Technology is always changing and as more and more people start using tablets to go online and search for information, it is important to know how to make your website more tablet-friendly so that your website could be easily accessed. I
On more than one occasion, one of my readers has suggested to me that I publish two versions of my e-newsletter.
The first would be the regular edition I offer now
“Tis the season” doesn’t have quite the same ring when you’re going on no sleep and trying to deal with stressed-out employees and/or customers. The holidays are a time to step up, not a time to slump to the ground at the end of each workday.
So what do you need to think about now to avoid this scenario? Two major things: little helpers and your workshops. We’ll start with the hard one.
Little Helpers, i.e. employees. If you have none, you might need some. And if you already have some, you might need more. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you need another body or bodies to help you handle the season.
Are you ready for more calls?
If you take calls, have your employees keep track of the number of calls per day and duration of each for a week or two. Then ask yourself if your current employees can handle double that volume?
If the answer is either no or “but that’s all they will have time to do”, you want to think about getting help or set up with a call center for the season.
You do not have to continue using them once your business returns to normal volume if you don’t want.
If you currently use a call center…give them a call! Ask for more operators if you need them. Be sure to do this before things start to get busy. If you wait, the service center may not have as many operators available.
Do you run extended holiday hours?
I would recommend that you do!
Remember, this is a stressful time of year for shoppers. No one wants to be the one person whose present is still in the mail, and they typically get less friendly with each voice mail or e-mail they send that doesn’t get answered until the next day.
Angry customers around this time of year exponentially add to your stress levels. Offering more opportunities for them to contact you, gives you happier customers and employees.
If you can talk your current staff into extended hours, awesome. If not, getting another person or a call center to handle the extra time. Even if the call operators cannot answer specific order questions, your customers will be happier that they are leaving a message with a human rather than an automated message system.
Will you be open weekends?
As with extended hours, I recommend weekend hours during the holidays. If a customer has a product question on Saturday do you think they’ll patiently wait until Monday for an answer? No, they’ll go to whichever competitor can answer them first.
Rules change during this season. Whoever provides the best service not only wins the holiday sale, they will also have a higher chance of winning any repeat business that comes from that customer.
It is important to have someone who is knowledgeable enough about your products to be able to answer questions. So in this case I recommend having an actual employee working on the weekend, and not just a call center. Your need to available to your employees in case they get a question beyond their ability to answer.
After answering these you should have a good idea whether or not you need a new hire.
What should your new temp be able to do?
Your new temp needs to be able to do more than answer the phone and take orders; you can get a call center operator to do that for much less. Your temp should take more of the burden off your regular staff.
I require a basic knowledge of what my stores sell, the ability to quickly navigate the sites to find information, and a flexible schedule to work nights and/or weekends.
This is stuff I expect them to pick up and be fairly competent at within one week. They need to learn the basic skills it takes to service customers, my current employees can handle all the brainy stuff.
What about your workshop?
In other words, making sure your vendors are set to service you the best way they can. That means you need to get on the phone and talk to them.
Ask what products they have the better stock on and what stock is going to look like in the coming months. Add the products with a lot of stock to your gift and holiday pages and promote them. As long as you know it to be true, you can advertise “In stock and ready to ship!” Also find out what products have low or no stock. Don’t spend time advertising these since there is a good chance they won’t be available.
You could also pre-order extra quantities of your bestsellers. Every year I get a list of my top 5 to 10 bestsellers and buy them in bulk before the season hits. This way I can keep advertising them as in stock after my competitors use up the vendors’ stock. An added benefit to this is that buying bulk is cheaper than dropshipping single items so you’re making extra pro?t, which is always welcome. Before you do this, make sure it fits your budget.
If it comes down to buying stock or doing more paid advertising, go for the ads. You also have to think about storing the products. Some vendors may hold and ship the products, bulk orders. Not all vendors will do this and some will do it only for customers who bring them a certain amount of business.
Increased holiday business is awesome. Just make sure you have the people and resources in place to handle it…otherwise it can turn the best season of the year into a nightmare of stress and frustration. Luckily, some simple analysis and a few calls can keep the holiday ‘jolly’.
