Archive for Inbound Marketing

What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media Following

If you’re just starting out with marketing your business on social media or if you’ve had your accounts setup but haven’t been using them, you need to spend some time up front building your social media following.

Here are the steps you need to take to build your social media following:

  1. Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookGet to know your Target Market Niche(s): You must identify your target market personas first. This is a crucial step. For instance, you talk to someone under 40 differently than you would to someone over 40. (Related Content: How to Reach the Generations on Social Media)
  2. Do some research on the social networks and your target: Find out:
    • Which networks do they frequent the most?
    • What are their buying habits?
    • What’s the best strategy to get their attention?
  3. Develop a Strategic Plan where you indicate:
    • What are your goals, metrics and objectives?
    • What type of content are you going to create (blog, video, pictures, podcasts) and the type of content are you going to share from trusted industry sources? You can’t just share your stuff.
    • Create specific strategies for each of the social media networks:
      • If you’re B2B, your primary network will be LinkedIn.
      • If you’re B2C, your primary networks will be Facebook and Pinterest.
      • Secondary networks for both would be Google+ and Twitter (for exposure and SEO).
      • Don’t ignore Facebook and Pinterest if you’re B2B – it still helps with reaching people. And if you’re B2C, don’t ignore LinkedIn – it gives you credibility and LI users are consumers, too! These are tertiary networks.
  4. What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media FollowingPut together a tactical plan: You’re going to spend more time up front building a following in your PRIMARY NETWORKS.
    • B2B:
      • 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn
      • Blog 2 times a week on your website
      • Blog once a week on LinkedIn
    • B2C:
      • 15 minutes a day on Facebook
      • 15 minutes a day on Pinterest
      • Blog 2-3 times a week on your website
    • Both: Automate content posting using free tools like HootSuite, Buffer or Dlvr.it to Google+ and Twitter. This could be your re-shared blog posts as well as other related and relevant content of interest to your target market from trusted sources. Use Feedly.com to organize your blog subscriptions.
  5. Search for your target market and follow them on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. When you follow someone, they’ll be notified and hopefully, if you’re sharing good content, they’ll want to follow you back. On Twitter, thank people for following you. (That’s the only network where that’s part of its culture.) This should take about 30 minutes a day between all the networks.
  6. Search for and connect with your target market and referral sources on LinkedIn
  7. Share good, relevant content on Facebook. Unfortunately, you can’t search and contact people on Facebook as your business. However, you can start with your own friends and invite them to like our page.
  8. Have both share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you on the networks and make it easy for them to share your content with their friends. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website

I didn’t mention Instagram, but you should consider it if you’re more B2C and you want to reach the under 40 crowd. Instagram just hit 700 Million monthly active users. Your strategy here will be branded pictures and short videos. SnapChat is for an even younger crowd, under 25. Similar to Instagram, use branded graphics and short videos.

Once you’ve built your social media following, then you are in management, monitoring and maintenance mode. If you’ve mastered the tools, organized your content and got a gist of how each network works, you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day.

Here are some follower goals for each of the networks for your first month:

  • Facebook: 30 likes so you can start seeing your insights then, 100 so you can start monitoring your competition in “Pages to Watch”
  • LinkedIn: 50 personal connections; 10 followers on your business page
  • Twitter: 100 followers – then you can start getting analytics
  • Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and SnapChate: 10 followers each

At the end of each month, you must review your analytics and insights.

  • Analytics & PlanningOn your website – make sure Google Analytics is setup:
    • Number of visitors and page views
    • Time spent on your site
    • Bounce rate
    • Referral sources: Besides the search engines, which social media networks brought in the most visitors to your site?
    • Conversion rates: How many visitors converted to leads because they clicked on your call-to-action?
  • On each of the social media networks:
    • Number of followers: Have you reached your goal?
    • Most popular posts: Create more of those.
    • Best time to post: When are the majority of your fans and followers online to get the most reach?
    • Follower demographics: Does this match your target market personas?
    • Engagement rate: likes, shares, comments, clicks

Then adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly for the next month.

