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.

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.

Five Ingredients for the Best Home Based Business

The key aspect to starting the best home based business is to ensure that you are able to provide a product or service to a selected target audience, who want or need that product and service.

That audience have to be willing to buy it from you and there must be sufficient numbers of customers to buy the product or service. Also, and most obvious, you need to be able to make a profit or else you have no business.

The best home based business is one that is online. There has been a huge consumer shift over the past few years of people buying products and services online and this new digital economy is growing at a phenomenal rate.

The five fundamental ingredients that the best home business:

A Solid Business Plan

The best home based business model needs the perfect mixture of recurring income (when you sell something once and get paid every month, such as a membership website), affiliate income (when you sell items and get paid a commission) and high ticket income (products or services that you sell where you earn in excess of $1000 per sale).

A List Building Strategy

This is s system that allows you to build a list of customers who are interested in your product or service. You will need an autoreponder system and something of value that you can give away to encourage people to subscribe to your list (like a free report or DVD).

A Marketing Funnel

The best home based business marketing funnel follows on from you list building strategy. Once your prospects have subscribed to your list, the marketing funnel helps to build a relationship and trust so that your prospects make that all important first buying decision.

Paid and Free Traffic Sources

Customer traffic is the lifeblood to any home business and you must ensure that you have the appropriate skills to use both paid and free customer traffic that is relevant and will convert into customers.

Peer Group, Mentors and Mindset

If you want to build the best home based business you are going to need help. It is important that you invest in your home business education to learn from those that have gone before you. Learning from someone who’s already successful will make a big difference to your results.

The best home based business is one that does not have an expensive set up cost, has a huge audience of potential customers and allows you to offer specific and popular products without having to buy them first and hold them in stock. This form of home based business is called online affiliate marketing.

Online affiliate marketing is where you, as an affiliate, sell products and services and receive a commission when they are purchased. You do not need to buy the products first. You simply locate a vendor that has a popular product (and there are many of these) and sign-up as an affiliate for that product. This does not cost you anything. You then promote the product to your list of customers via email or online or offline advertising. When a person buys the product from you, the vendor will then pay you a commission. You do not have to worry about the product fulfilment or delivery, as the vendor will do this. Also, a good vendor with a good product will supply all the necessary training and marketing materials you will need to help you sell the product.

Many entrepreneurs want the best home based business as they have come to realise that relying on one salary from one job no longer provides fro a secure financial future with all current economic round of job cuts, pay freezes, fewer working hours and lower pay.

The internet offers the best home based business opportunities. To put this into some perspective, the holiday season online retail spending for 2012 was a 16-percent increase over 2011. This includes November 26 (aka Cyber Monday) which became the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.4 billion. Just having a small slice of this would good for any home based business!

Teleseminars or Webinars: A Quick and Easy Guide Reviewing the Best Virtual Event for Your Business

Like many business owners, you want to offer and conduct webinars or teleseminars but are unsure of the processes involved. You may be confused by the terminology and want to know the key differences. This article will help explain some core features to help you decide which virtual event is best suited to meet your business needs.

The word webinar is actually a short way to say web-based seminar (web + seminar = webinar).

A webinar is a free or chargeable lecture/ presentation conducted and transmitted solely over the web. Webinar programmes such as GoToWebinar or Go To Meetings are free to download and use for attendees, but moderators (i.e. you, the host) will have to pay a small subscription fee.

All anyone needs to conduct and/or attend a webinar is a computer with speakers/headphones, and an internet connection. The webinar autoresponse system sends attendees a link and prompts them to register for the event (allowing you to build your list). Later, a reminder is issued. Using a link with a unique ID number sent by the webinar software, attendees are taken to the virtual “conference hall”.

There they see an introduction screen which you’ll be able to set up, outlining details of the event you’re hosting. During the event, you will be able to present slides, screenshots, video, and other documents. Attendees can type questions, raise virtual hands, and when invited, talk directly to you, the moderator.

Attendees can not only hear you and other attendees but they can see your high-quality presentation too. They can type questions which moderators can read and respond to directly. For convenience, attendees’ mics are muted unless the moderator allows them to speak on air.

Webinars allow you to speak to a large number of people in attendance at once, presenting key information remotely across the world at any given time. Businesses save on time, travel & accommodation costs as neither the presenter nor attendees have to be at a specific location at a specific time. Bear in mind however, your attendees will need access to a computer with an uninterrupted internet connection.

A teleseminar on the other hand, is just another way to say conference call. The advantages to holding a teleseminar are the same as conducting a webinar.

Teleseminars are used to launch products and services and/or provide training whilst providing the business an opportunity to build up a list of contacts that show an active interest. They have become one of the most effective and economical ways for businesses to increase sales and visibility. It is similar in set up to webinars but being less complex, are a cheaper option.

Many newcomers begin with teleseminars before deciding whether to use webinars to interact with their audience. Ultimately many find that they prefer the ease and convenience of teleseminars. Teleseminars have the moderator and attendees to dial into a bridge line for interaction and calls are often recorded to leverage future sales and marketing opportunities.

