autoresponder service provides you with the flexibility to offer a more enticing offer to your subscribers, as compared to if you had to run an expensive ad in the newspaper or send out a costly print mailing. Clearly, only you know your profit margins and what you can and can’t afford to offer your customers. Naturally, though, the more enticing your offer, the better response you’re likely to get. Also keep in mind that you have the right to place specific terms and conditions on any special offer that you send out to your subscribers.
  16. 16. Onlinecreativespace.com 16 | P a g e Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they can’t send out special offers, because certain days or times are already busy, and so they don’t want to lose revenue, by making offers to customers who already pay full price. By simply including some basic terms and conditions into your offer, you can solve this issue entirely. Some examples of terms and conditions you could include are: “For first-time customers only” “Offer valid on Monday-Wednesday” “Offer valid between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm” “Offer valid between the hours of 2:00pm and 4:30pm” “This offer can only be used once per customer, per household” “Not valid on weekends” “Valid on purchases of $100 or more” “Valid when an item of equal or greater value is purchased” As you can see, there are many different types of terms and conditions that you could include in your offer. These terms and conditions can allow you to virtually eliminate the risk of losing current profits, while achieving your specific objective. Whether your objective includes bringing in new paying customers, increasing sales on a specific day or time of the week, or increasing sales of a particular
  17. 17. Onlinecreativespace.com 17 | P a g e product or dollar amount, you can easily target your specific goal, by simply including some basic terms and conditions. The next thing to consider is perhaps the most important part of the email that you send your subscribers: the subject line. The subject of the email is what your subscribers will see when they log in to their email and they see an email from you. A good way to think of email subject lines is like headlines for traditional print ads. If the headline or email subject line is not exciting in some way, the person is not going to continue reading the ad or, in this case, open the email. Your email could have the best offer in the world, but if the email’s subject line is poorly written, very few of your subscribers are going to take the time to open the email. The good news is that writing effective subject lines is rather simple, once you understand how. The main thing to keep in mind, when it comes to email subject lines, is that they should tell your subscriber “what’s in it for them” if they open the email. To illustrate, here are two email subject lines. You should be able to tell, right away, which subject line is effective and which one is unlikely to get a good “open rate”: 1.) Check out what we’re giving you, our valued subscriber 2.) We’ll be closed on Monday for renovations
  18. 18. Onlinecreativespace.com 18 | P a g e Hopefully, you see that #1 is a better email subject line. Of course, you might think that it would be important to send out an email, to let your customers and subscribers know that your store will be closed for a day. In reality, though, people only care about one thing: “What’s in it for me?” As a matter of fact, if you were going to be closed for renovations, you could still use subject line #1, in the example above, and then just mention that you’ll be closed for renovations in the actual body of the email, along with the actual offer that you’re providing. Just make sure that your subject lines are exciting enough to pique the curiosity of your subscribers, so that they open the email. It should go without saying, of course, that the information in the email itself should be consistent with the exciting subject line. In other words, you never want your email subject lines to be misleading or deceptive or else you’ll virtually guarantee that many people will begin to unsubscribe from your emails. With respect to the content in the actual emails that you send to your subscribers, remember this: less is more! In other words, you don’t want to send out 2,000 word emails that are pages and pages of information that your subscribers have to read through. Keep the email brief and cut right to the chase, to let your subscribers know what you’re offering them and how they can take advantage of your offer.
  19. 19. Onlinecreativespace.com 19 | P a g e On a related note, you may also want to include an expiration date or timeframe in your terms and conditions, to get your subscribers to take action sooner than later. Here’s an example of a simple, but effective email that you could send to your subscribers: Subject Line of Email: Can we give you [the name of one of your products or services]? ————————— Hi everyone, As our way of saying thank you for being our valued subscriber, we’re sending you this email voucher, so that you can receive a free [the name of one of your products or services] when a purchase of equal or great value is made. We will be extending this offer to all of our subscribers for the next three days (expires month/day/year). Simply print out this email today and bring it in between now and (last day of offer). Enjoy! Sincerely, Your Name Your Title The Name of Your Company Your Phone Number —————————
  20. 20. Onlinecreativespace.com 20 | P a g e The above email may seem rather basic, because it is. At the same time, however, it contains all of the important elements of an effective email: It tells the subscriber exactly “what’s in it for them”, it includes a time frame in which they can take advantage of this offer, and it tells them exactly what to do, to take advantage of the offer [e.g. “Simply print out this email today and bring it in between now and (last day of offer).”]. Most importantly, though, the email is quick and to the point. Obviously, we could have made the email above hundreds or thousands of words longer. Doing so, however, would greatly reduce the response rate. As you probably realize, just about everyone is crunched for time these days. They don’t have time to read long emails. They just want the facts and, more accurately, the benefits that they will receive by following clear and simple steps. By just making sure that your emails follow these simple, common sense guidelines, you’ll have far happier subscribers, many of whom will look forward to your emails. One final thought to keep in mind is the following: Any time you send out an email, no matter how good it is, you’re always bound to get some people who unsubscribe. This is unavoidable, regardless of how well your email is written or how good the offer is.
  21. 21. Onlinecreativespace.com 21 | P a g e Of course, the important thing to focus on is getting more people subscribing than unsubscribing from your email list…and that’s exactly what we’ll be covering in the next lesson: Getting subscribers who are interested in your company’s products and services.
  22. 22. Onlinecreativespace.com 22 | P a g e Step #3: Building a List / How to Get Subscribers In the last two lessons, we discussed how it is absolutely vital to have an autoresponder set up for your business, due to the fact that it is the most cost effective way to generate revenue and communicate with your customers and prospects. We then covered how to create compelling emails and subject lines, in order to maximize your “open rate” and “response rate” (i.e. the percentage of people who take the desired “call to action” that you specify in your emails). If you haven’t signed up for your autoresponder service yet, please do so by CLICKING HERE, so that you can implement these steps. By this point, you’ve probably started thinking about some enticing emails that you could send out to your customers and prospects. You may also be wondering how to add existing customers and new, targeted prospects to your email list. As we promised at the end of the last lesson, this lesson will cover some excellent methods and strategies for growing your list of customers and prospects. Let’s first take a look at how to get your existing customers to join your email list. The best way to get your existing customers onto your autoresponder email list is to look at the ways that you currently interact with your customers, and then simply invite them to join your email list, during your existing interactions.
  23. 23. Onlinecreativespace.com 23 | P a g e For example, if you own a retail storefront and you interact with your customers face to face, here’s a great way to quickly build your email list with paying customers. Incidentally, paying customers are the best types of people to have on your email list, since they’ve already proven that they will spend money with you. When your customer is making their purchase at the cash register or wherever else they make their purchase, explain to them that your company now has a V.I.P. list that will allow them to save money on future purchases. You should also explain that they can unsubscribe from your email list at any time and that you will only email them with valuable offers and information. Unless your customer doesn’t like saving money, they should be very happy and willing to join your email list, since it only means potential savings for them. If you have an internet connection at your place of business, you should then ask for your customer’s email address and enter it onto your form. Just let your customer know that they will receive a confirmation email, so that they can verify that they’ve chosen to receive emails from you. This process of receiving a confirmation email is known as “double opt-in” and all reputable autoresponder services offer it. This just helps you to ensure that you’re sending emails to people who actually want to receive them. Whenever you’re setting up your autoresponder, or if you have someone else doing it for you, make sure that the “double opt-in” option is selected.