You are probably thinking, “How do I learn HOW to do all this?”

Never fear! Your Social Savvy Solution is HERE!

I’ve got all the classes online from the how-to basics in the Master Class (boot camp) to intermediate (tools & strategy) to advanced (analytics and insights – measuring what’s working and not working). It’s setup in a logical progression with easy-to-follow video classes and demonstration videos so you learn how to do everything the right way.

You learn best practices, the culture of the major networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube), search engine optimization, blogging and content marketing. Each video is from 15 to 45 minutes long. They’re up 24/,7 so you can watch them at your own time and at your own speed.

All for only $20/m. Full-access to all the videos. Once you get through the basics, you can pick and choose which ones you want to focus on. I upload new, updated videos each month following all the changes and new features from the networks. Cancel at any time. Anywhere else you’ll pay from $25 – $80/m. Why am I less expensive?

My goal is to help the small business owner, like yourself, become social savvy enough to effectively market your business online.

What are you waiting for? Click here to get started now!

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Spring Social Media JumpStart Package: $3500 for doing the “heavy lifting” up-front work. Includes:

  1. Research and planning ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  2. Social Media Setups ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  3. JumpStart Follower Builder (1 month)
  4. 1 month free online video classes (a $20 value)

Click here for details on the all the services.

Let me do the time-consuming up-front work while you learn how to do it yourself. At the end of the JumpStart, I hand over the reigns. You have 1 month of full-access to all the classes. After that, it’s $20/month for updated videos. (This stuff is constantly changing!)

Billed upfront via Square in 3 payments ($500, 500 and 2500). You can start the online classes with your first payment. Contact me for details. 

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What is Social Proof and Why Do You Need it? [Infographic]

Social Proof is the positive influence when people find out that others are doing something.

What exactly does that mean? I’ve been checking-in on Facebook every time I go to my chiropractor. Besides giving him a great review, I’m letting people know that he’s helping me feel better with every check-in. The other day, a friend ask me, “You’re seeing Dr. French, right?” And I responded, “Yes! He’s relieved my shoulder pain tremendously!”

If my friend is in pain, I wan to help her feel better by recommending the doctor that’s helping me. Hey, that’s being a good friend.

Now multiply that by all the friends you have, your followers on social media, and their friends. That’s Social Proof. And you want it.

People buy from whom they know and trust.

Social Proof is a form of Influencer Marketing. If someone with a lot of followers likes what you are posting, the advice you have to offer or your product or service, they’re going to tell their friends. Likewise, if they DON’T like it, they’ll also tell their friends.

Social Proof is the “Keeping up with the Jones” theory.

Check out these stats:

  • 76% of Americans read reviews when choosing which local business to use
  • 72% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 70% of Baby Boomers are influenced by online opinions

Related Content: How to Best Reach the Different Generations Online


Here’s are some types of Social Proof that you need to improve. Furthermore, as your following in the social networks increases, so does your social proof.

  • Social follower count
  • Number of happy customers served
  • Testimonials
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Expert mentions
  • Unpaid celebrity endorsements
  • Wisdom of friends
  • Awards and rankings

This infographic from GetSocialProof.com explains it detail:

What is Social Proof and Why Do You Need it?

Now you’re probably wondering, “Yikes! Where do I start?” The answer is simple. Here at Your Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center you’ll find everything you need to learn how grow your social media following and getting noticed. You’ll learn the basics of establishing credibility and trust by simply blogging about what you know and telling stories of happy camper customers. Don’t worry. The tutorials go in a logical progression. So, even if you’re a tech newbie or just want to learn some new tips and tricks, you’ll find what you need here.