- Tally your calls and their duration; factor the holiday rush into it to determine whether you need extra hands to handle calls.
- Decide what your extended holiday hours are going to be and who is going to work those hours for you.
- Determine your weekend hours and who is going to work those.
- Hire a temp or a call center to ?ll in any holes in your holiday business plan.
- Call your vendors and talk to them about stock.
- Pre-order quantities of best sellers to make more profit.
- Enjoy the holiday rush
Extracted from StomperNet SEO Intelligence Report, October 28, 2011.
I was recently asked a question by a social network friend: “How do you start your business in a niche?”
At some earlier point in time, I could have grown envious of expert marketers who seem to be able to sell anything and everything, but the best way to get into business is to know the one area where you know you have the passion and skill set to solve its problems or fulfill a need, then expand your business into sub-niches. Of course, the other method is to do quantitative keyword research. A friend once told me another great way is to get at least 5 friends to tell you what they think you’re really good at.
It’s not so much a question about niche as it is about your forte.
Jump on this quick before this crazy Internet Millionaire changes his mind.
This is insane!
Marketing veteran Shawn Casey is basically giving away 3 top-notch online business and marketing courses.
Other people paid a combined value of $1,191 to attend these courses.
But not you.
Now get these same 3 courses for just $1!
How’s that for a sweeter deal!
Your website is the HUB of your business. You might be “Ms. Popular” on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, but if you send people to your site, and it falls flat, people are going to move on and look for something better.
A successful website keeps the conversation going. In today’s online world, it’s the ONLY way to effectively connect and convert potential clients into customers.
And improving your content is your LEAST expensive, MOST effective way to do this.
So why not get started with a step-by-step program created by not just one, but TWO, pro-copywriters turned highly successful online entrepreneurs. It’s called “24-7 Web Sales: Get More Leads and Clients Online at Little to No Cost” featuring entrepreneur mentor (and ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”) Ali Brown, and web content strategist Lisa Manyon. In FOUR detailed modules, these two experts walk you through your website, step-by-step, sharing all their BEST strategies, so you can quickly and easily transform it into a 24-7 SALES machine!
I recently read an online promotion from one of the big Internet marketing gurus.
In it, this gentleman
If your prospect says “I want to think it over,” it’s likely for one of these 4 reasons:
1) He’s not convinced he wants what you are offering.
2) The prospect has not been completely honest with you or doesn’t want to reveal the real reason he’s not buying.
3) The prospect wants to shop around first.
4) The prospect is afraid he may be overlooking something.
Source: Harry Browne, “The Secret of Selling Anything”
What’s the one thing that brought together over 40 of the world’s top thought leaders in business, coaching and education?
Believe it or not, it’s just one word:
Loral Langemeier, four-time bestselling author and world-renowned coach, has brought together top leaders from across a variety of different industries to share what helped them become who they are today.
During her “Yes! Energy Summit”, Loral and a team of over 40 thought leaders have committed to help change your conversation about finances, spirituality, love, life and possibility.
As with all of her books and events, Loral will share specific steps and actions that will help you find new energy and inspiration to create the life you’ve always wanted.
You will also receive a complete five day “Yes! Energy Bootcamp”, created and hosted by Loral to help you get daily support as you start your new conversation.
But first, you have to say “Yes!“
Mobile phone advertising will soon become as critical to the small business owner’s marketing campaign as Internet marketing is now. More than 5 out of 6 households have at least one mobile phone, and recent studies have found that mobile advertising is 3-5 time more effective than online advertising.
But, many people find it hard to understand how mobile advertising works. Articles and reports in the media usually focus on the ways that very large businesses use mobile advertising, which can be irrelevant to a smaller company. Below is a brief explanation of the 2 major types of phone ads available today.
With this type of mobile phone advertising, your customers or prospects ask to get text message advertisements from you. You ask them to text a special keyword that you have used in your other marketing efforts, and by doing so they opt in to your mobile advertising list. There are third party vendors that can manage your text message advertising campaigns, the cost can be paid either on an as you go basis or through special pre-paid packages.