  24. 24. Onlinecreativespace.com 24 | P a g e You should sign up to your own email list, with your own email address, to make sure that this is set up properly. Plus, you’ll also want to make sure that you get the emails that are going out to your customers, to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Follow the instructions is the video below to setup your signup form if you have not already done it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go0f9pmvhNc&t=18s If you don’t interact with your customers face to face or you don’t have internet access at your place of business, you can include a message on your company’s invoices and receipts, telling customers about your “VIP List” and any special gift or savings that they’ll receive when they sign up. Of course, also include your website address where your sign-up form is located. Everyone who works at your place of business, who interacts with customers, should also be trained to encourage each customer to sign up to your email list. Your employees should explain the benefits that customers will receive when they sign up, they should tell your customers that they can unsubscribe at any time, and they should emphasize that they will not send them too many emails. On a related note, it’s also a good idea to let your customers know that you won’t share their email addresses with any other companies. In short, you should take a look at every way that you interact with your customers and use all of those ways to encourage your customers to join your
  25. 25. Onlinecreativespace.com 25 | P a g e list. Of course, the more benefits that you can tell your customers they’ll receive, if they join your list, the more customers you’ll get to actually join your list. Most businesses have no idea how valuable a paying customer’s email address is. More specifically, the majority of business owners do not know the “Average Lifetime Value” of their customers. As the term implies, the “Average Lifetime Value” of a customer refers to how much money a customer will spend with you, over the entire course of their relationship with you. For example, if you own a barber shop, your average customer gets their $20 hair cut once a month, and your average customer remains your customer for 5 years, this means that the Average Lifetime Value of your customers is $1,200, or $240 per year for 5 years: $20 haircut x 12 months per year = $240 per year x 5 years = $1200 You might be wondering what this concept of a customer’s Average Lifetime Value has to do with building and growing an email list. The answer is that it has just about everything to do with dominating your market and maximizing the number of customers and targeted prospects that join your list. More specifically, when you know how much each customer is worth to you, over the course of their relationship with you, you’ll be able to gain a better perspective on the savings that you can offer them for joining your list.
  26. 26. Onlinecreativespace.com 26 | P a g e Unfortunately, many businesses grossly underestimate how valuable a paying customer is to them. As a result, businesses fall into the trap of making typical offers that are extremely boring to the customer, such as “10% off your next purchase”, “Buy 4, get one free.” etc. With the majority of uninformed businesses making such bland offers, it’s no wonder why the majority of businesses are constantly struggling for market share. On the other hand, let’s say that you took a half hour of your time to figure out, or estimate, the lifetime value of your paying customers. Let’s assume that you then learned that each of your paying customers was worth, on average, $1,000. Upon learning that each new customer is worth $1,000, do you think that you could afford to offer a new customer $50 off their first purchase of $100 or more? Of course, without knowing your type of business, your profit margins, or a variety of other factors, we couldn’t tell you exactly how much of a discount you should give to new customers. We can tell you, however, that if you were willing to breakeven on a new customer’s purchase, or make a very nominal amount of profit on a new customer’s initial purchase, it’s very likely that you will be making an offer that will be much more exciting than your competitors. As a result, you will start to win a greater and greater share of your market, while your competitors scratch their heads, wondering how you’re able to make such an amazing offer to new customers.
  27. 27. Onlinecreativespace.com 27 | P a g e Of course, if your customers don’t stay with you for very long, due to low product quality or poor customer service, none of this will work, because your lifetime value per customer will be relatively low. If, on the other hand, your biggest challenge is getting new customers, but once they become a customer they stay a customer, then this simple concept could be exactly what you need to do, to dominate your entire market! Now, within the context of building your email list with prospects (i.e. people who haven’t spent any money with you yet), you want to keep this critical concept of a customer’s Average Lifetime Value in mind. Specifically, when you decide on the thing(s) that you will offer to people, in exchange for joining your email list, you should be factoring in the Average Lifetime Value of your paying customers. In other words, if your Average Lifetime Value per customer is $1,000 per year, for 10-15 years, for a total Average Lifetime Value of $10,000-$15,000, do you think you could offer a new email subscriber more than $5 off their next purchase? Of course, even if you offered them a $500 savings on their next purchase, and you knew that you’d profit, on average $1,000 from them over the course of the next year, you’d still double your investment on the $500 savings that you initially extended to them. However, these figures assume net profit, without factoring in your expenses. The main point to take away from this section is that you want to make your customers a really good offer that would be almost impossible for them to resist,
  28. 28. Onlinecreativespace.com 28 | P a g e in exchange for them joining your list. Just make sure that your offer isn’t so good that it puts you out of business. When you have a clear understanding of the Average Lifetime Value of your customers, you’ll be able to make an enticing offer to anyone who joins your list. Additionally, you’ll be able to make offers in your follow-up emails that will take into account this ever-important consideration of Average Lifetime Value. Keep in mind that without an exciting offer and a very good reason for people to join your list, your list building results will only be a small fraction of what they could be. There are tons of highly skilled writers who can craft very compelling emails and offers for your list. These professional writers can often be hired for an extremely affordable, “per job” fee. Here’s one website where you can find many skilled copywriters, who can write all of your “customer-getting” emails for you: Fiverr.com In the next lesson, we’ll continue to delve deeper into some incredible ways that you can bring in customers, who are actively searching for your products and services, without you having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or marketing!
  29. 29. Onlinecreativespace.com 29 | P a g e Step #4: How to Use Social Media to Attract Customers In the last lesson, we went over how to grow your email list. We also discussed the importance of calculating the Lifetime Value of your customers, so that you can develop a really enticing offer, to get people to join your list. In addition to building a list through your website, you should also consider having a Facebook fan page for your business. Unlike your company’s website, Facebook fan pages are located on one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world: Facebook, of course! Plus, since it’s completely free to have a Facebook fan page for your business, it only makes sense to tap into this massive resource of prospective customers. When you have a Facebook fan page, you’ll be able to attract people, who are actively looking for your type of business on Facebook. As these people come to your fan page and “Like” it, this can help to generate more referral business for you. When someone “Likes” your company’s Facebook fan page, their Facebook friends can see that they did this. This can result in a passive, ongoing source of referral business for you. Creating a Facebook fan page is extremely simple. All you have to do is go to Facebook.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the link that says, “Create Page”.