What are you waiting for? It’s only $20 a month for the Full-Access Run-of-the-Center. Watch as many videos as you want in one month then cancel if you wish. However, you’ll miss the update videos that we’ll be producing each month so you can keep up with all the changes and new features the networks are constantly adding. Get Started Now!

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Why You Need to Use Categories and Tags in Your Blog Posts

What would you do if I told you that taking a few seconds to do something that will improve your search engine optimization, keep visitors on your site longer, increase your page views and decrease your bounce rate, you’d do it, right? I hope so. Taking just a few seconds to use categories and tags in all your blog posts will absolutely help.

Here’s why you need to incorporate categories and tags in your blog posts…

  1. Categories and tags are keywords. Google loves keywords. Especially those that are relevant to the nice fresh content that you’re writing. Those very keywords, you discovered from your research, your target audience is entering into the search box. Additionally, they’re the ones that will help you come up on the first page of Google when someone is looking for information on that topic.
  2. They help keep visitors on your site longer. When used, Categories and Tags appear on all your blog posts. When someone clicks on one of them, all the articles with that topic come up. Furthermore, it piques the curiosity of your visitor. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the higher the chances that they’ll do something, like convert into a lead or make a purchase.
  3. It decreases your bounce rate. The bounce rate is calculated by Google Analytics (you need to have this setup already). It measures how long a visitor stays on your site. If they land on your site and not see what they want, they’ll leave quickly – or bounce out. You don’t want that. Moreover, you want a bounce rate around or lower than 50%. That means if you get 100 visitors a week to your site, 50% of them stick around to read more than one blog post.

Where do I add Categories and Tags?

Categories and tags in WordPressIn a WordPress blog, they are over on the right column about halfway down the page. Choose no more than 3 categories. You can choose as many tags as are relevant to your blog article. Think of the category as the general topic of your post and the tags as the major keywords that you mention in the article.

Below Categories are the Tags. Add as many as pertinent to your post. Don’t over do it. Choosing these comes easier after you’ve done your keyword research. Always add your name and your company name to the tags. If you’re local, add your city. Think of different ways to say the same thing. Once you’ve used tags in more than one post, click on “Choose from the most used tags” and you’ll see a “tag cloud”. The ones with in the larger font are the ones that you use most often. Just click on them to add them. Saves a ton of time!

Another mistake I see people make is leaving “Uncategorized” as a category. This is an easy one-time setup fix.

WordPress Menu - Posts, Categories & TagsOver on the left menu, under Posts, click on Categories. Here you can add all the topics that you plan to blog about in advance. You can always add a category on the fly from the right menu.

WordPress Menu- settingsThen, on the left under Settings, Writing, find “Default Post Category”, and choose one of the most generic topics that describes your blog. This way if you forget to pick a category, it won’t be under “Uncategorized”. “Uncategorized” doesn’t help whatsoever – it definitely isn’t a keyword! If you have blog posts with “Uncategorized”, they’ll be automatically changed to whatever topic you indicate here.

When blogging regularly, at least weekly, and using categories and tags religiously in all your blog posts, you’ll start to see an increase in the number of page views per visit and a decrease in the bounce rate.

Have you been blogging and not using categories and tags?

You can easily add them to past blog posts by going to “All Posts” from the left menu. You’ll see a list of all your posts and columns for both categories and tags. Hover your mouse over the the post title and you’ll see links. Click on “Quick Edit” and you’ll be able to add the relevant categories and tags for that post. Click on “Edit” to open the full editing screen if you need to.

In conclusion, this is just a small part of what it takes to blog effectively. The easy-to-follow tutorials in the Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center will guide you through planning what to write about, how to blog on WordPress, how to get exposure and drive traffic to your website with social media marketing and how to see what’s working and not working each month.

For only $20 a month and you can watch all the videos at your own pace, at whatever time works for you! Cancel at any time, but you’ll see that the valuable update videos produced each month are worth every penny.