Once a customer has opted into your mobile advertisements, you send phone ads to them through text messages (SMS). Those vendors who send coupons and notice of limited time discounts find great success with this form of mobile advertising. Restaurants, retail stores and entertainment type businesses have experienced good success.
Search Engine Mobile Advertising
The other major type of mobile advertising has its roots in the standard search engine you use on the Internet. Basically, a potential customer is looking for something in particular and does a mobile search for the information. Your mobile advertisement appears if it is relevant to the customers search.
Search engine databases are typically made up of merchants who are subscribers to the mobile search engine. There may be a per-click charge, but most just charge a monthly fee, which is a great way to have an online mobile advertising presence while staying on a budget.
Whether you prefer SMS advertising or in-page advertising, there are affordable options available to you for mobile phone advertising.
Are you looking for a web analytics service that features heatmapping? You got one at ClickTale. Heatmaps monitor which parts or pages your audience clicks on the most. This could play a major role in determining the placement of your ads or “call to action” area.
ClickTale offers a variety of heatmapping techniques, going as far as presenting data about how far a user scrolls down a website and which pages get the most attention. Clickstream tracking is also a great feature that lets you see the clicking flows of users. This helps marketers determine where users drop off on their way to conversions. This allows for the identification and calibration of weak pages.
ClickTale tracks every mouse move, click and scroll, creating playable videos of customers
When it comes to selling a product, nothing is more important than the quality of the product itself. If you have a good product, pitching it and attracting word-of-mouth advertising will be easy. Customers will recognize that it has intrinsic value as a product; and they will purchase it and spread the word to their friends.
However, when it comes to selling that same product, the next most important thing is the quality of your sales pitch. Even if your product is excellent, you won?t get a lot of word-of-mouth advertising unless at least a few brave souls are willing to purchase the product initially to kick things off. And the only way that will happen is if you persuade them to. And that?s where copywriting comes in.
Copywriting, for the uninitiated, is the art of using sales copy to persuade readers to become buyers. In the remainder of this guide, we will focus on the most important part of any piece of sales copy: the headline. In chapter 1, we will briefly consider what should go into a good headline. And in chapter 2, I will give you an exhaustive list of
Last week I went traveling on a month long vacation. Part of what enabled me to do this for a whole month was knowing that my business is in the good capable hands of my two project managers!
Most business owners only require a few staff members to execute their online marketing. It usually begins with a writer. A link builder or publisher soon follows. And eventually a full-time webmaster and graphic designer come in handy. It is much easier to get things done quickly when your virtual staff is on-demand to your projects and you don’t have to continually look for and train new people.
Pretty soon five or more virtual workers are reporting to you and all looking for their next assignment! This soon becomes a full-time job for you! Instead of outsourcing or out-tasking becoming an easy thing that frees up your time, your virtual staff require new projects, feedback about their current assignments, or help resolving roadblocks on their current tasks.
It is time for a project manager!
A project manager can usually not be hired, but rather someone that you can train from within your company. One tip here: When looking to hire a project manager or to train someone to eventually become your project manager, look for someone that knows English and Excel. The workers that are experienced in SEO, link building, and writing, are not necessarily the best for the position of project manager. A project manager does not even have to know a lot about SEO in the beginning. Their job is to follow up with your staff and make sure the work is being completed on time. They also act as an intermediary and trouble shoot any problems that arise.
When your team grows to sufficient size to warrant it, you will soon find that there are not enough hours in the day for your project managers to get things done! When that happens it is time to teach them to delegate! Developing leaders within your organization is not as easy as it sounds. Not all people can delegate easily and not all workers can supervise effectively other workers. Just because your project manager can supervise and manage five people does not mean they can supervise and manage 30. Also the team that you build in the beginning of your business may not be the team you need to build your business further.
Time to Develop Team Leaders
Just as you took the time to develop your project manager, it is now time to develop your team leaders! A team leader has a variety of responsibilities including hiring and firing new workers. This is tricky as this is something even your project manager may not have done before!