  30. 30. Onlinecreativespace.com 30 | P a g e From here, you would just select the options that apply to your business. Once you’ve completed the simple set up steps, your basic Facebook fan page will officially be live. Keep in mind, though, that there are a great deal of things that you can do, to create a highly professional looking, customized Facebook fan page. Obviously, a more professional looking fan page will create a more professional image for your company. Here’s a really inexpensive way to get a great looking fan page set up within a matter of minutes: Fiverr.com: “Just run a search on Fiverr.com, for “create Facebook fan page.” Once your Facebook fan page is set up, it’s a really good idea to create an outgoing message that will automatically be sent out to your mailing list’s subscribers. The outgoing message that you schedule to be sent out should provide your subscribers with the web link to your Facebook fan page. You should also tell them about other, ongoing benefits that they’ll receive if they become a fan of your Facebook fan page. These ongoing benefits could include additional coupons that you’ll only be sharing with your Facebook fans, “early bird” notifications about things that are related to your business, or anything else that you believe would appeal to your mailing list subscribers. In addition to notifying your existing mailing list subscribers about your Facebook fan page, there’s another very powerful, free way to find people who are likely to have an interest in your company’s products and services.
  31. 31. Onlinecreativespace.com 31 | P a g e This free strategy leverages a little-known feature inside of the largest search engine in the world: Google. Specifically, this feature inside of Google is known as “Google Alerts”. The way that Google Alerts works is as follows: First, you would simply go to google alerts and enter terms into the “Search query” field that are related to your business. If you’re a local business that exclusively serves a specific, geographic market, you’d also want to include those geo-specific terms in the “Search query” field. For example, if you own a florist that serves the Atlanta, Georgia area, you could enter the following terms into the “Search query” field: Atlanta Flowers Atlanta Florist I need a florist in Atlanta Atlanta wedding florist After you enter a search term, the next field to choose from is the “Result type”. Google Alerts allows you to choose from “Everything”, “News”, “Blogs”, “Video”, “Discussions”, and “Books”. Your choice here will really just depend on what you want to receive an alert on. For example, if you just want to receive an alert each time someone says, “I need a florist in Atlanta”, in an online discussion forum, you’d select “Discussions”.
  32. 32. Onlinecreativespace.com 32 | P a g e After entering in the various terms that you want to receive alerts on and selecting the types of results you’d like to receive alerts for, you would then select how often you’d like to receive these alerts. Google Alerts gives you the option to receive these results in real-time (“As-it-happens”), “Once a day”, or “Once a week”. Just select the option that works best for you, based on how often you’ll be able to check your Google Alerts. Next, you’d select whether or not you want to receive “Only the best results” or “All results”. The option that you select here will depend upon how many different search terms you set up in Google Alerts. You can set up Google Alerts for up to 1,000 different search terms. You might find that if you choose to receive alerts on “All results” that it becomes too cumbersome to sort through all of the results you receive. On the other hand, if you select, “Only the best results”, you might find that you don’t receive any alerts at all. Ultimately, this is an option that you’ll have to test out and see which one works best for you and the search terms that you choose to receive alerts for. The last thing you’ll need to enter is the email address where you’d like the Google Alerts sent to. It’s important to keep in mind that you probably aren’t going to want to use your main email address, for receiving your Google Alerts.
  33. 33. Onlinecreativespace.com 33 | P a g e The reason why is because you could end up getting tons of Google Alerts each day or each week. In turn, this could make it difficult for you to find other, more urgent emails that you receive. The best thing to do is to have your Google Alerts sent to a secondary email address that you set up specifically to receive Google Alerts. When used correctly, Google Alerts can be an extremely powerful, free tool for businesses. As you can see, not only does Google Alerts allow you to find the people who are actively searching for your products and services, but they will send you an email alert, directly to any email address that you specify, each time something that’s relevant to your business goes online. If you’ve spent any amount of time or money investing in expensive newspaper ads, trying to actively reach out to the people who are interested in your products and services, you likely have an appreciation for this free tool. It is indeed a very powerful thing when you can receive a Google Alert, anytime someone expresses an interest in the products or services that your company can provide to them. In this regard, Google Alerts has turned the entire premise of traditional advertising upside down. In other words, instead of having to pay to “push” your advertisement out to people, who may or may not be interested in what you have to offer, Google Alerts sends those people to your email inbox!
  34. 34. Onlinecreativespace.com 34 | P a g e In addition to Google alerts, there is also another powerful tool that can help you to monetize your Facebook profile called Profile Profit Machine. Twitter is also a massive social media site, with millions of people who are interested in millions of different things. When used correctly, Twitter can provide you with a huge resource of customers who are actively looking for your company’s products and services. For businesses, the most powerful feature of Twitter is its search function. This search feature works in a very similar way to Google Alerts. The only difference, of course, is that if you run a search on Twitter, it will search for related “tweets” that people have written on Twitter. At first, it may not seem like a big deal to be able to see what other people are tweeting about on Twitter. When you consider the fact that you could type in your company’s products or services and your city name, though, you should begin to see how Twitter can be an absolute gold mine of new customers and prospects, who are actively seeking out your products and services! For example, let’s say that you’re a Real Estate Agent in Houston, Texas. Just one very simple search you could type into the Twitter search bar would be, “looking for a house in Houston”. Obviously, a good number of the tweets will be ads from other Real Estate Agents in Houston, who may have tweeted things like, “Are you looking for a house in Houston? Call me!”
  35. 35. Onlinecreativespace.com 35 | P a g e Nevertheless, you can also find tweets from people who are actually looking to buy or rent a house in Houston. This one simple search feature on Twitter can literally be a goldmine of new customers for many businesses. While this tip might seem extremely simple – because it is – it is very often the simple things like this that can reap huge rewards, for the businesses that take advantage of these highly targeted prospects! Of course, there are tons and tons of different types of searches that you could enter into Twitter’s search feature, to find people in your area, who are actively searching for your products and services. When you really start to think about all of the different ways that people will express an interest in your company’s products and services on Twitter, it becomes clear that the possibilities are endless with this very simple, free tool! Again, consider the fact that a traditional, expensive advertisement will go out to hundreds or thousands of people, with the hope of finding that small percentage of people who are looking for your products and services. Now, compare that expensive advertisement to this completely free search tool on Twitter, which only finds you the people who are actively expressing an interest in your products and services, in their Twitter tweets. A good analogy, to contrast running an expensive newspaper advertisement and using Twitter’s free search tool, is the following: It’s like choosing between paying thousands of dollars to try to find a needle in a hay stack (the expensive ad), versus going to a store that is giving away
  36. 36. Onlinecreativespace.com 36 | P a g e the same needles for free (the free Twitter search tool that shows you people who are expressing an interest in your company’s products and services). Obviously, if you’re going to take advantage of Twitter’s search tool, you’ll have to create a free Twitter account. Signing up to Twitter is as easy as choosing a username, providing your email address, and selecting a password. For your username, you may want to select the name of your company. Alternatively, you could make your username something that describes the benefits that your company provides. As an example, if you’re a DJ that’s based out of New York City, you might want to select a Twitter username such as BESTNYCDJ. This way, if you reply to a tweet, from someone who mentions that they’re looking for a DJ in New York, they’ll see that you’re someone who provides exactly what they’re looking for, just by seeing your Twitter username. Unlike Google Alerts, the Twitter search function, by itself, has a couple of major limitations. First, you don’t have the ability to receive email alerts, if someone tweets a term that you’d like to be notified about. This means that if you were to just use the Twitter search function on its own, you’d only be able to benefit from it by constantly running searches on Twitter. Obviously, this could take you hours upon hours each day, just to try and find people who are tweeting about looking for your company’s products and
  37. 37. Onlinecreativespace.com 37 | P a g e services. The second disadvantage to the Twitter search tool, when used by itself, is the fact that you can only search for one term at a time. Unlike Google Alerts, where you can set up 1,000 different search terms to receive alerts on, the Twitter search tool works more like a traditional online search, where you can only run a search for one term at a time. Fortunately, there is an amazing tool that solves all of these limitations of the Twitter search tool. The tool is called Social pilot. While this tool actually does several amazing things, its ability to track and log multiple search terms as a time, as people tweet about them, is the feature that we’re most excited about. In the same way that Google Alerts will email you, Social pilot will automatically add someone’s tweet to your social pilot “dashboard”, if their tweet includes any of the search terms that you set up in social pilot. With this feature, you won’t have to sit at your computer for hours, running countless searches on Twitter, trying to find people who are tweeting about things related to your business. Instead, those relevant tweets will automatically be sent to your social pilot dashboard, as people type tweets that include the search terms that you specify. If you’d like, you can even set up an audio alert to sound on your computer, if a tweet comes in to your Social pilot dashboard, which contains a search term that you specified.
