Blog Archives

Dynamically Brand Your Company for Growth and Success

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpress

Do you have the answer to these three questions about your brand:

–Is your brand killing your company growth?
–Is your company brand ready to expand to meet your needs?
–Is your company brand reaching out to multiple audiences at once?

Dynamic branding is the backbone of any successful marketing campaign and business venture!

Find out today how your brand is holding back the growth of your company and limiting your marketing success at http://tinyurl.com/nrkftk.

Learn to earn today using “Leave Your Mark” Marketing!

Best,
Diana Bourgeois

**************************************************
If you are in the virtual neighborhood, please feel free to join me on Twitter @magicusa, Facebook through http://www.facebook.com/diana.bourgeois, Biznik at http://biznik.com/groups/women-in-business, or Women in Business Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/kl2trj.

Advertisements

Twitter Talk 101

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressHave you wanted to dip your toes into the Twitter pool? 

Welcome to Twitter Talk 101!

My goal is to give you a quick lesson on how to talk Twitter so Tweeple (Twitter people) will respond to your Tweets.

Here are five “must know” tips to speak the language of the Twitter-verse:

  1. Worth Repeating:  RT (re-tweet) is a way to give props to other Tweeters for a great find or saying something worth repeating.  Everyone loves to be RT because it spreads their tweets around Twitter!  But, remember, you are putting your name on their tweet, so check it out and make sure it something you want to share with your followers.    Tweet Example:  RT @MagicUSA Check out my recent article Warning: U R Contaminating Your Marketing Pool 
  2. Add Pounds (#):  The # sign behind a tweet is a way for Tweeple to search for terms.  Twitter probably logs millions of tweets a week.  Google could not even keep up with that kind of traffic!  Entering # and a descriptor afterwards gives people the chance to search for that term.  Tweet Example:  “Don’t tell my mother I work in an advertising agency; she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse.”- Jacques Seguela #quote
  3. Short and Sweet URLs:  Many people are concerned that they will run out of things to talk about in 140 character increments.   Some possibilities include music, video, articles, websites, blogs, and stories from around the internet; however, because you only have 140 characters, long URLs can be a problem!  Here is your best URL friend in the world:  www.tinyurl.com.  TinyURL makes long, rambling URLs into short and sweet Twitter-friendly URLs.  HINT:  Be sure to add an extra space on each side of your links to make sure they are set apart from the text (avoids links that do not work!)  Tweet Example:  Read “Ease Muscle Tension and Stress at Your Desk” by Kristi Daniels, Work-Life Balance Examiner   http://tinyurl.com/degkg4
  4. Set the Date:  Certain days in the Twitter-verse hold a special meaning.  For example, Fridays are always #followfriday (remember that the # sign makes it searchable!).  So, on Friday, promote some of the better Tweeters you know to your followers.  They usually return the favor and send a DM of appreciation.  Tweet Example:  [insert your reason here – something short like GREAT TWEETS will work fine] @MagicUSA  @SEOcopy  #followfriday
  5. DM or not to DM:  After being followed, you have access to the direct message (DM) feature of each person.  DM is the 140 character equivalent of an email.  Use it politely and with caution until you have tweeted with a person a few times.    Twitter Note:  NEVER use DM for advertisements or promotions.  This will get you unfollowed or banned from Twitter.

Ok…that’s it!  If you have any questions or comments about Twitter, then please let me know. 

Talk back to me…or ask your most burning social media marketing question to see yourself as the star of my next Examiner topic.

Tweet’cha Later @MagicUSA

Social Media Mission: Come one, Come all

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressIn my new capacity as Social Media Marketing Examiner (http://www.examiner.com/x-8932-Social-Media-Marketing-Examiner) for Examiner.com, my task is to write several times a week on the benefits and pitfalls of social media marketing.

Cue scary music (DUM DUM DUMMMMM is heard the background!)…

So, here is our mission if we chose to accept it:

The rules are several times a week I have to post something informative yet bite-size for readers to enhance their understanding of social media and marketing!

I am so looking forward to this ride into social media marketing.  Join me wont you?

Our first trip…for your enjoyment…is called Twitter Talk 101.

Let’s see if we can get some REAL answers and please…and talk back to me.  Let me know what I can answer or help you understand.

Warning: U R Contaminating Your Marketing Pool!

