Social Media Web Design for Small Business

How important is social media marketing to the small business owner?  Well it depends on what you want to achieve.  If you are looking to take your brand to a national or global marketplace then yes – invest in social media marketing.  If you are a small business whose products and services are primarily geared to servicing your local area, then the question needs to be asked:

‘How much time do you have to dedicate to raising your social media profile and what return on investment will it provide in terms of sales or market growth?

Websites versus Social Media – what to focus on?

Websites make sales, social media pages generally do not.  Establishing good search engine rankings for your website should be the first goal for new start-ups so potential customers can find you.  Great content and the ability to convert visitors into sales create a successful online campaign. 

Building a list should be the prime focus of tapping into the potential of your site traffic, otherwise opportunities are lost.  You have the three time convincers, those people who need to connect with you more than once to be convinced to invest in your product or service.  List building provides the opportunity to stay in touch with customers that have yet to purchase and gives them a chance to get to know you more.

Social media can help connect at a deeper level with potential customers and used well can drive traffic to your website via promotions and competitions.  Integrated with your blog; social media pages can create a coordinated online marketing campaign with your website to build your brand.  Most people using social media are doing so for the same purposes as you – to promote themselves and for its social aspect.  That means sharing photos, videos, music, humour, inspiration, information, advice and connecting with stars, media and people of interest. 

When embarking on an integrated social media campaign you will need to think about what it is that you are going to share (that’s not directly selling) with your followers?  What have you got to offer that other people and businesses will find intriguing, inspiring, entertaining or useful?

Building Your Brand – Facebook, Twitter and Blogging

One thing I know is that people want to connect with you personally, they want to see your face on your social media profile not a logo.  The exception to this is if you own a well-known magazine, trade journal or charity.  Otherwise, my advice is to post a good photo.

Social media web design provides the opportunity to build your brand through images, slogans and profile information.  Important is your by-line, if people get what you are about in an instant through the use of visual media and a one liner, the light goes on…connections can be made.  When creating your slogan or by-line ask yourself ‘What is your higher purpose’ for doing what you do. Think in terms of how your products and services create value for people, ultimately what is it you are trying to achieve for them?

Transfer that message and branding through your Facebook page, Twitter page and Tumblr blog and when integrated with your website you have created a coordinated online social marketing campaign.  Social media web design gives the ‘wow’ factor to your social media pages.

Let’s talk about Blogging

Blogging if used cleverly can boost your search engine rankings and establish you as an expert in your field.  To save time, write your blog posts all at once and queue them for release at set times each day with automated posting to your Twitter and Facebook pages.  EBusiness Courses offers an integrated social media web design package that does all of this for you, except for writing the blog content.  Writing a blog takes commitment on your part and if you are using the medium to establish yourself as an expert, no one knows your business like you do.

The Money’s in the List!

“The money is in the list.” This is one of the slogans of internet marketing experts who say that it is very important to build up an opt-in list and then make regular mailings which will enable you to sell your goods and services.

If you doubt this slogan, then you should consult with one of my close friends and colleagues who has been quietly building his mailing list over the best three years. Recently he sent out a mailing to all his subscribers, asking them to help out with Hurricane Katrina relief work. He was astonished to see that immediately following the mailing the traffic to his website jumped ten-fold over a period of three days and counting. Not only did his traffic increase, his e-book sales and subscriptions to his new course went through the roof. And, there was not one word of a commercial pitch in his message to the list.

What is the secret of his success? Even he is scratching his head. But, really it is not a mystery. He runs several free auto-responder courses from his website, delivering high quality information on health and well-being, topics that are important to all of us. Because the content of his mailings is of a high standard, he has won the trust and confidence of thousands of people. This is what electronic marketers call “pre-selling”. Now, whenever he has something to say, his readers are eager to listen.

If you run a website and do not already have a mechanism for building up a list of interested readers, then you should consider doing it now. Here are a few ways to build your list.

1. Start a periodic newsletter with a subscription form on all the pages of your website.

However, if you want the kind of success that my friend had, you should write good articles, or get quality material from other writers and send it to your list on a regular basis. If you don’t know or don’t already have a mechanism for collecting addresses and mailing a newsletter, you can get a free service from http://www.bravenet.com or a professional service from Adweber

2. Offer an auto-responder tutorial course on your website.

People come to the web to find solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. Write a series of how-to articles or information articles and offer them as a series that is sent automatically on a periodic basis whenever people subscribe. You can use an auto-responder service hosted by commercial companies or use an auto responder script installed on your own server. A versatile auto responder is available from Adweber (it is hosted on their servers and you don’t have to install any software) or you can buy an auto responder script and install it on your server.