  38. 38. Onlinecreativespace.com 38 | P a g e This audio alert feature will make it very easy for you to be the first one to respond, if someone tweets that they’re looking for your company’s products and services. With over 200,000,000 active users, your company simply can’t afford to miss out on all of the people who could be tweeting about looking for the products and services that your company offers. By combining the Twitter search tool with Social pilot’s ability to send you those targeted search results, directly to your computer, you can allow interested prospects to be sent directly to your computer. Again, this is a far more targeted and cost-effective option, as compared to investing hundreds or thousands of dollars into one-time ads, in the hope of trying to acquire new customers. To learn more about Social pilot, CLICK HERE. Congratulations on now learning about these very powerful and easy-to-use tools, which will enable you to harness the true power of social media. Being able to receive Google Alerts and tweets, in real-time, from people who are actively expressing an interest in your company’s products and services will give you a major advantage over the majority of companies, who are not familiar with these extremely powerful tools. Get Instant Access To 200 Powerful Social Media Marketing Tactics, To Increase Your Followers, Build Credibility and Gain More Customers...You'll Discover How to Take Advantage of High Traffic Social Media Sites.
  39. 39. Onlinecreativespace.com 39 | P a g e Steps #5: Leveraging Authority Sites to Generate Viral Traffic In the last couple of lessons, we discussed the power of growing your customer and prospect list by leveraging social media sites. While social media, by itself, is an extremely powerful channel for growing your business, you can add another “ingredient”, into the mix, to create even more powerful results. Specifically, you can take advantage of popular, interesting, or funny stories and videos. By using the strategy we’re about to teach you, you can grow your own customer base by simply leveraging popular content, such as funny videos, interesting articles, and popular stories on other websites! By using a very simple piece of software, known as a WordPress plugin, your company can benefit from popular online content. In order to do this effectively, you’ll first want to consider who your customers typically are. For example, does your customer base generally consist of teenagers, senior citizens, parents, pregnant women, single people in their 20’s and 30’s, etc.? Of course, your business may appeal to more than just one age group and demographic, which is great because then you can take advantage of even more popular news stories and topics that appeal to all of those groups. If you’re a local business, perhaps your customers all reside within a particular geographic area. If that’s the case, you could benefit from popular news stories and topics that are relevant to your specific city or region.
  40. 40. Onlinecreativespace.com 40 | P a g e You’re probably wondering exactly how your business can benefit from stories and videos that are popular on other websites. As we alluded to above, there is a very simple, yet powerful piece of software/plugin that you can add to your website or blog. This software will enable you to have the message of your choice appear, when you send people to a popular story or video that lots of people would be interested in. You might be wondering why you’d want to send people to another website to begin with. Well, in essence, you won’t actually be sending people to another website. Instead, you’ll just be leveraging the popularity and authority of a popular story or popular video that is somewhere else on the web. Ultimately, though, you will have total control over any message that you’d like to appear, while people are checking out the popular story or funny video that you referred them to. To illustrate how this method works and why it’s so powerful, let’s use a fitness center as an example. Let’s say that they are looking to attract new members to join their gym. The fitness center could simply do a quick search, for a funny video of someone working out, or just doing something that looks silly, impressive, etc., which is related to fitness in one way or another. Next, the fitness center could set up a special offer to join their gym, which will appear during or after people watch the funny video that the fitness center sends them to.
  41. 41. Onlinecreativespace.com 41 | P a g e The fitness center could then just use this software, to set it all up, and post it on their Facebook page. The end result would be that when anyone clicked on that link, to view the funny video, the fitness center’s special offer could appear, at a time specified by the fitness center. For example, if the video is 30 seconds long, the fitness center could have their special offer appear at exactly 30 seconds! This way, the person will be able to see the funny video that they want to see, without interruption, and the fitness center will be able to have their offer appear at the perfect time. There’s even an option in the software, where you can choose to have a message appear if someone goes to click away early, before your company’s message is timed to appear! Perhaps you’re wondering, in the example above, why the fitness center wouldn’t just post their special offer or invitation to join their mailing list right on their Facebook page, without sending people to the funny video. There are a couple of important reasons why it can be more effective to use this approach. First, when you have Facebook page for your business, you don’t want to appear as though you’re constantly just advertising to your customers and prospects. Otherwise, the people who are fans of your Facebook page won’t feel that they’re getting any value from being a fan of your Facebook page. In other words, they’ll just feel that you’re always trying to sell them things.
  42. 42. Onlinecreativespace.com 42 | P a g e On the other hand, if you post an interesting or funny story or video, your fans will be more likely to remain your fans, if they enjoy the content that you share with them. This is the best of both worlds, because you can still present them with a special offer or invitation to join your mailing list, while they’re reading the article or after they view the video that you share with them. Providing valuable content to your customers and prospects, while also giving them an opportunity to receive a special offer from you – or join your mailing list – is a win-win for you and your fans! The other, huge advantage to this approach is that it can help you to create a “viral buzz” around your business. For example, if you find a story or video that a lot of people would want to share with one another, you would simply set it up with the software, so that your offer appears when people click on this content that’s likely to go viral. You then just post this story or video, which people will be likely to “Share” and “Like”, on your Facebook fan page. As more of your fans “Share” and “Like” the popular story or video that you post on your company’s Facebook fan page, their Facebook friends will see that they liked or shared the story. In turn, there’s a very good chance that they will also click on the story or video. Of course, when they click on the popular story or video that you posted, your special offer or email sign-up form will appear for them too!