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressIn the everyday race for place and space in the online social marketing world, many business owners are getting caught up in the quicksand of believing that pure numbers equal ROI (return on investment).  In truth, watching the numbers add up can be a natural high that screams from the Academy Awards podium Sally Fields style, “You like Me, You Really like Me.”  Dazzling lights and little golden statues aside, let’s really evaluate those numbers and how they convert into actual marketing numbers for your business.

Many business owners suffer the frustrating feeling of exhausting even more of their time trying to tip toeing through the learning curve and sift through the techno-geek language barrier constructed around each social media forum.  For example, how long does it take for you to learn to “RT your @tweeps about #quote” or “hit your tweeples with a shout out to your new twit @MagicUSA on #followfriday”?  Insane yet?  Multiply that by the number of social media networks in the known universe and becoming a hermit with a dog in Florida on the beach will seem like a good idea!

What is worse than the multitude of social media that the average business owner tries to participate in during a given week is the amount of time invested without measuring the results.  Now, if you are shaking your head and pointing at that little number spinning like the meter on a gas pump, then bad news is about to enter your world:  UR contaminating your marketing pool!

For years, everyone has been taught that electronic marketing is about gaining the largest group of people to send a massive email to on a regular basis in hopes that 1% of those people will buy your product, ask for your services, or move on to whatever the next step is in the marketing plan.

NOTE:  YOU MUST HAVE A MARKETING PLAN…on paper…with marketing options for “what ifs.”  This is a truth of every business no matter what industry.  If you don’t have a marketing plan, stop reading now and get one!  I will wait.

Now, back to the discussion at hand—Old drip marketing theory stated that having thousands of people in your marketing pool to blast out electronic materials was the key to success.  The marketing measure of ROI lists around 1% with 3-5 touches.  Without a calculator and nothing up my marketing sleeves, it is easy to see that the numbers run at about 10 conversions for every 1000 and 50 for every 5000 opt-ins.  The reality would “seem” to be that more equals better sales right?  Wrong.  This rule only holds true with a properly niche market that understands and desires the product.

In social media marketing, this widely missed marketing point equates to the big uh-oh for ROI.  When the rule of niche marketing is applied to 10,000 opt-ins, the results would seem to be 100 actives as a ROI; however, the reality is that because the niche marketing pool of interested and invested potentials is diluted significantly the 1% conversion rate drop dramatically almost off of the measurable ROI chart.

There is a bonus round for contaminating your marketing pool called the Law of Diminishing Returns.  The realistic problem that most business owners encounter in social media marketing using forums like Twitter, Facebook, and Squidoo is learning to use the social media in such a way that they are accepted by the group.  This takes lots of time.  Every business owner has just made the ultimate conversion without the need for a ROI calculator.  Yes…time is money!  So, when you spend two hours twittering and gain a ton of followers without any sign ups for a FREE offer or your newsletter, consider how you are truly investing your hard earned time.  If, on the other hand, 5000 people sign up for your newsletter, but none of them are in your market segmentation and do not convert to sales, then you are contaminating your marketing pool with uninterested parties.

Here are four fast ways to pump up the volume on your target niche marketing pool without contamination:

  • Set Your Goals.  Know what you want to achieve by having a presence on any social network.  Are you looking for recognition?  Opt-ins?  Visits to your website?  Whatever your goal might be, if you do not establish it now, then you will not be able to accurately measure your ROI.  Worse, when you are spending time building networks that add followers in the thousands, then you will have a false sense of accomplishment and a warm, fuzzy feeling that your marketing plan is working.
  • Time Management.  The biggest misconception about social media is that you are not spending any money to advertise or display company good.  The investment of time in the management and daily interaction with social media connections, followers, and friends is transparent; however, it has to be counted in the marketing ROI because time is money for any sized business.  Whether up-keeping a large company profile or providing simple outreach from a small business owner to a potential client, the expenditure of three hours a day twittering is valid and real to the bottom line.  A good ROI formula for gauging marketing investment is:
  1. For Service Oriented Businesses—Time (hrs. per week) spent on all social media (times) hourly charge for standard services.
    Example:  14 hours a week (2 hours per day) (times) $50 per hour = $700 a week, $2,800 a month, or $36,400 a year!
  2. For Product Oriented Businesses—Number of product sold in a week (times) price point of product (divided by) number of hours spent on social media.
    Example:  15 ebooks per week  (times)  $20 each (divided by) 14 hours of social media marketing = around $21 per hour.  Now backtrack, if your time expenditure is $21 per hour and you spent 14 hours doing social media, then you made less than $1 this week.

In each case, realizing the investment in a social media campaign in term of dollars helps to bring business owners a realistic picture of their ROI.  And the beat goes on!