Once your organization reaches a certain level, spending time hiring, interviewing, and training new workers is not the best of the business owner’s time. You can have a team leader for writers, a team leader for web assistants or publishers, and a team leader for your webmasters and graphic designers. The team leader should be a member of the team also. In other words, your team leader for writers should also be a writer themselves so that they understand all of the procedures that need to be followed.
When you are looking for new team leaders look for workers with initiative. Workers you can trust. On the day I left for my month long vacation my project manager and a web assistant organized a meeting with 14 of our writers.
The web assistant was getting frustrated with the writers not following procedures and she asked permission to organize a meeting to talk to all of them about exactly what the web assistants needed from the writers so that they could more easily do their jobs. The meeting was a huge success with a lot of participation from all and the best part about it was that I did not have to do anything. My participation was not needed or required!
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, the next step is usually to get systems and procedures in place so that you can outsource or out-task some of your routine duties. Remember, if you can pay someone x amount of dollars to do that task, and you choose to do that task, then you are earning that x amount of dollars!
If you are on the fence about outsourcing, now is the time to get off! Make a decision that you will build your virtual dream team of workers so that you can get more done faster!
Extracted from StomperNet SEO Intelligence Report, October 14, 2011.
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Kindle is hot.
And this holiday season, there will be thousands of people going to grab Kindle either as a gift to friend or for themselves.
When they have Kindle, they need e-books that are Kindle-ready.
Now is your chance to cash on this huge market and learn how to become a Kindle publisher.
This video series with Master Resell Rights reveals all about you need to know to be a Kindle publisher…
Traditional businesses require a lot of overhead to effectively run and manage. You generally have to pay for office space, warehouse space, inventory, and a storefront. You have employees who require a paycheck and benefits. You have to pay for products, or create your own from expensive raw materials. You also have to deal with packaging and shipping.
The info-product business actually has many great benefits over selling physical products:
- Once created, you can sell a digital product again and again without having to create something new.
- Digital products require no raw resources as physical products do.
- Digital products don
A successful copywriting technique is to use lots of “bullets” in your copy
The important thing about viral e-book marketing is that it takes on a life of its own. As people start spreading your e-book virally around the Internet, more and more people become aware of you, your company and your brand. More people get to know more about your e-books and other products, and hence you make more sales. It’s free publicity and free sales, a marketer’s dream combination. So how do you get viral e-book marketing right?
Here are 5 secrets of viral marketing campaigns for e-books:
Secret #1: Make Your E-Book Free
The most important component for getting your e-book to become incredibly viral is that it has to be free. If it’s free, more people will be able to get their hands on it. If more people are able to acquire your e-book, the faster it is likely to be passed on to others, through email, social media sites, or even through word-of-mouth.
Secret #2: Have A Shocking Title
Write a title that grabs them by the eyeballs (figuratively of course) and include a very attractive ecover of your e-book as well. They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but well, the title and the cover are the only things we can judge on the first time we lay eyes on a book or e-book. A shocking title goes some way to making your e-book viral.
Secret #3: Include Giveaway Rights
Other than making your e-book free and having a shocking title plus attractive cover, including a written statement in your e-book that states it comes with giveaway rights also helps greatly. Giveaway rights basically gives your reader the right to give it away to others without seeking information from the author. This quells any doubts in people’s minds as to whether they can give away the e-book, which goes a long way to making it viral.
Secret #4: Write Jaw-Dropping Content
Without high quality content, your viral e-book marketing campaign is likely to collapse like a house of cards. This is the ‘meat’ behind your campaign, so to speak. You need to write content that is fresh or refreshing. You need to put together information that will make people go ‘wow, this e-book is really good.’ The content will be the push factor as to whether people recommend your e-book to their friends.
Secret #5: Make It Short
This is optional, but since people are so time-starved today, a short and snappy e-book (often called a report as well) may be more suitable for viral promotional purposes. Since your e-book is free, you don’t have to cram so much information into it as well. A short e-book is consumed faster, which makes it more likely that people will send it to others.
A free, quality e-book can easily go viral with the right viral e-book marketing campaign. Create your masterpiece now, and reap the rewards!