3. Write a small e-book in PDF format and offer it as a free download in exchange for an email address

PDF documents are the industry-standard these days, and if you supply good information that is related to your field of activity, your web visitors will be more than happy to trade their email address for a free download. PDF downloads are also viral; people pass them along to their friends and if your information and links are in the e-book, you are likely to get a wide readership.

4. Publish your articles on other websites and newsletters, mentioning your mailing list in your “resource box.”

One of the best ways to build your list is to get your articles published on other websites and in the electronic newsletters published by web masters in fields related to yours. At the end of these published articles you should put your author information (this is also known as a resource box) and include a hyperlink to your website and a mention that more of your articles are available in your newsletter and give a url where people can sign up for it.

One important thing to consider about list building is that whenever you are offering something, even if it is for free, you must sell it to your readers by describing what it is and how it will benefit them. You can’t succeed with a one-line sentence saying, “Sign up for our free newsletter.” If you have a newsletter, you should give a list of past articles. If you have satisfied subscribers, publish some testimonials.

Every day many people are visiting your website and some of them would like to know more about what you have to say and would like to hear from you on a periodic basis. Give them a chance, by using some of the list-building methods that I have described.

Copyright 2005

How Can I Generate Leads For My Business?

A lead is somebody who has, by some means, expressed interest in something you have to offer for sale. You’re going to have many more leads than prospects, and many more prospects than customers. You need to be constantly generating more business leads in the hopes of turning those leads into customers.

Here are 5 proven ways to generate more leads fro your business.

1. Regularly Publish Content On Your Website

Putting information to your blog or website frequently, and on a regular schedule, boosts your chances of your website being ranked by the search engines and connecting with your audience. Remember that every bit of content for your leads needs to be checked for grammar, clarity, and format. You want the information you provide to represent the type of products and services you offer. If you make silly mistakes, it will reflect back onto your business.

2. Host A Webinar

Hosting a webinar is a great way for generating more business leads. A webinar is a live web-based video or audio conference that connects the host of the webinar to an audience. It’s an easy way to introduce yourself your business, and your unique personality to your prospects. And it doesn’t have to cost any money. YouTube Live, Google Hangouts and other websites and software suites offer free webinar services.

3. Record Helpful Videos

Video “connects” with your target market much better than text-based content. Videos are quick and easy to create and you don’t even need to appear on camera if you don’t want to. There are many video sharing sites that draw in millions of frequent users. YouTube and Vimeo are just two of the many places where you can host videos where you solve real problems in the lives of your prospects.

4. Answer Questions on Q & A Sites

People online go to websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers to ask questions about almost every topic. This is a way to prove yourself as an informed leader in your field. The search engines on these websites let you to focus on a specific question or topic, and when people see your answers, you can guide them back to your website.

5. Write An eBook

It’s not difficult to write an eBook and you can offer it for free in return for a prospect’s email address. Deciding upon an eBook topic is important. If you have existing clients, what questions do they keep asking? Check out the questions on industry related forums and Facebook groups. What are people asking for help with? If you provide the answer in your eBook, your prospects will want it.

AWeber Vs MailChimp: Which Works Better?

You can never do away with people or visitors who will just go to your website and will probably not buy anything. This is a problem encountered by all internet marketers. However, you can always do something to reduce this kind of traffic leak. One of the most effective ways is by presenting your readers or visitors with the option to sign up for your mailing list. This is where you will need a reliable email autoresponder and an effective landing or capture page. An autoresponder delivers information (including download links) as soon as the visitor confirms his email address after signing up through your landing page. It enables continuous marketing at very low-cost, expands reach and attracts more traffic and subscribers to your blog or website. Above all, it helps generate repeat sales and develop long-term relationships with your subscribers with little efforts.

As an internet marketer, choosing the right autoresponder is very crucial to the success of your online business. I had the chance to review the features of two well-known service providers, and here I will discuss them briefly to you to help decide what features and benefits to consider when choosing the right one for your business.

AWeber is considered as the market leader in email marketing and mailing list management with its smooth email marketing system. It provides its customers numerous user-friendly and customizable templates that come with 1 to 2 column designs to easily fit different opt-in forms and it allows you to create your own sign-up forms using its built-in wizard. It is equipped with a system that can import your contacts not only from your site, but also from a couple of third-party websites including PayPal and Yahoo. AWeber offers free migration support for importing your list from other email marketing service provider.

Knowing your progress with AWeber is made easy because of its excellent tracking system that will monitor your campaign’s performance. It will show you the people who opened your mail, which of your links are clicked and the number of people who opt-out or no longer wish to stay in your list. Its segmenting feature can group your subscribers based on similar activities like opening the same link or purchasing the same product. This is particularly helpful in targeting the right content to the appropriate leads for higher revenue conversion.