To conduct a teleseminar one can use software such has GoToMeetings or Intercall. The software is free to download and use as an attendee, but moderators pay a small subscription fee. If attendees use free VoIP packages like Skype, their call is free. If an attendee misses a live call, it can be made available as a replay, thus increasing the opportunity for list-building as new people sign up to listen.

With a teleseminar there’s often no presentation to see; attendees just listen and talk to the moderator and other attendees. However, teleseminars offer greater reach in that all the attendees have to do is use a phone to dial a number (they don’t need access to computers or the internet). The ability to record teleseminars means that you can leverage further income and list-building opportunities.

So, in the end, what’s the difference? Well, actually not very much…Teleseminars also help businesses reach a large audience plus save time and money.

Your choice will reflect your budget, and your need or preference for more functionality. Your decision will also be based on the degree to which your content requires a presentation to make it more attractive or accessible to your listeners.

Such considerations also influence pricing decisions. Learning techniques that ensure you create teleseminars/webinars which brings in revenue and list building are themes that I regularly share with clients. The processes involved have proven results. I do hope that this short article has helped with your own decision making – I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Kingdom Business and Marketplace Ministry

What is a Kingdom Business?

First, I like to say there is a distinction between a Christian business and a Kingdom business. What is that distinction?

For starter, any Christian can be in business and many times that’s just what it is, a Christian in business. Most entrepreneurs start businesses so they can generate a profit and long-term wealth for themselves, including Christians.

There’s nothing wrong with this viewpoint on the surface. However, this type of view can give us a tunnel vision for our business. It can also carry the possible dangers of fueling our own greedy nature and make us lose perspective if our business truly belongs to God.

As born-again followers and servants of our King Jesus, we do not simply run a business like any other organization. In other words, the company we own and run is not solely our own. Everything we have actually belong to our King and we are mere stewards here to further His Kingdom.

Simply put, a Kingdom Business is any entity whose main purpose is to utilize gains from doing business in the marketplace to further the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

What is a Marketplace Ministry?

Now that we have a better understanding of what a Kingdom Business is, I would like to address what a Marketplace Ministry is.

In a nutshell, Marketplace Ministry is God’s strategic plan to reach our world for Jesus through our work or business. Ministry takes place outside the four walls of our church. We spend many countless hours a week in the workplace and how we spend our time should matter.

Many of us Christians often feel detached from the true reality of Sunday worship when compared to the daily grind of our regular work week. We have a hard time when it comes to the integration of our faith and the business world.

Christians, just like anyone else, spend most of their time in the marketplace. Our marketplace ranges from home, business, and community. It’s basically wherever we are engaging with others.

God desires to use Christians as a living testimony to reach those who are lost and don’t know Him. We are God’s people whom He chooses to use as instruments of change in a fallen and corrupted world.

Why Build An Email List?

Some Christians are reluctant to build an email list due to the fact that it can feel really pushy and self-promotional. It feels a lot more like marketing and much less like ministry.

The biggest and worst mistake you can make with your online business whether it’s a Christian one or otherwise is to not develop an e-mail list. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “The Money is in the List” before? This is true even if it’s a non-profit service. By the way, the purpose of any business is to earn a profit.

Well, let me back up just a little bit. It’s not so much as “The Money is in the List”, but as a Christian building a Kingdom Business and bringing your ministry to the marketplace your email list is the best way to connect with your audience. Also, an e-mail list will be your most valuable asset as it’s the only thing that really belongs to you even if you have nothing to sell it’ll allow you to communicate with your subscribers directly.

It’s not a system that belongs to the proprietors such as all the social media platforms. For example, if you were to build a bunch of followers on Facebook or Twitter but never capture their email, how will you contact your audience if the platform bans you or the platform no longer exist?

When To Build An Email List and Who Should Be On Your List?

When? – An old Chinese proverb reads “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Who? – Most people or “your tribe” if you will, do not provide their email address to just any person, so if someone gets on your list, they have currently shown that they know, like and also trust you to some degree already and those are the ones you want on your list.

Building an authentic email list will require you to recognize the needs of your target audience and simply fulfilling that need. These are the people you are building your email list for.

How To Build an Email List

To begin the list building process you’ll need to create an account with a list management service, such as Aweber, GetResponse, or Mailchimp.

Alternatively, you can go with a self-hosted autoresponder if you are more tech-savvy. I do recommend Aweber as I find it the most user-friendly in my opinion.

The most basic way to entice someone to fill out a subscriber form so that they can get on your email list is to create an “Opt-in Freebie”. The opt-in freebie can be almost anything you want it to be such as, an eBook, Free Report, Check List, a “How To” guide, etc. just so there’s some perceived value there.

You would present your opt-in freebie in the form of a webpage or pop-up box. This is your ethical bribe if you will, in exchange for a person’s name and email address. Once the subscriber is on your list, you deliver what you promised them.

We do this by way of setting up an autoresponder. This can be easily done through your list management service. Remember to keep your follow-up messages or newsletter relevant to your offer and mission.

Your next step is to secure a professional autoresponder account of your own, so that you can begin to build to an email list for your Kingdom Business and Marketplace Ministry.