With time and practice, you’ll be blogging in less than an hour and managing your social media in 30-minutes a day! Yes, you can!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe expert in anything was once a beginner.

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How Not Blogging Weekly Hurts Your Reputation

The purpose of blogging weekly is to keep Google happy and attract new visitors to your website who will convert to leads or clients.

What does Google want? Google wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.

What do your potential customers want? They want answers to their problems, information, advice or to be entertained – and the want it now!

The last thing Google or a potential customer wants to see is that your last blog post was March of 2012. OK, you may not be that bad. But even a month old is too old.

If you’re not blogging? How are people finding you?

First, if you haven’t updated your site in years, it won’t come up on Google search. Over 83% of searchers are on a mobile device. If your site is not mobile-friendly and responsive, you absolutely won’t come up. Basically, the only traffic you’re getting to your site is from someone who clicked on the link on one of the social media networks or they have your business card. Too few, I bet. Or they Googled your business name exactly. Most all business will come up for their name. But if there’s another business with a similar name, and their content is more recent, they’ll come up first. Not good.

Now, lets look at it from the potential customer’s point of view.

Frustrated potential customer who can't find content because you're not bloggingLet’s say it’s an entrepreneur looking for a contractor in a specific city because she’s opening a new business. She goes on LinkedIn and searches for “commercial contractor my city”. She sees that the 2 folks that come up are not in her network. But, they have the links to their respective websites. The searcher clicks on the links and goes to the websites. Contractor 1 has a website that looks dated – old fashioned. She clicks on About Us to read about the company, who are they, how long have they’ve been in business, etc. Then she clicks on Blog. The last article was in 2012, just text, long paragraphs and no pictures or videos. Under Portfolio, there are pictures with no descriptions. You can’t tell where the projects were, how long it took to build, was it under budget?

This happy customer found content that helps in a blog.Over at Contractor 2’s site, there are high-quality graphics with their last 3 projects on the home page. Each are linked to a blog post describing each project in detail. At the bottom are tags and categories with links to other similar blog posts by type of project. The person seeking will look for articles about projects like what she’s planning to build. She thinks, “This company has experience doing projects like the one I’m planning. I’m calling them.”

Also on their site are testimonial videos showcasing recent projects from start to finish with the happy camper client opening the door of their redone place. Yes, like the “reveal” on those home improvement shows. Ah, but before the entrepreneur makes the call, she’s going to check their Facebook page to see if there are any reviews and updates. (The first company didn’t even have a Facebook page. Oh, my!) There she finds 5, 5-star reviews. She’s sold.

Wow! That took maybe an hour. Which is how long it should take you to write a blog post.

Blogging regularly builds trust and credibility. People buy from whom they know and trust.

What should you blog about?

  • Tell Stories – people like to identify with people in stories; use pictures of people like your target audience.
  • Don’t let this happen to you! Hypothetical situations
  • FAQs – anticipate what a potential customer will be asking
  • Industry news – careful with the industry jargon, though. Remember your audience is not the expert. You are. Write for an 11-year-old.
  • Offer advice, useful information
  • Blog about what you know

Get more ideas in the blogging and content marketing class videos as a member of Social Savvy Solution! For just $20, you can watch as many videos as you want. Cancel at any time. But, I’ll be sharing updated videos each month.

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How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

How Often Should You Blog for Marketing Success?I just watched a webinar on “The Future of Marketing” (this link will take you to the slides). The first presenter, Mark Schaefer made me realize that the “marketing wheel” graphic I use to explain how today’s marketing works is obsolete. Ah, the challenges of keeping up with this stuff!

Before, you wrote a blog post, then shared it on the social networks. Ideally, your target market saw the post, was enticed to click on it, which led them back to your website. Well, that kinda-sorta still works, but it seems like the social media networks, predominantly Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’ll throw in Google+, want publishers to create content just for them. They want to be the content magnets. They want the attention. So your website isn’t the center of it all anymore — the social networks want to be your source of information.