MailChimp is another autoresponder provider. It also offers numerous opt-in form templates, however not customizable. Just like AWeber, it provides a campaign progress report that details the growth of your subscribers and your subscriber’s activities, whether they read your email and click on your links or not.

I have come across a couple of customer reviews about MailChimp. Some users are unhappy with their services, especially on the issues about user’s accounts being shutdown, while others are complaining about being unable to send messages to their subscribers. Some say that these things happen because of MailChimp’s very strict policies, making people address the network as “not affiliate friendly”.

As to their rates, AWeber offers its services depending on the number of your subscribers. You will be charged $19 per month for 500 subscribers, $29 for 2500 subscribers, $49 for 5000 subscribers, $69 for 10,000 subscribers, $149 for 25, 000 and if you gain more subscribers, you can talk to their help desk for a special price. While in MailChimp, your first month will be free of charge, given that it will not exceed its trial limit which is 2000 subscribers. On the succeeding months, you will also be charged

depending on the number of your subscribers. For 2,500 subscribers, you will be billed $30, $50 for 5,000 subscribers, $75 for 10,000 subscribers, $150 for 25,000, $240 for 50,000 and a special price if you exceed those.

You may find that AWeber is more expensive compared to MailChimp when you have less than 2000 subscribers, However, once you have more than 10,000 subscribers MailChimp charges more per month than AWeber. Most important of all is you need to consider long-term which email list provider will be more beneficial to you. Surely, you do not want to start engaging with one, that will eventually fail or not work for your business. Yes, you can move and replace your service provider if things do not get any better, but you must remember that moving or transferring your list is not an easy and beneficial task. Given that when you do so, chances are up to 90% of your subscribers that you have worked hard for can be lost.

Remember that in choosing or settling for a service provider, be it AWeber or MailChimp or another company altogether, you really need to do your homework before you commit. List building management is such an important part of your growing your business in terms of being able to build trust and relationship with your subscribers and being able to provide value. Keep in mind That it is through value based marketing that you will be able to monetize your list. So to answer the question AWeber Vs. MailChimp, it is necessary for you to check the company’s credentials and reviews before getting involved, as you want to be able to deal with a company that you can use for the long-term and one you can rely on to effectively manage your email list.

Introduction To Autoresponders

When it comes to making money online especially when it comes to email marketing, there is one tool that is very important and essential.

If the truth must be told, it is the ONLY tool that you needed to start building targeted email lists in whatever niche market you are targeting.

Of course, I’m talking about an AUTORESPONDER.

With an autoresponder, you’re able to automate the entire process of building and monetizing your mailing lists. In addition, using this automation system, you can begin to build valuable relationships with your subscribers, by you trying to sending positive brand messages in every email.

Without an autoresponder, managing your mailing list could be a complete nightmare!

The only way to truly maximize your income online, while minimizing your workload is in your ability to streamline your business and automate as many tasks as possible.

In order to do this, you need to be able to communicate with your audience on a complete automated working system, so that you can use the best of your time growing your business and your brand.

So, how can you begin to automate your list building plus being able to maximize your list profits instantly?

This special report outlines the key essentials to setting up a powerful autoresponder campaign that will drive in leads and effectively build a positive brand in your chosen market.

So without further delay, let’s get started!

Why You Need An Autoresponder

1. Autoresponders help build and reinforce customer relationships.

2. Autoresponders help increase revenue.

3. Autoresponders don’t close.

4. Autoresponders improve branding and personalization.

5. Autoresponders help you keep in constant contact with your clients and customers.

Factors to consider when choosing an autoresponder service

Now that you have known the importance of an autoresponder as a marketing tool, the next step is to choose your autoresponder service provider.

There are certain factors that must be considered when choosing your autoresponder service provider, just as there are factors you consider before going into any business. Among these factors are:-

1. Ensuring Compliance: – Ensure to host your autoresponder with a professional service provider. This guarantees that your emails are compliant with the SPAM ACT of 2003.

2. Higher Delivery Rates: – Professional autoresponder companies are experts at ensuring high delivery so that your emails make their way to your subscriber’s inbox.

3. Unlimited Mailing Lists:- With a professional autoresponder provider, you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of campaigns and mailing lists, giving you the opportunity to target a bigger segments of your market as well as venture into as many different niches as you wish.

4. Extended Features: – The majority of professional autoresponder service providers offer a variety of important tools and resources that make it easy for you to tweak your campaigns and maximize result. These tools give you the ability to split test, monitor performance, as well as the ability to segment and target different parts of your overall list. All these are important features to maximizing your email marketing results.