  43. 43. Onlinecreativespace.com 43 | P a g e Essentially, by posting other interesting and funny stories or videos on your company’s Facebook fan page, there’s a far greater likelihood of people “Liking” and “Sharing” it with their Facebook friends, as compared to if you just posted an advertisement for your company directly on your Facebook fan page. Of course, you could try to build a viral buzz solely around things that only have to do with your company, and not connect to anyone else’s popular stories or videos. Eventually, though, you may find that it’s difficult to keep generating free, viral traffic by only sharing offers and information that is related to your company. With so many interesting stories and popular videos that people naturally want to share with each other, you can easily capitalize on these stories and videos that are already going viral or have the potential to do so. Having the ability to then make an offer or invite people to join your mailing list, while people are reading a popular story or watching a popular video, is just smart marketing. One very effective software I would recommend for this is called Snip.ly. We realize that this entire process may sound a bit confusing, if you’ve never done anything like this before. For this reason, we’ve outlined the specific steps that can allow you to generate viral traffic to your offers, with the method we’ve described above: 1.) You find a popular, interesting, or funny article or video online. It’s best to find something that is either related to your type of business or something
  44. 44. Onlinecreativespace.com 44 | P a g e that is likely to appeal to your customer demographics (e.g. teens, women, men, married couples, brides-to-be, golfers, fitness enthusiasts, etc.). You can find these types of stories or videos by simply doing an online search for things related to your business or your company’s products and services. You could even add words like “funny”, “amazing”, “hysterical”, “scary”, “unbelievable”, etc. to your search, to find things that people will be very likely to want to share with one another. For example, if you own a shop that sells wedding dresses, you could do a simple online search for things like, “hysterical bride and groom”, “funny wedding dance”, “unbelievable wedding speech”, etc. Online searches like these are certain to bring up stories and videos that people will want to “Like” and “Share” with their Facebook friends. 2.) After you find a popular, interesting, or funny story or video that would appeal to your customer base, you would simply follow the software instructions, to combine this popular video or story with an offer that you’d like to appear, when people are viewing the content that you send them to. The software provides extremely detailed instructions on how to set this all up, so that even a non-technical person can follow the steps! 3.) Once your special offer or invitation to join your mailing list is set up to appear, with the content you send people to, you would simply post the link that the software gives you, onto your Facebook fan page.
  45. 45. Onlinecreativespace.com 45 | P a g e You could also send this link out to your existing email subscribers or Twitter followers. Posting the link on Facebook is a particularly good idea, though, since people are so accustomed to “Liking” and “Sharing” these types of things with their friends. 4.) Watch the “viral effect” take place as you gain more Facebook fans and, in turn, more customers! Of course, some of these fun little viral campaigns that you set up may work better than others. The beauty of this strategy, though, is that the internet has an almost endless supply of popular, interesting, and funny stories and videos, with more great content being added online every minute of the day! Another thing to keep in mind is the following: As your number of Facebook fans grows, the “viral effect” of posting these types of articles and videos is likely to become more and more powerful each time. In other words, since your Facebook fans should grow in number over time, this should also result in more people who will be likely to share any articles or videos that you post to your fan page. In turn, your results with this strategy could quickly snowball, as your Facebook fans increase and share your content with their friends, who then share your posts with their friends, and so on! Have lots of fun with this method! Just be aware, though, that the fun of posting content that goes viral can get addictive, as you see your fans and customers increase, whenever you post popular, interesting, and funny content onto your fan page!
  46. 46. Onlinecreativespace.com 46 | P a g e CLICK HERE to check out this amazing piece of software, which truly has the potential to start growing your fan base and customer base, starting today:
  47. 47. Onlinecreativespace.com 47 | P a g e Step #6: Protecting Your Company’s Online Reputation Up until this point, we’ve talked about many of the positive aspects of internet marketing and social media platforms. We’ve also gone into substantial detail on how you can use these interactive social media platforms to engage your customers and prospects. We would be remiss, however, if we did not address the very real, “dark side” to online marketing and social media. Unlike any other time in history, consumers now have a voice that is more powerful than ever. Specifically, customers and clients have “carte blanche” when it comes to saying good or bad things, about businesses, online. Whether your business participates in online marketing and social media marketing or not, one thing is guaranteed: Your customers will definitely be talking about your business online – especially if they have a positive or negative experience with your company. If you’re one of the rare businesses who does not yet have some of your customers talking about your company online, it’s very important to come to terms with the fact that this is going to happen eventually, whether you want it to or not. We now live in a world where anyone can say just about anything that they want to say online. People no longer need to be an authority figure to have an influential voice.
  48. 48. Onlinecreativespace.com 48 | P a g e Unfortunately, even if your business is doing everything right, we all know that it’s impossible to please everybody 100% of the time. To make matters worse, unethical competitors could even say negative things online, about your company, using an anonymous or fictitious name. It’s very easy for anyone to pretend to be a consumer or client who had a bad experience with your business. When you consider the fact that we live in a world where anyone can make any online comment that they want to make about a business, while being completely anonymous themselves, it becomes clear that protecting your company’s reputation is not an option, but rather a requirement. There are several options available to you, when it comes to managing your company’s reputation online. First, you could hire a firm to manage this for you. Yes, believe it or not, there are entire companies dedicated to the sole task of protecting the online reputations of other companies. These firms, commonly known as Reputation Management companies, know how to implement the most effective strategies for protecting a company’s online reputation. Specifically, these companies are proficient in monitoring your company’s online reputation, across the vast number of websites where your company’s online reputation could be compromised. Many of these companies use highly proprietary method for protecting and managing their clients’ online reputations.
  49. 49. Onlinecreativespace.com 49 | P a g e As you may realize, it only takes one anonymous person to post something negative about your company online, for it to have a major impact on your business. Of course, the best way to protect your company’s online reputation is to do everything that is reasonably within your power to keep your customers and clients happy. If your company slips up in some way, and this results in a customer or client having a bad experience, it’s important that you take steps to rectify the situation with the customer or client. More importantly, it’s critical to resolve things in a way that exceeds the customer’s or client’s expectations. When your business goes above and beyond, to resolve issues that were initially negative, you could actually turn a negative experience into a positive one for your customers and clients. Obviously, avoiding negative situations in the first place is the best way to avoid a potentially negative online review of your business. Since no business is perfect with everyone, though, it’s critical for your business to have a system in place, for resolving issues, directly with unhappy customers. It’s not enough for only you and your upper management to be aware of your strategies for resolving negative customer experiences. In many cases, you and your upper management will not become aware of a negative experience that a customer had until you read their negative
  50. 50. Onlinecreativespace.com 50 | P a g e comments about your company online. As we alluded to above, most people will make their comments anonymously. This often means that there’s usually no way to properly resolve a negative experience, by the time you end up reading about it in a negative online review or online post about your company. It is absolutely essential that all of your employees, who interact directly with your customers, are trained on your company’s procedures for resolving negative experiences that your customers have. Of course, in order to help ensure that your customers have a positive experience with your company, it’s vital that your employees, who interact with your customers, don’t do or say things that will result in the customer having a negative experience. A company could spend millions of dollars on advertising, marketing, providing the best product in your industry, and even hiring the best Reputation Management firm in the world. At the end of the day, though, if your employees are treating your customers poorly, or they are not properly doing their jobs, your company is going to have a major problem trying to manage your online reputation. It is critical, therefore, for you to know exactly how your employees are treating your customers. Here’s a quick list of questions that you should ask yourself, to determine if you may have a potential problem on your hands, when it comes to your company’s online reputation.