How to Simplify Marketing that is More Complicated than Ever

Source: The Future of Marketing Webinar with Mark Schaefer

What’s up with the Social Media Networks?

The social media networks are in this to make money. They rely heavily on user analytics and data. Moreover, they make changes to their platforms based on that data.

Their objective is to…

  • get people on their platform
  • keep people on their platform
  • collect personal information (yeah, I know, Big Brother)
  • then take that data and use it for advertising

What you need to do in your marketing:

You can’t get around this. To quote the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You must comply.”

  1. Go where your customers are
  2. Focus on building awareness
  3. Give people a reason to go to your website

Because content and information are so readily available — between digital media and apps — people have what they need at their fingertips.

So what’s a small business marketer to do?

  1. Now more than ever you MUST start with narrowing your target market niches. Write up personas, give them names. Get to know them. How do they use social media? What devices do they prefer?
  2. Do some research. Once you’ve narrowed down the niches, you have to study their habits. Breaking them up in to basic age groups is the first key:
    1. Under 25
    2. 25-40
    3. Over 40
  3. What are their pain points/problems that you can solve? How can you make their lives better, easier, more fun, happier, etc.?
  4. Come up with the content that gives them what their looking for — blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures. What you choose depends on the networks they frequent and what each age group prefers.
    1. Blog posts at least 300 words
    2. Videos that you upload directly to Facebook or Facebook live videos
    3. Short Instagram videos
    4. Short opinion, motivational, inspirational or advice pieces/text accompanied by a picture
    5. Original articles for LinkedIn — especially if you’re B2B
  5. Write this all down in strategic and tactical plans.
  6. Implement the plan
  7. Monitor and measure — check your analytics monthly to see what’s working and not working. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
  8. Plan for the next month – set new goals and benchmarks
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 every month.

By this point you’re probably thinking, “I can’t do this!” “There’s too much!” “I just want to quit!”

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution SIMPLIFIED! Marketing made simple.

Your Social Savvy Solution Simplified! Marketing made easy!Yes, I added another “S”!

If you follow the steps, in that order, you will be able to reach your target market, draw them to your website and convert them into a sale. I outline everything for you. From optimizing your website and profiles for the search engines — both Google and the social networks — to strategizing for each network — to how to measure your efforts. Each step is covered in detail. Even how and where to do research.

Best of all, it’s affordable! Just $20 gets your started! You can watch the all the videos, download all the materials 24/7. Go at your own pace, in your own time. If you’re a morning person, get up early and watch a video or two. If you’re a night owl, watch them at 1am. Whatever works for you! The individual classes are around 15-35 minutes. Everything is in a logical progression. You can view the videos covering where you feel you need more help first then check out the others later on. You have full-access to all training materials.

What’s more, there are new, updated videos each month. As the networks add new features and change things around, I’ll record both presentations and demonstration videos explaining the changes, what they mean to you and what you need to do to adapt it to your business.

Face it. In this age of modern technology, you have to go at the speed of change or definitely get left behind. It’s your choice.

Join now, stop at any time.

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How Not to let Today’s Marketing Technology Drive You Crazy

Let’s face it, business owners, Marketing Technology (or MarTech to the techie folks) can get out of hand. What happened to the days when putting your shingle outside your store and an ad in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) was enough?

Take a look at the infographic depicting all the marketing technology choices out there in 2016:

You can click on it to view a larger image, but don’t go cross-eyed trying to make sense out of it.

How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyThis goes to show you the ridiculous amount of marketing technology choices out there.

You can’t be on all the networks all the time!
It’s impossible!

Here are 10 Logical Steps You Need to Follow to keep Yourself Sane in this crazy MarTech world.