  • Social Media Savvy.  At this point, most business owners are disgusted with even the mere mention of using social media to further their marketing efforts.  Before you ditch all of your social media marketing efforts, here is the point at which we get down the meat and potatoes of WHY and HOW social networking can help businesses succeed without contaminating a marketing pool.  Ready?  Invest your time in social networking and social media marketing that targets your specific audience.  Ideally, incorporating social media into your marketing plan is not an IF statement.  Without doubt, social media and network can give you outreach to potential clients that would cost mega dollars in other venues; however, remember the earlier statement about a marketing plan?  Here is where the plan becomes a reality.

Every good marketing plan will include several elements like goals, target audience, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and distribution plan.  The key to social media marketing, at this stage, is to successfully identify your target audience and reach toward those people in your social network most affected by your message.  In short, if your target audience is women who are mothers, then your general target audience on any social network, like Twitter, should be women who are mothers with the same goals.  Even more to the point, if your target audience is career women, then use specific career women oriented forums to build a network.

  • Spend Time on Success.  Once you have built a strong social network with a base of followers, interact with them using strong information that will benefit their business or life.  Constantly trying to sell someone something is the quickest way to lose followers.  With a modest investment in time in your targeted marketing niche networks, your network will grow as others seek you out for information and recommend you to their followers.  The most important thing to remember is that social networking is an investment in time and money.  So, when you find your tweeps, invest in them and give them a reason in tweet about you!

Any business owner will readily agree that they would rather have 50 hot leads than 1000 cold leads. With these tips, business owners will be able to make the most of out of their efforts to participate in social media and build a robust following in every social platform.

Most of all, know when to say when!  If you need help or it becomes too costly for you to maintain your social media network, then find a marketing company that specializes in social media marketing or a VA that will help you.  The intelligent choice is not whether or not to commit to a plan of social media marketing.  The real choice what is the best way to plan a social media campaign that does not waste your time and jeopardize your ROI!  This is the way to work smarter…not harder!

Tweet’cha later.  Feel free to catch up with me @MagicUSA!

Customer Centric Marketing: Learning to Love Your Customers

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpressThe Situation

“Do you love your customers?”

I waited while she tried to formulate an answer.  And waited.  And…oh yeah…waited some more.  Seeing she was obviously struggling for expression, I prompted her again.

“How do you show your customers that they are important to you?”

I send a card at Christmas,” she offered, unhappy with the path of the conversation.

I leaned forward in my chair.  The “Ah Ha!” moment that every marketer waits for…lives for…dreams of was coming to the surface!

And then the explosion hit!

“So, you are saying that I contact them once a year with a Christmas card.  You are saying that my marketing efforts are wasted because I don’t hold my customers hands by sending them cute little cards on their birthday or anniversary with the company?”

“No, I am saying that your current customers are the most valuable thing your company owns.  And, without an outreach marketing program designed at retaining their business, you are not maximizing your marketing dollars.  They will start to base their purchasing decisions on price instead of value.  In this economy, do you really want to compete on price alone?”

The Solution

There is lots of chatter about the economy.  The simple reality is that cutting your marketing budget will not bring the savings needed to make a difference.  For most, the loss of exposure is painful for many years.

Learning to use marketing dollars  to leave your mark in your customers minds converts those marketing dollars back into sales with interest by retaining your present customer base.

How? 

Now, there is the million dollar question. 

Most companies miss the answer completely by lumping it under the “Customer Service” category.  By polling the interests, concerns, and issues of your present clients, you can target your marketing campaigns toward your current customer base with a speed that might seem like ESP!

And it is…an extra special perspective when you look at your customers from a customer service point of view.

Examples of solution based marketing for customer outreach include:

  • Articles, Podcasts, and Video that instruct or fix a problem.
  • Coupon, Promos, and Contest that gives a reason to interact.
  • Email Marketing and Surveys that continually ask for input.

Many of our customers are confused about social media such as LinkedIn.  Last month, we did a podcast with article on how to make the most of LinkedIn.  We received SO MANY emails of appreciation! 

This month, at customer request, we will do a video on how to complete and SEO a blog posting! 

So I ask you:  “How do you show your customers that they are important to you?”

Six Steps to Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn

Advertising, Blogging, Business, email marketing, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, project managers, return on investment, roi, social media, social networking, twitter, Viral Marketing, virtual assistants, wordpress

Ever notice that some people have tons of connections in LinkedIn and some people have one? 