  51. 51. Onlinecreativespace.com 51 | P a g e These questions apply to you, your managers, and any employees who interact with your customers in person, over the phone, via email, or through any other form of communication that your company employs for customer interactions: Are they polite? Do they smile? Do they thank your customers when your customers make purchases with you? Are they effective in providing the products and services that the customers have paid for? Do they get back to your customers quickly, on matters that require a response? Are they knowledgeable about your company’s products and services, in case the customer has a question? Do they know how to handle things when the customer is not happy with something, so that your company stands the greatest chance possible of turning a negative experience into a positive experience? Do they understand the importance of reporting any negative situations, so that you can be made aware of it, before it’s too late to resolve things? Of course, this is just a sampling of general questions that can apply to just about any type of business. You will likely have additional criteria and questions that you can ask yourself, to determine how to avert potential problems for your specific type of business. For example, if you own a business that customers walk into, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
  52. 52. Onlinecreativespace.com 52 | P a g e Is your store clean? Are the bathrooms clean? Do you stock the products that you advertise? Do customers have to hunt down your employees for help? If your business involves going to the location of your customers for appointments, here are some other questions to take into consideration: Are your employees neat and clean when they arrive at the customer’s location? Do they arrive on time? Do they leave at the time that they’re supposed to leave or are they leaving too early or too late? Do they perform the services or deliver the products to the customer’s location in a timely manner? Do they leave the customer’s location in the same condition that it was in before they got there or do they leave a mess behind? When they’re driving to and from the customer’s location, do they drive safely or aggressively? Clearly, many of these questions are common sense oriented. Basically, you need to put yourself in the position of the customer and consider the various things that you would want if you were a customer of your business.
  53. 53. Onlinecreativespace.com 53 | P a g e Out of all of the things to consider, keep the following in mind: Many businesses greatly underestimate the importance of providing experiences that exceed the expectations of their customers. It’s unfortunate to think about how much time, money, and sacrifice goes into starting businesses, where there are employees who treat customers rudely. Similarly, it’s a shame to think about situations where so much time and effort goes into getting a new customer in the door, but then the customer is unable to get what they want, due to the employee not being trained properly, or some other circumstance that prevents a transaction from occurring. It’s also too common these days for customers to walk into a store, pay for a product, and never receive a thank you or a smile from an employee. Something as simple as failing to thank your customers for their business can result in a reputation management nightmare for businesses. By the same token, the fact that so many businesses fail to train their employees, in this area of common courtesy, can be a huge opportunity for your company. If each of your employees were trained to give a warm smile and welcome to your customers and thank them for their business at the time of purchase, this small gesture alone would give you a major advantage over the majority of businesses, who do not instil these values in their employees. If you’re the owner or a member of your company’s management team, you’re not going to be able to properly monitor this yourself.
  54. 54. Onlinecreativespace.com 54 | P a g e In other words, many employees have a tendency to suddenly remember all of the things they’re supposed to do, the moment the owner or manager is in their presence. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to have someone else, whom your employees don’t recognize, go through the entire experience that a typical customer goes through. After someone else has done this, you can ask them questions, such as the ones we’ve stated above, to determine how good or bad their experience was. You may also want to let your employees know that your company will be conducting regular, “mystery shopper” exercises, with the help of others who will be posing as customers. Obviously, when you send your mystery shoppers in to make a purchase, you do not want any member of management, or any owners, within view of the employees. In other words, you want to find out, directly from your mystery shoppers, exactly how your employees behave when you’re not there (assuming that there are times when you’re not in the presence of your employees). Something else that you could do to stay in the loop, with regard to how your customers feel about doing business with you, is to survey them. These surveys can be sent out to your email list, sent through the postal mail, conducted right at your place of business, or they can take place over the phone. The survey questions can include many of the questions that we’ve listed above.
  55. 55. Onlinecreativespace.com 55 | P a g e You should also include an area, on your survey, which allows the customer to write out, in their own words, anything else that they would like to share about their experience. When you include an area on your surveys, for your customers to express their own thoughts, in their own words, about their experience with your company, you could end up learning completely new things, positive or negative, that you never even considered. Many companies that conduct surveys make the mistake of only including multiple choice questions, or they’ll ask their customers to “rate” their experience on a numeric scale, for only the things that the company chooses to question the customer about. A huge opportunity is missed when your surveys do not allow the customers to tell you, in their own words, the things that were good or bad about their experience with your company. The above suggestions cover several effective ways for you to identify and resolve problems, before they get out of control. You may also want to take other proactive steps, to manage your company’s online reputation, and see what other people are saying about your business. While there are many different services and tools available, which enable you to see what others are saying about your company and proactively deal with negative reviews, we encourage you to check out the following resource first: Reputation Management Solutions
  56. 56. Onlinecreativespace.com 56 | P a g e With so many companies fighting for market share, and doing whatever they can do to get new customers in the door, most companies are doing nothing to protect their reputations. In business, a company’s reputation can be its most valuable asset. Unfortunately, for most companies, they do not know how to protect their reputation or take the proper steps when their reputation is compromised. The resource we’ve recommended above will give you a massive advantage, when it comes to managing your company’s online reputation. Please just keep in mind, though, that even if you have the best reputation management resources at your disposable, you absolutely must take positive steps, to help ensure a positive customer experience. In the same way that your business could be hurt by too many people saying bad things about your business, your business could also reap huge financial rewards, if people can’t help but rave about how impressed they were by your business and your employees. In many regards, creating an experience that exceeds your customers’ expectations is just common sense and a matter of paying attention to the finer details. Just be sure, though, that those finer details are, in fact, given the proper attention. If you implement some of these strategies, your business could truly gain a huge advantage over the many companies that do not understand how vital it is to provide an exceptional customer experience.
  57. 57. Onlinecreativespace.com 57 | P a g e Step #7: How to Write and Submit a Press Release for Free Publicity Today we’re going to discuss a rather well-known, but under-used form of marketing: Press Releases! A press release is typically a written document that is sent to editors or other related media staff members, to let them know about a newsworthy topic. The idea, of course, is to provide these people in the media with stories that they’ll report on. Ideally, this creates a win-win for your business and the media company: The media company gets content for a news story, while your business reaps the financial rewards of the free publicity. When used in the offline business world, press releases can garner free publicity for your company in newspapers, magazines, and on television and radio stations. Advertising in a newspaper, magazine, on TV, or radio could easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars. With this in mind, it quickly becomes apparent why this free form of promotion can be highly beneficial and profitable to the company or companies featured in the news story. It should also be noted that prospective customers and clients of your business regard news stories as being far more credible than traditional advertisements, which are notorious for making over-hyped claims. Additionally, people have a subconscious tendency to mentally block out advertisements, due to being bombarded with so many advertisements on a
  58. 58. Onlinecreativespace.com 58 | P a g e daily basis. On the other hand, people actively seek out news events and recent headlines. In general, news stories simply have a far more credible feel to them and they are much more likely to get the attention of viewers and readers. It’s no wonder why so many companies are willing to pay PR firms large sums of money, simply for the possibility of getting major news coverage. The internet has greatly levelled the “press release playing field”, allowing small businesses to get noticed far more easily, through press releases. Additionally, with many do-it-yourself tools, businesses can now submit many press releases, to multiple news sources at once. Things have certainly come a long way since the days when businesses would have to hire an expensive PR firm, who would then fax out a press release to one news organization at a time. Prior to sending out a press release, though, it’s important to understand that press releases need to be written in a specific format. In order to have the greatest likelihood of having your press release “picked up” by a media outlet, it’s critical to follow the proper formatting, when preparing your press release. Press releases that are not written in the proper format will not even be read, let alone considered for publication.