  1. How not to let today's marketing technology drive you crazyClearly Define Your Target Marketing Niches – You can have more than one target market! But you MUST identify them. Start with this FREE Workbook.
  2. Do some research on your target, which social networks they use most often and figure out the best way to reach them. Create personas for each niche.
  3. Get to know your target audience. What do they like or don’t like? What are they looking for? How can your product or service make their lives better, easier, more fun, etc.
  4. Get to know the networks. Each one has its own culture. What works on Twitter doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Do you even have to be on Snapchat?
  5. Make a plan. Brainstorm with your team or a mentor. Work out some strategies on how to engage your target audience on the social networks. You don’t have to be on all the networks! Focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most.
  6. Make a content calendar. What are you going to blog about? What does your target audience need to know that will make their lives better…. etc.? (What’s in it for them?)
  7. Optimize EVERYTHING. Each and every description, about section, bio, web page and blog post must be optimized not just for Google, but for the powerful internal search engines that each network has.
  8. The first step towards getting somewhereTake time to learn. You can never waste your time learning how to do something better and more efficiently.
  9. Use it or lose it. Apply what you learn right away so you don’t forget it. Don’t be afraid to wander around Facebook or LinkedIn even Twitter and Google+. You’ll get faster and savvier, the more you participate and engage.
  10. Have confidence. As you learn how to properly and effectively use the social media networks to engage with your target; as you get more comfortable creating the content that your target audience wants to see, you will feel more confident with your marketing efforts and you’ll also start seeing results.

Learning

That’s why I created Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only. It’s where you can go and get all the knowledge that you need, in a logical progression, to become the confident, savvy marketer so you can….

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Grow a following
  • Become an influencer
  • Increase sales
  • Get on the first page of Google
  • Be more effective

What are you waiting for? Special Introductory Price…. Learn More….

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25 Powerful Words to Generate Quality Leads [Infographic]

Marketing is about getting results. Usually that includes generating quality leads. Moreover, the challenge lies in not just attracting potential customers to your website, but converting them from a visitor into lead and furthermore, converting that lead into a sale. That’s the bottom line, right?

You want to put these CTAs in several places in your website and blog. You website should walk a visitor directly to where you want them to go and what you want them to do. Make it easy for people to do what you want otherwise, they’re not going to it.

I came across this infographic by Barry Feldman on Social Media Today with a whole list of powerful calls-to-action (CTAs) that you can easily adapt to your business and use them to convert visitors into quality leads.

25 Powerful Words to Generate Quality Leads [Infographic]Get Creative! Spin these around to be relevant for your business.

What’s more, use them on your social media posts. Mix the CTA posts with your content posts. Make sure that the links go to landing pages. The landing pages should not have anything else on it but the offer. No sidebar, widgets, or links to other parts of your website. Nothing to distract people from doing what you want them to do — give you their email address.

Also, use these in your marketing emails. Add relevant graphics. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create ads like this one….Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

To make sure you get quality leads, you need to clearly define your target market, understand them and their buying habits. By the same token, your blog articles need to speak to them in language they understand. Your headlines should entice a potential customer to click on the link that you shared on your social media networks.


Related Content: It Takes Time to See Results from Content Marketing


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Q&A Video Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

A Realtor asked, “How can I increase my sales satisfactorily?” He then elaborated: “I have been dealing in the Real Estate business for 20 years. Three years ago I launched my Website, but I did not notice a big difference since then. How can I improve my sales?” Without knowing where he’s located or looking at his site, I’m assuming that all he has is a glorified online brochure – aka a stagnant website. That, by itself, is like having a billboard in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship MAY see it, but it’ll be few and far between.

In this installment of Q&A with the Wiz, I answer his question. It’s a good lesson on how to do it right in today’s marketing world.

Here’s Q&A Realtor: How Do I Increase My Sales?

The Real Estate industry is highly competitive and very saturated. That is there are too many Realtors out there for the number of potential customers.

What makes him or her different from the other Realtors in their office or down the street? How do you stand out? What’s your passion?