While it is easy to sign up for a LinkedIn account, few people realize that their LinkedIn account can open doors to new business partnerships, potentials clients, and a wealth of information to aid in building a business.  Although it is not exactly rocket science, establishing strong relationships in LinkedIn is quickly replacing lunch meetings and cold calls.  And, the reason why is simple.  You can easily meet and introduce yourself to a host of interesting and interested business contacts all with a few minutes.  More importantly, you gain exposure to many other business owners and clients from across the street as well as across the world!

There is a failure for business owners.  About 80% of LinkedIn profiles are filled with resume information instead of business information.  If you are asking yourself why this matters, the answer is quite clear to any marketer within a hundred paces.  You have to present yourself in such a way that it shows visitors why they would want to meet you and what you have to offer as a connection.  Be realistic, when you look at your LinkedIn profile, do you see someone who is credible?  Your LinkedIn profile should be the online equivalent of your elevator speech because you only get 9 seconds to impress the person who reads it.   Bad is if the person comes away from your profile unimpressed with you.  Worse…someone elects not to read it at all.

Let’s start the New Year off right by toning up your profile (no heavy lifting, I promise!) to harness the power of LinkedIn with this quick checklist:

  1. Profiling:  Look at your LinkedIn profile in the Big Picture view.  If it is not complete, then deduct points.  If it does not use power words that speak specifically of skills, talents, and experiences, then start over.  Don’t be afraid to tell people your specialties in your summary and list keywords that add targeted punch to your skill set.  For example, I am a marketer, but that says absolutely nothing.  But, if you read my profile you find that I specialize in marketing for women and coaches.  You have a deeper understanding of my abilities, especially if you are women business owner or a coach.  Make yourself stand out by not being a part of the crowd of general adjectives and boring copy.
  2. Sharing:  Start with the knowledge that if you do not approach others, you will not get asked to dance!  Add connections to your profile by sending invitations to people in your address book and adding your LinkedIn profile badge to all of your outgoing information like your blog, email messages, and your website.  Publicize your profile everywhere you can and you will be surprised how many people start linking to you.
  3. Joining:  This is the fun part!  Now that you have a great LinkedIn profile, join some groups.  LinkedIn really makes this easy because you can join groups according to religion, education, hobbies, sports, job interests, inspiration, and support.  If you can think of a reason or interest, then it is likely that LinkedIn has a group started already for you to join.  By joining groups, you will get to send connection requests to group members and they will get to contact you for connections.  Many group supply discussion boards, messaging space, and connection updates.
  4. Asking:  This is the one place that so many people forget to upkeep in their LinkedIn profile.  Perhaps because we are concerned about asking for testimonials and reviews from past connections, we shy away from asking for a recommendation or referral.  Don’t!  If you have had a good relationship with another LinkedIn member, then ask for a recommendation.  And…return the favor because their recommendation gives you credentials, but your recommendation gives you exposure in their LinkedIn profile too.  It is the best of both worlds.
  5. Answering:  One of the vital assets of the LinkedIn community is often building a network of people who can offer insight into questions you might have about business.  In order to find those connections, asking and answering questions is a great way to establish a first contact.  By asking questions, you are able to be an expert in a field and offer guidance to someone else.  In return, by asking a question, you are giving the opportunity for others to show their expertise.  Everyone has questions…now you have network to ask.
  6. Adding:  Use the robust applications of LinkedIn to share what you are doing with your blog, add polls to your profile, and share presentations.  Creating a 360 degree link to all of your activities gives the people in your LinkedIn network the ability to follow your message without difficulty or direction.  In the end, your LinkedIn profile should be about “working smarter, not harder” to get connections.

LinkedIn might seem like a huge investment in time, but it is really an investment in networking the smart way.  Once your LinkedIn profile is set up and you are interacting with your groups, you will find it a pleasure that you look forward to every week.  Plus, it is a great reference tool for you to tell potential clients or business partners: check out my LinkedIn profile.  It is your online portfolio for you and your business. 

Lastly…remember:  Your LinkedIn profile is searchable in Google.  Use your keywords in your description and make yourself interesting!

Now…get out there and get LinkedIn!   

Visit us today at Magic Marketing USA….join our LinkedIn group…and learn about Leave Your Mark Marketing.

_____________________________________

Free Magic Marekting USA materials to accompany this post: 

These materials created in cooperation with Jane Morrison of Smart.Savvy.Success

Note:  These materials are the property of Magic Marketing USA and can not be used, changed, or distributed without permission.  Permission may be gained by emailing Magic Marketing USA.