  59. 59. Onlinecreativespace.com 59 | P a g e It’s vital to understand that media companies receive large volumes of press releases each day. In turn, they only choose from the best press releases that they receive. Below, we’ve included a sample press release, to show you the proper formatting, followed by important notes that detail the important elements that we’ve included in this sample: YOUR COMPANY LOGO HERE WITH YOUR COMPANY ADDRESS DATE HERE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Firstname Lastname, Job Title of this contact person here Email address and/or phone number of the contact person listed above TITLE OF YOUR PRESS RELEASE HERE City, Two-Letter State Abbreviation – In this first paragraph of your press release, you should provide the introduction. This introduction should consist of a general overview of what your press release is about. Do not, under any circumstances use salesy wording or plugs for your company in the body of your press release. Your company will not get the publicity you’re aiming for, if you attempt to promote yourself here. This is a good place to go over the general “when” and “what” of your press release.
  60. 60. Onlinecreativespace.com 60 | P a g e In this paragraph, stick to the facts. State the dates that pertain to the newsworthy event in your press release. For example, if your restaurant will be hosting an event for small businesses, on specific dates, list those dates here. You can also state the general purpose and objective of the event here. In this paragraph, you want to start to get into the more specific details of your newsworthy event. If your business is hosting a special event, you want to get into the more granular specifics of what the event will be about here. If food will be served, you can mention that here. If there will be specific industry experts at your event, you can mention that here too, along with the specific dates when those people will be at your event, if your event takes place over more than one day. This paragraph should include the primary features of your newsworthy topic. In this paragraph, it’s best to discuss some of the secondary aspects of your newsworthy topic. For example, will your event’s attendees receive special “door prizes” or other complimentary items as part of this event? Will other “side events’ also be taking place during breaks or in other areas, in conjunction with the main event? In general, this paragraph should just provide supporting details of your newsworthy topic. This paragraph should include factual information about your company.
  61. 61. Onlinecreativespace.com 61 | P a g e Specifically, how long has your company been in business, what are the primary functions of your company, and what products and services do you provide to your customers or clients? Again, avoid selling yourself. Stick to the facts about your company. The promotion will come when and if you get featured in the media. This final line should just include where people can go to learn more about the topic discussed in this press release, such as a web page or Facebook page you’ve set up, related to the topic. The above example includes all of the important elements of a properly formatted press release. Let’s discuss each of these elements in more detail, so that you’ll better understand how to use this formatting for your specific purposes. First, your company logo with your company address should appear at the top of the page. Ideally, if you have company letterhead with your logo and contact information already on your letterhead, that’s the best type of paper to type your press release on. Your official logo and letterhead, at the top of the page, allows the media company to see that this is a press release that came directly from your company. The first line, directly under your company logo, should be the date that you are submitting the press release to the media company.
  62. 62. Onlinecreativespace.com 62 | P a g e This way, when your press release gets into the hands of the right person, they will be able to see when the press release was submitted, to determine if the content and topic is fairly recent. Underneath the date of your press release should be the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” in all capital letters. This lets the media company know that they can publish the story immediately. Ideally, you want to provide media companies with this ability to publish your story as soon as possible. Otherwise, if you place restrictions on when your story can be published, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of having your story used. Keep in mind that media companies have many things on their publishing and broadcast schedule. As such, you’ll greatly diminish your chances of being worked into their schedule if you can only have your story published or broadcast on certain dates. Nevertheless, if it is completely unavoidable to include the “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” permission, this line should instead say, “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE]”. If you have no other choice but to include this “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE]” instruction, just be sure to submit your press release well in advance of the date you specify for release. The more notice that you can give a media company, the better chance they’ll be able to fit your news story into their schedule.
  63. 63. Onlinecreativespace.com 63 | P a g e Underneath your release instructions, you should include the contact information of the person at your company, who can be reached about this particular story. It should be formatted exactly as shown in the example above, with the word “CONTACT:” followed by your contact person’s first and last name, a comma, and their job title at your company. This section should also include the phone number and email address of your contact person. If the media company likes your story, they’re going to want to speak with someone at your company, so this information is absolutely essential. The next item to include in your press release is your headline. This headline should be in all capital letters. Unlike headlines in advertisements and marketing materials, this headline should not be salesy or hypey in any way whatsoever. The headline should simply sum up exactly what the press release is about. This headline should read more like the headline of an article that you would see in a newspaper. In keeping with the press release example above, let’s assume that your business will be hosting an event for other small businesses in the area. The following are examples of bad headlines and good headlines that you could use for your event:
  64. 64. Onlinecreativespace.com 64 | P a g e Bad Press Release Headline Examples 10% SAVINGS ON ALL MEALS TO BE SERVED AT ABC RESTAURANT’S BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT ATTRACT TONS OF NEW CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS WITHIN TWO HOURS, BY ATTENDING ABC RESTAURANT’S BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT LEAVE YOUR COMPETITION IN THE DUST BY ATTENDING ABC RESTAURANT’S BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT Good Press Release Headline Examples BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT TO BE HELD AT ABC RESTAURANT TWO-DAY BUSINESS NETWORKING TO TAKE PLACE AT ABC RESTAURANT ABC RESTAURANT TO HOST BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENT As you can see, the “good” press release headlines are much more matter of fact than the hyped-up “bad” examples. Of course, this is exactly the opposite of what you attempt to do in advertisements and marketing pieces, where the focus needs to be on emphasizing the benefits to the customer. Keep in mind that these press releases are not being sent to your customers, but rather to members of the media, who are simply trying to determine if your press release will be newsworthy. Hyped up headlines will be thrown in the trash, while factual, interesting headlines stand a far better chance of being published.
  65. 65. Onlinecreativespace.com 65 | P a g e After your headline, your first paragraph, otherwise known as the “lead” paragraph, is the next element to include in your press release. As shown in the example above, you’ll start the first paragraph with the city and state abbreviation of your company’s location. This city and state abbreviation should be italicized, as shown, followed by a dash, and then the first sentence of your paragraph. This introductory/lead paragraph should be a general overview of your topic. Specifically, this is the paragraph where you should include the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “how”. When writing your press release, it’s very important to write it in the 3rd person. In other words, the press release should not include words like, “we”, “I”, “we’ve”, “we’re”, “I’ve”, or “I’d”. The press release should be written as if a reporter has written the press release, not someone within your company. Here are some bad and good examples of how to word your press release. You’ll notice that the wording in the “bad” examples is written in the first person, whereas the wording in the “good” examples is written in the correct, third person format: Bad Examples of How to Word a Press Release (What Not to Do): We will be hosting a networking event at ABC Restaurant, for small businesses in our local community. We will be serving complimentary coffee and dessert at our networking event.