People buy from whom they know and trust. Building trust and credibility online is more than just saying “I’ve been in the Real Estate business for 20 years.”

Today’s Inbound Marketing is like a 3-legged stool. You must have a website properly optimized for the search engine, along with fresh content in the form of a blog (at least weekly) and then you have to share your blog posts in the social media networks as well as actively participating and engaging with followers. You can’t have one without the other 2 and expect results.

The content, when shared on social media, will drive people to the website. It’s up to the website, with a clear call to action, to capture that lead. You’re converting a visitor into a lead – a warm lead! You need to give them something. Maybe a guide to living in your city. A free downloadable ebook that the visitor to your site, if interested, will give you their email address in return.

Once you have their email address, they’re put into a drip marketing automation system. They first get a thank you for downloading with a link to the ebook. Then in a day or two, you might send them an email asking them when they’re planning on moving and offer a free phone consultation. If they don’t respond in a few days, you may then send them a video of you in front of one of your listings. And so on….. Even having a monthly newsletter with excerpts from your blog as well as your current listings will keep you “top of mind”. And if they’re still interested, they may take action.Book your free 30-minute phone consult

When I ask a Realtor, “Who’s your target market?” They almost always say, “Anyone who wants to buy or sell a house.” Then I “Say narrow that down.” Then they’ll say, “Hispanics” or “Snowbirds” or some other category. Narrow it down a little more. “Retirees living in Canada and the Northwest U.S. who want to move to Phoenix.” OK, now we have a target!

You have to write a blog post at least once a week. 2-3 times a week is optimal. Start with every frequently asked question you can think of that you’ve been asked in your career as a Realtor! Write about the neighborhoods, the arts and cultural events, things to do, etc. Show off your knowledge of the area. The idea is that you’re building that trust and credibility and you’re sharing information that your target market wants.

Use social media to not just connect with pFree Download: Define Your Target Market Workbookotential clients, but also referral sources. It’s not who you know it’s who your friends know. You’ll want to be on LinkedIn for professional connections, Facebook and Pinterest to reach the consumers, Google+ and Twitter for exposure.

It will take a lot of time and effort, but if you diligently blog 2-3 times a week and spend a few minutes a day on social media (once you have a social media following built), you should start seeing results in 2-3 months. Figure it’s going to take about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following on the social networks, if you’re starting from scratch — beside blogging 3 times a week. And if you’ve never blogged, the more content you put out there, the faster Google will take notice.

Increasing sales, though it’s the bottom line of what you want, is the end goal. Set a monetary goal for the year. Break it down in to monthly goals starting modestly in the beginning then increasing as you get better at marketing.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

 

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3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results

What does an “effective website” or “results” mean to you?

  • Would you like more visitors to your site? That’s nice, but are they buying or converting — doing what you want them to do?
  • Increased conversions? That’s when a visitor to your site either buys something or downloads a freebie to be added to your email list.
  • More sales?

That’s it! The bottom line – more sales!

The bottom line is sales! Unfortunately, many small business owners only have a really nice online brochure that doesn’t come anywhere near being an effective website.

And, guess what? It’s not your fault. It’s another case of not knowing what you don’t know.

Usually when a small business owner hires someone to build a website for them, they want the best price around for what they think they need. You hired someone who told you that sure, they can build a WordPress website for you. Well, anyone can. That’s the beauty of WordPress. It’s fairly easy to construct a site, however, like when constructing a house you need 3 critical things:

  1. The foundation and walls – bricks, wood, paint, etc., aka the DESIGN.
  2. Functioning parts — plumbing, electrical, etc., aka the DEVELOPMENT.
  3. All the insides — furniture, appliances, decorations, etc., aka the COPY.

Each of these components, like in building a house, requires specific talents and skills to build a house that’s livable. Sometimes you find the perfect contractor or company who has all of the talents and skills needed. But, that’s rare and it may be expensive. Let’s break each one down….