  66. 66. Onlinecreativespace.com 66 | P a g e We will be providing small businesses with an opportunity to get to know one another. Good Examples of How to Word a Press Release (What to Do): ABC Restaurant will be hosting a networking event, for small businesses in the local community. Complimentary coffee and dessert will be served at the event. The event will provide small businesses with an opportunity to get to know one another. After your lead paragraph, the subsequent paragraphs should simply go into more detail about the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “how”. The second paragraph should talk about the main features of the story. The paragraphs that follow the second paragraph should discuss the secondary features of your story. The last paragraph of your press release should be factual information about your company. Facts such as how long you’ve been in business, where you’re located, and the general products and services you provide to the community should be included in this paragraph. Again, this paragraph needs to be written in the third person, as if a reporter is describing your business in an article. This final paragraph is commonly referred to as the “boilerplate”, because it includes standard information about your company, which you should be able to include in any press release that you submit.
  67. 67. Onlinecreativespace.com 67 | P a g e In other words, this final paragraph should only include the basic facts about your company, without including any details about the specific press release itself. Underneath the final paragraph, you can include one more line about how people can contact you or how they can get more information about the topic discussed in the press release. A simple line such as: “For more information, visit www.ABCRestaurantofHouston.com/BusinessNetworkingEvent or call (555) 555-5555.” is all you want to include in this final line. Underneath the final line of your press release, you should include the three hash marks, as shown in the example above: ### These three hash marks show that there are no additional pages to the press release. If your press release was, for example, two pages, the bottom of the first page should have one of the following two notations at the bottom of the page: ##more## or -more- Then, the bottom of your second and final page would have ###. Keep in mind, though, that your press release should generally be about one page. You want to keep things brief and to the point. Always keep in mind that you’re not trying to sell the reporter or media company on the actual benefits of your company’s products and services.
  68. 68. Onlinecreativespace.com 68 | P a g e The objective of your press release is simply to provide the reporter or media company with the facts that will allow them to determine if your topic will be a newsworthy subject for their audience. Also, just keep in mind that your press release does not need to be the most earth-shattering news. Of course, the more interesting your story is the better. At the same time though, remember that media companies must constantly provide fresh content and new stories to their audience. If your business acquires a new piece of equipment that uses some interesting, new technology, if you’ve added some exciting new products and services to offer your customers, or if you opened a new location that will be more convenient to the general public, these are all things that a media company in your market might want to do a story on. Another good tip to keep in mind is that you don’t want to constantly bombard your local community’s media companies with a barrage of press releases, which they’re not likely to be interested in. Otherwise, you could start to develop a reputation, with key media contacts in your local market, as someone who is constantly hounding them, just to get some free publicity for your company. On the other hand, when you submit high quality press releases, that members of the media are somewhat likely to have an interest in, you will be able to build good relationships with these important media contacts in your market.
  69. 69. Onlinecreativespace.com 69 | P a g e If you regularly watch your local or regional news, you may notice that certain businesses are often featured on a repeat basis. You can be sure that the reason why the same companies are often featured is because they have properly cultivated relationships with their local media, by providing newsworthy topics of value. By providing value, to your market’s media contacts, you could end up getting ongoing, free publicity that is worth its weight in gold. In addition to the enormous offline benefits that can be derived from submitting press releases, there are substantial advantages to submitting your press releases to online-based news and media groups. Inarguably, the internet is one of the primary ways that people get their information. Even if you’re a local, offline business, there are still people in your local market who use the internet. Making your press releases available to online media, therefore, is equally as important to offline businesses, as it is to businesses that are solely online- based. Another, less understood benefit to submitting online press releases is the fact that the major search engines generally love press releases. Specifically, the search engines often give much greater weight to a news story, as opposed to a web page or website that is more promotional in nature. Search engines are rather similar to local newspapers and offline media companies in the sense that they are committed to providing a high quality user
  70. 70. Onlinecreativespace.com 70 | P a g e experience. In other words, the major search engines, just like any local town’s newspaper, want to provide their audience with high quality content. They both realize that if they only provide advertisements and promotional messages to their audience, they will eventually lose their entire audience. Providing quality content, therefore, is the primary goal of offline media companies, online media companies, and even the major search engines! Distributing your press releases online, therefore, is equally, if not more important, than distributing it through offline means, irrespective of whether you’re an online or an offline company. It should also be noted that the process of submitting press releases online has been greatly simplified. As mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, there are some incredible, dirt- cheap tools that can greatly ease the process of submitting your company’s press releases. To learn more about these excellent tools, click the links below: https://www.newswire.com https://www.24-7pressrelease.com/ https://www.ereleases.com/ https://www.issuewire.com/ http://www.ibwire.com/ https://www.prdistribution.com/
  71. 71. Onlinecreativespace.com 71 | P a g e Step #8: Search Engine Optimization & Tracking Website Traffic In this lesson, we’re going to talk about two topics that are somewhat related: Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) and Website Tracking. With regard to search engine optimization, we recognize the fact that the great majority of you will not have the time or the inclination to personally perform the tasks we’re about to describe to you. Additionally, the “best practices” for search engine optimization are constantly evolving. The SEO activities that might help your business today could actually hurt your business tomorrow. Prescribing a specific set of procedures, therefore, could easily become outdated at any point in time. With that in mind, our primary objective is to provide you with an overview of what search engine optimization is and how it works. We’ll then discuss whether or not it would make sense for your particular business to pursue a search engine optimization strategy. If you come to the conclusion that it would make sense for you to take advantage of the website traffic that can be obtained through search engine optimization, we will provide you with some sensible solutions for achieving that goal. After we discuss search engine optimization, we will cover an absolutely vital part of your business: tracking the activity of the people who visit your website.
  72. 72. Onlinecreativespace.com 72 | P a g e This key data can easily mean the difference between having a positive cash flow or a negative cash flow. In other words, if you don’t know the value of each of your website visitors, it will be virtually impossible to determine how much time and/or money you can afford to spend, to attract new customers to your website. On the other hand, when you can see exactly what people are doing when they go to your website (e.g. printing out a coupon, calling your company, filling out your contact or “Request a Quote” form, etc.), you’ll have the vital data necessary to grow your business in a way that will prevent you from over spending, to acquire new customers or clients. Before we get into this important topic of tracking, though, let’s cover search engine optimization first: Search Engine Optimization: An Overview Search engine optimization is the area of internet marketing that focuses on achieving a top position in the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Of course, Google is the top search engine that the majority of people use when searching for things online. In that regard, SEO Experts typically focus on getting top rankings in Google. The appeal behind search engine optimization is that it can be, in theory, a way to receive lots of free website visitors (i.e. “traffic”) to your website, without having to pay for advertising. Of course, “in theory” is the operative term, in the preceding sentence.

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