A Web Designer

3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces ResultsA designer is a very creative person who can take your logo and color scheme and create a beautiful online brochure. The designer might be a very talented graphic artist and make your site “easy on the eyes”, but can they write? Do they know the mechanics of creating effective calls-to-action, back it up, create a shopping cart and secure it from hackers? Sure you want to help out your relative who just graduated from design school, but in the end, you’re not going to have a site that works for you.

For instance, a realtor contacted me and asked me if I could determine why their website wasn’t coming up on the first page of Google. (Isn’t that everyone’s wish?) Well, the site was gorgeous. It was promoting a new condo in downtown Phoenix. There was no blog with fresh content touting the benefits and fun of living downtown. There was no way to capture leads. Yes, they had a contact form to setup a tour, but it wasn’t compelling enough. It lacked good copy.

A Web Developer

web developerThis is a techier person. They can figure out all the mechanical parts of the website. The developer will build a secure shopping cart, install all the proper plugins to make it secure, back it up and make it search engine optimized. They’ll make it easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and install all the widgets needed to engage the visitor. A developer may not have a eye for design and they probably aren’t creative writers. They usually put up the information that you give them – but is it effective copy?

I was asked to review a website and in reading their “about us” section, ran into the phrase “grown slowly”. It stopped me cold. Slowly? That’s a negative connotation. That word doesn’t need to be there. Just having “grown” is sufficient. It implies logical growth — from a mom and pop outfit to a company with over 50 employees.

There was another site that listed in their “about us” page why they stock the products that they’re selling. All text, no pictures. A designer would have added graphics or videos to make it more attractive.

The Copywriter

Good copy helps a target find what they want. Good marketing copy walks the visitor through a logical progression to exactly where you want them to go. It’s compelling, enthralling, enchanting. (Don’t laugh, it’s what you need!) It captures the visitor’s attention with eye catching, curiosity-piquing headlines and sub-headlines. It keeps the reader going with bullet points (people don’t like reading long sentences or paragraphs) and bold and italics for emphasis.

So where does this leave you?

In conclusion, if you’re website is not effectively drawing potential customers in, then converting them, it’s nothing more than a really pretty online brochure. Don’t you think you should do something about it?

You need to educate yourself on how it all works, so when you do hire someone to do it for you, you don’t get “taken”. In Your Social Savvy Solution, the 24/7, full-access, online training center, you will find all the classes you need to really get a grip on your marketing.

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Q&A Video: What’s the Secret to Great SEO?

Everyone wants to know what the secret is to great SEO – search engine optimization — and coming up on the first page of Google search.

There are 3 simple steps to great SEO which I explain in this video:

Here’s the complete transcript of the video “What’s the Secret to Great SEO?”:

What's the secret is to great SEOStep 1 is to make sure your website is setup properly — optimized with effective title and meta tags. It should load quickly and have relevant external links. Optimize your site with relevant keywords.

Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. What are they going to enter into the search engine to find what you have to offer? Do keyword and target market research. I’ve got some resources available on my website to guide you through this process.

Step 2 is to become a content magnet by providing Google with fresh content at least weekly. Google is looking for fresh, relevant content written for the human reader. Write your blog posts for your target audience with the search engine in mind. Videos, podcasts and graphics also count as content. Make sure when you embed content on your blog that you summarize. The search engine only sees text and links.

Step 3 is to share the link to your content on social media – especially posting it “public” on Google+, so Google will index it in the search engine. Pin it on Pinterest – it takes the link with it. Share it on bookmarking sites like Digg & StumbledUpon. Those create legitimate backlinks to your site. Oh, and make sure you have share and follow buttons. The follow buttons are perfect external links that make it easy for people to follow you and the share buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content with their friends.

Hey, and if you have a burning social media, SEO or content marketing question, please either comment below or shoot me an email! Thanks for watching & my goal is to help you get social savvy!

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

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